We are grateful to Norma Tonks, Thomas John Pallister’s 2x great granddaughter, for kindly providing information on this page.
Thomas John Pallister was the second child of Thomas Pallister & Frances Lamb (nee Brown) born Oct-December 1840 at Birtley, & christened January 31st, 1841 at Chester-le-Street Co Durham.
In 1851 Thomas, his parents & brother & sister were living at Look Out, Birtley.
Thomas’ father died in 1854 & his mother remarried in 1857 to George Robson.
In 1861 Thomas was living at Ouston Village, Co Durham with his mother & step-father. Three step-brothers & a step-sister were living with them as well as Thomas’ brother William Pallister. Both Thomas & William were coal miners.
Thomas married Jane Forsyth Coward on September 7th, 1861 at St Peter’s Church, High Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Jane was christened November 30th, 1845 at Chester-le-Street, the daughter of Mary & William Coward. It appears that Jane was brought up by her grandparents, Robert & Isabella Coward, with whom she was found in both the 1851 & 1861 censuses.
In 1871 Jane was living at Pelton Village, Co Durham with 7 year old daughter Isabella. Thomas & Jane’s son John Robert (5) was visiting his grandmother Frances, now married to George Robson, in Pelton. The whereabouts of Thomas himself in 1871 is unknown.
According to his 2x great granddaughter Norma Tonks, Thomas emigrated to New South Wales, Australia in 1879. He worked to save the fare for his family & on August 16th, 1879, he deposited the necessary fare for them to join him. Jane & daughter Isabella & son John Robert sailed from Plymouth to Australia aboard ‘The Clyde’ on January 29th, 1880. After a journey of 105 days they arrived in Sydney on May 13th, 1880. Apparently during the voyage there were 7 births & 1 death!
Thomas & Jane & family initially lived in the Bulli district, near Sydney. Thomas was one of the first to make investigations after the terrible mine explosion at Bulli on March 23rd, 1887 when 81 people were killed. From 1890 until 1911 Thomas worked first in the Seaham Colliery & then in West Wallsend in NSW where he acted as fireman & deputy.
Thomas & Jane celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on Thursday September 7th, 1911. According to the Newcastle Herald of September 16th, 1911:
On the arrival of the party at the church the Rev. J. Thomas congratulated them and wished them every prosperity. The tables were nicely arranged and attended to by Mrs. Eddy and Mrs. Laverick and the number of guests were 50. Mr. T. Britt proposed the toast of "Mr. and Mrs. Pallister." Mr. W. Campbell, on behalf of the members of the family and friends presented Mr. and Mrs. Pallister with a number of presents. Mr. Pallister in responding, said that the presents would always be treasured by him and his wife, and although this was the 50th anniversary of their wedding they were years that had never been regretted by him. Mr. and Mrs. Pallister have one son, Mr. John Pallister, one daughter Mrs. J. Hutchinson, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. During the evening a musical programme was contributed to by Mrs. Stewart, Mrs. Price, Mr. Price, Mr. Pallister and Mrs. W. Hutchinson.
Thomas died at home in 1921 & the funeral took place on Thursday July
21st, 1921 at the West Wallsend Cemetery. The cortege left from his late residence
at Brown St, West Wallsend.
Accordingly to an obituary in the Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners Advocate of July 27th, 1921
Thomas took a keen interest in Church matters & was superintendent of Sunday School at the Methodist Church for 8 years.
Jane died in 1927 & her funeral took place on October 13th, 1927 at West Wallsend Cemetery.
The children of Thomas John Pallister & Jane Forsyth Coward were:
p.126.96.36.199.2.1 Isabella Pallister born September 4th, 1863 at Sherburn, Co
Durham & christened October 8th, 1863 at St Nicholas, Sherburn, Co Durham,
died 1944 at Boolaroo, New South Wales, Australia
p.188.8.131.52.2.2 John Robert Pallister born August 15th, 1865 at West Auckland, Co Durham & christened September 29th, 1865 at Durham; died August 1st, 1947 at Morisset, New South Wales, Australia