Thomas Easton and Mary Waldie

Thomas Easton was the sixth and youngest child of James Easton and Agnes Thomson. He was born on 6 November 1799 in Lilliesleaf, Roxburghshire, Scotland and baptised soon after.1 Thomas Easton married Mary Waldie on the 3 November 1826 at Lilliesleaf, Roxburgh, Scotland.2 Mary was born about 1813, probably in Selkirk based on later evidence.

Thomas and Mary had the following children, although none of the births appear to be registered.

  • James Easton, born about 1834
  • Jessie Easton, born about 1837
  • John Henric Easton, born about 1839/1840
  • George Easton, born about 1843
  • David Easton, born about 1844/1845
  • Agnes Easton, born about 1848
  • Thomas Easton, born about 1850

Thomas and Mary and their first three children appear in the 1841 census as follows.3

Name Relationship Condition Age Sex Occupation Birthplace
Thomas Easton     40 M Mason Roxburghshire
Mary Easton     25 F   Not in County
James Easton     7 M   Roxburghshire
Jessie Easton     5 F   Roxburghshire
John Easton     1 M   Roxburghshire

They also appear in the 1851 census as follows. The absence of Jessie Easton suggests she was already apprenticed as a servant and therefore appears elsewhere.4

Name Relationship Condition Age Sex Occupation Birthplace
Thomas Easton Head Married 51 M Mason (journeyman) Roxburgh, Lilliesleaf
Mary Easton Wife Married 38 F   Selkirk, Selkirk
James Easton Son Unmarried 17 M Mason (journeyman) Roxburgh, Lilliesleaf
John Easton Son Unmarried 11 M Scholar Roxburgh, Lilliesleaf
George Easton Son   9 M Scholar Roxburgh, Lilliesleaf
David Easton Son   6 M Scholar Roxburgh, Lilliesleaf
Agnes Easton Daughter   4 F   Roxburgh, Lilliesleaf
Thomas Easton Son   1 M   Roxburgh, Lilliesleaf

Thomas Easton, his wife Mary, and their family, arrived aboard the Wanderer on 13 February 1855. Thomas’ niece Agnes Easton was also on board. All the family were recorded as being members of the Church of Scotland. Peter Oliver sponsored the Easton family’s journey at a cost of £154 (plus £22 for Agnes) which was paid on 16 February 1855.5

TAHO Passenger List for the Wanderer

AOT Passenger List for the Wanderer
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

Name Age Religion Education Native Place Occupation
Easton, Thomas 50 Church of Scotland R & W Roxburghshire Stone Mason
Easton, Mary 42 Church of Scotland R & W Selkirkshire House Keeper
Easton, James 21 Church of Scotland R & W Roxburghshire Stone Mason
Easton, Jessie 18 Church of Scotland R & W Roxburghshire House Maid
Easton, John 15 Church of Scotland R & W Roxburghshire Farm Labourer
Easton, George 12 Church of Scotland R & W Roxburghshire Farm Labourer
Easton, David 10 Church of Scotland R & W Roxburghshire  
Easton, Agnes 7 Church of Scotland Read Roxburghshire  
Easton, Thomas 5 Church of Scotland None Roxburghshire  

Thomas Easton died just over three years after he emigrated on 6 March 1858 in Oatlands, Tasmania at the reported age of 59. Thomas was recorded as a Mason, and the cause of death as Consumption, an archaic term for tuberculosis. Elizabeth Ellen, the undertaker’s wife and a friend of Thomas, registered the event.6

TAHO Death Registration of Thomas Easton

TAHO Death Registration of Thomas Easton
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office

Thomas died without a will so his wife Mary sought Letters of Administration over his estate.

Pitt and Proctor
In the Administration Thomas Easton

Citation for Mary Easton, Widow of the said deceased, Dated 16th June 1858 [XXXX] 7th July 1858

Letters of Administration were granted to the said Mary Easton upon Bond being given a copy of which said Letters firstly and of the said Bond, secondly hereafter follows.

In the Supreme Court, Be it known unto all men of Van Diemen’s Land by these present that on the eighth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight. Administration of all and singular the goods chattels rights credits and effects within the Island of Tasmania and the dependencies thereof which were of Thomas Easton late of Oatlands in Tasmania, storeman, deceased was and is hereby committed unto Mary Easton of Oatlands aforesaid widow of the said deceased & she, having been first sworn that she believes that the said Thomas Easton died without a Will, that she will well and truly administer all and every the goods chattels credits and effects of the said deceased and pay his lawful debts as far as his goods chattels credits and effects will extend and also make and exhibit unto this Honourable Court a full true and perfect Inventory of all and every the goods chattels credits and effects of the said deceased which have or shall come to her hand & possession or knowledge or to the hands or possession or of any other person or persons for her on or before the eighth day of March now next and render a true account of her administration on or before the eighth day of September one thousand eight hundred and fifty nine and afterwards from this time as she shall be lawfully required. And further, that she believes the said goods chattels rights credits and effects of the said deceased at the time of his death did not exceed in value the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds in Tasmania and the dependencies thereof.

