THE HOLLIS FAMILY
England to Australia
Information on this site
is my research and input from Wayne Knoll.
appreciate contact if you can correct or add information to this
1st known Generation of Hollis
William Hollis c.1762 England
& Elizabeth Pottinger
Great Great Great
Grandparents of Max Hollis & Siblings
Born: WILLIAM HOLLIS was born c.1762 in Sonning
Oxfordshire England his parents are not known. It is known
William had at least one sibling Thomas Hollis.
Marriage: William Hollis Esq. a Yeoman farmer,
married by licence,
ELIZABETH POTTINGER on
03 Dec 1805 in Sonning Oxfordshire. Witnesses to the marriage Mary
Payn, Francis King, John Pottinger.
Elizabeth Pottinger was baptised 1773 Caversham Oxfordshire, the daughter of WILLIAM POTTINGER
and *MARY SARAH BERRY.
(Mary Sarah Berry was a
daughter of Reverend Nathaniel Berry, she married William Pottinger 29th
June 1771 Caversham Oxfordshire. Family all born Caversham: Sarah bapt 5
July 1771. Rachel bapt. 12th April 1775 d.1823. William bapt.28 June
1778 d.1810. John bapt. 10 Dec. 1777. Harriet bapt.16 May 1779. The
Pottinger family lived at Shiplake- Sonning area. The Hollis Farm seems
to have originally belonged to the Pottingers.)
of Berkshire: Listed among the Nobility is William Holl(e)s Gentleman
of Cane End, Caversham.
brother Thomas Hollis:
brother, Thomas Hollis, was a professional Surveyor who lived as a
neighbour with his family across the river Thames at
1841 Census: William Hollis's widow Elizabeth was 65years living with her children
Harriet 25yrs, Thomas 25yrs a farmer, Richard 24yrs, Charles 22yrs at
Ladbrook Farm Shiplake. Also mentioned living at this farm were Harriet
Weston 18yrs F.Servant, Sophia Homes 20yrs F.Servant, Edward Deadman
20yrs Ag Lab., Edwin Streak 16yrs Ag Lab., Joseph Chandler 15yrs Ag
Lab., Thomas Damer 16yrs Ag Lab.
William & Elizabeth Hollis: William Hollis of Cane End was buried 26
December 1828 at Caversham St Peter aged 66years. Elizabeth Hollis of
Sonning Berkshire (hamlet close to Cane End) was buried 15th December
1857 aged 84years.
Children of William & Elizabeth Hollis
1. WILLIAM POTTINGER HOLLIS, b. 1806, Cavasham Oxfordshire; m. CHARLOTTE BERRY, 09 Dec 1828, Sonning
established his family on the Thames at ‘Charville
Farm’ of 450 acres, with a force of 15 farm servants, in
By the 1861 census William was a widower aged 55yrs.
still farming "Charville Farm", employing 15 labourers & 4 boys
in the Civil Parish of Sonning & Woodley Berkshire. Living at the same
address were his son Frederick 29yrs and daughter Charlotte 21years,
Maria Berry an aunt was visiting and his servant workers.
1. Rachel Hollis b.1826/27 Shiplake,
Oxfordshire. Resided 1851 census at Rotherfield Greys, Oxfordshire.
2. William Pottinger Hollis (Jr) b.1829/30
Sonning Berkshire. In 1851 William was a medical student aged 21years,
residing at 78 Judd St, St Pancras, London with his uncle Richard
Hollis. In 1861 he was a trainee Surgeon a pupil of Dr A ? Power,
residing at 52 Burton Crescent St Pancras London, Middlesex. He is
believed to have become a practising doctor/surgeon. He died Dec.
Quarter 1898 aged 68years Islington, Greater London.
3. Frederick Hollis b.1831/32 Sonning
Berkshire. Married Frances "Fanny" Hayden Mastern September quarter 1868
Reading Berkshire. Occupation 1871 Farmer at Borough Farm Sonning
Berkshire, with 4 servants. Family: 1. Robert Hayden Hollis
b.1869/70 Sonning 2. William Charles Hollis b.Sept Quarter 1871
4. Maria Hollis b.1835/36 Sonning
Berkshire. Resided 30 March 1851 age 14 St Johns School Hampstead
5. Thomas Hollis b.1837/38 Sonning
Berkshire Eng. R ??
