Burton ~ First Generation

  Thomas BURTON

Born c1802 in Scotland (ref 1851 census) and lived in Chatham, Kent, England.

It can be assumed that Thomas was in the Royal Navy, as according to the various baptisms of his children, in 1825 he was a Seaman, in 1828 and 1829 a Guard in Convict Ship, in 1836, 1837 and 1841 a Convict Guard, and in 1844 a Quartermaster in Convict Establishment. In 1851 he was a Labourer at the Dockyard, and a pensioner from Convict Service. In 1861 he was a Leading Man of Labourers. Clearly he was relatively senior in the organisation.

There is a marriage of Thomas BURTON to Ann HUNT on 24 Dec 1824 at Saint Margaret, Rochester, Kent, England (ref IGI, batch M165123). The actual record is as follows: "Thomas Burton of this parish, bachelor, and Ann Hunt of this parish, spinster (the Church of St Margaret's being under repair), were married in the Church of St Nicholas by banns this 24th day of December".

Ann HUNT was bap 13 May 1803 at St Mary's, Chatham, Kent, dau of John HUNT and Tracy BLAND (ref IGI, batch C166068). For further information see the HUNT Family Tree.

Ref 1841 census at High Street, Chatham, Kent.
Together with children Thomas (13), Elizabeth (11), John (9), Harriett (7), William (5), George (3):
Thomas Burton. Age 35. Convict Guard. Born in Scotland.
Ann Burton. Age 35. Born in Kent.

Ref 1851 census. Kent, England. Parish of Chatham. Borough and town of Chatham. Address: High St, Back of 185, Chatham, Kent.
Together with children Thomas (22), William (15), George (13), James (9), Robert (7):
Thomas Burton. Head. Mar. Age 49. Labourer Dock Yard. Pensioner from Convict Service. Born Scotland.
Ann Burton. Wife. Mar. Age 48. Born Kent, Chatham.
[Incorrectly indexed as Barten in the indexes for each person]

In 1852 Thomas is described as 'Laborer' at marriage of his daughter Elizabeth. Their eldest son Thomas and his wife Elizabeth migrated to Australia in 1854.

Ref 1861 census. Kent, England. Civil Parish and Town of Chatham. Address: Bonner Alley, High St, Chatham, Kent.
Together with son James Alexd (19):
Thomas Burton. Head. Mar. Age 58. Leading Man of Labourers H M D C [Her Majesty's Dockyard Chatham]. Born Scotland.
Ann Burton. Wife. Mar. Age 57. Born Chatham, Kent.

In the last few years of their lives, Thomas and Ann had the misfortune of having their youngest son commit murder, and being hanged at Maidstone on 11 Apr 1863 at the age of about 20. There are 266 newspaper articles in findmypast under the name of Robert Alexander Burton. Robert had been in so much trouble that his father had previously cast him out. There is a reference in the South Eastern Gazette of 14 Apr 1863 to the fact that "it also appeared that his mother had been twice confined in a lunatic asylum", and in the same paper it states that "the prisoner's mother, we understand, is in a very low and desponding condition, and up to the day of the execution was not even aware of the crime her son had committed, it being carefully kept from her, from a fear that her mind would again become affected". Correspondence between Robert and his father is printed in these extensive newspaper articles.

"Robert Alexander Burton was born at Chatham, in 1844. His father was a leading man of labourers in the Dockyard, and by industry and frugality his parents managed to bring up rather a numerous family in some degree of respectability. " (ref fmp British Newspapers, Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser 14 Apr 1863)

Thomas died 28 Oct 1864 at Union Workhouse, Chatham, Kent of "paralysis" (ref Thomas Burton 2012). His death reg Dec qtr 1864 at Medway dist age 62 (ref GRO Index).

Ann died 24 Feb 1866 at Union Workhouse, Chatham, Kent, and her cause of death was "Old age. Certified" which fits in with her mental condition (ref Thomas Burton 2012). Her death reg Mar qtr 1866 at Medway Dist aged 64 (ref GRO Index). The records of the Workhouse and hospital have been lost for this period.
St Mary's Chatham has now been made redundant and deconsecrated (ref Thomas Burton 2012).


IGI records


1841 census

1851 census

1861 census

1. Mary Ann Helen BURTON bap 1825 at Chatham, Kent  
2. Thomas James BURTON bap 1828 at Chatham, Kent  
3. Elizabeth Mary BURTON bap 1829 at Chatham, Kent  
4. John Henry BURTON bap 1831 at Chatham, Kent  
5. Harriet BURTON bap 1833 at Chatham, Kent  
6. William James BURTON bap 1836 at Chatham, Kent  
7. George Alfred BURTON bap 1837 at Chatham, Kent  
8. James Edward BURTON born 1842 at Chatham, Kent  
9. Robert Alexander BURTON bap 1844 at Chatham, Kent  

Fully revised 23 Sep 2015