Thomas was baptised on 22 June 1823 in Bradworthy, Devon of Daniel and Elizabeth Petherick. Daniel was a labourer of Bradworthy, who married Elizabeth Cory in Bradworthy on 17 August 1812…. the couple had seven known children: William, Daniel, James, John, Thomas, Elizabeth and Richard (all baptised in Bradworthy Parish Church):
With the use of rounded ages in the 1841 census and no reference to specific birth places other than ‘born in this county’ and a ‘yes/no’ response, Thomas Petherick has yet to be located, but by 1847 at the age of 24, he is in Tavistock and marrying Elizabeth Elliott. He is referred to as a ‘sawyer’:
Bradworthy to Tavistock is no small distance…. 31.4 miles via the most direct road route today:
The 1851 census for Buddle Cottage, Tavistock (HO107/1883/488/6) has Thomas and Elizabeth, two of their children (William and Elizabeth) and Thomas Sleman, a lodging blacksmith:
The Petherick family remain in Tavistock for the next 50 years and from 1861 to 1901 live at 45 Bannawell Street. Thomas and Elizabeth had eight known children: William Henry, Elizabeth (above) who died young, Jessie, Elizabeth Jane, Thomas, Richard, John and Mary Alice.
Thomas’ occupation changed through the decades from sawyer in the 1840s and 1850s to master wheelwright in the 1860s and coach and wheelwright in the 1870s, with the number of people he employed increasing over the years. Widowed between 1870 and 1880, Thomas’ son, Thomas, followed in his father’s footsteps in the coach building trade and his daughter, Elizabeth Jane, married William Henry Oats in 1882 in Plymouth, another wheelwright and coach builder who was lodging with the family in 1881.
The Holsworthy Registration District – which included the parish of Bradworthy where Thomas was baptised – had the highest number of name-bearers in 1881, with the probability of bumping into a Petherick in the street in that particular area being 1 in 200!
Thomas was one of the 16 Pethericks in the Tavistock Registration District. He lived to 83 years of age, departing this life in 1907.