John THOMAS

from

Llanvihangel-torymynydd in Monmouthshire, Wales

to

South Canterbury 
in New Zealand

1710-1838 THOMAS ancestors in Wye Valley of Monmouthshire, Wales

10 June 1838 - John THOMAS born Llanvihangel-torymynydd, Monmouthshire, Wales.

John was the youngest son of a fourth generation agricultural labourer, born when his mother was 40. (She lived to 3 days short of her 90th birthday).

At the age of 20 he was listed in the 1861 census as a "sawyer" (wood-cutter?), and on 2 April 1871 was still an unmarried sawyer at home "Great Pool" cottage in Llanishen age 33. Then just 36 days later on 8 May he married Susannah CROSS at Great Cheverell Wiltshire! (In the 1871 census Susannah was a servant for her married sister Harriet).

Their first child Elizabeth was baptised back at Llanishen on 30 Mar 1872, but my grandfather William was born 3 years later at TonyPandy in the Rhondda Valley of Glamorgan. This was a mining area, and I guess that John would have been employed cutting pit-props. 16 months later in June 1875 they embarked for New Zealand on the Merope, paying 46-10-0, and landing at Timaru, South Canterbury.

Click here to see a video about the migration

The Vogel scheme had agents traveling around UK promoting migration to NZ, and John may have attended one of the meetings. Union newspapers published glowing accounts of prospects in NZ, with letters from migrants already established there. There was a shortage of workers and virtually guaranteed employment, even for labourers.

John & Susannah's intitial accomodation was at PEERESS TOWN "Several sod cottages once stood on the government reserve at Patiti Point and became a sort of village known as Peeress Town because immigrants from the ship "Peeress", which arrived in July 1874, established a community there. Through the years this area developed an evil reputation. Filth from the cottages and shacks drained into the wells from which drinking water was obtained and there were outbreaks of disease. In 1883 all the unoccupied buildings were razed to the ground and ultimately the whole area was cleared of buildings." (now Timaru Caledonian Grounds).

By 1893 John was a labourer at Pleasant Point, and lived out his life there.

9 June 1919 - died & buried at Pleasant Point, South Canterbury N.Z.
John had 2 nephews who migrated to the Hawkes Bay: Isaac THOMAS, just 2 months later, and Henry James (Harry) THOMAS 18 months later in 1877. There are many descendants around New Zealand and some in Australia.

John: Susannah:

Descendents in New Zealand:

Born

Children

Spouses

born

Grandchildren
Grandchildren's spouses

1872

Elizabeth THOMAS, born Llanishen, died ,Pleasant Point 1942

1900 married William MALONEY (1863~1935)

1901

John

Ethel CAITHNESS

1904

Harry

Sylvia ALEXANDER

1907

George

Kathleen ALEXANDER

1907

Agnes

1910

Frederick

1912

Albert

Sarah GUTHRIE

1874

William THOMAS, born Tony-Pandy, died Timaru 1970.

1899 married Elizabeth NECKLEN (1872~1955)

1899

Mabel


Re: Thomas & Necklen families in Brass Bands

1901

Victor

md. Gert MASON, Doris WILD

1905

Roland 

md. Rosina CROSS

1909

Norman,

md. Winifred WOODS, Isabella RENWICK, Marguerite BELL

1876

Susanna (born Pleasant Point N.Z., died P.P. 1889)

1878

John jun.THOMAS, born Pleasant Point, died Timaru 1919.

1903 married Beatrice HARRIS (1883~?)

(no issue)

1881

Henry THOMAS, born Pleasant Point, died Christchurch 1964

1904 married Ellen BRADDICK (1878~1953)

1908

Gertie

David LAMONT

1914

Leslie

Joan MONTAGU-THACKER, Marjorie TOBIN

1917

Muriel

Alan SHERIDAN

1922

Arthur

Marjorie HOLMES

think different compiled by email