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Billy was born in early 1860s in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, to Harmon Andrews and his wife. His sister Jane was born a few years later and they were raised together. Their younger siblings, Gracie and Ralph, were born in 1870s.
White Sands Concert
On the way to the concert, Billy Andrews insisted that Anne should ride on the front seat of the buggy with him, so she unwillingly climbed up. She would have much preferred to sit back with the girls, where she could have laughed and chattered to her heart's content. There was not much of either laughter or chatter in Billy. But he admired Anne immensely, and was puffed up with pride over the prospect of driving to White Sands with that slim, upright figure beside him.
Proposal to Anne
Billy had begged his sister Jane (who was Anne's friend and more confident than he was) to help him propose to Anne. He was too shy to do it himself, although he admired Anne. Anne refused because she thought it was ridiculous that Jane would even try to ask her such a question. Anne's refusal temporarily upset the friendship between the girls, with Jane feeling that Anne had been rather mean-spirited with how she turned down Billy's proposal as Jane felt her brother had good qualities that Anne had failed to see.
Marriage with Nettie Blewett
Billy had been given half the family farm by his father to encourage him to get married. Billy chose to marry Nettie Blewett, a former schoolmate, over Anne Shirley. Billy and Nettie had together one son who was born and raised in Avonlea. In September 1914, his son enlisted to World War I along with his nephew, son of his sister Jane Inglis, and also with Stella's son, Priscilla's son, Philippa Blake's two sons and with his schoolmate, Jack Wright.
- "Even Billy Andrews' boy is going—and Jane's only son—and Diana's little Jack. Priscilla's son has gone from Japan and Stella's from Vancouver—and both the Rev. Jo's boys. Philippa writes that her boys 'went right away, not being afflicted with her indecision.'"
- —Anne tells Ingleside news of the boys going off to war[src]
Billy was a fat, round-faced, amiable fellow. He was a big, stolid youth of twenty, with a round, expressionless face, and a painful lack of conversational gifts.
Billy might be a nickname derived from William, a male given name of Old German origin that means will helmet or protection.
- Although William was very popular name in 19th century, it has never been confirmed, that Billy's full first name was William and Billy can be merely a nickname. People in Avonlea were conservative and his real name was probably William, because it was a traditional and common name.
Behind the scenes
- If Billy had proposed to Anne Shirley in person, she would probably have been so surprised (that Billy could and wanted to propose to her) that she would have agreed.
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