Born ca. 1773, David Thomas is believed to be the first born child of Benjamin Thomas. It has been traditionally written that David's mother is Melinda, the daughter of William Gurley from Johnston to Anson County NC. Gurley family researcher William Bradley wrote in 1948 that William Gurley was born in 1748. He does not provide the source for the birth record. If true, no daughter of William Gurley could be old enough to be the mother of David Thomas.

Dated 15 Jul 1793, an order to lay-off a 100-acre land grant in Anson County was written for Richd Presley David Thomas. For some reason, David Thomas received the land grant originally intended for Richard Presley. Richard died, removed from the area, or had given over the land as a gift or as reasoned in an unknown agreement. Situated in the Burnsville District on the Flag Fork of the Watery Branch of Richardson's Creek, the land was surveyed on 3 Mar 1794. Chain bearers were John and William Pool. On the same survey date, Thomas Presley had his nearby 100-acre Cribs Creek land grant surveyed. Chain bearers were William Pool and David Thomas. Likely issued to Thomas Presley Jr, this land was sold 14 Nov 1796 to James Gurley of Montgomery County NC. Witnesses were Willis Gurley and Michael Austin.

David Thomas married Mary Presley ca. 1797. Mary is the daughter of Thomas Sr. and Sarah Lee Presley. Sarah is the daughter of Robert Lee of Anson County. Robert Lee wrote his last will and testament in 1766. He mentioned wife Sarah Lee and daughter Sarah Crittendon. Was Sarah Lee married to William Crittendon before marrying Thomas Presley, Sr? There is more information about William Crittendon and his early involvemnet with the Oneal family.

An 1800 petition of the inhabitants of "upperend" Anson County NC includes the signatures of Ezekiel Thomas, Ananias Thomas, Benjamin (x) Thomas, and Thomas Presely. Both Thomas Presley Jr and sr were of age to sign the petition, yet it was only signed by one Thomas Presley. David Thomas did not sign the petition either. Where were they?

Dated 5 Dec 1801, a survey was made for a 200-acre grant issued to David Thomas. The land adjoined that of his own, Jacob Gurley, Hood, and Brown lands. Chain bearers were Jacob and Isham Gurley.

Written 6 Mar 1808, Thomas Presley [Sr.] wrote his Last Will and Testament. He mentioned wife Sarah and children Rebecah Pool, Jean Presley, Mary Thomas, Nancy Pool, Susannah Helms, Sarah Helms, Richard Pressley, Elizabeth Helms, Anna Helms, and Thomas Presley. Robertson and Elizabeth Pistole witnessed the will.

Thomas Presley, Jr. and others from Anson County moved to Chester County SC around 1800. David Thomas followed the move to South Carolina where on 15 Aug 1809 he purchased 90 acres (O-151, Chester SC) from Richard Wylie. Witnesses were Jesse T. Wallace and Samuel M. Monahan. The land was situated on Susey's Creek, a branch of Turkey Creek. It adjoined lands of Josiah Kirkpatrick to the northeast, John Wratchford to the west and southwest, and to the east by Richard Lucas.

On 30 May 1810, David Thomas purchased 52 acres (U-384, Chester SC) from John Lusk. Witnesses were Richard Lucas and Andrew Kidd. Situated on Susey Boles Branch of Turkey Creek, this tract of land was located near Quin's Wagon road. It adjoined Josiah Kirkpatrick land to the north, John Lusk to the west, John Ratchford to the south and David Thomas to the east.

Dated 3 Dec 1821, David Thomas received a land grant from his Exellency, Thomas Bennett, Governor of South Carolina. The legal description states the grant is for:

"fifty Eight acres Situate in Chester District on Susey Boles branch a Water of Water of Turkey Creek bounded north by York District David Thomas's Land & by David Thomas South and West by Captain James McGriff."
Bordered to the north by York District and his own lands, this grant indicates the a slim possibility that David owned land in York County. There are no land records in York that verifies this to be so.

Here are two noteworthy transactions made by James McGriff. Dated 1 Jul 1815, Capt. James McGriff deeded 5 3/4 acres to William O'neal and William Robeson, Trustees of the Church of New Bethel (H-179, York). Witnesses were Silas Kolb and Robert Meek. Situated in the fork of Susey Boles and on the south side of Susey Creek, the land was adjoined entirely by McGriff and William Smith lands. In another deed (K-159, York SC), James McGriff sold to William Minter 4 1/2 acres where the deceased Rev. Thomas Neely lived. Witnesses were John Minter and Jacob Lucas. The land adjoined that belonging to Moses B. Eggers, James McGriff, William Minter, and Neely. It was originally granted to John Lusk Esq of "Union District".

Tradition and and the preported grave of David Thomas at the Thomas Presley, Jr. family Cemetery leads us to think that he died in 1828. From this same line of thought, David left a son named David Thomas Jr. who died and left a Last Will and Testament in 1844. A close study of census and land records indicates a much different reality.

