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Thomas James Robinson Hawkins

Birth Record

Thomas was the first born of James Hawkins and Jane Robinson. His parents had been married about 6 years before Thomas was born. James and Jane were married in 18441 and Thomas was born 3 November 1850.2 He took the name of both of his parents. Thomas spent most of his young life in Devonport. He attended school there and worked there. In 1871, Thomas is a ship's carpenter.3

It is believed that Thomas went to Australia in 1878 arriving in Sydney, New South Wales, on January 15 on the ship Petersborough.4

It is wondered why Thomas chose to go to Australia. It may have been because he had relatives living there, probably Armidale. Or one theory is he married while in England and his wife died so being distraught he went to Australia where other relatives lived. The story that has been handed down from the family tells that Thomas went to Australia and became a sheep station holder who over the years became one of the biggest sheep owners in the land of Australia.5 Thomas dies in 9 October 1881.6 Since other members of his family had passed away,7 he was suppose to have left all his holdings to the wife of his brother, John, but the government had a hard time finding her. When they did, the state limitations had gone by and the state took over all his property and his family received no inheritance. This theory has not been proven. A researcher8 was hired to locate any holdings that Thomas Hawkins may have had but no information was found, only a death certificate that fits his age.

Armidale, NSW about 1880,
State Library of Victoria, Record No. 807608 Accession No. H18970
On Thomas Hawkins' death certificate it lists his occupation as saddler.9
Death Certificate of Thomas Hawkins
Thomas dies 9 October 1881. His cause of death is consumption (tuberculosis) having had it for the last 12 months. He is 31 years old. He died and was buried in Armidale Old Med Cemetery.10 His death certificate states he was married at 23 years old in Somersetshire, England but no information as to whom. It also states he had been in Australia for four years. There are other Hawkins names11 also living in Armidale which one can conclude he was there with family relatives.

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 1. Marriage: James Hawkins & Jane Robinson; Register of Marriages of Stoke Damerel in Parish Chruch by Banns; Application No. COL674130.
 2. Birth: Thomas James Robinson Hawkins; Register of Births of Stoke Damerel; 1850 in the Sub-district of Morice, the County of Devon.
 3. Bristish Census 1871: RO 102139-2140; FHL Film 832034.
 4. Immigrant Index 1860-79 State records of New South Wales, Australia; Brddrl zpryrtnotouhh 2878; Reel 2140,2489.
 5. Story told by James Oscar Hall, great nephew of Thomnas Hawkins.
 6. Death: New South Wales Death Certificate; Registraion No. 1881/009891
 7. Deaths of James Hawkins 1883; Jane Hawkins 1902; Charlotte betweeb 1871-1881; Clara Hawkins 1888; John 1892
 8. Research by Bruce Garner (legrange@alphalinbk.co.au; 2001
 9. Saddler: One who makes saddles, harnesses, horse collars, bridles
10.Cemetery: Cemetery records: Armidale, 1850-1980; FHL British Film 1238858; SLC, Utah.
11.Australia Vital Records: John Hawkins age 42 died 1879; John Hawkins age 21 died 1881.

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