About me


My name is Lois Willis

I began researching my family history in 1990, when my brother-in-law gave me a family tree a distant cousin had given him.  From there I started contacting other family members for more information, obtained birth, death and marriage certificates to confirm some of the details, and then branched out to researching at libraries and archives, and later on the internet.

For some years I have had my family tree on the internet in various formats. In March 2014, I decided to add a blog to my website, to share my experiences in researching my family history, and to provide tips and guides to others researching their family history.

Earlier this year, I found I didn’t have enough space on my site for both my blog and my family tree, so I moved my blog here at https://loiswillis.blog/ and I kept my family tree at http://www.loiswillis.com/

11 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hi Lois
    I am researching a John Garrett Russell from Cork in Ireland, who was also a reverend. He was born around 1800 and had a son Charles, born in 1839. Are we looking at the same family here do you think?


    1. It does seem like it might be the same family, although I’d need to know about the people you’re researching to be sure. The Charles Russell in my tree was known as Charles Martin Russell on some records, and Charles Edward Russell on others. He was born 1 October 1839 in Cork, Ireland, and served in the military for some time before becoming a minister. He married Emily Mary Glasse on 5 May 1871 at St George’s Cathedral, Demerara, British Guyana. The 1881 census shows them living with their three eldest children, Annie age 5, Maxwell was 3 and Hardwicke age 2 at the Vicarage at Frampton on Severn, Gloucester, England. They also had another son William Delamare Russell who was born in 1883. Charles died 21 April 1906 at Ventnor, Isle of Wight. His father, Garrett John Russell, was christened 13 April 1817 at St Finbarres in South Cork. He married Susan Greene in 1839, and they had 8 children: Charles, Martin, John, Thomas, Susanna, Edward, Robert, Francis. Garrett, his wife, his mother Mary Russell, nee Moore, and all the children except Charles came to Australia. I’m descended from Thomas.


      1. Hi Lois
        I am researching a John Garrett Russell from Cork in Ireland, who was also a reverend. He was born around 1800 and had a son Charles, born in 1839. Are we looking at the same family here do you think?
        Hi again Lois
        This is definitely the same family. William Delamare Russell was my husband’s grandfather although he never met him, he was a vicar in Uruguay and died in 1934. Do you know when the previous generation emigrated to Australia? I did all my research some time ago but we have decided to go to Cork in September so decided I had better refresh my memory. We are hoping to go back further than 1790 ( I had also reached that date) but I’m not sure yet where the relevant records are kept. Despite my husband’s mother living in South America she married a Welshman who had gone there to work and the family returned to the uk in 1951 so the children were brought up in England.
        I do hope we can assist each other.


      2. I haven’t been able to find an immigration record for Garrett, but his mother and son Martin arrived in Victoria in September 1856 on the “Morning Light”, and his wife and the rest of the children arrived the same month on the “Almora”. I have another website which has my family tree (I used to have the blog and website on one site, but I ran out of room, so I moved the blog to a WordPress site) – the link to the details about Garrett is http://www.loiswillis.com/getperson.php?personID=I96&tree=1.


  2. Thanks for the instructions, as you see I have now found your comments. I have 3 more pieces of information for you: Charles Martin Russell had 2 further children; Dorothy, who never married and St Ledger (Jack) who was killed in WW1. William Delamere died in Uruguay in 1934.
    Martin Bedford Russell b. abt 1790, died in 1845.
    Thank you for your information regarding the passenger lists. I have found a John Russell arriving on 4/11/1852 at Port Phillip Bay on the Marlborough but that may not be the correct entry for us.
    You may be interested to know that my husband’s brother lives south of Melbourne having emigrated to Australia in the 60’s. That is some coincidence!
    Many thanks again


    1. I do actually have information for St Leger, as well as more information for the family that I haven’t added to my tree yet. I really need to get my research more organised, so that I can keep track of what information I have that I haven’t added to my tree yet.

      Since Garrett’s two youngest sons, Robert and Francis, were born in Ireland in 1853 and 1855 respectively, I don’t think the John who arrived in 1852 would be the same person, unless he returned to Ireland and came back out later.

      Where did you find the death information for Martin Bedford Russell?


      1. Do you have any idea where I would be best looking for information when I’m Ireland? Your genealogy knowledge is at a much higher level than mine and it would be a shame to waste a trip by looking in the wrong places. Thanks Jan


  3. Hi Lois,

    I am visiting Victoria on holiday with my Mum from Western Australia. We visited Drummartin this week as my mum’s grandfather, Frederick Hansen originated from the area. Not finding any headstones for the Hansen’s in Elmore cemetery, I came across your blog and references to our family.
    Frederick was the youngest son of Hans Hansen and Catherine Marshall and he moved to Wagin in Western Australia with his wife, Julie Davis. They had children – Fred, Jim, Bob, Ruby, Ivy, Olive, Iris and Victor.
    Victor was my mum’s father – she is the eldest of Victor’s children. Mum recalls living with Frederick as a small child up to his passing in 1949.
    Thank you for your blog – it provides a very interesting link to our own family.


  4. Hi Lois

    In regards to the Eagar family William Benner (not Bernard) Eagar 1834 – 1890 was my Great-great grandfather. He was born in Tralee, Co Kerry, Ireland and emigrated to Australia and died at Murrumburrah, NSW 15 Aug 1890.

    His son Roland Tallis Eagar b. Murrumburrah 2 Feb 1881 was my Great grandfather who moved to Wellington NZ. He died there 14 Oct 1933.

    My Grandfather, also Roland Tallis Eagar (nickname Rolly) was born Wagga Wagga, NSW 6 Dec 1901 and moved to New Plymouth, NZ. He married Marradean Moon, eventually divorced, and moved to Mirimar, Wellington where he was a successful jockey. He died 29 Jan 1975.

    My father Roland John Eagar (nickname Jack) was born in New Plymouth 26 July 1923, but when his mother abruptly left his father for Auckland moved to Mirimar at age 10 with my grandfather. My father married Mavis Patricia Wood in 1945 and died 26 March 1994 at home in Johnsonville, Wellington.

    I am his eldest son Kevin Nelson Eagar, born 27 April 1948 in Wellington, NZ.

    I have 2 siblings (plus 1 deceased), 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

    I retired 6 weeks ago and my family geneology is my first retirement project.


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