52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors (2014) #43 Thomas Laver

For a while now I have been following Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog.  Last week he did a post about James G. Woodward, and mentioned his wife was Mary Almeda Vaux.  I recognised the surname Vaux from my own research of my husband’s Laver ancestors, and wondered if there was a connection.  After comparing Randy’s tree, and my husband’s, I found that they appeared to share common ancestors John Laver and Elizabeth Wills, although I don’t yet enough information to be sure of this.  It did, however, lead me to decide that this week I would use one of my husband’s ancestors for this week’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks post.  This ancestor is Thomas Laver.

My connection to Thomas is:
My mother-in-law Shirley Patricia Casey (1936-2013) was the daughter of:

Albert George Casey (1901-1965) was the son of:

Caroline Elizabeth Florence Laver (1873-1934) – Caroline was the daughter of Thomas Laver and Eliza Hooton

Thomas Laver and Eliza Hooton were married 6th February 1864 in a private house in Black Street, Brighton, in the colony of Victoria.  Thomas was a bachelor, age 31 (indicating a birth year of 1833), born in Kingsbury England.  His parents were George Laver, a market gardener, and Elizabeth Male.  The witnesses were George Wagland and Louisa Laver.

When I had first found the marriage entry for Thomas and Eliza, I had found there was a marriage of Louisa Laver and Henry George Wagland in 1864.  It seemed likely that Louisa was Thomas’ sister, and George Wagland was her husband.

I was able to find a death certificate that I think is for our Thomas, although there is not enough information on this certificate to confirm it is the right Thomas.  Thomas Laver, gardener, died 28 July 1919 at the Hospital for Insane in Kew.  He was a patient, and was 78 years old. His usual residence was 45 Hunter Street Malvern.  An inquest was held into his death by R. H. Cole, Coroner, on 12th August 1919.  The verdict was that he died from heart and kidney disease. Unfortunately, this certificate provides limited family information – his parents were unknown, he had been married, but the details were not known, and he had been born in England.

On checking the electoral rolls, I found Thomas, and that also living at Hunter Street Malvern was a Winifred Waters Laver.  I found a marriage of Thomas Laver to Winifred Waters Whitlock in 1906.  As Eliza died in 1906, Thomas may have married after she died, or this may be the wrong Thomas.  I will need to get the marriage certificate for Thomas and Winifred to check if this is the same Thomas.

As I had found information indicating that Thomas’ sister Louisa also came to Victoria, I decided to check if their parents also died here, and found the following death entries.

LAVER                    Elizth                       D                     Male Robt                    Hannah UNKNOWN                    79
St K                 1897                10649

LAVER                       Geo                      D                              Jno                           Sarah DUCK              66
S KILDA            1885            10489

Both Elizabeth and George were buried at St Kilda Cemetery.

At this stage, I still didn’t have enough information to confirm that this was the right George Laver.  Also, based on his age on the death index, this George would have been born about 1819 – he would have been too young to be Thomas’ father based on his age at the time of his marriage (31 years old, indicating a birth year of 1833).  On the other hand, the death for Elizabeth would appear to have been the right one – how many Elizabeth’s could there be with the maiden name of Male who married a man with the surname Laver?  Her age of 79 in 1897 indicated a birth year of 1818, which would have been too young to have had a Thomas born in 1833.  Perhaps it was his age on his marriage certificate that was wrong.

The next thing to check was to see if I could find an immigration record for the family.  I found the family had come to Australia in 1853, on the Malvina Vidal (Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1828-1896 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood New South Wales, Australia; Persons on bounty ships to Sydney, Newcastle, and Moreton Bay (Board’s Immigrant Lists); Series: 5317; Reel: 2465; Item:[4/4934])

  • Laver George 32 mason and stone cutter birthplace Kingsbury Somersetshire parents John & Sarah mother living at Taunton Somersetshire Wesleyan able to both read and write No relations in the colony. In good health
  • Elizabeth 33 birthplace Kingsbury Somersetshire parents Robert & Anna mother? Living at Kingsbury Wesleyan can read no relations in colony, in good health
  • Thomas 12 do do parents on board do both do good
  • Jane 10 birthplace Taunton do do can read do good
  • William 8 “ Kingsbury “ do do do “ good
  • Louisa 6 “ do do do do do “ good

The death indexes in Victoria indicate that this immigration record is for our family, and that the age on Thomas’ marriage certificate is wrong:

Jane Porter born about 1843, died 1923 in St Kilda, Victoria, father Geo Laver, mother Elizth Unknown

William Laver born about 1844, died 1876 in Victoria, father George mother Elizabeth Male

Louisa Collis born about 1847, died 1937 in Springvale, Victoria, father Geo Laver, mother Eliz Male

Based on his age on the immigration record, Thomas was born about 1841.

Transcriptions of the Kingsbury Episcopi parish registers are available online, and the following baptism records have been found for the family.

14 Feb 1841 959 120 Lavor Thomas Lavor George Male Elizabeth Kingsbury Mason J B Lewis Curate

4 May 1845 1157 145 Lavor William Lavor George Male Elizabeth Kingsbury mason J K Fowler Curate

14 Feb 1847 1237 155 Lavor Louisa Lavor George Male Elizabeth Kingsbury Mason J K Fowler Curate

Since Thomas was baptised on 14 Feb 1841, I decided to check the 1841 England Census

The 1841 England census shows George Laver at St Mary Magdalene, Taunton, Somerset.  He was age 21, mason, born in county.  Also in the household was Elizabeth age 23, Thomas age 17, and Thomas age 7 months. (Class: HO107; Piece: 972; Book: 7; Civil Parish: St Mary Magdalen; County: Somerset; Enumeration District:9; Folio: 8; Page: 10; Line: 10; GSU roll: 474611)

Since the 1841 census took place on the night of 6 June 1841, this indicates Thomas was born about November-December 1840.

The family also appear on the 1851 England Census, at Long Ashton, Somerset. (Class: HO107; Piece: 1946; Folio: 50; Page: 14; GSU roll: 221106)

George Lavor head mar 31 stone mason Somerset Kingsbury
Elizabeth Lavor wife mar 32 do do
Thomas Lavor son 10 U scholar at home do
Jane Lavor daur 8 do do
William Lavor son 6 do do
Louisa Lavor daur 4 do
Eber Lavor brother U 20 stone mason do