|About THE WILLS FAMILY TREE from 1300. Connections from England, Canada, Australia & U.S.A.
Please sign in to see more.
FOR PRIVACY REASONS THE DETAILS OF ANY LIVING PEOPLE WILL NOT BE SHOWN ON THIS SITE. DON'T FORGET TO SIGN THE GUEST BOOK IF YOU ARE LOOKING AT MY SITE FOR THE FIRST TIME. =========================================================================================== THE WILLS FAMILY TREE FROM THE EARLIEST FINDINGS TO THE PRESENT DAY. THE WILLS CONNECTIONS TO THIS TREE COMMENCE IN THE 1300s IN THE TOWN OF ORFORD IN SUFFOLK WHICH IS ON THE EAST COAST OF ENGLAND ( EAST ANGLIA ) AND CONTINUES ON THROUGH THE YEARS DOWN AND AROUND THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE LONDON AREA. FROM AROUND THE 16th CENTURY SEVERAL FAMILIES MOVED TO DEVON AND FROM THE EARLY 1800s TO MANY OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD AS MANY PEOPLE LEFT ENGLAND FOR VARIOUS REASONS. A NUMBER OF OTHER FAMILY TREES LINK UP WITH THIS TREE DURING THE 1300s AND GO BACK TO THE 12th CENTURY; THERE ARE A FEW OTHER LINES OF TREES THAT GO BACK TO THE 900s. THOSE PARTICULAR SURNAMES ARE HEYFORD, DE MOREWICK, UMFRAVILLE DE LUMLEY & DE BOLEBEC. APART FROM THE SURNAME OF WILLS, THERE ARE MORE THAN 4500 OTHER SURNAMES CONNECTED. DURING THE MANY YEARS OF RESEARCHING THIS FAMILY TREE MANY HISTORICAL BITS OF INTEREST HAVE BEEN ACCUMULATED ALONG THE WAY. WE HAVE A PAGE FROM THE COVERDALE BIBLE OF 1535 ( See Julian Wills b 1500 ) THE GREAT BIBLE OF 1549 (See Albert Wills b 1521 ) AS WELL AS THE BISHOPS BIBLE OF 1568 ( See Chadwick Wills b 1551 )THIS WAS REVISED TO THE KING JAMES VERSION OF 1611 ( See other pics in my photo album amongst my index of Church going Wills people that read those bibles during that period of time in their lives ) PHOTOS OF THE OLDEST CHURCHES AND CASTLES IN ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND WHERE MARRIAGES TOOK PLACE AS WELL AS VERY OLD DOCUMENTS ALL ADD TO THE INTEREST FOR THOSE THAT ARE BROWSING THROUGH THIS SITE. From the early 1800s many families headed for the U.S.A, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in search of a better life. There are also many other families connected to our Wills tree that went to Hong Kong,India,Belguim,Portugal and France. If you are a Wills and connected to this tree in some way please let me know. There are many people alive today with the Wills surname that are not listed on my site for security and privacy reasons. Apart from the WILLS surname there are many other surnames that have hundreds of connections. Most of these connections were found in England, U.S.A & Canada with many of these families having connections that are living in Australia today. NOSWORTHY (420) DANIELL (208) BOWDON (23) LEARE (49) LEAR (120) MURLEY (255) ROWELL (75) RENDELL (91) SHARMAN, SMERDON (327) WALKER (84) LOVEYS (215) HANNAFORD (178) HARRIS (200) BICKFORD (268) MOON (267) DAYMOND (125) HENSHAW, WOODLANDS (78) YOLLAND (55) GAHAN, MANTELL, GERMON, GERMAN, SWETE, TARR (136) WILL (90) GOCHE (27) FRENCH (61) CHATTERTON (58) AMERY (179) BEER, LEE, COLLYNS, PINSENT (44) ARLOTT, BOARD (104) YARDE (32) ELLIS, JACKSON, SHILSTON, TURNEY, WOOSTER (71) TILEY, YOLLAND, ADAMS, JACKSON, LEAMAN (101) ARBUTHNOTT (140) PINSENT (44) CROCKWELL, CUMING, CHETWYND, HIND, HALL, HEYWARD, MASLEN (30) MOORE (52) HARVEY, SOPER, REED (33) SANFORD, THOMAS, WEEKES, CROKER, WILLIAMS, GRIBBLE (48) EMERSON, LUMLEY, KNIGHT, ARTHUR, HOLMAN, TREMLETT (130) ANDREWARTHA (36) EDDY (162) WESTRUP (118) GILLINGHAM (26) YEO (21) HONEYWILL (28) MORTIMORE (27) TEMPLER (64) LIGHTFOOT (47) CLOUGH (51) CRANE (54) & POWERS. Work has recently been completed adding files from the Mantell,Mauntell, Lumley, De Morewick ,Heyford, Moon, Mohun and De Mohun family tree lines which connect to this tree during the 1400s. Some of those lines stretch back to the 10th century. The MOON family connections to this tree are most interesting. Along with the help and many photos from cousin Alex Moon, many new connections to the Moon and Wills family have been linked together. Alex,you have been a goldmine of information and your help has been greatly appreciated. The Moon family go back to the 10th century with the surname changing from Moon, Moone, Mohun. Moine,and De Mohun. John De Mohun 1269-1330 lived in Dunster Castle in Somerset where the previous 10 generations were born married and died. Many of the De Mohuns of that time married wealthy women who were either a Duchess,Countess or a Queen that were related to Dirk De Mohun,the 1st Count Of Holland. b 0896 d 0931. Documented history tells us that Dirk was a foster son of Gerolf De Mohun, Count of Frisia ( Holland ) Historians suggest that Dirk was a son from one of Gerolf's sisters as his father died whilst he was an infant. Reginald De Mohun 1183-1213 took a prominent part in the invasion of France in 1206 and accompanied King John to Ireland in 1210. He married Alice Bruer the 4th daughter of Sir William Briwere. From her he acquired considerable estates in Counties Cornwall,Devon and Somerset. This Alice Bruer is set down among the benefactors to the new Cathedral of Salisbury, having contributed all the marble necessary for the building thereof for 12 years. The marriage between William De Mohun b 1096 and Agnes De Gaunt linked him to Simon De Montfort, the De Flanders and De Broyes families. All of these families were related to the Royals of France, Belgium, Denmark and Count Gerolf De Mohun the 1st Count of Holland There are many connections