Tucked away in almost every family historian’s research, there is usually at least one family in particular which stands out over the others, for a variety of reasons: perhaps a collection of memorable, exotic or sometimes tragic events or characters, a plainly outrageous ancestor whose story reveals a shocking skeleton which few descendants ever suspected – or maybe a spectacular event or a dark deed – all of which offer some valuable and/or remarkable insights into their history, thereby providing ample flesh on what originally presented as very boring, bare old bones…
For this researcher, it happened with the BUDD(S) family, which initial introduction originally presented itself through the MITCHELL line in Wollombi, NSW (now there’s another interesting story!). Some years ago, I discovered that my mother-in-law’s ancestor William Benjamin M (1824-1919) had married Elizabeth BUDD (1829-1908) in 1844 at St Peter’s Church of England in East Maitland, NSW. Having established her family connections from the relevant certificates and myriad associated documents, I found myself researching the BUDD(S) family from around Sweetman’s Creek, west of Cessnock in the lower Hunter Valley.
I quickly learned about the various exploits of Elizabeth’s father, Thomas BUDDS (d.1833), a soldier in the British Army from 1805-1826, and his Spanish wife Hozepha (a name possibly adapted from the Spanish Josepha [Anglicised to Josephine]). Along with their alleged wedding circa 1814 at San Sebastian, the surnames BOSQUETE, BESENTA and WOOD were all unearthed relating to Hozepha’s family history, presumably gleaned from family legend handed down through the generations. Although early records up to 1826 show that she was known as Hozepha (spelled in a variety of ways), it seems that Thomas’ wife preferred the name Sophia (from the Greek meaning wisdom), taking that name for the rest of her life. Her alleged surname WOOD indicates that there was possibly some English influence in her Spanish background.
His discharge papers reveal that Thomas was born in the parish of Killea, near the Township of Cashel in the Irish county of Tipperary, and that he had served in three separate Regiments between 1805 and 1826. From 1 Oct 1805 to 26 Sep 1815, he served with the 31st Regiment of Foot (RoF) as a Private for the first six years and a Corporal for the remaining four years. The 31st RoF was one of 23 British regiments which fought in the Peninsular Wars against Napoleon, including the Battle of Talavera, which occurred in late July 1809 near San Sebastian (possibly the district located in the northern suburbs of Madrid) where Hozepha claimed to have been born, the daughter of Peno and Louisa (probably spelled Luisa in the Spanish way).
In the wake of the Peninsular Wars (between 25 Sep 1815 to 24 Dec 1815), Thomas was briefly transferred to the 8th RoF, which time was presumably spent at Albany Barracks on the Isle of Wight. On Christmas Day 1815, Thomas (then aged 28 years) was finally transferred to 46th RoF with the rank of Sergeant. Around that time, the 46th was off to the East Indies for the next 10 years. However, his discharge papers reveal that Thomas actually departed for the East Indies on 17 Dec 1817 (allegedly aboard the Matilda) and arrived back in England on 27 Jun 1826, being sent home with a “pretirnatural enlargement of the stomach” (possibly dysentery), assumed to be the result of the hot, steamy “climate in East Indies”.
What the discharge papers don’t show is that young Thomas had been a weaver (aged 18 years) when he enlisted in the British Army at Nenagh (about 8 klm from Killea), and also, prior to 14 February 1817, Thomas and Hozepha BUDDS had arrived in Sydney aboard the Elizabeth, where Hozepha gave birth to her firstborn child, a son named Thomas (1817-1874) who was baptised six weeks later on 30 Mar at St Philips Church of England (the oldest Anglican church parish in Australia). As I researched the rest of their offspring, I duly noted three daughters: Sophia (1826-1913) allegedly born in Chatham Barracks, Kent in England, Elizabeth (1829-1908) born and baptised in Newcastle and Matilda (1830-1917) born and baptised in Wollombi – and finally two more sons: Benjamin (1832-1873) and curiously another Thomas (1833-1860) both also born and baptised in Wollombi.
