Tom White Melville Winder was, according to family tradition since his children’s lifetimes, the son of Arthur Wesley, later known as Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, and Lady Mary Melville. (There is no Lady Mary Melville recorded in the period, however Elizabeth Rennie, wife of Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, divorced her husband in 1779, and lived on an annuity for several decades.) According to these traditions, he was born c.1787, raised in the Lake District, apparently by Quaker adherents. One family tradition says that he was raised by a Miss Whyte, giving him his second name, and that he took the name Winder from Lake Windermere. There is no documentation regarding Thomas’s parentage or these traditions. Winder might be the same gentleman as the ‘T. Winder’ or ‘T. Winders’ who traded coal in London in the first years of the nineteenth century, filing for bankruptcy on two occasions.
T.W. M. Winder first arrived in Port Jackson aboard the Surry as purser with Captain Thomas Raine, on 20 December 1816. He probably left with the Surry, 12 March 1817, but returned to Hobart aboard the Frederick, on 18 October 1817, proceeding to Sydney aboard the Pilot in November, where he brought charges successfully against Captain Williams of the Frederick. Tom set up business as a merchant on the corner of Bligh and Hunter streets, and soon entered into ventures such as the Lachlan flour mills. From 1817 to 1820 he continued to travel and trade outside of the Australian continent, and by about 1821 he had settled permanently in New South Wales.
From about 1818, Tom employed Ellen Johnson as a servant, and they shortly began living together as husband and wife. They churched the marriage on 26 December 1848, at St Andrew’s Scots Church, Sydney, NSW, the wedding witnessed by Edward Wakefield Simpson, Mary White Dun and Thomas Dun. Ellen was the daughter of John Lyster, who arrived as a convict in 1796 aboard the Ganges, and, after serving his seven years, became a constable in 1810 and officekeeper to the Judge Advocate. Her mother was probably Margaret Mooney, convicted in Dublin, Ireland, in 1799 and arriving on the Anne in 1801. She was living with John Lyster by 1805, and, when she died in 1815, was known as Margaret Lyster. Ellen’s sister Mary Lyster (or Leister) married James Dodds in 1825 and named two of her children Tom Winder Dodds and Ellen Dodds.
The Winders settled in the Hunter Valley in the mid 1820s, where they built ‘Windermere’ on a grant of 720 acres at Lochinvar, NSW. They grew wheat, ran a dairy, and planted a vineyard. From 1836 the property was leased to William Charles Wentworth, and the Winders lived variously at Sydney and Maitland. Thomas died 30 September 1853, after choking on a piece of cayenne pepper at dinner. He was buried 2 October 1853 at Campbells Hill Cemetery, Telarah, NSW. Ellen outlived all but two of her children to die 28 January 1887 at 29 Denham Street, Surry Hills, NSW, aged 87. Ellen was buried in Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, NSW.
Children of Thomas and Ellen
1 Jessie Winder (c.1818–1848) married 1836 Wakefield Simpson (1799–1865)
2 Ellen Winder (1821–1892) married 1839 Robert Richard Hungerford (E.2) (1816–1897)
3 Anne Winder (1822–1853) married 1839 John Becher Hungerford (E.1) (1814–1877)
4 Mary Winder (c.1824–1878); not married
5 Agnes Winder (1825–1862) married 1845 William Moore Hungerford (E.4) (1820–1883)
6 Fanny Winder (1827–1913) married 1847 George Jean de Winton de Winton (1825–1898)
7 Thomas Winder (c.1828–1882) married 1857 Emily Jane New (1840–1915)
8 William Winder (c.1830–c1830); not married
9 Sarah Winder (c.1838–1870); not married