to the Villiers family on this tree site Sir George Villiers 1592-1628 was the 1st Duke of Buckingham.Born in Brooksby, Leicestershire, England. He married the daughter of the 6th Earl of Rutland,Lady Katherine Manners. There are many hundreds of people on this family tree connected to the Smerdon family. They can be found all over Devon and other parts of England, Canada and the U.S.A. Henry Smerdon born in 1862 in Ashburton, Devon came to Australia and married Mary Elizabeth McMahon at Hamley Bridge in South Australia on the 24th May 1888. In every State of Australia the name Smerdon is quite prominent. There are countless numbers of family trees connected to the Smerdon lines. When a connection has been found,that line is then traced back as far as possible in all directions and so it continues on year after year.Apart from the enjoyment of finding new names it also helps other researchers to fill in those missing gaps on various family trees. Evelyn Murley ( my grandmother on my father's side ) comes from a very long family tree line. The Murley tree line dates back to the 1500s with connections everywhere around Cornwall, England. Before the surname Murley came Morley and before that again was De Morley during the 1200s. The connections to the Bickford family spread far and wide around the world. One in particular was Maria Bickford who married Richard Lambeth at Penryn, Cornwall,England. They emigrated to Tasmania, Australia in 1838 before moving to South Australia. Together they raised 11 children with two that died young and were buried in Hampshire, England. All of the other children from this family all married and had families that lived in Dunedin,New Zealand, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales in Australia. The descendants from this family are everywhere today. Throughout Devon and other parts of England there were three particular families that were related to each other and also to the Wills familiy. They were the TAPPER-MORTIMER and GERMON families. All were very large families with some from each of them emigrating to Chicago, U.S.A during the early 1800s. NOSWORTHY FAMILY CONNECTIONS The Wills and Nosworthy families are connected by marriage so many times on this tree I have lost count. Marriages between the two families date back to the 1400s right through to the present day. In England many hundreds of Nosworthys' lived in Manaton, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Crediton, North Bovey, Kenn, Hennock and Widecombe-in-the-Moor and almost every other town in Devon and Cornwall. A NOSWORTHY FAMILY THAT EMMIGRATED TO AUSTRALIA Robert Nosworthy b 1817 in Manaton, Devon married Mary Turner at Buckfastleigh, Devon in 1844. In 1850 they emmigrated to New South Wales,Australia. They raised quite a large family. Today there are many hundreds of descendants from this family living all around Australia today Between 1348 and 1351 in England and other parts of Europe was the Bubonic Plague or known otherwise as Black Death. This terrible disease wiped out between 30% and 60% of Europe's population. How many people with the Wills surname or other variant names were lost is unknown and will never be known. _____________________________________________________________________________ THE COMMENCEMENT OF RESEARCH TO OUR WILLS FAMILY TREE. Our Wills family tree has been traced back to the early 1300s where research commenced with Amos Wills in the town of Orford in the County of Suffolk, England. He married around 1322 and had two twin sons David and Oliver Wills. Several of our Wills family during this period of time attended the Church Of St.Bartholomew in Orford, Suffolk as well as the Church Of St.Botulph in Iken, Suffolk. Both these churches are more than 900 years old and over the centuries have been kept in great shape despite structual problems caused by fire etc. There were many Wills' born in both Orford and Iken in the 1300s as well as from the Caton family who were one of the earliest connecting families to our Wills' In my photo gallery on this site there are several pictures of both churches where Wills and Caton marriages took place as well as other ancient churches from around Sussex. ENGLAND'S OLDEST CHURCHES - SEVERAL OF OUR WILLS' WERE MARRIED IN THEM St.Martins Church in Canterbury is the oldest church still in use. It was built in 597 AD by St.Augustus ( See photo in my picture gallery ) The oldest church in England still standing is St.Peter's Chapel, Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex.This church was built where St.Cedd landed in 654, on his mission from Lindesfarne. The people of Essex worshipped their for over 600 years or more, but so remote was the spot the congregation dwindled and eventually the church was left standing empty since and that's probably the reason why it's in such good shape today. St.Nicholas Bramber Castle in Sussex is the oldest Norman Church in England. St.John The Baptist church in Clayton, Sussex was built in the 11th century. It has Byzantine style wall scenes painted in 1060. Coombes Church in Coombes , Sussex also dates back to the 11th century and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. I have found that the history of these churches is just as fascinating as the Wills family history. To see them is just amazing. Most of the researching credit prior to 1750 must be given to Henry Joseph Wills along with his father Edward Joseph Wills and Henry's grandfather William Wills. All three were