De La Rue

Welcome to the De La Rue genealogy page! This is the central point of reference for the genealogy of the De La Rue families of Australia. (Alternative spellings: Delarue or de la Rue.) If you are a member of any of the families listed below, this page is for you!

Caroline Agnes
The Caroline Agnes

My main interest is to document the descendants of Thomas and Tabitha (née Edwards) De La Rue, of Leicestershire and Surrey, England, who arrived at Point Henry, Port Phillip District, NSW (now part of Geelong, Victoria), Australia on 28 Jun 1849. They arrived with eight children as assisted migrants on the Caroline Agnes (570t, Master J. Alexander), after departing London, 24 Feb 1849, and settled at Germantown (now Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong), Vic. Two more children were born in Australia after they arrived. Thomas was my great-great-grandfather, and was born in Linghton, Leicestershire on 5 Dec 1808. The children born in England were christened in Camberwell and Walworth in Surrey, so it seems that the family were living there for a few years before they left.  I have records of over 2,000 descendants (including spouses) of Thomas and Tabitha.

Other De La Rue families of interest include:

  • William de la Rue of Forest, Guernsey (born 15 Nov 1822), who arrived in Melbourne, Victoria in Jun 1854. He arrived with his two younger brothers on the Saldanha, having left Liverpool in Mar 1854, and settled at El Dorado, Victoria. William married Louisa Augusta Borchers of Goslar, Hanover, Germany on 4 Sep 1867 at El Dorado. It seems that most of the De La Rues of any note in Victoria are descendants of William and Louisa; I have records of over 155 descendants (including spouses) of this family.
  • Hippolyte Felix Ferdinand De La Rue, of Berck, Normandy, France, who came to Sydney in 1840. This family is documented in the books A Bunyip Close Behind Me and Ladies Didn’t, by Eugenie Crawford. Hippolyte established a jewellery shop in George St, Sydney in 1850.
  • Charles Delarue of Colmar, Alsace, France (born 1824), who arrived in NSW between 1824 and 1860. He married Emma Hines (or Hinds) at Murringo, NSW on 31 Oct 1860; they had eight children. This family includes sports presenter Dennis Cometti in its ranks.  I have not yet documented all the recent information on this family.
  • Thomas de la Rue, of Forest, Guernsey (born 24 Mar 1793), who moved to England and set up as a printer. The company he founded is still in existence – see the history page at This is available in more detail in Lorna Houseman’s book The House that Thomas Built. It is not clear how many descendants of this family are in Australia, but there is at least one in New Zealand. Although Thomas was born in the same village as William, as yet I cannot find any family connection.
  • Eliza Anne De La Rue, apparently of Paris, France (born about 1824). Keryn contacted me regarding Eliza, her great-great-great-grandmother, who I was previously unaware of.  She lived in Melbourne, but there is a great deal of uncertainty about her. She said that she married John Winbanks in Sydney in 1854.
  • Adelina De La Rue, of St Helier, Jersey, UK (born around 1866). Bruce contacted me regarding Adelina, his great-grandmother – another De La Rue in Australia I was unaware of. According to the UK census, she was living at 13 Havre Des Pas in St Helier in 1871 and 1881. Her parents were Francis De La Rue, a Fireman, later “Greenwich pensioner” and Emma (nee Diddins). She migrated from Jersey to Sydney, Australia in the 1890’s, but was originally bound for New Zealand.

A number of members of the families are also engaged in this research. I am also researching my own ‘pedigree’ as much as possible – other family names of interest include Kelly, Westwood and Lamb. There is convict ancestry here – the De La Rue family is linked to the Thorowgood family, and the Kelly family is linked to First Fleet convicts Nathaniel Lucas and Olivia Gascoigne.

The Family

Thomas & Tabitha had 11 children. Their dates of birth were as follows. The first nine of these were born in Surrey, England; the last two were born in Geelong, Australia.

  1. James 19 Aug 1831
  2. Jane 1834
  3. William 1836
  4. Mary Maria 1838
  5. Jemima 1840
  6. Tabitha 1842
  7. Martha 1842 (not listed on shipping register – may have died earlier)
  8. Thomas 1845 (no records in Victoria after ship arrival)
  9. Daniel Charles 1848
  10. Robert William 1849 (approx)
  11. John 1852


I do not seem to have any photos of Thomas, but this is a tin-type that we believe is of Tabitha Edwards:

Tabitha Edwards
Tabitha Edwards, 1813-1882

My great-grandparents:

James De La Rue, 1831-1893 Sarah Betts, 1839-1914
James De La Rue Snr (1831-1893) and Sarah Betts (1839-1914)

My grandparents:

James De La Rue Jnr Annie Westwood 1940
James De La Rue Jnr (1860-1917) and Annie Westwood (1869-1944 – photo 1940)

The name “De La Rue”

The name is French in origin (meaning “of the street” or “of the road”). In the original French it is spelled “de la Rue”; today it is also often spelled as one word in English-speaking countries. Other alternative spellings found include “De La Rew”, “De La Roux” and “De La Reu”. Some of these variations may be due to varying levels of literacy. Then there is the question of the relationship to “La Rue” and “Rue”. (In some countries, prefixes like “de la” are sometimes ignored.)

The name appears in France, and has also been on the Channel Islands (particularly Guernsey) for some time.  There are suggestions that the name may have either noble or Huguenot associations, and that it arrived in England from France as early as the late 11th century. An alternative version of a De La Rue family tree included in Lorna Houseman’s book The House that Thomas Built states that the first recorded appearance of the name in Guernsey was a land grant from a Danish king in the 12th century.

