Foreman, James Thomas

Date of Birth/Death:


Principal occupation=Ploughman |

James Thomas Foreman was born in Port Sorrell, Tasmania on 25 May 1825. He was the son of John Foreman (1769-1829) military pensioner, and Jane Fittess (née Bowbanks) (1784-1840) and the older brother of George Daniel Foreman (1827-1903). Religion – Wesleyan Methodist. James Foreman, aged 21 years, arrived from Hobart, Tasmania on 4 April 1846 aboard the 123 ton schooner Timbo. James was a ploughman at Willunga. He won the inaugural Willunga Ploughing contest in July 1848 and was awarded a silver medal.

James, aged 26 years, married Jane Richards Polkinghorne, aged 20 years, (1831-1861) at St Stephen’s Church in Willunga on 1 May 1851. She was the daughter of Richard Polkinghorne (1818-1875). They had four children, all born at Willunga:

  • William James (1852-1898) born at Willunga, married Sarah Esther Creber (1856-1906) on 7 April 1875 at Adelaide. They had 11 children. He was a Cab proprietor at Goodwood and died at Adelaide
  • John (1853-1916) born at Willunga, married Annie Cant (1856-1916) on 24 May 1880 at Nailsworth. They had 7 children; he died at Goodwood and was buried in West Terrace Cemetery
  • Richard George (1855-1938) born at Willunga, married Hannah Selina Gentry (1852-1926) at the Bible Christian Chapel at Allendale, South Australia on 17 February 1875. They had 11 children. They lived in Unley, Fremantle, Western Australia and Hawthorn, Victoria; he died at Adelaide
  • Mary Jane (1858-1942) born at Willunga, married John Humphrys (1855-1932) at Willunga 8 March 1879. They had eight children; she died at Adelaide.

James Foreman died at the early age of 32 years on 12 December 1857, leaving his widow Jane with 4 children under 6 years. His youngest daughter, Mary Jane, was born a month after his death. He is buried in the Wesleyan Methodist (Uniting) Church Cemetery, Willunga. Jane Foreman, aged 30 years, died on 24 December 1861 leaving their four children, all under 10, orphaned.


Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum,

Genealogy SA,

Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888, Willunga National Trust Branch

Family Histories. B. Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folder 40-7,

Statton J. (ed) 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. Volume 2. SAGHS.

1848 ‘WILLUNGA PLOUGHING MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 15 July, p.1. ,

1848 ‘MORPHETT YALE PLOUGHING MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 12 August, p. 2. ,

1848 ‘Advertising’, South Australian, 13 October, p. 3.,

1849 ‘WILLUNGA ANNUAL PLOUGHING-MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 28 July, p. 2.,

1849 ‘MORPHETT VALE PLOUGHING MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 1 September, p. 1.,

1850 ‘THE MORPHETT VALE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY’S PLOUGHING MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 14 September, p. 3.,

1851 ‘The South Australian Agriculturist.’, Adelaide Observer, 13 September, p. 1.,

1853 ‘WILLUNGA PLOUGHING MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 20 August, p. 8.,

1854 ‘ALDINGA ANNUAL PLOUGHING MATCH.’, Adelaide Observer, 9 September, p. 7.,

1857 ‘Family Notices’, Adelaide Observer, (19 December, p. 5.,

1857 ‘ADELAIDE WATERWORKS COMMISSION.’, South Australian, 16 December, p. 3., [‘Death of Foreman, the Champion Ploughman’]

1861 ‘Family Notices’, The South Australian Advertiser, 27 December, p. 2.,

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