Sarah Rayner and Thomas Kerr

Sarah Rayner was born on 19 August 1814 in Newcastle, New South Wales, the second eldest daughter of William Rayner and Susannah Chapman.1 This article about Sarah and her husband Thomas Kerr has been developed from material originally collated by Louis Daniels which has been significantly enhanced with the assistance of Margaret De Laney and Tony Paul.

Sarah married Thomas Kerr on 23 January 1832 in Hobart Town. The witnesses were William Rayner and Alex(ander) Foster.2 Accounts of Thomas' birth vary in many details. The date has been reported as 1802 or 1809, the place in Scotland has been cited as Coldingham, Berwickshire, or Roxburgh, in Roxburghshire, and his parents have been cited as Andrew Kerr and Isobel Forsythe, or Andrew Kerr and Agnes Wilson.3 From later information published around his death it seems likely that Thomas was the individual with the same name born on 22 May 1806 and baptised on 1 June 1806 in Coldstream, Scotland to Andrew Kerr (sometimes styled Carr) and Isabella Forsythe. 4 Thomas Kerr arrived in Van Diemen's Land in June 1829, having sailed from Leith on 16 December 1828. 5

June 6. -Arrived the Australian Company's ship Triton, Captain James Crear, from Leith the 16th December, having touched at Rio de Janeiro, with a cargo, consisting of 8 pipes and 8 hhds. port. 5 cases French wine, 63 hhds. Madeira, 17 hhds. brandy, 2 pipes and 19 hhds Geneva, 2 pipes Cape wine, 60 hhds. rum ; 2070 packages, vis. candles, raisins, almonds, wooden clocks, stationery, cottons, hats, apparel, ironmongery, hardware, woollens, linens, bags, corks, bottled wine, shoes, bolting and winnowing machines, oatmeal and barley, vinegar, butter, loaf sugar, linseed oil, turpentine, pitch, tar, rosin, cordage, pig iron, cheese, herrings, ling fish, spars, rugs, watches, saddlery, glass and earthenware, consigned to the Australian Company; 16 packages addressed to various persons ; and sundry goods consigned to Sydney ; and the following goods from Rio de Janeiro:-100 barrels, 10 casks, and 6 cases sugar ; and 342 rolls of tobacco-Passengers, Mrs. Muir and daughter, Mrs. Grant, Mr. Alexander Bankier, Miss Bankier, Mr W.C. Ord, Mr. Alexander Webster, Mr. Andrew Sibbald, Mr. Andrew Anderson, Mr. John Clyne, Mr. John Dixon, Mr. Thomas Kerr, for Van Diemen's land, and 21 passengers for New South Wales.6

He was quick to establish himself as a blacksmith if the following article by a correspondent called "Dolphin" is to be believed:

"HOLEY" DOLLARS. I was one of the men who helped to make the "holey" or "ring" dollars in Hobart Town in 1830. The work was done at Kerr's blacksmith's shop in Argyle-street. The dollars were worth 4s 4d, and the portion cut out was called a "dump" and passed into currency at the value of 1s 1d, leaving the ring dollar worth 3s 3d. The first coin that came to Hobart Town was imported by Messrs. Barclay and Kemp. It was American money and came in the ship Arab, and was valued at some £3000. After this coinage got into circulation some very clever imitations of it were made, and two men were arrested and tried for its manufacture. They were defended by the late Mr. J. Tice Gellibrand who argued that as the coins imitated were Mexican and American the men could not he tried or sentenced in Van Diemen's Land. Mr. Hone, who presided, upheld his contention and the men were discharged.7

Certainly the location is correct, Thomas did have a blacksmith's shop in Argyle street. From that location in 1831 Thomas wrote to the Colonial Secretary asking for permission to purchase steel from the Government stores for work on a steam engine. Permission was not granted. The letter to the Colonial Secretary is reproduced below:

