The Boyketts in Australia - Thomas' background
The name Boykett is not of Huguenot origin, as has been suggested. It is old English, older than the Domesday Book, and a variant of Boycott. One Boycott family has a Coat of Arms, but arms are personal to that family only.
The earliest verified date in Thomas' family tree is the marriage of his grandparents, William Boykett of Bobbing and Mary Hutton of Faversham, at Bobbing, Kent on 19 October, 1780, from the records at Canterbury. William's age is not stated. Recent discoveries suggest that he is identical with William, son of John Boykett and Sarah nee Hearne, who was born in the neighbouring parish at Milton on 29 May, 1744, but this is not supported by William's marriage declaration which, according to the Archivist, states his age as being 30, i.e. born about 1750. This John appears to have provided the design for restoration work at St Michael's Church, Sittingbourne, after it was damaged by fire in 1762.
Their third child Charles James, Thomas' father, was born on 27 Oct 1785, also at Bobbing. He became a schoolteacher, and settled at Croutes, on the island of Guernsey, but apparently moved there after his family was born.
About 1795, William built a house at Keys Street, described as a hamlet in the Parish of Bobbing. Apparently it remained in the family and was rented out, for in 1831 Thomas writes: "Grandfather's House at Key St is unoccupied, Benthams having gone to live at Chatham." William died in 1812.
Charles married Mary Hebbert in London on 5 April, 1804. Their first child, Charles George was born on 5 January, 1805 and Thomas, their second child, on 16 December the same year, according to parish records on the IGI. Daughters Mary and Eleanor were born in 1808 and 1810 respectively. Both were later to accompany Thomas to South Australia.