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Thomas Bowen Griffiths (b. 1826, d. 23 Oct 1909)Thomas Bowen Griffiths (son of John Griffiths) was born 1826 in Talywain Wales, and died 23 Oct 1909 in St Arnaud Cemetery.He married Mary Daniel on 26 Feb 1853 in Registry Office Pontypool District, Monmouth County, daughter of John Daniel and Sophia Parry.
Notes for Thomas Bowen Griffiths:
1826Born in Talywain Wales.His wife to be, Mary Daniel was born in 1828 in Trevethin Wales. His father, named John,was identified as a Husbandman on Thomas and Mary's 1853 marriage certificate, and Mary's father was identified as John Daniel (Deceased), Husbandman.
Trevethin, now a thriving part of the flourishing manufacturing town of Pontypool,was originally a seat of the Bishopric granted to the church by the Norman conquerors of England who stopped their conquest at what has become the border of Wales. The Normans set up "Border Marches" granting land to powerful followers to protect their kingdom from attack. Large estates were granted to their followers who divided their large farming areas or 'Manors' which were divided again and let out to farmers and worked by labourers. At each level the military service was demanded.As time went by, many were able to buy their holdings, bequeathing them to their descendants. The church was also granted lands and like the nobles introduced the manorial system. It appears that the people of Trevethin and Talywain had been tenants of the Manor of Wentsland and Bryngwin in the Ecclesiastical District of the Bishopric of Trevethin.
1830 Abt (4 yo) - 1937 (11yo) schooling in Wales
1837 (?)- Lived and worked at Trevethin, Wales - perhaps, Mining ?Identified as a "Miner" on his Marriage Certificate, but as a "Farmer" on the Miles Barton Ships Passenger List.
1841 Wales Census:Residence: Thomas (15yo) at Nightingale Village, Trevethin, Monmouthshire, Wales, identified as a Forgeman and Lodger. (No positive record of Mary Daniel could be found although there are several alternative possibilities.) Wales researchers indicate that Nightingale Village is part of Pontynewyndd in the parish of Trevethin - about 3 miles from Talywain.
1851 Wales Census: No positive identification has been made, although there are numerous possibilities of Thomas with father John born in 1826, living in Monmouth.
1853 29 Dec (26yo) Married Mary Daniel (25yo) at the Registry Office in the District of Pontypool in the County of Monmouth, with Talywain listed as the Residence at time of marriage for both Thomas and Mary.On his Marriage Certificate, Thomas describes himself as a farmer, and Mary as a Spinster. Thomas was able to sign his own name, while "The mark of Mary Daniel" is witnessed.
Conditions in Wales were very harsh with a downturn in mining, conditions in the coalfields were cruel. Apart from the dangers encountered underground, there were no regulations on wages and owners of mines were known to cut wages by 10% at a time. There were no Trade Unions and "lock outs" were frequent.
Failure of the cotton crops in the Southern States of USA could lead to a slump in the textile trade in the Midlands and a reduced demand for coal, meaning wholesale dismissal and starvation for the miners in Wales.
Thomas was attracted to Australia by the stories of cheap land where a farmer could select acreage undreamed of in Britain.
1853 12 Nov (26yo) 1st child Sophia was born in Wales. (Unable to find positive record)
1854 - 1857 (27 - 30yo) worked in Wales for these 3 years,(extracted from E.D. Daniel Book "Grandfather was a Maldon Pioneer" perhaps trying his hand at farming which would explain his identifying himself as a farmer on the ships passenger list.
1856 19/8 son John born in Wales (Unable to find positive record)
1857 5 JuneTheir 3 year old daughter Sophia had died, in Wales, 12 days before they set sail for Australia. She died in Talywain and was buried at St Cadocs, Trevethin Churchyard 3 days after her death.Thomas and Mary's address was given as Garrndiffaith, the village next to Talywain.St Cadocs was the parish church of Trevethin which included all the surround area of small villages of which Talyewain and Garndiffaith was part of.
