This is a two page short-form of a 23 page story about our New Zealand Machin family, please request a copy of the complete file if you have an interest, thank you for your participation…
“THOMAS MACHIN” [1836 – 1908][As @. February 1st, 2011]
Our Mum, Gladys Ann Machin, was born 1905 and passed away here in Melbourne 1977. This story is about mums grandfather Thomas.
February 10th 1836: “101 Years” before I was born, Thomas Machin was born in the Borough of Southwark, Surrey, which was by then a part of greater London, UK. He was the eighth child of an Edward and Maria Machin [nee Gregory].
1841: But for sure the UK. Census of 1841 has our Thomas’s family living in 5 Webb Street in the Parish of Saint Oloves, in the Borough of Southwark, Surrey: His father, Edward [at this point 45] & mother Maria  home duties. At this date they have six children living with them, Emma , son Edward  a Bricklayer, Jane , Hannah , our Thomas , and Charles .
Via original Parish Records there were other children: Mary Maria [who would have been 25] and Caroline , both of whom had obviously moved on, They also had a brother William [born in 1825 and he had died in 1826], an Amelia [birth date of about 1827] who married in 1860 at 33 years old. She would have been 14 at census date 1841 but is not listed at this address [confusing].
Thomas’s older sister “Caroline Machin born 1821” is of particular interest: Caroline, married a Robert Phillip Simmons [in 1843] and they, and their then, 2 children, immigrated to Melbourne 1850’s. Caroline & Robert are to go on and bear another five children here in Sandridge [Port Melbourne]. Robert Phillip is to die in 1881 and Caroline soon after in 1882, both had been residing at Trafalgar Cottages, Smith Street, Emerald Hill, [that is South Melbourne proper].
1857: Thomas [at 21] a Builder & Ann [nee Holmes ] a Spinster are married at St Mary’s, Bermondsey, Surrey.
1859: In October of this year Thomas and Annie [as she becomes to be known] set off for the New World in New Zealand as “Provincial Government [assisted] Immigrants”.
1860: The “Machin’s” arrival in NZ is reported in The Lyttelton Times, of January 28th:
ARRIVED: Jan. 27th, the ship “Roman Emperor”, 793 tons, Dewar [the Captain], from London. “The Roman Emperor arrived in harbour on Thursday, a little before midnight. Amongst others: three in total: on Jan. 20, 1860, to Mrs. Thomas Machin, of a son.”
1860: The “Machin’s” first settle in Christchurch, but it’s sad to see that their son born on the voyage from the U.K. dies at less than 12 months old, his name was recorded as “Thomas Dewar”.
1861: Amelia, their second child, is born, in Christchurch, we believe Amelia is to carry the nick, name of Annie in early years, as later we have Family Notice of Annie, eldest daughter of Thomas Machin.
1863: Third child, Clara is born. We believe in Christchurch. 1865:Fourth child, Thomas Edward is born. We believe in Christchurch. 1868: Fifth child, William is born. Guess in Christchurch. 1870: Sixth child, Harry is born, location? 1871 or 72: Seventh child, Fred is born? 1873: Eighth child, Jane is born, location?
1874: We now have Thomas and family in Timaru about 160 kilometres South of Christchurch. Over the next ten years “The Timaru Herald” has literally hundreds of “Articles & Family Notice’s” [many of these were advertisements and their duplicates, running on consecutive days], these about Thomas Machin his business and his family. The “advertisements” were for the Sales of his Stock of Stoves, Kitchen Ranges, and Builders Ironmongery from a store that Thomas ran, along with adverts for: builders, bricklayers & labourers to quote on works he had tendered for, as a builder & architect. Thomas’s activities included, amongst other things, the building of: Houses, Shops, Bridges, Hotels, and Masonic Halls.
1875: The “Ninth” child, Arthur is born. 1879: The Tenth child, Robert, is Born: [This happens to be Robert our granddad].
January 1883: In the district court of Timaru under a heading “In Bankruptcy” This is to notify that Thomas Machin of Timaru was unable to meet the engagements of his creditors.
May 1884: For Let or Sale: That desirable 10 roomed brick residence situated on Heaton Street lately Occupied by Mr Machin. This seems to indicate that Thomas and family have left Timaru. Likewise from this date local newspaper articles and advertising in the Timaru Herald with direct reference to Thomas Machin cease…
We have not yet found shipping advise that confirms date of migration but we can now assume that later in 1884 “Our Thomas” at 48, Annie at 50, Thomas Edward 19, William 16, Harry 14, Fred about 12, Jane 11, Arthur 9, and Robert 5, have resettled in South-Yarra, Victoria. We assume Amelia [Annie, now married] 23, Likewise Clara [married] 21, stay in New Zealand, at least for time being…
The Melbourne Argus newspaper takes-up the ongoing newspaper articles:
1885 to 1892: Thomas is to build a new business as a builder carpenter working out of a factory in Park Street-South Yarra and has the family set up in a house just one block away in Millswyn street South Yarra, and history will show that most of the males in the family are employed in similar occupations, ie. Carpenters & Builders.
1887: Thomas is the nominated builder of the Ballarat Star Hotel 226-228 Swanston Street, Architects: Twentyman & Askew, Owner: J. Benjamin. [This building, is heritage listed and still stands on the south east corner of little Bourke St]. 1892: Also has Thomas named as builder of the Offices for Metropolitan Gas Co., 194-196 Flinders Street, Architects: Reed Smart & Tappin. [Likewise this building, is heritage listed and still stands on the north side of Flinders St close to Swanston St]. 1892: MACHIN’S in Park St, To Be Sold Up. 1892: December, The Argus Reports Thomas under the heading “New Insolvents”:
As at this writing [Febuary 2011]: Thomas in 1892 is just 56 year of age, he has totally withdrawn from this publicised life-[work]-style, there are no more “news-paper-articles” there are no more documents clearly related to Thomas as a builder. But even more mystifying is that there are no [now or later] family inserted “news-paper-notices” of a death or obituaries. But after being bankrupt several times, and obviously spending more time in court chasing bad debts than out building properties, one could guess that he might have had enough? [Unfinished research]…
1905: It is worth mentioning here, the marriage of our grandpa Robert to Annie Catherine Lethem. Our Thomas [now 69] is mentioned on the marriage certificate as a parent, his profession nominated as an “Insurance Agent” obviously still alive.
1908: “ Is this our Thomas? ” We do have, a one and only registered death for a “Thos Machin” Reg. #: 9685, Surname: MACHIN, Given Name: Thos, Name/Father: Edward Machin [right on], Spouse Given Names: Carol [who is Carole?]. Age: 71 [right -1], Death Place: Flemington, Year: 1908...This “Thomas” was buried in the Coburg Cemetery [C of E] Comp. B, Grave number 937, it is a gravel plot with out stone or memorial…