Margery Jean Smith

#10, (31 March 1907-25 May 1987)
FatherJames Smith (11 Oct 1881-16 Jun 1950)
MotherElsie Florence Darby (4 Apr 1884-27 Feb 1966)
ChartsAylott Family - descendants
Bourke family - descendants
Brett Family - descendants
Brown family - descendants
Darby Family - descendants
Deane Family - descendants
Fairclough Family - descendants
Hill family - descendents
Leonard Family - descendants
Manthorpe Family - descendants
Miller Family (Scotland) - descendants
Nicholson Family 1 - descendants
Read family - descendants
Smith family - descendants
Wayte Family - descendants
Mike Hill - ancestors
Descendents of Patrick Bourke
Descendents of Richard Darby
Descendents of Henry H. Hill
Descendents of Robert Holmes
Last Edited2 Mar 2019

Short Biography

     Marge Smith was born in Adelaide in 1907, the middle daughter of James and Elsie Smith.

It isn't clear when but the Smith family had moved to Sydney by the time Marge was in her late teens. She met her future husband John Hill at Manly beach and was soon dating him. Soon after, she was working as a stenographer.

She married John in 1929 at the age of 22.

Shortly after, the newly-weds moved to Melbourne. Family legend has it that John was losing his GMH job in Sydney, but there was a cleaners job with GMH in Melbourne. Soon afterwards he was describing himself as a clerk.

By 1936 John was a departmental manager; their only son was born two years later, and then a year after that they travelled to Europe on company business, leaving Germany a week before war was declared.

Over the next 30 years they enjoyed increasing prosperity, and Marge became interested in the arts, both as a painter but as a patron.

John retired in 1966 and they moved to South Yarra where he died in 1978 at the age of 73. Marge lived for another 9 years, eventually dying of a stroke at the age of 80.
Marge Hill
     (For a brief history and context on the Darby family see this page)

(For a brief history and context on the Hill family see this page)

NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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Margery was born at MacKinnon Parade in McDonald Ward on Sunday, 31 March 1907 at Adelaide.1 She was the daughter of James Smith and Elsie Florence Darby. Her baptism name was Marjorie Jean Smith however she always referred to herself by the alternate spelling of 'Margery.' Her common name was Marge. A picture was taken of Heba and Margery Smith, their parents and their grandmother.
Marjorie and Heba Smith, James Smith and Elsie Darby, Martha Miller c1915
(source: Mrs. M. Willson)


Not much is known of Marge's early life, but the family evidently moved to Sydney. She moved with her parents to Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, circa 1923. However, they only stayed there a year before moving to Sydney.2

John and Margery (along with John's mother Mary) attended the 'Shore' Old Boys dinner dance at The Ambassadors, in Sydney on Monday, 5 July 1926. John was likely on the organising committee.3

John and Margery (along with John's mother Mary) attended a dinner dance organised by the School Clubs Ltd. at the Wentworth Cafe, in Sydney on Wednesday, 4 May 1927. Also attending was 'Val' Boyle.4

John Hill and Margery Jean Smith met at Manly beach, in Manly where John was reportedly a lifeguard. Both were very good swimmers, and Margery would go down with friends. John noticed her from his lookout tower, and one day went up and introduced himself.5 Margery lived in 1929 at at 24 Hercules St in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood.6 She was a stenographer in 1929.7

She married John or Jack. Hill, son of Joseph William Hill and Mary Alberta MacCallum Bourke, at Sydney Church of England Grammar Chapel on Saturday, 2 November 1929 at North Sydney. She was 22 and her husband John was 23. Witnesses to the wedding were James Smith, Mary Alberta MacCallum Bourke, Donald Nicholson Hill and Joseph William Hill.6 A photograph was taken of them early in their life together.
John and Margery Hill early in their life together
(source: Tim Hill collection)
Margery Jean Smith and John or Jack. Hill moved to Melbourne circa 1930 so he could take up a job at General Motors Holden; family legend says it was a job as a cleaner but a year later other sources have him as a clerk but either way, work was precious in the Depression.

