Our Thomas family originally lived in Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, South Wales, and they were Copper Refiners. By the time our earliest known ancestor, John Thomas was born, about 1792, the copper mines in South Wales were all worked out, and copper was being imported and then being refined where it was needed.
In the 1830s, the family moved to Seacombe, near Birkenhead, Cheshire, where John and two of his children, both copper refiners too, worked at Bibbys Copperworks. The industry moved in the 1860s and the family moved mainly to St Helens, Lancashire, working at the Ravenhead Copper Works, probably as part of the process for making plate glass. The other branch of the family moved to Garston, Lancs. Nothing further has yet been traced of the Garston branch, nor do we know where they worked.
At the end of the 1880s, our section of the family moved briefly to Jarrow to work at the Rio Tinto Company there, before moving to the midlands where John Thomas (grandson of the aforementioned) took charge of the copper refinery at the Allen Everitt & Sons works in Smethwick. The family lived in relative luxury in one or other of the large houses in Rotton Park Road in leafy Edgbaston, later moving to neighbouring Harborne in the 1930s.
The link with any sort of metal refining ended with Gordon Thomas (great-great-grandson of the original John Thomas) when he retired in 1984; though by then a works manager, the trade hed learnt was metallurgy.
The family all still live in Harborne or Edgbaston, working mainly in the computer industry.