Thompsons of Sunderland :: Genealogy
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Thompsons of Sunderland

Journal by Nanagram

I am researching the Thompson family from Sunderland. My great, great grandfather was Thomas Johnston Thompson, was born c1833 and emigrated to Melbourne, lived Fiji, and settled Bluff, New Zealand until he was supposedly drowned in 1882 in a shipwreck. He married Christiana Gotz in melbourne.

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on 2014-09-29 22:42:55

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by ngairedith on 2014-11-15 23:04:26

hello Nanagram,
it was the son, also named Thomas Johnson Thompson (1861-1882) who died in Christchurch on 30 Sep 1882 aged 20. His father, Thomas Johnson Thompson was then still alive and living at Bluff. Thomas went to Christchurch and returned the body of his son to Bluff for burial.

Thomas Johnston Thompson senior died 30 May 1886 during the shipwreck of the ss Ly-ee-Moon. He was 52. His wife Christiania died 3 Oct 1913 aged 82. A daughter, Sarah Anne Thompson, died 25 Oct 1960 in Riverton aged 91. These 4 family members are buried together in Plot 67, Block 1 at Bluff cemetery

South Australia Register, 14 June 1886
TOTAL LOSS OF THE STEAMSHIP LY-EE-MOON. Seventy Lives Lost; Only Fifteen Saved.
The Australian Steam Navigation Company's steamer Ly-ee-moon, which left Melbourne for Sydney and Brisbane at noon on Saturday, May 29, struck on a reef under the lighthouse on Green Cape on Sunday night at half -past 9 o'clock, and became a total wreck. There were a large number of passengers on board, but only fifteen persons, including several of the crew, were saved.

The Ly-ee-moon was a three-masted iron screw Steamer of 1,202 tons. She was 282 feet long, 27 feet in breadth, and 16 feet in depth. She was built at Blackwall in 1859 for the China mercantile house of Jarome. She was originally a paddle steamer, and on being launched was pronounced one of the speediest vessels afloat. She was engaged in the opium trade on the coast of China for some time, but the consumption of coal was so great that she was changed to a screw steamer and sold to the Mikado of Japan to serve as a steam yacht. To that end she was specially fitted in every compartment with the most handsome and costly furnishings.
She was built on the same lines as the Prince of Wales's steam yacht, and was probably the only vessel of the kind in the merchant service.

In 1875 she found her way to Sydney, and was sold to the A.S.N. Company, her present owners. On November 4, 1877, at the Company's works, Pyrmont, she was nearly destroyed by fire, but was reconstructed at great outlay. She was a first-class steamer, very fast, and a great favourite with passengers on account of the specially convenient and comfortable arrangements of her cabins. The saloon in the forepart of the vessel was 100 feet long. At one time she was engaged in the opium dispatch trade, and when the cable was interrupted at about the period of the completion of the Port Darwin land line she ran the despatches between the last cable stations and Port Darwin. On these occasions she is said to have made a speed of 20
knots an hour. She was valued at ?30,000. She some time since traded between China and Australia. The local agents for the Company are Messrs. Barrold Brothers. Latterly she has been engaged in the Queensland, Sydney, and Victorian trade. The officer in command at the time of the catastrophe was Captain A. Webber.
Only about two months ago Captain Webber succeeded Captain Tait, who had been on the vessel in different capacities about eight years, and who left her to go on the Tenterden.

Green Cape Lighthouse is the southern most on the coast of New South Wales. It is between Twofold Bay and Cape Howe, and projects out easterly beyond the mouth of the Wonboyn River.
The Passengers and Crew.
The following is the PASSENGER LIST: ?
Mesdames (in the SALOON): Mclntyre, Ellis, H. Adams and family, Gardner, Coghill, McKillop, Campbell, child and infant, Jennings and Hamilton. Misses Hamilton (two), Rev. W. Poole, Master H. Smith, W. Johnstone, D. C. Harris, K. Cox, E. C. Holmes, O. G. Bradley, A. Graham, A. McGregor, H. Lumsden; and 27 in the second cabin.
The names of the STEERAGE PASSENGERS, so far as is known, are as follows:
The passengers of this class frequently go on board at the last moment and are not booked at the Melbourne office; it is not therefore likely to be complete:?
Rogers, Mr and Mrs Shattel, Mr. A. Spiro Warren, J. Foote, A. Selenberg, J. Williams, J. Lumsden, J. Wilson, J. Carroll, J. McBurney, Morrison, and J. F. Thompson (sic).
The OFFICERS & CREW on board who left Sydney on ship's books on May 25:?
A. Webber, captain
George Morrison, chief officer
John Hutchinson, second officer
James Fotheringham, third officer
Thomas Hudson, first engineer
Robert McCue, second engineer
John Marshall, third engineer
Dugald Robinson, carpenter
W. Thompson, chief steward
A. Pefyodini, first cook
Henry H. Young, second steward
R, McK. Jeffries, second cook
J. McPherson, third cook
W. Gardiner, saloon waiter
Charles Coyle, forecabin steward
John J. McWilliam, messrooom steward
E. Bailey, second forecabin steward
Robert Jones, pantryman
Ole Thorpe, boatswain
A. Johnson, able seaman
C. P. Hallgren, A.B.
Francis McNally A.B.
Amarkoff, A.B.
A. Beyland, A.B.
John Ibister, A.B.
John Davis, A.B.
Michael Tyree, A.B.
R.Gill, fireman
Hugh K. Hudson, fireman
R. Seatin, fireman
R. Henderson, fireman
Patrick Monk, fireman
Frank Keiller, fireman
G. Harvey, trimmer
L. Christian, trimmer
Thomas Johns, trimmer
Thomas Wine, donkeyman
John Walker, lamp trimmer
Sarah Jeffries, stewardess
J. W. Kellby, bedroom steward

