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  • Thomas Claude FONNEREAU

    Born1866 Ipswich, Suffolk
    Died1895 Santa Ynez, California, USA
    FatherThomas Neale FONNEREAU (1841 – 1890)
    MotherBlanche Editha PEARSE (1840 – 1885)

    Biography and Notes

    Thomas was baptised at St Margaret's Church, Ipswich, Suffolk 15 11 1866.

    Around 1891, probably attracted by the offer of land under the Homestead Act, Zacharie and Thomas left England for America and settled in Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara County, California. These brothers were were known as "Remittance Men". From the summer of 1891, with their remittance as security, the brothers began acquiring a number of parcels of land and ranches around Santa Ynez on mortgages. By the middle of 1892 they jointly owned over 1,000 acres of land.

    Thomas lived at Rancho Los Amoles, Santa Ynez, and was calling himself a"rancher". The hard physical word combined with a living in a harsh environment with few luxuries must have taken its toll since, on 17th September 1895, just a few weeks short of his twenty-ninth birthday, he died of "Aortic Stenosis". His burial place was marked by only a simple cement headstone bearing the initial "F".

    Extract from "A History of the Fonnereau Family, Huguenots from La Rochelle" by Stephen Hoole. (2002)

    Life Events

    1885Death of mother Blanche Editha PEARSE
    1890Death of father Thomas Neale FONNEREAU