1857 30 Sept (30yo and Mary (29yo) Arrived Australia - Melbourne from Liverpool on board 'Miles Barton', sailed from Liverpool on 27 June . Accompanied by his cousin Isaac Daniel and wife and family.He reserved passages on the Saling ship 'Miles Barton' of 936 tons. Described as "English Farmer" in the ship's logbook, Thomas recorded as being 30 and Mary as 29 years old.Thomas and Mary were accompanied by their baby son John (Born 1856 in Wales).
1957 (30yo) Australia - to Baringhup district- .Thomas and Mary did not fall for the lure of Gold.They were enquiring about land and finally selected good land on the banks of the Lodden River in the district of Baringhup - 10 Kms further on from Maldon.To reach there they had to travel via the mining district of Forest Creek of which Castlemaine was the centre, and beyond there to Mount Tarrangower with the town of Maldon, also known for its aluvial gold,nestling at its foot.It was late spring when they made this trip.
Cobb and Co coaches were running by this time, so perhaps they traveled by coach, a rough journey over unsurfaced roads.They may have taken the route round the base of Mt Macedon.Crossing creeks by means of felled trees laid side by side in shallow water. The undergrowth was thick and the route was the haunt of bush rangers.The area was aptly named Black Forest.
1860 January (Thomas 33yo) The Summer was particularly hot with January heat waves and Dysentry took the lives of many small infants and the elderly. Soon after 28 January, cousin Isaac Daniel made his way to the Charlton district to visit with Thomas and Mary, determining if he would also take up land, but decided to return to mining - a field he knew well. Thomas was learning new methods of 'dry farming' in this new country.
1860 17 Feb (33yo) a second son Henry Isaac (called Zac) was born at Castlemaine, Victoria
1864 5 Jany a 3rd son Ivor was born - (most likely at Castlemaine)
1864 - 1879 whereabouts unknown
1874 13 Feb Thomas (48yo) Pegged out land in The Parish of Yeungroon being Allotment 19, Section 5 being 320 acres.This is to eventually become Wilf's home paddock where he built his family home.
1874 15 July Lot 19, Section 5 recommended that License (Land Rights) be granted
1874 1 OctLicense for Lot 19, Sect. 5 was granted to Thomas.
At the same time John pegged out the 320 acres Lot 18, Section 5, being immediately north and next door to Thomas B's land holding which was recommended and licence granted on the same dates as Thomas B, his father's holdings.
1879 9 Jan (53yo) Thomas Bowen of Yeungroon signed lease for Coonooer Estate and equipment and stock."Thomas Love sold to Thomas B Griffiths for 200 pounds several ploughs and harrows, black draughthorse (branded) 1 bay horse (branded, 1 roan mare (branded) 1 bay pony (branded), 200 sheep, cart andharness, 4 wheeled wagon, stripper and mower, 2 gallon tank, picks and shovels etc."
1880 9 January (54yo) Agreement to let and to hire at 2 shillings and sixpence per week the goods and chattels listed in the Contract of Sale & Contract of Letting and Hiring.
1880 Land transfer to son, H Isaac - Lot 4a, Section 5, 320 acres (originally selected by John McGregor in 1873)
(Sarah was pregnant with Sophia who was born on 7 Jan 1883.
1881 Land Transfer to Thomas B - Lot 1b, Section 6, 60 acres (Originally selected by Jane Love in 1875)
1881 Land Transfer to son Ivor, Lot 14, Section 5, 320 acres (Originally selected by Abel Ellis in 1875)
1882 26 Aug Eldest son John married Sarah Ann Grimmett in Charlton.
1883 7 Jan, Thomas and Mary's first grandchild Sophia was born to John and Sarah Ann in Charlton.
1883 22 May (57yo) The Freehold property, Coonooer Estate purchased by Thomas B Griffiths and Sons from Thomas Nicoll Esquire for 3,726 pounds and 1 shilling to be paid over 36 months (3,372 pounds capital purchase plus 354 pounds interest) The sales document states
" The Coonooer Estate sale by auction at St Arnaud Hotel, Vendor Thomas Nicoll Esq - Auctioned byRobertson & McKechnie in conjunction with Messrs. William Sloan & Co.. 1123 acres comprisingallotments 6A, 7 & 8 in Yeungroon Parish, in the County of Gladstone, Crown Allotment A inthe parish ofCoonooer West in the County of Kara Kara and
Crown portion A in a County unnamed and parish unnamed in the Colony of Victoria.
