52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors (2015) #23 Thomas Matthew Willis and Elizabeth Hansen

Amy Johnson Crow introduced the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge on her No Story Too Small blog in 2014.  This year she continued the challenge, but also added a weekly theme.  This week’s theme is “Wedding”.  June is time for weddings. Write about a June bride in your family or highlight a favorite wedding photo. Maybe there’s a serial marry-er in the family — that could be a fun post!

I have chosen my ex-husband’s great grandparents Thomas Matthew Willis and Elizabeth Hansen, as they were married in June.  They were married 14 June 1899.

The following is from the Elmore Standard, Friday June 16 1899


   Willis – Hansen

Another pleasant wedding was celebrated at Drummartin on Wednesday morning last, when Mr Thomas Willis, of Sydney Flat, and Miss Elizabeth Hansen, youngest daughter of Mr. Hans Hansen, of Kamarooka, were joined in wedlock.  The Rev. W. R. Elvery officiated at the ceremony.  The bride was attired in cream cashmere, trimmed with lace and ribbon. The bridesmaids were the sister of the bride, Miss Hansen, and Miss Edith Holt, Both wore cream rainsock, trimmed with lace and ribbon, and sash.  The brothers of the bride, Mr. Peter Hansen (best man) and Mr. Fred Hansen acted as groomsmen. After the wedding festivities, the newly married pair departed by the afternoon train for the wedding trip. (next line hard to read … with ? best wishes of their relatives and friends).

The marriage notice mentions that one of the bridesmaids was the sister of the bride,  Miss Hansen.  Elizabeth had two sisters, who were twins, Johanna and Susannah.  It is not known which sister was the bridesmaid.  The other bridesmaid, Edith Holt, was Thomas’s niece – her mother was his sister Mary Jane Willis.

Thomas Matthew Willis was born 21 February 1869 at Myers Creek, in the colony of Victoria.  His parents were George Willis and Ann Marshall.  Elizabeth was born 19 January 1880 at Kamarooka.  She was the daughter of Hans Hansen and Catherine Marshall.  Thomas’ mother, Ann Marshall, was the aunt of Elizabeth’s mother, Catherine Marshall.

Thomas and Elizabeth had four children – Thomas Arthur Willis, born in 1900 died 1957, Elsie Amelia Willis, born in 1901 died 1984, Elizabeth Lucy Willis born in 1905 died in 1974, and Edith Annie Willis born in 1908 died 1943.

Thomas died 21 February 1945 (on his 76th birthday) at his home at Burnside Street Eaglehawk.  Elizabeth survived him for 24 years, and died 14 January 1969 at the Kerang Hospital.  They are both buried at the Eaglehawk Cemetery.