THOMAS / THOMAS Family File, a work in progress

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  • ID: I0021
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1731 in Orange Co., VA
  • Death: BEF. 14 APR 1808 in Washington (now Marion) Co., KY
  • Note:
    My husband, Daniel Stillwell Thomas was born March 15, 1803, in Sumner County, Tennessee. His father was Henry Thomas. His mother was Rachel Stillwell. His grandfather was Owen Thomas. His grandmother was Polly Hardin. . . . My husband's uncles were Enos, John and Harden. His Aunt's names were Polly, Thomas* and Catherine Thomas.* --Martha P. Thomas, dictated to John Woodhouse, Feb. 20, 1881, Lehi, Utah Co., UT.
    * This should read Polly Thomas and Catherine Thomas, the only evidence we have for a daughter named Mary, and she failed to include Lewis.

    Land Office Patents & Grants / Northern Neck Grants & Surveys, catalog card, The Library of Virginia:
    1752 January 8, OWEN THOMAS, grantee, Frederick Co., VA, 400 acres adjoining George Johnston, Benjn Crub, &c. Source, Northern Neck Grants H, p.88 (Reel 293). Original survey exists; the survey of this tract was done by George Washington; the original is in the New York Public Library. Part of the index to recorded copies of land grants issued by the agents of the Fairfax Proprietary between 1690 and 1781 and by the Commonwealth between 1786 and 1874. Original and recorded surveys are also indexed when available. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia. Available on microfilm; Northern Neck Grants, reels 288-311.

    A Quaker of Welsh descent, but Methodist in his later life. Moved from Frederick Co., VA, to Bedford (now Fayette) Co., PA, on Georges Creek after September 12, 1771; then to Nelson (later Washington) Co., KY, about 1785.

    Today, there's a Georges Creek in Bedford Co. and another in Fayette Co. Which Georges Creek did Owen THOMAS settle near? Did he first go to the area that is now Bedford Co., then move further west to the area that is now Fayette Co.? Or did the county boundaries simply change?

    1771 March 9, Bedford Co., PA, formed from Cumberland
    1773 Feb. 26, Westmoreland Co., PA, formed from Bedford
    1783 Sept. 26, Fayette Co., PA, formed from Westmoreland

    1783 assessment, Springhill Twp., Fayette Co., PA: Owen, AENEAS, Henry, Joseph, John, Edward S. THOMAS, several HARDINs, James and Joseph KENNISON. --Clara Wilson <>, e-mail to Candy Wagner <>, May 26, 2000.

    1786 state tax return, Springhill Twp., Fayette Co., PA: most HARDINs gone and all the THOMASes except ENEAS. --Clara Wilson <>, e-mail to Candy Wagner <>, May 26, 2000.

    1786 list of tithables, Nelson Co., VA: Owen, Hardin, John, Isaac THOMAS, and various HARDINs. --Clara Wilson <>, e-mail to Candy Wagner <>, May 26, 2000.

    1789 Nelson Co., KY, ENOUS THOMAS. --Clara Wilson <>, e-mail to Candy Wagner <>, May 26, 2000.

    1790 Fayette Co., PA, census, ENOS THOMAS, Springhill Twp. --Clara Wilson <>, e-mail to Candy Wagner <>, May 26, 2000.

    See Cecil O'Dell, Pioneers of Old Frederick County Virginia (Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Co., 1995). Probably the most comprehensive and best footnoted history of the area created from land and court records.
    WPL Genealogy 929.3755992 ODE

    "HARDIN THOMAS . . . His mother was a HARDIN, the daughter of JOHN HARDIN, who was a brother of the old original MARK HARDIN, of George's Creek, Pennsylvania. His father was named OWEN THOMAS; he [Hardin] was the brother of Gen. JOHN THOMAS, who commanded the Kentucky troops under Gen. JACKSON at the battle of New Orleans." --Samuel Haycraft, A History of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Its Surroundings (1869; Hardin Co. Historical Society, 1960), 123-24.

