Recently I was contacted by my 4th cousin, Scott Krogh. He’s a descendant of Warren Perry Thomas, my great-great-grandfather’s brother. Recently he’s begun the process of going through some old family history items in his possession and he sent me a few really important items. I’m just going to post them here and give a little background about each one.
Photo of Warren Perry Thomas, Marion Dixon, and Delbert Wilfred Thomas, c1890
This is the real treasure of the group. Warren Perry Thomas was the youngest brother of my great-great-grandfather Horace Luther Thomas. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on 20 Aug 1859 and married Marion Dixon on 8 Nov 1880 in her home town of Winchester, Ontario, Canada. The couple had two children, Delbert Wilfred Thomas, born in Winchester on 24 May 1885, and Mildred Marion Thomas, born in Gouverneur, NY on 5 Mar 1895. The photo shows Warren Thomas with Marion and son Delbert about 1890. It was probably taken in Gouverneur, NY. The writing on the back of the picture says “D.W. Thomas, 420 E. San Fernando, San Jose (California)”, which is where Delbert was living in the early 1940’s about the same time as the letter shown below.
Unfortunately Warren was killed in a train explosion on 8 Dec 1896 in the town of Eagleville, Connecticut when Mildred was only a year old and Delbert was eleven.
Delbert and Mildred Thomas Portrait c1897
A photo of the two siblings taken right around the time their father was killed.
Delbert Thomas Portrait c1940
A portrait of Delbert about 1940 as an older man.
Alma Thomas Citizenship Letter, 1943
This letter, signed by a notary on 25 Feb 1943 in Potsdam, NY, contains a statement from my 3rd-great-aunt Alma M. Thomas. Alma was born in Burke, NY on 12 May 1852 and married Henry H. Eggleston in 1870. They had two daughters, Frances L “Frankie” Eggleston (1873-1953) and Jessie M. Eggleston (1889-1981). Also mentioned in the letter is Warren Perry Thomas (1859-1896), Alma’s younger brother who was killed in a train explosion, his wife Marion Dixon (1859-1923) and son Delbert Wilfred Thomas (1885-1969).
The timing and content of the letter make me think that someone had raised a question about Delbert M. Thomas’s citizenship given that he was born in Winchester, Ontario, Canada while his family was visiting in-laws there (his mother was from Winchester) in 1885.
There are a lot of things about this letter that are very interesting. Obviously it’s very exciting to me that Alma knew my 3x-great-grandparents Charles H Thomas (1821-1873) and Louisa Adams Pond (1823-1896). The fact that someone in the 1940’s could give personal testimony about them is really fantastic to me. It also mentions that Warren Thomas was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1859. At first I was very skeptical about this statement, since all the records I have place the family in Canton, NY at that time (including a census from 1860 where Warren was only months old). However, after reading the letter I went back through my records and realized that Warren’s place of birth was given as Ohio in that same 1860 census. So his father and mother must have been traveling there, or living there, at the time Warren was born.
Another bit of interesting trivia is obviously that the two witnesses are Alma’s daughter Jessie and her husband Frank J. Lindley, who both lived in Canton at that time. Alma was 90 years old when she signed the paper (you can see the shaky handwriting) and she died three months later on 31 May 1943 at the home of her daughter Frankie.