Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in UK

Thomas was born in Armagh, County Armagh Northern Ireland; the date of birth/baptism was 23 Sep 1841. Elizabeth McAree and Susan McConnell were sponsors to the baptism. He was the son of Michael May and Susan McAree; the grandson of Thomas May & Margaret (O)Donnell(y) and James McAree & Mary Downing. He had eight known brothers and sisters; Margaret b. 1837, Mary May b. 1839, James May b. 1844, Michael May b. 1845, Bernard May b. 1847, John May b. 1850, Patrick May b. 1852, Susan b. 1855.

At the age of 17 Thomas enlisted as a private in Her Majesty's Service - the 16th Regiment of foot (Service number 722) in County Armagh on 4 November 1858 and received two Shillings and 6 Pence at the time. According to his enlistment record, he was listed as a laborer,  5'4" tall, fresh complexion, grey eyes, and black hair. His enlistment was for 11 years. At the time he could not read or write, but used 'his mark' to sign. He re-enlisted in 1868 while in Barbados. While in the Service he received his 2nd Class Certificate for Education. During his time in Service he was stationed in British North America, the West Indies, East Indies and England.
He was promoted to Corporal in 1864, Sergeant in 1868 and promoted to Color Sergeant (the equivalent to what would be a Staff Sergeant in the US) 18 Nov 1882. He retired 9 Dec 1884 as a Chelsea pensioner in Colchester.

Thomas married Sarah Baldry on 9 Jan 1873, St. James Catholic Chapel Colchester, England (both father's were deceased by this time). The witnesses to the wedding were her brother William Baldry and Louisa Harbour. Sarah was six years older than Thomas. Her parents were William Baldry and Hannah (unknown maiden name). Thomas and Sarah had no children. Sometime prior to 1891 Sarah became an invalid with paralysis. She died of Apoplexy on 1 May 1902  in Colchester. They were living on Wellington St., Colchester in the 1901 census and at the time of Sarah's death. After, Tom moved to 18 Shrubland Road in Colchester, and continued to live at the same address as a pensioner until he died of heart failure in 1917; the informant was his long time housekeeper Mathilda Cater. Mathilda was also caregiver to Thomas' wife Sarah.

He and Sarah are both buried at Colchester Cemetery and Crematorium.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 23rd Sep 1841
Date of Death 24th Mar 1917

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