Ingram WILLIS & family emigrate to Hollywood, USA – 1904

Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States as the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station for over sixty years from 1892 until 1954. On Saturday, 5 March 1904, Ingram Willis, aged 48, disembarked at Ellis Island from the USS Lucania,  intent on settling in the United States. Ingram had …

Alfred Willis, 18, receives a school beating – Massachusetts, 1842

Alfred Willis was born in Barham in Kent in 1824 – the eldest child of James & Elizabeth (nee Prebble).  In 1835 the family (including Alfred and his younger brother James) sailed across the Atlantic to the USA and settled in West Newbury, Massachusetts.  The following account gives an insight into not only the schooling practices of the 1840s, but …

Mr E. B. Hopper Esquire – New Zealand pioneer

Edward Betts Hopper was born in around 1799 in Dover, Kent into a Quaker family – his parents were Robert Hopper and Abigail Betts. Parts of his life are shrouded in mystery – indeed, nothing is known of Edward’s early life – the first official record we have of him is his baptism on 20 March 1826 in Queenborough, Kent. …

Matthew FAGG (1822-1908) – transported to Tasmania in 1850, for stealing a sheep

Between 1804 and 1853 the British Government transported around 76,000 convicts to the colony of Van Diemen’s Land (now called Tasmania). One of those was Matthew Fagg, a farm labourer and hop grower from Barham in Kent. Matthew Fagg was born in the village of Barham in 1822 and christened in the local parish church of St John on 14 …

James Augustus Willis (1865-?) – went to Australia and was never heard of again!

James Augustus WILLIS (1865 – c1931) – According to family legend, James “went to Australia when he was about 20 years old and was never heard of after that!”  Passenger lists show a James A Willis left London on 21 September 1886 and disembarked in Mackay in Queensland, Australia on 17 November that year. He was 22 years old and …