1800 Anson County NC
2m 10-, 1m 26-45 / 2f 10-, 1f 26-45

1810 Chester County SC page 255
3 m 10-, 2m 10-16, 1m 45+ / 2f 10-, 2f 10-16, 1f 45+

1820 Chester County SC
1m 10-, 1m 10-16, 2m 18-26, 1m 45+ / 4 f 10-, 1f 16-26

1830 Chester County SC page 308
1m 50-60 / 2f 5-, 2f 15-20, 1f 30-40

1840 Chester County SC page 314
1m 5-, 1m 70-80 / 2f 5-, 1f 5-10, 1f 10-15, 1f 30-40

1850 Chester page
Mary Thomas 46, Catherine 13, R. B. 11 male, Lucinda 6 female

From 1810-1840, the age of David Thomas tracks nicely. Some of the families begin to move south and west. The neighborhood ages, but remains basically the same. A critical record lies in the 1810 and 1820 Chester County Census. Mary Presley Thomas is listed as 45+ years old in 1810. In the 1820 Census she is missing and has likely died. In 1830, the children are growing up and beginning to be listed outside of the household of David Thomas Sr. As will be made clear, the female 30-40 in the 1840 census is likely the young second wife of David Thomas.

Written 12 Nov 1844, David Thomas wrote his Last Will and Testament. He bequeaths all personal property to his beloved wife Mary Thomas for "the support of her and her children". He also provides his wife Mary with the plantation containing 142 acres of land. If his wife should remarry before the youngest child reaches 21 years of age, then he stipulates that the plantation should be rented until that time. At that time, it is his wish that the land should be sold and the money divided between "my four daughters and my son namely: Martha Malinda Thomas, Elizer Thomas, Jane Thomas, Katherine Thomas, Robert Thomas, and the child she is now pregnant with". Witnesses to the will are G. B Yarborough and J. T Johnsey.

Dated 2 Jan 1845, an iventory of the "Goods and Chattles" of David Thomas was completed and recorded in Book B, Folio 153, Chester County. The appraisers were neighbors Valentine Atkinson, James Sanders,james Meek, and George Hardin. As will be discussed later in the verification records for David Thomas, the above James Sanders purchased neighboring land from James McGriff.

In a Last Will and Testament, a man usually provides for "his" wife and "his" children. By leaving the property to his wife and "her" children, I think that David was addressing a more complicated family situation. This statement distinguishes the children of the second wife and their needs. As will later be shown, most of David's older children had left the state by the time of his death.

The witnesses of this will and others involved in the above estate lived near the David Thomas whose census record was earlier shown. David Thomas owned 90, 52 and 58 acre-tracts of land. If he sold or gave away the 58 acres, the remaining amount would match the will perfectly. The 48 year-old Mary Thomas is listed in the 1850 census as having children whose names match the will. From the children's ages, David and Mary likely married sometime during mid 1830's. The maiden name for David Thomas's wife is unknown. As for Mary Satterwaite, she likely married another David Thomas who also lived in Chester County SC. This point needs to be further adressed before continuing.

In the 1850 Chester County Census, a David Thomas age 48 is listed as living in the household of Elizabeth Carter. Thirteen year-old son William Thomas is also living in the household. The Elizabeth Carter household is next to the 81 year old Thomas Satterwaite. At the Evergreen Cemetery in the town of Chester SC, the grave of David Thomas reads: SACRED IN MEMORY OF David Thomas born June 11 1801 died Jan 29 1869--aged 67 years 7 months 18 days. Beside the grave of this David Thomas is that of Wm. L Thomas. The stone says that William died on Mar 10 1864 while serving in Comp B 7th Batt SCV. His age at death was 27 years 2 months 5 days. The tombstone records match perfectly with the above 1850 census. I believe that Mary Satterwaite died prior to the 1850 census. David Thomas and son continued to live near Mary's father.

Who were the older children of our David Thomas and his first wife Mary Presley? And why were they not listed in the will? David Thomas's land adjoined the York County line. His children first appear in the 1830 Census. His children David, Richard, and Presley Thomas are living nearby in Chester County. A son named Ananias is likely living just over the county line in York County. By 1840, Richard, David, and Ananias had all removed to Blount County Alabama. The community in Alabama was full of close friends and neighbors from Chester County SC. As will later be discussed, a Civil War military supply claim in Alabama quotes David Thomas [Jr.] as being born in 1805 in Anson County NC. The claim also states that David had two brothers who lived in Alabama. David, the son of David Sr. did not leave a will and die in Chester County SC. He did not marry Mary Satterwaite. David Jr. and his brothers moved to Alabama with others prior to the death of their father. The only son who remained in SC was Presley Thomas. He moved into York County around 1840. The census records show that David Thomas also had several daughters. Though at this time there is no absolute proof, it is likely that he had a daughter named Sarah who married Isaac McGriff Breakfield. I can only think that David Thomas Sr. gave his older children their share well before his death.

David Thomas's second wife continued to live on the 142-acre farm situated near the York County line. She is listed in the 1850-1870 Chester County Census as head of household. Mary Thomas died intestate and prior to the 1880 census. The following land records provide a glimpse as to what happened to Mary Thomas and the 142-acre David Thomas farm.