born in Ashburton, Devon, during the 1700s. Their early documentation shows that their combined efforts were carried out over a period of more than 60 years. After the death of Charles Wills in 1741 his son William who was most interested in Wills history commenced putting together all the Wills family history. As we understand it he was the instigator who transcribed all the Wills' records in existance at the time together with all known information that had been passed down through several generations to him and traced back the Wills family tree to the 14th century. Apart from knowing who all my ancestors were, there are however many hundreds of connections with the Wills surname who are simply a remote distant relative. Despite being distant, their connections have been added because that then leads to a connecting point with other family trees. One thing that was made mention of in early documentation was that the earliest births, deaths and marriage records in England were in the year 1538. Landowners records go back to the 14th century of which during that time there were many of our Wills' landowners indexed. Those records which are still kept today no doubt played a vital roll in compiling the early generations of this family tree. Without the many years of researching by William, Edward and Henry Wills this tree would not be like it is today. It would have otherwise commenced in the 1600s. At the end of 2005 this tree had been found to link up with 9 very large family trees from around Devon, England. OTHER FAMILY TREES THAT CONNECT TO MY WILLS FAMILY TREE There are currently 734 other family trees world wide that are on either Tribal Pages, Rootsweb or Ancestry .com that link up with this tree. If anyone feels that they might be related to anyone listed on this site then please don't hesitate to send me an email. New information never goes astray. FAMOUS CONNECTIONS TO THIS FAMILY TREE There are some very famous people that are connected to this tree. Amongst my many connections we have WILLIAM JOHN WILLS ( 1834-1861 )who with Robert O'Hara Burke was the first to cross Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf Of Carpentaria in the far north of Australia. I am not a direct descendant but following a long line backwards from myself and zig zagging through marriages, we come to a Wills - Pethybridge marriage that link up with William Wills and Elizabeth Calley who were the parents of William John Wills the explorer. Another connection to the Wills family is SAMUEL HANNAFORD ( 1835-1911) He was born at Southcombe Farm in Devon, England. He was one of 10 children born to Roger Hannaford and his wife Mary Northcott. In 1844 the family moved to the U.S.A. He was to become one of the most admired architects in the history of Cincinnati.Some of his best known landmarks in the city are The Music Hall, City Hall and many other buildings were of his design. this very capable architect ran a very trusted and famed business by the name of Hannaford & Sons until it's closure in the early 1960s. WAR HEROES DURING THE 1400S There are many connections of the name Bonville found on this tree during the 1300s and 1400s. Two of them in particular fought in some bloody battles during that time. William Bonville born in Shute,Devon,England in 1393 died in The Battle Of St.Albans at Hertfordshire on the 18th Feb 1460 whilst his son William jr born in 1423 died during the Battle of Wakefield later that year on the 31st December 1460. One particular marriage that took place was in 1901 between MARY CURZON and FREDERICK WILLIAM FRANCIS GEORGE FRANKLAND. He became SIR WILLIAM FRANKLAND, 10th Baronet of Thirkelby in the County of York in England. Another is the marriage between Eliza Reynolds and David Arbuthnott on the 8th September 1847 at Arbuthnott in Kincardineshire, Scotland. He became the 11th Viscount of Arbuthnott following down the line of Viscounts that began with Robert Arbuthnott in 1641. Another discovery was the marriage between Anne Chancellor and FRANCIS GRAHAM MOON who was knighted by Queen Victoria and became Lord Mayor of London between 1845 - 1855. On my mothers side a famous connection is Thomas Chatterton ( 1752-1770 ) During the 1760s he was one of the most popular poets not only in England but was well known in other parts of the world as well. He wrote many outstanding pieces of work until one day he was questioned by other writers that noticed he was adding lines to his own works written by other poets and taking credit for it. Very soon the whole world knew about it and sadly he departed the scene as quickly as he appeared. He went into hiding and couldn't stand the pressure that he was under and poisoned himself. Also on my mothers side was a Robert Taylor who was an Armourer aboard his magesty's ship "Endeavour". Lieutenant James Cook Commander specifically requested that Robert Taylor be appointed as Armourer and Taylor joined the ship on the 11th June 1768. On the 17th October 1769 Cook was the first to set foot on New Zealand soil. He claimed the North and South Islands of New Zealand on the 22nd August 1779. On April 29th 1770 Captain James Cook arrived on his ship the Endeavour at Botany Bay in Sydney Australia. Cook traveled from his homeland great Britain to lands where few had gone before bringing home much for his country. Cook was a discoverer, mapreader and an innovator in the process of long distance travel and navigation. He was born in 1728 and died in 1779. More info on Cook