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National Trust of South Australia


Waters, Thomas Alexander

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1810
Place of birth Durnford, Wiltshire, England
Date of arrival 1838
Principal occupation Publican, sheep farmer and gold miner
Date of departure 1845
Date of death 1852
Place of decease Reported missing while returning from the Victorian goldfields

Thomas Alexander Waters was born in Durnford, Wiltshire, England in September 1810 and was baptized on 13 September 1810. He was the son of John Waters (1779-1865) and Elizabeth Locke (1787-1855) of Wiltshire, England.

Thomas Waters married Eliza Mary Jarvis (1812-1844) on 21 March 1838 at Pewsey, Wiltshire, England. Eliza Mary Jarvis and her younger sister, Frances (“Fanny”) Anne, were daughters of Thomas Jarvis (1784- ) and Elizabeth Durnford (1784- ) of Pewsey, Wiltshire, England

Thomas, aged 28 years, and Elizabeth, aged 26 years, arrived in South Australia aboard Pestonjee Bomanjee from London, England on 11 October 1838. They subsequently had two sons born in the colony:

  • John Locke (1839-1839) was born and died as an infant.
  • John Lock (or Lockwater) (1841-1935) was born at Yankalilla and baptized in Adelaide at Holy Trinity Church in 1843. He married his first wife, Elizabeth Lawes (1843-1877), on 16 March 1865 in Adelaide. They had seven children. He married his second wife, Martha Major (1858-1935), on 20 September 1880 at Gawler and they had three children. John died at Manly, NSW.

Over the years Thomas Alexander Waters senior was a publican, sheep farmer and gold miner. Thomas and Elizabeth Waters were resident in District C by the time of the 1841 census and he was farming at Yankalilla until early 1843. Thomas Waters took over from Thomas Hornsby as the licensee of Lincolnshire House (or Lincolnshire Inn, also known as Bush Inn) at Willunga for two years from March 1843 until March 1845. John Snoswell then took over as the publican of the Bush Inn in March 1845.

Elizabeth Mary Waters (née Jarvis), aged just 32 years, died on 28 September 1844 at Willunga. Thomas returned to England with his son John in early 1845 and remarried, to his first wife’s younger sister, Fanny Anne Jervis (1814-1846), on 27 November 1845 at Clifton, Bristol, England. Thomas, aged 34 years, and Fanny, aged 32 years, arrived back in South Australia aboard Medway from London, England on 26 July 1846. They had a daughter, Mary Ann (1846-1936), who was born in Adelaide. She married Samuel Skewes (1842-1908) on 16 June 1870 at Gawler, SA, and died in Millicent, SA.

Fanny Anne Waters (née Jarvis), aged 32 years, died in late 1846 and Thomas remarried, to Sarah Alsop Lawes (or Laws) (1822-1860), aged 25 years, on 15 August 1847 at the New Buchman Inn at Gawler, SA. They had three children:

  • Henry (“Harry”) (1848-1911) was born at Lyndoch Valley, SA. He married Anna Hayes (1852-1935) on 17 November 1874 at Sandy Creek, SA and they had twelve children. He died at Millicent, SA.
  • Fanny Lawes (1850-1945) was born at Sandy Creek, SA. She married Albert Morse Lawes (1851-1911) on 12 April 1882 at Gawler and they had four children. Fanny died in Western Australia.
  • Thomas Alexander junior (1852-1919) was born at Sandy Creek, SA. He married Jane Long (1857-1950) on 17 July 1879 at St George Church at Gawler and they had eleven children. He was a farmer and chaff merchant at Gawler. Thomas died at Hyde Park, SA and was buried in West Terrace Cemetery.

In July 1851 Thomas senior was charged with de-pasturing sheep without a proper license. In December 1851 he took up the license for the Irish Harp Inn (Bush Inn) at Sandy Creek in the Barossa.

Thomas Alexander Waters senior was declared dead intestate in about September 1852, after he was reported missing while returning from the Victorian goldfields. His widow Sarah Waters (née Lawes) remarried to butcher, Thomas Boone (1824-1866), on 2 December 1854 at the residence of Mrs Waters at Sandy Creek. They had three children. Sarah died on 12 December 1860.


  • Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum
  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
  • South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937
  • South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972
  • Adelaide Observer 16 July 1843:5
  • Adelaide Observer 18 May 1844:4
  • Southern Australian 20 Aug 1844:3
  • Adelaide Observer 5 Oct 1844:4
  • South Australian Register 12 July 1851:3

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