6. Charlotte Hollis b.4th Quarter 1839
Sonning Berkshire. On March 30th 1851 aged 11years (farmers daughter)
Charlotte was at St Johns School Hamstead Middlesex
2. JOHN FREDERICK HOLLIS, b. Abt. 1808.
John received into the church for public baptism August 8th 1809
Privately baptised April 19th 1808 by Rt. Baker at Goring Heath
( NB - Cane End is outside Caversham to NW-Goring
Heath is a little further in same direction) Caversham Oxfordshire; d. 11 Jan 1854
Melbourne Australia. Married Frances Elizabeth Close 8th July 1840
St Pancras Middlesex Eng. Came to Australia with their children.
more detailed account of this family below]
3. MARY ELIZA HOLLIS, Christened same
day as her brother John 03 Aug 1809,
Goring Heath Caversham Oxfordshire.
Married John Pearman
Family two sons, both born where their father was born, and
where their parents married, at Mapledurham, Oxford, England - on
the north bank of the Thames, upstream of Reading.
"Gus" John Pearman, born 28 FEB 1832.
John Pearman obtained his MA from Oxford, and became the Reverend
A.J. Pearman, vicar of St. Margaret's Church, Bethersden, near
Ashford, Kent; & The Precincts, Rochester, Kent, & Minor Canon Row,
Rochester (1898), and the author of the History of Ashford, as well
as several papers on the church archaeology of Kent. He later was
ordained Canon Augustus John Pearman.
Morgan Thomas Pearman "probably know as Tommy" born about 05
[Morgan Thomas Pearman], also obtained his M.A., of Pembroke
College, Oxford and became the Reverend M.T. Pearman, and was the
vicar incumbent for 37 Years at Iwade, near Sittingbourne
in Kent, England.
the Reverends Augustus John Pearman and Morgan Thomas Pearman became
historians and writers. The Reverend M.T. Pearman wrote "Historical
Notes on Caversham' the Hollis's homeland.
4. THOMAS ADOLPHUS HOLLIS, b. 1811, Caversham
1881 census Thomas was 42yrs living at Laurel
Cottage in the hamlet of Sonning Town, a farmer of 140acres
employing 15 labourers & 2 boys and 1 woman and a corn merchant. His
41year old unmarried sister Charlotte (This
Charlotte- was she a sister not recorded on the Oxfordshire burial
Index?) was living with him as was his
73year old aunt Maria Berry and servant Mary Butter.
5. HARRIET HOLLIS, b. 1812, Caversham
Harriet was a witness at the marriage of James
Close and Mary Ann Swinley nee Bullock
6. CHARLES ERNEST HOLLIS, bapt. 1816, Caversham
Oxfordshire. Charles married: Ann KEEN 31 March 1850 Old Church,
Saint Pancras, London, England.
The 1861 UK census has Charles as 42years
living with his brother Richard at 25 Prince of Wales.
1864 Berkshire Directory he is
listed as a Farmer, at Charville Farm, (with W.P.Hollis)
7. RICHARD AUGUST/AUGUSTUS HOLLIS, bapt. 1816, Caversham
According to the British 1851 census Richard
was a Master grocer, employing 2 men living at 78 Judd Street, St
Pancras London. 1861 census he is recorded as a Tea Dealer (with
brother Charles (E) Hollis also) in London. In the 1862 P.O.
Directory of London he is listed as Tea Dealer, 25 Chapel St,
Somerstown, (between Wilsted St & Brill Row) 1881-91 census Richard
unmarried grocer. In 1881 he was at No 62 St
Peters Street district of Islington London. 1891 at 11 Brunswick
Close Civil Parish of Clenkenwell London.
Frederick Hollis c.1810
Great Great Grandparents of Max Hollis & Siblings
Australia 1852 aboard the
reason for John Frederick Hollis to bring his wife Fanny and six
children to Australia is not know.