    "Adherents of the Methodist faith were in Washington County at a very early date. The first meeting house of the followers of John Wesley, however, was not located in Springfield, and it is probable that there was no established congregation of the denomination in the town until the year 1817.
    "Of the earliest Methodist meeting houses in Washington County we mention two. THOMAS's Meeting House, about 7 miles southeast of Springfield and Sanduskey's Station (now Pleasant Run). The first was one of the earliest preaching points established in Kentucky and it was visited by all the pioneer preachers. The Pleasant Run Church at one time attained a large membership and it sent into the ministry of the Methodist Church a number of ministers. John Sanduskey, Elijah M. Bosley, JONATHAN THOMAS and Thomas G. Bosley all went into the ministry from Sanduskey's Station. Col. JOHN HARDIN and his family were members of this church." --Pioneer History of Washington County, Kentucky as compiled from newspaper articles by Orval W. Baylor and others, edited and indexed by Michael L. Cooke and Bettie Ann Cooke (Utica, KY: McDowell Publications, 1980), p.159.

    "Another church in this section of the state was THOMAS' Meeting House, six miles from Lebanon [now in Marion Co., KY, formed from Washington Co. in 1834]. Among the first members of this church were OWEN THOMAS and his wife. JACOB YOUNG, while making his first round on his first circuit in 1802, came to this church and has left us an interesting account of his visit to Father THOMAS'. He says: 'My next appointment was at what is called THOMAS' Meeting House. I went to this place with fear and trembling, for I had heard many things of old Father THOMAS. He was very severe on the young preachers, often telling them if they could do no better, they had better go home. I prayed much on my way thither. He met me at the door and gave me a very cold reception. He was a very large man, of rough features, stern countenance, and of great decision; withal he was very rich and felt his own importance. He sat down and looked at me as if he would examine my head and heart, and I felt very uneasy. Mrs. THOMAS entered the room with smiling countenance, shook my hand, and gave me a hearty welcome. She was a fine figure, and reminded me of what I had read of Lady Huntington. Her mind was filled with good sense, and her heart overflowed with charity. The congregation soon assembled. As the day was cold, and there was no stove in the meeting house, they concluded to have the preaching in the house, which was large enough to accommodate them. I arose under a heavy cross and went to a little stand. My Bible being in one pocket and my hymnbook in another, I was not dependant on anyone for books. My congregation was gay for those early days; Honorable Robert Wickliffe sat before me. I read my hymn, they sang, and I kneeled down to pray. The clouds dispersed and in the light of Almighty God I saw light. I had studied my text well and the Lord gave me great liberty. Old Father THOMAS wept freely, HIS BROTHER shouted* and his wife praised God with a loud voice. Brother THOMAS was never cross with me after that day. I had a pleasant night and a most delightful morning.'" --Reverend W. E. Arnold, History of Methodism in Kentucky, Vol. 1 (Herald Press, 1935), 180 (transcription courtesy Joseph L. Haw, Caledonia, MO, ca. 1976-77)
    *see Winthrop S. Hudson, Shouting Methodists (1968) <>

    The Thomas Meeting House was definitely located where the article says it was and Lewis Thomas deeded this property to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The words that keep me coming back to the article are "Old father Thomas wept freely, his brother shouted, and his wife praised God with a loud voice." Did our Owen have a brother in the vicinity and who was he? The possibilites so far include Thomas Thomas of Washington County who died somewhere around 1805, the John Thomas who was an early surveyor in Mercer (Lincoln) County, and whoever Henson Thomas in Hardin County was. --Clara Wilson <>, e-mail to Candy Wagner <>, July 1, 2000.

    Methodist beginnings [in Kentucky] are traced in Albert H. Redford, The History of Methodism in Kentucky, 3 vols. (Nashville, Tenn., 1868-1870), and set in perspective in Walter B. Posey, The Development of Methodism in the Old Southwest, 1783-1824 (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1933), and William Warren Sweet, ed., Religion on the American Frontier: The Methodists, 1783-1840 (Chicago, 1946).

