Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The children of William and Eliza HALL - Yass, NSW

Occasionally I find my posts act as fishing expeditions to find common descendants. Google brings those looking for an ancestor to my blog, and thankfully in contact with me. If posts are fishing exercises, then this post is a big hook. I'm going to list all I know about the offspring of William HALL and Eliza BLISS of Yass, NSW. William came to Australia from England with his parents Samuel HALL and Mary Anne nee WELLS - as outlined elsewhere (

William and Eliza had 15 children together from 1868-1896, all registered in Yass, NSW. William's death certificate in 1912 (reported by one of his children) lists only 13 children (11 living, 2 dead) but there were another 2 living children that were missed (

In putting together this list I have benefited greatly from the work of my grandfather's brother, Francis 'Frank' Michael HALL (1923-2005). He did a lot of work his family tree, the BANFIELD, MOLONEY, BLISS and HALL families, including meeting a lot of fellow descendants. While the HALL children were born from 1868-1896, the birth of most of their offspring occured after the 1909 cut-off for publicly availabe birth records in NSW, so in some cases all I know comes from Frank's notes - information passed to him by the living children and grandchildren of William HALL that Frank drove all over NSW meeting.

I'll list what I know of each child. It can be assumed where not cited that the information came from Frank, though I have added to this using NDW BDM records, Australian newspaper announcements ( and the Ryerson index ( for more recent deaths. I have not made personal contact with descendants of any of the below families, and it would be great to make contact and exchange information on these people.

While all William and Eliza's children were born in Yass, they moved with their younger children to Koorwatha about 1900 (reason unknown) and so the elder children married in Yass, the younger ones in the Koorawatha area (90 miles away).

It is clear from the below that there is a great deal yet to be learnt. It appears that the family were not all in close contact. When my great grandfather Norman HALL (son of Afred E HALL, 2 below) wrote up a family tree, he 'thought' his grandfather's name might be William (true), but more than this he did not know. He sketched out the names of six of his aunts/uncles but the remainder he was not aware of. This may just be a refletion of the fact my ggrandfather Alfred E HALL left home when he was about 15 - he only met his youngest sister for the first time when she was 16!

1. Mary Ann HALL (1868-1909). Born Yass, NSW 1868. Married Frederick COSTELLO in the nearby Goulburn district in 1895. They had six children around Goulburn and Yass, and a seventh child in the Narromine district in 1907. One daughter, Amelia Alice 'Millie' COSTELLO was burnt to death in 1908 (registered in the Warren district of NSW) and Mary Ann drowned there a year later (1909). Whether the drowning was accidental or suicide is not know but she apparently blamed herself for not smothering the flames engulfing Millie. Frederick COSTELLO re-married to Jessie M BROWN in Granville (western Sydney) in 1911 and they lived in Lidcombe for a time - it appears that Frederick died in Queensland in 1956, his second wife Jessie pre-deceasing him in Queensland in 1942.

2. Alfred Ernest HALL (1870-1954). Born Yass, NSW 1870. Died Croydon, NSW 1954.The second eldest son, Alfred Ernest Hall, was my great-great-grandfather. I have posted a number of times on him: . Buried at Rookwood cemetery, Catholic section with his wife Bridget nee MOLONEY. No headstone.

3. James Samuel HALL (1872-1955). Born Yass, NSW 1872. Married Lavina Jane HEATH (1878 Yass - 1969 Sydney) at Goulburn district in 1895. James (called 'Jim') was a surveyor's assistant and miner and lived mainly at 50 Cross St Corrimal. Jim, Lena and eldest son John ran a catering  business in the Wollongong district and in 1987 son John was a partner in Bills Sports Bar Corrimal. James like his older brother Alfred was fairly short and stocky and Lena was tall and thin. They had four children: Ave Maria (1907-1984 married Robert Michael POSITTI), William (1909-?), Mary and John. James died on 17 Mar 1955 registered in Wollongong ('late of Corrimal'), and Lavina died in 1969 (registered in Sydney).

4. Edward HALL (1874-1952). Born Yass, NSW 1874. Informant on his father's death certificate living at Koorawatha, NSW in 1912. He was a surveyor and travelled through western NSW as a young man. Around 1908 he moved to Koorawatha (where his parents lived) and operated a general store in Boorowa St Koorawatha. He never married and died in 1952 in Cowra (or perhaps Koorawatha).

