The Life of Benjamin Thomas of Anson County NC

Gideon Green and Benjamin Thomas's First Land

As follows, the earliest records that positively relate to our Benjamin Thomas of Anson County appear in the Secretary of State Land Grants at North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh NC.

Grant #4281, Anson NC, to Salathiel Clifton. Ent 19 May 1778, Sur 15 Jun 1779, Iss 24 Oct 1782. For 100 acres situated south of Richardson's Creek. Chainers were Benjamin Thomas and Gideon Green.

Grant #4324, Anson NC, to Gideon Green. Ent 15 Jun 1779, Sur 15 Jun 1779, Iss 11 Oct 1783. For 150 acres south of Rocky River and situated on both sides of Richardson's Creek. One of the lines of this survey follows the courses of Walnut Branch. Chainers were Salathiel Clifton and Benjamin Thomas.

Grant # 4629, Anson, to Gideon Green. Ent 15 Jun 1779, Sur 15 Jun 1779, Iss 14 Oct 1783. For 50 acres lying on the south side of Richardson's Creek. Chainers were Salathiel Clifton and Benjamin Thomas.

These were Gideon Green's first land entries in Anson County. Dated 26 Oct 1785 and proved Jul 1786, Gideon sold his 150-acre Grant # 4324 to Benjamin Thomas(215, Anson NC). Witnesses were William Gurley and Charles Harrington. This is the first known and provable record for our Benjamin in Anson County. Gideon sold his 50-acre grant to Jacob Gurley on 12 Sep 1787. Witnesses were Robin Williams and James Gurley.

Gideon likely married Elizabeth Anderson before moving to Anson County. Very little is known of Gideon Green prior to the above land grant in which Benjamin Thomas is listed as chain bearer. After selling the land to Benjamin in 1785, Gideon bought land in Montgomery County NC (now Stanly) from Jonathan Morgan. Gideon died ca. 1799. His wife Mary left a will in Anson County and died in 1813. Her Last Will and Testament mentions children John, Etham, Jacob, Gideon, Leonard, Nathan, and Jesse. She also mentioned daughters Polly Morgan and Elizabeth Megebe. Of interest, son Jesse married Polly Tucker and moved to Perry County AL. He had a son named Ananias Green. Our Benjamin Thomas had a son named Ananias.

On the same day that Benjamin Thomas was helping to survey Gideon Green's land grant on Richardson Creek, a person by the name of Jacob Thomas had his land surveyed nearby. There is very little known of this Jacob Thomas. He was listed in the 1790 Census. And our Benjamin had a son named Jacob. Could this be a relative of our Benjamin Thomas? To learn more click on: Who was Jacob Thomas?

It has been the common belief that Gideon Green had no other siblings or elder family members living in Anson County. Dated 6 Dec 1778, John Culpepper sold 100 acres (7-379, Anson NC) on the south side of the Rocky River just above the mouth of Reasons Branch. Witnesses were Jesse Gilbert and Gideon Green. So Gideon witnesed for Jacob Green, a half of a year before Gideon's survey was made using the help of our Benjamin Thomas. And there was a Jacob Thomas nearby? This Jacob Thomas and Jacob Green are too old to be the sons of Gideon Green or Benjamin Thomas. But yet, both Gideon and Benjamin had sons named Jacob. Other land records for this elder Jacob Green are as follows:

Grant #5816, Anson NC, to Jacob Green. Ent. 24 Jan 1799 Int 14 nov 1799. 100 acres on the Rocky River and Reasons Branch adjoining John Gauhorn lands. Chainbearers are Jacob Green Sr. and Jacob Green Junr

Grant #5872, Anson NC, to Jacob Green. Ent 24 Jan 1799 Sur 8 May 1805, Iss 16 Dec 1806. Being 100 acres on the waters of Reasons Branch. Chain bearers are Elathan Green and Jesse Green.