Hobart Town, 27th January 1831 Sir, Having some particular work in hand for a Steam Engine and being quite at a Stand for Sheer Steel, I should be very thankful if His Excellency the Lieut. Governor would spare One Cwt. I would either make an exchange with H. M. Govt. should there be Iron of any size wanting, or would pay cash, or find Surities that the quantity would be returned to H. M. Government as soon as it could be purchased. I would not presume to trouble His Excellency if by any means I could purchase it in the Colony, trusting His Excellency will Comply with my request. I have the honor to be Sir, Your Ob(edien)t H(u)mb(le) Servant Thomas Kerr Argyle Street8

Letter from Thomas Kerr to Colonial Secretary
Letter from Thomas Kerr to Colonial Secretary
Reproduced Courtesy of the Archives Office of Tasmania

Thomas was the proprietor of the Dusty Miller hotel in Liverpool street in 1832. In June Thomas advertised his facilities:

THOMAS KERR, grateful to his friends and the public for the liberal support with which he has been favoured since he commenced business at the above house which he has considerably enlarged and improved so as to afford comfortable accommodation to persons from the country who may have occasion to reside for a short time in Hobart town, begs to acquaint them that he has just laid in a choice variety of wines, spirits, porter and beer to which he invites attention in the confidence of a continuance of public patronage. N.B. -Blacksmiths' work in all its branches. The iron work of ships repaired, fyc. Horse shoeing carefully executed by one of the best workmen in the colony. Liverpool street, June 15, 1832.9

Prior to August of that year however Thomas didn't obtain a renewal of his license.10 The affair came to the notice of the Hobart Town Courier, the offices of whom were next to the Dusty Miller, and they ran the following editorial:

We are sorry to observe that our neighbour Mr. Kerr, of the Dusty Miller, is in the number of those whose licences have not been renewed this season. We fear that the prejudice which existed against the character of this house under its late proprietor may have operated on this occasion. For in justice to Mr. Kerr we are bound to say, that since it has been under his management it has been most regularly and respectably conducted, and if the house is to remain a public one we could not wish to see it in better hands. A« it is the duty of the bench to discountenance and denounce all improper conduct of the publicans, so is it no less equally imperious upon them to support and encourage those who conduct their houses under the critical circumstances which the spirit and harbouring actsplace them, in a proper and exemplary manner. We say this because it has come to our knowledge that a majority of those who opposed Mr. Kerrs license were ignorant at the time they did so of his individual character, or even of his identity, and since he has held the house not a single case has been brought against him.11

The observation was followed my a much 'sharper' salvo from "one of the temperance society":

To the Editor of the Colonial Times. Sir, - The author of a "Penny Magazine," having "puffed up" the brains of the worthy Editor of the Courier, he is become so inflated in consequence, -that he fancies himself a Public Censor, and drunkard or magistrate, all one to him, he lashes away at a prodigious rate, and bespatters each or both as he thinks proper. No doubt, if he performs the quarter of the work as described in his "Letter to a Friend," he should deservedly rank as the eighth wonder of the world. But, although he of the "Penny Magazine" is perfectly astonished, we, who are on the spot, are not to be talked over by this second "Chrichton." I shall take the liberty of putting the Editor of the Courier juxta-position with the truth, and the public can judge between them. Editor of the Courier. ASSERTION [Here the author repeats the editorial from the Colonial Times.] FACT That Mr. Kerr is a respectable man no one for a moment will deny - that he is a useful member of society, and in a young Colony like this, where mechanics are so much wanted, a skillful blacksmith can not only always earn an honest livelihood, but by industry and sobriety, acquire a fortune, without, at the same time, keeping a liquor shop. Mr. Kerr, like others of his trade in the Colony, has found that he has had "too many irons in the fire". Mr. Kerr being thus busily occupied at his 'vice', in stepped Miss Jane Lewis and Miss Sarah Wilkinson in company with the Richmond Vulcan, who, having a "spark in his throat," was most anxious to wash it down, as well as cool his other flames, and so he invited to above damsels into the "Dusty Miller" for the purpose of indulging in a little "innocent recreation". They took their half-pint each, and while Vulcan was amusing himself, the Venuses eased him of forty-six pounds, the earnings of many months industry. This act was done and performed at noon day, and for which the parties were had up, there and then, to the Police-office. To the credit of the Bench, many of whom are fathers of families, "they were thinking" of the contaminating influence of houses like those alluded to, where female assigned servants of the "neighbours" met by appointment, to indulge in all the pleasures of "innocent recreation." That "their next door neighbours" were well qualified to speak there can he no doubt, and if Miss Hannah Redding, Miss Rex, "cum multis aliis", had been examined, they could have certified to the J. P.'s that nothing but the most "innocent recreation" had ever taken place. However, in order to put the Magistrates in possession of all these facts, and as it is impossible from the wonderful account in the "Penny Magazine," to overwhelm the learned Editor with business, it would add considerably to the licensing operations, if he was made a Magistrate for the special occasion on the 18th of every September. -I am, Sir, your obedient servant, ONE OF THE TEMPERANCE SOCIETY.12

