Hill family history honoured at reunion
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.