Born:- 22nd November 1820, Ayr, Ayrshire Died:- 18th October 1883, Geraldton, West Australia, Australia

Child of: John and Phillis LAUDER

Marriage: Thomas and Elizabeth LAUDER

Biographical notes

All surviving documentation suggests that he was born in Ayr. A document registering his transportation as a convict to Australia in 1860 (See below) gives an age of 41 suggesting a birth year of about 1819 The only Ayr OPR record which would seem to tally is the recorded birth of a Thomas Lauder on the 22 NOV 1820. The parents are named as John Lauder and Phillis Vent.

Note on Phillis Vent. Phillis Vent (or Vint) is listed as Fillas Lauder aged 57 with her unmarried daughters Ann (15) and Mary (10) in Ayr in the 1841 Census and as a Widow aged 67 (born St Quivox 1784) living with her unmarried daughter Anne (aged 24) in Ayr in the 1851 Census. Her death is recorded in the Statutory registers in Ayr in 1866 (entry not examined).

Not traced with certainty in the 1841 Census but a Thomas Lauder living at Dale Street, Gorbals, Lanarkshire is listed as; Thomas Lauder M 15 Mason Apprentice Outside Census County (1841). The age is 5 years less than expected and his county of birth is unspecified. No other relatives listed at that address.

On the 22 FEB 1846, Thomas Lauder married Elizabeth Park in St Quivox, Ayr.

In the 1851 Census, the family is living at 19 Cotton Street, Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire; Thomas Lauder (48) Head Married Mason [born] Ayr Ayrshire, Elizabeth Lauder (21) Wife [occupation] Attend family [born Ayr Ayrshire], James Lauder (4) Son [born] Ayr Ayrshire, Elizabeth Park (20) Unmarried [undecipherable occupation] Visitor [born] Ayr Ayrshire. The given age of Thomas is clearly wildly innaccurate and does not tally with the other available evidence. The identity of Elizabeth Park is also a mystery as this person shares the age, birthplace and maiden surname of Thomas Lauder's wife.

On 24 April 1856 Thomas was convicted of the crime of Forgery and Uttering (The crime of Forgery and Utterence is defined as 'A notifiable offence of forging and then using an official document such as a cheque). Further research by means of a website listing convicts transported to Western Australia shows that Thomas was transported to Australia on a ship called the Palmerston. Details are as follow; The 978 ton ship Palmerston was built at Moulmein in 1853. It was employed as a convict transport for Western Australia and left Portland, England on November 10, 1860 bound for the Swan River Colony. She carried the twenty third of 37 shipments of male convicts destined for Western Australia. The voyage took 93 days and the Palmerston arrived in Fremantle on February 11, 1861 with 106 passengers and 293 convicts [Erickson]. J.N. Seagrove and A. Watson were the captain and surgeon respectively.

This web site has a transcription of the ships manifesto giving details of each convict. Thomas Lauder is listed as follows: Lauder Thomas [Reg no] 5602 [Term] 15y [Age when list compiled] 41 [Trial place] Ayr [Year of trial] 1856 [Offence] Forgery & uttering. This record is of particular use as it gives the date of birth of Thomas as about 1820 - so he was about 9 years older than Elizabeth. From another record on the Ancestry website the date of the trial is recorded as 24 Apr 1856 and the departure of the Palmerston was on the 8 Nov 1860.

Another register lists the physical characteristics of each prisoner; Lauder Thomas [Reg No] 5602 [Occupation] stone mason [Marital status] M [No of Children] four [Height] 5' 8 1/2" [Hair colour] brown [Eyes] light blue [Face shape] long [Complextion] fair [Build] middling stout [Reg No] 5602 [Distinguishing marks] Small scar on right arm below the elbow.

An Australian Convict Index on the Ancestry Website gives the following details; [Name] Thomas Lauder [Age] Ayr 1820 [State] Western Australia [Status] Married 4 children [Comments] Lauder, James Park and possibly a daughter followed. Died 18.10.1883 Geraldton [Occupation] Stonemason

Other evidence on the LDS website confirms that Thomas' son James Chalmers Lauder [AKA James Park Lauder] did follow his father to Australia and settled and married there, but the exact date has not yet been found. Presumably it would have followed the release of Thomas (assuming that he did not re-offend) in about 1875 after serving his 15 years. No collaborative evidence to suggest that the known daughter of Thomas (Elizabeth Lauder b.1853) followed him out to Australia. The signature of the daughter on her mother's death register entry in 1903 would suggest that she remained in Scotland.

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