including portrait and newspaper articles dated August 19th 1768 can be found by clicking on COOK - LIEUTENANT COMMANDER on my surnames index. A CONNECTION THAT FOUGHT IN THE BATTLE OF PINKIE CLEUGH, FALSIDE, EDINBURGH in 1547. On the 10th September 1547, the Scots were defeated by the English at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, a town just outside of Edinburgh in Scotland. The battle was sparked by the "Rough Wooing" the English demands, that the ten year old Edward VI should marry Mary Queen of Scots, aged five. The military campaign by Henry VIII on the Borders followed the reneged agreement by the Scots Parliament that the two crowns would be united by marriage. The battle was fought at Pinkie Cleugh ( cleugh meaning narrow glen in Gaelic ) outside Musselburgh. The Scottish forces had the strength of numbers, about 36,000 in contrast to the English 16,000, but were lacking in discipline. The English troops, led by the ambitious and experienced Duke of Somerset, slaughtered the Scottish forces, which were weak in cavalry and led by the uncertain Earl of Arran. It was estimated that 15,000 Scots were killed, and 1,500 captured, whereas English fatalities amounted to only 500. Connected to this Wills family tree is William Johnston ( born in 1520 ) that married Margaret Hay in 1542 at Delgaty, Scotland. William fought in the battle on that day but was amongst the 15,000 Scots killed. The battle proved counter productive for the English, whose distinctly "rough wooing" of the infant Mary precipitated her marriage to the French Dauphin, dashing English hopes. The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh can be regarded as the first "modern" battle on British soil, featuring combined arms, co-operation between infantry, artillery and cavalry and,most remarkably,a naval bombardment in support of land forces. WILLS CONNECTIONS IN ENGLAND This Wills tree dates back to Orford, Suffolk from the very early 1300s. From their many families gradually moved to the London area from the 1400s. During the 1600s many of our Wills families were farmers around Oxford and later in many parts of Devon in places like Ashburton, Lustleigh, Newton Abbot,Bovey Tracey,Bideford,Chudleigh,Ilsington and further north to Exeter. In February 2008 after tracing back connections to our Wills families that lived around Exeter I hit the jackpot. Some children of one family after getting married moved to Kensington and Bayswater in London. I then found more than 100 on record that lived in the same area during the late 1500s right through to the early 1800s. From then onwards I couldn't keep track of where they went to as there were hundreds of Wills all around England. WILLS CONNECTIONS IN THE U.S.A. Many families started leaving Devon and other parts of England by boat from the early 1600s up until the late 1800s and amongst them were a few Wills people. Many descendants from those families today live in many parts of the U.S.A. BENNETT WILLS settled in the State of Maine in 1627. John Wills settled in St.Christopher in 1634. VIRGINIA WILLS was mentioned in a Virginian land grant in 1638. THOMAS WILLS settled in Maryland in 1673 and two brothers THOMAS and WILLIAM WILLS settled in Virginia in 1654. Doctor DANIEL WILLS arrived in New Jersey in 1677. JOHN WILLS b 9th July 1660 in Northampton, England arrived in New Jersey and married Hope Delefosse and lived at Mount Holly and Burlington, New Jersey. There was also an ANDREW.J.WILL that arrived in Philadelphia a bit later in 1872. Their were also many families related to the Wills families that went to the U.S.A as well as Canada. The Daniell and Daymond families were two that had dozens of descendants from the early 1800s to the mid 1800s period. Today they are everywhere. This was one of the most time consuming researching episodes that I had ever undertaken as I kept finding one Daniell family after another with most having at least 10 children. One family had 23 would you believe. Surnames of other families that lived in the U.S.A with connections to this tree are as follows: TOZER RANDALL RUNNELS HUCKINS THOMPSON BURNHAM BICKFORD CRAWFORD THOMAS GODDARD HILL WINGATE Most of these families lived around Durham,Dover,Strafford and Oyster River in New Hampshire during the 1600s to early 1800s. Several from the TAPPER, MORTIMER and GERMON families left Devon, England to live in Chicago, U.S.A. during the early 1800s. AMERICANS RESEARCHING THE SURNAME OF HUCKINS - PLEASE NOTE THE NAME CHANGE OF REYNOLDS. William Reynolds b 1560 in London, England emigrated to the U.S.A about 1600. He married Esther Roth about the time they went to live in the U.S.A. Many of their children took on the surname of Reynolds. WILLS CONNECTIONS IN CANADA Thomas Wills who was born in 1808 and a son of George Wills and Susanna Cumming of Lustleigh in Devon, England decided to emigrate to Ontario, Canada around 1832. He married Sophia Bennett on Wolf Island, Ontario in 1834 and raised 4 children. One of their sons George Searle Wills married Mary Jane Walker at Springbank, Calgary, Alberta and they raised 7 children. Before long there were many connections to this family. WILLS CONNECTIONS IN AUSTRALIA. The Australian connections to this tree began when Henry Wills left Ashburton, Devon, England in May 1841 and arrived in Port Jackson, Sydney in December of that year. Henry spent two years in Sydney. What he did their nobody knows. From their he moved to Melbourne, Victoria. After his marriage in 1850 