Middlebrook, Thirza Mrs

Date of Birth/Death:


Thirza Middlebrook (née Tooke) was born c1807, and baptised at New Buckenham, Norfolk the daughter of William and Mary on 5 May 1807. On 9 July 1826 at Norwich, Norfolk, Thirza married William Easton. Their children were:

  • Isaac Easton c1828
  • Fanny Easton (known as Middlebrook) c1831

William died in 1831, around the same year that Fanny was born.

Thirza married David Beattie on 14 May 1832 at Norwich, Norfolk. She gave birth to two daughters and a son:

  • Thirza born c1834
  • David born c1837
  • Janett born c839

David Beattie senior died in March 1839 in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

In 1841, Thirza married Richard Middlebrook, and in 1849, the family came out to South Australia on the barque Macedon. The family were probably well placed to do well in South Australia, as Isaac Easton was an agricultural labourer. Fanny Easton (listed as Middleton) was a dairy maid. Thirza Beattie (Thirza’s daughter) was a housemaid. They had expanded in numbers by then as she and Richard also had:

  • Hannah born c1844
  • Mihala born c1848
  • Richard born c1849

[Ancestry trees suggest there were other children born to Thirza Easton/Beattie/Middlebrook who did not survive infancy].

At Plymouth daughter Charlotte died – her death was noted on the ship’s passenger list.

After the family had settled, Thirza undertook preaching for the Primitive Methodist Church on the Willunga circuit. Primitive Methodism, with its emphasis on lay people taking a role in the church, began appointing women preachers in the United Kingdom as early as 1813. Thirza was clearly in great demand as a preacher. She was invited to preach in places such as Gawler, Glenelg, Meadows and Strathalbyn, and to important events in the Church.

Thirza died on the 17 March, 1882 at Willunga. Her death notice reads: “Middlebrook – On the 17th March, Thirza, the wife of Mr. R. Middlebrook, of Willunga, aged 75 years, having been a member of the Primitive Methodist Church for 60 years.” Thirza is buried at the Strout Road cemetery, McLaren Vale. Her gravestone is exceptionally beautiful, carved by John Richards Junior. Her son, David Gregory Beattie became a butcher, with premises at 17 High Street Willunga.




Ancestry.com. Norfolk, England, Bishop’s Transcripts, 1579-1935 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. [Bp Thirza Tooke]

Ancestry.com. England, Select Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. [Burial of Wm Easton 21 April 1831].

State Records of South Australia, https://www.archives.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/829574/GRG35_48_1_49-18_Macedon.pdf

Records, Willunga National Trust Branch



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