Ida May (née Pelling, m Jenkins) & Thomas Keller (g-grandparents)

Thomas Keller was born 3 August 1875 in Queensland to Herbert Francis Keller and his wife Alice née Shane.  Thomas had seven siblings although not all survived infancy.  His siblings were: Edith Alice Shane (b1867 d1938); “Frank” Francis Herbert Keller (b1868 d 1893); “Charles” John Charles Keller (b1870 d1938); an unnamed son (d1874); Ethel Maud Mary (b1876 d1899); and twins, Sarah Alice (b1880 d1881); and “Kit” Catherine (b1880 d 1960).

When Thomas was 18, his older brother Frank died when his horse fell on him.  This was reported in The Northern Miner on Wednesday 11 January 1893 p3 “DEATHS. KELLER. – At Springfield, on January 7th, through his horse falling on him, Frank Herbert, eldest son of H.F. and Alice Keller, at one time of Cardington Station, aged 24 years and six months.”

Ida May Pelling was the daughter of Albert Pelling and Florence Anne Fitzgerald, born 1884 in Queensland. Ida’s birth is recorded as “Ida Maud” but later records use “Ida May”.  Ida had the following siblings: Albert Harrison (b1886 d1887); William George (b 1888); Ethel Maud (b1891); John Vincent Wilfred (b1894 d1952); Violet Hilda (b1895); Eileen Florence (b1898); Florence Victoria Mary (b1901); and Albert Clifford Charles (b1903 d1980).

On 17 October 1903 Ida married John Henry Jenkins.  The couple had two children together, Ida May born 1905 and  “Jack” John Henry was born on 28 April 1907.  Ida’s husband John died 5 January 1908 when their son was only nine months old.

Just over twelve months later, on 3 February 1909 Ida married Thomas Keller.  I believe Ida’s son from her first marriage was known under the surname of Keller for the remainder of his life.  Thomas and Ida had at least six children together.  Some of the birth records are still not available to the public as they occurred within the last 100 years.  The children known to be born to the marriage are: Herbert Frank Shane (b1909); Arthur Charles Thomas (b1912) Cecil Andrew Percy (b1914) Phyllis Alice (b1917 d 1977); Thomas John (b1919 d1937); and Violet (b1923).

The couple’s youngest son Thomas John died in 1937.  This is the Thomas for whose memory many of the current Thomas’ are named.  His death was reported in the Cairns Post on Friday 22 October 1937, p6.  “DEATH.  Keller.- After a long and painful illness, Thomas John, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Keller, passed away at the Gracemere Hospital, Cairns, on October 1, 1937, aged 18 years.”  The same column carried a notice from the family “THANKS.  Mr. and Mrs. T. Keller and family wish to thank the Doctors, Matron and Nursing Staff of Cremorne and Gracemere Hospitals for their unremitting care and attention to their late son and brother, Tom; also the Brothers and students of Saint Augustine’s College, and all kind friends who sent floral tributes and messages of sympathy and condolence in their recent sad bereavement.”

Thomas Keller died in 1956 and Ida May died in 1970.

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