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Birdie (Minerd) Thomas

Birdie Ethel (or "Berdie" or "Bertie") (Minerd) Thomaswas born on May 18, 1890 in Dunbar, Fayette County, PA, the daughter of Andrew R. and Annie (Rhodes) Minerd.

Birdie's parents separated when she was young. She and her mother and sisters moved to Pittsburgh, residing with her grandmother at 814 Aiken Avenue. Tragedy was compounded on heartache in 1913, when Birdie's father was killed when he fell down a flight of steps at a hotel in Dunbar.

On March 22, 1915, when she was age 25, Birdie was united in matrimony with 30-year-old George Thomas (Dec. 21, 1885-1955), the son of Frederick and Melinda (McLaughlin) Thomas of Uniontown, Fayette County. The ceremony was held at Birdie's home, officiated by Rev. J.H. Norcross, pastor of the Shadyside Baptist Church. News of the Thomas's wedding was announced by Anna's mother and published in the Pittsburgh Press.

At the time of marriage, George was a mechanic, and resided at 5837 Ellsworth Avenue in Pittsburgh. Said the Press: "Mr. and Mrs. Thomas will be at-home in the Lenox Apartments, Mathilda st., after May 1." 

Looking east on Pittsburgh's Liberty Avenue, as seen from Sixth Street, early 1900s

When George registered for the military draft during World War I, he was marked as working as a truck repairman for a company named Campbell. He was of medium height and build, with green eyes and black hair.

They are the same George and "Buela" Thomas enumerated in the 1920 federal census of Pittsburgh, living in a rented house on Clair (?) Street, with George employed as railroad company repairman. Circa 1925, their home was at 924 Mellon Street in the city. They are shown as George and "Burd" Thomas in the 1930 census, living on Pittsburgh's Coral Street, with George working that year as a laborer in a tire company. Both censuses show them with their one daughter, Jane Louise Thomas. 

Circa 1942, they made their residence at 5 Clarendon Place in Pittsburgh's East End. 

Birdie became sick in the winter of 1942, suffering from hypertension, hardening of the arteries and kidney failure. She was admitted to the Homeopathic Hospital (Shadyside Hospital). She did not recover, and died at the age of 50 on March 9, 1942. Funeral services were held at the Hartwell and Waples Funeral Home at Baum Boulevard and Graham Street in Pittsburgh. Her remains were placed at rest in St. Peters Cemetery. Birdie's obituary was published in her old hometown newspaper, the Uniontown Morning Herald.

George outlived Birdie by a baker's dozen years. His final address was 329 Stratford Avenue.

At age 69, George was felled by an aneurysm of the abdomen and then suffered a heart attack. He was treated at At. Margaret Memorial Hospital in Aspinwall, but there was no hope. Death swept him away in 1955. He sleeps next to his bride in eternal repose at St. Peter's.

~ Daughter Jane Louise (Thomas) Gallivan ~

Daughter Jane Louise Thomas (1916-1993) was born on April 23, 1916 in Pittsburgh.

Jane made a home with her parents in 1942 at 5 Clarendon Place, Pittsburgh.

In time, Jane was joined in wedlock with John M. Gallivan (May 1, 1899-1989), a native of Canastota, NY. The couple did not reproduce.

John earned a living with U.S. Steel Corporation. In 1955, they lived at 231 Race Street in Pittsburgh. At one point the pair relocated to Dallas, TX. Then circa 1967, they moved again to the Tampa area of Florida. They put down roots in Holiday, FL.

Jane Louise was employed over the years in the sales department of National Transit Pump and Company. She held a membership in the Forest Hills Civic Association. She was Protestant, and he was Catholic.

John surrendered to the spirit of death in HCA New Port Richey Hospital at age 89 on April 20, 1989. 

Jane Louise passed away in Pasco County, FL on March 24, 1993. The Tampa Bay Times published an obituary, stating that she was survived by two cousins, Elizabeth Pawlosky of Mount Lebanon, PA and Ann McIlwain of Pittsburgh. Her remains rest in the sleep of ages in the mausoleum of Meadowlawn Memorial Gardens in New Port Richey, FL.

Copyright 2001, 2010, 2022 Mark A. Miner