Elizabeth SAYERS
Name Variations SOARES, SEARES, SERES, SOERS, SOARS, SORES
Father Edward SOARES b.c. 1795 m. (1) 1818 (2) 1844 d. 18571
Step-mother2 Sarah FOULDS3 b. 1794 m. 18184 d. 1881
Mother Johanna FITZGIBBON b.c. 18185 m. 18446 d. 18897
Half-Brother William SOARS b. 1820 m. 1839 Elizabeth GEE d. unknown
Half-Sister Ann SOARS b. 1821 m. none - d. 1821
Half-Sister Dorothy SOARS b. 1825 m. 1845 William SYKES d. 1909
Brother Frederick Edward SERES b. 18448 m. Ann ATKINS d. 1917
Brother John William (Jack) SAYERS b. 1846 m. 18679 Elizabeth ATKINS d. 193010
Brother Edward SERES b. 184811 m. none - d. 1856
Sister Mary Ann SAYERS b. 1849 m. d.
Brother William SOERS b. 185212 m. none - d. 185713
Inmate Elizabeth SORES b. 185414 m. 1877 (see below) d. 193415
Brother Edward SOARES b. 185616 m. d.
Husband George Henry THOMAS b. 1855 m. 187717 d. 193918
Daughter Female SAYERS b. 187219 m. none - d. 187220
Daughter Annie SAYERS b. 187321 m. none - d. 187422
Daughter Ann Isabel SAYERS b. 1875 m. 190623 Leonard C. LANGFORD d. 195024
Son William THOMAS b. 187825 m. bef. 191826 unknown d. 191827
Daughter Bertha THOMAS b. 188028 m. 190229 John Francis CALLAGHAN d. 195530
Son George THOMAS b. 188131 m. 191532 Nellie SCOTT d. 191833
Daughter Adeline May THOMAS b. 188334 m. 192135 Edmund WILLIAMS d. 193636
Daughter Hilda THOMAS b. 189137 m. 191038 James W. CRUM d. 193839
Daughter Blanche THOMAS b. 189640 m. none - d. 194141
Description
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Edward42 43 5' 8¾" brown to grey grey dark sallow slight scar back of left thumb
Mother Johanna43 16 5' 3" brown grey ruddy, freckled and pock-pitted scum on right eye

Elizabeth SEARES44 was arrested with Susan ATKINS by constable GASKON on 24 September 1867.45 The girls were the first committals from Orange under the Industrial Schools Act and their families must have been close as Elizabeth’s brothers married Susan’s sisters.46 The Police Gazette reported that Elizabeth’s age was ‘under 16’ and she was recorded in the Entrance Book as fifteen when she was admitted to the school on 8 October 1867.47 A more detailed account of their arrest may be found in the Western Examiner on 28 September 1867, if and when it becomes available. At the time of her admission Elizabeth was recorded as Catholic and her educational level was assessed as 'first book.' Elizabeth's medical assessment by Dr HARRIS showed that she was a virgin.48

Elizabeth was named by CLARKE in a list of girls eligible for apprenticeship on 15 December 1869, where she was recorded as having been in the school for two years and was currently aged seventeen. On 28 December 1869, CLARKE sought permission for her apprenticeship49 and on 10 January 1870, by the order of the Colonial Secretary, Elizabeth was apprenticed to John L. BEESTON, Esq., traffic manager, Great Northern Railway, for seven shillings a week. This apprenticeship was confirmed in a further letter on 12 January.50 In his letter51 of 1 August 1870, CLARKE reported that she was doing well.

Elizabeth was the mother of three illegitimate daughters whose births and deaths were registered in Newcastle but only one of whom survived. She was married to George Henry THOMAS, a seaman, in Scots Church, Sydney, on 24 March 1877, by J. D. LANG. At the time of her marriage she was a domestic servant residing in King Street, Sydney. The couple had six children. Her son, William, was admitted to the Vernon in 1891.52 Elizabeth died on 24 September 1934, at Woy Woy, and her death was registered at Gosford. The informant was her daughter, Blanche,53 and her parents were confirmed on the registration. She is buried at Point Clare Methodist Cemetery.

Family

Only Elizabeth's mother, Johanna, was named in the Entrance Book where she was recorded as a widow.54 Elizabeth was the daughter of Edward SOARES and Johanna FITZGIBBON, who were residents of Rose Hill, when they married on 20 October 1844, at Summer Hill.55 The witnesses were Mr. William DALE of Rose Hill and Mr. Thomas TOM of Springfields. The marriage was recorded in the records of the Wesleyan Church, Bathurst. Elizabeth was born on 13 April 1854, and was baptized on 11 June 1854, by B. MURPHY in the Roman Catholic Church. This baptism, as Elizabeth SORES, occurred at Carcoar in NSW, where her parents are recorded as Edward SORES and Margret [sic] FITZGIBBON.56 Edward was recorded as a shepherd and the family resided at Bell River.

Edward had been born in Leicester and was court martialled at the age of 43 for desertion at the Wellington Barracks, England, on 28 July 1835, and transported to NSW on the Susan in 1836. He was a weaver and then became a soldier. He had formerly been a Grenadier Guard and his transportation meant that he left his first wife, Sarah, and his earlier family, in England. Even though Edward had left a wife in England, he would have been eligible to remarry in Australia. Edward died in 1857, three years after Elizabeth's birth.

Johanna had been transported as a sixteen year old convict on the Thomas Harrison in 1836. She was a housemaid who had been tried in Limerick for stealing cloth. Johanna's residence in the Entrance Book was described as Gippsland.

Updated December 2014

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