Grant #5980, Anson NC,to Jacob Green. Ent 18 Apr 1796, Sur 31 May 1797, Iss 14 Dec 1811. Being 200 acres of land on Rocky River and Reason's Branch. Chainbearers are John Green and Hardy Green.

Reason's Branch is likely one of the present unamed Creeks between Hwy 742 and Pleasant Hill Church Road on the Union/Anson County line. Note that Charles Hinson also received land on Reason's Branch.

In May of 1790, an accounting of "Cloathing, Currency and specie" was sent to the commissioners at New York by the Comptroller of Public Accounts of the State of North Carolina. Found in the North Carolina Revolutionary Army Accounts at NC Archives in Raliegh NC, this was a listing of people who were paid for services to the army. In Volume, V page 38, folio 1, Gideon Green was entry # 947 and received 8 shillings. Nearby, entry # 943 was for B. Thomas who recieved 10 shillings. Others listed on the same page were Charles Hinson, G. Brewer, T. Griffin, Wm. Gurley, Wm. Weatherford, J. Smith, and S. Culpepper. Though the given name for B. Thomas was not given, I believe this was our Benjamin Thomas. Please note that the accounting was for reimbursement for any services provided by the individual. If the army was nearby and bought meat or supplies, then that would be included in the accounting. The fact that B. Thomas is on this list does not in itself prove that he served in the American Revolution. Our Benjamin Thomas did not have a Revolutiuonary War Service Record. But, the number of service records does not reflect the large number of people who actually became involved in the war. Maybe more can be found by looking at commonalities in the service records for others listed near B. Thomas on this list.

Michael Austin Records

Dated 26 May 1798 and proved later in Oct 1805, "Michail" Austin sold 100 acres (L&M-12, Anson NC) on the east side of Richardson's Creek to Benjamin Thomas. Originally granted to Michael on 10 Jul 1797, this land adjoined and was situated to the south east of Benjamin Thomas's land. Michael Austin moved to Chester County SC. There, he lived near David, the son of Benjamin Thomas. Interestingly, there is a Gideon Austin also living in SC near David Thomas and Michael Austin. From the ages indicated in the census, Gideon is possibly the son of Michael Austin.

On 11 Apr 1811, Gideon Austin and William Brown of Chester County SC sold 8 acres (P-751, Chester SC) on Susey Boles Creek to Silas Kolb. The land was part of 350 acres granted to Catherine Brown on 23 Jan 1773. Witnesses were John Smith and Ezekiel Thomas. I believe this was David's brother Ezekiel. However, in Chester County SC, David lived on a branch of Carter's Brach of Susey Boles Creek. Nearby was neighbor Jeremiah Thomas. From deeds it is known that Jeremiah was the son of Jonathan Thomas. Interestingly, our David's brother named Ezekiel also had a son named Jonathan. Was Ezekiel listed in South Carolina Records the son of Jeremiah? And who were these Jonathan Thomas's of South Carolina?

On 10 Jul 1815, Gideon Austin sold his interest in a piece of land to Noble Brown. The deed (P-193, Chester SC) reads: " a certain piece or dividend of land left to my beloved wife Ann by her father James Brown as may be seen by reference to his Last Will and Testament recorded at Chesterville".

Other Land Records

Adjoining the original 150-acres purchased from Gideon Green, Benjamin Thomas bought other land along Richardson's Creek. Some of the folowing land transactions may be attibutable to Benjamin Jr. the son of this Benjamin. I am not yet comfortable with this accounting of land. Notice that his sons became involved as chain bearers in the land surveys.

Grant # 791 Anson NC, to Benjamin Thomas. Ent 12 Feb 1797, Sur 14 Sep 1797, Iss 7 Dec 1804. For one hundred acres situated on the south side of Richardson's Creek. Adjoined own land and that of Jacob Gurley. Chainers were Ananias Thomas and Jacob Gurley.

Deed (L&M-12) Anson NC. Dated 26 May 1798, Michail Austin to Benjamin Thomas. One hundred acres originally granted 10 Jul 1797 to Michail Austin. Situated on the East Side of Richardson's Creek and adjoining land of Benjamin Thomas. Witnesses were Henry Henson and William Shore. This land would be deeded to son Annanias in 1821.

