Emma Hill (1826-1887)

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Emma Hill
Emma hill
Sex: Female
Birth: 06/02/1826 Dilton Marsh, Wiltshire, England
Death: 04/09/1887 Crystal Brook, South Australia, Australia
Father: Thomas Hill
Mother: Rachel Dew
Spouse/Partner: David Mills
Marriage: 1842 Dilton Marsh, Wiltshire

Emma Hill was born on 6/2/1826 in Dilton Marsh, Wiltshire , the eldest child of Thomas and Rachel Hill. Her father was a gardener and her parents went on to produce at least 8 more children - Samuel, Benajamin, Virtue, Lewis, George, Sidney, Charlotte and Fredrick. Emma's brother Sidney would later marry David's sister, Mary Ann.

Dilton Marsh was a small community in Wiltshire, and her future husband lived nearby. His name was David Mills. David came from a family of weavers, and he and Emma married in 1842 in the local community.

Their first son George was born on 2nd December 1843. Second son Walter died in early childhood just before the couple decisded to emigrate to Australia on the ship 'Sibella'. Emma's parents would also emigrate a year later on the "Ramillies" and David's parents some 6 years later on the "Oriental".

Journey on the SibellaEdit

Below is an extract from “The House that Were Built”, by E. Were:-

“The Mills family were agricultural workers and David and Ebeneezer with their wives and children decided to emigrate to South Australia, hoping to find better opportunities in the new land. They boarded the barque Sibella at Plymouth and sailed on 6th April 1848. The 618-ton Sibella was under the command of Captain Coleman.”

During the journey on the Sibella, a ship steward by the name of Francis Trealor kept a diary, outlining events aboard ship. He stated that many of those on board were seeking religious freedom as Bible Christians, and that was the reason why they were travelling to Australia. He singled out Robert & Hannah Marshman as a couple who were emigrating for this reason, so it is possible that the Mills family were too. As many of the people aboard had not been to sea before, there was a great deal of seasickness early in the voyage. In late April/ early May there was an outbreak of measles amongst the children which took the life of Ann Mills, the daughter of David’s brother Ebenezeer. The ship steward recorded her death and burial at sea. When other ships going to England passed relatively close by the Sibella, people would very quickly write letters so they could be passed to the ship and sent back to relatives they had left behind. There was squally weather as they went around the Cape of Good Hope and a baby was born on board, who was named ‘Louisa Sibella’ after the ship. There was more squally weather as the ship crossed the Indian Ocean, and they would play games on deck when the weather was calm. Their first view of South Australia was on July 14th when they sited Kangaroo Island. They pulled into Port Adelaide on July 16th but had to remain on board due to squally weather and to wait for the shipping and colonial inspectors. The immigrants were inspected on deck on July 18th, and finally on July 19th, they were able to board row boats and go ashore.

An abbreviated transcript of the diary of Francis Treloar about the journey on the Sibella can be located on the internet at

South AustraliaEdit

Below is a further extract from “The House that Were Built”, by E. Were:-

“The Mills families settled in Jerningham Street, Lower North Adelaide. By 1851 David Mills had moved his family to Tea Tree Gully and in 1852 purchased from real estate investor John Hector a property of 80 acres for the sum of £160 ($320) being Section 5487. (This is now the suburb of Ridgehaven.)

Emma and David were at Tea Tree Gully in 1863 when their daughter Rosa died in August of cephalitis. The place of death and usual residence was recorded as Steventon.

David Mills farmed his land and he and Emma raised a family in Tea Tree Gully until 1874, when he sold out and took up larger holdings at Crystal Brook. Most of the family moved with David and Emma to this northern location.


Emma Mills died at Crystal Brook on 4th September 1887, aged 62 years. She is buried at Crystal Brook Cemetery. David Mills remarried, his second wife being widow Ann Williamson Everall.


Name Birth Death
Children of David and Emma Mills

George 2/12/1843
Westbury, Wiltshire
Norwood, South Australia

Walter 22/6/1846
Westbury, Wiltshire

Mira Julia 1/6/1849
Walkerville, South Australia
Not recorded, South Australia

Julia 23/6/1851
Tea Tree Gully, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Frederick 14/9/1853
Tea Tree Gully, South Australia
Elbow Hill, South Australia

Walter 9/2/1856
Tea Tree Gully, South Australia
Kooringa, South Australia

Annie 8/11/1858
Steventon, South Australia
Steventon, South Australia

Anne 22/9/1860
Steventon, South Australia
Algate, South Australia

Rose 3/9/1862
Tea Tree Gully, South Australia
Steventon, South Australia

Howard 27/9/1864
Tea Tree Gully, South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Rowland 12/9/1868
Steventon, South Australia
Hundred of Yongala, South Australia

Rosa 15/8/1870
Tea Tree Gully, South Australia
Petersburg, South Australia


  • The House that Were Built, by E Were
  • Birth, Death & Marriage records
  • Baptism Records
  • Land Title Records
  • Cemetery Records
  • Diary of Francis Trealor
  • Jane Harding (photographs)

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