Henry Orwell Collis

Henry Orwell Collis: – another photo from the Collis/Wells collection received Friday morning. The names Henry Orwell and William Richard? how did they fit into the Collis story and tonight a comment on the ‘Alfred Collis: Burwood NSW‘ post from one of their descendants, explaining where they sit in the family tree. Reading the comment explains our expanding Collis Clan.

I welcome/encourage other stories from Collis family members, you can add to comments…………

Henry Orwell Collis

William Richard Collis

Tuck and King

Yesterday morning I received a precious gift, in the form of an email with 45 amazing photos. Not just any photos! They are from Great Great Grandmother Hannah Wells Collis album. The album having been handed down through her son Henry’s family – and only discovered in the recent past. There are photos of her UK Wells family, a family we know nothing about – only recently did I work out from the Collis family Bible (recently seen on Fred’s side) Joseph Wells was probably Hannah’s father and Ann her mother, these photos will be a treat when I post them over the next few days.

How lucky to be able to share with our family and the first one in particular is of infant twins – my cousin who sent me the pictures is related as I worked out on this calculator – 3rd cousin 1 time removed and was never sure who the twins were, suspecting they were connected to the Robinson’s for two reason’s 1) they were in Hannah Wells Collis album 2) no twins of that era through Henry and Amy’s history. The photo was taken at Burrow and Co a well-known Launceston company. We are related enough to know the basics of our family structure but too distant to know the finer details. This method of social networking has proven a great way to connect   and learn from one another.

I was amazed when I found the photos of Tuck and King last year and thought possibly the extent of what could be uncovered about them – until yesterday morning, I admit I had  to reach for a tissue – another tribute to my/our beloved ‘Uncle Tuck and his twin King’ born in 1884 also Great Grandmother Emily, what beautiful little babies they were. …………thank you Alison


A Burrows and Co Brisbane St Launceston: 1885 – 1888

John Holt and Mary Akerman

John Holt and Mary Akerman Holt –  the past week have managed to spend time checking the finer details of their family history – like James and William this history is across five generations and can found at the Furneaux Museum at Emita.

Last year when I first read the family tree I recognised one name. Several nights ago worked out this person is a descendant of Elsie Taylor’s (Holt) son Archie Taylor and connected to one of my old nursing friends. He tells me that Elsie married into the well-known Taylor family…….. a family of Master Mariners.

A few nights ago stunned to see another person well-known to my daughter – another descendant of Elsie Holt’s daughter Edna. Edna’s great-granddaughter and my daughter were friends at LCGS. How strange they have the same Great Great Great Grandmother Elizabeth Holt (Meg).  – this would I am sure please her as she came to Australia to make a new life for herself way back in 1853. LCGS was founded in 1848. As far as LCGS goes Meg Youl has had many descendants graduate from LCGS that I am aware of (ten), probably more if we looked a little closer.

March 1909: Elsie and her sisters May, Ruby and Lily were on board the Dawn when she was wrecked in the middle of the night after hitting three-mile reef near Georgetown. Captain Alf Holt being the girls older brother.

March 1910: Elsie’s youngest first cousin Archibald Baden Holt aged 7 and son of her Uncle William and Aunt Ellen was seriously injured in a shooting accident on Little Dog Island. Archie died several months later at the LGH in Launceston. Archie’s grave is next to Elsie’s parents at Carr Villa. Elsie named her first son Archie, her husband Cyril’s second name was Archibald, I wonder if her young cousin Archibald was an influence.






The Diaries come home

Finding the microfilm  copies of  ‘Uncle Fred’s’ diaries in March last year a precious family history lesson, the task of copying, interesting, for a novice, 1905 not so good and under control by 1925.

Yet again: the right place, time and person, led to meeting Fred’s family and the joy of discovering more family history and photo’s. In return lovely to explain what I knew of the diaries.

The past 6 months, dedicated to the diaries, every week drawn to them working on a small project and unable to explain why until……………

Long story short: another series of random coincidences, guiding to find the diaries in early April. The custodians of the diaries (for the past 75 years) lovely gesture of returning the diary to the Collis family gratefully accepted.

A meeting, arranged so I could  collect the diaries and lovely to share what information we knew about both parties.

Once home the diaries sat on my kitchen table for a few days………. Symbolic as the table belonged to my Grandparents: Horace and Maud. At last my part in this family journey complete.

A wonderful moment handing the diaries over to ‘Uncle Fred’s’ family………after 75 years finally back with his beloved family.










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Thank you to Fred’s family for filling in the Collis gaps – I am truly grateful and blessed to have had this experience

Lastly, thank-you to Rev. Brammall’s daughter in law for allowing the diaries be made public in the first instance.



Tin Kettle

Family history –  the Badger Corner Robinson’s had Tin Kettle (East Anderson Island) at one time farming sheep.

The early occupier was E.M Robinson from Green Island and no relation. I did find an article 1921 Estate of Jules Vireaux (son of E.M Robinson), where Tin Kettle and Woody were up for lease.

This 1930 article tells us Robinson Bros had Tin Kettle. Eventually Dolly and Tom Diprose took over Tin Kettle and has passed on through their descendants and remains so in 2014.

I have fond memories of Tin Kettle – the last time I was there the kids were quite young, we popped over for the afternoon. Roy Mac was doing a little scuba diving for cray’s. The young cousins were having a ball mucking around on the beach at low tide. As parents ever mindful of the isolation in this part of the world and we didn’t expect the kids to find a half dead blue ring octopus as they were playing……….. they had no idea what it was. alas us parents accumulated a few extra greys that day! Kids – you cannot take your eyes of them for a minute in the backyard of the Straits.

Robinson cousins heading to Tin Kettle, Woody and Isabella Island.

‘Sunnyside’: Sawyers Bay

IMG_0034Figuring out where Henry and Hannah’s home was has been a mystery, everyone with a different idea. Discovering in a Collis descendant private collection this painting, sheds a little light on this subject.

The artist was O.M. Blyth and when the painting refurbished the newspaper backing dated 1913.

A little homework around OM Blyth – with advice from a Blyth descendant (a work colleague) discovered our artist was Olive ‘May’ Blyth. Goodness I vaguely remember her. Mum followed up with her daughter……she was ecstatic to see one of her mothers precious paintings. May painted this when she was around 19 based on 1913. May married Frank Jackson and they lived on Prime Seal Island. Fantastic for two families being able to trace different aspects of their family history from this painting.

‘Sunnyside’ and the photo of Henry and Hannah suggests the same home – comments, more than welcome – below several comparison photos.View from the Collis

IMG_0034Fred Collis home SBFHR_00116_1_wIMG_5537

Collis home