he moved to Majorca in Central Victoria in search of gold. The rest is history as many of his descendants still remain in central Victoria today. Due to lack of work in country Victoria many descendants are now living in metropolitan Melbourne. Although there are many hundreds of Wills names connected to this tree in astronomers terms many are so distant they are light years away just like stars as this tree is continually growing. Help from researchers in England, Australia, Canada and the United States of America continually keep me busy with their updates. Many people living here in Australia have contacted me regarding as to who their ancestors were that lived in England. Several people that knew nothing at all about their English ancestors have commenced compiling their family tree and have now got the genealogy bug. All of these people must be thanked for sending me old Church photos and other bits of information connected with genealogy. Several Wills, Leaman and Rendell descendants living in England today have continued on helping me in recent years with the task of adding more connections. My task of adding the many Australian connections was made a lot easier with the wonderful support from the late Richard "Dick" Wills of Ilsington, Devon. Prior to his death in March 2003 he sent me many Wills indexes of one kind or another from all around Devon,England which greatly helped me with my research in Australia.I owe so much to that man for what he gave me. Dick Wills as he was known to all was always prepared to help someone when it came to family history. He was the 14th generation of the Wills family to live and farm at Narracombe, Ilsington. Dick had gathered up that much Wills history over the years and with his knowledge was the author of THE BOOK OF ILSINGTON which sold like hot cakes in 2000 all around the world. This book covered many interesting stories regarding Wills families and connections in Ilsington and other parts of Devon. RESEARCHERS IN ENGLAND WHO HAVE STUDIED THIS TREE Researchers in England including Wills Historian "Dick" Richard Wills of Ilsington, in Devon have found that the research carried out by Henry, Edward and William Wills was correct right back to the late 1400s and they reached the conclusion that their findings going back even earlier than that is assumed to be correct. Today we no longer have access to the many early records searched because of one reason or another they have either been destroyed by fire or lost by other means before the 1700s. What little they did find in the 1300s was spot on. The earliest Wills records connected to this family tree regarding births, deaths and marriages were around the Orford area in Suffolk in the 1300s period where several weddings took place at the Church Of St.Bartholomew and also St.Butolph in the town of Iken. These church's were built during the 1100s. Orford is on the east coast of England facing the North Sea. Two of the main attractions today for tourists are the church of St.Bartholomew and Orford Castle. Both were built around the same time. Both the church and the castle are magnificent structures to say the least. The Wills surname was first found on record at Saltash in Cornwall in the 11th century. From that period of time the spelling of the Wills surname has varied quite a lot. It has been found on records as being spelt the following way: Wils,Willls,Willes,Will,Wylls,Wiels,Wiells,Whills,Wells and Walls. They are all variants of the Wills surname. See my web page of History of the Wills Surname. http://tww.id.au/fam/lists/surname.html UNSOLVED WILLS FAMILY CONNECTIONS FROM THE 1400s - EARLY 1600s. The end of the line regarding some family trees. One particular Wills line that lived around Christow, Lustleigh, Bovey Tracey and Bridford in Devon during the 1400s- 1500s had ancestors with the surname of Will and Willmeade. For a long time some Devon researchers thought that some Wills families descended from the Will family but reached the conclusion in 2004 that both lines were separate families altogether. Researchers have been unable to connect the Doddiscombsleigh Wills to the wider Wills families of Devon due to a number of uncertanties, particularly between 1570 and 1620. Also the surname of Willmeade that was connected to the Wills families from very early times had died out completely by the end of the 1600s. After a 5 year study by myself and others of many Wills family trees of Devon the following conclusions were reached . It was found that over a two hundred year span around half of all Wills families in Devon between 1650 - 1850 connected up at various points during that time with many living at that time probably not knowing that they were probably related to either a Wills next door or down the road. A search of some 1200 Wills marriages during that time found 30 WILLS - WILLS marriages where cousins married cousins. The reason for this I'm told was to keep the wealth in the family. SOME HUGE CONNECTIONS FROM OTHER FAMILIES Some very large connecting families to this tree are MURLEY, AMERY, HEYWARD, SMERDON, DANIELL, NOSWORTHY, HANNAFORD & BICKFORD. They had very large families and like the Wills' they all married into each others families creating a few more headaches for researchers. These connecting names total more than 4000. During the 1600-1700 period there were 3 consecutive generations of Nosworthys' that married their cousins etc with several of their children at the time having the same name. It