On this page you will find a collection of Thomas family source records I have collected over the years. They include official family documents and papers, photographs and other notations. Each exhibit is linked to an actual copy of the document, and/or photograph.
EXHIBIT A: 19th-century map of Breconshire, Wales
This 19th century map of Breconshire shows the location of the parish church at Llanelly at the bottom right of the map. The town of Brynmawr is located just southwest of the church.
EXHIBIT B: 19th-century map showing the location of Brynmawr in Breconshire
The Thomas family was living in the village of Brynmawr, Llanelly Parish, Breconshire, Wales, in the 1841 Census. Again, Brynmawr is on the bottom right hand side of the map along the border with Monmouthshire.
EXHIBIT C: 19th century map of Brynmawr
This 19th century map provides detail of the central portion of Brynmawr down to the street level. The map shows the location of Somerset Street, where we find John Thomas and family in the 1841 census. Two blocks away is Glamorgan Street where the family of David and Hannah Davies lived for many years.
EXHIBIT D: Pigot's 1844 Directory of Brynmawr and Llanelly Parish
The families of John and Mary Thomas and David and Hannah Davies, spent much of their lives in and around the town of Brynmawr in Breconshire, south Wales. Pigot's directories can be a valuable resource for those interested in learning about the towns and villages of their ancestors. The directories were essentially business listings of the merchants, businessmen, clergy and schools, and usually provided short descriptions and histories of the regions and towns covered. Here the directory mentions the communities of Llanelly, Brynmawr, Nantyglo, Beaufort, Blaina, and Blaenavon, communities that had much in common and were close in proximity to one another, despite crossing parish and county boundaries.
EXHIBIT E: Marriage certificate of John Thomas & Elizabeth Davis.
On December 28, 1844, John J. Thomas married Elizabeth Davis at the parish church in Llanelly. Elizabeth was the daughter of David and Hannah Davies of Brynmawr. The 1841 census tells us that the Davies family lived on Glamorgan Street in Brynmawr, only two blocks from Somerset Street where John J. Thomas and his family resided. John and Elizabeth's marriage ceremony was witnessed by Elizabeth's father David Davies, and Elizabeth Thomas, who was likely John's younger sister. Both John and Elizabeth signed the marriage register by making their mark (X).
EXHIBIT F: Ivanhoe Passenger Listing
John J. Thomas and family traveled from Wales to America on the passenger ship "Ivanhoe," arriving at the port of New York on May 10, 1848. This document is the page from the Ivanhoe's manifest that lists the Thomas family, and is found at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Follow this link for a complete list of the Ivanhoe's passenger manifest.
EXHIBIT G: John J. Thomas, Immigration-Naturalization document
On November 17, 1851, John J. Thomas placed his signature on this paper indicating his intent to become a citizen of the United States, signing the document using only his mark (X). The document provides his date of birth (May 8, 1823), his date of arrival in New York, (May 10th, 1848), and the name of the ship that brought him to America, the Ivanhoe. The document is found at the Luzerne County courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
EXHIBIT H: John J. Thomas, Citizenship document
On April 3, 1854, John J. Thomas affixed his signature (X) to this document making him a U.S. citizen. The ceremony was witnessed by fellow Welshman William Jones and Thomas Eynon, the latter destined to become one of Hyde Park's leading citizens. This document is found at the Luzerne County courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
EXHIBIT I: History of of Hyde Park-Scranton
History of Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties, Pa., was published in 1880 and was one of the first major published works covering the history of the region. On this page you will find extracts from that work, covering the civil, economic, social and religious history of Hyde Park, with a focus on the area's mining history. By the eve of the Civil War, the steel mills and coal mines of Hyde Park/Scranton had transformed the once sleepy hollow into an industrial powerhouse, and it was for this reason that thousands of Welshmen, including John J. Thomas, emigrated to the region. Of particular interest here are the dramatic details of the 1877 miner's strike and riots, which left four people dead and many wounded, resulting in a large force of armed soldiers being sent in to restore order in the community. Some have argued that the failure of the strikers marked the beginning of the decline of Welsh dominance in Scranton's mining industry.
EXHIBIT J: Map of Hyde Park
This 19th-century map of Hyde Park shows the location of Hyde Park Avenue, where the Thomas family lived for many years, and the D.L.&W's Diamond mines, where John J. Thomas and his children were employed.
