From the 1850 census, Benjamin Thomas, [Junior] states he was born ca. 1796 in Tennessee. Benjamin Thomas is the son of Benjamin Thomas Sr. His mother may have been a member of the Bethea family. Since we believe his father left South Carolina ca. 1796 for what is now Tennessee, it is possible Benjamin Thomas Junior made the trip as an unborn child. Benjamin Thomas Junior lived with his family in Montgomery County, Tennesse before removing to Hickman County. He does not appear in the civil records of either county.
Benjamin's older brother Tristram Bethea Thomas is recorded as serving in the 6th and 38th cavalries of the Hickman County Regiment for years 1810 and 1812 respectively. County records for subsequent years that list soldiers in support of the Militia are missing. At about 18 years of age, Benjamin enlisted in Hickman County, Tennessee on 20 Sep 1814 and served as Corporal under the command of Capt. James Craig in Col. Leroy Hammonds's Tennessee Regiment of Regulars. Benjamin's older brother Tristram B. Thomas reenlisted at the same time. Both brothers served in the War of !812 through its duration. Benjamin was honorably discharged at Mobile Alabama on 20 Apr 1815.
At some point between 1815 and 1818, Benjamin and most of his family removed from Tennessee to Pike County, Mississippi. On 21 Oct 1818, and in Pike County Mississippi, Benjamin Thomas married Sarah Croft, likely the daughter of John Croft. The 1820 Pike County census lists Benjamin Thomas Junior living beside his father, Benjamin Thomas, Senior. Benjamin Junior is listed as: 1M16/25 and 1F16/25. As will later be shown, Benjamin Thomas removed to Copiah and Simpson Counties Mississippi until settling in Rankin County. He does not appear in the Mississippi State census in 1830, but does appear in the 1840 Rankin County census. The following Bureau of Land Grant Management General Land Office Records support the timeline of where and when Benjamn Thomas lived in Mississippi:
Cert. # ----, Iss.1 May 1827, Benjamin Thomas of Copiah County, MS. E 1/2 of NW 1/4 of Sec. 4 Twsp 10 N of 31 Range 10 E, being 78 3/100 acres. Note: this could actually be Benjamin Thomas Senior.
Cert. # 10063, Iss. 2 Sep 1835, Copiah County MS, Benjamin Thomas. Being the S1/2 of W1/2 of NE 1/4 of Sec 4 in Twsp 10 N of Range 10 E, being 39 1/100 Acres.
Cert. # 23307. Iss. 10 Dec 1840, Rankin County MS, Benjamin Thomas of Simpson County MS First part being W 1/2 of SW 24/ 3N 1E. And part two being SESW 24 3N 1E N Range. This is 122 31/100 acres.
Cert. # 25265, Iss. 10 Dec 1840, Rankin County MS, Benjamin Thomas of Rankin County MS. Being the NE 1/4 of NW 1.4 of Sec 25 in Twsp 3 R1E N Range, being 40 and 74/100 acres.
Cert. # 32650, Iss. 1 Mar 1859, Benjamin Thomas of Copiah County MS. Being S1/2 of NE 1/4 of Sec 11 Twsp 10 N Range 9 E, being 81 and 9/100 acres.
Cert. # 33799, Iss. 10 Aug 1859, Benjamin Thomas of Copiah County MS. Being NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Sec 11 Twsp 10 N Range 9 E, being 40 and 59/100 acres. Cert. # 33982, Iss. 10 Aug 1859, Benjamin Thomas of Copiah County MS. Being NE 1/4 of N/ E 1/ 4 of and NE 1/ 4 of SE 1/4 Sec 11 Twsp ten N Range N E being 81 and 9/100 acres.