    The state of Kentucky is covered by two Methodist conferences that oversee the missions and business of the church. The conferences have collected records from churches that have closed. Records of existing congregations are generally still in the churches. The Kentucky Annual Conference oversees the majority of the churches in Kentucky, while the Redbird Missionary Conference oversees the state's southeastern counties.
    Kentucky Annual Conference, 2000 Warrington Way, Browenton Bldg. Suite 280, Louisville, KY 40222-3407. 502-425-3884.
    Redbird Missionary Conference, 6 Queendale Center, Beverley, KY 40913. 606-598-5915.
    For background information about the Methodist Church, see:
    Arnold, William Erastus. A History of Methodism in Kentucky. 2 vols. Louisville, KY: Herald Pub., 1935-1936. (FHL book 976.9 K2a; fiche 60484301; computer number 220599.) This book is indexed and contains a history of the Methodist Church before 1935.
    Short, Roy H. Methodism in Kentucky. Rutland, VT: Academy Books, 1979. (Not at Family History Library.)

    Some earlier researchers have attribued Isaac and Hezekiah as sons of Owen and Mary. A better choice for Isaac is a grandson, and son of Enos, but their son, General John Thomas, also named a son Isaac.
    Hezekiah (1799-1875) was also a grandson, a son of General John Thomas.

    Isaac Thomas purchased the bible of Owen Thomas at the Owen Thomas estate sale. Who is this Isaac? We think he is Owen's brother. We need documentation. --Clara Wilson (, Sept. 16, 2004

    There is no will to be found for Owen in the Washington, Hardin, Nelson, Marion, etc., county will books that are extant. Further, on April 11, 1808, the Washington Co., KY, court ordered "that James Watkins, Robert Buckler, Philip Davis and John Mills or any three of them being first sworn do appraise the slaves if any and personal estate of Owen Thomas, deceased, and report thereof to the court." On June 18, 1808, "an inventory and appraisement of the estate of Owen Thomas, deceased, was returned." "Also a list of sales of the estate of Owen Thomas, deceased, was returned to court" on the same day. The inventory and appraisement of his personal property and the sale of the personal property can be found in Washington Co., KY, Court Order Book B, pp.507-12. If he had not died intestate, his personal property would not have been appraised and sold at public auction. --Clara Wilson, Sept. 7, 2005

    1808, sale of the personal property of Owen Thomas, Washington Co., KY
    buyers included Lewis, Enos, Isaac Sr. [Owen's brother?], Hardin, Harry, and John Thomas;
    Enos bought more items than the others; Isaac bought the family Bible.
    Lewis Thomas and Hardin Thomas were the administrators.
    1811 July 20, final settlement, Will Book B, p.144

    Father: LEWIS THOMAS
    Mother: JANE SMITH

    Marriage 1 MARY "Polly" HARDIN b: 1735 in Prince William Co., VA
    • Married: ABT. 1750 in Frederick Co., VA
    1. Has Children Lewis (Captain) THOMAS b: ABT. 1752 in (probably) Frederick Co., VA
    2. Has Children ENOS THOMAS b: BET. 1756 - 1761 in (probably) Frederick Co., VA
    3. Has Children Henry "Harry" THOMAS b: 17 FEB 1758 in (probably) Frederick Co., VA
    4. Has Children John (General) THOMAS b: 10 APR 1763 in Frederick Co., VA
    5. Has Children Catherine "Caty" THOMAS b: ABT. 1764 in Frederick Co., VA
    6. Has Children Hardin THOMAS b: 1766 in (probably) Frederick Co., VA
    7. Has No Children Mary "Polly" THOMAS

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    July 28, 2000. Research is always a Work in Progress, and Human Error invariably enters the equation no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Therefore, corrections are always welcome and gratefully received, so please don't be shy about contacting me.

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