Note N111 Index
Thomas was born in Croydon, Surrey, England. According to the IGI, he was christened on May 13, 1855 at St. John the Baptist Church in Croydon, Surrey.
Exactly what happened to his parents and any siblings is a mystery. In 1871, he was already living with his grandparents and maternal uncle in Croydon.
He enrolled in the army in October 1872 at the age of 18 years, one month. His place of residence was shown as Aldershot, (although that may be just due to where he inducted). He was shown as Church of England. He served in the First Battalion, the Welsh Foot Soldiers for 5 years and 298 days and then in the Reserve for 6 years and 55 days (total of 12 years). He was listed as a gardener in his army discharge papers on October 6, 1884. I, Roger Timms, have his discharge papers and his army record. In it, he lists his next of kin "now living" as Isabela Bryant - his grandmother. She was I believe, based on the other information in this tree - living in Croydon, Surrey, England. He was unmarried when he enrolled. In fact, his papers show nothing in the spaces for wife, children, father, mother or siblings. We "know" his father was still serving in India then.
His marriage certificate shows him as house painter. On this certificate (May 1882) he is shown as age 25 Again, this is a problem if he was 18 years old when he enrolled in the army in October 1872 It seems a further indication that he was perhaps only 17 and one half year old when he went into the army. It is also a problem if he was 25 in 1881. I have learned that the 1881 census was performed April 3, 1881, which means that Thomas did not turn 25 until 2 days later. (see below). His father is NOT shown as deceased, but rather as a "soldier". I infer from that that he was still alive. The witnesses were Frank and Emma Golding, who were presumably her siblings.
In the 1881 census for Croydon Surrey, there is an Isabella Bryant, aged 75, widow, charwoman, living at 56 Old Town. She was born in Godstone Parish which is in Surrey. If this information is correct, then she was born in the year prior to April 1806. Also living there was her brother Thomas Buckland, aged 69, agricultural labourer. He was also born in Godstone. There is a Thomas Buckland, born to John Buckland and Elizabeth Bryant, baptised February 14, 1813 - is this he? I can not find a baptism for an Isabella at all, although there is an Elizabeth born August 15, 1805 and baptised on September 15, 1805 and a Sarah, baptised in March 1807. Did one of these women change their name or was it a second name for one (most likely Elizabeth). As Isabella is a diminutive of Elizabeth, it amy well be she. Finally there was her grandson, Thomas Bryant, aged 25, general labourer, born in Croydon. Both males were noted as unmarried. I am quite sure that these are my ancestors. If it is my Thomas, then there is either a mistake or perhaps he lied about his age by one year when he entered the army. I must check to see if one had to be 18 years old to join the army in the 1870's. They were living at 1 Galloways Row, South End, Croydon when Jeanette was born.
Here is the 1881 entry:
Dwelling:56 Old Town
Census Place:Croydon, Surrey, England
Source:FHL Film 1341191 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 0810 Folio 38 Page 15
Marr Age Sex Birthplace
Isabella BRYANT W75 F Godstone, Surrey, England
Thomas BUCKLAND U69 M Godstone, Surrey, England
Occ: Agricultural Labourer
Thomas BRYANT U25 M Croydon, Surrey, England
Occ: General Labourer
He emigrated to Canada - to the then North West Territories in British North America in 1888. They were among the first settlers to Calgary. I have found the family's arrival in Canada. They were on the ship the SS Westoria arriving on April 29, 1888. It left from London on April 13, 188 and stopped at Quebec City and Montreal. Calgary was noted as their ultimate destination. I wonder why exactly?
He was shown as a painter when he died.
The whole family is to be found in the 1891 Dominion Census, District 197. The reference is A22A. Thomas was 32; Frances Matilda 28; Jennet 8; Thomas 6; William 4 and Catherine 1. Thomas was noted as a painter. The census may be found at
http://www.afhs.ab.ca/data/census/1891/1891br.html There seems to be a problem with the ages of the parents but not the children. I can expect Thomas' age to be off but I don't know why Frances' would be.
I have also found them in the 1901 census for Calgary North. Thomas is 46, Frances Matilda is 40, Jeanette is 16, Thomas is 14, William is 13, Kathleen is 11, Isabel is 9, Harry is 5 and Harriet is 1.
In the 1902 city directory for Calgary, published by Gronlunds, he is listed as a painter, living at Abbott West, s s. I have never heard of an Abbott Street in Calgary? Also listed is his son Thomas Jr. an employee of G.W. Saddlery. He was living with his father. There are some pictures in the archives at the Glenbow museum circa 1900. In a couple of them taken at Great West Saddlery, Thomas Jr. appears as a very young man.
Although I knew the date of his death, until the summer of 2006 I did not know where he was buried. I found his gravestone hidden under a lilac bush next to the gravestones of his wife and their daughter Kathleen. They are all in the Union Cemetery, in Plot 27, Row 5, Section G. His stone reads:
In Loving Memory Of
Old Town Croydon England
April 5, 1855
March 5, 1905
Blessed are the dead which die in the Land Rev 5 18?
Anne Bryant has advised me that Thomas died from lead poisoning. If true, this is very likely due to his occupation as a painter.
In 1906, the year after his death, his widow, Frances is shown as living at 202, 5th St. W. The son Thomas was at Gt. West Saddlery Co. Ltd as a harness maker and was living at home. The son William was also at Great West as a saddle maker and was also living at home.
Of course, only Frances and the children appear in the 1906 census in Calgary.
In 1907, Frances is still there at the same address but for some reason, none of the children are mentioned. In 1908, Frances was still there as a widow, and the sons William and Thomas likewise. Among the pictures at the Glenbow are several of the family outside the home at 202, 5th St. W.
In 1909, Isabel shows up as a "dipper" (my mother says she was a candy dipper) for F. Rochon living at home at 202, 5th St. W. Her mother, the widow was still there, as was Thomas Jr. who was now a machine operator at Great West and William who was also at Great West as a saddle maker.
By 1910, Harry had a job as a delivery boy with Herald Western Co. Ltd; Isabel was noted as a chocolate dipper; the widow is still there and otherwise only William is shown and he is still at Great Western.
In 1914, Harry is a press feeder at East Calgary Press and is still at home; Thomas is still at Great West and is living at 612 9th Ave. N. W. with his sister Isabel and brother in law David Kennedy and William is at home with his mother who has probably remarried to George Scott. I see that he is listed a living at 202.
In 1915, there is a Miss E. Bryant, working as a packer at Tuxedo Coffee and Spice Mills; Kathleen Bryant is at home at 202 5th St. S.W.; Thomas has moved to Riley and McCormick and is living at 525 12th Ave. E; and William is a Western Saddlery and is living at home on 5th St.
In 1923, Harriet was a clerk at the HBC; Harry was a yardman at the CPR; Nettie was living at 502 17th Ave. S.W.; Thomas was a clerk in Land Titles; and William Jr. was still at Calgary Saddlery.