Annie’s mother was the daughter of James Hill who was a farmer and fisherman and highly respected as the coxswain of the Porthoustock Lifeboat. Shortly following her third birthday Annie’s mother married at St Keverne Church (19 August 1886) to a mariner by the name of William Gregory. William was from the ship-building port of Appledore near Bideford in North Devon and it was to this place that the married couple moved and set up home. Annie however did not go with them but remained in Porthoustock under the care of her grandparents, James and Margaret Hill.
As for her mother and step-father they remained living in Appledore where their four children were born in the period 1888 – 1901. Annie’s mother and step-father continued to live in Appledore until their deaths which both occurred, one day apart, in November 1930. They are buried together in the Appledore parish churchyard where a slate headstone marks their grave.
On 18 October 1909 when aged 26 Annie married Stephen Hold at the parish church of St. Keverne. Stephen, 14 years her senior, was also originally of Porthoustock but had left the village when very young to live with his family at Devonport, Devon. It is interesting to note that they were in fact distant cousins as Annie’s grandmother Margaret Ann (nee Connor) and Stephen’s mother Anna Maria (nee Connor) were sisters. So it was that James Hill was Annie’s grandfather and the uncle to Stephen Hold.
At the time of their marriage Stephen was an American citizen having moved in the mid 1870’s to Sacramento, California where he had worked as a chauffeur and hotel clerk. Following their marriage Annie and Stephen went to live in Sacramento; their home being at 630 M Street (later renamed Capitol Mall).
In November 1911 the couple returned to England for a holiday, the main purpose of which was to visit their various relatives. Part of the time was spent in Devonport, Devon (31 St. George’s Terrace) at that time the home of Stephen’s mother, aunts and sister. They also travelled to North Devon where they stayed with Annie’s mother and step-father at 99 Irsha Street, Appledore. At Porthoustock in Cornwall they spent time with her grandfather, James Hill and various aunts and uncles.
A San Francisco newspaper article reported that Stephen had sent a post card to his employer in the US, (W. H. Bradley) in April 1912 saying that they were shortly to return to Sacramento. Interestingly the card bore a Liverpool postmark which may indicate they were due to return to America from Liverpool and, like so many others, their passage was switched to the Titanic because of the coal strikes.
They embarked Titanic at Southampton under ticket number 26707 costing £26 0s for them both, travelling in second class.
Annie was saved in lifeboat 10 and it appears she remained in Sacramento for a short while after the tragedy. Reports of the time suggest that she had been left $4000 in her husband's will.
Leaving the US she returned to her grandfather at Porthoustock and a local resident was surprised to note that she arrived ‘wearing a leopard-skin coat’ obviously not something regularly seen in a sleepy fishing village like Porthoustock! Three years later on 27 July 1915 Annie married for a second time at St Keverne Church to Joseph Northey Bailey, a mariner, originally from Hayle, Cornwall. They had one son, James Hill Bailey who was named after her grandfather.
The family likely remained in the St Keverne area until 1952 when Annie inherited her aunt’s house at Rowland’s Castle in Hampshire, Annie possibly died there in March 1960. It is also possible that Joseph later went to live with his son (James Hill Bailey) and daughter-in-law at Treloyan Cottage, Upper Halliford, Shepperton, Middlesex but he actually died (April 1979) at Cober Villa in the small hamlet of Wall in the parish of Gwinear, not far from his original birthplace in Hayle, Cornwall. Both Annie and Joseph are buried in St Keverne churchyard and there are memorials to the couple on her grandparent’s gravestone. (see photograph).
Finally, it is of note that their son’s house in Middlesex, Treloyan Cottage, was so named as this was the name of the tiny hamlet close to Porthoustock where the Hill family had lived and farmed from the early 1830’s.