I was somewhat mystified to note that there were three Thomas BUDD(S) in this single family – with no middle names to distinguish one from the other – unless the relevant dates of birth accompanied their names. To avoid potential confusion, I took to calling the father “Thomas the Soldier”, the firstborn child “Thomas the Elder” and the youngest namesake “Thomas the Younger” – the latter being born just 12 days after his father’s sudden death at Sweetman’s Creek in September 1833. This tragic event was claimed to be the result of Thomas drowning in his own well, at his property called Tallaviera (sic) Grove, which name is believed to honour the homeland of his beloved Hozepha.
This farm of 100 acres was a land grant offered to retired soldiers who wished to remain in the new Colony after discharge from the Royal NSW Veterans (RNV) which Regimental Company had been disbanded on 24 Jul 1829. (His amended discharge papers [dated 1829] reveal that in the wake of his repatriation to Chelsea Hospital on half pension from 8 Jul 1826 to 28 Jan 1827, Thomas the Soldier had promptly volunteered at Chatham Barracks on 29 Jan 1827 [aged 40 years] for service in the “R NSWales Vetn Comp.” arriving back in Sydney on 31 Jul 1827 with his family [aboard the convict ship Marquis of Hastings]. Curiously, these amended papers claim that the parish of Killea was in the Township of Templemore – not Cashel as the previous record had shown…)
Along with other settlers, these families became pioneers of the fledgling outpost, opening up new settlements and creating farms out of virgin bush and rough scrub – albeit with the help of convict labour. It would have been a very tough, often lonely and extremely rugged life, not entirely suited to every ex-soldier, but apparently wholeheartedly embraced by the BUDDS family…
What I didn’t know at that time was that Hozepha had already given birth to her first two daughters in Madras, (now Chennai) in India. Sadly, little Jane (b.1818) and Christina (1821-1822) both died as infants, being buried in a Christian cemetery in Bellary, commonly favoured by the British military in India at that time.
Much research has been done by descendants of all three surviving BUDD daughters (and their COLLYER, MITCHELL and BENCE families respectively), but there wasn’t much information about the three sons of this curious family. I quickly discovered that both younger sons had died without wives or children, but the eldest son was something of a mystery. I expected to find that Thomas the Elder had probably died young, paving the way for the second Thomas to honour his father’s memory as the British naming convention demanded.
Therefore, it was a huge surprise to learn that not only did he outlive his younger namesake, it seemed that there was also persistent anecdotal evidence of Thomas the Elder being “left with relatives in England” while his parents were said to have sailed without him to the East Indies. (More about that later!) In addition, there were also two schools of thought about what year his father (Thomas the Soldier) was born and/or christened and his exact place of birth.
The most obvious clue regarding his birth year has already been mentioned – the fact that he was aged 28 years on Christmas day in 1815. This information indicates a birth year around 1787-8, so I was therefore astonished to learn that other researchers believed that Thomas the Soldier was born and christened in St Giles Cripplegate, London in 1792, the son of Thomas and Sarah BUDD.
With all this conflicting conjecture, I suspected that some interesting tales might be lurking in the wings, so I set out to explore these mysteries – not the least of which was the curious plural form of Thomas the Soldier’s surname: BUDDS. This form was bestowed on Thomas the Elder, while the rest of his siblings were merely BUDD children. Thomas the Soldier always identified himself as BUDDS – and I later discovered that his eldest son did exactly the same! As a result of these observations, I have come to believe that the distinction between BUDD and BUDDS is a vital clue to the name’s English roots and its Irish influence, respectively.
Until recently, I thought that Thomas the Soldier may have been born around 1787-8 in Tipperary, to English parents who finally returned home around 1792 and had him christened there. However, I have discovered that the little Thomas BUDD who was christened in Cripplegate in 1792 at the age of five weeks, (son of Thomas BUDD, Exciseman [a tax collector] and his wife Sarah [nee CATMUR]) died from convulsions aged 14 months, and was buried on 10 Nov 1793 at the same church where he was christened the previous year.
