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Thomas Crewe (abt. 1835 - 1874)

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Thomas Crewe
Born about in Oldham, Lancashire, Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married (to ) in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Coldhurst, Oldham, Lancashire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Townsville, Queensland, Australiamap
Profile last modified | Created 23 Oct 2018
This page has been accessed 267 times.


Welsh flag
Thomas Crewe has Welsh ancestors.
Lancashire flag
Thomas Crewe was born in Lancashire, England.

Thomas was born on or before the 20th August 1835, in Oldham, Lancashire, England, the eldest surviving son of Welsh born John Crewe (a shoemaker), and Yorkshire born Elizabeth Preston, who married in Lancashire. [1]
Thomas was one of several children, his (currently known) siblings being an older brother, Thomas (1833-1834), an older sister, Sarah Ann, at least four younger sisters, Mary, Elizabeth, Eliza, and Harriet, and the youngest of them all, a brother, John.

Thomas 's father was a shoemaker.

In 1841 the family was living in Oldham Cum Prestwich, Lancashire. Thomas was aged six, and the youngest of the family was one-year-old Elizabeth.[2]

Thomas married Sarah Anne Taylor on the 26th November 1860, in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Coldhurst, Oldham, Lancashire, England.[3] His last name is misspelt as Crew.
Thomas's father's occupation is listed as "shoemaker", and Sarah's father's occupation is listed as "weaver".

Flag of Lancashire, England
Thomas Crewe migrated from Lancashire, England to Queensland, Australia.
Flag of Queensland, Australia

Thomas and Sarah Anne, his wife of only three years, departed for Australia on the ship "Rockhampton" (Thomas aged 27 and Sarah aged 25) bound for Keppel Bay in Queensland, 18th June 1863. The ship's Master was one Joseph Brough; and the ship was provisioned for a journey of 140 days. The port of embarkation was Liverpool. [4] The "Rockhampton" arrived in Queensland on the 18th October 1863.[5]

Thomas Crewe was an Assisted Immigrant to Queensland.

According to reports of the day (The Courier (Brisbane, Qld) Fri 23 Oct 1863 Page 2), the conditions aboard the "Rockhampton" were compared to the "Black hole of Calcutta".[6]
Thomas was listed as "labourer" on the ship's passenger list; and it seems he was one of many workers in Lancashire who had been affected by the American Civil War causing a cessation of cotton shipments from the southern states.

Among the passengers brought to Queensland in 1863 were a large number of distressed cotton workers and their families from Lancashire. As the result of the outbreak of the American Civil War on 12 April 1861 the shipment of cotton from the southern States to the mills of England ceased. Lancashire was striken with mass unemployment, abject povety and sickness. More than 2000 cotton mills closed down and thousands of operatives were thrown out of work. Near starvation was rampant. To help relieve the misery, the Queensland Government, through Mr. Jordan, offered free and assisted passages to distressed mill workers. More than 1700 of these emaciated, poverty-striken people (representing 1300 statute adults) were brought to Queensland on Black Ball ships such as the Beejapore, Hannah More, Light Brigade, Cairngorm, Rockhampton, Young Australia, Fiery Star, Wansfell and Golden Dream. The death-rate among these wretched people, many of whom were unable to withstand the rigours of the long voyage, was of course quite high.[7]

One has to wonder, however, just what conditions were like "back home" that these people were not overly distressed at the conditions on the ship.

Thomas and Sarah Anne had four children, three daughters (one of whom died the day she was born) and a son. Their eldest child, a daughter, Bessie, does not appear on the ship's passenger list, nor does she appear under the name "Bessie" in the BDM register.

Thomas Crewe passed away on the 20th June 1874, in Queensland, Australia, aged 38 years.[8]
Thomas's death, only two years after the birth and death of their youngest, and unnamed, daughter, left Sarah Anne a widow with three small children, aged eight, seven, and four.
Thomas was buried in the West End Cemetery, Townsville.[9]

Research Notes

England and Wales Census, 1841[10]
Name: John Crewe
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1841
Event Place: Oldham Cum Prestwich, Lancashire, England
Gender: Male
Age: 38
Age: 38
Birth Year (Estimated): 1799-1803
Registration District: Ashton & Oldham
Parish: Oldham Cum Prestwich
County: Lancashire
Page Number: 35
Registration Number: HO107
Piece/Folio: 547/21
Affiliate Record Type: Household
Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
John Crewe Male 38
Elizabeth Crewe Female 33
Sarah Ann Ann Crewe Female 8 Lancashire
Thomas Crewe Male 6 Lancashire
Mary Crewe Female 4 Lancashire
Elizabeth Crewe Female 1 Lancashire

Marriage: 26 Nov 1860 Holy Trinity, Oldham, Lancs.[11]
Thomas Crew - 25, Piecer, Bachelor, Royton Road
Sarah Ann Taylor - (X), 22, Piecer, Spinster, Royton Road
Groom's Father: John Crew, Shoemaker
Bride's Father: John Taylor, Weaver
Witness: Jonas Binns; Sarah Ann Harrop; Joshua Binns
Married by Banns by: John Godson, Incumbent
Register: Marriages 1849 - 1861, Page 228, Entry 455
Source: LDS Family Search

Thomas Crewe
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
Name: Thomas Crewe
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 20 Aug 1835
Father's Name: Jno. Crewe
Mother's Name: Elizh.


  1. Citing this record "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, Thomas Crewe, 20 Aug 1835); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 0560891 (RG4 981).
  2. search 1841 census: Crewe, Oldham: Thomas Crewe in household of John Crewe
  3. Lancashire BMD Marriage indexes online search: Surname: CREW; Forename(s): Thomas; Spouse's Surname: Taylor; Spouse's Forename(s): Sarah A; Year: 1860; Church / Register Office: Coldhurst; Region: Lancashire; Registers At: Oldham; Reference: CE209/1/455
  4. Source: a photocopy of the relevant page of the ship's ledger, purchased from the Queensland State Archives 29th May 1992. Reference # Z31 p.426
  5. Passengers "Rockhampton" 1863
  6. THE IMMIGRANT SHIP ROCKHAMPTON The Courier (Brisbane, Qld) Fri 23 Oct 1863 Page 2
  7. Queensland Immigration And The Black Ball Line By Warwick Foote
  8. QLD BDM Death Registration details: 1874/C/1857
  9. Townsville Queensland Government: West End Cemetery Records (opens a pdf)
  10. Citing this Record "England and Wales Census, 1841," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 May 2019), John Crewe, Oldham Cum Prestwich, Lancashire, England; from "1841 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast ( : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.
  11. Lancashire Online Parish Clerks: Holy Trinity; Marriages
  • Family records and birth, marriage, death certificates or certified copies held by family members.

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