Thomas responded to the letter from the member of the temperance society in an apparently indifferent manner, referring any interested party to the police records instead:

(TO THE EDITOR.) SIR,-I request you will do me the justice to contradict a statement in the Colonial Times of Tuesday last, which emanating from the quarter it pretends is calculated to do me an injury, alleging that a robbery was committed in my public house by two women. No such occurrence has taken place in the Dusty Miller since the license for keeping that house was transferred to me, as the writer of the article alluded to may more fully ascertain if he chooses by referring to the Police records of that period. THOMAS KERR. Dusty Miller, Liverpool-st. Sep. 25, 1832.13

On 2 October 1832 the "temperance" member exposed himself as Paul Pry, according to Lou Rayner "another licensee", in a further stinging attack that all seemed to amount to a storm in a teacup:

To the Editor of the Colonial Tunes. SIR,-Mr. Kerr, late of the "Dusty Miller," having thought proper to answer "facts" by other "assertions" in the Courier of Friday last, I beg leave to forward other "facts," in order to set the matter at rest. I am particularly desirous of so doing, in consequence of the Editor of the Courier having entered the lists, and advocated the cause of the "Dusty Miller," in opposition to the decided opinion of the Magistrates who voted for the discontinuance of the license to that house, notwithstanding he himself amuses his readers with long articles on the horrors of the "dose", and the ruin it is entailing and has entailed on the Colony. Mr. Kerr having invited, enquiry, I was induced to call at the Police-office, for the purpose of inspecting the records, and as every facility was afforded me, the following "facts" may be relied on, which I beg to put in juxtaposition with Mr. Kerr's letter of the 28th ultimo. Mr. Kerr's assertion in Facts in the Gazette the Courier. and Police-office: [Here the author repeats the last letter from Thomas Kerr.] Facts in the Gazette and Police-Office Notice is hereby given, that a special meeting of the Justices holden at the Court house, Hobart Town on Monday, the 9th day of April next, to consider the propriety of certifying in favor of the transfer of the license granted to J. H. Malony, now deceased to Thomas Kerr, blacksmith. (Signed)H J.EMMETT POLICE OFFICE - On the 12th day of April the Richmond Vulcan complained at the Police-Office, that the day before he had met with the "accident", as he called it, at the "Dusty Miller", and he spoke of Mr. Kerr as the "landlord" throughout, "that Jane Lewis and tickled each other, that the landlord opened the door and looked in, and then went out again. It therefore appears by dates, that Mr. Kerr was the "landlord" at the time of the robbery, and it is also certain that Mr. Kerr had an intimation made to him, in consequence of his having managed the business some time previous, that he was subjecting himself to certain penalties for selling spirits illegally. In taking final leave of the subject, and to shew that the trade of rum selling is more lucrative and less laborious than the" sledge hammer," although equally fatal in their effects, I beg to forward an account, found in the pocket of a poor wretch who, being " picked up" in a state of insensibility near the door of the "Dusty Miller," was conveyed to the Hospital, where he soon died, and a verdict of apoplexy returned. [The author then details the sales of spirits to Thomas Kerr over a period of 6 days in April 1832, amounting to 1 pound, 15 shillings and 3 pence. He continues:] Now, by this account, although the license was not transferred to Mr. Kerr at the time, yet he was retailing his rum, beer, and other "cordials" from the 3rd to the 9th of April, at the "Dusty Miller" on his own account, and in his own name; thus rendering himself liable to the penalties imposed by the Publicans Act!!! The publication cannot now do Mr. Kerr any harm, the poor old veteran, the only witness who could have proved the case, having gone to his last home, hurried there evidently by the accursed dose. - I am, Sir, your obedient servant, PAUL PRY.14