Crossed out is 556 sheep, 9 cattle and 2 horses also to be sold"
The penciled note on the document indicates the value of buildings presumably estimated by Thomas:
"House 400 pounds - offer around 300; Kitchen and Laundry 200 pounds - offer around 100; ? andBedroom 160 pounds - offer 100; Stable 200 pounds - offer 100; Woolshed 350 pounds offer 200-250 -totaling 800 pounds in all."
Deposit of 300 pounds was paid in cash, with a further cash deposit of 543.0.0 to be paid in 7 days andthen Promissory Notes at 6 monthly intervals through to month 36."
1883 5 Sep (57yo) - invoice for pounds 26.9.8. for attending to all legal requirements in arranging mortgages for theCoonooer Estate.Interestingly, the invoice is in the names of IH (Henry Isaac - altho Isaac was the namehe used) , HJ Griffiths (John - the first time the H has appeared with his name, perhaps he was known byan alternate name but most likely an error) and I (Ivor) Griffiths.
1884Thomas (58yo) acquires Lot 18, Section 5, transferred to him, from his son John on John's forfeiting of the lease.
1885 Son H Isaac was granted the Title to Lot 4a Section 5 (originally selected by John McGregor in 1873)
1887 Thomas (61yo) obtains the Title to Lot 18, Section 5 (the property which had been transferred to him from son John in 1884)
1887 Thomas is granted Title to Lot 1b, Section 6, 60 acres which hadbeen transferred to him in 1881 (Original selection of Jane Love in 1875)
1887 Thomas is granted Title to Lot 19, Section 5 320 acres which he held the lease to since pegging it out in 1874.
1887 Son Ivor was granted the Title to Lot 14, Section 5, 320 acres (Originally selected by Abel Ellis in 1875)
The Griffiths boys, despite dust storms, droughts, rabbit plagues and floods,went on to own this conglomerate of properties for close some 71 years,worked by 3 generations of Griffiths'.
Thomas and Mary were staunch Church goers,attending the Coonooer Bridge Wesleyan Church where their son H Isaac became an organist for a number of years.
Thomas was a member of the Masonic Lodge - assumed to be the St Arnaud chapter.
1899 (73yo) Thomas B Griffiths Coonooer East recorded on Federal Referendum microfiche (Page 233)
1899 (73yo) Son H Isaac (39yo) married Esther Parry at Coonooer and they lived with the expanding family at Yawong for further 4-5 years, H Isaac working on the Yawong family property.
1900 Second grand-daughter Gwladys was born to H Isaac and Esther, born at St Arnaud (the first grand-child being Sophia born to John and Sarah Ann in 1883).
1902 First grand-son Thomas Edwin delivered at home at the Yawong property,born pre-term to H Isaac and Esther.
1903(77yo) Thomas, Grazier of Yawong and Mary (75yo) on Electoral Roll, plus son John (now 47yo).
It was in this year that H Isaac, now 43 yo,bought a Meredith property called 'Chestervale and his wife Esther and their 2 children, Gwladys 4 and Tom 2,moved there.
1904 Third grandchild Ivor Henry was born at Meredith to H Isaac and Esther.
1909, (83yo) Thomas, Grazier plus Mary (81yo) and John (53yo) and Sarah Ann (49yo) at Yawong on Electoral roll. There is no mention of John's daughter Sophia who would be 26 yo and so would be included on the Roll. Son Ivor now 45yo is listed on the Electoral roll as Grazier at Moyreisk (30 Kms north of Avoca and 46 Kms south of Yawong)
1909 (83yo) 28 May Thomas died and was buried at St Arnaud.
1911 Mary nee Daniel died and was also buried at St Arnaud.
St Arnaud Mercury "Fifty Years Ago" column:
From the Mercury February 28, 1910:- Thomas Bowen Griffiths, late of Yawong, Grazier, who died on 23October (1909) , left by will dated 28th May 1907 realty valued at 12,058 pounds and personalty valued at1,326 pounds, to his widow and son. (This would be John as Ivor had property at Moyreisk and Isaac atMeredith by this time)
Son H Isaac went on to have 4 more children after Thomas' passing - Wilfred, David, Jessie and Mervyn, while son Ivor continued farming in a number of locations.,
1954, Grandson (H Isaac son)Ivor Henry sold his portion to move to Geelong and finally the remainder was sold in 1961 when Wilfred died, leaving no sons - a total of 78 years of clearing, developing, cropping, damming and raising fine wool Merino sheep to a state of excellence in farming this somewhat harsh farming land.
