James Willett

April 20 Insert 4

James Willett – son of James and Fanny Willett or ‘Aunt Fan’ Emily’s older sister.

The Willett surname was not familiar on first reading ‘Mapping our Anzacs’…. ANZAC day 2011, of course I recognised all the familiar Island names. Last week when I re checked the list…. suitably surprised when I realised the name James Willett, now a name connected to our family history.  ‘Aunt Fan’ was a beautiful discovery entwined in Great Aunt Edie’s history just a few months ago, captivating and intriguing, twists and turns….. gazing back over our history. Reading James file I could see he signed up a few months before my Grandfather and George.   I decided to visit the library ‘again’ to cast my eye over the Weekly Courier, indexed by Wendy Knowles, as I suspected Fanny probably placed James picture in the paper. I had a quiet bet with myself…… because George’s picture was in the paper – highly probable James would be as well, based on how close Emily and Fanny were. Initially looking over the index, couldn’t see his name, when about to give up saw “Willitt’ as per the AWM indexes.

Once home –  exciting to find James in the Weekly Courier. go to 1916 – April 20 – insert 4. Here was ‘Aunt Fan’s  handsome son, occupation,  stone mason. I wonder if he had anything to do with his parents beautiful headstone, also Uncle, James Robinson, as they are quite similar.

Dad wasn’t really up with James going to war, he knew about Harold J Holt but not James – actually he did say ‘Jimmy Willett’, would love to hear more from his family. His mother Fan plays a very special part in the Robinson family history. Dad did say that his parents were best friends with the Willett’s and they used to visit them when over here in Launceston – they were his cousins and remembers the house was on a hill, maybe the top end of Brisbane St near the Gorge.

19 thoughts on “James Willett

    • Hi Allison – I have been searching for family connected to Henry and Amy. You will find Fred’s diaries interesting as Henry and Amy were very close with Fred and Nell.

      • A friend in Victoria who is a descendant to Daniel Wright and Clara Dora has been in contact. He has given me copies of photos from them. I have some copies of old photos that belonged to Henry and Amy but some are of Amy’s family the Rees. Amongst these is a photo of twins in a pram and we have presumed that they are the Robinson twins as we couldn’t find any other twins in any of the families.

      • Could it be King and Tuck in the pram – they were born 1884. This is the best part of the blog – photos without identities we may just be able to solve, is stunning. I have a few I am not sure about so need relatives closer to the Willett side to help.

  1. I am the grandson of Lewis & Maude Willett, and yes, they did live three quarters of the way up the Brisbane Sreet Hill, on the zig-zag.

    • Hi Steve,
      So glad to hear from you, I will pass onto Dad about the zig zag track.
      We have a great history! Please fill in any gaps or corrections, it all helps.
      Did any history get handed down to you about Horace or his brothers / sisters?

  2. The only Horace I knew was Uncle Allan Horatio Willett, a son of Lewis and Maude, along with the other children Ruth, Merle, Sidney, Clifford (my Father) and Mavis.
    They are all since deceased except for young Mavis.
    Aunty Mavis turned 90 last July and there was a large gathering of the Willett clan at Devonport to celebrate with her.
    It was organised by Marie Beyer, the eldest daughter of Ruth Wright (nee Willett)

    • Steve,
      Thank you so very much for your input. Hearing from family about other branches has been amazing. I learnt a little from Fred’s grand daughter about your Father and siblings. Are able to identify any photo’s from Hannah & Henry’s album? I enjoyed learning about the Dawn and aim to look at her flag at Emita in November. If you have any other stories, would love to hear them as would other family members.
      My Grandfather was good friends with Maud and Lewis, seems they remained connected across the years.

  3. Hi Deb, James and Fanny Willett were in Launceston at 143 Patterson Street when James signed up for 1st world war. Going by that address it would be in the area of the TRC Hotel which is not far from the Gorge. I am not sure what happened from then on but do have cards they sent to James at war. They are buried at Carvilla but in unmarked graves. Pam Champion (great granddaughter)

    • Hi, Vivienne Rainbow here (Grand-daughter of Maud and Lewis Willett) From Paterson
      Street they moved up the hill to 333 Brisbane Street – about two thirds up the hill on that very windy track. I have been back a few times in more recent years and the old place is still well maintained. We went there for a week most May school holidays and Pop used to take us down to see the monkeys in the City Park

      • Hi Vivienne, nice to meet you. Great to hear about your childhood memories. When we were kids over to Launceston we also loved to see the monkeys. Thankfully their home is far superior to what I remember. Are you Marie’s sister? Deb

  4. Hi, James Willett’s brother , my grandfather Lewis and his wife Maud lived at 333 Brisbane St which is at the top of the zig zag in Launceston.

  5. Hi, My name is Denise Drew (nee Willett) . Maude and Lewis were my grandparents. I loved reading all the info. I have memories of my brother, Steve and I wandering over to the gorge when we stayed for weekends with Mum and Dad(Cliff Willettt) at 333 Brisbane Street. I also recall sleeping in the huge feather bed there listening to the town clock ring, Nana’s fabulous fruit salads, their very neat garden and Pop sitting on the front porch smoking his pipe.

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