Margery knitted bed jackets and sold them to the Ball and Welch department store.8 She was involved in home duties in 1930.9 Margery lived in 1930 at at 2 Highton Court, High Street in the Sydney suburb of Manly.9 Margery and John lived in 1931 at Chequers in Gisbourne Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria.10 A picture was taken of her in a new Chevrolet circa 1935.



Throughout their lives, the three sisters were very close despite being very different. They were intelligent, interested in world affairs and great conversationalists.11 Margery lived in 1936 at 106 George Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria. For some reason, her address was different from her husband's.10

It was very difficult for Margery to conceive children, and she undertook medical procedures to all this to happen.12 Margery, aged 31 and John or Jack. Hill, aged 32 became the parents of first and only child Michael John Hill on Monday, 12 December 1938 at the Mercy Private Hospital, in East Melbourne, Victoria.13,14 Margery and John lived in December 1938 at at Flat 3 in 3 Meredith Street in the Melbourne suburb of Elwood.14 Margery Jean Smith and John or Jack. Hill were found on a passenger list on 16 May 1939 at San Franscisco, California, on the 'Monterey' from Melbourne. They had left their 6 month old child Michael at home with a family friend, Kay Reid.15 Margery Jean Smith and John Hill were found on a passenger list on 4 July 1939 at Southampton from New York on the R.M.S. Aquitania. This was evidently a business trip as their proposed address was Vauxhall Ltd. of Linton, Bedfordshire.16 John and Margery were in Wiesbaden, Germany just a month before England and Australia delcared war. They were asked to leave Germany just before the war began.17
John and Marge Hill, Wiesbaden July 1939
(source: Tim Hill collection)
John and Margery moved to at 3 Were Street in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton in 1939.13

John and Margery moved to at 3 Highfield Grove in the Melbourne suburb of Kew in 1949.13 A picture was taken of Marge with her first Vauxhall circa 1950.

Margery is remembered as being very socially adept; this was a huge asset to John's career.18

Her father died 16 June 1950 at the age of 68. Margery was aged 43 when this happened.

In May 1955 Michael and his mother departed on a cruise to England on the Orcades. They met John there, then travelled through Europe. They departed to Melbourne from Naples, returning on the Orion in September of the same year.13 Margery and John lived in 1958 at at 11 Crest Avenue in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn.19 Margery Jean Smith and John or Jack. Hill were found on a passenger list on 22 September 1958 at Southampton on the 'Queen Mary'. They were intending to stay for 12 days, staying at 23 Buckingham Gate in London, and they had come from New York.20

She was a student at the National Gallery under painter George Frederick Henry Bell (1878–1966) for 20 years.21

Every Sunday, the young Hill family would vist Mike's parents for a meal; Mike would sit inside and watch television, whilst John would take his grandson Tim's and take him out on the patio to cook steak on the BBQ and Margery and her daughter-in-law Barbara would make salads.22 After the meal the young Hill family would go adventuring with Margery leaving the men behind. She wanted to expose the grandchildren to many aspects of life; the art gallery, the zoo, pantomines and live shows in the city. Typically this would be at the Comedy Theatre, the Princess Theatre or Her Majesty's.23

Margery never talked about her father, and never with affection for her mother who she wasn't close to.24

Margery had very narrow feet and George's was the only shop that stocked her size; whenever they had new shoes in, they would send half a dozen pairs out for her.25

Her mother died 27 February 1966 at the age of 81. Margery was aged 58 when this happened.

Her husband John died 1978, leaving her a widow.

Margery died on 25 May 1987 at at 1/371 Toorak Rd. in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra at age 80.26