was a case of finding their parents first and then their children as their families grew and grew. A RESEARCHERS NIGHTMARE Mary Pethybridge b 1795 married John Nosworthy at Manaton,Devon in 1814 whilst her younger sister Anna Pethybridge b 1804 married another John Nosworthy in 1823 also at Manaton. The two John's were cousins as well as brother inlaws. To confuse the issue even further both had large families and both had a John as well which ended the search for many researchers because of confusion. There were dozens of Nosworthys' around Manaton during that time. There are many people from the HANNAFORD family connected to this tree. During the 1700s many married their cousins as well in the same town with much the same names and made it quite difficult sorting them all out. A HUGE FAMILY THAT MULTIPLIED FAST - Descendants of Joseph Hannaford born 1836. Joseph Hannaford one of 10 children to Roger Hannaford and Mary Northcott was born in 1836 and married 4 times, his brother Samual b 1835 married 3 times with 3 others in the family that married twice. Despite his 3 marriages Samual Hannaford went on to become one of the most respected architects in the history of Cincinnatti, U.S.A. Between Joseph, Samual and the whole family living in America there were more than 65 children in a short space of time and by the end of the 19th century I managed to find hundreds of them. I guess there was no radio or T.V. in those days and a lot of harjy barjy must have taken place. Some of the buildings designed by Samual Hannaford can be seen in my photo gallery. NINE DAUGHTERS AND NO SONS John Harris b 1634 in the Isle of Wight County in Virginia,U.S.A had 3 daughters from his first marriage to Margaret Hobbs and a further 6 more with his second wife Elizabeth Church. By 1450, some of my Wills' families gradually moved from Suffolk to live in London in the towns of Chiswick, Hemel Hemstead, Hendon, Bloomesbury and Bromley in Kent. Tracing the various families and what they did was quite interesting. Those living during that period of time worked as Fisherman - Carpenters - Builders - Stonemasons and a few were farmers. One was a Flag Weaver. During the early 1500s several Wills families were now living north and west of London and by 1580 some of them were working as farmers in the area between Oxford and Exeter. Later many of them moved to farms in and around other parts of Devon where properties were bigger. Many of my Wills' lived in North Street Ashburton and in other nearby towns like Lustleigh and Ilsington where several generations of them farmed the land. During the period from the 1700s to the 1800s a great many of our Wills' were farmers . This was also a terrible period for a lot of people because of various diseases and freezing cold winters. This forced some of our Wills' to leave England. Those that met the requirements by the authorities were given the all clear to travel to Australia and other countries to start a new life. THE LONGEST GIVEN NAMES TO ANY CONNECTION TO THIS FAMILY TREE George Augustus Curzon who was born in Parham, Sussex, England in 1836 married twice. His first marriage was to Mary Florence Treherne in 1867 but she died in 1869. His second marriage in 1873 was to ( wait for it as it's not a joke ) Mary Louisa Anne Frances Josephine Martha Alderton. They had a daughter Mary who later married the 10th Baronet of Thirkelby in the County of York. TWO INCREDIBLY UNIQUE DATES FOR A BIRTHDAY One particular connection to this tree is that of Ann Higgins who was born at Abbingdon in London on the 1st January 1700. She married John Croft who was born on the 1st January 1699. Believe it or not they married on the 1st January 1722 in London, England. They had several children but couldn't manage having one born on the 1st January. Another one is that of Mary Ann Hannah who was born on the 1st January 1800. She married John Foakes in Cambridgeshire. Several connections to this tree were born on Christmas Day which is quite special for some. AN EXTRAORDINARY FAMILY OF GIRLS One particular family from Ireland were Peregrine Butler b 1712 who married Elizabeth ( nee Greene ) Together they raised 12 children with eleven of them being girls. In later years no doubt there would have been many cooks in the kitchen. SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SOME FAMILIES CONNECTED TO OUR WILLS TREE. There have been over the centuries many inter marriages between certain families on this family tree. Had this not been recorded early it would have been an absolute nightmare today trying to sort them all out. Wills - Nosworthy - Bowdon - Smerdon - Leare - Pinsent and Daniell were just a few surnames of families where cousins married cousins etc. Most of these marriages lasted but some didn't. Some married twice and even three times. You name it and it all happened. As an example John Wills married Mary Wills and for some reason she died so John then married Mary's sister Ann. This happened several times with both men and women from Wills families. Other researchers from around England have told me that the main reason for the Wills - Wills marriages was to keep the wealth in the Wills family. Many of the Wills farms around Devon were quite large. Some were 75 to 100 acres but in Ilsington, Lustleigh and Ashburton there were some big ones well over 200 acres. George Wills of Lustleigh once had a property of 220 acres which he sold in 1810. WILLS - WILLS MARRIAGES AND THEIR COUSINS This may be of interest to