Deed (PQ-261)Anson NC. Dated Jul 1815, the retuned plat for the Division of William Gurley's Land indicates that Benjamin Thomas received 130 acres adjoining the Drury Austin share of the estate. The division lists Benjamin Thomas as recieving Lot # 6 being his share of the estate.

Deed (R-90) Anson NC. Dated 1 Sep 1815, Willis Gurley to Benjamin Thomas. For eighty acres on the South Side of the Rocky River. Witnesses were Ezekiel Thomas and Anias Thomas.

Deed (T-191) Anson NC. Dated 4 Apr 1821, Benjamin Thomas sold to his son Ananias, 150 acres for an unspecified sum of money. The land was situated on the south bank of Richardson's Creek and adjoined the 1797 Michael Austin Grant. The survey also followed a line in Benjamin Thomas's 1806 land grant of 100 acres. Witnesses were Jesse Austin and Jesse Gurley. I have yet to find a grant for Benjamin in 1806. Could it have been his land grant # 791 above?

Deed (T-208) Anson NC. For 200 dollars, Benjamin Thomas sold 75 acres to his son Ezekiel Thomas. Situated on the north side of Richardson's Creek and Walnut Tree Branch, I believe this was part of Benjamin Thomas's land that he purchased from Gidion Green. Witnesses were Jesse Austin and Jesse Gurley.

Deed (W-168) Anson NC. Dated 7 Jan 1823, Benjamin Thomas to William Sharp. For 280 acres adjoining the lands of Benjamin Thomas, Sr. and Vann's Corner. Witnesses were Jesse Austin and Jonathan Thomas. The son of Ezekiel Thomas, Jonathan Thomas had business dealings with the Sharp family.

Prosperous John Melchior owned a merchantile and other businesses in Cabarrus County. His Mill spanned the Rocky River and gave rise to a petition in Cabarrus County concerning blockage of fish migrations. Many people from Cabarrus County signed this petition. The accounting book for John Melchior's store has survived and is in Private Collection 1531 at North Carolina State Archives. In this account book, Benjamin Thomas was credited with a purchase of iron, powder and lead on 18 May 1793. Jacob Gurley made purchases in June and also paid the balance owed by Benjamin Thomas. Jacob Gurley paid the bill with 470 pounds of living pork.

In 1800, a petition was signed by nearly 300 inhabitants of Anson County. This petition sought to confirm and prevent others from petitioning to nulify changes occuring as the outcome of another earlier petition. This second petition sought to maintain a Muster and Elections location suitable to those who lived in "Upper end" Anson County. Ananias and Ezekiel Thomas both signed the petition while Benjamin Signed with mark. David Thomas nor Thomas Presely Junr signed the petition.

For the Year of Our Lord 1815, the Anson County NC Tax list records Benjamin Thomas as owning 430 acres that is valued at 200 dollars. According to the above land records, Benjamin Thomas would have owned 460 acres in 1815. He owned a 150 acre purchase, one 100 acre grant,another 80 acre purchase and a 130 acre land share of William Gurley's land. Could there have been a mistake made in adding? This accounting should not be trusted as truth of fact.

The Children of Benjamin Thomas

Benjamin Thomas was born July 18, 1756, and died January 1, 1833 in Anson Co., N.C. He may have married Melinda Gurley.

1. David Thomas, born ca. 1775 possibly in Anson County NC, died possibly September 5, 1828 or in 1844 in Chester Co. S.C. He married Mary Pressley ca. 1798. He may have married second to another person named Mary.
2. Ezekiel Thomas, born ca. 1777 possibly in Anson Co. NC, died 1839 in Anson County NC. He married (1) ca. 1797, name unknown. He married second ca. 1832, given name is Charity.
3. Ananias Thomas, born October 4, 1779 probably in Anson Co., NC, died February 16, 1861, buried at Edmond Davis cemetery in Union County NC. He married probably Sarah Ross.
4. Jacob Thomas, born October 15, 1784 in Anson Co. NC, died early 1868 in Anson Co. NC. He married Elizabeth Edwards.
5. Benjamin Thomas, born ca. 1788 in Anson Co. NC, died January 1836 in Anson Co. NC. He married first possibly Rebecca Tolson. He married second Elizabeth Brown Trawick.