5. John HALL (1875-1950). Born Yass, NSW 1875. He married Eliza Jane Clarke (1889 Yass - 1954 Yass) in 1907 at Yass and they lived in the Yass district for the remainder of their lives. In the 1936 NSW Electoral Roll John is described as a grazier, and the family is living on O'Brien St, North Yass. Their only child Arthur James HALL (1909 Yass - 1979 Yass) married Stella BALLARD in 1932 - nothing known of their family. John died on 02 Feb 1950, and Stella exactly four years later on 02 Feb 1954. Buried together in the Church of England section of Yass cemetery.

6. Arthur HALL (1877-1899). He accidentally shot himself while 'rabbiting' near Devils Pass (adjacent to the family property at Yass River).

Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 18 Feb 1899

YASS, Friday. A sad accident happened this afternoon on the
Yass River about seven miles from Yass. A young
man named Arthur Hall, a son of Mr. William Hall,
farmer, started out about 2 o'clock in order to indulge
in wallaby shooting. Before he got out of
sight of his house he had to crawl through a fence.
After he had done so he was dragging the rifle
through after him, when it went off. The bullet
entered behind one ear and passed out at the top of
his head. His brother saw him fall, and on running
to him found him dead.

He was not married. He is buried next to his grandfather Samuel HALL in Yass Church of England cemetery.

Headstone of Arthur HALL
Yass C of E cemetery

In Loving Remembrance
Arthur Hall
Who Accidentally Shot Himself
Feb17th 1899
Aged 21 Years
I little thought my time so short,
In this world to remain
I {thought?} when I left my home
I should return again

7. Thomas HALL (1879-1961). Born Yass, NSW 1879. Perhaps named after his uncle Thomas HALL (1846 Cambridge, England - 1928 Manly, NSW). Married Margaret Ann RICHARDS (1883 Yass - 1905 Orange) at Yass in 1905.  He was a railway gauger and lived in various towns in NSW including Orange, Ilabo (near Junee) and Bowning. Apparently had about nine children, but only two are identified: Annie R HALL (1906 Yass - ?) and Lyle J T HALL (1909 Yass - 1982 late of Dee Why), also a railway worker. A side note is that the name 'Annie R' appears in a number of related families back in England - the significance has not been identified. Thomas died at Orange in 1961, and his wife Margaret Ann in 1968 also at Orange district.

8. Sarah Jane HALL (1881-1946). Born Yass, NSW 1881. Married Richard Thomas WATKINS (1872 Young - 1943 Cowra/Koorawatha), a farmer, in 1908, probably at Koorawatha (registered at Cowra). They had one daughter Margaret WATKINS (1908 - 1963 Cowra) who married Thomas Garner BOYD at Young in 1936, and they had two children Brian and Peggy - both were living in the Koorawatha area in the 1980's. Sarah was a fine dressmaker. Richard died in 1943, and Sarah died in Koorawatha in 1946, and is apparently in an unmarked grave at Koorawatha cemetery. Her daughter Margaret apparently had a simple wooden cross in the same cemetery.

9. Catherine HALL (1883-1951). Born Yass, NSW 1883. Married Edward Michael RYAN (1869 Yass - 1915 Yass) at Yass in 1902. Lived at Grace's Flat near Bowning just out of Yass. They had numerous children including Leslie V (1902-?), Arthur W (1909-?), Margaret, John, George and Claude. She was widowed early when her husband 'Edwin' RYAN died 29 March 1915 aged 46 years and was buried at Yass C of E cemetery. Catherine died 29 April 1951 aged 68 years. After she died, her son Arthur ran the property - but it had been sold by 1987. In 1987 Claude was at Lightning Ridge (previously he worked at Burrunjuck Dam) and John with wife Millie ran a home, Warmington Lodge, Rossi St, Yass.

10. Martha Emily HALL (1885-1930). Born Yass, NSW 1885. She married James FAHEY (no details known) at Yass in 1905. Apparently they had children, and by 1930 had moved to Sydney (Summer Hill). Martha was killed by a car on 10 Apr 1920.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Friday 11 April 1930

A middle-aged woman, believed to be Martha Fahey, of Summer Hill, was knocked down and killed by a motor car while crossing Parramatta-road late last night.

Martha was buried at Rookwood cemetery in the Catholic section (Mortuary Mortuary 2, Area 10, Grave 2049), suggesting she had converted to Catholicism (her brother Alfred did also).

