Henry Thomas and Margaret Alice Houlihan
My Great Grandparents
Henry Thomas, was born 8th August, 1879 at home at 82
High Holborn Street, Surrey Hills, NSW, son of John
Alexander Thomas and Mary Jane Finnamore. Baptised
31st October 1879 at St Michael's Flinders Street Surry
Hills. His known occupations were jockey, horse trainer and
labourer. Prior to his divorce Henry was working for Mr
Fairlie at Randwick.
Margaret Alice [aka Alice Margaret] Houlihan
[Wholighan*], was born 25th October 1880 at 49 Botany
Road, Alexandria, Sydney, daughter of William Houlihan
and Alice Margaret Dowling. Her birth certificate
incorrectly shows her date of birth as 23rd December 1880
probably due to the fact that her birth was not registered
until 31st January more than the six weeks allowable under
the law for registering births. Her known occupations were
general servant and cleaner.
Marriage: Henry and Margaret married on 14th April 1899 at St David's Church of England
at Surrey Hills. Margaret's name is shown as Alice Margaret HOORRIGAN on her marriage
certificate. At the time of his marriage Henry was a jockey and horse trainer, residing at
Crown Street, Surry Hills. Alice was a General Servant residing at Waverley. Witnesses to the
marriage were Mary and Frank MUNDAY. [Note: Frank Mundy would later be described as a
horse trainer in newspaper articles on Trove] The officiating minister was J Hargrave.
Henry's and Alice's children were:
Thomas: Jane Alice My Grandmother
Thomas: Alexander John [Alec/Alex] born 1902 Married Vera Millicent Hall at Granville in
1924. Vera was the daughter of Ellis Hall and Beatrice Victoria Barton and the sister of
George Thomas Hall who married half sister Alice May Hanson. Alex died October 1972 at
Cabramatta.[ref 69509] In 1930 and 1936 they were residing in John Street Cabramatta. You
can read a letter that Alex sent to my grandfather Ernest at the the end of WW1 HERE
The 1903 Electoral Roll shows that Margaret Alice Thomas is back living with her parents at
Edmund Street and later Wiley Street, Waverley. By the time she files for divorce, her
address is given as 33 Cowper Street, Waverley.
Divorce: In 1905 Alice Margaret Thomas petitioned for divorce from Henry Thomas [No 5518]
The marriage of Henry Thomas and Margaret Houlihan was dissolved by Decree of the
Supreme Court of NSW on 27th November 1906. Oral history states they parted after a
dispute involving the baptism of their youngest child Alexander although this is not stated in
the divorce records. Margaret was Irish Catholic. Click HERE for details on the divorce
Sydney Morning Herald dated 22nd May 1906 reported the following:
(Before Mr. Justice G. B. Simpson.)
THOMAS v THOMAS.
Alice Margaret Thomas, formerly Horrigan, of Cowper-street, Waverley, sought a dissolution
of her marriage with Henry Thomas, of Surry Hills, on the ground of desertion for three years
and upwards. The parties were married on April 14, 1899, ac- coring to the rites of the
Church of England. Two children were born. Mr. E. J. Spear appeared for the petitioner.
His Honor found the issue of desertion proved, but postponed granting a decree nisi until a
certain affidavit had been produced in proper form.
Sydney Morning Herald dated 24th May 1906
THOMAS v THOMAS.
Mr. E J. Spear appeared for petitioner, Alice Margaret Thomas, in support of an application
for dissolution of her marriage with respondent, Henry Thomas, on the ground of desertion.
The parties were married in April, 1899, according to the rites of the Church of England.
There were two children the issue of the marriage.
His Honor found the issue proved, and pronounced the decree nisi, making it returnable in
six months; petitioner to have the custody of the children.
Margaret Alice Houlihan married Frederick Hanson on 11th December 1906. For more
information click HERE
Henry Thomas married Mary Ann Henderson [known as Marion] in 1916 in Hastings, New
Zealand. For more information click HERE.
Above: Alice Margaret
Houlihan in her later years -
photo courtesy of her grand