Tom or Thom, William (1794 - 1883)

Born: Blissland, Cornwall

Bathurst settler, formerly a Wesleyan minister


Career Highlights

William Tom was born 25 May 1794 at Blissland, Cornwall. He married Ann Lane (1796-1870) of Devonshire, at St. Cleather in 1817. The Toms emigrated to NSW in 1823 (per Jupiter) with four children, including William Jnr who was born at sea, and moved to Bathurst where William was engaged in the service of the Hassall family. He acquired land at Lewis Ponds Creek (Bathurst), and was later the lisensee of "Boranbill" station. The Toms are most fondly remembered as the founders of the `Cornish settlement' at Byng, where both William and Ann are buried.

When the CMS missionaries passed in 1832, the Toms had eight children. Thirty years later, two of their sons, James and William Jnr, with John H.A. Lister (son the proprietor of an inn at Guyong), discovered gold at Fitzroy Bar on Lewis Ponds Creek, using a cradle. The site of their discovery (at Ophir) is marked with an obelisk erected during the 1923 `Back to Orange Week’.

The Orange District Historical Society holds a considerable body material on the Tom Family in its musuem, including `William Tom's Pipe Organ', purchased and donated to the Society by family descendants. His character is revered by the Orange Family History Group and the Cornish Association of NSW.