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)
ChartsHill family - descendents
Mike Hill - ancestors
Descendents of Henry H. Hill
Descendents of Robert Holmes
Last Edited4 Jul 2021

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. 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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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 emigrated 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.11,12 Maria Holmes was a witness at the wedding of William Patrick McMunn and her sister Albina Hyde Holmes at St. James' Church of England on Monday, 17 January 1853 at Sydney.13,14 A 'Miss M. Holmes' travelled to Melbourne from Sydney on the City of Sydney - perhaps this was Maria visiting her sister Bridget for the birth of her son Joseph.15 Her sister Bridget died of gangrene of the lung in Melbourne on 7 May 1862.16

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. A Miss Holmes was on a passenger list on Tuesday, 24 February 1863 from Sydney to Rockhampton, Queensland. Was the Maria moving to the fledging town to start a new life?17

Rockhampton in 1863 was described as rising in importance with several hotels and a club; bowling alleys and billiard rooms, two bi-weekly newspapers, a General Post Office, and a variety of merchants and workshops, and direct shipments from England.18

She married Henry Hugh Hill, in a Presbyterian ceremony on Tuesday, 1 September 1863 the manse next to the church on the corner of Bolsolver and Derby streets at Rockhampton, Queensland. Witnesses to the wedding were Jane Holmes and Margaret Holmes.19,20,21,22 Why were Henry and P2F married in a Presbyterian service, when the first timber Anglican Church in Rockhampton had recently been constructed, and Revered Thomas Jones was conducting services? Perhaps it was because 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 Christian community. In the weeks leading up to the marriage, South Australia had only just made these types of marriage legal (they were still illegal in England). Further, this might be why the marriage was celebrated in the Manse, rather than in the Presbyterian Church itself, which had been constructed a year before.
The marriage was celebrated by Rev. Samuel Kelly, and the Registrar was Frank Beddek, an Anglican churchwarden and Sunday School teacher.23,24 Her new husband's 10 year-oldchild Henry was enrolled at Rockhampton Central Boys Primary School, in Rockhampton, Queensland, on 5 October 1863.25

Maria's younger sisters Margaret and Jane stayed in Rockhampton with the new Hill family until two months after the wedding, returning in early November.26 Maria and Henry Hugh Hill became the parents of daughter Alice Grace Hill circa 1864.27

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

A Mrs Hill ran a 'Ladies' Emporium' in Rockhampton over a period of six months from October 1864, and sold tickets to a public tea meeting at the Primitive Methodist Church. Might this have been Maria trying to support herself in the absence of Henry?28,29

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 13 October 1865 from 'Broadsound' (Mackay) to Rockhampton, Queensland. The journey seemed to last 11 days. Then, a Mrs Hill travelled to Sydney a few days later.30,31 She 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.32 She was found on a passenger list on 6 August 1867 from Brisbane to Rockhampton, Queensland.33 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.34,35

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."36

She was found on a passenger list on 25 April 1874 from Sydney to Brisbane.37 She was found on a passenger list on the S.S. Tinonee on 17 July 1874 from Rockhampton to Mackay, Queensland.38 She was found on a passenger list on the S.S. Tinonee on 18 December 1875 from Rockhampton to Mackay, Queensland. There were also two children accompanying her; was this Maria visiting Henry with two of their children, and if so, which two? Eliza would have been 18, Alice 11 and Joseph about 7.39

Her husband Henry died 26 July 1878, leaving her a widow. Maria provided information on the death of her husband Henry Hugh Hill, on 27 July 1878, at North Rockhampton, Queensland.40,41,35,42 Maria lived at North Rockhampton, Queensland.35 She was found on a passenger list on 5 February 1883 from Rockhampton to Brisbane.43

Maria and Alice left Rockhampton on Friday, 10 February 1888:
An Escort - Per s.s. Ranelagh in charge Constable Cafferty, and a nurse, there left for Goodna yesterday two lunatics, Alice Hill, and Maria Hill, from the Rockhampton Reception House.44



