Chapter 4,7
(gen. iii)  William Hedley III (1839-1878) and
                Eliza Ann Willis  (1852-1909)

William Hedley III, born 1839 in Torbolton Township, the eighth of the twelve children of John Hedley II and Margaret Grierson, married Eliza Ann Willis of Fitzroy Township.

Elizabeth (Eliza)  was born about 1852. Eliza’s father, William Willis (b. abt.1821; died 1892) was the son of Henry Willis and Sarah Moorehouse (Eliza’s grandparents), who were married abt.1823. Eliza’s mother, Elizabeth Jackson, was born abt.1823 in Lanark Co., Ont. William and Elizabeth Willis were married March 18, 1845. Eliza was the seventh of their ten children:

 1)  Emma Willis
 2)  Mabel Willis
 3)  James Willis
 4)  William Henry Willis b. Jan. 8, 1846
 5)  Rachel Willis b. abt. 1848
 6)  Thomas Willis b. abt. 1849
 7)  Elizabeth (Eliza) Willis b. abt. 1852
 8)  Robert Wesley Willis b. Dec. 26, 1856
 9)  Mary Ellen Willis b. abt. 1859
10) Harriet Willis b. Feb. 20, 1861

William and Eliza Hedley farmed  Lot 17, Con. 2 of Torbolton.  (map) They had two children:

1 - Edgar Laurance W. Hedley b. April 12, 1874 (d. March 15, 1883)
2 - Flossie Eveline Gertrude Hedley b. March 28, 1877 (d. March 5, 1886)
(Ont. Birth Registrations and McLaren Cemetery headstones)

William was 35 when Edgar, their first child, was born. Eliza was 22. They were 38 and 25 when Flossie was born.

William was killed by lightning while harvesting a field on August 15, 1878. He was 39 years old. His death was registered by his younger brother George Nelson Hedley, who farmed in the same area. William's grave is in McLaren Cemetery near Crown Point, Torbolton Township.

Two-and-a-half years after her husband’s early death Eliza Ann Hedley, age 28 and a  widow, with Edgar, age 7, and  Flossie, age 4, was living in the household of her father William Willis (1881 Census for Fitzroy).

Within four-and-a-half years of his father’s death Edgar died;  three years later Flossie also died.  Both children were eight years old at the time of their deaths. They are buried with their father, William, in McLaren Cemetery:

Eliza had a second marriage, to Robert Cowan.
Eliza Ann (Willis) (Hedley) Cowan is buried in Carleton Place Anglican Cemetery.

William may have had an earlier marriage, to Eliza Ann Elliott,
born 1841, according to The Grierson Family History. Although there
is some confusion about the  name of William's wife, the birth registrations
 of the two children give Eliza Ann Willis as their mother.
(Ontario Birth Registration No. 002137-74 Edger Laurance Hedley,
b. 12 Apr.1874 and No. 003658-77 Flossie Evelline Gertrude Hedley,
b. 28 Mar 1877)

this page was updated March 20, 2005