Thomas, son of John and Hannah (née Jones) Preston was born on 9 December 1832 at Woodeaton in Oxfordshire. He arrived in Australia with his family at the age of 11 years in September 1844 aboard the Abberton.
He married Matilda Browne in 1855. They had the following children:
John Henry — born 29 January 1856, married Annie Sophie Roll, died in 1856 at Nhill
Harriett Ann — born 1857, died in 1951
Thomas William — born 1860, died 1937
Matilda Ellen Pargeter — born 1863, died in 1938
Sidney Elizabeth — born 1864, married John Henry George Ellis in 1884 at Geelong West, died 18 July 1924 at Geelong West aged 60, buried in the Methodist section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery
Walter William — born in 1865, died in 1938
Robert Arthur — born in 1867, married Charlotte Ward Hart in 1897 at Lubeck, Victoria, died in 1957 aged 90 at Kew
Hannah Mary — born 1869, married Frederick Challis in 1922, died on 4 October 1949 in Geelong
Ada Caroline — born in 1871, died in 1956
Ernest Edward — born in 1873, married Edith Adelaide Ackland in 1903, died in 1932 in Geelong
Frederick Herbert — born in 1875, married Florence Searle Drew in 1901 at the Ryrie Street Presbyterian Church, died in 1966 at Geelong
Walter Charles — born in 1878, died on 1 October 1966 at Geelong
When Ada was 5 years of age she went too close to a chaff cutting machine and had the tip of one of her fingers cut off, requiring a visit to the hospital.
On 15 February 1891 a disastrous fire swept Mount Duneed causing damage to many properties. It started at the property of Andrew White, to the south of his house, then swept through the recreation reserve and the cemetery to the Preston home which was totally destroyed. The only possessions the Prestons were left with were the clothes on their backs. Nothing was insured except farm implements for £100. Thomas and Matilda's son Robert replaced everything and took over running the farm.
Thomas died on 31 August 1902 at Mount Duneed aged 69 and was buried in the Methodist section of the Mount Duneed Cemetery. Matilda died on 10 January 1911 aged 72 and was buried with him.
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Barwon Heads History