Eight of my ancestors were born in Australia, ten immigrants.

My parents and all four of my grandparents were born in Australia; but only two of my greatgrandparents (William Samuel Hill and Margaret Roberts). Of the others, three were born in England, one in Scotland, one in Shetland, and one in Ireland.


Garry Michael Gillard's father, David Michael Gillard, was born in Perth, 23 May 1905.

David Michael Gillard's father, William Edgar Gillard, was born in Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria. He died in 1906 at Yundramindra, WA.

William Edgar Gillard's father, Robert Dyer Gillard, was born in 1830 in Martock, Somerset. He came to Victoria in 1854 as a sergeant in the army. He died one year before his son William Edgar, in 1905, aged 75.

William Edgar Gillard's mother was Martha McGrath, who was born in Tipperary.

David Michael Gillard's mother, Ethel May Hill, was born 13 April 1885 St Helena Place off Halifax Street, Adelaide, South Australia.

Ethel May Hill was the daughter of William Samuel Hill and Margaret Roberts. William Samuel Hill was born in Launceston, Tasmania.

Margaret Roberts was born in Melbourne.

Garry Michael Gillard's mother, Mary Linda Robertson, was born 24 November 1915, at 82 Maud St Geelong, Victoria.

Mary Linda Robertson's father, James Need Robertson, was born 5 October 1877, Purnim Road near Woodford Shire Warrnambool, Victoria. Birth registered 20 October 1877, no. 30.

James Need Robertson's father, James Robertson, was born in Shetland about 1842, and died 23 October 1905, perhaps in or near Ballarat, Victoria.

James Need Robertson's mother, Frances Mary Hall, was born in Blaxhall, Suffolk, England, about 1846.

Mary Linda Robertson's mother, Christina Bennett, was born 2 February 1880, Scotchmans, Bunninyong, near Ballarat, Victoria.

Christina Bennett's father, Henry Bennett, was born 14 Aug 1835, York, England. He was a miner, at least in Australia.

Christina Bennett's mother, Christina Patterson, was born Stirling, Scotland.


How many of my ancestors were immigrants, and for how many of those can I name the ships they came on? It seems the answers are: 10 and 2.

Robert Dyer Gillard (g-g-father) arrived in Sydney on HMS Vulcan 5 November 1852, as a member of the 2nd/40th Foot (Second Somersetshire Regiment). This was the regiment that put down the Eureka rebellion in Ballarat in 1854. I’m not sure that he was actually there, but I assume so.

His first wife, my g-g-mother, was born in Tipperary in 1838 and married RDG in 1857 in Bendigo. It has never occurred to me wonder which ship she came on. So that’s only one out of two so far.

My mother was a Robertson. The family came from Shetland.

Arthur Robertson (g-g-g-father, 1815-1896) was born in Hellister, came first, arriving at Geelong, Victoria in 1863 on the Vanguard, Master, Henry Corven. But that doesn’t count, as his son, my g-g-father, in the next par, was also an immigrant.

His son James (g-g-father, 1841-1905) was also born in Hellister, and worked his passage to Sydney, but the name of the ship is not recorded by my family informant.

James’s wife (g-g-mother, 1848-1924) was born in Blaxsall, and came to Australia in 1867 on the John Temperly. Not recorded where she disembarked.

So that’s a total of only two out of four in the g-g generation so far. In fact I think that’s it. Of the other four, one was from York - and I’m not even sure about that, let alone what ship he came on. One was from Stirling, and I ‘know’ even less about her.

The remaining two were born in Australia. Billy Hill (g-g-father) was born nr Launceston - the one in Tasmania. And his wife was born in Melbourne.

Which means we have to look at another four people. For two of those (the g-g-g- generation) I have only dates of birth, not even places. A third was born in Gloucestershire, but I know nothing about his coming here. His wife was born in Port Louis, Mauritius. She came to Launceston, where she gave birth to Billy Hill, but no shipping details have come down.

So that's ten people who came by ship - and I only have ship names for a pathetic two.

Family homepage


Garry Gillard | New: 27 January, 1997 | Now: 23 May, 2017