More About Thomas Bowen Griffiths:
Date born 2: 1883, First grandchild, Sophia born to John & Sarah Ann.
Census: 1841, Wales Census: Residence 1841 Trevethan Monmouthshire, Wales.
Electoral Roll 1: 1909, Wimmera, State Korong, SubDiv Charlton, Grazier (Ref 449).
Electoral Roll 2: 1903, Div Echuca, SubDiv Ararat, Polling Place Yeungroon, Grazier (Ref 73).57
Emigration: 27 Jun 1857, "Miles Barton" from Liverpool Age 30 with Isaac & Etta. Arr Melb 30 Sep 1857.
Federal Referendum: 1899, Coonooer East (Page 233 of referendum records).
Land Selection 1: Bet. 1858 - 1859, Baringhup - banks of Loddon River. Worked on a property ?.
Land Selection 2: 13 Feb 1874, Pegged out Lot 19, Section 5, 320 acres Yeungroon (adjoining son John property).58
Land Selection 3: 15 Jul 1874, Lot 19, Section 5 Yeungroon recommended.58
Land Selection 4: 01 Oct 1874, License granted for Lot 19, Sect. 5 Yeungroon.58
Land Selection 5: 1881, Lot 1b, Section 6, 60 acres transferred from 1875 Jane Love original selection.58
Land Selection 6: 1884, Transfer Lot 18, Sect. 5 to TBG from lease (of 1874) forfeited by son John.58
Land Selection 7: 1887, TITLE granted for Lot 18, Sectn. 5, 320 acres (transferred from son John in 1884).58
Land Selection 8: 1887, TITLE granted for Lot 19, Sectn. 5 (TB G's original claim).58
Land Selection 9: 1887, TITLE granted for Lot 1b, Sectn. 6 , 60 acres (Jane Love original selection 1875).58
Property 1: 1909, Yawong, near St Arnaud Vic. & wife Mary, son John & wife Sarah Ann.
Property 2: 1858, Leased/worked ? property at Baringhup (10 Kms NW of Maldon) Victoria.
Property 3: 1879, 12 months lease of Coonooer property, supplies and equipment.59
Property 4: 1880, Renewed lease Yawong property & equipment at Coonooer - Yeungroon.59
Property 5: 22 May 1883, Purchased Freehold Property -The Coonooer Estate - 1123 acres for TB Griffiths & Sons.60
Property 6: 05 Sep 1883, Solicitor Invoice to IH, HJ & I Griffiths for mortage & settlement of Conooer Estate.61
Property 7: 1903, Yawong, near St Arnaud Vic. & wife Mary & son John.
Wed: 1882, Eldest son,John married.
Wedding: 1904, John's only daughter Sophy married Sorin J Sorinsen in Sydney.
More About Thomas Bowen Griffiths and Mary Daniel:
Marriage: 26 Feb 1853, Registry Office Pontypool District, Monmouth County.
Children of Thomas Bowen Griffiths and Mary Daniel are:
- Sophia Griffiths, b. 12 Nov 1853, Talywain, Pontypool, Gwent, Monmouthshire, Wales62, d. 05 Jun 1857, Pontypool, Gwent, Monmouthshire, Wales63.
- +John Griffiths, b. 19 Aug 1856, Pontypool, Gwent, Monmouthshire, Wales64, d. 09 Feb 1937, St Arnaud Private Hospital, Victoria.
- +Henry Isaac Griffiths, b. 17 Feb 1860, Forest Creek (Chewton) Castlemaine Victoria65, d. 11 Apr 1948, Geelong Victoria Australia.
- Ivor Griffiths, b. 05 Jan 1864, Forest Creek (Chewton) Castlemaine Vic.66, d. 10 Jan 1939, Bourke Street Melbourne Vic.