Clearly, little Thomas BUDD of Cripplegate cannot be the same Thomas BUDDS who was discharged from the British Army in 1829 and subsequently died in Tallaviera Grove at Sweetmans Creek, Australia in 1833 aged 45 years (as his burial record correctly states).
Having resolved any lingering doubts about the credibility of the Cripplegate baptism, I then concentrated on the curious belief that Thomas the Soldier had served in the 48th RoF and decided to visit his gravestone, situated in a shallow gully on the side of Wollombi Road, at Sweetman’s Creek. (Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!)
Having already seen a small advertisement published in 1922 (from the Cessnock Eagle) and again in 1965 from an article by local historian Athel D’OMBRAIN (in the Newcastle Morning Herald), that Thomas BUDDS was a “Sergt” in the 46th RoF, it was extremely disconcerting to discover that his gravestone did indeed now appear to claim that he had served with the 48th RoF!!!!! (To further confuse the issue, I also discovered that one website featuring the gravestone claimed that the “8” was possibly a “3”!!!!!)
Obviously, some time between 1965 and the 1980s when many other erroneous articles and sketches were published concerning this gravestone, the “46” on Thomas the Soldier’s headstone had been altered to “48”, sending a whole generation of BUDDS researchers in the wrong direction. After tracking down the current owner of the property, I asked him about the “6” turning into an “8” and he confirmed that there had indeed been an ugly incident some time in the late 1970s when he found an intruder defacing the gravestone, which “scurrilous act of vandalism” he found both “abhorrent and totally outrageous”.
As owner of the land bearing such a precious and unique heirloom, he claimed that nobody should ever tamper with historic gravestones, regardless of their reason/s. He considered such a disgraceful desecration to be a shocking insult to the descendants of the man who was buried there. At the time of the distressing incident, it was assumed that, due to its inevitable deterioration, the intruder had decided that the sandstone slab should be made more legible, perhaps inadvertently believing that the poorly carved “6” was actually an “8”. Since the gravestone already contained the incorrect age of 42 years for Thomas the Soldier, the vandal’s misguided action further muddied some already murky waters… Instead of just one innocent/ignorant mistake, it now contains two unfortunate errors!
Having exposed another incorrect piece of information relating to the BUDDS family, I was still curious about the exact source of the commonly-held belief that Thomas the Soldier had drowned in his own well. Harking back to the abovementioned article by historian Athel D’OMBRAIN, I remembered that he had already provided this information back in 1965, courtesy of a local resident named Walter LUMBY!! Walter (1870-1969) was related to the family; in 1896, he had married Matilda Florence SWEETMAN (1878-1962), g/daughter of William SWEETMAN and the Widow BUDDS.
Claiming to have lived in the area for most of his life, Walter (then aged 95 years), stated that when he was just a youth, his father had told him about the unfortunate (and what many considered at the time to be somewhat suspicious) death of the ex-soldier (soon to be the first schoolmaster at a proposed new school), apparently confirming various stories already handed down over many generations across the intervening 130-odd years by the descendants of the three BUDD daughters. While not official sanction of Thomas the Soldier’s cause of death, it is a corroboration of sorts – and the story has obviously been around for a very long time…
It now seemed appropriate to investigate Thomas the Elder and the curious tale about being “left with relatives in England”. With the intention of either proving or disproving this family legend one way or the other, I wondered if I could find him on an English census some time between 1841 and 1871 – the latter date allowing for his return to Sydney before 1874 when he was said to be a musician at the time of his unfortunate death.
After investigating dozens of possible candidates, I stumbled upon an interesting entry for a man named Thomas BUDDS living with his wife Margret (sic) in Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire. This person was a musician also, claiming to be born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, aged 37 years in 1851. I was therefore thoroughly astonished to learn that this man was also a soldier in the 46th RoF! Immediately realising the enormous significance of this amazing and totally unexpected discovery, I then searched for the marriage of a Thomas BUDDS to a wife named Margaret some time prior to 1851, and discovered that Thomas BUDDS son of Thomas BUDDS ( a joiner [i.e. carpenter]) had indeed married a Margaret LUNDY in Liverpool in 1849!
