Welcome to ThwaitesLink

This site presents


Robert “Ernest” Thwaites, a young schoolmaster, emigrated from Yorkshire to Australia in 1911 to take up a teaching post in Brisbane.  His brother Francis emigrated to the USA and his brother Jack emigrated to Canada.  They were part of a flood of young men seeking a better future than was offered to them in the England of a century ago.

Ernest’s descendants are now into the fifth generation, contributing to Australian life in many different ways. Francis’ descendants in USA are also in their fifth generation. We have only just established contact with Jack’s grandson in Canada, so hoping for more information about later generations – there are a good number of that family in Western Canada.

There are many threads to follow back in time to ancestors in England, Scotland and elsewhere. The blog Forebear with Me traces some of the early efforts to identify photographs handed down through various families, and to renew lost family connections.  Comments, advice or information are welcome on this blog (it is updated only occasionally).

An extensive family tree is available online and is steadily updated as more ancestors are identified. The online trees work with a mouse and PC, but not with touch-screens. The way to find your way around is:

  • Drag the tree around on the screen to bring more branches into view.
  • Click on a name to bring up more information on that individual.
  • Click on the mannikin icon (mannikin icon) beside a person’s name to display a tree showing that person’s ancestors and descendants.

The name

There were Thwaites families in Australia before Ernest, and others have arrived since. But people still seem to find the name unusual. “Tveit” is a Scandinavian word for a piece of land cleared for agriculture – a field. Spelled “thwaite” or in several other ways, the word is common in place names and family names in parts of northern England invaded and settled by the Vikings about 1000 years ago. See more on Thwaites name origins here.

Can you help?

If you are connected to, or interested in, the family of Robert Ernest Thwaites or his brothers in America or Canada, you are welcome to submit links with a brief description to the webmaster of this site.