McMahan/Kilsdonk Ancestors

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  • ID: I863
  • Name: Thomas * (parents unknown) Kent
  • Sex: M
  • Change Date: 10 JAN 2015
  • Birth: ABT 1730 1
  • Death: BEF SEP 1782 in Jones Co., NC 2
  • Death: SEPT. 1779 in Craven / Jones Co. area, NC 3
  • Occupation: Craven Co., NC, Planter 1763 AND 1768 3
  • Occupation: Craven Co., NC Shoemaker 1775 3
  • Note:
    I cannot prove the parent's of Thomas Kent of 1763 Craven Co., NC. I suspected (but no longer believe in 2015) he came to NC from MD based on circumstantial evidence. Jack Berg found that Idolet Gilstrap, who I have added to my database along with his parents & siblings, bought land in Craven Co., NC from Nathan Chance on July 22, 1774. Isaac Kent (Thomas Kent's likely son) proved or witnessed that sale, indicating he was a close neighbor. Steve Kent, a Southern Kent researcher, found that this land was located on the south side of the Neuse River, above Moseley's Creek, the SE side of Pudding Branch, then along George Becton's property line, by original patent of 5 May 1769. Gilstrap research has Idolet Gilstrap born in Somerset Co., MD, and he MAY have migrated to GA with the Kent family before settling in Burke Co., GA, where he died.

    Also a witness to the above 1774 land sale was a William Kent, who Jack Berg found in Edgecombe Co., NC, in 1782 and in Martin Co., NC, in 1784 -1813. Jack believed that William was probably kin to Isaac and was "doubtless visiting Isaac at the time they both witnessed the July 22, 1774 land sale." Jack also believed that Isaac and a Henry Kent were cousins and their families probably traveled together to Columbia Co., GA sometime after 1785. Isaac Kent is listed there as a juror by 1790 and Henry Kent is a juror there by 1792. A Henry Kent is also listed in Martin Co., NC between 1778 and 1785, when his last land sale is recorded. Steve Kent says that Jack told him that the 1785 Martin Co., NC land sale of 112 acres on the east side Middle Swamp, not recorded in Berg's book, was on 5 Mar 1785 from Henry Kent and wife Martha to Thomas William(s) Kent for L75 lawful currency of the state of NC. Jack speculated that William was probably Henry's father.

    My correspondent and member of the Southern Kent research group, Esther Womack, wrote me that she has always believed that the above Henry and the subject Thomas were related. She found a 1789 deed for Henry Kent in Wilkes Co., GA which was witnessed by Randle (Randolph) Kent, whom she believes is his son. I included the above data on Henry Kent in my notes because of my earlier THEORY that the subject Thomas was the son of Henry Kent of 1724-1736 Talbot Co., MD, who also had a son named Henry. I suspected (but no longer believe) that the subject Thomas Kent MAY have been the same man as a Thomas Kent born on 23 Apr 1730, as given in the records of St. Peter's Parish, Talbot Co., MD for the children of Henry & Margaret Kent of 1724-1736 Talbot Co., MD. I have their family in my database. That Henry Kent almost certainly descends from Henry Kent Sr. who d. AFT 5 May 1677 at Calvert Co., MD. The Southern Kent research group paid for Y-DNA test kit #222555 samples kindly provided to Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) by Ron Kent in May 2012. Ron's KENT ancestry has been traced back to Henry Kent of 1677 Calvert Co., MD. However, Ron's test results did not match those of any KENT testee until recently. See my notes for Ron's ancestor, John Etheridge Kent (#21065 in my database), for more on his test results. In Jan. 2015, Ron's test matched closely with those of a descendant of Absalom Kent b. 15 Feb 1702 (#16917), who I had also tentatively traced back to the above Henry Kent Sr.

