52 Ancestors # 4: Gerald Francis Thomas

Gerald Thomas and Anna Noteboom

Gerald Thomas and Anna Noteboom From the collection of Lawrence John Reilly Sr.

172 Miller Avenue, Brooklyn Image capture: Oct 2014, © Google

172 Miller Avenue, Brooklyn
Image capture: Oct 2014, © Google

Gerald Francis Thomas was born on March 10, 1902 in Queens, New York to Anna Henrietta Noteboom and Francis Theodore Thomas.1  By the age of 3, the family was living at 172 Miller Avenue in Brooklyn, along with three other families.  His father was working as a shirt ironer, and his mother was at home with him and his baby sister Mae, who had been born two years earlier.2  By 1910, his dad had left the family and his mother was raising him and his two siblings on her own.  (Baby brother Frank had been born in 1908. The family had moved to 465 Belmont Avenue in Brooklyn, which was a duplex shared with one other family.3

Anna Noteboom Thomas, with her children, Gerald, Mae and Frank Thomas. Year unknown. From the collection of cousin Paul.

Anna Noteboom Thomas, with Gerald, Mae and Frank Thomas. circa 1915. courtesy of cousin Paul.

Frank, Mae and Gerald Thomas circa 1915 courtesy of cousin Paul

Frank, Mae and Gerald Thomas
circa 1915
courtesy of cousin Paul

Mae, Gerald, Frank and Anna Thomas circa 1909 courtesy of cousin Paul

Mae, Gerald, Frank and Anna Thomas
circa 1909
courtesy of cousin Paul

 

 

 

As a young teenager, Gerald was helping his mother make ends meet with a series of odd jobs around the neighborhood.4  The family was now living at 2762 Atlantic Avenue, and had taken on a boarder named Alice Cokely.  Gerald, Mae and Frank, ranging in ages from 13 down to 7, were all in school.5  In 1918, Gerald registered for the draft for World War I, stating his birth date at 10 March 1900.  He was working as a chauffeur for V. Henning & Sons on Belmont Avenue in Brooklyn.  He is described on the draft card as medium height and medium build, with brown eyes and black hair.6 By 1920, Gerald was 18 years old, and was no longer attending school.  He still lived at home with his mother and two siblings at their home on Atlantic Avenue.7

147 Schenck Avenue, Brooklyn Image capture: Oct 2014 ©2015 Google

147 Schenck Avenue, Brooklyn
Image capture: Oct 2014 ©2015 Google


In March 1923, Gerald married the love of his live, Louise Schillinger.  They were married at Louise’s parents’ house at 169 Van Siclen Avenue in Brooklyn.  Their brothers got in an argument at the reception, and her brother Louie chased Frank from the house, catching his foot on the fence, breaking his leg, and bringing the reception to an abrupt end.8  In 1925, the young family found themselves living at 147 Schenck Avenue with their baby daughter, Ethel.  Two other families lived in the house, including Gerald’s Aunt Honey and her family (the Weymers).  Gerald was working as a letter carrier. 9  Five years later, they were still at the Schenck house, along with another daughter, Marion (my grandmother), and Gerald’s mother, Anna Thomas.10

By 1940, Gerald and Louise had moved their family to Queens, renting one half of a duplex that they shared with the Almon family at 110-21 107th Street.  Gerald was a printer, working for an insurance company and earning $2200 a year.  The rent for the home was $35 per month.11

Gerald and Louise were married for 55 years.  Louise passed away on July 9, 1978.  Gerald passed away just under a year later on June 24, 1979.12

 


  1. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2006.  Original data: National Archives and Records Administration, Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, Serial T624, Roll 977, Brooklyn Ward 26, Kings, New York, Page 3B, Enumeration District 0783, FHL microfilm 1374990.
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  Original data: National Archives and Records Administration, Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920, Serial T625, Roll 1179, Brooklyn Assembly District 22, Kings, New York, Page 9A, Enumeration District 1409, Image 968.
    Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2002.  Original data: National Archives and Records Administration, Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930, Serial T626, Roll 1540, Brooklyn, Kings, New York, Page 13A, Enumeration District 0483, Image 563, FHL microfilm 2341275.
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: National Archives and Records Administration, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, Serial T627, Roll 2747, New York, Queens, New York, Page 3A, Enumeration District 41-1401.
    Ancestry.com.  Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2004.  Original data: State of Florida. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998.  Florida: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, 1998.
    Ancestry.com.  New York City, Births, 1891-1902 [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2000.  Original data: New York Department of Health.  Births reported in the city of New York, 1891-1902.  New York, NY, USA: Department of Health, Certificate Number: 563.
    Ancestry.com.  New York, State Census, 1905 [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.  Original data: New York State Archives, State Population Census Schedules, 1905, Election District 19, Assembly District 22, City Brooklyn, County Kings. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
    Ancestry.com.  New York, State Census, 1915 [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: New York State Archives, State Population Census Schedules, 1915, Election District 44, Assembly District 22, City New York, County Kings, Page 43. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
    Ancestry.com.  New York, State Census, 1925 [database online].  Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: New York State Archives, State Population Census Schedules, 1925, Election District 24, Assembly District 22, City Brooklyn, County Kings, Page 9. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
    Ancestry.com. U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File, Number 058-01-8448, Issue State New York, Issue Date before 1951. 
  2.  1905 New York State Census
  3.  1910 U.S. Federal Census. 
  4.  Letter from Gerald Thomas to his daughters, April 1979. Photocopy in collection of author. Original location unknown. 
  5.  1915 New York State Census. 
  6. FamilySearch.org.  United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, index and images (accessed 6 February 2015), Gerald Francis Thomas, 1917-1918; citing New York City no 79, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,754,612. 
  7. 1920 U.S. Federal Census. 
  8. Letter from Gerald Thomas. 
  9.  1925 New York State Census. 
  10.  1930 U.S. Federal Census. 
  11.  1940 U.S. Federal Census. 
  12. Letter from Gerald Thomas.
    Florida Death Index.
    Social Security Index.
    Ancestry.com. U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File, Number 098-14-2345, Issue State New York, Issue Date before 1951. 
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