Born in 1816, John R. Thomas is the fourth child born to Annanias and Sarah Ross Thomas. He married Annis Nance on 2 Dec 1846. Annis was born 7 Nov 1826, the daughter of Harbert and Frances Austin Nance.
In 1838, John and his brother Ebenezer were listed as chain bearers in the survey for a land grant received by their father. The Union County tax lists provide the earliest record for land owned by John Thomas. Beginning with 100 acres of land in 1846, by 1852 he was listed as owning a total of 180 acres. Dated 17 Oct 1853, John R. Thomas sold two tracts of land (19-48,49, Union) to his brother Jacob. Containing 187 acres, the land was situated on the Little Watery Branch and adjoined that of David Gurley, Jacob Gurley, and the 1812 John Beasley grant of 300 acres. Witnesses to the transaction were brothers Annanias and Benjamin Thomas.
In a Supreme Court Case - Leonard Green vs. George J. Green; at the Sept 1852 Session, testimony from David Thomas, E. L. Davis, and Solomon Brewer indicates that Gideon A. Green had earlier provided states evidence in a case where John R. Thomas was indicted. I have no further knoweldge of this case.
Writing his Last Will and Testament on 2 Sep 1857, John R. Thomas appointed brother Annanias Thomas, Jr. as executor. John bequeathed to his wife, all personal property and "one hundred and eighty-one acres of land where I now live". Before settlement of the estate, Annanias, Jr. died 21 Feb 1858. C. B. Curlee was named the new Administrator. Dated 17 Jun 1858, an appointed committee laid-off a sixty acre Dower Right for Annis Thomas. The land (5-384, Union) adjoined that of Jesse Coley and Enoch Smith.
In 1859, Annis Thomas brought suit against C. B. Curlee in order to eforce payment of the widow's years allowance. This case eventually was heard in Monroe in Spring 1875 as a Supreme Court Case. The issue revolved around whether an administrator can demand real properties when there is no available money in the estate.
Annis Thomas gave birth in 1860 to a son named E. Henry Thomas. From his eventual death certificate, the father is listed as Bergorne Thomas. Annis's neighbor was Bergorne Smith, the son of Evan Smith.
Annis's father died ca. 1868. On 10 Sep 1873, Annis purchased 182 acres (18-48, Union) from D. M. Smith, administrator of the estate of Harbert Nance, deceased. Beginning with the same surveyor's starting point, this land adjoined a line as laid down in the 1835 gift deed from Benjamin Thomas, Jr. to son Jacob Thomas. Situated on the Rocky River, the land further abutted that of Evan Smith and Jesse Coley. Now known as "The old Annis Thomas Place", the Whitley family presently owns part of this land that is located east of Pleasant Hill Church Road. In a clearing deep in the woods, a well pipe is all that remains of the old home. Just below the home sight, a very old cemetery with about six unmarked stones holds the memories of those that once lived upon this land. I spoke to Ms. Emma Austin, who lived in the house as a little girl. Telling me of her childhood memory of the cemetery, she remembered seeing writing on the stones. Ms. Austin had no recollection of what names were once engraved upon them. Was there a connection between this land and the above 182-acre Harbert Nance estate and the 181 acres listed in the John R. Thomas Will?
As directed by the 31 Mar 1868 Will of John A. Nance, his executor Alfred H. Nance sold remaining lands (18-432, Union) at public auction. Being the highest bidder, on 9 Feb 1877, Annis Thomas purchased 89 acres. Dated 19 Jan 1886, she sold 45 acres of the tract (22-199, Union) to her son Harbert Thomas. On 13 Feb 1896, she sold the other half, 44 acres (38-791, Union), to her son John Calvin Thomas. The land adjoined that of A. H. Griffin, W. R. Nance, R. H. Hinson, and Emeline Nance.
Moving to Concord, Annis lived with her son Clement M. Thomas. On 5 Jul 1911, she sold her 182 acres to T. C. Braswell. Annis Thomas died 27 Sep 1916 in Cabarrus County and is buried at Oakgrove Cemetery in Concord.
The children of John R. and Annis Nance Thomas are:
A. Clement Marshall Thomas b. 28 Dec 1847 d. 31 Aug 1920 bur. Oakwood Cem. in Concord, married on 10 Mar 1873 Mary Catherine Hinson b. 1848. She is the daughter of Hiram and Mary Tucker Hinson. Their children are (A) Jane Ada Thomas b. 20 Mar 1874 d. 18 Jun 1963 bur Pleasant Hill Bapt, married on 12 Dec 1895 William Ellis Nance b. 22 Sep 1871 d. 29 Apr 1934, son of W. Henry and Martha Stewart Nance; (B) Nicey Thomas b. 1876, married William F. Hines; (C) Rosa Thomas b. 1878, married L. H. Sides; (D) John E. Thomas b. 1979; (E) Dora Thomas, married Will Pruitt; (F) Minnie Thomas died young, bur Nance Graveyard; (H) Martin Thomas, b. 6 Sep 1888 d. 8 Sep 1902; (I) Bessie Thomas , married Claude Kissinger; (J) Orrie Belle Thomas, married Clyne Herrin; and (K) Iva Fetna Thomas b. 2 May 1897 d. 30 Dec 1995, married first 6 Feb 1915 Arthur Smith b. 11 May 1894 d. 25 Mar 1948 and married second Dr. William Robert Fisher.
