About Eliza Peters (Wilcox)
At the age of 24, Thomas, who was described as a grocer from the Parish
of Bitton, was granted a licence on 25th. May, 1829 to marry Eliza
Wilcox, a spinster, who at that time lived in the Parish of Alveston.
The marriage took place a week later at the Alveston Parish Church on
1st. June, 1829 in the presence of other members of the Wilcox family.
The service had been conducted by the Curate, Rev. Caddell Holder.
Although three members of the Wilcox family attended as Witnesses, no
members of the Peters family signed the Parish Register as Witnesses.
(It should be recorded here that the publication 'A Gold Digger's
Diaries' states on page 17 that the marriage took place at the Wesleyan
Church in Olveston. Could it be that Thomas and Eliza celebrated their
marriage at two different services on the same day?)
Their first child, Walter Thomas, was born during the following year at
Kingswood, near Bristol, on 3rd. March, 1830. It was here in Kingswood
that Thomas worked for the Budgett family at what had become the centre
of the Budgett Wholesale Grocery empire. It is said that, at one time,
Samuel Budgett employed about 200 people alone for the warehouses at
Kingswood, principally as clerks, wagoners and warehousemen. Further
information about the Budgett family and their wholesale grocery
business at Kingswood is kept with the family records.
An enquiry was made of the Wesley Centre at the Kingswood School, Bath
(formerly of Kingswood, nr. Bristol) concerning any possible connections
between Thomas Williams Peters' family (who lived, worked and worshipped
at Kingswood for a few years) and the School. The Archivist, in his
response dated 2nd. March, 2000, advised that there is no reference to
any boy named Peters having attended the School in its time at
Kingswood, Bristol. Amongst the family records is a photograph of the
Methodist Church at Kingswood, Bristol taken by the compiler of the
family history in 1987. Although we have no evidence as yet that Thomas
worshipped at that Church, it is possible, given his strong connections
with the Methodist movement, that he and his family may have attended
The next child to arrive was Elisabeth Wilcox Peters who was born at
Olveston, near Thornbury in Gloucestershire on 9th. March, 1831.
Elisabeth was baptized at Alveston Church on 6th. April, 1831 by Rev.
Holder, who had performed Thomas and Eliza's marriage ceremony at the
same church almost two years earlier. It may be worth noting here that
the small area known as Lower Hazel, where it is believed Thomas and
Eliza were living at the time, was on the boundary of the separate
Parishes of Olveston and Alveston. The similarity in the spelling of
these two adjoining parishes can give the impression to those who do not
know the area, that spelling mistakes may have been made in some of the
Edwin Francis Peters, their third child, was also born at Olveston (9th.
August, 1833) and was baptized at the same church as his elder sister
Elisabeth on 8th. September, 1833 by Rev. F. T. D'arville. It is
tempting to assume from this that Thomas had ceased his employment with
Budgett's at some time between March, 1830 and March, 1831 and had moved
to Olveston to follow another career, perhaps in farming. However, we
can tell from the records that, at the time of Edwin's birth, Thomas's
occupation was still that of a grocer. It may be that Thomas was a
travelling salesman for the Budgett wholesale business and was based in
the Olveston area.
The next two children born to Thomas and Eliza were William Isaiah (6th.
January, 1835) and George Henry (9th. May, 1838), both of whom were born
at Olveston. However, no record of their baptisms has yet been traced.
There exists, amongst the family records, a copy of a Notice (and hymn
sheet) concerning the forthcoming Anniversary Sermons (one in the
morning and the other in the evening) to be preached by Rev. D. Hateley
at the Wesleyan Sunday School, Olveston on Sunday, 29th. November,
1835. A note at the foot of the hymn sheet reads - 'Subscriptions will
be thankfully received by Messrs. Peters and Freem.' - a reference, of
course, to Thomas. (Note: The original Notice is in the possession of
Stuart Morris in Australia)
In 1838, Thomas and his growing family had now moved from Olveston to
Llantilio Pertholy in Monmouthshire, just to the east of Abergavenny, to
occupy and run a farm known as 'Ty Du' (meaning Black House). The farm,
which had a total acreage of over 160 acres, was occupied by Thomas as a
tenant, paying at least £50 per annum in rental. The freehold of the
farm was owned by a Mrs. Ellis. Soon after their move to Ty Du, Thomas
and Eliza had yet two more children, namely Ann (14th. April, 1840) and
Robert Sargeant (4th. May, 1841). It is said that Ann was baptized at
'Uncle Tyler's Farm'. Robert was baptized at Abergavenny Methodist
Church on 30th. May, 1841 by Rev. William Baker.
