I am trying to learn about where my great-grandfather (Thomas Nichols) came from and have been at a wall for a very long time as he was sent away from the family home at a young age. Any help would be appreciated. His parents could possibly be John Albert Nichols and Henrietta Bound of Peterborough but I don't know how to prove this. Below is my story. Any guidance would be appreciated. Cheers, Steph
My Grandmother - Thomas' eldest child believed his birth date to be 3 Jan 1900 and I have found a record (US -SIN/death) for him with this birthday and born in Michigan. But my Grandmother often went back and forth as to where he was born (Canada or The States) - having a strong feeling that he was born somewhere in Ontario and not particularly close to the border. She believed this because around 1930 when Thomas & her mother Katherine come into Canada the reason was for him to find his family as he was sent away as a young child from the family home. They searched around for at least a good long year, moving around fairly frequently before settling in Warren (by Sudbury) Ontario. She was absolutely certain that her father did reunite with one of his brothers; Roy and Roy spent time with them often living or traveling with them. She also believes he had a brother named Gilbert - she doesn't remember much of him at all or even if she ever met him but just remembers the name. In the only family photo album from that side of the family we have are pictures of an Uncle Roy and an Uncle Gilbert.
I ordered Thomas' death certificate last month and on it is a new birth date - 24 Nov 1901. The informant is a Henrietta Johns - we believe this is a woman Thomas' was in a relationship and living with after his wife died. So I'm not sure how serious we can take all of the details. My Grandmother did believe that Thomas was an American WWI soldier (as stated on his death certificate) and this is why she went back and forth on where he was born - Canada or The States. Also the father's name of Walter that Henrietta provides - I'm not sure that I trust her as a source for this information.
I have found a John Albert Nichols and Henrietta Bound of Peterborough with a son Thomas. I am certainly not 100% sure that they are my Thomas' parents but there are some strong coincidences. John Albert and Henrietta also had sons called Gilbert and Roy. In fact Gilbert ends up in Sudbury where my Thomas eventually settles his family. The son William Thomas they have happens to have the exact same birth date that is found on my Thomas' death certificate - 24 Nov. 1901. I can also see that John Albert & Henrietta had a number of children and it does look like a few of them were away from the family home working as domestic help for other families at young ages which follows the story of what we always heard happened to our Thomas.
Unfortunately that is most of the knowledge I have of Thomas' history. The only other bit of information is that his middle name may have been Francis. My grandmother always told the story that his mother sent him by train at the age of approx. 7 from where ever they were living to live with another family (possibly a German family called Morelock - maybe in The States) as she was unable to financially support him and all of her other children.
Again, we believe that at some stage Thomas was reunited with his brother; Roy and it is strongly believed that he was Thomas' biological brother. I have traced John Albert & Henrietta's son Gilbert to death in York and buried in North Bay, Ontario but lose track of Roy.
My Thomas married Katherine Farnham in 1922 in Omaha Nebraska and had 3 children. Daughter - Shirley Norma (my grandmother); B: 1924 (Omaha, Nebraska, USA) - D: 2011 (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada), Daughter - Anna May; B: 1926 (Wyoming, USA) - D: 2008 (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada), Son - Clayton Thomas; B: 1927 (Wyoming, USA) - D: 1998 (Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada).
In approximately 1930 Thomas and Katherine traveled into Ontario Canada and moved around while searching for Thomas' family but he never found them. He then settled on a family farm in Northern Ontario called Warren outside of Sudbury before moving to Michigan in 1950. He lived out his life in the Detroit area. His body was moved to Amherstburg, Ontario and is buried with his son Clayton. Katherine is buried in Novesta Township, Michigan - she died 10 years earlier at their weekend farmhouse. If you have a look at my tree you'll see my sources.
Any information would be greatly appreciated. My email address is email@example.com