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An American Family History

Edward George Thomas

Edward Thomas Organ
Edward Thomas Organ

factory
Thomas Organ Factory
Woodstock, Ontario

piano
Charles Lewis Thomas Piano
Wellington County Museum

Scarlet fever is a rash that is caused by strep infections.
Diseases have transformed history and the lives of our ancestors.

The first European settlements in Ontario were after the American Revolution when 5,000 loyalists left the new United States.

Edward George Thomas was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 2, 1853. He was the son of John Morgan Thomas and Mary Lewis

He attended public schools and afterwards attended the Model School at Toronto. When he was 16 he entered the Military school. After graduation he moved to Hamilton, where he learned to build organs at Thornton & Green. 

After he had mastered his trade, he became manager for the Canada Organ & Piano Company of Toronto. In 1874, he established a burial case factory. In 1875, he sold his interest in that business and started the Thomas Organ Company in Woodstock, Ontario. A Cyclopedia of Canadian Biography described his career in detail.

At the time of the 1871 census, he was living in Hamilton, St. George Ward.

He married Margaret Campbell in 1871 in Dundas, Ontario, Canada. Margaret was born on May 12, 1852. Her father was William Campbell.

Edward and Margaret's children were:
William Edward Brodie Thomas (1872),
Mary Lewis Thomas (1875),
Margaret Greenhill Thomas Irwin Webb (1876), and
Charles Lorne Thomas (1878). 

William Edward Brodie was named after Edward's sister, Celia Brodie's, husband.

In 1881 and 1883 he was elected alderman for the City of Woodstock. He was a member of Oddfellows, Freemasons, the A.O.U.W. (The Ancient Order Of United Workmen), and the Order of Chosen Friends. He started the Thomas Organ Company's band.

He died suddenly at age 37 in Hamilton, Ontario on January 28, 1891 of apoplexy of the heart. His death and funeral were described in detail in two articles in the Woodstock Sentinel-Review. The band played the Dead March and procession of men and carriages extended from Dundas almost to the house. The two bands took the lead, followed by canton Woodstock, No. 15 in full uniform. Next came Woodstock and Olive Branch Lodges, about a hundred strong, in full regalia, and bearing the usual sprig of green. The rear was brought up by the employees of the organ factory and the Fire brigade.

At the time of the 1891 census, Margaret and the children were still living in Woodstock and William was working as a bank clerk.

In 1907 Mary died of scarlet fever.

Margaret passed away on January 1, 1930 in Detroit, Michigan and was buried with her husband at Woodstock Anglican Cemetery.

Edward Thomas Tombstone
Edward and Margaret Thomas' Tombstone
Woodstock Anglican Cemetery
photo courtesy Nancy Smith

The city of York was incorporated as Toronto on March 6, 1834. The city grew and developed significantly during the the 19th century. The Irish famine brought a large number of Irish immigrants to the city and they became the largest ethnic group.

Toronto 1856
Toronto 1856

Children of John Morgan Thomas
and Mary Lewis
  • Charles Lewis Thomas
  • Thomas Lewis Thomas
  • Elizabeth Sheppard Thomas Musson
  • Susannah Matilda Thomas
  • Eliza Mary Thomas Treahy
  • Jane Eliza (Jennie) Thomas Belford
  • Francis John Thomas
  • Mary Sophia Thomas
  • Celia Ann Thomas Brodie
  • Mary Sophia Thomas
  • John Joseph Thomas
  • Edward George Thomas
  • A freemason (mason) is a member of an international fraternal and charitable organization pledged to mutual assistance and brotherly love.
    Learn more about pianos.

    The Province of Upper Canada was established in 1791 to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States. It included all of Southern Ontario and part of Northern Ontario.

     

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2017
    tuller.roberta@gmail.com