(RR-575, Chester SC) Dated 7 May 1870, J. M. Kirkpatrick agreed to provide Mary Thomas $109.76 of credit for cultivating and harvesting a crop on the Mary Thomas Plantation. In exchange, Mary agreed to deliver a brown mule to the home of J. M Kirkpatrick.

(VV-74, Chester SC) Dated 22 Feb 2873, Mary Thomas and Brown Robbins agreed to a line of credit from R.M. Cross for the purpose of culivating a crop.

(WW-520, Chester SC) Deeded 24 Sep 1874 and registered 3 May 1875, John T. Hall, Margaret Hall, McGriff Brakefield, John BrakeField, Alexander Brakefield, Mary Brakefield, Adeline Revels, and Sarah Brakefield sold their interests in a certain tract of land containing 142 acres to James M. Kirkpatrick. Situated on Susy Boles Creek, the land adjoined that of Dr. Givens, Jasper Grant, John Grier, James Atkinson, Robert Coln and McGriff Brakefield. The deed states the lands "formerly belonged to David Thomas now deceased--- and the interest of the grantees therein being derived through Wm Brakefield now deceased to whom in his lifetime Robert Thomas and Margaret Tidwell children and devisees of said David Thomas conveyed their interest to wit: the two sixths part of the said lands". In other words, Robert and Margaret conveyed their shares of the David Thomas estate to William Brakefield. Following his death in the civil war, the heirs of William Brakefield sold the land to James M. Kirkpatrick.

(53, Chester SC) Dated 23 Jan 1875, Neely Thomas sold to James M. Kirkpatrick "all my right in the Estate of my mother_____ Thomas deceased". He sold his interest in the above 142 acres. The description of the adjoining land is the same as above. From census records, it is known that Neeley Thomas was born after the death of David Thomas. He may have been a son of Mary Thomas or possibly the son of one of the older daughters mentioned in David Thomas's will. If the daughter had died earlier, then Neeley would receive her rightful share.

(WW-634, Chester SC) 6 Jun 1875. John Dickey Probate Judge to James M. Kirkpatrick. After exhibiting a petition on 31 Mar 1875 to sale the land of David Thomas deceased, Judge John Dickey ordered the sale of the land. James Kirkpatrick was the administrator of the estate. He advertised for the sale on 5 Jul 1875 and himself became the highest bidder. The description of the land is consistent with the prior two transactions.

The probate index at the Chester County Courthouse lists a record for the 1873 final settlement of the estate of David Thomas,deceased. The process of settlement began in 1873, indicating the possible death of Mary Thomas. David's estate was properly advertised in the Chester Reporter. One of the records in the loose leaf file indicates that "David Thomas departed this life on or about the ___day of ___A.D. 187". I hope this is a mistake and is instead the date that Mary died. This record needs further verification.

The Final Return made by James M. Kirkpatrick on 5 Jul 1875 indicates that $5.00 was paid out to W. A. Sanders for services rendered by the clerk of court of Blount County AL. Keeping in mind that at least three of David's older children moved to Blount County AL, who was W. A. Sanders contacting?

A book at the Chester County SC Courthouse entitled The Cash Book offers the first solid link between the Thomas families in Blount County AL and David Thomas of Chester County SC. This book that was likely kept by the acting probate judge who ruled on the estate of David Thomas. In the book, "the final return" of the estate of David Thomas is described differently from the official court record. W. A. Sanders, "Atty in fact" paid $126.78 to "George Yarborough and wife", being "in full of their share" of the estate of David Thomas deceased. From this record we know that an heir of David Thomas married George Yarborough. And from the official Final Return, we know that W. A. Sanders paid $5.00 to the clerk of court in Blount County AL. Looking at the 1860 Blount County Census, the 30-year old Geo A. Yarborough is married to 26-year old Jane Yarborough. Jane is the daughter of David Thomas Sr. as listed in his 1844 last will and testament. From the ages and location of birth listed for their children, George and Jane likely left for Alabama in the known 1857 wagon train. In 1860, the Yarboroughs were listed as living near Mary Neely, Christopher Brakefield, Jonathan Harkness, David Neely Thomas and Ananias Thomas. Of interest, David Neely married Elizabeth, the sister of George Yarborough.

The Children of David Thomas

Richard Thomas (Son of Mary Presley Thomas)
Ananias N. Thomas (Son of Mary Presley Thomas)
David Thomas (Son of Mary Presley Thomas)
Sarah Thomas (Likely the Daughter of Mary Presley Thomas)
Presley Thomas (Son of Mary Presley Thomas)

Martha Malinda Thomas (Daughter of David's Second Wife Named Mary
Elizer Thomas (Daughter of David's Second Wife Named Mary)
Jane Thomas (Daughter of David's Second Wife Named Mary)
Catherine Thomas (Daughter of David Thomas's Second Wife Named Mary)
Robert B. Thomas (Son of David's Second Wife Named Mary)
Lucinda Thomas (Daughter of David Thomas's Second Wife Named Mary)

And...Who are these Thomas's?

Documents and Other Information Related to David Thomas

The 1844 Last Will and Testament and 1845 Inventory of the Estate of David Thomas
Verification Records for this David Thomas
Searchers and Contributors of Family History Related to this Page


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