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Wills family of Hernhill, late 1700s

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Christine Dillon    05 Jun 2010
An ancestor, Amy Wills, is said to have been christened – at St Michael's Church? – on 30 October, 1796. I am looking for details of her parents – William & Elizabeth?

Were they perhaps married in Hernhill? Or buried there? Any clue to Elizabeth's maiden name? There first child, Anne, was christened in Hernhill about 1788 and therefore looking for a marriage date in the 1780s.

Amy married James FRANCIS in 1815. I don't know what date.

Was she perhaps buried there or at Faversham? I think she died between 1841-51.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Alex Francis    06 Jul 2010

I'm also descended from Amy Wills and James Francis, who were married on 29 May 1815 in Hernhill.

Amy's parents were William Wills and Elizabeth King, I believe, and I have them as married on 9 October, 1785 in Hernhill. Her father was a farmer there.

The William Wills involved in the Courtenay riots was her brother. He was transported to Australia for his role in it.

I don't know anything about William or Elizabeth before their marriage, so would be interested to learn anything more about them.
Arthur Percival    05 Jun 2010

Doubtless you're on the right track. Members of the Wills and Francis families were much involved in the 1838 Courtenay Riots – see

You could check the Hernhill registers at Canterbury Cathedral Archives.   Alternatively if you registered with the Faversham Society's family history research service one of our members could do so for you. There is a £10 registration fee, returnable if no help can be given – which in this case is unlikely. Please see

A William Wills was one of Courtenay's closest associates but he can't have been 'your' William Wills, as he was born in 1789 or 1790.

Best wishes

Arthur Percival, for the Faversham Society, email
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