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Thurlow Connections

Dedicated to the families of Sarah (Thurley) & Wolton Wigg, William, 
John & Susan (Froment), Jane (Thurley) & Thomas Cole, and their
Descendants in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere who have their origins in 
Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, England as their linkage 

John and Susan (Froment) Thurlow

John and Susan had a large family of 13 children, most of whom lived in and around the St Bathans (Central Otago) and Dunedin areas of New Zealand's South Island. (John's photo, courtesy of Peter Thurlow).

  1. Elizabeth Emma Thurlow was born on 18 April 1858 in Great Shelford, CAM, ENG, died on 23 May 1937 in Dunedin, OTG, NZ, at age 79, and was buried on 25 May 1937 in Andersons Bay cemetery, Dunedin, OTG, NZ. Elizabeth was born Elizabeth Emma Froment. She married William James East Watson (1837-1921), labourer on 30 July 1874 at Clyde, OTG and had quite a large family (some 19 children at least but 21 has also been mentioned).

  2. John William Thurlow, a surfaceman, was born on 17 September 1861 in East Collingwood, Melbourne, VIC, AUST, died on 12 October 1945 in Dunedin, OTG, NZ, at age 84, and was buried in Andersons Bay cemetery, Dunedin, OTG, NZ. He married Letitia Bickerstaff (1870-1956) at St Bathans on 5 October 1888 and raised a family of 10 children.

  3. Julia Thurlow was born on 1 September 1863 in Dunedin, OTG, NZ, died on 22 October 1938 in Mangere, Auckland, NZ, at age 75, and was buried on 24 October 1938 in Waikumete cemetery, Auckland, NZ. She married David Samuel Hanger (1865-1937), carrier at Vinegar Flat, St Bathans on 14 February 1887. Julia and David were parents to some 7 children.

  4. Martha Ann Thurlow was born on 27 June 1865 in Dunedin, OTG, NZ, died on 10 November 1878 in Cambrians, OTG, NZ, at age 13, and was buried on 12 November 1878 in St Bathans cemetery, OTG, NZ.

  5. Louisa Sarah Thurlow was born on 30 September 1867 in Pleasant Valley, St Bathans, OTG, NZ and died at Invercargill, SLD, NZ in 1944. She married John Watson Coulson (c1859-1917), foundryman at Cambrians, OTG on 2 July 1883. They raised a family of some 10 children.

  6. Robert James Thurlow, coal miner was born on 19 September 1869 in Mt Pleasant, St Bathans, OTG, NZ. He married Emily Jane Hodgins (1875-1946) at Naseby, OTG on 1 March 1897. Robert and Emily had a family of 4 children. Robert died on 11 November 1955 in Wellington, NZ, at age 86 and his ashes were dispersed over Emily's grave at Andersons Bay cemetery, Dunedin, OTG, NZ.

  7. Joseph Frederick Thurlow, labourer was born on 24 September 1871 in Pleasant Valley, St Bathans, OTG, NZ, died on 2 November 1946 in Patearoa, OTG, NZ, at age 75, and was buried in Ranfurly cemetery, OTG, NZ. He married Agnes Ledingham (1874-1950) at Sowburn, OTG on 16 August 1893 and together they raised a family of 7 children.

  8. Walter Henry Thurlow, carrier was born on 12 October 1873 in Welshmans Gully, Cambrians, OTG, NZ, died on 23 October 1936 in Dunedin, OTG, NZ, at age 63, and was buried in Andersons Bay cemetery, Dunedin, OTG, NZ. He married Annie Shaw (1868-1949) at Gimmerburn, OTG on 31 January 1906. They had only one child.

  9. Arthur Thomas Thurlow, labourer was born on 27 August 1875 in Two Mile, Cambrians, OTG, NZ and died in 1953 in NZ, at age 78. He married Honora (Nora) Una O'Regan (1877-1959) at St Bathans on 30 January 1901. Together they raised a family of 9 children.

  10. Albert Edward Thurlow, saddler was born on 7 September 1877 in Cambrians, OTG, NZ, died on 27 July 1968, at age 90, and was buried in Andersons Bay cemetery, Dunedin, OTG, NZ. He married Beatrice Marguerite Corliss (c1879-1952) at St Bathans on 2 June 1902. They had a family of 7 children?including triplets who were born 2 days apart.

  11. George Douglas Thurlow was born on 6 April 1880 in Shepherds Flat, Cambrians, OTG, NZ, died on 13 May 1884 in Shepherds Flat, Cambrians, OTG, NZ, at age 4, and was buried in St Bathans cemetery, OTG, NZ.

