Were you born and raised in St. Thomas? Has your family always resided in this area? If so we may be able to provide you with some family connections. The George Thorman Room at the St. Thomas Public Library is a collection of local historical records and information about the people that lived that history. These people are your relatives and this collection can help you to discover their lives. The following are some of the many resources found here.
Vital Statistics are birth, marriage, and death records. They provide information about an individual and those related to them. You may be able to find what your great uncle died of or the names of your great grandparents. You can understand a part of your lineage and witness the risks of the times.
The Cemetery Indexes allow you to locate where your ancestors are buried. The inscriptions and dates on the cemetery stones provide more information about them. A visit to their final resting place creates a physical connection.
The Census Collection informs where your family lived, their country of origin, and the number in the household including any non-family members such hired hands. If you check the 1851 agricultural census you can find out how many cows, chickens, and yields of grain etc. that your ancestors had. This information provides an interesting glimpse of their household at the time.
The City Directories enable you to find the former addresses of your relatives. You can follow as they move from boarding house to tenant to homeowner. Trace their journey around and up the city. The City Directories let you know their occupation and you can follow their career paths. Now you are forming a true sense of these people.
The George Thorman Room has a Surname Index. This index contains vital statistics information and may direct you to events in your relatives lives. These indexes are supported by our collection of St. Thomas newspapers on microfilm. You may find that your relative was involved in a court case, a serious accident, or received awards. The elegantly written description of your grandparent’s wedding in the newspaper allows to imagine that you are there. You can almost smell the flowers in the bouquets freshly made from her sister’s garden.
The first settlers here were part of the Talbot Settlement. This large tract of land was granted to Colonel Thomas Talbot with the condition that he attract settlers. These settlers came largely from Europe and the United States. These records are not local records but Ancestry Library Edition, a genealogical database provided in house by the St. Thomas Public Library enables you search historical records worldwide. You can find out where your settler relatives originated from and possibly how they got here. People who have recently joined our community will be able pursue family research through this database. Ancestry Library Edition does not have full access to records as a personal subscription does, but it has greater coverage than the trial subscription.
The George Thorman room contains many interesting accounts, descriptions, photos and maps about St. Thomas’ past. If you do not have family connections here, you can still learn about your new city’s history. The development of the city through the railways is a intricate and interesting story. The circuses, Jumbo, the visiting performers and sports teams, the agricultural components, the industrial drive, the development of modern services are among the many aspects of St. Thomas to be discovered in the George Thorman room. You will find something or someone interesting.