I could find no children for them, but discovered that Margaret had died from a brain disease (probably a malignant tumor) in 1861, being described as the wife of Thomas BUDDS, a musician. Some months later, Thomas the Elder married Mary MULLIN, the daughter of James M, a saddler. The groom was the son of Thomas BUDDS a “house carpenter”. Since I already knew from his death certificate in Sydney in 1874, that Thomas the Elder had married Mary MULLAN (sic) in Liverpool, I realised that I had finally found Hozepha’s firstborn son – and was deeply shocked to learn that he was a soldier in the same Regiment as his father!
I then went looking for the discharge papers of yet another soldier named Thomas BUDDS of the 46th RoF, some time after 1851. I subsequently found eight very interesting pages dated 1854, describing a young boy aged 10 years and 5 months (in truth, he was barely 8½ years old) who was inducted (“by special authority”) into the 46th RoF on 24 May 1825 at Cannanore in the East Indies – not somewhere in England as might be expected if he was indeed “left with relatives in England”.
Of his 29 years’ service with the British Army, Thomas the Elder spent almost 19 years abroad in the East Indies, Gibraltar, West Indies and North America. During this time, he went AWOL at least twice, being court-martialled and imprisoned for several weeks for these and other offences such as habitual drunkenness. At one stage, he was promoted to Corporal with a good conduct badge, which he promptly lost when he reverted back to the rank of Private on his release from military prison. The remaining time was spent in various parts of England which allowed him to marry and remarry in Lancashire.
When he was discharged in 1854 in Kilkenny, Ireland (about 40 km from the village where his father claimed to have been born), Thomas the Elder was allegedly aged 39 years and three months. (In fact, he was really only 37 years and three months old, indicating that he had strictly adhered to the age discrepancy which had allowed him to “legally” enlist back in 1825, this untruth being faithfully perpetuated right up to his death. (Perhaps he really did believe that he was born in Feb 1815 and not 1817 as the NSW birth records clearly show…)
What the discharge papers don’t reveal is how Thomas the Elder found himself in the East Indies in 1825 in the first place??? From the relevant dates on the discharge papers of both father and son, it is clear that their two separate services in the 46th RoF in the East Indies overlapped by approximately 13 months.
With two conflicting sets of evidence suggesting two opposing assumptions, it seems possible that Thomas the Elder may well have been initially left with a namesake cousin who was a carpenter in Portsmouth, although I have never found any evidence whatsoever supporting the existence of such a man in either church or census records. If, however, such a relative did exist, little Thomas BUDDS was somehow safely conveyed to the East Indies sometime before 1825.
Somebody must have looked after that little boy up to the time of his “special” induction, and it is a telling fact that all of the records claiming that Thomas the Elder was the son of a carpenter in Portsmouth in Hampshire, were recorded between 1849 and 1861. The truth is that we will never know if there really were “relatives in England” – or why Thomas the Elder apparently invented a fake father figure down in Hampshire (which incidentally is on the mainland adjacent to the Isle of Wight where he was no doubt often stationed many times…) Or perhaps the “relatives in England” was assumed by descendants who felt that the BUDDS_MULLIN marriage in Liverpool was solid proof that he must have grown up “with relatives” in (northern) England…
Personally, I have come to believe that little Thomas the Elder really did in fact accompany his parents all the way to the East Indies, arriving in early 1818 before little Jane was born there. Because he consistently described himself as a musician, I believe that music was Thomas the Elder’s first love and the major passion in his life, and that being a soldier was but a fortunate means to an end. This love of music is reflected in all of the funeral notices in the Sydney papers following his death in 1874, when he was lauded as a “respected bandmaster” of both civil and military bands.