Thomas was included in the Register of Electors for Llantilio Pertholy
from 1843 to 1846. During this period, Charlotte was born at 'Ty Du' on
9th. August, 1845. She was baptized at the Abergavenny Methodist Church
on 11th. September, 1845 by Rev. Thomas Sheers. Initial research into
the family history suggested that Charlotte may not have survived
childhood, as her name was not listed with the other members of the
family in the 1851 Census return for 'Coed Morgan Farm' (which was later
to become the family home). However, the diaries of Edwin 'Ned' Peters,
one of Charlotte's older brothers, clearly contain a number of
references to Charlotte, who later went to Australia to join those who
had emigrated before her. During the course of further research, it was
eventually discovered that on the night of 30th/31st. March, 1851
(Census night), young Charlotte was, in fact, staying with her Aunt
Elizabeth Olive (a widow) and her family at their farm at Lower Hazel,
Olveston! This must have been a time of much upheaval in family life at
'Coed Morgan' being only a few months after the death of her father
Thomas and at a stage where Walter and Ned must have been having serious
thoughts about their forthcoming emigation. It is believed that Aunt
Elizabeth referred to above was the sister of Eliza (nee Wilcox).
On 5th. July, 1971, John Stanley Peters (father of the compiler of the
family history) visited the farm at 'Ty Dy' whilst on holiday in the
West Country and his account of the events of that day appear with the
family records. The compiler of the family history, John William
Peters, was later to visit 'Ty Dy' in company with two of his Australian
cousins, Evelyn Pascoe (nee Peters), grand-daughter of Robert Sargeant
Peters, and her daughter Judy, whilst they were on holiday in the U.K.
By 1847, Thomas and his family had left 'Ty Dy' and had moved to another
farm, namely 'Coed Morgan' (or 'Court Morgan') at Llanarth,
Monmouthshire. It is said that, originally, the word 'Court' meant a
cattle-yard or sheepyard, but that in the course of time, such a yard
served as the nucleus of a farm. The change of environment must have
had its effect, for on 14th. February of that year, Thomas and Eliza
had yet another child, Jane. However, this was to be their last
child. Jane was baptized on 6th. May, 1847 at the Abergavenny Methodist
Church by Rev. Thomas Sheers.
Thomas's name then appeared in the Register of Electors for the Parish
of Llanarth from 1847 until 1850, and also in the Monmouthshire Poll
Book for 1847 (copy held at the Society of Genealogists) in respect of
both Llanarth and Llanthewy Rytherch.
The following extract from page 19 of Chapter 1 of Edwin Peters' 'A Gold
Digger's Diaries' which gives a brief insight into life at 'Coed Morgan
'At Court Morgan the children enjoyed a comfortable home where loving
care prevailed; Ned (Edwin) has referred to the love and respect they
all had for their mother and father. Thomas, a man of high Christian
principles, held daily prayers before the family altar and ensured that
the children attended Sunday School and divine
service..............Domestic happiness and harmony at Court Morgan were
completely upset on 9 August, 1850 when, as a result of an accident on
the farm, Thomas died suddenly. Whilst it is not clear whether Walter
and Ned had left home before this to work on a farm in Wales or if
dislike of their father's factor, Jim Phillips who now managed Court
Morgan, caused their departure, Ned certainly objected to the degree of
influence that Phillips gained over his mother and was shockingly
distressed when in May 1853 he learnt of her marriage.......
'she has broken all religious services held in the Chapel at Court
Morgan which father wished so much to be continued. To a drunken
profligate man which neither regarded God nor his own welfare. It has
caused a large family to be turned on the world. God has set his back
to Court Morgan; the veil is drawn and curse is left behind'. (Note:
The last paragraph was written by Ned after he had arrived in Adelaide,
before he had reached the age of 18.)
