Thomas Newells and Jane Trafford


Thomas Newells and Jane Trafford married in Hull, Yorkshire in 1853 and migrated to Australia on the Arabian in 1855. Family lore has it that they camped on the Geelong beach in a tent.

There is a discrepancy with names: Esther's death certificate has her mother as Mary Newells whereas her marriage certificate says her mother's name was Elizabeth Jane Trafford.

Thomas is listed as a labourer at the time of his daughter Esther's marriage, and as a miner at the time of her death.

Esther was living in Geelong until her marriage to Thomas Huggett in 1878, when she moved to Queenscliff where Thomas lived.

Research to date reveals that Thomas Newell and his wife were not a happy pair. A warrant for Thomas was issued in 1861 for deserting his family at Chilwell. He was described as an Englishman, about 45 years of age, 5 foot 5 or 6 inches, black hair and whiskers, dark hair and whiskers, dark eyes, sallow complexion and nose turned to one side as if by a blow. He was a labouror. The warrant was later cancelled.

Later in the period from 1879 on, Thomas was in and out of prison for vagrancy. His prison records state he had a "deeply corrupted countenance".

It appears that Jane entered Ararat asylumn in 1869, suffering from delusions, softening of the brain and a craving for brandy.


  1. Esther Hannah was the only child. Born circa 1857. She died in Geelong in 1942 aged 85 (ref 25097).


Thomas died in gaol from Nephritis at 86 years of age in 1896. Apparently Jane died in Sunbury lunatic asylumn in 1888, from softening of the brain.