If he had indeed sailed all the way to the East Indies with his parents, it is quite possible that by the time he was five years old, young Thomas may well have been “Army mad” – living in a military family with “army blood” flowing thick and strong in his veins, having daily exposure to the colourful uniforms and the frequent parades with lots of stirring, marching music, and plenty of exciting tales from older well-travelled soldiers who had no doubt visited scores of exotic countries around the world.
Whatever the details, it seems that little Thomas the Elder may have demonstrated significant musical talent at a very young age, which special skills were highly prized in the British Army, as child soldiers were desirable mascots for the troops, boosting morale among the Corps – and everybody’s favourite little soldier. The attention would have been irresistible…
It is also obvious that Thomas the Elder may well have rebelled against unwelcome infringements upon his need to express himself through his beloved music – not to mention possible abandonment issues as the result of being forcibly separated from his family at such a young age! It would explain the AWOL episodes (believed to have occurred in Gibraltar) in his service record approximately three years after his father’s sudden death on the other side of the world…
Whatever the truth, his mother would have been utterly heartbroken and completely distraught when her husband became ill, necessitating his immediate repatriation back to England, leaving her firstborn son to be raised by the British Army, and robbed of the opportunity to be guided through those vulnerable boyhood years by his proud father, who would be expecting to watch his son grow and flourish into a fine young man and an admirable soldier…
Part of the family legend passed down through each succeeding generation, was that Hozepha named the child of the posthumous birth in 1833 another Thomas – because “she believed that she would never see her firstborn son again”.
Alas, that sad premonition proved to be true, and she would live to see her “replacement” son also drown under tragic circumstances as a young man of just 27 years, a tormented and lost soul caught in a spiritual void – completely consumed by alcohol abuse…
With his father returning to England and a subsequent transfer to the Colonies where he served in the Royal NSW Veterans Company, it is assumed that Thomas the Elder kept in touch with his parents through letters from across the world. His father had obviously taught him how to sign his name, as his youthful signatures were duly recorded on the pages relating to the Attestation (regarding his tender age of 10 years and five months), and the Articles of War and the Oath of Fidelity which latter Oaths all soldiers in the British Army were required to sign (in case of mutiny).
For an 8½ year old child, signing his own name was an incredibly remarkable accomplishment in those days, so it was hoped that Thomas the Elder somehow kept in touch with his family after their unplanned separation.
It is therefore believed that he had been informed of his father’s sudden death in 1833 and perhaps his mother’s remarriage to William SWEETMAN two years later. (While Hozepha could not write [she signed her name with an “X” when she married her second husband in 1835], it seems that William S could, and he may well have written to his eldest stepson more than once on her behalf). It is also possible that Thomas the Elder wrote to his mother about his second marriage, and the subsequent births of his four children (all born in Liverpool), perhaps expressing a desire to return to the land of his birth to claim his rightful inheritance.
His “rightful inheritance” was in fact Tallaviera Grove which property had been formally transferred to Thomas the Elder on 10 May 1841. Originally acknowledged as the rightful property of “a Disbanded Soldier from the New South Wales Royal Veteran Corps” but now granted to “Thomas BUDD as Eldest son and heir at law” in accordance with an application dated 16 Apr 1841, the property legally passed to Thomas BUDD “now absent from the Colony, serving in Her Majesty’s 46th Regiment of Foot”.
It is assumed that only the widow and her family would have the legal right to continue living on Tallaviera Grove after the death of her first husband, and it is entirely possible that it took seven years to establish the transfer from deceased father to son and heir. Whether it was a strictly legal matter commenced by the machinery of Government involving land grants to ex-soldiers – or a deliberate choice set in motion by his mother, it seems that her firstborn son would indeed have a very good reason to come home. (One wonders what his stepfather thought of that particular turn of events…)
Since Thomas the Elder did indeed return to Sydney some time before 1874, I wondered when this had happened, so I began searching the relevant shipping records in an attempt to discover exactly when and how Thomas the Elder and his family had arrived in Sydney.