B. Margaret Elizabeth Thomas b. 18 Mar 1847 d. 8 Jul 1929 bur Pleasant Hill Bapt, married on 17 Mar 1881 Archie C. Griffin b. 30 Oct 1848 d. 17 Aug 1887. He is the son of Enoch and Ann Ramsey Griffin. A thunderstorm approached as Archie worked at the church. Heading home, he was struck and killed by lightning while putting away his work mule. Children are (A) Stanly Griffin, married Georgia Broadway; (B) Ada Griffin b. 1887, married 29 Apr 1904 Jonah Thomas, son of Jacob A. and Annie Sikes; (C) Ida Griffin, married Sylvester Thomas, son of Jacob A. and Annie Sikes; (D) Archie Manora Griffin b. 15 Nov 1887 d. 1 Jan 1969, married 24 Dec 1908 Daniel Montgomery Mullis b. 12 Mar 1888 d. 16 Oct 1955, the son of M. S. and M. E.; and (E) Henry Griffin?????, married Martha Elleanor Griffin, daughter of Walter B. and and Cora.
C. William Harbird Thomas b. 1852, married on 23 Apr 1876 L. Caroline Deese b. 1853. She is the daughter of Rev. Clement and Elizabeth Deese. Their children are (A) Broadus Thomas; (B) C. Kistler Thomas, b. 1879; (C) Enola Thomas; (D) Manie Thomas; (F) Flonnie Thomas; and (G) Floyd C. Thomas b. Jul 1887 and Loyd Thomas.
D. Jane Ellen Thomas b. 1 Feb 1855 d. 1 May 1919 bur Pleasant Hill Bapt, married on 16 Dec 1880 Robert Hampton Hinson b. 13 Jun 1856 d. 29 Dec 1925, the son of Wade and Mary Hinson. Children are (A) Wade Hampton Hinson b. 23 Apr 1884 d. 8 Oct 1905 bur Pleasant Hill Bapt; (B) George Preston Hinson b. 23 Jun 1886 d. 8 Feb 1963, married Rosa Mullis; (C) Sophronia C. Hinson b. 6 Jul 1887 d. 11 May 1980, married 23 Jul 1905 James Brady Austin b. 1884, the son of J. W. and Delphia K.; (D) Adder Isabelle Hinson b. 31 Mar 1890 d. 23 Feb 1966, married 20 Aug 1906 Benton Griffin; (E) Robert Lester Hinson b. 28 Sep 1891 d. 18 Oct 1938 bur Pleasant Hill Bapt, married Joanna V. Staton b. 22 Jun 1890 d. 12 Jan 1978; (F) John Dee Hinson b. 25 Oct 1893 d. 25 Nov 1974, married first Pearl Austin and second Ila Smith; and (G) Jessie Rubin Hinson b. 20 May 1898 d. 14 Feb 1978, married Lillie Mae Griffin.
E. John Calvin Thomas b. 7 Jul 1852 d. 4 Apr 1943. He married 13 Nov 1879 Mary Melissa Sasser b. 10 Sep 1858 d. 19 Jun 1929. Both are buried at Big Lick Bapt. Melissa's brother founded this church. Children of John and Melissa are (A) Millard Wriston Thomas b. 26 Mar 1886 d. 31 Aug 1965, married on 13 Feb 1913 Jennie Candace Smith b. 16 Jan 1885 d. 15 Sep 1947; (B) Cullen Cleveland Thomas b. Apr 1892, married 8 Apr 1915 Daisy Brooks b. 1888, daughter of A. J. and T. S.; (C) James Clifton Thomas b. Apr 1892, married 25 Mar 1917 Ada Austin; (D) Arie Thomas, married Lee Hathcock; D) Hattie Belle Thomas b. 2 Jun 1882 bur. Big Lick Baptist; (E) Franky Thomas; (F) Carry J. Thomas b. May 1894, married Lee Morgan.
F. Annis Adeline Thomas b.4 May 1856 d. 25 Dec 1912 bur Pleasant Grove, married on 4 Oct 1877 Leander Williams b. 10 Jun 1859 d. 1 Nov 1906. Leander is the son of Lucinda Williams. Their children are (A) Ellis Williams b. 1878; (B) Jonah S. Williams b. 1880, married 23 Mar 1902 Dora Griffin b. 1884, married 18 Oct 1903, Loney Griffin b. 1883, the son of H. L. and Samantha E.; Lizzy Williams; (D) Dora Willliams; (E) Lester Williams; (F) Dee Williams; and G) Jessie Williams ; and (H) J. M. Williams b. 1882, married 12 Mar 1905 Wilma Mills, dau of James F. and Parmilla.
G. Edmond Henry Thomas b. 22 Apr 1861 d. 6 Jan 1946 bur Pleasant Hill Bapt, married Emily C. Harris b. 15 Apr 1857 d. 18 Jul 1932. Henry is the son of Annis Thomas. Their children are (A) Della Thomas bur Pleasant Hill Bapt (single); (B) Vernon C. Thomas b. 17 Nov 1885 d. 1 Dec 1947 bur Pleasant Hill Bapt, married 1 Sep 1918 Maude Williams b. 16 Jul 1899 d. 23 Jul 1972, dau of J. L. and Minnie; (C) Willa Thomas b. 1885, married 19 Mar 1905 Johnny Preston Poplin b. 1886, the son of Tom and Catherine; (D) Martin Buren Thomas b. 3 Mar 1888 d. 23 Mar 1971, married 27 Jan 1913 Mattie Brooks b. 26 Aug 1894 d. 30 May 1988, the dau of Adam and Bedie; (E) William Cesar Thomas b. 5 Feb 1890 d. 26 Feb 1958 bur Philadelphia Bapt, married 9 Feb 1913 Daisey Ann Mullis d. 27 Dec 1941, the dau of Tom and Jane; (F) Malinda F. Thomas b.1890; (G) James Clarence "Pinkey" Thomas b. 20 Sep 1892 d. 3 Mar 1924 bur Pleasant Hill Bapt; and (H) Effie J. Thomas bur Pleasant Hill Bapt (single).
The Last Will and Testament of John R. Thomas
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