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Heidelberg’s Busy Bee Signature Quilt, 1895-96

Square N7

Quilt square N7


A. P. Sill


This square represents Amy Phoebe Sill (1871-1918), the second youngest of ten children of Heidelberg farmer, orchardist and market gardener Mark Sill (1818-1885) and his wife Elizabeth née Davidson (1833-1903).

Further information

The Sills were an early pioneering family in the district. Mark Sill was born in Cartmell, Cumbria and migrated to Australia under the ‘mutual cooperation system’ arriving on board Anna in the Port Phillip District in 1849. He acquired land on both the river and in the village of Warringal. He held several allotments along what is now Cartmell Street and also purchased allotments in the southwest corner of Hawdon’s Banyule Estate. The Sill family held the land until 1926 when the Heidelberg Shire Council bought it for £1,793. Known as ‘Sills Bend’, the land now forms part of the Warringal Parklands and contains remnant oaks and at least one decrepit pear tree dating back to the Sill era. The Sill family were active members of St John’s Church of England, Heidelberg. In 1905 Amy married William Henry Martin (1865-1937) at St John’s. Two years earlier her brother Henry Arthur Davidson (1875-1949) (see [N13]) had married William’s sister Mabel Martin (1882-1952) in Leongatha. The ‘train bearer’ at that wedding was eight-year-old Master Neville Rollason; see [B3]. Neville’s mother Edith Sill (1869-1958) was Amy and Arthur’s older sister. She had married the local physician Dr Abel Rollason (1865-1923) at St John’s in 1893. It is not clear what the connection was between Amy and the Busy Bees at the Scots Presbyterian Church. However Amy, together with her sister Edith and brother-in-law Abel Rollason, did attend the Scots Church anniversary celebrations in 1897. Amy died in Leongatha in 1918, leaving a bereft husband and a family of three young children. William did not remarry.


Amy Phoebe Sill: BDMV 16785/1871, 2230/1905, 9468/1918

Mark Sill: BDMV 230/1885

HJ Price, Heidelberg Shire Council 1915-1932, typed notes, in HHS data collection. Also Occupation 13099 (SILL Mark, 1818-1885)

‘Death of Mrs Sill’, Evelyn Observer and Bourke East Record, Friday 2 October 1903, p. 5.

Ancestry.com ‘Mark Sill Facts’ Kathryn Ulbrich Family Tree, viewed 20 September 2019

https://www.portphillipdistrict.info/Liverpool_Passenger_Lists_1839-51_114.htm Viewed 20 September 2019.

William Henry Martin: BDMV 21456/1865, 9198/1937

‘Anniversary of Scot’s Church Heidelberg’, Mercury and Weekly Courier, Wednesday 13 October 1897, p. 3.

‘Orange blossom at Heidelberg: Rollason Sill’, Mercury and Weekly Courier, Thursday 19 October 1893, p. 3.

Henry Arthur Davidson Sill: BDMV 9682/1875, 7017/1903, 18233/1949

Mabel Martin: BDMV 632/1882, 16538/1952

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