What is interesting here is that this last letter states, and this was observed in the Thomas Kerr Family Correspondance Folder, that the licence of the "Dusty Miller" had been held by J. H. Malony prior to his death. James H. Maloney (or Malony) had been married to Mary Rayner, daughter of William Rayner Jnr., the step-brother of Sarah Rayner, Thomas Kerr's wife."15 The link is certainly established that this is the Thomas Kerr in connection with the Rayner family. The events of his short lived career as a publican may well have been the catalyst to cause Thomas with his family to leave the colony. Three days after that last article however on 5 October 1832, again apparently indifferent, Thomas advertised that he had found a watch:

FOUND, IN Elizabeth street on the 19th instant, a silver watch. Whoever has lost the same, by applying to Mr. Kerr, Dusty Miller, can have it restored on paying the expense of this advertisement.16

The argument ended there, and Thomas didn't seek to argue the judgement regarding the establishment. Sarah was pregnant at the time and two months later Thomas and Sarah Kerr's first child, Isabella Kerr, was born on 21 December 1832, apparently in Hobart Town but the event was not formally registered.17 After Isabella's birth the family made their way to New South Wales. Another daughter, Sarah Kerr, was born on 30 November 1834, this time almost certainly in New South Wales although some researchers state Tasmania.18 In fact no birth registration for Thomas and Sarah's children can be found in the Island state.

We can be sure however that Sarah, and her older sister Isabella, according to the New South Wales state records, were both baptised in the Scotts Church in the Maitland district on 15 February 1836, with Thomas Kerr noted as a (black)smith at Norwood in the Houghton district of Durham.19 Thomas and Sarah's third child was their first boy, Thomas Kerr was born on 7 January 1837 in Patterson Plains. Although to date no state based registrations have been found to corroborate this later documents support his inclusion in the family. Another son was born two years later, Andrew Kerr was born on 10 July 1839 in Allyn River, New South Wales, probably on the named "Burkes Farm" where his father was a settler.20 Andrew died in 1840 in infancy.21

With three surviving children, Thomas and Sarah had another daughter, Eliza Jane Kerr, on 12 February 1842 in East Bank Dungog in the Parish of Houghton, New South Wales.22 Eliza is also known as Elizabeth. Eliza was followed by William George Kerr, born on 29 February 1844 in East Bank Dungog in the Parish of Houghton, New South Wales.23 The Kerr family now comprised Thomas (35), Sarah, Isabella (12), Sarah (10), Thomas (7), Elizabeth (2) and William (a baby).

Thomas and Sarah would have a further three children, all baptised in the Sydney Presbyterian Scots Church. Mary Kerr was born on 6 November 1845 in Dungog, New South Wales.24 John Thomas Kerr was born on 11 January 1848 in Dungog.25 Robert Kerr was born on 14 June 1850 in Dungog.26 In the month after Robert's birth Thomas advertised a number of items for sale:

MR. THOMAS HANNA has received Instructions to sell by public auction, at the Residence of Mr. Thos. Kerr, East Bank, Dungog, on MONDAY, the 1st day of July, 1850, WORKING BULLOCKS and DRAY. A Lot of HORSE STOCK. Terms at sale.27

Sarah Kerr married William Newton on 14 February 1853 in the Church of England at Mudgee, New South Wales. They would have three children.28 On 26 May 1853 William George Kerr died in the Meroo, Tamaroora district, making him 9 years old.29 Just five months later Isabella Kerr married George Harris on 11 October 1853 in Mudgee, New South Wales.30 George was born on 30 October 1810 the son of William Harris:

At Mudgee, on the 11th instant, by special license, at St. John the Baptist's Church, by the Rev. James Gunther, Mr. George Harris, of the Meroo River Diggings, youngest son of Mr William Harris, of Liverpool, England, to Isabella, eldest daughter of Mr. Thomas Kerr, late of Dungog.31

In 1860 Sarah Newton (nee Kerr) died in Mudgee, Sarah was only 26. Sarah was recorded as the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Kerr, the cause of death is unknown.32 On 25 March 1862 Elizabeth Jane Kerr married William Thomas Langworthy in the Port Stephen's district.33:

On Tuesday, 25th March, at Telegherry, Port Stephens, by the Rev. Robert W. Vanderkiste, Wesleyan minister, William Thomas Langworthy, second son of Mr. William Langworthy, of Langworthy's, Gloucester Road, to Eliza Jane, third daughter of Mr. Thomas Kerr, of Campbell's Valley.34

More about the background of William Thomas Langworthy. William was appointed a constable, and over the ensuing years slowly worked his way through the ranks of the police force. In 1865 Mary Kerr married George Hurley in Mudgee, New South Wales.35 Thomas Kerr died on 1 February 1870 in Firefly Creek, in the Manning River district of New South Wales. He was recorded as aged 61 years, a farmer, and the son of Andrew Kerr, also a farmer. He was born in Roxburghshire, Scotland, and was married in Hobart Town, Tasmania at 23 years of age to Sarah Rayner. He had been in New South Wales for 37 years, and had ten children in total, 3 males and 3 females living, and 3 males and 1 female not living. The informant was his son Thomas Kerr of Firefly Creek.36

DEATHS.On the 1st February at his late residence, Gloucester, Manning River, New South Wales, Thomas Kerr, aged 60 years, a native of Coldstream, Scotland ; over 30 years a resident of the Hunter River and Port Stephens District ; uncle to William Thomas Kerr, of Sydney, and Andrew Kerr, of Melbourne ; leaving a widow and a large family ; deservedly respected by all who knew him.37

Thomas Kerr Senior was buried on 3 February 1870 on a private property at Firefly Creek. The Thomas Kerr Family Correspondance Folder includes the following information written by W. M. Vance in November 1981:

Headstone on Private Property at Karkatt, south of Krambach (near Taree), N.S.W. Observed and photographed July 1981. "Sacred to the memory of Thomas Kerr, 1 February, 1870 ...affection by the family to describe their loss"38

Firefly and Related Areas
Google Maps

John Thomas Kerr married Harriet Mary Riley on 4 February 1875 in Browns Creek in the Manning River district of New South Wales.39 Harriet was born on 27 January 1859 in Tinonee, in the Wingham district of New South Wales, the daughter of John (Bernard Pendergast, or Riley) Reed and Mary Ann Cann.40

Isabella Harris (nee Kerr) died on 23 June 1877 in Bourke, New South Wales. Isabella was noted to be the daughter of Thomas Kerr.41

Elizabeth Jane Langworthy (nee Kerr) as Eliza Jane died on 22 August 1885 in the Nundle district. Elizabeth was recorded as the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Kerr.42

George Harris, the widowed husband of Isabella Kerr, died on 12 June 1895 in Parramatta, New South Wales.43

HARRIS. At Parramatta, on June 12, George Harris, of Bourke. Aged 86 years.44

Thomas Kerr Jnr. died on 4 September 1897 in Kramback in the district of Taree, New South Wales. He was noted to be the son of Thomas and Sarah Kerr.45

Sarah Kerr, (nee Rayner) died on 18 January 1900 in Firefly Creek in the Stroud district, New South Wales.46

Robert Kerr died on 19 January 1914 in the Stroud district of New South Wales. Robert was noted to the son of Thomas and Sarah Kerr.47

Harriet Mary Kerr (nee Riley), the widow of John Thomas Kerr, died on 3 July 1923 in the Kyogle district of New South Wales.48

William Thomas Langworthy died on 19 August 1927 in Manilla, New South Wales. William was recorded as the son of a William Langworthy.49

