Descendants of Robert John Wills

Second Generation


5. Robert Manton Wills (Robert John ) was born on 16 Aug 1864 in New Norfolk, TAS,. He was christened on 2 Oct 1864. He died in 1939 in Coffs Harbour, NSW.

Manton was the name of the First Methodist Minister in the New Norfolk district, Reverend John Manton appointed in 1837.

Robert lived in New Norfolk at Rosedale then Ballymony, Hayes then went to work in Zeehan …..(from his 1939 obituary in The Coffs Harbour Advocate)
“As a young man, deceased entered into the service of the famous Oonah Mining Co. and went into the nooks and corners of the Island State prospecting for minerals-mostly tin and silver lead. It was an exceedingly rough life in a climate in which rain was a daily occurrence; the average fall was 100 inches per annum. After a few years he crossed to the mainland and went to Broken Hill to search the rich Barrier ranges.”

"He returned to Tasmania and married Ruth Ellen Page, who was also a member of a family of thirteen children. Shortly afterwards the wanderlust gripped him again and, whilst his wife remained in Tasmania, he worked his way through the great mining fields of Western Australia and sailed for South Africa to try his luck in the diamond mines at Johannesburg and the Transvaal. He could tell many interesting stories of the incidents leading up to and immediately following the Jamieson Raid. He was an eyewitness to the arrest of Jameison and spoke of the rebel leader as “the bravest man I ever saw". After two and a half years in the Transvaal he contracted a fever peculiar to those parts and returned to Tasmania. But soon other fields were calling, and with his wife and daughter, he went to the North Island of New Zealand and engaged in mining in Coromandel and in the King Country for several years."

"Family responsibilities caused him to give up the prospecting work and he took up farming in Tasmania again; but not for long. Afflicted by rheumatism, he found the Tasmanian climate very disagreeable and in the early months of 1909 he came to Coffs Harbour and bought ‘Shephard’s farm’ where he resided until his death.

Shortly after arriving in this district he was engaged by the Department of Public Works to find suitable deposits of rock to be quarried for use in the Harbour works. He also entered into business and opened a refreshment room in the building now occupied by Mrs. Fredericks. As a progressive farmer he added to his Shephard’s Lane property, established a milk delivery in the town which has been continued for 15 years, and took up banana and tomato growing, the newer industries, with the same zeal that was shown in all other enterprises.
For many years he was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and also of the Banana Grower’s Federation, and a member of the board of Directors of the Butter Factory."

Robert was aged 76 at the time of his death.

Robert married Ruth Ellen Page on 12 Feb 1894 in Strahan, TAS. Ruth was born in 1868 in Franklin, TAS.

They had the following children:

  15 F i Daphne Ruth Wills was born on 19 Feb 1895 in Zeehan, TAS. She died on 6 Jun 1975 in Coffs Harbour, NSW.
        Daphne married Dereck Otton.
  16 F ii Catherine (Kit) Wills was born in Coffs Harbour, NSW.
        Catherine married Unknown Cusick.
+ 17 M iii Leonard Robert Wills
+ 18 M iv Kenneth Hepburn Wills

7. Frederick Randall Wills (Robert John ) was born on 4 Apr 1868 in New Norfolk, TAS,. He was christened on 31 May 1868 in New Norfolk, TAS,. He died on 11 May 1937 in Zeehan, TAS ?. He was buried in Back River Cemetrry, near New Norfolk, TAS,.

Frederick was 69 when he died.

Frederick married Flora Emily Young on 30 Mar 1899 in Zeehan, TAS. Flora was born in 1869. She died on 29 May 1946. She was buried in Back River Cemetrry, near New Norfolk, TAS,.

Flora came from Zeehan.

Frederick and Flora had the following children:

  19 M i Darcey Randall Wills was born on 26 Sep 1899 in Zeehan, TAS.
  20 M ii Harry Frederic Wills was born in 1904. He died on 29 Nov 1917. He was buried in Lawitta Methodist Cemetary, New Norfolk, TAS.
  21 F iii Phyllis Wills died on 15 Nov 1993.
  22 F iv Rita Winifred Wills died on 31 Jul 1929. She was buried in Back River Cemetrry, near New Norfolk, TAS,.

9. Ernest Edward Wills (Robert John ) was born on 19 Jul 1871 in New Norfolk, TAS,. He died in 1957.

Ernest was aged 90 at the time of his death.

Ernest married Amelia.

They had the following children:

  23 M i Ernest Denzil Wills was born in 1896. He died on 26 Oct 1960. He was buried in Back River Cemetrry, near New Norfolk, TAS,.
  24 F ii Maysie Judd Wills was born in 1904. She died in 1995. She was buried in Back River Cemetrry, near New Norfolk, TAS,.

10. Caleb Wills (Robert John ) was born on 14 Nov 1873 in New Norfolk, TAS,. He died in 1948.

Caleb was a teacher in 1894.
He was aged 78 at death.

He had the following children:

  25 F i Isabel Wills
  26 M ii Cam Wills

13. Elsie Gould Wills (Robert John ) was born in 1880.

Elsie married Unknown Storey.

They had the following children:

  27 M i Gould Storey was born in 1921. He died in 1942 in World War 2.

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