11. Norman William HALL (1887-1967). Born Yass, NSW 1887. Married Edith Maud LACK (1883 Campbelltown - 1946 Lismore) in 1908 at Yass. They had at least five children, including William Edward HALL (1909-1973), Thelma V HALL (?-1913), Keith N HALL (?-1922), George S HALL (?-1926) and Cecil Henry HALL (?-1964). While William was born in Boorowa (west of Yass), Thelma's death was registered in Byron Bay and Keith and George's in Ballina, so they'd made their way to the far north coast of NSW. Cecil is buried Alstonville Cemetery (CEM-A2-243) and William at Goonellabah Lawn Cemetery (por G sec 11 num 29), both in Riverina district of NSW. Edith died in 1946 and Norman died in 1967 - buried in the same plot at their son Cecil at Alstoneville cemetery.

12. Florence Eva HALL (1889-1952). Born Yass, NSW 1889. Married Allan Low MCPHAIL (1885 East Macquarie - 1944 Lithgow) at Cowra (probably Koorawatha) in 1908 and they lived at Vale of Clwydd, Lithgow. They had seveal children, one being, Cecil MCPHAIL , born 1908 in Wallerawang district and married Doris COWARD at Lithgow in 1932, and again in 1941 to Bedelia Marjorie DOYLE at Condolbin. Allan died in 1944 at Lithgow and Florence Eva in 1952 also at Lithgow, and the are buried at Lithgow General cemetery (

Headstone of Florence Eva PMCPHAIL (nee HALL)
Lithgow General Cemetery

In loving memory of
My dear Husband and our Dear Father
Allan Low McPhail
Died 10th April 1944, aged 59 years
and our dear mother
Florence Eva McPhail
Passed away ??? 63 years
13. Cyril HALL (1891-1948). Born Yass, NSW 1891. Married Margaret WATKINS (1892 Cowra - 1951 Auburn) in 1913 at Koorawatha - he apparently also converted to Catholicism to marry. They had at least six children: John, Kathleen, Mary, Nita, Olive and Sidney. Mary, an ex-nun, married Robert MCQUILLAN in 1944 and lived at Taree (no children). Kathleen became Sister Cyril HALL of the St Joseph's order, living at Temora in 1987. Lillian married Reginald George GRAYSON at Wollongong in 1938. Olive married Arthur HILL of Koorawatha at Murrumburrah in 1946 and in 1987 was living on Rossi St, Yass. John (Jack) married and lived at Unanderra. Sidney (Sid) also lived in Wollongong.

In the 1943 NSW Electoal Roll Cyril and Margaret are living in Koorawatha, Cyril a labourer. Cyril died of Parkinson's disease in 1948, and Margaret died in 1951, both buried in the R.C. section of Koorawatha cemetery.

Headstone of Cyril HALL
Koorawatha Cemetery
In Loving Memory of
Our Dear Mother & Father
Died 19th June 1851
Aged 59 years
Died 16th July 1948
Aged 58 years

14.Walter Henry HALL (1893-1950). Born Yass, NSW 1891. Enlisted in Australian Infantry Forces in early 1916. His enlistment records show he'd previously failed the entry test for the Australian Light Horse, and he gave his mother as his next of kin (Mrs Eliza Hall, Koorawatha). Enlistment also reveals he was 5' 8" tall, dark complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair. He was assigned to B Company of the 45th Battalion AIF. He was wounded in France, shot in the leg that resulted in a fractured femur, and returned to Australia in 1918. This injury resulted in a limp for the rest of his life. Walter lived most of his life in Koorawatha,  at one time he was a postman. He married Marjorie A DONGES (1902 Young - 1930 Young) in 1928 - she died in child-birth in 1930 leaving a daughter Maureen. Walter died at Concord Repatriation Hospital in 1951 after finally losing his leg, and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery, Anglican Section (Section 16, Grave No. 0003673).

15. Ethel May HALL (1896-1967). Born Yass, NSW 1896. Married Joseph W HODGES (1897 Dubbo - 1983) at Lithgow in 1918. Joseph William 'Bill' was a pastry cook who ran bakeries in several towns including Harden and Moss Vale. Ethel was petite, and Bill a fine violinist who played at local dances in Koorawatha and surrounds. They had five children: Joyce married John Thomas SCHUBERTH in 1943 at Murrumburrah, Gloria married Maurice MCNALLY in 1954 in Sydney, Betty married ? KIPPER, Paul, and Jill married ? BRYANT. Joyce owned a photo of Eliza HALL nee BLISS. Ethel died in 1967 and is buried at Rookwood cemetery, Anglican section (Section 15, Grave 0001124). Bill died in 1983, late of Belmore.

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