EXHIBIT K: Deed for the Washburn Street Cemetery, Hyde Park
On July 16, 1865, John J. Thomas purchased two plots in the Washburn Street cemetery from the Hyde Park Cemetery Company for $10.50. The plots are located in Section B, rows 24 and 25. John and Elizabeth are buried in one plot, while son Thomas and his wife Sarah are buried in the other. Today the deed is hel by the Lackawanna County Historical Society in Scranton.
EXHIBIT L: The Thomas Family in the Scranton City Directory, 1867-1896
The table on this page traces John J. Thomas and his wife Elizabeth in city directories for Scranton from 1867 to 1896. The Thomas family begins appearing in city directories for Scranton in the mid-1860s, and their descendants are present in subsequent directories well into the 20th century. The listings from 1867 through the mid 1870s, show that John J. Thomas and family were living in their home on Hyde Park Avenue. This was likely the property John purchased from Thomas Eynon in 1864. Listings for John's son-in-law, Tunis Thomas, husband of his daughter Hannah, are also included for this period. John J. Thomas died in 1876, and afterwards we see his son John Jr., known locally as "Drummer Thomas" listed in the directories. In the late 1870s we see Elizabeth listed in the directories listed as John's widow, but in 1880 she remarried John E. Jones. John and Elizabeth Jones eventually moved into a duplex located to 508 North Hyde Park Avenue, where John died in late 1889. Elizabeth is again listed as a widow in the early 1890s, but in 1896 she married her third husband Isaac B. Morgans, who moved in with his new wife at 508 North Hyde Park Avenue, where the couple remained until Elizabeth's death in 1896. Afterwards, Isaac moved in with his daughter and family on 1212 Eynon Street, where he died in 1899.
EXHIBIT M: Obituary of Hannah Thomas
John and Elizabeth Thomas' daughter Hannah, wife of Tunis Thomas, died unexpectedly on August 30, 1886 at age 37 or 38, and was buried in the Washburn Street Cemetery in Hyde Park. There is no stone marking her final resting place. Her death was listed the following day in The Scranton Republican, August 31, 1886.
EXHIBIT N: Newspaper Notice of the Daniel Thomas' fatal accident & death certificate
Daniel Thomas (1872-1888) was the youngest of John and Elizabeth's children. Like his brothers, he was a mule driver in Hyde Park's Diamond mines. He died on April 5, 1888, a day after suffering a fatal accident in the mines. The accident was noted in the newspaper on the day he died, and his death certificate can be found at the county courthouse and the Albright Library in Scranton.
EXHIBIT O: Marriage Certificate of Isaac Morgans and Elizabeth Davis Thomas-Jones
On November 26, 1894, Elizabeth Davis, widow of John J. Thomas (d.1876) and John E. Jones (d.1889), married her third husband Isaac Morgans. The marriage certificate provides several valuable pieces of information, including the date of death of Elizabeth's 2nd husband, and the name of her parents. Elizabeth was married to Isaac Morgans for less than two years. She died at her home on 508 North Hyde Park Avenue on July 21, 1896. Isaac Morgans died in 1899.
EXHIBIT P: Obituary and death certificate of Elizabeth Morgans, wife of John J. Thomas
Elizabeth Morgans died at her home on 508 North Hyde Park Avenue on July 21, 1896. Her death notice was published in the Scranton Republican the following day, July 22, 1896. The obituary mentions that she was born in Brynmawr (Wales). Elizabeth's death certificate can be found at the county courthouse and the Albright Library in Scranton.
EXHIBIT Q: Marriage Certificate of William H. Thomas and Mary Jane Hares
On February 13, 1886, William H. Thomas, son of John Thomas and Elizabeth Davis, married Mary Jane Hares, daughter of George Hares and Elizabeth Williams. Mary Jane's father George Hares died in early 1867, so her legal guardian, grandfather William C. Williams, had to give his consent to the marriage. On February 13, 1936, William and Mary Jane celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the their home on Monsey Avenue in Green Ridge.
EXHIBIT R: Thomas family residences in Hyde Park/Scranton
508 North Hyde Park Avenue
In 1864 John J. Thomas purchased a lot on Hyde Park Avenue and he and the Thomas family lived there until John died in early 1876. After his widow Elizabeth remarried, she and her 2nd husband, John E. Jones, eventually moved into a house at 508, North Hyde Park Avenue, where Elizabeth remained until her death on July 21, 1896.