Frederick was the second son of minor gentry, the large-landed
yeoman farmers on the Thames river flats near Reading. He would seem
to be an ideal Australian settler, having already been a working
farmer and raised on a large yeoman farm since childhood. He and his
family had emigrated from the greater Reading area where they’d
lived in the rich fields of middle Thames Valley of
The Hollis family, John
Frederick 42yrs, Fanny 38yrs and children
John 11; Arthur 10; Fanny (Frances) 9; Edward 7; Edith
Rachel 6; and little Lucy 4. left
Liverpool England aboard the ship "Chalmers" arriving Melbourne
Victoria Australia on 30th July 1852 and set up home in the
Collingwood / Fitzroy /
Link to passenger diary of voyage of the ship "Chalmers"
Shortly after their arrival the families lives were throw into chaos
and poverty with the death of the head of the household John.
HOLLIS was the second son and one of seven children born to William
Hollis Esq. and
Elizabeth Hollis nee Pottinger. He
was privately baptised 19 April 1808 at Goring Heath and received
into the church for public baptism Aug 3rd 1809 along with his
sister Mary Eliza. Goring Heath is very near Cane End both to
the NW of Caversham Oxfordshire.
John, a farmer of Shiplake, married spinster Frances Elizabeth "Fanny" Close
08 July 1840 in Parish of St Pancras Middlesex England.
FRANCES ELIZABETH (FANNY) CLOSE the daughter of JAMES
BULLOCK, was baptised 1813 in Shiplake Oxfordshire England.
1851 Census: In 1851
John his wife Fanny and children Arthur, Fanny, Edward, Hubert,
Edith, and Lucy were all living at Albert Cottages in the civil
parish of St Giles in the borough of Reading. He gave his occupation
as formally a farmer. What was john working at at this time? , was
he organising himself for the departure from England
relocation to the other side of the world, which which did take
place a little over a year later.
not always lived in Berkshire, but had always lived with an hour’s
walk from the rural English River Thames or its tributaries. Their
youngest girl, Lucy, was born at Hurley, near
Crookham, Berkshire in 1849
and Edith had been born in 1846 nearby where they were living in
1851, at Burghfield, near
Reading, Berkshire. So this couple can be seen to have lived in
Berkshire only since about 1845 or 1846. Their older children were
all born where they had their farm, at Long
Buckinghamshire, on the
borders of Oxfordshire,
about ten miles east of the city of Oxford. Hubert was born in 1841,
Arthur-1842, Fanny-1843, and Edward Payne Hollis in 1845, all at
Long Crendon, near
Buckinghamshire. This is
not far away. Thame is only
about twenty or thirty miles north of Reading.
Shipping Record: John Fredrick
& Frances Elizabeth Hollis and their children arrived Melbourne Australia aboard "Chalmers" 30.7.1852.
Death of John: John died
aged 45yrs at Brunswick Victoria on 11th January 1854, 18months after his arrival in Australia.
Burial Mystery solved: John was buried
in a public grave no.216 at Melbourne Cemetery on the 12th January,
no denomination noted. Thanks to Wayne Knoll who made a visit to the
cemetery July 2007 that this death was finally found. The entry had
been left off the burial index for Victoria but was found in the
cemetery register. (See burial of Fanny)
2nd Marriage of Frances:
How Fanny coped to feed, cloth and put a
roof over the heads of her six young children is unknown but it
certainly wouldn't have been easy. Five years after John's death
Fanny, occupation given as housekeeper, married widower THOMAS
SIMMONS a brick maker on the 2nd
June 1857 at St Stephens Church Richmond. Thomas was an American born in
Pennsylvania. He and Fanny had a daughter who died as an infant.