Given under my hand and the Seal of the Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s Land this thirteenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight.

By the Court
William Sorell
Registrar7

The Will continued but was largely repetitive of the first part, except for naming the executors as Mary Easton, Thomas Burbury and Henry Coop. all of Oatlands.

The year after Thomas' death, Jessie Easton and William Campbell had a son, William Easton Campbell, born 28 January 1859 in Hobart, Tasmania.8 There would be ongoing conflict over the child's care for the next three or four years.

John Henric Easton married Esther Gough on 6 August 1864 in Bothwell, Tasmania.9 Esther was born about 1827, the daughter of Patrick Gough and Esther Webb.10 Esther was married previously to John McWaide and they had six children before John's death on 31 May 1862 in Bothwell,11 Tasmania. John and Esther would go on to have three children that have been traced.

Thomas Easton’s daughter Jessie Laing Easton died on 23 June 1865 in Bothwell, Tasmania at the reported age of 29. The cause of death was recorded as intermittent fever and James Easton, Jessie’s brother, registered the event.12

EASTON-At Bothwell, on 23rd June, Jessie Laing., aged 29 years, eldest daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Easton.13

The following Eastons were noted on the Tasmania Directory of 1866 as residents of Bothwell:

  • EASTON, James, Stonemason, Bothwell
  • EASTON, George, Road contractor, Bothwell
  • EASTON, David, Farmer, Bothwell
  • EASTON, John, Brewer, Bothwell14

The disease that killed Thomas Easton Snr would also claim the lives of two of his sons. Thomas Easton Jnr. died on 18 October 1870 in Bothwell, Tasmania,15 and John Henric Easton died on 14 October 1877 in Bothwell, Tasmania.16 In both cases the cause of death was recorded as Pthisis, an archaic term for pulmonary tuberculosis.

In that same decade however the family would also witness two of the children's marriages. Agnes Robina Easton, as Alice Robina Easton, married Charles Albert Nichols on 30 October 1876 in Bothwell.17 Charles was born on 8 November 1847 in Green Ponds, Tasmania, the son of John Nichols and Ann Fornam.18 Agnes and Charles would have ten children that have been traced.

David Easton married Jane Wilson on 22 October 1878 in Hobart, Tasmania.19

MARRIAGE.
EASTON-WILSON.-On October 22, at St. John's Manse, by the Rev. James Scott, David Easton, to Jane, second daughter of Mr. T. Wilson.20

Jane was born about 1854 in Scotland, the daughter of Thomas Wilson and Catherine Hay.21 David and Jane would go on to have five children that have been traced.

Illness however continued to plague the family and James Easton died on 21 November 1881 in Hobart, Tasmania. The cause of death was recorded as dysentery and sub-acute peritonitis. James was recorded as a stonemason, and it was noted that he was born in Scotland.22

EASTON.—On November 21, at Hobart, James, eldest son of the late Thomas Easton. The funeral will move from his late residence, at Bothwell, on THURSDAY, 24th, at 2 o'clock.23

Of Thomas and Mary's children, David and George continued to prosper. In January 1884 they were both recorded purchasing land as follows:

At mart, on Friday, on account of late George Stokell's estate, the Carlington Estate, containing 2,077 acres, to Mr. David Easton, at £2 10s. per acre ; the Wattle Hill Estate, containing 1,310 acres, to Mr. George Easton, at £2 2s. 6d. per acre;24

George Easton married Henrietta Jane Briggs on 12 November 1884 in Hobart, Tasmania.25 Henrietta was born on 5 July 1862 in the Richmond district, and she was simply recorded as an un-named female at the time of her birth. She was baptised as Henrietta on 31 August 1862 in Colebrook, and her father described as a farmer at Hollow Tree Bottom. Henrietta was the daughter of Henry Neil Briggs and Margaret Bunker.26

Mary Easton, the wife of Thomas Easton, died on 12 February 1893 at her son David’s residence in Rhyndaston, Tasmania at the reported age of 80. Mary was recorded as the wife of a stonemason, and the cause of death recorded as infirmity and old age. The undertaker registered the event.27

EASTON.-At her son's residence, SpringVale, Rhyndaston, Mary, relict of the late Thomas Easton, aged 80 years. Funeral will leave Parattah THIS DAY, at 3 o'clock.28

Henrietta Jane Easton, nee Briggs, the wife of George Easton, died on 21 August 1910 in Colebrook, Tasmania.29

Jane Easton, nee Wilson, the wife of David Easton, died on 2 April 1919 in Rhyndaston, Tasmania.30

David Easton died on 5 July 1923 in the public hospital in Hobart, Tasmania.31

George Easton died on 8 July 1926 in the public hospital in Launceston, Tasmania.32