Polkinghorne, Thomas

Date of Birth/Death:


Variant surname: Polkinghorn

Thomas Polkinghorne was baptised on 19 March 1813 at Lelant, Cornwall, England. Parents – William Polkinghorne and Elizabeth (nee Lobb). Thomas, aged 27 years, arrived with his wife Grace, aged 22 years, and two children (Elizabeth Jane-3 and John Pearce-1) together with his brother Isaac Polkinghorne, an agricultural labourer aged 30 years, and his wife Alice (nee Faul) on 6 February 1840 on board the ship Java from London. Two other early Willunga families arrived on the same ship at the same time – the Bastian family and Thomas Williams with his family. Only three months after arrival Isaac Polkinghorne was accidently killed while sinking a well on the premises of Mr. Sladden at the Kangaroo Innon the road to Onkaparinga in May 1840. Another brother Richard Polkinghorne arrived with his family aboard Pakenham in 1849.

Thomas Polkinghorne married (1st) on 02 April 1836 at Tywandreath, Cornwall to Grace Pearce (parents – William and Grace) baptised 18 October1818 in Redruth, Cornwall. She died on 24 November 1855 in Willunga. She was buried in the Willunga Uniting Church (Wesleyan Methodist) graveyard and had a slate chest tomb. The chest tomb has been largely removed but the ledger stone (top slab) survives and is lying against the outside of the wall of the Church. Children (6 comprising 5 sons and 1 daughter):

  • Elizabeth Jane (1836-1866) married Thomas Martin
  • John Pearce (1839-1840) died as an infant
  • Isaac (c 1842-1912) married Jane Coad
  • John (1845-1897) married Elizabeth Coad
  • Thomas (1847-1870) died aged 23 years unmarried
  • William George (1849-1933) married Jane Coad at Port Elliot in 1867

Thomas married (2nd) on 16 April1856 at the Wesleyan Chapel in North Adelaide to Mrs Eliza Warden (widow) nee Pollard (parents – James Pollard) born c1824 at Redruth, Cornwall died 13 February 1873 aged 49 years at Willunga buried at Willunga. Previous husband – John Warden. Children (4 comprising 2 sons and 2 daughters):

  • Henry (1858-1934) married Harriet Shippard at Port Elliot in 1897
  • Ann (1860-1943) married Bennett Coad at Kulpara in 1881
  • James (1862-1907) married Josepha Shipard [sic] at Port Elliot in 1891. He died at Cue, Western Australia and she died in 1953 in Perth, Western Australia

Married (3rd) on17 April 1873 at Port Wakefield to Mrs Hannah/Anne Allen nee Welchford/Weshford (parents- John Welchford/Welshford) She was born on 30 January 1840 and died 22 August 1889 at Willunga, buried at Willunga. Previous husband – Joseph Allen. Children (2 comprising 1 son and 1 daughter):

  • Horace (1874-1874) died as an infant
  • Elizabeth Jane (1875-1875) died as an infant

Married (4th) on 06 June1877 at Kadina to Mrs Jane Humphreys/Humphrys (widow) daughter of John Martin born c1815. She died 02 October 1901 at Kulpara and was buried at Moonta. Her previous husband’s name has not been confirmed. No children. Religion – Wesleyan Methodist. Residence – Willunga (1840-?) and Moonta.

By sometime in late 1840 Thomas Polkinghorne owned half a town allotment (lot 281) facing St John’s Terrace in Section 700 (Beltunga) – his neighbor in lot 281 was Sampson Dawe. On 28 August 1845 Thomas Polkinghorne and Sampson Dawe took up the lease for Martin’s quarry on 35 acres of section 1008 near Willunga. Later Thomas occupied part (4 acres) of Section 700 and Section 265 (84 acres).

Thomas Polkinghorne, aged 80 years, died on 12 March 1883 at Moonta.


Family Histories. P. Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folder 40-15

Pioneers and Settlers bound for South Australia. Passenger Lists 1840. Fleurieu Peninsula Family History Group

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

Jan Thomas (ed) 1990. South Australians 1836-1885, South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society, Adelaide

Western Australia, Online Index Search Tool, Births, Deaths and Marriages https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-justice/online-index-search-tool

1840 ‘CHINA.’, South Australian Register, 30 May, p. 5. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27441474 [Death of Isaac Polkinghorne]

1880 ‘LAW AND CRIMINAL COURTS.’, Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 – 1912), 10 January, p. 3. (SECOND EDITION), viewed 02 Apr 2024, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197734979 [Thomas Polkinghorne and William George Polkinghorne]

1883 ‘Family Notices’, South Australian Register, 15 March, p. 4., http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article43477895

1883 ‘PROBATES AND LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION.’, South Australian Register, 27 April, p. 3. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article42004151

1907 ‘Family Notices’, The Advertiser, 9 March, p. 8. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5058151 [James Polkinghorne death]

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