Captain Thomas Florence Sullivan

M, (26 July 1877 - 20 June 1942)
Father-Biological*John J. Sullivan Sullivan J.P., K.P.M b. 7 Aug 1846, d. 17 Oct 1918
Mother-Biological*Annie Ellen Donaghue b. 1846, d. 27 Nov 1894
Family Lines
Sullivan Line
Last Edited=14 May 2023
Sullivan Family Portrait
Left to Right: John J. Sullivan; Mary Anne Sullivan; Thomas F. Sullivan; Bridget A. Sullivan; Anna (Donoghue) Sullivan
     Captain Thomas Florence Sullivan was born on 26 July 1877 at St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.1,2,3,4,5,6,7 He was the son of John J. Sullivan Sullivan J.P., K.P.M and Annie Ellen Donaghue. Captain Thomas Florence Sullivan was christened on 29 July 1877 at St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.8 He immigrated on 28 September 1894 He arrived in Gloucester, Massachusetts from Newfoundland on 28 September 1894 at the age of 17.3 He was naturalized on 8 May 1900 at Boston, Massachusetts, His address at that time was 151 Meridian Street, Boston and he worked as a seaman.3,6

Captain Thomas Florence Sullivan, age 28, married Agnes Kavanaugh, age 24 , daughter of John J. Kavanaugh and Hannah Dalton, on 6 August 1905 at St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.5,9,10 While serving as the Merchant Marine Captain of the SS Gulflight on 15 May 1915, she was torpedoed without warning by a German submarine. This was the first United States ship to be so attacked. He was able to bring it to safe harbor with the loss of but three lives. When the United States declared war on Germany, Capt. Sullivan was commissioned a Lieutenant Commander and carried supplies to the troops in France.9 Thomas registered for the draft giving his home address as 33 Bartlett Street, Beverly, Massachusetts, his age as 41, and his employer as the Guef Refining Company on 31 August 1918 at Beverly, Massachusetts.7 Thomas lived in October 1918 at New York City, New York, At the time of his father's death. Thomas, age 52 years, and Agnes, age 48 years, appeared on the US Census of 1930 at 7116 Pennsylvania Avenue, Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.11 As a Commander in the US Navy, he had the honor of taking the USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37), a new heavy cruiser, to through its sea trials. Thomas, age 62 years, and Agnes, age 58 years, appeared on the US Census of 1940 at 7116 Pennsylvania Avenue, Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.12 Captain Thomas Florence Sullivan died on 20 June 1942 at 7116 Pennsylvania Avenue, Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, at age 64 from cerebral arteriolosclerosis.2,4 Thomas's obituary of 22 June 1942, reads:

Carried Supplies To Troops in France During" World War

Thomas F. Sullivan, stevedoring executive and a retired Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, died Saturday at his home, 7116 Pennsylvania ave., Bywood. He was 65.

At sea as a captain in the Merchant Marine when the first World War broke out, Mr. Sullivan was commissioned a Lieutenant Commander and carried supplies to the troops in France. He was retired after the war and returned to the Merchant Marine.

Just before organizing his own stevedoring business here in 1933, he took the 10,000-ton cruiser. U. S. S. Tuscaloosa, out of the New York Shipbuilding Corp. yards for a trial run prior to its acceptance by the Navy.

Mr. Sullivan was a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, a charter member of the Alhambra, member of the Men of Malvern and ' of the Holy Name Society of St. Laurence's Church, Highland Park. He also was a director of the Vessel Owners' and Captains' Association, and a member of the Port of Philadelphia Maritime Society.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Hon-ora Agnes Sullivan, and three sons, Edmund J., Gerard J. and Thomas F. Sullivan, Jr. Solemn Requiem Mass will be sung at 10 A. M. Wednesday in St. Laurence's Church. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.9

He was buried on 24 June 1942 at Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.2,4,9

Children of Captain Thomas Florence Sullivan and Agnes Kavanaugh


  1. [Unknown author]. Inspector General Newfoundland Constabulary. Provo, Utah: Operations.
  2. Find-a-Grave. Online
  3. Massachusetts, U.S., State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1798-195. Provo, Utah: Operations, 2011.
  4. Department of Health, Record Group. Pennsylvania, U.S., Death Certificates, 1906-1968. Provo, Utah: Operations, 2014.
  5. Sullivan, Timothy Francis. Gallegher/Sullivan Ancestry. N.p.: manuscript, 2012.
  6. U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992. Provo, Utah: Operations, 2013.
  7. United States, Selective Service System. U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Provo, Utah: Operations, 2005.
  8. Newfoundland, Church Records, 1793-1899. Lehi, Utah: Operations, 2017.
  9. Philadelphia Inquirer, "Edmund J. Sullivan A&P executive, 81" Philadelphia, 22 June 1942.
  10. Newfoundland, Canada, Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1850-1949. Lehi, Utah: Operations, 2017.
  11. Census Bureau. 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Provo, Utah: Operations, 2002.
  12. Census Bureau. 1940 U.S. Federal Census. Provo, Utah: Operations, 2012.