LANGWORTHY.- August -19, 1927, at Longview Manilla, William Thomas Langworthy, retired inspector of police, beloved husband of Rita, aged 80 years. At rest.50

John Thomas Kerr died on 10 June 1929 in Highfield, New South Wales. John's parent's were recorded as Thomas and Mary Kerr.51

OBITUARY
JOHN KERR

The death occurred at Kyogle yesterday morning of Mr. John Kerr, of Lynch's Creek, at the age of 82 years. Mr. Kerr attended the recent Kyogle show, and it was then noted that he had grown very feeble and spent the day in a chair around the cattle pens where the judging was taking place. Mr. Kerr came to Kyogle from the Manning a number of years ago, and secured a fine mixed farming property at Lynch's Creek, where he carried on dairying and agriculture. He was a lover of pure bred Guernsey cattle, and has built up a very fine herd of that type. He exhibited at shows and often carried off prizes with his stock. The late Mr. Kerr was a man of wide experience and possessed a great fund of information about pioneering days on the Manning and other parts of the Northern Rivers where he had lived. Upright in all his dealings and always willing to lend a helping hand to any one in need of it, Mr. Kerr gathered around him a lot of friends and was greatly esteemed as a neighbour. He retained full consciousness until within a few minutes of death. He was predeceased by his wife some years ago and leaves a grown family. Mrs. W. McNaughton, of High field, is a daughter.52

  • 1. Minutes of Hobart Town Monthly Meeting of Friends: University Special Collections; University of Tasmania; Sandy Bay, Tasmania S.1. A.1. 1833-1857
  • 2. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1832/1788
  • 3. Examples include: Gregory, Stuart: Mid North Coast Pioneers; http://stuart.scss.dyndns.info/FamilyTree/individual.php?pid=I25106&ged=... and Daniels, Louis: The Rayner Family; Privately Published; 1999.
  • 4. GROS OPR Births and Baptisms 733/00 0030 0097 Berwick
  • 5. AOT Thomas Kerr Family Correspondance Folder
  • 6. "SHIP NEWS." Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) 12 Jun 1829: 2. Web. 26 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8644314.
  • 7. "A CHAPTER OF OLD TIME HISTORY." Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) 29 Aug 1885: 1 Supplement: Supplement to the Launceston Examiner.. Web. 5 Aug 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38304142.
  • 8. AOT Colonial Secretary's Office Correspondance CSO 1/499 10942
  • 9. The Hobart Town Courier Friday 22 June 1832
  • 10. AOT Rayner Family Correspondance Folder, with additions by Mrs. Jean McKenzie.
  • 11. The Hobart Town Courier Friday 21 September 1832
  • 12. This is reported on the National Library of Australia's Newspapers Website as appearing in the Colonial Times Saturday 25 August 1832 but the article quotes an article that didn't appear until 21 September 1832, so it is believed it is probably from the 25 September 1832 and not August as published.
  • 13. The Hobart Town Courier Friday 28 September 1832
  • 14. Colonial Times Tuesday 2 October 1832
  • 15. AOT Thomas Kerr Family Correspondance Folder
  • 16. The Hobart Town Courier Friday 5 October 1832
  • 17. NSW BDM Baptism Registration Reg. No. V18324782 121B
  • 18. NSW BDM Baptism Registration Reg. No. V18344783 121B
  • 19. Registrations as per their birth citations, with thanks to Margaret De Laney for transcriptions
  • 20. NSW BDM Baptism Registration Reg. No. V1839705 47
  • 21. Unknown Original Source
  • 22. NSW BDM Baptism Registration Reg. No. V1842273 48
  • 23. NSW BDM Baptism Registration Reg. No. V1844274 48
  • 24. NSW BDM Baptism Registration Reg. No. V18451077 45A
  • 25. NSW BDM Baptism Registration Reg. No. V18481078 45A
  • 26. NSW BDM Baptism Registration Reg. No. V18501079 45A
  • 27. The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser Wednesday 19 June 1850 and Saturday 22 June 1850
  • 28. NSW BDM Marriage Registration Reg. No. V1853359 39C
  • 29. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. V18531650 39B
  • 30. NSW BDM Marriage Registration Reg. No. V1853367 39C
  • 31. The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser Wednesday 2 November 1853
  • 32. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1860/4832
  • 33. NSW BDM Marriage Registration Reg. No. 1862/2853
  • 34. The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser Thursday 17 April 1862
  • 35. NSW BDM Marriage Registration Reg. No. 1865/2622
  • 36. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1870/4165
  • 37. "Family Notices." The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) 16 Feb 1870: 1. Web. 10 Mar 2013; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13200659. and "Family Notices." Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875) 17 Feb 1870: 1. Web. 10 Mar 2013; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60895961.
  • 38. AOT Thomas Kerr Family Correspondance Folder
  • 39. NSW BDM Marriage Registration 1875/3069
  • 40. NSW BDM Birth Registration Reg. No. 13801/1859 and Tony Paul: Harriet Mary Riley; http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Riley-782
  • 41. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1877/4178
  • 42. NSW BDM Death Registration 1885/14548 and Australian Cemeteries Index: Inscription for Eliza Jane Langworthy; http://austcemindex.com/inscription.php?id=6581155 (viewed 13 Nov 2011)
  • 43. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1895/5996
  • 44. "Family Notices" Western Herald (Bourke, NSW : 1887 - 1970) 15 June 1895: 2. Web. 8 Jul 2018; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article143227235.
  • 45. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1897/9850
  • 46. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1900/3472
  • 47. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1914/3788
  • 48. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1923/15854
  • 49. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1927/15129
  • 50. "Family Notices." The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) 24 Aug 1927: 12. Web. 10 Mar 2013; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28053367.
  • 51. NSW BDM Death Registration Reg. No. 1929/11131
  • 52. "OBITUARY." Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954) 11 Jun 1929: 6. Web. 10 Mar 2013; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94077163.

