Thomas Ainsworth
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Thomas Ainsworth (1812 - 1864)

Thomas Ainsworth
Born in Manchester, Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 14 Apr 1841 in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australiamap
Descendants descendants
Father of
Died in Ballina, New South Wales, Australiamap
Profile last modified | Created 23 Jul 2014
This page has been accessed 1,662 times.


Thomas was born in Manchester, England, on 28 Jan 1812 (recorded on at his death). His parents were Jonas Ainsworth and Susan (source New South Wales BDM).

He is reported as having arrived in Australia as a convict in 1831 although the Convict records do not support this arrival date. There was a Thomas Ainsworth onboard the Camden in 1833, provided Certificate of Freedom in 1844 and Royal Pardon in 1847 which may be the same.

He is suggested to have married Helen Laverty (Lavarty) and had three children. The family arrived in the Richmond river area of New South Wales in 1847 which coincides with the Pardon mentioned above. Her name though was Ellen Lavarty and she was a "native of Armagh", Northern Ireland. She is noted below in connection with his estate. The marriage is recorded at Christ Church in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, on 14 Apr 1841.[1]

He became a shipwright and owned the "Matilda Ann" which he used for supplies from Sydney to Ballina and cedar and tallow on return.

Around 1853 he built, and his wife managed, the "Sailor's Home" hotel in East Ballina. It was from here that the New South Wales Police mounted their operations against the regional Aboriginal tribes.

He built and owned a house at North Creek, Ballina before the selection and he drowned there in 1864, aged 53. He was buried at the East Ballina cemetery now the Ballina Pioneer Cemetery.

Thomas and Ellen Ainsworth's children were James (ch. 1845), Jane (ch. 1845) & Susan R. (b. 1847).

James Ainsworth married Christina Williams in 1863. She is stated to be the daughter of Henry Williams and Elizabeth Taylor. He the son of Thomas Ainsworth and Ellen Laberty. Christina was 16 at the time of the wedding. Both are stated to be natives of New South Wales.[2]
Jane Ainsworth, b. Moruya, New South Wales, 1845. She married James Ross, stated to be from Sweden, father Nelson Ross, mother Jane Anderson. He was born 1840. The marriage was registered at Grafton, New South Wales, on 15 May 1864.[3]
Susan Robinson Ainsworth, b. Sydney, 10 Dec 1847.[4] She married Charles Coleman. He was the son of John Coleman and Catherine Moran. He was born at Hawkesbury, New South Wales, in 1843. Marriage at Grafton, 15 May 1864.[5]

James and Jane may have been twins. They were both Christened on the same day. Although the Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb suggests different birth dates the christening records for James[6] and Jane[7] are the same; on 29 Dec 1845.

The son, James Ainsworth, was one of the first "selectors" of North Creek. He became a sugar cane farmer and became involved, successfully, in the timber business. He became a wealthy businessman and later retired to Ballina where he served as an Alderman on the Ballina Council. He and Christina had 7 sons & 4 daughters amongst them Henry, James, Charles, William, George, Roy, Myrtle and Florence. Lake Ainsworth, the famous tea tree lake with great cleansing powers, at Lennox Head, is named after this family.

An Ellen Ainsworth, the wife of Thomas, was mentioned as the executor of Thomas' will.[8] "Estate of Thomas Ainsworth, of Ballina, Deceased. I REQUEST THAT ALL DEBTS due by the deceased, may be sent to me, at East Ballina, immediately, FOR SETTLEMENT; and that all DEBTS DUE TO THE ESTATE, may be PAID to me as his administratrix, without delay; and I caution all parties against dealing in matters connected with the estate without my written authority. ELLEN AINSWORTH, Administratrix."

It seems that Ellen remarried after the death of Thomas as an Ellen Ainsworth, of Richmond River, married Charles Brown (a native of Stockholm, Sweden) on 7th August 1865.[9] This Ellen Ainsworth is stated to be a "native of Armagh".

This profile is a collaborative work-in-progress. Can you contribute information or sources?


  1. "Australia, Marriages, 1810-1980," index, FamilySearch, Thomas Ainsworth and Helen Lavaty, 14 Apr 1841; citing Christ Church, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
  2. "Australia, Marriages, 1810-1980," index, FamilySearch, James Ainsworth and Christina Williams, 24 May 1863.
  3. "Australia, Marriages, 1810-1980," index, FamilySearch, Thomas Ainsworth in entry for James Ross and Jane Ainsworth, 15 May 1864; citing Grafton, Clarence River, New South Wales, Australia.
  4. "Australia, Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981," index, FamilySearch, Thomas Ainsworth in entry for [( Susan Robinson Ainsworth], 10 Feb 1848; citing New South Wales, Australia.
  5. "Australia, Marriages, 1810-1980," index, FamilySearch, Thomas Ainsworth in entry for Charles Coleman and Susan Robinson Ainsworth, 15 May 1864; citing Grafton, Clarence River, New South Wales, Australia.
  6. "Australia, Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981," index, FamilySearch, Thomas Ainsworth in entry for James Ainsworth, 29 Dec 1845.
  7. "Australia, Births and Baptisms, 1792-1981," index, FamilySearch, Thomas Ainsworth in entry for Jane Ainsworth, 29 Dec 1845.
  8. Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser (Grafton, NSW), Tuesday 17 May 1864
  9. Marriage notice, Empire, Wednesday 9 August 1865

See also:

  • The Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb service provides excellent source material for the early European Pioneers of the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

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Categories: Ballina Pioneer Cemetery, Ballina, New South Wales