As it turned out, the voyage back home comprised two stages. On 19 Aug 1868, having spent 140 days on the journey from England aboard the Donald MacKay, Thomas the Elder and his family arrived in Melbourne, bound for Sydney. Thomas was aged 50 years and his wife Mary was aged 38, while their children were listed as Thomas J(ames) (aged 6 years), Sophia M(ary) (aged 4 years), Rose Eliz(abeth) (aged 2 years) and baby Henry was described as an infant. The family then boarded the You Yangs which docked in Sydney on 24 Nov 1868, travelling in steerage with 25 other passengers. (Interestingly, one of those passengers was named William BUDD who may or may not have been related to the BUDDS family.)
It is unknown whether Hozepha ever knew that her firstborn son was coming home. Perhaps there had been a letter to Thomas the Elder relating the news of his mother’s impending death, but with Mary heavily pregnant at the time with little Henry, it is very likely that she may not have been able to travel until after the child was born. Whatever the circumstances, after suffering dreadfully for nine long months, Sophia SWEETMAN died a bitter death from mouth cancer on 5 Mar 1868 at Millfield (not Tallaviera Grove???), more than six months before her firstborn son arrived back in the Colony. Interestingly, Hozepha’s son-in-law Thomas William COLLYER (the husband of her eldest daughter Sophia BUDD) was the informant of her death – not her husband William SWEETMAN as might normally be expected…
What is clear is that after moving his family into a suitable residence at 14 Hill Street, Surry Hills, Thomas the Elder set about establishing himself as a master musician and bandmaster, presumably contacting other like-minded musical citizens and groups in the Colony, creating a large circle of friends and colleagues while busily organising and arranging concerts, benefit performances and similar events near and far throughout Sydney and its surrounds.
He subsequently became the “respected bandmaster” of at least two bands – viz. the Young Australian Band and the Naval Brigade Band. It is also believed that Thomas the Elder probably visited both of his parents’ graves on the Wollombi Road, also contacting his siblings and half-siblings – and their relatives, including his many nieces and nephews, most of whom lived in and around the Wollombi region… Then, in 1870, the BUDDS family welcomed a fifth child – a daughter named Ann(ie) Matilda.
By the time she was just a toddler, Annie’s oldest brother had already exhibited a wild, rebellious streak – roaming the streets late at night and keeping company with known criminals. By Feb 1874, 11-year old Thomas James was brought before the Court under the Act for the Relief of Destitute Children. His father admitted to having little or no control over the boy and agreed to pay 5s (five shillings) a week for his keep on board the Vernon – a detention ship for delinquent boys. (Usually referred to as a training school, it was moored in Sydney Harbour and troubled boys were held there until they were indentured into a trade or turned 18 years old.)
Only the previous month, the family had welcomed a sixth child, little Emily Frances into the family. In a cruel blow, the baby tragically died from convulsions in June, aged 5 months and was buried in Rookwood Cemetery. The death of little Emily seemed to set in motion an irreversible and dreadful trilogy of loss, despair and suffering – plunging the entire family into a very dark place.
As they mourned the sad passing of their little baby – not to mention the uncertain future of young Thomas James who now lived aboard the Vernon – his father may well have wondered how he and poor Mary (who was also very unwell) would fare with their four remaining children, now aged about 10, 8, 6 and 4 years respectively. At some point, he apparently decided to take action to secure the future of what remained of his family. The grieving father revisited Tallaviera Grove and struck a deal to sell his inheritance to his neighbour and brother-in-law William Benjamin MITCHELL (the husband of his sister Elizabeth BUDD) for the sum of £300 – thereby keeping the property in the family.
However, before the verbal deal could be set in ink, Thomas the Elder himself abruptly died on 5 Oct 1874 from “congestion of the brain” (possibly a stroke) – without leaving a Will. He too was buried at Rookwood. On 18 Nov 1874, his besieged widow Mary BUDD (now living in Paddington with her other four children), successfully petitioned for the possession of her late husband’s goods, chattels and estate valued at around £400 which subsequently passed to her, although an earlier valuation was deemed to be in the vicinity £800.
