Hill fam­ily his­tory hon­oured at re­union

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By ABBY BROWN

Third gen­er­a­tion Hill chil­dren have it a lot bet­ter than the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion of Hills who grew up in New Zealand.

Wil­liam and Is­abella Hill’s 10 chil­dren would hand milk cows at the Firth es­tate be­fore walk­ing to school each morn­ing and would re­peat the task ev­ery night, Mata­mata His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety sec­re­tary Joan Stan­ley said.

The Hill fam­ily’s con­nec­tion with Mata­mata was cel­e­brated at a re­union on Au­gust 23 in the Tainui Room.

Sixty peo­ple, rep­re­sent­ing three gen­er­a­tions, were present. Pho­tos and mem­o­ra­bilia were shared, con­tacts swapped and mem­o­ries made, or­gan­iser Bar­bara Dalziel (nee Hill) said.

The first gen­er­a­tion of Hills in New Zealand, John and El­iz­a­beth with their three chil­dren Wil­liam, 11, George, 6 and Martha, 1, left London on May 21, 1882.

After three months and 10 days at sea they ar­rived in Auck­land on Septem­ber 1, 1882.

The fam­ily set­tled in Wa­haroa in the farm­ing com­mu­nity.

At the age of 14, Wil­liam started work­ing for one of Mata­mata’s most well-known his­tor­i­cal fig­ures Josiah Firth at his es­tate.

Wil­liam mar­ried Is­abella For- sman in De­cem­ber 1893 and had the afore­men­tioned 10 chil­dren.

Wil­liam’s brother George mar­ried Sarah- Jane Faulkner in Novem­ber 1899 and had most of their chil­dren in North­land be­fore re­turn­ing to Wa­haroa around 1914.

George passed away sud­denly in 1915 and Sarah- Jane re­mar­ried John Boone in 1917.

Martha mar­ried Joseph Finnerty in Septem­ber 1899 and lived in the Wa­haroa-Te Aroha area.

Fam­i­lies of Wil­liam and George still live in and around Mata­mata, Dalziel said.


CAKE CUT­TERS: Wil­liam Hill and Matthew Emett, 7, cut the cake at the Hill fam­ily re­union.

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