Chapman Valley History

Thomas Lauder/Lawder, convict number 5602 was born in Ayrshire, Scotland in 1820 and arrived in Fremantle on board the convict ship Palmerston in 1861 for the crime of uttering and forging.

Thomas had married Elizabeth Chalmers Park in 1846 in Ayrshire and they had 4 children. His occupation at this time was stonemason.
In 1861, Thomas was granted a Ticket of Leave and received a Conditional Pardon in 1864. It was at this time that he came to the Victoria District, working for builder Glen Robb and grubbing for George Brand. He also worked in Greenough for a time employing 12 Ticket of Leave men including a carpenter and a stonemason. In 1868, Thomas took up farming on a small block about one mile west of Nanson, close to the river, known as “Whipintarra”.

Thomas’ son James Park Lauder and grand daughter Mary Lauder, joined him in Geraldton marrying siblings Emma and William Henry Eastough, the children of expiree Charles Eastough. Thomas and James both worked on the lead mines and James spent some time prospecting for gold in the Yalgoo area. James took over the property at Nanson after the death of his father in October 1883 and established an orange orchard together with other fruit trees, especially peaches. He was a Justice of the Peace for many years and was the first Chairman of the Upper Chapman Road Board at the beginning of the century. He was noted as being a man of very sound judgement.

Source: Sue White; Di Evans; Christine Roberts; Chapman Valley Pioneers by P.A. McDonnell