  12. Richard Herbert Thurlow, carpenter was born on 1 December 1881 in Cambrians, OTG, NZ and died on 23 June 1964 in Auckland , NZ, at age 82. He married Violet Gertrude Somer (1888- ) at Kilbirnie, Wellington on 7 June 1911. They had no issue.

  13. Reuben Watts Thurlow, also carpenter was born on 26 November 1883 in Shepherds Flat, Cambrians, OTG, NZ and died in February 1968 in Auckland , NZ, at age 84. He married Elizabeth Isabella Oliver (1892-1969) at Auckland on 23 December 1916. They had one child.

After arrival in Otago, John worked initially as a labourer and prospects for the Thurlows looked good. By the time Louisa Sarah was born in 1867, John was successfully mining. In 1878, when Martha Ann died as a teenager, John was known to be a carrier/carter. Perseverance and the will to be successful paid off and soon he and his brother, William were joint proprietors of the Vulcan Hotel.

As an aside, at the 1874 St David's Day celebrations held at Cambrians, records were full of praise '... for [the] efforts [of William and John] to make things pleasant and for their attention to the wants and comforts of their guests ...'. This gives us some appreciation of the character of these brothers and their willingness to please.

Several of John's children attended Cambrians School which began in 1873 as Welshmans School. In later years, the family members featured regularly in matters of local interest such as the local football and curling clubs. Louisa is on record as serving the school in the capacity of sewing teacher.

Susan predeceased her husband at St Bathans, OTG on 10 July 1903 and John died at Naseby, OTG on 30 April 1909. Both are interred at St Bathans cemetery.

John's obituary from The Mount Ida Chronicle of Friday May 7, 1909 reads:

St Bathans

On Friday, the 30th ult, in the Naseby Hospital, there passed away a very old resident of St Bathans, Mr John Thurlow. The late Mr Thurlow was apparently in good health until a fortnight ago, when he was seized with paralysis, and was admitted to the hospital. He gradually grew worse owing to other complications, and the end soon came. For many years he followed the occupation of road contractor, but for the past few years owing to age and consequent failing strength was residing in Dunedin or Central Otago, only now and again being occupied at his old occupation. His name is more widely known in connection with his late brother William Thurlow (Uncle), as part proprietor for many years of the Vulcan Hotel. The late Mr Thurlow was of genial disposition and very popular wherever he was. He leaves a large family of grown up sons and daughters, most of whom have settled down in various parts of New Zealand . He had reached the ripe age of 69 years.

The funeral, which took place yesterday, was largely attended. Mr Parker, Anglican lay reader of Naseby, officiating impressively. The remains were conveyed from Naseby to the family burial place in the St Bathans cemetery.

Much sympathy is extended by all to the many bereaved relatives.

In his Will of 31 January 1904 John bequeathed his '... real and personal property of whatsoever kind and wheresoever situated unto [his] Trustees ... to divide their same equally among [his] children ...'.

"Dad" Thurlow and sons at Walter's Wedding 31 January 1906 at Gimmerburn. (L to R) Richard "Dick" Herbert 1881-1964, Albert Edward 1877-1968, John "Dad" Thurlow 1840-1909, Walter "Watt or Wattie" Henry (Groom) 1873-1936, Arthur Thomas 1875-1953, Joseph Frederick 1871-1946, John William "Bill" 1861-1945, Reuben "Rube" Watts 1883-1968, Infant Eleanor Marguerita "Rita" Florence Abernethy 1903-1986. (Courtesy Sue Donkin)

© Copyright 2008-2015 Ray Thurlow


Links to Other Sites of Interest

Newest Members

Recent Photos

Further Reading

Other articles of interest may be found in:

HUSBAND, John c2007, Pubs o’ the South : A Collection of Paintings and Drawings of the public houses of Otago, Dunedin, Central Otago, Southland & Invercargill, Invercargill

MASON, Judy and WILSON, Heather c1989, The History of Education in the Upper Manuherikia Valley: Becks, Cambrian, Lauder Railway, St Bathans, NZ

NICOLSON-GARRETT, Gladys 1977, St Bathans, John McIndoe, Dunedin

St Bathans : An Historic Town, 1977, Dunedin

WILSON, Heather and MASON, Judy c1989, St Bathans and Cambrian 125 Years of Sport and Entertainment, Wilson, Naseby NZ.


Hospitality, NZ August 1987 p46

Pacific Way, NZ July 1990 No. 31

Otago Daily Times, June 20, 1997 pp12-13

Otago Daily Times, December 21, 2001 p17

Otago Daily Times, Weekend, November 27-28, 2004

NZ Today, September 2006 No. 18



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