Richard Thomas was born in 1795 at St Mawes, a pretty harbourside village that looks out over the River Fal towards the busy maritime town of Falmouth. He was the son of Richard Thomas and Elizabeth Pearce. Richard was a stonemason by trade, as his father and grandfather before him had been.
In 1825, at the age of 30, Richard married Jane Richards from the mining town of Redruth. Jane was 19 and the daughter of George Richards, a miner, and Judith Hawk. In 1841, Richard and Jane and 7 children were living at Wynns Hill (Bakes Hill) near Falmouth. By 1851 the family had moved to Perrywinkle Hill, Falmouth (possibly to the house were his parents were living in the 1841 census). In 1851, Richard employed 1 journeyman and 1 apprentice - these were likely to have been his sons, John and Charles Henry. By this time, Richard and Jane had 11 children, 9 boys and 2 girls.
In the 1850's in Cornwall, opportunities were limited, and we can presume that the prospect of sending his eldest sons,as assisted immigrants to the colonies was an attractive proposition. Richard's four eldest sons, and his youngest daughter Elizabeth set out from Plymouth on 23 September 1854, on the Bounty Ship 'Rajasthan'. The young family of the eldest son, Richard Pearce Thomas, were also on board. It is presumed, but not proven, that Richard travelled with his children as a butcher on the crew of the 'Rajasthan'. Also on the 'Rajasthan' were two single girls, Ann Reddaway and Eliza Purse, who were to later marry two of the Thomas boys. The 'Rajasthan' was a three masted rig of 601 tons, 126 by 29 by 22.7 ft in dimension, and was built in Bombay in 1837. On board were 274 immigrants, 85 male adults, 130 female adults, 23 boys, 27 girls, 3 male and 6 female infants.
The Thomas's arrived in Sydney on 11 January 1855. Over the next two years, Richard and his sons worked to raise the money to bring the rest of his family to Australia.
Richard lived in Sydney for 6 and a half years, until his death in 1861 of a disease of the throat. In 1859 the family were living at 166 Palmer Street Sydney and Richard was working as a stone mason. He was also variously described as a rubble mason and a builder and contractor. He was living in Crown Street Sydney when he died. He was buried on 13 Aug 1861, at Camperdown Cemetery.
Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.
There are no public comments yet.
Richard is 27 degrees from Amelia Earhart, 49 degrees from Stephen Hawking, 22 degrees from Jamie Nelson and 20 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.