    Jack Berg found men surnamed Kent in Virgina records with the same given names as the subject Thomas Kent and his sons Isaac, Samuel & Levi. Jack found a Samuel Kent receiving a land grant in 1691 Stafford Co., VA, and owning 323 acres there in 1723. Then, in 1738, possibly the same Samuel was listed as deceased in Prince William Co., VA. Prince William Co. was formed from Stafford Co. in 1730. In 1740, an Isaac Kent was involved in a Stafford Co. land deal and was also mentioned there in a will. In 1760, Jack found a Thomas Kent as a juror in Prince William Co. trials. So, a Thomas, Isaac & Samuel Kent are all found in the same time frame and in the same adjacent counties. After 1760, Jack notes that none of these Kents appears in those two counties indicating that they had either died or moved. Jack then speculates that they may well be related to the subject Thomas Kent of 1763 Craven Co., NC. Esther Womack had concluded in June 2012 that the above Thomas Kent of Virginia was very likely the subject Thomas Kent. I have saved a comprehensive timeline of Kents in 1700s & 1800s Virginia and Georgia in my computer folder for files from Virginia Lapham (mentioned below).

    Virginia Lapham, another accomplished Southern Kent researcher, found the following:
    VIRGINIA COUNDY (sic) COURT RECORDS, Order Book Abstracts of Prince William County, Virginia (1752-1753) Edited and Published by Ruth & Sam Sparacio, 1320 Mayflower Drive, McLean, Virginia 22101, Copyright 1988.

    Pp 9,10, Minute Book Page 195, 1752-1753 (25 July 1753, "This day came as well the aforesaid Plaintiffs by their Attorney as the aforesaid Defendant by his Attorney and the Jurors of a Jury to wit George Foster, THOMAS KENT, William Morgan, William Splawn, Hohn Foley, Isaac Farrow, Thomas Reno, William Dulin, William Askin, John Jackson, William Hagard & William Lynn.

    p. 12, Minute Book Page 221, 175-1753 (27 August 1753, A Bill of Sale from Zachariah WEBB to Thomas HIGHLANDER was proved by ISAAC KENT one of the Witnesses who also swore that he saw John BUTRIDG the other Witness sign the same and on the motion of the said Thomas was admitted to record.

    p. 77 (Order Book 1754-1755) p. 309 (22 September 1755) William Rainey and Elizabeth his Wife acknowledged an Indenture to THOMAS KENT which was admitted to record. On the Petition of George Bell against William COOPER. Ordered the said William be summoned to appear at next Court to answer the same.

    p. 86, (Order Book 1755-1757) (23 February 1756) On the petition of William Rainey and Wife. Ordered the Sheriff summon THOMAS KENT to appear at next Court to answer the said petition.

    See my notes for Richard (I) Kent of 1740 Prince William Co., VA and 1744 Fairfax Co., VA , who I have in my database as an unproven member of the MD Kent family, who I also speculate above MAY be ancestors of the subject Thomas Kent. Fairfax Co. was formed from Prince William Co. in 1742. The given names of Thomas, Samuel, and Isaac, although admittedly common, are also found in the descendants of the MD Kent family.

    Steve Kent found that Mary Gilstrap, likely the widow of Peter Gilstrap (Jr.) who was Idolet Gilstrap's brother, sold to a Thomas Kent two tracts of 65 & 93 acres on the south side of the Neuse River on 19 Oct 1796. Mary Gilstrap and Thomas Kent are given as both of Craven Co. That Thomas Kent was likely the son of the subject Thomas Kent of 1763 Craven, who had died before Sept. 1782 at Jones Co., NC (see below).