Thomas was buried in Llanarth Churchyard on 12th. August, 1850.
According to a note on page 79 of 'A Gold Digger's Diaries', Ned recalls
that 'The text of Father's Funeral Sermon was taken from the 17th Psalm,
15th verse. By Rev. Thomas Price, Llanarth, Monmouthshire.' The actual
cause of death was shown on Thomas's death certificate as 'Dysentery not
certified'. The Monmouthshire Merlin newspaper carried the following
Notice on page 3 of their edition published on 17th. August, 1850:-
'On the 9th instant, Mr. Thomas Williams Peters of Court Morgan Farm,
Llanarth, aged 45, leaving a widow and nine children to morn their loss'.
Thomas had previously made a Will on 15th June that same year, in the
presence of Edmund Wilcox, Robert Tyler, and Robert Peters. Thomas
bequethed his entire estate to his wife Eliza and after probate, his
effects had been valued at £455.
Although Eliza was shown as occupying 'Coed Morgan' at the time of the
1851 Census, there is no record of her occupation of the farm at the
time of the Census in 1861.
A few notes on a visit which the compiler of the family history made to
'Coed Morgan' on 31st. May, 1972, can be found amongst the family records.
More About THOMAS WILLIAMS PETERS:
Cause of Death: Accident at family farm
Children of THOMAS PETERS and ELIZA WILCOX are:
i. WALTER THOMAS PETERS, b. 03 Mar 1830; d. 22 Apr 1902, Australia; m. ELIZA HALL, 21 Mar 1871; d.08 Aug 1933. Moved to: Abt. 1851, Australia - gold Rush of 1851
ii. ELISABETH WILCOX PETERS, b. 09 Mar 1831; d. 04 Aug 1908; m. HENRY HARSE, 15 Jan 1857; b. 07 Jun 1837; d. 07 Jan 1923.
iii. EDWIN FRANCIS PETERS, b. 09 Aug 1833; d. 31 Jan 1909, Australia; m. ELIZA MARY HARSE, 10 Oct 1861; b. 15 Nov 1841; d. 23 Dec 1892.
More About EDWIN FRANCIS PETERS: Moved to: Abt. 1851, Australia - gold Rush of 1851
iv. WILLIAM ISAIAH PETERS, b. 06 Jan 1835; d. 27 Sep 1906; m. (1) SARAH JANE YOUNG, 06 Nov 1861; b. Abt. 1845; d. 1879; m. (2) CATHERINE DOW, 1884; b. Abt. 1850; d. 07 Mar 1913.
v. GEORGE HENRY PETERS, b. 09 May 1838; d. 11 Jul 1889; m. AMELIA KITHER, 02 Sep 1862; d. 22 Aug 1927.
vi. ANN PETERS, b. 14 Apr 1840; d. 26 May 1881; m. HENRY CHARLES BRISTOL, 10 Oct 1860; b. 20 Feb 1833; d. 24 Jun 1911.
vii. ROBERT SARGEANT PETERS, b. 04 May 1841; d. 10 Jun 1896; m. MARY JANE FALDER, 28 Nov 1867; b. 10 Feb 1845; d. 18 Oct 1899.
viii. CHARLOTTE PETERS, b. 09 Aug 1845; d. 17 Jan 1933; m. (1) EDWARD ROSMAN, 01 Sep 1861; d. 11 Apr 1894; m. (2) JAMES PEARCE, Aft. 1895.
ix. JANE PETERS, b. 14 Feb 1847; d. 1893; m. JAMES CHRISTOPHER, 20 Feb 1871; b. 07 Apr 1830; d. 28 Sep 1909.
Eliza Peters's Timeline
June 1, 1829
Gloucestershire, Alveston Parish Church
At the age of 24, Thomas, who was described as a grocer from the Parish
March 3, 1830
Kingswood, Gloucestershire, England
March 9, 1831
Olveston, Gloucestershire - by Rev. Holder, England
May 9, 1838
Olveston, Gloucestershire, England
April 14, 1840
May 4, 1841
LLantillo, Pertholey, at "Twy Dwy", Monmouthshire, Wales
August 9, 1845
Ty Du Llandillio Pertholy, Monmouthshire, Wales