Thomas was born in England on 6 May, 1816.
Thomas showed juvenile spirit.
He married Mary Ann Garlick on 21 January 1851.
They had a family of two sons and two daughters.
Thomas (sen) died on March 8, 1864, at the age of 42. The funeral took place on March 10, 1864 at 11 o'clock, from Mr. Linton's residence, Cascade Road. Ref The Mercury March 10, 1864.
James O'May who married Margaret Watson was the youngest of three brothers who established O'May Bros ferry service which operated between Hobart Town and Kangaroo Bay. The three brothers Thomas, Robert (died 1900) and James, sons of Thomas O'May, arrived in Hobart with their parents from Scotland in 1856.
The name of O'May first became associated with the ferry services between Hobart Town and Kangaroo Point in 1864, when Thomas and Robert started as boatmen, taking passengers across the river in their open boats. They were joined a few years later by younger brother James, and they began a service that observed a timetable - a new departure and one appreciated by travellers. Their first boats were the Blue Jacket, Perseverance, Star of Tasmania, and Scottish Chief, and the brothers would cross the river at any time in an emergency. If the weather was rough, two of the brothers would go into the Blue Jacket, the largest boat, and their skill and courtesy soon won them the confidence of the public. Read The Mercury article of Friday 5 May 1939. More history here!
Robert O'May and his wife Ann (née Roberts) had two sons Henry (1872-1962) and George Elwin (1876-1956), who were born at Kangaroo Point (Bellerive) and became ferrymasters. More information on Henry (Harry) O'May can be found here. Harry married Frances Cottrell in 1902 and they had three children.
James and Margaret had three children. The first born was Alice. Their two sons Ernest Watson and Oswald Thomas (known as 'Snowy') also became ferrymasters.
Following the deaths of Thomas and Robert O'May, James took over the management of the company; he was joined in partnership by Harry and George who inherited their father's share of the business.
In 1912, the O'Mays company became the Rosny Estates and Ferry Company with James as manager. At this stage, the O'Mays consisted of the last of the three original brothers, James, his sons Ernest and O.T. (Snowy), and Robert's sons Harry and George. James O'May retired in 1921. Harry succeeded him as manager and George became master of the Kangaroo.
Collision on the River
James O'May was a member of the Town Board, and a councillor on the Clarence Council for 16 years. He died on Saturday November 30, 1935. At the time of his death, he was president of the Bellerive Regatta Association.