Maria Holmes

#259, (circa 1825-13 April 1916)
Adoptive fatherWilliam Hyde Holmes1,2 (1794-1 Jul 1864)
Adoptive motherEllen O'Donnell3,2 (c 1806-11 Jan 1865)

Short Biography

     Maria was born in about 1825, probably in County Clare, Ireland.

When she was about 16 she came to New South Wales with her adoptive family of William and Ellen O'Donnell with their natural children, and a number of other adopted children.

In Sydney she witnessed the wedding of her sister Bridget to Henry Hugh Hill. Nothing is known of the intervening years but in 1862 Henry returned to Sydney; Bridget had died and he now had three young children. It isn't known exactly how it transpired, but Henry married Maria about a year later when she was 38.

Henry and Maria had two children of their own, and lived for a while in the pioneer town of Bowen, Queensland. Henry eventually moved from Bowen to Rockhampton, from there to Mackay for a couple of years, all in search of a successful business. Whilst Maria seems to have spent some time in Rockhampton at the end of his life, it isn't likely that the children of Henry's first marriage were with them for all of this time.

Henry died in 1878 when Maria was about 53; within 10 years she was in an insane asylum for a while. She moved to Sydney and lived with her unmarried adoptive sister Jane in her 70's, before ultimatly being placed in an insane asylum again.

She died there in 1916 at the age of 91.
     (For a brief history and context on the Hill family see this page)

(For a brief history and context on the Holmes 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 - Tim Hill.
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Maria was born circa 1825 at County Clare, Ireland. Whilst her biological parents aren't known, she always seems to refer to adopted parents as her actual parents..4,5 She was the daughter of William Hyde Holmes and Ellen O'Donnell.1,2,3

Maria emmigrated from Liverpool on 27 October 1841 on the 'Champion' with her adoptive parents and siblings (both biological and adopted).2,6,7,8 After a voyage of 108 days Maria arrived at Sydney on 12 February 1842. During the voyage 5 sailors committed mutiny but were eventually released by the Attorney General.2,6,7,8

Maria came out with the expectation of becoming a house servant.9 She presumably lived with her parents at Princes Street in The Rocks, in Sydney, in 1843. It is not clear that the entry refers to this family, but is a reasonable speculation given that Bridget and her husband claimed to live in this same street ten years later.10 She lived with her parents at Sydney in January 1851. in Macquarie street.11 She was a witness at the wedding of Henry Hugh Hill and her sister Bridget Holmes at St. James' Church of England on Monday, 20 January 1851 at Sydney.11 Maria Holmes was a witness at the wedding of William McMunn and her sister Albina Hyde Holmes at St. James' Church of England on Monday, 17 January 1853 at Sydney.12,13 Her sister Bridget died of gangrene of the lung in Melbourne on 7 May 1862.14

It isn't known what exactly happened after the death of her sister, but with a year and a half she had travelled to Rockhampton in connection with her her dead sister's husband.

She married Henry Hugh Hill, at the manse in a Presbyterian ceremony on Tuesday, 1 September 1863 at Rockhampton, Queensland. The church had only been established two years beforehand. The wedding between a widow and his deceased wife's sister may have been a practical arrangement, but it was regarded by many as deeply morally suspect within the Church of England. Witnesses to the wedding were Jane Holmes and Margaret Holmes.15,16,17 Maria and Henry Hugh Hill became the parents of daughter Alice Grace Hill circa 1864.18

Her adopted father died 1 July 1864 at the aproximate age of 70. Maria was aged about 40 when this happened.

Her adopted mother died 11 January 1865 at the aproximate age of 65. Maria was aged about 40 when this happened. Maria Holmes was found on a passenger list on 15 December 1866 from Rockhampton to Brisbane. She was travelling with a Master Hill and a Miss Hill, probably her children Henry and Alice. This was just before the start of her husband's Supreme Court hearing on insolvency.19 She was found on a passenger list on 6 August 1867 from Brisbane to Rockhampton, Queensland.20 Maria and Henry Hugh Hill became the parents of their only son Joseph William Hill circa March 1868 at Rockhampton, Queensland. Joseph's birth was apparently not registered.21,22

Maria In the absence of her husband, Maria was sued on 22 January 1874:
"H. Schmidt v. Maria Hill ; claim £21 3s. 10d, for goods and balance of a promissory note. The plaintiff proved that the money was due and owing and that the defendant was a married woman whose husband had been away for the past two years; verdict for the plaintiff with 10s. costs."23

She was found on a passenger list on 25 April 1874 from Sydney to Brisbane.24

Her husband Henry died 26 July 1878, leaving her a widow. Maria Holmes was found on a passenger list on 5 February 1883 from Rockhampton to Brisbane.25

On 13 February 1888 Maria was admitted as insane. Within 2 months Maria was at Goodna Insane Asylum, in Brisbane.26 On 20 May 1892 Maria subscribed 2 shillings to the Rockhampton Children's Hospital.27 Maria lived in 1897 at at 225 Forbes St. in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst.28,29 Maria and Jane lived in 1901 at Darlinghurst.30 Maria lived in 1906 at at 13 Rose Terrace in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.31 She was described as having an occupation of 'home duties' in 1908.32 Maria lived in 1908 at at '32 off Dowling Street' in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.32 Maria lived in 1909 at at 36 Dowling St. in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.33

Maria died on 13 April 1916 at at Gladesville Hospital for the Insane in the Sydney suburb of Lilyfield of valvular disease of the heart. She was approximately 91 years of age.5 Her body was interred at Field of Mars (Roman Catholic section) on 15 April 1916 at Ryde.5

Children of Maria Holmes and Henry Hugh Hill

Children
Last Edited18 Jun 2014
ChartsHill family - descendents
Mike Hill - ancestors
Descendents of Henry H. Hill
Descendents of Robert Holmes

Citations

  1. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Family Notices, 25 Jan 1851 p.5 (This needs some explanation. Henry Hugh Hill's first marriage was to a Bridget Holmes in Sydney in 1851. Her father was an Inspector with the Sydney Police (this citation).

