Brick Wall – William Thomas (Wallaroo Miner) and his wife Mary

I have been trying to determine when my ancestors William & Mary Thomas died

William Thomas

The only possible death record in SA that I have been able to find that matches to William is this:

Surname: THOMAS
Given Names: William
Date: 1882-08-30
Sex: M
Age: 73y
Status: N
Relative: (not recorded)
Residence: Wallaroo Mines
Death Place: Wallaroo Mines
District Code: Dal

Note: I’m not sure what the N against Status means.  I’ll have to try and find out what it means. Maybe that’s a clue in itself.

Today I received a ‘transcript’ of the death which follows:

  • William Thomas 73y a miner,
  • Died 30 August 1882 of senile decay at his residence at Wallaroo Mine
  • Informant R S Haddy:
  • Undertaker at Kadina
  • Registered by D W Sands at Kadina
  • Entered in District Registry Office 19 Sept 1882 by John Clark  District Registrar

The age of this William and the area fits to mine, but seeing that there were a number of William Thomas’s in the Wallaroo area, I have to wait and see if I can find some other piece of information to determine if this is the right one or not.

Mary Thomas

An entry found in the Adelaide Advertiser, shows the following. I’m yet to determine if this is the wife of my William.

“Adelaide advertiser 14/09/04. The friends of the late Mrs. MARY THOMAS, Relict of the late William Thomas, late of Wallaroo Mines, are respectfully informed that Her funeral will leave, the residence of their DAUGHTER (Mrs. H Vivian, Pulteney Street). on THURSDAY, at 1 p.m., for West Terrace cemetry”

I’ve been advised that the daughter’s first name was Jane and that her husband was Henry Vivian.

William and Mary’s children were:

  • Mary  (1833) – listed in the 1841 UK census, aged 8.  Not listed with the family in 1851, but she may have married by that stage.
  • Jane (1834) – in UK 1841 Census, age 5,(making her birth year to be 1836)  but in the 1851 census she is listed as being 17 (making her birth year to be 1834)
  • Elizabeth (1837) – married John Easterbrook
  • William (1840) – married Asneath Dunn
  • John (1842) –
  • Richard (1844) – married May Nankervill
  • Edward (1846) – married Jane Clark
  • Grace (1849) – married Richard Mitchell
  • James (1853) –

Other information on William Thomas:

William was born around 1809 in Cornwall, England.  He is listed as being 30 in the 1841 UK Census. In the 1851 UK Census, he is listed as being 42 and born ‘Sithney, Cornwall’.  The shipping record shows that William was born at Camborne, Cornwall.

William Thomas and his wife Mary came to Australia with their children on board the ship Utopia, which arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia 9th July 1858

Thomas William 48 Miner 1596/3 Camborne, Cornwall With Family
Mary 46
Richard 13
Edward 11
Grace 8
James 5

Their eldest two sons were listed as ‘single’ men on the shipping records

Thomas John 16 1593/2 Camborne, Cornwall With parents
Thomas William 18 1596/3 Camborne, Cornwall With parents

Elizabeth Thomas (daughter of William & Mary) also arrived on the ship Utopia but with her husband John Easterbrook

Easterbrook John 23 Copper Miner Redruth, Cornwall
Elizabeth (Thomas) 24

What I need to do next:

  • Determine the following information in relation to Jane Thomas (the daughter of my William & Mary)
    • Who did she marry?
    • Did she come out to Australia?
    • If she did come to Australia, did she marry  before or after her arrival?
    • Check for the surname of the Jane Nankervill that arrived on the ‘Gilmore’ in 1857 with her husband James. The Nankervill family is connected to the Thomas family by way of Richard Thomas (born 1844) who married Mary Nankervill.
    • Check Shipping list of Henry Vivian who arrived in SA in 1864.
    • Check the NLA website for any reference to William & Mary Thomas.  Some of the SA papers are not yet online. (articles are listed as ‘coming soon’).
    • I note the following death in 1907 for ‘Henry Vivian’
      • VIVIAN.-On the 6th September, at Wakefield Street Henry, dearly beloved husband of Jane Vivian, late fitter Islington workshops and Kadina, aged 66 years 9 months.


  1. Digger Help File on the death cd says …

    N – not recorded (This code was used when there is no clearly stated evidence on the registration of any other status. It was used for young adults even if we suspected them to be single, eg living with their parents.)

  2. The SA marriage index says ….
    Jane THOMAS, aged 16, father William, married Henry VIVIAN 17th April 1866, at the Congregational Manse, Kadina. Book/Page: 67/3. Henry was aged 24, and looks to fit the death you have. However, this Jane’s age does not tally with your own lass.

    I found your blog while googling Caroline Fisher, a sister of a direct ancesor of my husband — many thanks for the headsup on the wrong first marriage and child attributed to George Peter Harris.


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