William Thomas was born on December 27, 1819, in St-Benoît, Deux-Montagnes County, in Québec. His parents were Walter Thomas, of Wales, Great-Britain, and Marguerite Paradis, a French-Canadian. They were married in the Anglican Church, in Lachine, Québec, on October 26, 1818. A Walter Thomas emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1818. It might be him.
William Thomas was the first born. I found eight siblings so far. All were baptized in the Catholic Church, except one for which I do not have a birth date.The family mainly lived in St-Benoît, Ste-Scholastique, Rigaud and St-André d’Argenteuil, in Québec. William’s parents, Walter and Marguerite, later moved to Franklin County, NY. They appear in the 1840 US Census for Westville and the 1850 US Census for Constable. Walter died between 1875 and 1880 and Marguerite, between 1870 and 1875. Both were living in Westville at the time.
Before 1842, William Thomas married Ann (Todd?), probably in Canada. It looks like they moved to Franklin County, NY in the early 1850’s. The 1900 US Census indicates 1851 as the year of arrival for William although one child was supposedly born in Canada in 1852.
William and Ann are listed in the 1860 US Census in Constable, NY. The first child to be born in NY state was born in 1853.
William and Ann had at least ten children:
- Walter, born about 1842, Canada
- Elizabeth, born about 1845, Canada
- Margaret, born about 1848, Canada
- Clarissa, born about 1850, Canada
- Mary A, born about 1850, Canada
- George, born February 1852, Canada
- John, born July 25, 1853, NY
- Rebecca, born about 1856, NY
- Adelia, born October 1860, NY
- William, born July 1863, NY
I have been told that Ann’s surname was Todd but I haven’t found any proof yet. I will have to make further research on her. Peter Thomas, William’s brother, did marry a Christiana Todd, in 1861. She might be Ann’s younger sister. Her parents were Thomas Todd and her mother was called Anna.
Ann was born abt 1822 in Canada. She died on November 1, 1864 in Westville, NY at age 42. She was buried in the local Briggs Street Cemetery. William’s remains would later be buried in the same plot.
They had seven children, only six were found:
- William Charles, born December 24, 1865, died 1946
- Juliette, born July 1867, died 1959
- Ada, born August 1869, died 1942
- Ulysses Grant, born March 13, 1873, died August 29, 1958
- Bertha, born June 1880, died 1962
- Pearl, born January 1885, died 1936
Since his arrival, William Thomas was farming in Franklin County. More research will have to be done in Franklin County on land records for William Thomas. Another area of research includes the naturalization records as the 1900 US Census indicates that William was naturalized.
I haven’t found any obituaries for William Thomas. He died on July 15, 1901, at age 81 and was buried in Briggs Street Cemetery, in Westville, with his first wife Ann.
And last, here is a picture of Julia and William, his second wife. Would this be a picture at the time of their wedding? She was 22 and quite pretty, he was 45.