|John Alexander Thomas
Mary Jane Finnamore
- a carpenter from London and his wife -
My Great Great Grandparents
John Alexander Thomas, was born on 14th March 1850 London [Possible birth registration
June Qrt, 1850 Poplar Reg Disct, Volume 2 page 355]. He was baptised on 5th May 1850 at
All Saints Poplar. His parents were Jane Ann Gregory and John Triggs Thomas, [f] John
came to Australia with his family aboard the Queen of the South leaving Southampton and
arriving Sydney 4th July 1854. [Pro Vic, The Ships List] The family is listed under Triggs.
Mary Jane [Jane] Finnamore, was born 12th June 1848 at Treknow, Cornwell, England [j]
daughter of Samuel Finnamore and Mary Ann Gray . She often appears simply as 'Jane'
Also the spelling of Finnamore appears in different forms including Finnemore, Finemore.
Mary Jane Finnamore arrived in Australia as an infant aboard the Agenoria in 1849 with her
parents and two older siblings, Elizabeth and John.[d]
Marriage: John Alexander Thomas married Mary Jane Finnamore on 23rd May 1872, in
Elizabeth Street, Sydney according to the Rites of the Presbyterian Church. They were both
aged 22 Their parents names are not shown on the certificate. John's occupation is shown as
joiner. John would later refer to his place of marriage as "Rev Dr Fullerton's"
1876 & 1877 the sands Directory list John Thomas, carpenter at 152 crown Street.
1879 John and Jane are living at 82 High Holborn Street, Surrey Hills [c]. The sands
Directory if 1875 lists him as a builder at the same address.
1884-1889 John A Thomas, cabinet maker is recorded at 519 Riley Street, Surry Hills
1891-1895 16 Dawson Street Surry Hills [h&k] the house in Dawson Street was owned by H
Kerr, but John was listed as the rate payer [k] The house was two stories, brick and stone
with an iron roof and five rooms. The gross annual value was 26 Pounds.
In December 1905 John is recorded as living at 86 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo [i].
The Post Office Directory for 1904 gives the address as 94 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo.
At the time of John's death he is living at 23 Tavistock Street, Drummoyne.
John's and Mary's children were: [a] [c]
Thomas: Helen Elizabeth, [Ellen Elizabeth/ Elizabeth Ellen/Nellie] born Sydney, 1873.
Thomas: Alick, born 24th January 1875 [ref 371/1875] baptised 11th March 1875 at St
Michael's, Surry Hills. Father a carpenter of 147 Devonshire Street. The Evening News
[Sydney] dated 26th December 1893 reported: Alick Thomas, 17, bottler, riotous conduct, 2s
6d, indecent language, 20s. Government Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute Register of
Inmates dated Saturday 17th October 1896 records entry number 3693 Alexander Thomas
aged 21, C of E, born in Sydney, single, groom, has not been able to do any work of late.
Father John Thomas, 6 Telopia Street, ?Ryde?, mother Jane Thomas [are?] unable to
contribute. BoSH [Board of Sydney Hospital?] Ch [Chart?] Heart Dis [disease?] is dest
[destitute?] Discharged from Sydney Hospital this morning [meaning he was discharged and
sent there from Sydney Hospital that morning] 2 train tickets [possibly given by Sydney
hospital to enable Alick to get to the infirmary at Parramatta or Liverpool]- Ancestry.
Alexander [sic] Thomas died 28th December 1896 at the Macquarie Asylum, Parramatta.
Cause of death was heart disease. Occupation is recorded as carpenter. [ref 14876/1896]
Buried with Grandmother Jane Ann Thomas Gravestone reads Alick.
Thomas: George, born Sydney 30th November 1796 [ref 197/1877] baptised 7th March
1877 at St Michael's Surry Hills, father a publican of Riley Street. Died 27th January 1880 at
14 High Holborn Street, Sydney [ref 161/1880] Cause of death was croup lasting 2 days. Dr
Shewen had seen George the same day. J A Thomas father was the informant.
Thomas: Henry born Surrey Hills, NSW 1879 My Great Grandfather
Thomas: William David, born Sydney 24th August 1881 [ref2806/1881] Baptised 14th
October 1881 at St Michaels Flinders Street Surry Hills. Father a carpenter of Surry Hills.
Died 27th February 1882 at 519 Riley Street, Sydney [ref 432/1882] aged 6 1/2 months.
Cause of death was choleraic diarrhoea with odema of the glottis. Length of illness was
recorded as 36 years however it is probably meant to read 36 days. Dr Andrew Norrie had
visited the same day.
Thomas: Charles, born 1st February 1883 [elder born twin] at 519 Riley Street, Surry Hills.
Baptised as Charles John Thomas on 9th March 1883 at St Michael Surry Hills Father John
was a carpenter. Present at birth were Dr Steel and Mrs Bates. Previous issue were 2 males
and 1 female living and 2 male deceased. [ref 641/1883]. Baptised 9th March 1883 at St
Michaels Flinders Street Surry Hills. Died 1883 Sydney [ref 1806/1883] probably due to
same causes as twin brother Frederick. see below
Thomas: Frederick, born 1st February 1883 [younger of twins] at 519 Riley Street Surry
Hills [ref 642/1883] Baptised as Frederick Samuel on 9th March 1883 at St Michaels Surry
Hills. Died 30th October 1883 at 519 Riley Street, Surry Hills aged 8 months. Cause of death
was varicella [chickenpox] for 4 days and Diarrhoea for 1 day. Dr Dewar was the medical
attendant. Buried 31st October 1883 at The Necropolis [Rookwood] Father John was the
informant. [ref 1807/1883]
Jane died 16th February 1898 at the Newington Asylum, Granville. Cause of death was
paralysis and exhaustion. She had been hospitalised for over 14 days. Jane is buried in the
Presbyterian section of the Rookwood cemetery [17th February 1898] Presbyterian section 6d
Part 3 Row 7 grave 5867 [g] The following Death Notice appeared in the Sydney Morning
Herald dated 18th February 1898:
THOMAS - Jane Thomas, of 66 Telopea Street, Redfern, the beloved mother of Henry, who
died at Newington Home, February 16, 1898. Inserted by her loving son Henry Thomas.
It is interesting to note that son Henry paid for this and there is no mention of his father
John Alexander Thomas. Had John and Jane separated? John is, however, one of the
witnesses listed on Jane's death certificate.
Three months after Jane's death, John married for a second time.
Continued page 2
[a] NSW Births Deaths Marriages, online search; [b] Free BMD online; [c] Birth Cert Henry Thomas; [d] Shipping records Agenoria; [e] Rookwood
Cemetery Index; [f] Parish Records All Saints Poplar.; [g] Death Cert Jane Thomas [Finnamore]; [h] Death Cert Jane Ann Thomas [Gregory];
[i] Divorce papers - Henry Thomas and wife Alice Houlihan; [j] Birth Cert Mary Jane Finnamore; [k] City of Sydney Rates assessment Books
[l] Sands Directory
Burial place of Jane Thomas nee
Finnamore at Rookwood. Unmarked grave
in front of the tall headstone.