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The Kerr Family

A visitor to the site recently supported the claim that Thomas Kerr was born on 22 May 1806 and baptised (on) 1 June 1806 at the Presbyterian Church in Coldstream, Scotland. His parents are listed as Andrew Kerr and Isobel Forsythe... Andrew Kerr and Isobel Forsythe married on 13 April 1792.1 There are records on both Scotland's People and the International Genealogical Index that concur with that date for the Parish of Foulden, Berwick, SCT (with Andrew's surname recorded as Ker), and also report the date as 14 April 1792 and the event as occurring in Coldingham, Berwick, SCT (with Andrew's surname recorded as Carr).2 Both records are probably correct, in that they represent the proclamations of marriage that we usually made in each of the spouse's parishes. Andrew and Isabella had the following children.

Name Birth Marriage Spouse Death
KERR, John b. 00 XXX 1794 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT3     17 Apr 1814 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT4
KERR, William c. 12 Jul 1797 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT5 07 Dec 1821 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT6 SANDERSON, Agnes 25 Mar 1875 Kelso, Roxburgh, SCT7
CARR, Jean c. 15 Jul 1799 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT8     15 Sep 1815 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT9
KERR, Andrew c. 27 Jan 1802 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT10      
KERR, Isobel c. 02 Feb 1804 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT11      
KERR, Thomas b. 22 May 1806 Coldstream, Berwick, SCT12 23 Jan 1832 Hobart, TAS13 RAYNER, Sarah 01 Feb 1870 Firefly Creek, NSW14

In the Lennel Kirkyard in Coldstream the following headstone inscription is found which is probably related.

(Cargill) Erected by ANDREW KERR tenant Hillhouse in memory of a son JOHN died 17 April 1814 aged 20 years. Also JANE daughter died 15 September 1815 aged 16 years. Here lies the body of ANDREW KERR died 4 February 182- aged 56 years. Also ISABELLA KERR died 3 October 1841 aged 77 years.15

The fact that it was reported in Thomas Kerr's death notice that he was a native of Coldstream makes this a good match for Thomas' family. In that same notice it also mentions nephews living in Sydney and Melbourne meaning one or more of his siblings also came out to Australia.