some. Medical experts that have done intense studies regarding marriages between cousins say there is only a 2% chance of a genetic deformity regarding a childs birth. In the mid 1800s,several men and women from the Daymond family from around Bovey Tracey in Devon moved to Quebec and St.John's Newfoundland in Canada and some went to Adelaide in Australia. Some from the Board family from Bickleigh, Devon moved to Sheboygan and Newburg, Washington, U.S.A, in search of a better life. By the early 1900s there were hundreds of connections to the Daymond and Board families. James Evance Daniell married Eliza Hodges in Surrey, England in 1795. Together they raised 17 children in which 3 died before they reached 2 years old, but the rest survived and married and lived not only in various parts of England but also in Hong Kong, India, U.S.A, New Zealand and Australia. Many of the Daniells' had large families of up to 16 children. However, there was one exception. Joanna Wills of Lustleigh, Devon married Francis Daniell of Berkshire in Kent and raised a staggering 21 children. All but two survived. I'm not sure if the husband had time to go to work or whether or not he helped out with the chores at home. One of the saddest stories of all was the marriage between John Mantell and Sybell Bridger who married at Monks Horton in Kent on 26th February 1662. They raised 7 children of which none lived longer than 2 years. There have been other cases especially during the 1500s and 1600s where some married couples had 8,9 and 10 children that all died very young. This was absolutely heartbreaking to say the least. In 1806 an army general named Augustus William Mantell married Anne Woodlands in Kent and when it was known he was next in line to inherit a large estate in Kent, he fled the country and emigrated to Australia and adopted his mothers maiden name of Woodlands. They had two children William and Jane who were born at Dover, in Kent. Several letters were sent to Augustus by his father in attempt to get him to go back to England but Augustus never replied. Information about what exactly went on at the time was hard to find but in one particular referance book in the London Library it states that Augustus was to become Lord William Mantell as his father was in ill health and no longer fit to run the Mantell Estate. Several years later it was bought by the British Government and later converted into a Military Musem and today is a tourist attraction. Amongst the huge display are uniforms, medals and many items belonging to Augustus William Mantell. Richard Woodlands, a grandson of Augustus William Woodlands( Mantell ) was born in 1847 and became the Mayor of Brisbane, Queensland in 1901. _____________________________________________________________________________ MY G.G.GRANDFATHER HENRY WILLS AND HIS ARRIVAL TO AUSTRALIA The beginning of all the Wills and other family connections in Australia. _____________________________________________________________________________ In 1841 Henry Wills who was the son of Henry Joseph and Maria Henshaw of North Street in Ashburton said goodbye to his parents, brothers and sisters that were all working on the family farm. Although he helped with general chores on the farm he was very academic and was a law student at the time he had decided that there was a better future in Australia for him. The Wills farming business had been run very well for 3 generations to that point of time and even today descendants are still farming around Devon. Henry Wills had been persuaded to go to Australia by a close family friend in Dr.Richard Evans who had set up a thriving practice in Melbourne, Victoria, some 2 years earlier. Henry had no hesitation as he was told it was a much better life in Australia as there was an abundance of work with plenty on offer. One old letter makes mention of the fact that winter in Melbourne was very comfortable without any snow. Referance to these stories have come from Jennifer Gould in Newton Abbot, Devon. She descends from the Evans family and her family tree connects to the Daniell tree during the early 1800s. Jennifer has provided some interesting information that has been handed down to her since the early 1800s. In 1841 Henry Wills was 24 years old and a Law student who attended Exeter University. On the 21st May 1841 he departed from Port Plymouth on the ship "William Metcalfe" and after 97 days sailing arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney on the 27th of August 1841 and was the first Wills on our tree line to come from England and set foot on Australian soil. He spent 2 years in Sydney before moving down to Melbourne where he married Maria Walker who was born in Bristol, England. The wedding took place in St.James Cathedral on the 25th February 1850. Not long after that the newly weds moved to Majorca in Central Victoria where they settled and together they raised 14 children. Sadly only 7 survived. Many other connecting families to our Wills' also came out to Australia in the mid to late 1800s to settle. Some of the surnames of those families were Walker, Henshaw, Sharman, Lee, Murley, Tiley, Winterton,Moon, Bilton, Soutter, Taylor, Gathercole, Brown, Roberts, Rendell,Gahan, Gruer and Peart. Descendants of all these families are scattered all around Victoria today. Some of the towns they lived in were : Inglewood, Dunnolly, Bendigo, Creswick, Ballarat, Tarnagulla, Daylesford, Maryborough, Timor, Mildura, Geelong, Wedderburn, Rutherglen, Majorca, Talbot, Raglan and Wonthaggi. After a thorough search by some researchers in England, they were unable to make any connection with this Wills tree to W.D.