Death of Frances Simmons
formally Hollis: Fanny died 10 Jun 1860 age45yrs at Crown St Yarra
Berg Richmond Victoria. Her son Hubert
Hollis gave this as his home address as informant. An inquest was
held into her death, she was buried 13th June 1860 Melbourne General
Cemetery. Thanks again to Wayne Knoll having visited the Melbourne
Cemetery he found her grave location and grave number to be an exact
same match for the so-called pauper grave of John F. Hollis. So it
seems she is buried with John F. Hollis after all and the grave was
retrospectively made a private one. Wayne has located the exact plot
in an area of grass in the middle of scattered old Church of England
Frances Hollis Family
the deaths of both their parents within 9yrs of their arrival in
Australia the Hollis children were now orphans, and separated by sea
from other relatives. What a traumatic time this must have been for
Hubert now 18; Arthur 17; Fanny 16; Edward 14; Edith 12/13; and Lucy
10 or 11. Thomas Simmonds their stepfather was either unable or
reluctant to care for his stepchildren as the younger children were
made wards of the State of Victoria and put under the guardianship
of Mr Septimus Martin J.P.,
1. HUBERT JOHN HOLLIS, b. 1841, Thame Berkshire England; d. 12 Nov 1888, Prince Alfred Hosp.
Melbourne aged 47yrs. No.15365; m. ELIZA SUCKLING, 05 Jan 1867,
Collingwood Victoria No. 1067; b. 27 Aug 1839, Hertsfordshire
England; d. 11 Feb 1924, Wandin Nth. Vic. age 84yrs No.3634.
[Click on Link below for more
detailed information on this family]
2. ARTHUR HOLLIS, b. 15 Feb
1843, Buckinghamshire/ Bapt. Long Crendon England; d. 24
Apr 1909, Melb. Hosp. (66yrs) Arthur lived his life as a bachelor
and at the time of his death lived at Mooroolbark / Lilydale.
FRANCIS "FANNY" ELIZABETH HOLLIS,
b. 31 Jul 1844, Buckinghamshire/ Bapt. Long Crendon England.
Francis was the first of her siblings to marry. In 1864 at
Collingwood (reg/no 03442) she married JOHN
brassfounder born in
Fanny lived to be 83, dying in 1928
the same years as her husband John, in
five children from 1865 to 1877 three daughters & two sons
b.1865, Collingwood Vic. Reg/no 21267; d. 1928 St Kilda
62yrs; married Thomas
Stott, 1886, St Kilda Reg/no 5476. Thomas had a
wholesale produce agency at Melbourne’s Victoria Market
which lasted generations. This agency over time handled
produce from Hollis linked descent farms in the South
2. Amy Charlotte Smith;
b. 1868; Collingwood Vic. Reg/no 1797; d. 1955 St Kilda
87yrs; m. Edward Johnson, 1896.
3. Alfred John Smith,
Collingwood Vic. Reg/no 14860; d. 1962; Fitzroy aged
92yrs. married Mary Ann Stephen 1900. Mary d.1946 East
Melbourne; had seven children.
4. Arthur James Smith,
b.abt 1872; d. 1932; Brighton 60yrs; believed married
Johanna Sarah Richardson 1900; d. 1928 Prahan; had five
4. EDWARD PAYNE HOLLIS, b.
27 Jul 1845, Buckinghamshire/ Bapt. Long Crendon
England; d. 1892, Beechworth Lunatic Asylum
age 46yrs.(Reg/No.9077). Edward seems to have spent his life alone
suffering from a form of insanity. He was a prisoner of the Crown
from at least 1871 and possibly several years prior to this. He
was transferred from Ararat Prison to Ararat Asylum to Beechworth
Asylum on 20th April 1871. Edward was found dead in his room at
the asylum believed be have died of epilepsy. He was 46years old.
RACHEL (ETHEL) HOLLIS, b. 1846, Burghfield Berkshire
England. Edith married HENRY WILLIAM (WILLIAM HENRY) GRASS,
in 1867. Henry b.
was deserted by her husband. He died as he had lived in the stables of a Richmond hotel in 1883, at age
44, in a state of ulcerous neglect and dereliction. Edith responded to that lifelong devastation
with compassionate dignity and lamentation for her
children. She soon died herself, in 1892, aged only 46,
leaving the two Grass children orphans.
1. Lucy Ann Grass, b. 1869; Richmond Vic. Reg/no 4655
2. William John Grass, b. 1871, Richmond Vic. Reg/no.
6. LUCY HOLLIS, b. 1848,
Hurley Berkshire Eng.; d. 1891, Richmond Vic.age 43yrs. (Reg No.
7931); m. JOHN CURTIS, 1871, Vict. (Reg NO.2363); b. London Eng.
Hubert & Eliza Hollis & Family
(Great Grandparents of Max
Family Story written by Wayne Knoll
diary of voyage of the ship "Chalmers"
Information on this site
is my interpretation of events through my research I would
appreciate contact if you can correct or add information to this