    Jack Berg's research found the following on the subject Thomas Kent: He received a 150 acre grant of plantation land in 1763 at the head of the West Branch of the Neuse River in Craven Co., NC. Thomas requested the land on 15 Apr 1763 and it was surveyed by Farnifold Green (see below for more on Farnifold Green.) His peak holdings were 728 acres (1.1 sq.mi.) about 10 mi. from Dover, NC. In 1779, his taxable holdings totaled $2,414. Thomas signed documents with a seal rather than with his mark. Thomas is noted as deceased in a Sep 1782 suit against him & his land in Jones Co., NC. He was a Whig and likely died at the hand of the British during the war. Jones Co. was formed from Craven Co. in 1779. My correspondent and Kent researcher, Melanie Spychalski, found that Thomas Kent's plantation property line formed part of the boundary for Jones Co. when it was formed per the following Google book Web page:

    On page 43 of his book, Jack Berg reports that a 1769 colony tax list has Thomas listed with 2-0-0. This indicated that Thomas and a son are the only taxable males over age 15 in his household. The son was therefore b. BEF 1753.

    My distant cousin, Thomas William Kent, helpfully provided samples under kit #208797 to FTDNA for Y-DNA analysis for the KENT surname project. The cost of testing was kindly paid by members of the Southern Kent research group. The results were completed in July 2011 and were uploaded to FTDNA's Ysearch public database as ID 2UV9H. There were no near perfect matches to anyone at that time. The closest match in the KENT project in Oct. 2011 was a 35/37-marker match to a testee with kit #73937, a descendant from the patriarch Benoni Kent , whom I've added to my database. That match indicates those two testees are distant relatives with a 91% probability that they have a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) no further back than 12 generations. At roughly 27 years per generation, their MRCA was born around the year 1600, about the time of the settlement of colonial America. In January 2012, another 35/37-marker match was found with Rev. Gregory Patrick Kent who descends from the subject Thomas Kent through son Isaac and his son Abel Kent, also in my database. Based on their matches, FTDNA predicts that all of these testees belong to the Haplogroup R1b1a2, which developed from R1b, the most common haplogroup in European populations. The fact that Ron Kent's test results fall in Haplogroup I1 convinces me that the subject Thomas Kent does NOT descend from Henry Kent of 1677 Calvert Co., MD.

    Just for the record, I no longer believe that the subject Thomas Kent is the man who was christened 25 Mar 1733 in Chippenham, Cambridge, England. My correspondent, Lois H. Clark, wrote me in April 2000 that she did have this data. I also thought so until Lois wrote me in June 2001 that she based the Chippenham connection to the subject Thomas of Craven Co., NC, on the fact that Thomas of Chippenham (LDS IGI) was the only one who fit with the subject Thomas born ABT 1730. Since Lois' early research, she said there have been several other men added to the LDS IGI who could also fit. The LDS IGI later had a record that Thomas of Chippenham died an infant on 2 Dec 1733. Case closed!

    Steve Kent wrote the following ( in 2002:
    "Thomas of St Stephens moved to Bath NC and his daughter Hannah married Farnefold Green I. The Thomas of Craven NC 1761 (sic) who appears to come from MD has ties in NC to the Green family includng a grandson named Farnefold Carmack. Thomas of Craven's land was surveyed by Farnefold Green II. What it looks to me is that John in Thomas in St Stephens Northumberland VA and Henry and William in MD are all part of the same family."
    I have the above Thomas Kent, of Bath Co., NC (b. ABT 1635), as having d. in Perquimans Pct. of Albemarle Co., NC and with ID #9815 in my database. That much older Thomas had a daughter, Hannah Kent, who married a Farnifold Green, s/o Timothy Green & Anne Farnefold. [Web page: has Fanifould Green as importing several men to Bath Co., NC, on 7 Sep 1701.] Steve Kent cited the following FTM Carmack Family GenForum post # 790 [] for Furnifold Kent Carmack b. 1823 as a son of Jesse Carmack and Patience Kent (her 2nd marriage), granddaughter of the subject Thomas Kent through son Levi Kent.
  • Note:
    Notes Part 2:

    Jack Berg believed that a Thomas, who died in the Revolutionary War, was the first son of Thomas Kent of 1763 Craven Co., NC as illustrated on pg. 47 of his book. Yet Isaac Kent, b. ABT 1749/1755, is given by Jack as Thomas' oldest son on pg. 42, having inherited 450 acres from his father's estate. This other Thomas Kent enlisted as a Pvt. in the war on 1 Jul 1777 as being from New Bern, NC, and Berg believed he was a shoemaker by trade based on a 1775 record. On pg. 45, Jack states that land sold by Thomas Kent, shoemaker, on 17 May 1775 in Craven Co. was the same land bought on 17 Nov. 1765 by Thomas Kent, planter. On pg. 46, Jack notes that Pvt. Thomas Kent was dead in Sept. 1779 and that militia NC State records state "The account of Thomas Kent was designated to be received by William Sanders" (a brother soldier). Jack speculates: "The implication here is that there was no wife or children to receive whatever service pay was due Private Thomas Kent." Note that pg. 42 of Jack's book indicates that New Bern was some distance from the elder Thomas Kent's land near Mosely's Creek in 1763 Craven Co., which was closer to the apparently smaller town of Dover.

    Jack speculates on pg. 48 that the Rev. War Pvt. Thomas MAY have instead been his father, the elder Thomas Kent, and not a son; but Jack didn't think that a likely theory, given the above evidence. However, more evidence was found by Esther Womack and sent to the Southern Kent research group in May 2012:
    In the book "Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants Awarded by State Governments" by Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, copyright 1996; published by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, Maryland is the following:

    Kent, Thomas. N.C. private 12 Mar. 1785, 640 acres to heirs.

    Kent, Thomas N.C. Private: 6 Sep. 1821. 640 acres.

    Both the States and the Federal Government could award Bounty Land, but this is the State issuing the bounties in N.C. as part of their agreement to give soldiers land for service.

    Does anyone have this record on Thomas' heirs? The warrants did not list heirs, it was incumbent upon them to file for the land. The first grant implies there were heirs, the second does not, so I am wondering if it was reissued under a different set of rules?

    Quoting excerpts from the book:

    "The North Carolina legislature passed an act in 1780 setting aside a tract in Tennessee bounded by the Holston River, the Powell River and the Virginia state line for bounty land for officers and soldiers in the Continental Line. When North Carolina sought to implement its bounty land policy, however, significant settlement had already occurred in the area. A new location had to be selected. The new N.C. bounty land reserve was located in that part of the country annexed to the state in 1776 which became Middle Tennessee south of the Ky. line. No bounty land warrants were located within the present-day boundaries of North Carolina."

    "Both of these series of warrants in each location in Tn. are included in the Secretary of State's "Military Land Warrant Book". (my note: readers are warned that the warrant could have been sold and the soldiers' name would not appear on the record.)
    In July 2013, I read online at the following URL:

    that the above bounty land grant is listed as warrant No. 1616 on page 266 of a Google eBook "Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution: With an Appendix Containing a Collection of Miscellaneous Records". Esther Womack had earlier found that book & page on, viewable only by paid subscribers. The record indicates the grant was made to the (unnamed) heirs of Pvt. Thomas Kent on 12 Mar 1785. It also states that Thomas had served 84 months (for which 640 acres of land were granted for serving for the entire war) - which doesn't fit with the service from 1777 to 1779 of the other Pvt. Thomas Kent or for the subject Thomas Kent of 1763 based on his death before Sept. 1782. (Esther Womack verified that the warrant number and service period do NOT appear in Bockstruck's book she referenced.) I once thought that the Rev. War records are for the elder Thomas Kent of 1763 Craven Co., NC. Esther Womack too suspected that this possibility was likely. Bockstruck, her book's author, noted that a commanding officer often submitted the request for Bounty Land Warrants for soldiers killed in their unit. The (undocumented) record I found states that Warrant No. 1616 was made by a J. Marshall. Esther also suspects that 1777-1779 Pvt. Thomas Kent had designated William Sanders to receive his account to take to Thomas' family in case he was unable to do so himself. Esther found a transcription for the North Carolina Rev. War pension application for a William Sanders at this URL: but it doesn't tie that William Sanders to Craven or Jones Co., NC. In July 2013, Esther added a little more to the record, as follows:
    In the same book "Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants" that we found Thomas’ bounties, there is a William Sanders listed :
    Page 464; Sanders, William, N.C. Lieutenant, 21 Oct., 1783, 2560 acres.

