wthomas1 on Family Tree Circles
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I have discovered that all my ancestors, for whatever reasons, seemed to have migrated to Texas. And most of them, as well as their descendents, lived and died there. A few of us living "Texan" children
are now seeking to discover all the places from whence they came, and the many circumstances of their lives that led them to come to this great state.
My name is William Clifford THOMAS, the first of three generations with this name, born in Houston, Texas, March 4th 1929. My father, August Lafayete THOMAS, was born in West Point, Texas, June 3rd, 1903, the second son of I. D.(He never used his given names, Israel Daniel) THOMAS AND Emma JAKOBEIT who were married 6 May, 1900 in LaGrange, Texas. August L. (TOM) THOMAS married, my mother, Nellie Marie MARTIN, daughter of Margaret Daniel SCOTT and Leroy Dallas MARTIN of Smithville, Texas, 30 Oct., 1927. My father worked in the furniture shop at Rice University in Houston, Texas during the depression years. He was also a Naval Reservist and served in The Navy Seabees during WWII. After the war he was the locksmith in the Humble building, where he was empoyed by The Humble Oil Co. until he retired in 1968.
So now we have all of my grandparents living within a few miles of each other in Bastrop County, Texas, and all of them were first generation Texans because their parents were born in other states. Daniel T. THOMAS was born in Shelby County, alabama, about 1835. He came to Texas with all of his siblings about 1855, and all (8)resided in the household of "J" THOMAS(single may be relative)(1860 Wash. Co.Census). My guess is that this family break-up was an economic move since this was a share cropping family and times were hard in the 1850's in Alabama. Daniel married Emilia (Mellie) Ann FOWLER, 20 Jan, 1861 in Washington (now Lee) County, Texas and are the parents of I. D. THOMAS. Daniel died mysteriously while his 3 children were quite young and Millie then married Jesse L. Frost of Cauldwell County Texas. Daniel's father was Israel THOMAS, born about 1807 in that part of The Mississippi Territory that is now Alabama. He married Mary SCOTT, 8 Dec. 1831 in Bibb County, Alabama. Israel enlisted in the Alabama Infantry when he was 53 yrs of age, fought in several major battles in Tennessee during the Civil War, was discharged because of wounds and received a land grant of about 160 Acres in Walker Co. Alabama after the war. I have not been able to find anything about his parents. The 1850 census list his father birthplace as Virginia and his mothers as Georgia.
On my mothers side, Grandfather Leroy D. MARTIN was born, 9 March, 1864 in Rains County, Texas. He was the son of Samuel L. MARTIN, born about 1824 in Kentucky. From there I have no futher information except
census gives his fathers birthplace as North Carolina. Grandmother MARTIN'S father was Eugene D. SCOTT, born 8 Sept., 1846 in Woodstock, Oglethorpe Co., Georgia. Eugene married Mary Emilie (Mollie) SINGER, 9 May 1867 in Fayette Co., Texas. He was the son of John SCOTT, born 25 Jan, 1821 in Wilkes Co., Georgia. John married Martha Ann DANIEL 13 Nov., 1845 in Greene Co., Georgia. There is some disagreement among
researchers as to the SCOTT ancestry going back the next generation.
I am the GGGgrandson of Israel THOMAS, born about 1807 in Georgia (probably Indian lands). He is first documented in the 1830 U S census for Shelby County Alabama as a single Head of family. Israel married Mary SCOTT, daughter of William and Sarah (Sally)SCOTT of Bibb Co., Alabama in Dec 1831. There were eight children from this union, raised in Shelby County, Alabama (1850 U S census & 1860 Washington Co., Texas U S census). The children migrated to Evergreen Township (now in Lee Co., Texas)about 1854 after the last child (Elizabeth) was
born in Alabama, and are residing in the household of "J" THOMAS single HOH (1860 census, Washington Co. Tx). It is probable that Mary SCOTT, their mother has died, since no record of her after 1850 has been found. The identity of "J" THOMAS is also unknown. His birthplace is listed as South Carolina and he is 47 years old in 1860.
He is most likely a close relative of Israel; maybe a younger brother?
Israel THOMAS remained in Alabama and at age 54 enlist in the 28th Alabama Infantry, Mar. 24, 1862. Assigned as a mechanic to Co. H, he is engaged in battles in Tennessee, severly wounded, and discharged due to disability , Apr 5, 1863. While recovering, in Birmingham, he meets Mary Jane Bunch, a widower, and they are married 27 Aug, 1863.