    Bridget dies and Henry marries another Holmes woman. Are these women sisters?

    The marriage is witnessed by a Jane Holmes and a Margaret Holmes.

    Shipping records indicate a Holmes family (William, wife (probably 'Ellen'), and four young children) came out on the "Champion".There were also a number of single femailes on board, including a Bridget and a Maria. William indicates he has been in the Irish Police for 20 years.

    Obituaries for a William and Ellen Holmes are consistent with him being this police inspector.

    Death certificates from either William or Ellen should list their children.).
  2. [S272] Assisted Immigrants to NSW, Archives Office of NSW "Champion", arr. 12th Feb. 1842.
  3. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Family Notices, 25 Jan 1851 p.5.
  4. [S272] Assisted Immigrants to NSW, Archives Office of NSW.
  5. [S2] NSW Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1916 No.05758.
  6. [S327] Webpage My Early Pioneers and Their Lives (http://www.frankmurray.com.au) http://www.frankmurray.com.au/?page_id=787
  7. [S344] Australasian Chronicle, 1842 'Shipping Intelligence.', Australasian Chronicle (Sydney, NSW : 1839-1843), 15 February, p. 3, viewed 20 February, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31735058
  8. [S344] Australasian Chronicle, 1842 'News and Rumors of the Day', Australasian Chronicle (Sydney, NSW : 1839-1843), 3 March p. 3, viewed 20 February, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4232218
  9. [S272] Assisted Immigrants to NSW, Archives Office of NSW "Champion", arr. 12 Feb. 1842.
  10. [S640] New South Wales, Australia Historical Electoral Rolls, 1842-1843, Civilian Roll for Gipps Ward, in the City of Sydney, for the year 1842-43.
  11. [S271] Parish Registers - Parish of St. James, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Vol.37A No.51.
  12. [S271] Parish Registers - Parish of St. James, Sydney, NSW, Australia, Vol.39C No.913.
  13. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, 1853 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 21 January, p. 2, viewed 17 October, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12943044
  14. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Married - 25 Jan 1851, p.5.
  15. [S260] Queensland, Marriage Certificate, General Registry Office 1863 No.94160.
  16. [S329] Website Central Queensland Family History Association Inc. (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~auscqfha/index.htm) http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~auscqfha/… ("Early in May, 1861, Rev. Samuel Kelly, formerly of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, arrived in Rockhampton and on May 28 a public meeting, under the presidency of John Jardine, Police Magistrate, resolved to take steps to establish a church. In September a grant of an acre of land was received from the Government and a small church was built." It was during this time that they were married.).
  17. [S331] The Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser, 1863 'Family Notices.', Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861-1871), 8 September, p. 3, viewed 9 February, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51559212
  18. [S352] Queensland State Archives Insanity File, Maria Hill (ID443998 Insanity No. 262) Letter from Alice Hill 2nd April 1888.
  19. [S332] The Queenslander, 1866 'Shipping Intelligence.', The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866-1939), 22 December, p. 4, viewed 23 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20310975
  20. [S331] The Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser, 1867 'Shipping Intelligence.', Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861-1871), 10 August, p. 2, viewed 25 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51572288
  21. [S2] NSW Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1933 No.4594.
  22. [S290] Queensland, Death Certificate, Public Records Office 1878 No.C2759.
  23. [S333] The Rockhampton Bulletin, 1874 'MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS.', Rockhampton Bulletin (Qld. : 1871-1878), 22 January, p. 2, viewed 15 January, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51798382
  24. [S332] The Queenslander, 1874 'Shipping Intelligence.', The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866-1939), 25 April, p. 12, viewed 23 January, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18330617
  25. [S330] The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), 1883 'SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.', Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878-1954), 6 February, p. 2, viewed 30 January, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52023907
  26. [S352] Queensland State Archives Insanity File, Maria Hill (ID443998 Insanity No. 262) File notes.
  27. [S330] The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), 1892 'Advertising.', Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878-1954), 21 May, p. 8, viewed 4 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52434433
  28. [S31] Sand's Directory, Sydney & NSW 189 p.47.
  29. [S31] Sand's Directory, Sydney & NSW 1897 p.722.
  30. [S370] Australian Census 1901 County of Cumberland, City of Sydney, Ward of Bligh.
  31. [S254] Wises Post Office Directory, Sydney & New South Wales 1906 p.926 & 506.
  32. [S367] Commonwealth of Australia - Electoral Rolls, Division of East Sydney, Senham Street Polling Place 1908.
  33. [S367] Commonwealth of Australia - Electoral Rolls, Division of East Sydney, Denham St. Polling Place 1909.
  34. [S31] Sand's Directory, Sydney & NSW 1898 ~p.764.
  35. [S31] Sand's Directory, Sydney & NSW 1899 p.52.
  36. [S254] Wises Post Office Directory, Sydney & New South Wales 1907 p.948 & 517.