Thomas Rundle was born in approximately 1804 in Cornwall, England. A baptism record for him is yet to be located, so details of his parents and siblings are currently unknown. A possible baptism is recorded on 4/8/1805 at St Thomas by Launceston, to parents John and Ann Rundle. If these our Thomas’ parents, there appear to be no more baptisms for children of these parents.


Thomas married Mary Mutton on the 5th November 1833 in the parish church at Altarnun, Cornwall. Witnesses to the marriage were Robert Mutton (possibly the bride’s brother) and a C. Pellow. Both the bride and groom could not write and signed with their mark. Mary Ann was the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Mutton, and had been in baptised in nearby Trewen.

1841 Census[]

Thomas is located with his family in the 1841 census for Cornwall. They are recorded at Lescarnick Red Hill, Altarnun, where he was employed as a tinner. Both he and wife Mary are recorded as aged 35. Children living with the family at the time were Jane (aged 7), Betsy (aged 5), Mary Ann (aged 3) and Richard (aged 10 months). Son John (born in approximately 1839) had died by this time.

Journey to South Australia[]

In 1847, Thomas decided to move the family to South Australia. They travelled on the ship "Theresa" which left London via Plymouth on 19/1/1847 with Captain Thomas Bacon.

The ship made the whole passage to Adelaide in 104 days. Three small children died during the voyage, and four births took place. The emigrants were from Buckinghamshire, Devon, Cornwall and Ireland. The males included 32 miners, 33 agricultural labourers and farm servants, 5 carpenters, 1 blacksmith, 1 shoemaker and 3 masons or bricklayers. The females included 30 domestic servants and 4 dressmakers.

The newly-arrived expressed their entire satisfaction with the quality and quantity of the provisions, and the water (which was filtered before being taken on board) was good all the way. On arrival and after the muster had taken place, the emigrants gave three cheers for Doctor Gordon. The proposer of the cheer designated Dr Gordon "the conservator of health and the lover of peace". Three cheers followed for the ship.

The ship arrived in Port Adelaide on 3/5/1847. It’s arrival was reported in the South Australian Register newspaper on Wednesday 5/5/1847.

South Australia[]

Where the family settled when they arrived in South Australia is unknown at this stage. It is possible that it was the Walkerville area, as daughter Mary Ann was married at St Andrew's Church there on 27/3/1853. She was only 15 years old and 4 months pregnant at the time. Eldest daughter Elizabeth had married in January of the same year at Trinity Church in Adelaide.

Thomas’s obituary states that he commenced farming in Adelaide for a Mr Robert Mill, which calling he had followed before leaving Cornwall (this is not supported by the 1841 census, but Thomas could have taken up farming after this time).

The Gold Rush[]

In 1852, Thomas was attracted to the Victorian Goldfields as a result of the goldrush that had begun there. He, with Mr. Mill and others, went there and achieved reasonable success. They returned to Adelaide with good results. It is likely that they travelled overland as no record of a Thomas Rundle travelling via ship between Adelaide and Melbourne has been located for the years 1851 to 1853.

Return to Adelaide[]

On returning to South Australia, Thomas entered the employment of Mr Charles Farr, a timber merchant located on Grote Street in Adelaide. He was employed as a carter. He continued to work with Mr Farr until 1881.

Support to Daughter[]

Daughter Mary Ann was deserted by her husband in approximately 1864. Thomas and wife Mary supported their daughter and her children by taking them into her home and providing support to them. Mary Ann’s husband was not happy with the arrangement of his wife and children living with Thomas, as they would not allow him to see the children. When the matter was taken to court in 1/11/1864, Mary Ann’s husband was ordered to pay a pound a week to Thomas for the upkeep of his daughter and children.

Death of Wife[]

Thomas’s wife Mary died on 28th May 1881, aged 76 years. She was recorded as the wife of Thomas Rundle, carter, and her usual residence was Logan Street, Grey Ward. Her cause of death was dysentery, and the informant was a William Waddell, shipman of Adelaide.


On the death of his wife, Thomas retired from his work with Mr Farr and retired into private life. He resided with his daughter Elizabeth (by then Mrs Storer) until his death.In her younger days, daughter Elizabeth had been an active worker in the temperance cause, having formed the Daughters of Temperance in South Australia, and been a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union for 10 years.

Despite his 47 years in South Australia, Thomas is recorded in South Australian Directories and Almanacs on only one occasion. This was in 1894, when he was recorded at Logan Street in Adelaide.


Thomas died at his home on Logan Street in Adelaide on 28/9/1894 after an illness of approximately 10 days. He was aged 90 years of age, and his cause of death was bronchitis. His rank was recorded as ‘gentleman’ and the informant was W. Jarvis, the undertaker.

Thomas’s death was reported in both the Register and Advertiser newspapers in the two weeks following his death. An obituary summarising his life was recorded in the Advertiser on 8/10/1894. The obituary stated that he left one son (Richard) and two daughters living (Elizabeth and Mary Ann), seventeen grandchildren and twenty-three great grandchildren. It also stated that although he took no part in public life, he was widely known and well respected.

His funeral was held on Sunday 30/9/1894 at the West Terrace Cemetery, the Reverend James Allen officiating at the grave.


Name Birth Death
Children of Thomas and Mary Ann Rundle

Jane baptised 6/4/1834
baptised Altarnun, Cornwall

Elizabeth baptised 27/9/1835
baptised Altarnun, Cornwall
Norwood, South Australia

Mary Ann baptised 6/8/1837
baptised Altarnun, Cornwall
Southwark, South Australia

John baptised 3/3/1839
Altarnun, Cornwall
before 1841

Richard baptised 9/8/1840
Altarnun, Cornwall


  • Cornwall Online Parish Clerk
  • International Genealogical Index
  • 1841 census for Cornwall
  • South Australian Passenger Lists
  • South Australian Goldseekers in Victoria, 1851-1853
  • South Australian Register newspaper, 5/5/1847, 29/9/1894, 16/10/1894, 27/10/1908
  • South Australian Advertiser newspaper, 2/11/1864, 8/10/1894
  • South Australian Directory, 1894