They are residing in Township 17 of Walker County, Alabama (1870 census), on property awarded to Israel as Homestead (May 20, 1860, 12 Stat. 392)160.56 Acres Southwest of Jasper, Alabama near the boundry with Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Prior to 1880 census, his second wife must have died as he is now married a third time to Hannah A. (Maiden name unknown) age 37. They are residing in Beat 10, Walker Co., Alabama. No record of Israel's death or burial has been found.
Many of our American ancestors were from humble background and usually uneducated so that they did not read or write. This created a great impediment for researhers to locate them because few records other than census exist for our illiterate forebares.
A Samuel MARTIN enlisted in the U. S. Army in Austin Texas in Jan 1849 at age 22 yrs. This Samuel MARTIN gave his place of birth as Nashville Tenn. There is also a Texas marriage record in Travis County, Texas, for Samuel MARTIN to a Margaret P. Cauldwell on 26 June 1849. I doubt that this Samuel MARTIN is the Samuel MARTIN that is the father of Leroy Dallas MARTIN, my grandfather, born Mar. 9th 1864, in Greeneville, Hunt County, Texas. Leroy's mother's name was lucretia, who was married to S. S. MARTIN in Kentucky. Leroy's older brother, William H MARTIN was also born in Ketucky. That would suggest that this Samuel MARTIN came to Texas about 1862 with his wife Lucretia and one child, William H. (Probably to avoid the Civil War confict in Kentucky). There is a deed on record in Hunt County, Texas that conveys about 640 acres located about 3 miles SE of Greenvile to a Mr. A. Horn and his ,brother dated 18 Feb. 1863. I believe that this Samuel is the father of Leroy Dallas MARTIN.
In the beginning looking for my THOMAS roots led me to the family of my grandfather's sister, Augusta Thomas (Gussy), who married Amos Jesse French. My Father's given name was August and he was named after his aunt Gussy. Although everyone knew that she and my grandfather were raised by their mother,(Millie) and step father, Jesse Frost, nothing was ever revealed about their father and her first marriage to my great grandfather, Daniel THOMAS. The family story was; "He died in the Civil War". However, after finding the research of Inez Frost Moore on the Frost Family, The story from that side was that "...Millie's husband disappeared one day while traveling to the bank with money in his saddle bags. The horse came home, but the money, saddle bags and Daniel Thomas were never found....". The money was most probably the payment to men who served in the Confederate forces by the Texas legislature "Act to Support The Families and Dependents of Texas Soldiers". With this information it was not difficult to locate the Marriage certificate for Daniel THOMAS and Emelia Fowler in Washington County, Texas and locate his other 7 siblings in the 1860 Census for Washington County.
But from here researching for Daniel's parents became a nightmare. That same census revealed that the Head of the household was a "J" THOMAS, Born in S. Carolina about 1813, evidently single, and all of the rest of the family, except Daniel my great grandfather, born in Alabama between 1836 and 1853 and Mary, his wife.. Going to the 1850 Census for Shelby, Alabama revealed No "J" Thomas with a spouse or these children. Were all these children orphans? Unlikely. A search for Daniel THOMAS in the Shelby County Alabama 1850 census found him, his spouse Mary, and all the same children found in The 1860 Washington, Texas Census. However, the HOH in the Shelby, Alabama 1850 Census is Israel THOMAS, born about 1807 and a spouse, Mary THOMAS. This must be the same family because the ages for the children match up in both Censuses. The mystery - What happened to Israel and Mary between 1850 and 1860? Did they both die? And Who is the "J" THOMAS that is HOH in Texas? but about 5 year younger than Israel. Also the birth place for Israel is listed as Georgia and "J" is listed as S. Carolina. Maybe brothers? To complicate things further, no marriage certificates for either can be found except in neighboring Bibb County where a Isacc THOMAS is listed as marrying a Mary SCOTT in Dec. 1831. The time frame is OK, so I ask for the original document. On careful examation of the handwritten license it is clear the given name is Israel, rather than Isaac. Part of the mystery is solved.
Later it is discovered that Israel enlisted in the Confederate Forces in Alabama at the age of 53 and probably
never left the state to go with his children to Texas. He Married again after surviving his injuries in the war to a Mary Jane Bunch, and a third time to a Hannah. He died in Walker County, Alabama about 1883.
Research into this family continues to be very tough. Israel's father is believed to be John W. THOMAS who
married Elenor Gragg in Jackson County Georgia, December 1806. There were 4 other males born in this family before Israel. I believe The "J" Thomas of Washinggton County Texas is one of them. I welcome any assistance
with this Thomas family research.
What would be the appropriate method to find these2 ancestors?
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