    In Sept. 2014, Esther kindly e-mailed me and the Southern Kent research group an image of the record which she found in "North Carolina and Tennessee, Early Land Records, 1753-1931". I filed it in my digital folder for Esther. Group member Melanie Spychalski used image enlargement to develop the following transcription:
    State of North Carolina
    No. 565

    Know ye that we have given and grandted unto William Sanders, a signee of Thomas Kent, a private in the Continental Lines of this state a tract of land containing six hundred and forty acres lying and being in the County of Davidson on a branch of Many Forks Creek, a branch of Stone River----Beginnina at an ash and east of John Marshalls North boundary East one hundred and thirty two poles to the said lines to a bush on the **anches, South cross the bra** cross the creek in all eighty two poles to two linen sapling in Marshalls line East cross a branch at one three an six poles in all two hundred and twenty four poles to an elm and a Mulberery, North three hundred and eighteen poles to a stake West three hundred and fifty six poles to a stake South to the beginning.

    To hold to the said William Sanders his heirs and assigns forever

    Date the 15th day of September 1787
    Glasgow Sec W. Caswell
    Warrent No. 1617 James Sanders Att

    I'm still wondering how the elder Thomas of Craven, who was listed on 1763 & 1768 records as a planter, could have become a shoemaker by 1775. Esther speculates that old Thomas MAY have been injured on the farm and became a shoemaker to supplement his income. IF he was b. ABT 1733, old Thomas wasn't too old in 1777 to enlist in the North Carolina Continental Line, where Pvt. Thomas Kent is documented. Old Thomas' sons were old enough to work the farm in his absence. But, could old Thomas, a disabled planter turned shoemaker, also be fit to serve as a Rev. War private?

    There is another Thomas Kent (Jr.) in my database, also discussed by Jack Berg on pgs. 47 & 48, who Jack ALSO believed was a son of Thomas Kent of 1763 Craven Co. and second wife, Margaret. See my notes for that different Thomas Kent for evidence that he was their son. In June 2012, I placed him as LIKELY the only son of Thomas Kent of 1763 Craven Co. to be named Thomas Kent. I now also believe that the elder Thomas Kent was LIKELY the Pvt. Thomas Kent who died Sept. 1779

    Marriage 1 unknown
      1. Has Children Isaac * Kent b: ABT 1749/1755
      2. Has No Children Samuel Kent b: ABT 1757
      3. Has No Children Levi Kent b: 1760
      4. Has No Children Mary Kent b: 1764 in NC

      Marriage 2 Margaret Jackson (?) b: ?
      • Married: 1765 - 1772 in NC 4
      1. Has No Children Thomas Kent Jr. b: ABT 1773 in Craven Co., NC

      1. Abbrev: John Bailey Kent RootsWeb KENT-L posting 8/22/02.
        John Bailey Kent RootsWeb KENT-L posting 8/22/02.
      2. Abbrev: Lois H. Clark family group record for Thomas Kent Sr.
        Lois H. Clark family group record for Thomas Kent Sr. Lynn Brinson Cheek FTM home page "The Brinson-Moore Family". Jack Berg, "Thomas Kent and Descendants", 1993.
      3. Abbrev: Jack Berg, "Thomas Kent and Descendants", 1993.
      4. Abbrev: Lynn Brinson Cheek FTM home page "The Brinson-Moore Family".
        Lynn Brinson Cheek FTM home page "The Brinson-Moore Family".

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