The chief, and second & third officers held masters certificates. Fotheringham, who was in charge just before the accident, had been chief officer on the mail steamer Australia, and was formerly in command of various sailing vessels.
The following telegram was received by the Secretary of the Marine Board from the lighthouse-keeper at Green Cape: "The weather was fine and clear, with a south-west wind and a heavy sea. The Ly-ee-moon passed Cape Howe light at 8.15 p.m., at a distance of 1 mile due north, her course being set due north to Green Cape. The third officer (Mr. Fotheringham) was in charge of the bridge. The captain left instructions to be called on nearing the cape. When he was called the steamer was heading straight for the reef, and so close that it was impossible to avoid the danger. Ten minutes after striking, the vessel parted in two amidships. The after part remained stationary on the reef, but the forepart drifted near the shore, the seas breaking clean over both parts. When the foremast was carried away with four men who were saved, the forepart of the vessel was heading north-west. All the hands saved were on the forepart of the vessel, and came ashore by aid of a rope sent on board by me, who, with my assistants, the Telegraph Master, boatswain, and three men who were first landed, rendered every assistance. All the saloon passengers and crew who took the forepart of the vessel were saved with the exception of one young lady who was lost in attempting to reach the shore and one young gentleman who perished from exposure, the captain being the last to leave. All who remained in the saloon perished. The afterpart of the vessel was lodged on the reef, the seas washing over it, it being impossible to render any assistance.
At daybreak the afterpart had disappeared and all on it had perished. The captain states that the light was burning brightly as usual"

A total of 71 people died, 21 out of 26 saloon passengers (17 men, 6 women and 3 infants), all 19 steerage passengers and 31 of the 41 crew. The survivors (without the Captain and Third Officer) arrived in Sydney on the Captain Cook at 3pm on 4 June 1886. Five of the bodies recovered (not including Mrs MacKillop) were buried at Green Cape at 9.30am on 4 June 1886. The bodies of most of the dead passengers and crew that were recovered were buried at the same location (just north of the Green Cape Lighthouse and about 100 metres into the scrub off the access road)

by ngairedith on 2014-11-16 00:40:26

Star, 15 May 1883
PATENTS APPLIED FOR - The following applications for patents have been made:
Thomas Johnson Thompson, of Campbelltown, Otago for 'an improvement in the manufacture of hydraulic cement'

Press, 27 May 1886
NEW PATENTS - Patent for an invention for a new method of manufacturing Portland hydraulic cement from Bluff diorite or syenite, soft rock or clay, combined with other materials, by Thomas Johnson Thompson, of Bluff harbor, surveyor

Southland Times, 29 April 1886
Following are the results of several of the elections of committees for country districts:-
CAMPBELLTOWN - Th balance sheet of the retiring committee showed a credit balance of L4 19s 10d, and the report was of a very satisfactory nature, The following gentlemen were elected a committee for the present year: - Messrs Samuel Nichol, N. J. Burrows, W. L. Gray, T. J. Thompson, Wm. Conyers, J. H. C. Hunter and Captain Tyson. The new committee held their first meeting immediately afterwards, when Mr S. Nichol was elected chairman and Mr Hunter, secretary and treasurer

Evening Post, 3 June 1886
The Southland News reports that Mr T. J. Thompson, late Underwriters'Surveyor at the Bluff, and a well-known resident there, was one of those drowned in the Ly-ee-Moon. He lately resigned his appointment and went on a trip to Australia. He was a man of great energy and enterprise in developing the mineral resources of the district, being the discoverer of the Nightcaps coalfield, and more recently patentee of a cement made from materials found at the Bluff and which promised to be a success.
Mr A, Macgregor, who was drowned at the wreck of the Ly-ee-moon, was the son of the late proprietor of the British Hotel in Dunedin. He was 23 years of age

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