Thomas was born in Ditchling in 1820, the son of George and Elizabeth Ashdown, and married Mary Ann Washington in Lewes in 1842. They had 9 children between 1844 and 1866. Thomas worked as a grocer and brewer in North Street, Ditchling before working briefly in Chailey, then as the tenant miller at Oldland Mill from about 1860. Thomas was sufficiently busy that he employed another miller called Thomas Baker, born in 1809 in Mayfield, who lived with them in the Mill House at that time. However, Thomas had stopped working at the Mill by late 1869 as by 1871 he became a farmer of 95 acres in Old Park, Barcombe, near Falmer, and subsequently 576 acres at Mary Farm House in Falmer, employing 12 men and 3 boys. Thomas died on 30th December 1899 in Ditchling.
Text from: “The Millers’ of Old Land Mill” by Colin Hewitt.