William Benjamin MITCHELL pushed hard for the sale of the land to be immediately finalised, taking physical possession of the property at that time, (which details were duly noted some eight years later on 28 Feb 1882 in the Supreme Court in Sydney, indicating that somebody may have objected to the sale back in 1874).
Mary’s presumed relief at being able to take care of her children would be short-lived. Within two weeks of securing her late husband’s estate, Mary too succumbed to a disease of the lungs (perhaps tuberculosis or cancer) which condition she had suffered for about a year. She died on 5 Dec 1874, being buried with little Emily Frances at Rookwood Cemetery. It is unknown if she left a Will or what happened to her newly acquired estate…
Until recently, it was hoped that the orphaned BUDDS children had been taken in by relatives – perhaps SWEETMANs, MITCHELLs BENCEs or COLLYERs, since there were no BUDDS descendants to care for them. After all, William Benjamin M certainly knew about the untimely death of his wife’s brother. It is also possible that Mary may have asked trusted friends in Sydney to care for her four remaining children if that became necessary…
With the family already severely fractured as the result of Thomas James living aboard the Vernon as a destitute child, it is entirely possible that his younger siblings probably became Wards of the State, and possibly separated from each other. In the years following the shocking deaths of both of their parents (within the space of just eight short weeks), Thomas James (now aged about 14 years old) had already been indentured as an apprentice to a surveyor named Henry Augustus CROUCH at Young (about 200 km west of Wollongong).
Sadly, the March edition of the 1877 NSW Police Gazette contained a notice advising readers that on 1 Feb that year, Thomas James BUDD (aged about 15 years) had absconded from his employer, and was believed to be heading back to Sydney. Along with a detailed description of the lad, the notice stated that a warrant for his arrest had been issued by the Court House at Young. Some months later in Sydney, young Thomas was again in trouble for theft and sent back to the Vernon.
Nothing more was heard about him until he married Theresa Elizabeth MOONY in 1894 at Dubbo. Thomas James had become Thomas Patrick BUDD (an engine driver), who evidently preferred the Irish Patrick over the English James as his middle name. By 1901, Thomas and his wife were living in Cobar, and apparently the victims in an alleged assault and robbery. The couple then apparently moved north, roaming around regional Queensland (working as a cook and domestic servant respectively), visiting various country towns such as Cunnamulla and St George. In 1918, Thomas and Theresa were both found drunk one afternoon in Ash Street, Barcaldine at 2pm.
Some time after that, the couple apparently separated with Thomas James eventually committed to an institution. Sadly, his death certificate (which embraces all three of his names – i.e. “Thomas James Patrick BUDD”) reveals that he had no living offspring, with two deceased unnamed children, His father’s profession as a “band-master” was noted by his widow, the informant of his death. At that time, she was working as a laundress at St George. And so, following a very troubled life, on 13 Jun 1926 (aged 67 years), Thomas James died from senility in the Dunwich Asylum on Stradbroke Island in Moreton Bay, Queensland. He is buried in the Dunwich Cemetery.
Happily, his siblings apparently fared better, obviously surviving to adulthood, with all but Henry marrying, with offspring of their own. The eldest daughter Sophia Mary (known as Sophie) married William Henry CLAYTON (a publican) in 1889 at Sydney (div. 1900), with two sons: William Francis Raymond C (b.1891 at Leichhardt, m. Gertrude Mary KELLY in 1920 at Sydney, d.1943 at Randwick), and Harold Norman Arthur C (b.1895 at Redfern, m. May CROFTS in 1934 at Glebe, d.1962 at Wyong). Sophie died at the Coast Hospital, Randwick from diabetes on 27 Sep 1930 (aged 66 years) and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery.