On 13 February 1888 Maria was admitted as insane. Within 2 months Maria was at Goodna Insane Asylum, in Brisbane.45 On 20 May 1892 Maria subscribed 2 shillings to the Rockhampton Children's Hospital.46 Maria lived in 1897 at at 225 Forbes St. in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst.47,48 Maria and Jane lived in 1901 at Darlinghurst.49 Maria lived in 1906 at at 13 Rose Terrace in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.50 Maria lived in 1908 at at '32 off Dowling Street' in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.51 She was described as having an occupation of 'home duties' in 1908.51 Maria lived in 1909 at at 36 Dowling St. in the Sydney suburb of Paddington.52

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 the Sydney suburb of Ryde.5

Timeline

DateEventPlace
Family
Family
Family
1825BirthCounty Clare, Ireland4,5
1,2,3
1842Note memo only9
1853Residence-hideMacquarie street, in Sydney13
1859Passngr list15
Note memo only CR CR
1863Passngr listRockhampton, Queensland17
1863Note memo only CR CRRockhampton, Queensland18
1863MarriageRockhampton, Queensland19,20,21,22
Note memo only23,24
1863Note memo only CR CR26
1864Note memo only CR CR28,29
1865Passngr listRockhampton, Queensland30,31
1866Passngr listBrisbane32
1867Passngr listRockhampton, Queensland33
1874Quotation type 1Rockhampton, Queensland36
1874Passngr listBrisbane37
1874Passngr listMackay, Queensland38
1875Passngr listMackay, Queensland39
ResidenceNorth Rockhampton, Queensland35
1883Passngr listBrisbane43
1888Quotation type 344
1888Note memo only CR CRGoodna Insane Asylum, in Brisbane45
1892Note memo onlyRockhampton, Queensland46
1897Residence at 225 Forbes St. in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst47,48
1898Residence-hideDarlinghurst53
1899Residence-hideDarlinghurst54
1901ResidenceDarlinghurst49
1906Residence at 13 Rose Terrace in the Sydney suburb of Paddington50
1907Residence-hidePaddington55
1908Residence at '32 off Dowling Street' in the Sydney suburb of Paddington51
1908Occupation51
1909Residence at 36 Dowling St. in the Sydney suburb of Paddington52
1916Death at Gladesville Hospital for the Insane in the Sydney suburb of Lilyfield5
1916Burial at Field of Mars (Roman Catholic section) in the Sydney suburb of Ryde5