Benjamin's older brother Tristram B. Thomas moved on to Caldwell Parish LA in 1838. He died there on 16 Jul 1845. Tristram's widow sought the Bounty Land due her deceased husband for service in the War of 1812. Needing legal proof of Tristram's service and her marriage to him, on 23 Ap 1855, Benjamin Thomas provided the following testimony while living in Rankin County, Mississippi:
The State of MississippiBenjamin Thomas, Junior died on 2 Apr 1871 while living in Rankin County, Mississipppi. On 30 Sep 1878, the 80 year old widow Sarah Thomas went before W. E Traylor, Justice of Peace in Rankin County, Mississippi. She stated on the application form that her deceased husband, Benjamin Thomas, served as Corporal under the command of Capt. James Craig in Col. Leroy Hammond's Tennessee Regiment of Regulars. Benjamin Thomas enlisted at Hickman County, Tennessee on 20 Sep 1814. He served for the duration and was honorably discharged at Mobile Alabama on 20 Apr 1815. At time of enlistment, Sarah testifies that Benjamin was "six feet 1 inch high, complexion fair, hair dark, eyes blue, occupation farmer, born in the state of (she thinks Tennessee)." Sarah states that prior to marriage, she was Sarah Croft. She and Benjamin Thomas married in Pike County Mississippi on 22 Oct 1817 by William Carter, Justice of Peace. She further states that neither she nor Benjamin had been previously married, nor has she remarried since his death. Since being discharged from service, she and Benjamin lived in "Pike Co., sevin years, in Copiah Co. 7 years, in Simpson Co. 3 years, and in Rankin Co. 29 years." She says she has lived in Rankin Co. MS since her husband's death. Sarah says that Benjamin Thomas died in Rankin County, Mississippi on 2 Apr 1871. Asked if she had filed any prior applications for pension, Sarah stated that she had not. She further clarified that her hussband, Benjamin Thomas, had applied under the acts of 1850 & 1855 for two land warrants of 80 acres each. At the time of application, Sarah lived in Rankin County with a post office address in Polkeville, Smith County, Mississippi. Sarah Thomas included a 14 Nov 1878 clerk's copy of the Pike County marriage record for 21 Oct 1818 as recorded in book A, page __ on 18 Feb 1822.
On this 23rd day of April AD 1855 Benjamin Thomas aged 59 years a resident of said county & state personally appeared before me Drew Fitzhugh Clerk of the Probate Court in and for Rankin County & State of Mississippi who being by me duly sworn according to Law on his Oath declares that he is the Brother of the identical Tristram B. Thomas who was Lieutenant in Captain James Craig's Company of Tennessee Militia in the Regiment Commanded by Col. Hammond in the War with Great Britain declared by the United States the 18th of June 1812. That said Tristram B. Thomas was drafted in the county of Hickman in the State of Tennessee and entered the service of the United States at Fayetteville in the State of Tennessee in the month of September AD 1814 for the Term of six months and continued in actual service in said war the full term of six months and was honorably discharged from said service on the 20th day of April AD 1815. That said Tristram B. Thomas is now dead. He makes this declaration for the benefit of Mary Thomas who survives said Tristram as his widow. This order that said Mary Thomas may may procure the Bounty Land to which her deceased husband would be entitled if now Living under the act of September 28th 1850. He also states that the said Benjamin Thjomas was himself in the same company & regiment, that he has therefore applied for & obtained a Land Warrant No. 852 for his services for Eighty acres.
On the same day, a more detailed written testimony was provided by Mrs. Sarah Croft Thomas. In part, it reads as follows:
She states that she knows of no church or other public Record of her marriage by which to prove the same. States futher that she knows that William Carter the Justice of Peace that performed her marriage ceremony is dead. Consequently she can not obtain his certificate of that fact. She states that she knows of no family record of her marriage that now exists by which she can prove her marriage. She states that she is the mother of five children, born to her in wedlock -with her and her husband Benjamin Thomas deceased. 1st John Thomas born January 25th 1824. 2nd Samuel Thomas born March 31st 1825. 3rd George Thomas born Dec 12th 1831. 4th Albert Thomas born January 10th 1834 Harriet M. Thomas born October 2nd 1837. This is given and the date of their birth from personal memory having no written record of same. She states that she must rely upon the proof of the continued cohabitation of her and her husband (as proof of her marriage) in support of her claim for pension and that the proof of her marriage as herewith now forwarded: is all that she at this time knows of or can obtain "that" is this kind of proof _proof of continued cohabitation.Sarah's two children Albert Thomas and Harriet Thomas Morgan also provided valuable testimony as follows:
Sarah (x) Thomas (seal)
They further state that there were only five children in the family -Children of the said Benjamin Thomas & Sarah Thomas -four brothers and one sister. The said Albert Thomas for himself says that he is the 4th child of the family one younger than himself and three older; and the said Harriet M. Morgan for herself says that she is the 5th and last child of her parents, the said Benjamin Thomas & Sarah Thomas -being four of her brothers older than herself. And we in this affidavit have given our ages as the same was handed down to us by our parents and retained by us in memory. Those affiants further state that two of their brothers are dead and that their other brother is now a citizen of the state of Texas........
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