Richard de la Rue (who has commented below) reported recently that the De La Rue Company presented a family tree at an exhibition a few decades ago which included research into the origins of the name in Guernsey.  This research reported that there are two distinct families on Guernsey, the latest of which came to the island as Huguenot exiles in the 16th century from the Limoges area of France. He reports that the earliest known record of the name in Guernsey dates back to a document of 1179.  Richard also wrote:

“A few years ago [2001], La Société Guernesiaise assisted University College London (UCL) and the BBC in a project called ‘The Blood of the Vikings’ in which they traced the reach of the Vikings according to the DNA in each long lived family in Guernsey. (It made pretty dull TV.) The Viking gene shows up as a particular type of the male chromosome and they tested this against one representative of each old Guernsey family. I had the privilege of being the representative for the De La Rues and was told that I had a gene commonly found in Norway; thus I think this points to me belonging to the older De La Rue family dating back to 1179 rather than the lot that came from southern-central France. All very tenuous I know, but when people ask me how long I have lived in Guernsey, I like the romance of replying that I’ve been here for 800 years!”

As I can only trace my De La Rue forebears back to Leicestershire, I still cannot connect my family back to any of these origins – nor to any of the other families mentioned here!

Heraldry and nobility

I have seen two distinct Coats of Arms for the De La Rue name.  One of these (which is listed formally in Burke’s Peerage) belongs to one branch of the family of Thomas de la Rue, the printer. His grandson Thomas Andros De La Rue was created a Baronet on 17 Jun 1898, and thus the coat of arms strictly only belongs to his descendants.  Andrew George Ilay De La Rue of London is the current (fourth) Baronet.  Read more on Wikipedia. (If you are not a member of this family, then any heraldry organisation that would like to convince you that you are entitled to it probably only wants your money!)

The formal description of this Coat of Arms is: “Or three bars gu., each charged with as many estoiles of the first, in chief an increscent and a decrescent of the second. Crest – A brazier gu. fired between two branches of laurel, issuant from the flames thereof, a serpent nowed and erect ppr”. The motto with this is: “Cherche la verité” (“Seek the truth”).

The other coat of arms I have only seen rough sketches of, and have no clarity on the origin (or accuracy) of this at all. This one includes forts or castles.

Lamb Family

Jane Lamb (nee Burton), abt 1909
Jane Lamb (née Burton), about 1909

My mother’s mother was Alice Dale Lamb, born on 16 Jul 1887.  Her parents were Peter Lamb and Jane Burton, and they arrived in Australia in Nov 1884 on the Loch Ness (one of the Loch Line ships – made infamous by the sinking of the Loch Ard).  Peter was 25, Jane 26, and their eldest daughter Lizzie had her first birthday on the ship on the way out.  The Lamb family in Australia stayed in touch with their relatives in Scotland down the generations since, and I have maintained some contact with them myself, visiting Peter’s family home in Greenlaw, Berwickshire, in 1983, which is still owned and occupied by the Lamb family.  Of all my pedigree, this is the only family that we still have some contact with in their country of origin.

Thorowgood family

Joseph Thorowgood was born in Cardington, England in around 1800.  He was charged on four counts of sheep stealing on 24 Oct 1828, and transported for life, leaving on the “Bussorah Merchant” on 6 Oct 1829, arriving Hobart, Tasmania 18 Jan 1830.  He left his wife and four children in England; Mary Ann was expecting the fifth (Elizabeth).  They were later allowed to join him, arriving on 10 Jan 1833.  Joseph was my great-great-great-grandfather – his daughter Edith married Robert Betts, and their daughter Sarah married James De La Rue, my great-grandfather.

There are many variations on the spelling of his surname – it was spelt “Thorogood” on ship’s records, but also appears as “Thoroughgood”, “Thurgood”, “Thurrowgood” and others.

His family was documented in the book “The Thurrowgood Story” by the late John F Hill, which had a limited publishing run of 400 numbered copies, in around 1985.  Some copies of this book are still available from the Colac & District Family History Group Inc., at PO Box 219, Colac, Vic 3250.


Information on the above families is available on request in two files:

  • DeLaRue – The families of Thomas and Tabitha De La Rue and William de la Rue. This also includes all information on my own pedigree.
  • DeLaRueX – All other available De La Rue information – the families of Hippolyte Felix Ferdinand De La Rue, Charles Delarue, Thomas de la Rue and some records found that are not yet connected.

Please contact me or use the comment field below if you would like a copy of these files, and I can email them to you.

More info

A public copy of my family’s GEDCOM file has also been uploaded at; although I have since acquired more information. You can view the database here – but you may need to register with them first (free).

Please contact me for more details. I am happy to load any information on the families here.

My genealogy software of choice is FZip Family Tree.

Shortcut to this page:


  1. Go to eBay and do search for Louisa De La Rue and you will find a beautiful young lady’s portrait with that name.

  2. Michael –

    Thanks for the info. No, unfortunately that first entry isn’t me!

    Some of those names are familiar, but I don’t think that I have current contact details for them. If I can make contact, I will pass on the info.

    – Keith

  3. Hi Keith, Found this link on another site I use and thought I would pass it on, No joy for Me but you may know how to contact some of the others. , but I couldn’t do a link to the search with De La Rue but it brings up 7 hits.
    ps: If the top one is you its your shout.
    Cheers MD

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