Census Records

The Anson County Census indicates that Benjamin Thomas likely had other children. Though some researchers indicate the names of daughters, I have not yet been able to verify them through public record and other such documentation. The following is related Census information from 1790 to 1830.

1790 Anson County Census
BENJAMIN THOMAS 1m16+, 5m16- / 3f
JACOB THOMAS 1m16+,1m16- / 3f

1800 Anson County Census
BENJAMIN THOMAS 2m10-16, 1m16-26, 1m45+ / 1f10-, 1f10-16, 1f16-26, 1f45+
DAVID THOMAS 2m10-, 1m26-45 / 2f10-, 1f26-45
EZEKIEL THOMAS 1m10-,1m16-26 / 1f10-, 1f16-26

1810 Anson County Census
BENJAMIN THOMAS SR 1m45+ / 1f16-25, 1f45+
EZEKIEL THOMMAS 1m10-16, 1m26-45 / 1f10-, 1f10-16, 1f26-45
ANNANIAS THOMAS 1m26-45 / 1f10-, 1f16-26
JACOB THOMAS 2m10-, 1m16-25 / 1f16-25
BENJAMIN THOMAS JR. 1m16-25 / 1f16-25

1820 Anson County Census
BENJAMIN THOMAS SR 1m45+ / 1f45+
EZEKIEL THOMAS 1m26-45 / 1f10-16, 1f26-45, 1f45+
ANNANIAS THOMAS 4m10-, 1m26-45 / 1f10-16, 1f26-45
JACOB THOMAS 1m10-, 2m10-16, 1m26-45 / 1f10-, 1f26-45 / 2 slaves
BENJAMIN THOMAS JR. 1m10-, 1f10-16, 1f26-45 / 1f16-26
JONATHAN THOMAS 1m16-18 / 1f10-, 1f16-26

1830 Anson County Census
BENJAMIN THOMAS SR 1m60-70 / 1f 40-50 / 1 slave
EZEKIEL THOMAS 1m50-60 / 1f50-60
ANNANIAS THOMAS 3m5-, 1m5-10, 1m10-15, 2m15-20, 1m50-60 / 1f5-10 1f40-50
JACOB THOMAS 1m15-20, 2m20-30, 1m40-50 / 1f5-10, 1f10-15, 1f40-50 / 4 slaves
BENJAMIN THOMAS JR. 1m15-20, 1m40-50 / 1f10-15, 1f40-50, 1f60-70 / 1 slave

Less than a mile down stream from present day Pleasant Hill Church Road, Charity Ford once crossed the cooling waters of Richardson's Creek. The 1913 Union County surveyors map records the small road that once crossed at Charity Ford. From indications in land records involving Benjamin's son Ezekiel, it is known that Walnut Tree Creek once flowed into Richardson's Creek near Charity Ford. Benjamin Thomas's first purchase from Gideon Green adjoined the banks of Walnut Tree Branch. Older folk in the community know of and have testified to the existence of the Old Thomas Cemetery which was situated on the north side of Charity Ford. Dying on 1 Jan 1833, it is here that Benjamin Thomas was layed to rest. Other Thomas's were buried at the cemetery also. In the push to regain usable farm land, this cemetery was thoroughly destoyed.

There are several other events or issues related to the life of Benjamin Thomas. They are:

When was Benjamin Thomas born?

Did Benjamin Thomas marry Melinda Gurley?

The Children of Benjamin Thomas

David Thomas
Ezekiel Thomas
Ananias Thomas
Jacob Thomas
Benjamin Thomas Jr.


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