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Thomas James Matcham was born in February 1867 in Ugborough, Devon, England to Thomas James Matcham (1831-1910) and Louisa Searle (1843-1884). His siblings were: Harriet Maud (b 1864), Walter C R (1866-1948), Elizabeth Louisa (1869-1934), George R (1869-1918), Ernest Ryall (1871-1929), Percy Searle (1874-1947), Adela L (b 1875), Arthur Ryall (1876-1905) and Ethel Florence (b 1880).

In 1871 Thomas was living in Plympton, St Mary, Devon, England and at the time of the 1881 census he was a ship’s boy on SV ‘Tilkhurst’ anchored in Plymouth Sound, Devon. On 24 April 1886 he received his second mate's certificate. He received first mate's certificates in March 1891 and 1892. He married Lucy Ann Collings (b circa 1866) on 6 October 1892 in Plymouth, Devon.

According to census records, her marriage record, ship's passenger lists and the Woodlawn Cemetery record, Lucy was born between 1862 & 1866 in Cornwall, England. There was a baptismal record for a Lucy Collins on 23 July 1863 in Stoke-Climsland, giving her mother's name as Elizabeth Collins which may relate to her. Lucy’s father's name was given as George Collings on her marriage record to Thomas Matcham where she was listed as a spinster and used the name Lucy Collings.

In 1901 Thomas and Lucy were living in Padstow, Cornwall, England and Lucy's 18 year old son, George Henry (Harry) Hayes, was living with them. Harry was born in Stoke Climsland on 5 January 1882; his father is given as George Hayes, Corporal Royal Welsh Fusiliers and his mother as Lucy Hayes, formerly Collins. There was a baptismal record for George Henry Hayes on 24 December 1882 in Stoke-Climsland, Cornwall, England that named George Henry Hayes and Lucy Hayes as parents. Harry died in Biggar, Saskatchewan on 7 December 1930.

Thomas and Lucy left Southampton, England on 24 September 1905 aboard SS ’New York’ and arrived in New York on 30 September 1905. They must have returned to England shortly afterwards as on 8 April 1906 they embarked on SS ‘Victorian’ in Liverpool, England bound for Philadelphia, USA. They had with them an adopted son, Ernest William Udy.

In 1906 they were living on one of their homestead farms in Saskatchewan with their adopted son, Ernest William Udy (1890-1962) (history discussed later). Thomas had homestead grants in the RM of Rosemount #378 issued on NW-10-37-16-W3 (15 Jan 1909) and SW-10-37-16-W3 (28 October 1909). Lucy's son, Harry, had a homestead grant issued about a mile away on SW-4-37-16-W3 on 14 October 1909. Harry married Sarah Nicholls Rounsefell (1883-1970) on 23 March 1910 in Naseby. Sarah was born on 20 August 1883 in Padstow, England to Peter George Glazebrook Rounsefell (1847-1907) and Emma Nicholls (1851-1918). They had four children, Muir (1914-1914), Muriel Annie (1915-1995), Kathleen (1916-1983) and Peter (1919-1919). Thomas built the first store in Naseby, Saskatchewan sometime before 1909. The railway station was later built on the adjoining quarter section. Thomas eventually turned over his homestead quarter section to his step son, Harry.

Thomas and Lucy lived on the homestead until 1918 when they moved to 833 Ave A North in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They were at 311 26th Street W in 1921. In both the 1918 Hendersons Directory and the 1921 census, Thomas was identified as a farmer. He was a member of the Saskatoon Red Cross and Lucy was vice president of St Johns Anglican Church Auxiliary. Lucy died on 19 October 1922 and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. Only her husband and her son, Harry Hayes, were identified as next of kin in her obituary. On 16 November 1922, Thomas went to visit his sister, Harriet Hill in San Jacinto, California. His travel documents indicated that he was going to stay there five or six months and that he did not plan to return. Thomas lived on at 311 26th St W, Saskatoon from 1922-1924. At the time of his stepson's death in 1930, he was reported to be living in Britain. A Thomas J Matcham died at Bishops Lydeard, Somerset, England on 10 September 1953. We can only speculate whether this is the same person.

Ernest William Udy was born in July 1890 in Padstow, Cornwall, England to Thomas H Udy (b 1856) and Sarah Ann Dove (1861-1903). His siblings were: Mabel (b 1885), Walter James (1887-1942), Edgar Thomas (1888-1952), Mildred Louisa (b 1892), Daisy Elizabeth (b 1897), George Henry Allen (b 1898) and Dorothy (1903-1903). It would appear that Ernest's mother likely died in childbirth and that there were, perhaps, too many children for his father to take care of after she died. It is unknown if Ernest was officially adopted by the Matchams - the only references found to that adoption were the passenger record of SS ‘Victorian’ and a notation in the 1906 census.

Ernest had a homestead grant issued on NE-6-37-15-W3 in the RM of Biggar on 4 December 1911 and his brother, Edgar "Thomas", obtained his on NW-5-37-15-W3 on 23 May 1912. Although located in different RM's, the land homesteaded by the Udys and the Matchams was quite close together. Ernest married Grace R French (1893-1987) and they had two children Edna (1917-1975) and Ernest (b 1918).

The Udy's lived on their homestead until 1916. They had moved to the Station House in Oban, Saskatchewan by the time of the 1921 census. Ernest died in Biggar on 14 June 1962 and Grace in the same place on 30 June 1987. Ourroots.ca has a digitized copy of "The Landis Record". Page 462 has a very brief Matcham family history. Other pages that mention the Matchams are pages, 224 (McNeil), 292 (Bella), 338 (Woodcock) and 464 (map). Page 462 can be found here.

The name on the quilt was spelled Macham or Maeham. As the t is missing and the first initial is difficult to interpret, it is impossible to be sure that the correct candidate has been identified for this signature. Perhaps the person who signed was a visitor to the city - there were several names in this area of the quilt that we could not trace to Saskatoon residents or for which we could find no likely candidates.

This family tree can be found on Ancestry under the title 3rd Ave Matcham/McAuslan/McEwen Tree.

Robert John McAuslan (1873-1953) and his wife Ann "Maud" Robson (1877-1952) are also found in this tree. Robert was the uncle of Carl Harper McAuslan (1914-1984) who married, Muriel Hayes, the daughter of Harry Hayes discussed above. Their biography can be found here.


Thos James Matcham signature
on 1st Mate’s certificate 1892