538/540 North Hyde Park Avenue
In his will of 1888, William C. Williams gave his house at 538/540 North Hyde Park Avenue to his daughter Elizabeth Hares-Morley, and Elizabeth and her family lived here until the early 1920s. Shortly after 1900, William H. Thomas, his wife Mary Jane Hares (daughter of Elizabeth), and their family, moved into 538, and remained there until the early 1920s.
1360 Monsey Avenue
In the early 1920s, William H. Thomas purchased a large house on Monsey Avenue in the Green Ridge section of Scranton, where he and his family remained until a few years before William's death in 1947. Today the house looks very much as it did when the Thomas family lived there in the 1920s.
EXHIBIT S: Last Will & Testament of William H. Thomas, October 17, 1940
Page 1 and Page 2
William Henry Thomas died on April 27, 1947 at the home of his daughter Grace Thomas in Washington, D.C. His will was written seven years earlier in 1940 and was filed at the Lackawanna county courthouse in Scranton. In his will William directs that all his expenses be paid, and that he be buried in the family plot in the North Chinchilla cemetery, and "that my name and date of death shall be cut on my tombstone". He leaves $25.00 each to the children of his deceased son George, and a 2/7ths share of his estate to his daughter Grace Thomas. Grace received a double share because she had spent much of her adult life caring for her mother and father in their declining years. The rest of William's estate was divided equally among his other surviving children. Lastly, William appoints his son John H. (Jack) Thomas and his daughter Grace as executors of his estate. William executed and signed the will on October 17th, 1940, giving us the only known sample of his handwriting.
EXHIBIT T: Obituary of William H. Thomas
William Henry Thomas died on April 27, 1947 at the home of his daughter Grace Thomas in Washington, D.C. He suffered a massive stroke and died soon thereafter. Although his obituary appeared in the Scranton Times the following day, there was no death certificate filed in D.C. William was transported back to Scranton, where he was buried, according to his instructions, in the family plot in the North Chinchilla Cemetery.
EXHIBIT U: Thomas family burials - Washburn Street Cemetery and others.
John J. Thomas, his wife Elizabeth, and their children Hannah, Daniel, David and Franklin, are buried at the Washburn Street Cemetery in Hyde Park. Son John J. Thomas, Jr. and family are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Dunmore, while son Hoise Thomas and his wife are buried in Abington Hills Cemetery. This page features photographs of the final resting places of John, Elizabeth, David and John Jr. (Hannah and Daniel do not have markers.)
Grave of John J. Thomas (1823-1875) and his wife Elizabeth Davis (1827-1896)
Grave of David O. Thomas (1852-1923) and his wife Jennie Griffiths (1852-1914)
Grave of John J. Thomas, Jr. (1850-1923) and his wife Mary Davis (1855-1924)
Grave of Hosie Thomas (1860-1932) and his wife Elizabeth Davis (1862-1936)
Follow this link for a database of burials at the Washburn Street cemetery.
EXHIBIT V: Thomas family burials at the North Chinchilla Cemetery, Lackawanna Co., Pa.
Although the first and most of the second generation Thomas family members are buried in the Washburn Street Cemetery, William Henry Thomas chose the smaller North Chinchilla Cemetery for his family plot. Today the Thomas family plot in Chinchilla includes William, his wife Mary Jane, their children George, Elizabeth, Chester, and Elizabeth's daughter Eileen.General view of the Thomas family plot in the North Chinchilla Cemetery
Grave of William H. Thomas (1864-1947) and his wife Mary Jane Hares (1866-1937)
Grave of George W. Thomas (1886-1934)
Grave of Elizabeth Thomas Ahearn (1888-1957)
Grave of Chester H. Thomas (1890-1937)
EXHIBIT W: The Thomas Family Tree, complied by Wilfred Harris
Wilfred Harris (1897-1983) was the husband of Blanche Thomas, (1898-1966). Blanche was the daughter of William H. Thomas, and a granddaughter of our immigrant ancestor, John J. Thomas. In his later years "Uncle Wilfred" began compiling a history of the Thomas family, and, although much of his work was eventually lost, his original Thomas family tree-chart has survived. The chart attempts to trace all the known descendants of John and Elizabeth Thomas, and in the late 1980s was in the possession of descendant Betty Barrett (1922-1998) of Scranton.
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Text and photographs copyright © 2003 by Jeffrey L. Thomas, with all rights reserved