Her will was probated on 4 August 1987.27

Timeline

DateEventPlace
Family
Family
Family
1907Baptism Name
Name-Comm
Note memo only CR CR
1926Note memo only CR CRThe Ambassadors, in Sydney3
1927Note memo only CR CRthe Wentworth Cafe, in Sydney4
Note memo only CR CRManly beach, in Manly5
1929Residence at 24 Hercules St in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood6
1929Occupation7
1929MarriageSydney Church of England Grammar Chapel, in North Sydney6
1930MoveMelbourne
Note memo only CR CR8
1930Occupation9
1930Residence at 2 Highton Court, High Street in the Sydney suburb of Manly9
1931ResidenceChequers in Gisbourne Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria10
Note memo only CR CR11
1936Residence106 George Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria10
1937Residence-hide22 Powlett Street, in East Melbourne, Victoria28
Note memo only CR CR12
1938Residence at Flat 3 in 3 Meredith Street in the Melbourne suburb of Elwood14
1939Passenger listSan Franscisco, California15
1939Passenger listSouthampton16
1939Note memo onlyWiesbaden, Germany17
John and Marge Hill, Wiesbaden July 1939
(source: Tim Hill collection)
1939Move at 3 Were Street in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton13
1942Residence-hideBrighton29
1949Residence-hideBrighton30
1949Move at 3 Highfield Grove in the Melbourne suburb of Kew13
1949Residence-hideKew31
Note memo only CR CR18
1955Note memo only CR CR13
1958Residence at 11 Crest Avenue in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn19
1958Passenger listSouthampton20
Note memo only CR CR21
1963Residence-hideBalwyn19
Note memo only CR CRBalwyn22
Note memo onlyBalwyn23
Note memo only CR CR24
Note memo only CR CR25
1968Residence-hideBalwyn19
1987Death at 1/371 Toorak Rd. in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra26
1987Probate-new27

Family

John Hill (20 Dec 1905-12 Jul 1978)
Child

Citations

  1. [S5] South Australia, Birth Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1907 No.187 (District of Adelaide).
  2. [S259] Mavis 'Patti' Willson, 11 Mar 2018.
  3. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1926 'PERFECT HOSTS.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 6 July, p. 15, viewed 2 October, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114388585
  4. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1927 'For Women.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 5 May, p. 18, viewed 2 October, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129075159
  5. [S1075] Barbara Nicholson, 01:10 - 03:20.
  6. [S3] New South Wales, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1929 No.258114(?).
  7. [S3] New South Wales, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1929 No.258114.
  8. [S1075] Barbara Nicholson, 00:05 - 01:10.
  9. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Warringah, Subdistrict of Manly.
  10. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Melbourne, Subdistrict of Melbourne East.
  11. [S1076] Barbara Nicholson, 03:50 - 04:30, 06:00 - 06:40.
  12. [S1075] Barbara Nicholson, 03:20 - 04:30.
  13. [S214] Information supplied by Michael Hill (South Yarra) to Tim Hill (Chadstone), 1986.
  14. [S8] Victoria, Birth Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1939 No.647.
  15. [S474] California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957 Ancestry.com, M1410:354 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/iexec).
  16. [S475] UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 Ancestry.com, Shipping Line: Cunard White Star, Official Number: 135583 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/Browse/view.aspx).
  17. [S486] From photograph details / notation.
  18. [S1076] Barbara Nicholson, 06:40 - 06:55.
  19. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Kooyong, Subdistrict of Deepdene.
  20. [S475] UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 Ancestry.com, Shipping Line: The Cunard Steamship Company Ltd, Official Number: 7602/01 (http://search.ancestry.com.au/iexec).
  21. [S1076] Barbara Nicholson, 13:00 - 13:45.
  22. [S1075] Barbara Nicholson, 07:30 - 10:00.
  23. [S1076] Barbara Nicholson, 00:20 - 03:00.
  24. [S1076] Barbara Nicholson, 03:00 -.
  25. [S1076] Barbara Nicholson, 11:20 - 11:45.
  26. [S366] Victorian Coroner, Victoria - Coroner's Inquest File, Coroner's Inquest, Case 2162/87.
  27. [S269] Victoria, Probate, Name: Margery Jean Hill; Death Date: 25 May 1987; Death Place: S Yarra; Occupation: Widow; Grant Date: 4 Aug 1987; Grant: P.
  28. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Melbourne, Subdistrict of Melbourne.
  29. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Balaclava, Subdistrict of Brighton.
  30. [S931] Sands Directories,Victoria, Australia (various dates), 1949.
  31. [S338] Ancestry.com.au Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com.au/) Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. District of Kooyong, Subdistrict of Kew North.