Family

Henry Hugh Hill (c 1827-27 Jul 1878)
Children

Citations

  1. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 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, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Family Notices, 25 Jan 1851 p.5.
  4. [S272] Assisted Immigrants to NSW, Archives Office of NSW.
  5. [S2] New South Wales, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1916 No.05758.
  6. [S327] My Early Pioneers and Their Lives (http://www.frankmurray.com.au) http://www.frankmurray.com.au/?page_id=787
  7. [S344] The 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] The 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 for St. James, Vol.37A No.51.
  12. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1851 'Family Notices', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 25 January, p. 5. , viewed 19 Jan 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12924347 (Interestingly, the newspaper stated that Bridget was the second daughter of William and Ellen).
  13. [S271] Parish Registers for St. James, Vol.39C No.913.
  14. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 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
  15. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1859 'CLEARANCES.—FEBRUARY 8.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 9 February, p. 4. , viewed 09 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13013697
  16. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Married - 25 Jan 1851, p.5.
  17. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1863 'CLEARANCES.—FEBRUARY 24.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 25 February, p. 4. , viewed 26 Jun 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13074774
  18. [S1253] Lorna McDonald Rockhampton: A History of City and District P. F. MacDonald to Elizabeth Fowler January 1863 (cited in) p.37.
  19. [S260] Queensland, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages 1863 No.94160.
  20. [S329] 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.).
  21. [S331] The Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 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
  22. [S1253] Lorna McDonald Rockhampton: A History of City and District (for location of Presbyterian church).
  23. [S1253] Lorna McDonald Rockhampton: A History of City and District p.389-394.
  24. [S244] The South Australian Register, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 1863 'THE MARRIAGE LAW.', South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), 20 August, p. 2. , viewed 26 Jun 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50170342
  25. [S1265] Unknown,"Rockhampton Central Boys School Enrollments," School Enrollments , n.d.. Currently held by unknown repository, unknown repository address Admission Register - Rockhampton Central Boys State School, nos 142 - 188, 21 Sep 1863 - 11 Apr 1864 ID
    DR8191.
  26. [S335] The Courier (Brisbane), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1863 'SHIPPING.', The Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1861-1864), 6 November, p. 2, viewed 9 February, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3166706
  27. [S352] Queensland State Archives Insanity File, Maria Hill,Insanity File, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (ID443998 Insanity No. 262) Letter from Alice Hill 2nd April 1888.
  28. [S331] The Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1864 'Advertising', Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1871), 22 October, p. 3. , viewed 04 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51562956
  29. [S331] The Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1865 'Advertising', Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1871), 11 February, p. 3. , viewed 04 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51562099
  30. [S331] The Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1865 'Shipping Intelligence.', Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1871), 14 October, p. 2. , viewed 04 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51565773
  31. [S331] The Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1865 'Shipping Intelligence.', Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1871), 17 October, p. 2. , viewed 04 Jul 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51565825
  32. [S332] The Queenslander, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1866 'Shipping Intelligence.', The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866-1939), 22 December, p. 4, viewed 23 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20310975
  33. [S331] The Rockhampton Bulletin and Central Queensland Advertiser, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 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
  34. [S2] New South Wales, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1933 No.4594.
  35. [S290] Queensland, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages 1878 No.C2759.
  36. [S333] The Rockhampton Bulletin, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1874 'MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS.', Rockhampton Bulletin (Qld. : 1871-1878), 22 January, p. 2, viewed 15 January, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51798382
  37. [S332] The Queenslander, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1874 'Shipping Intelligence.', The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866-1939), 25 April, p. 12, viewed 23 January, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18330617
  38. [S1254] The Mackay Mercury and South Kennedy Advertiser, Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 1874 'Shipping Intelligence.', Mackay Mercury and South Kennedy Advertiser (Qld. : 1867 - 1887), 18 July, p. 2. , viewed 06 Jun 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169857194
  39. [S1254] The Mackay Mercury and South Kennedy Advertiser, Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 1875 'Shipping Intelligence.', Mackay Mercury and South Kennedy Advertiser (Qld. : 1867 - 1887), 25 December, p. 2. , viewed 06 Jun 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169857447
  40. [S3] New South Wales, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1901 No.424.
  41. [S330] The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1878 'Family Notices.', Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878-1954), 30 July, p. 1, viewed 14 January, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51980085
  42. [S1255] The Daily Northern Argus, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1878 'Family Notices', The Daily Northern Argus (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1896), 30 July, p. 2. , viewed 06 Jun 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article213780234
  43. [S330] The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1883 'SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.', Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878-1954), 6 February, p. 2, viewed 30 January, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52023907
  44. [S1255] The Daily Northern Argus, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1888 'No title', The Daily Northern Argus (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1875 - 1896), 11 February, p. 2. , viewed 26 Jun 2021, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article213452361
  45. [S352] Queensland State Archives Insanity File, Maria Hill,Insanity File, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (ID443998 Insanity No. 262) File notes.
  46. [S330] The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1892 'Advertising.', Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878-1954), 21 May, p. 8, viewed 4 March, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52434433
  47. [S31] Sand's Directory,NSW, Australia (various dates), 189 p.47.
  48. [S31] Sand's Directory,NSW, Australia (various dates), 1897 p.722.
  49. [S370] Australian Census 1901 County of Cumberland, City of Sydney, Ward of Bligh.
  50. [S254] Wises Post Office Directory,New South Wales, Australia (various dates), 1906 p.926 & 506.
  51. [S367] Australia - Electoral Rolls, Division of East Sydney, Senham Street Polling Place 1908.
  52. [S367] Australia - Electoral Rolls, Division of East Sydney, Denham St. Polling Place 1909.
  53. [S31] Sand's Directory,NSW, Australia (various dates), 1898 ~p.764.
  54. [S31] Sand's Directory,NSW, Australia (various dates), 1899 p.52.
  55. [S254] Wises Post Office Directory,New South Wales, Australia (various dates), 1907 p.948 & 517.