& H.O.Wills who were the tobacconists in Bristol, England. However, in August 2010 a new connection to my tree was discovered and that a Samuel Wills born in Bristol in 1826 that married Sophia White Tremlett in 1861 could possibly be a descendant of someone from the W.D.and H.O. Wills family. This is being checked out. As it stands at the moment there are 355 Wills connections in Australia and over 1400 Wills connections from Devon, England including William John Wills who was born in Totnes on the 5th January 1834. He was the son of Dr.William Wills a notable surgeon that lived in Totnes,Devon. William John Wills was famous with the Burke and Wills expedition that took place in Australia between August 1860 and July 1861. They crossed Australia from Melbourne in the State of Victoria to the Gulf Of Carpentaria in the State of Queensland but didn't quite make it back again which was tragic. The expedition had been tried 7 times before by others and all had failed. William John Wills was a brilliant surveyor as he was able to set the party on the right track at all times. His father Dr. William Wills who had a practice at No.3 The Plains, Totnes. William John obtained his Certificate of Chemistry, having studied at Guys and St.Bartholomews. In 1850 he left school at the age of 16 and became Articled Surgeon to his father, a career he did not particularly like. He lived for a time at Ipplepen and was educated in Ashburton whilst boarding in Ireland House. He was a good scholar and very interested in Science. On the 1st October 1852 on the the ship "Janet Mitchell" William John and his brother Thomas left Dartmouth and set sail for Australia and arrived at Port Philip, Melbourne on the 3rd January 1853. Not long after their arrival both men worked as shepherds on a sheep station at Deniliquin, 200 miles from Melbourne. Both were being paid 30 pounds per week. In August 1853 their father Dr.William Wills arrived in Melbourne and it took him until October to find his two sons. In January of 1854 William John was digging for gold like everybody else was at the time but he soon joined his father in a practice in Ballarat. His brother Tom worked as Dispenser. In 1855 William John Wills became restless and made enquiries about joining a party but nothing became of it. In August 1858 Prof.George Noumayer of the Astronomical and Magnetical Observatory was looking for an assistant. He offered the post to William who gladly accepted. In 1860 William decided to join a party. The leader was Burke, with Landells second-in-command. Wills was given the job as surveyor and astronomer. Dr.Beckler the botanist and medical officer and Becker the naturalist. Ten others were chosen for minor posts. On the 20th August The Expedition left Royal Park, Melbourne with 37 camels, wagons laden with stores. During the journey several arguments broke out between several men and the party was split in two. The rest of the story is now history. Both Robert O'Harah Burke and William John Wills both died of starvation due to some wrong decisions made by Burke that proved fatal. Both men were given a proper funeral and were buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton, Victoria, Australia on the 20th January 1863 and 9 years later in January 1872 John King who was the only survivor of the journey also died and was buried in the same cemetery. His health had gradually declined since that epic journey. He was just 31 years of age. During the 1700s and early 1800s many Wills' left Devon to find a better life. Earlier, some went to the U.S.A where many descendants live today. Bennet Wills settled in Maine in 1627, John Wills settled in St.Christopher in 1634. Two brothers named Thomas and William Wills settled in Virginia in 1654 and Thomas Wills settled in Maryland in 1673 all of which are not linked to my tree as yet. A great many of our Australian Wills' worked as Miners during the mid 1800s right up until most of the mines closed around 1920 in Victoria. Some also worked in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. Several also died during this period of time due to various kinds of mining accidents. SOME INTERESTING STATISTICS AND FACTS ABOUT OUR WILLS FAMILY TREE _______________________________________________________________________________ The average age of all males going back in a direct line from myself is 63 yrs. The average age at the time of marriage for all male Wills' is 24 years. Mary Wills born on 18-9-1622 and died on 25-5 1727 was the longest living Wills. She lived for 104 years and 8 months. Four generations of Wills' were all born between the years 1400-1500. George Wills the son of Edward Wills worked as a police officer around Chiswick, London from the early to mid 1800s. There have been several doctors with the most notible being William Wills (born 1804). He was the father of William John Wills the explorer. There have been two Wills Solicitors and there have been several teachers, builders and plenty of miners, particularly in Australia. In England most Wills' were farmers. Thomas, William. George and John have been the most common names for men. Mary , Sarah, Elizabeth and Jane have been the most common names for women. The Wills surname is now more than 900 years old which in time is only yesterday so that means it will be around for a few more days yet