Doubting Thomases, Part One

Sarah Ellen “Nellie” Finch and Alfred Francis Thomas had 10 children.  The children were born between 1902 and 1928.  Because of that, I haven’t found as much information and supporting documentation as I have for ancestors born before 1900.

But I’ve uploaded all of the supporting documents that I’ve located for the Thomases.  And I purchased a copy of  Delaware and Westminster Township: Honoring Our Roots, (published by the Westminster Township Historical Society, November 2006)  which has a write-up about the Thomas family in it.  I’ve included some of the information that’s in the book in this blog.

I’ve also included vital statistics, etc. that I found on other family trees/websites.  Most often, though, there is no supporting documentation — which raises “doubt” about the accuracy of the information.

Alfred and Mary Thomas and Family 1952

Gordon Harold Thomas

Gordon Harold Thomas, the oldest child of Alfred and Nellie Thomas, was born on 29 Dec 1902.  Tragically, just before his 3rd birthday, Gordon passed away.  He died on 28 Oct 1905 in Winnipeg (Manitoba) — cause of death unknown.

Birth - Gordon Harold Thomas

Death - Gordon Harold Thomas

Myrtle McBride Thomas

Gordon and Nellie’s second child, Myrtle, was born on 23 Sep 1904 in Middlesex County (Ontario).  In 1906, Myrtle was living with her family in Winnipeg (Manitoba) and then, by 1911, she moved back with her family to Westminster Township, Middlesex County (Ontario), where she was also living in 1921.

Birth - Myrtle McBride Thomas1906 Manitoba Census - The Thomases

1911 Census - Alfred and Nellie Finch and Family

1921 Census - Alfred and Nellie Thomas and FamilyBirth - Nelson Roy Van LoonSometime after 1921, Myrtle married Nelson Roy Van Loon, son of Brazilla Van Loon and Mary Ann Hanser (date unknown).

Nelson was born on 20 Jan 1898 in Elgin County (Ontario).

Death - Myrtle Van LoonAnother tragedy struck the Thomas family on 2 Nov 1933 — Myrtle died of pre-partum eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine of a pregnant woman.

Nelson died on 16 Jun 1961 and he is buried with Myrtle in the Rodney Cemetery in Rodney (Ontario).

Ethel May Thomas

Death - Ethel May ThomasEthel May was born in Winnipeg (Manitoba) on 31 Mar 1906.

Three-month-old Ethel is listed with her parents and older siblings in the 1906 Manitoba Census.

Sadly, on 17 May 1908 in Westminster Township, Middlesex County (Ontario), Ethel died of an abcess as a result of mumps.

Ethel was the second child of Nellie and Alfred to die in infancy.  😦

Twins Carl Lawrence and Cora Lillian Thomas

Just over five months after Ethel passed away, Nellie gave birth to twins!  Carl and Cora Thomas were born on 30 Oct 1908 in Westminster Township, Middlesex County (Ontario).

Birth - Carl and Cora Thomas

The twins were living with their parents and siblings in 1911 and in 1921.  Carl never married; he earned his living as a farmer, by doing custom concrete with his brothers, Lloyd and Gerald, and working at Hunt Lumber.

Carl died in 1989 and is buried in Scottsville Cemetery in Scottsville (Ontario).

Headstone - Carl Thomas

Birth - Henry BowronCarl’s twin, Cora, married Harry Bowron on 14 Jun 1930.

Harry was born on 1 Nov 1895, the son of John Bowron and Abigail Elisipp Blackman.

According to on-line family trees, Cora and Harry had four children.

The following is information that I copied from one of the family trees on  It says that Nellie and Alfred had a son named Oliver George, who was born on 4 Jul 1944 in London, Middlesex County (Ontario).  Sadly, he died 3 days later — on 7 Jul 1944.  There was no supporting documentation so I can’t confirm the accuracy of this information.

The family trees on Ancestry also say that Nellie and Alfred had 3 daughters.  Because they are, according to the on-line family trees, still living as of the date of this blog, information about their daughters is marked as “private”.

But I found a Voter’s List from 1958 for Nellie and Alfred and there are two females living with them: Vera and Lillian.  I’m assuming that they are the daughters of Nellie and Alfred?  You had to be 21 years old to vote in Canada in 1958 — so Vera and Lillian (see Update on 24 Sep 2014) must have been at least 21 years old, and therefore, born before abt 1937.

Voters Lists - The Bowrons

** Update on 21 Oct 2013: another family member told me that Harry and Cora’s daughter’s name is actually Verna, not Vera.  Verna married Joe Clark and they live in Delaware (Ontario).  Also, Cora and Harry had a third daughter whose name is Phyllis and she married Albert Ireland.  Phyllis and Albert live in Lambeth (Ontario) (see Update on 24 Sep 2014).

According to the family tree that I found on, Harry died on 24 Feb 1977 and Cora on 8 Mar 1994 — both in London, Middlesex County (Ontario).  However, the year of death for Cora on her headstone is 1995 – so these DOD for Harry and Cora may be incorrect!

Harry and Cora are buried together in Woodhull Cemetery, Delaware Township, Middlesex County (Ontario).

Headstone - Harry and Cora L Bowron

Update on 24 Sep 2014:  On my recent visit to Woodhull Cemetery, I found the headstones Harry and Cora’s daughters, Lillian and Phyllis.

Headstone - Lillian Bowron

Headstone - G Albert and Phyllis Bowron Ireland

Part Two of this blog will be about the 5 youngest children of Alfred and Nellie: Gertrude Evelyn, (F)Loyd Francis, Howard Frederick, Gerald Ross and Doris Winnifred Thomas.

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2 Responses to Doubting Thomases, Part One

  1. Pingback: Doubting Thomases, Part Two | In Search of My Ancestors

  2. Pingback: Doubting Thomases, Part Three | In Search of My Ancestors

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