|Grave stone of Timothy Sullivan in St. Peter's Cemetery. Photo: Bill Sullivan|
Through research, I was able to learn that Timothy D. Sullivan had two sons. One was named Charles and the other was named George, probably after their uncles, Charles, my great-grandfather and the aforementioned Old Uncle George. The Sullivan brothers followed a pattern of naming their sons after each other. This made my search both difficult and easy at the same time. When Cousin Bill gave me Cousin Dorothy's interview notes from Great-aunt Margaret, I learned that this Charles Sullivan died of meningitis that "he brought back from the Spanish-American War." I continued to search Staten Island directories and census schedules to find that Timothy's other son, George, had married a woman named Pauline. He and Pauline had two sons, George Preston and Charles Trenchard. The naming pattern for George and Charles continued. George and Charles were first referred to as "Preston" and "Trenchard" on census forms and in Cousin Bill's Dad's family tree notes. It took me some time to figure this out as "Preston" and "Trenchard" disappeared from records and "George" and "Charles" reappeared. So much for leveraging the name "Trenchard"! Cousin Bill and I both wondered what kind of names Trenchard and Preston were; maybe from their mother Pauline's side of the family? Did George or Charles had any living descendants? The trail ran dry for a long
|Family history notes listing Preston and Trenchard. Courtesy of Bill Sullivan|
it seemed so.
|Obituary of George P. Sullivan where I discovered he had a son.|
|Obituary of Stephanie Sullivan mentioning James again and her family members.|
The year on the calendar changed to 2016. Several months in, I received a call from an unknown number in Florida. I answered it. It was James T. Sullivan! He had received one of the letters I sent out to men named James Sullivan without listed phone numbers. I asked a few more qualifying questions like his mother's middle name and his father's occupation. He was the James T, Sullivan I was looking for! After apologizing for not calling sooner, he said, "You know I am adopted right?" I did not.
We had many phone conversations during the year. He still speaks with a trace of his Staten Island accent. Like many people today, he had disconnected his home phone and only used a cellular phone. He did have a window washing business in New Port Richie when he lived there. He now resides in Hernando County Florida where I sent one of my letters. He had photos of his father and his uncle in their firefighter uniforms as well as his father's fire department ring. He promised to mail me copies of the photos. He never did. In September of 2016, while visiting my parents in Florida, my dad and I met him for lunch where he gave me the photos in person. I finally had faces for George Preston Sullivan and Charles Trenchard Sullivan...and the pleasure of meeting my third cousin James T. Sullivan.
|George Sullivan at Ladder Company 21 in Manhattan, late 1940's. Courtesy of James T. Sullivan|
|George Preston (l) and Charles Trenchard (r) Sullivan. 1940's. From the private collection of James T. Sullivan|