The second daughter Rose Elizabeth married James Niebel JENKINS (a clerk) in 1890 in Sydney with four children, all born at St Leonards: Mabel Anderson J (b.1891, d. unm. in 1948 at North Sydney), Beatrice Rose J (b.1894, m. John Patrick TRAVERS in 1915 at Sydney, d.1972 at St Leonards), John Albert J (b.1897, m. Helen Scott ARNOLD in 1921 at St Leonards, d.1942 at Chatswood) and Edna Marjorie J (b.1902, m John Charles Wellington HIGGS in 1931 at Bathurst, m Ernest ALBERY in 1953 at North Sydney, d.1970 at Ryde). Rose Elizabeth died from cerebral thrombosis on 9 Apr 1932 (aged 66 years) at Royal North Shore Hospital, Willoughby and was cremated at Rookwood.
The second son Henry (a book-keeper) also acquired a second name, choosing the very English “Tudor” before he died unmarried (aged 52 years) from pneumonia and heart failure on 29 Mar 1922 at Longreach Hospital in regional Queensland. He is buried in the Longreach Cemetery. Like his brother, he too confirmed his father’s profession as a “master musician”.
The youngest surviving daughter Annie Matilda (the first Australian-born child of Thomas the Elder and Mary), married Kennedy Reid SEATON (a plumber) in 1896 at Cobar, NSW with six children (five of whom were living at the time of Annie’s death): Hazel Sophia S (b.1897 Cobar, m. Samuel TETLEY in 1929 at Ulladulla d.1969 at Goulburn), Sydney Reid S (b.1899 Sydney, m. Minnie Irene CONNOR in 1923 at Canterbury, d. 1975), Leslie S (b.1901 Cobar, m. Thelma Irene GRIFFITHS in 1925 at Sydney, d.1963 Bankstown), Hilda S (b.1904 Cobar, m. George W Emmet FARRELL in 1927 Sydney, d. after 1968 at Ashfield, Stella S (b.1906 at Cobar, m. Jack Elgin WILKES-HARMAN in 1927 at Sydney, d. after 1958 at St Marys, and Donald S (1910-1910) at Cobar. Annie Matilda died from paraplegia and cystitis also at the Coast Hospital, Randwick on 2 Jun 1924 (aged 52 years). She too is buried in Rookwood.
And so, through the daughters of Thomas the Elder, the legacy of Thomas BUDDS encompasses at least a further three generations – well into the second half of the 20th century! – which some of us may never have realised. Along the way, it revealed an amazing tale of unintentional abandonment, high adventure in uniform, a deep and abiding passion for music and a sad, sorrowful course of events – ultimately resulting in more unintentional abandonment…
When I first pondered the baffling mystery of two Thomas BUDDS – full brothers with identical names born to the same parents – and both alive at the same time (but on different continents as it turned out) – little did I realise that the final outcome would be so involved, so tragically heart-wrenching – and so incredibly fatalistic…
Multiply the BUDD(S) story thousands of times across “ordinary” Australian families of the 19th century, and we begin to appreciate how our hardy ancestors built this nation on the back of hardships and courage, tragedy and passion, incredible loss and sheer dogged persistence. Somehow, enough of them found the strength to pull together and do the best that they could – and just got on with it.
Nearly two centuries later with all of our modern science and “superior” technology, we gladly pay tribute to their magnificent examples of fortitude in the face of profound adversity. I for one am truly grateful for their character-building heritage of tenacity, resilience and adaptability, which resolute and sterling qualities truly epitomise the indomitable nature of the best of the human spirit.
After all, that’s what Pioneers do…
The author is truly indebted to the many researchers who generously shared their discoveries, certificates, other documents and information in recent years. These various contributions – however small, are gratefully acknowledged at this time. Thank you most sincerely, one and all.
But wait – this must not be the end of the story! Readers with an interest in the CLAYTON, JENKINS, and SEATON families are urged to please contact the author at Dottles44@gmail.com.
The Quest continues…