Family Mystery

The Missing Thomas

My 2nd great grandfather, Francis Theodore Thomas, went missing around 1902 or 1903.  He went swimming at Rockaway Beach in Brooklyn and never came home.  His clothing was found at the beach, but no sign of him ever turned up.  For years. I didn’t know anything about him really, other than his name.  Last year, when I went to Syracuse for my grandmother’s funeral, I found an entry for him in the family bible.  In that entry, I found the name of a brother and two sisters.

In the box my dad just brought home from his visit with my grandfather, I found a picture of my gg-grandfather – the only one I’ve ever seen.  In the photo, he is seated on Rockaway Beach in the year or so before his disappearance. Seated next to him is my gg-grandmother Anna Noteboom.  Pictured below is the photo as is and a cleaned up version.

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Francis Thomas and Anna Noteboom at Rockaway Beach, circa 1900

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Francis Thomas and Anna Noteboom at Rockaway Beach, circa 1900

Baldwin Family Mystery Update…. Disappointment

I recently ordered a vital records search from the New York City Vital Records office.  I ask them for several birth, marriage and death records associated with Sadie Donnelly, John Reilly and both Nelson Baldwins.  I just received the first response that is in response to the two marriage records I requested.  The first record I request was a search for Sadie’s marriage to John Reilly on April 30, 1893 in Brooklyn.  They were unable to find the record of the marriage.

I also requested a search for a marriage to Nelson Baldwin in Brooklyn, but I requested a three year search based on the information I found in the 1910 Federal Census.  I requested the search be conducted for 1908, 1909 and 1910.  They were unable to find the record of the marriage.

So my next thought is to look in Queens for vital records and to start tracking down potential Catholic churches for record of a church wedding.  They were living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, so I plan to start there for possible neighborhood churches.  I also plan on contacting the cemetery where Sadie is buried for any potential information that they may have.

Biography of Sadie Donnelly

Sadie Donnelly was born to Patrick and Bridget on December 14, 1875 in New York. She is my 2nd great-grandmother on my paternal grandfather’s side of the family. She married John Reilly on April 30, 1893 in New York. She gave birth to 5 children while married to John: Arlington, Madeline, Lawrence, Helen and Adele. Both Helen and Adele died in infancy or as young children. Lawrence was the only one of her children who married as an adult. Madeline was engaged, but her fiance was killed overseas during World War I, and she never ended up marrying.

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