James Thomas was born in Queen Anne's County, Maryland on 25 Jun 1758. He was the last child born to Stephen and Mary Clothier Thomas. After his mother died, James moved to Anson County NC with his father. When his father died in 1774, James along with brothers Benjamin and Philemon, chose on Oct 13 1774, older brother John Thomas as guardian. Dated 4 May 1779, James received a land grant for fifty acres on the west side of the Gum Swamp along Bear Creek. His brother Benjamin was a survey chain bearer for the land that adjoined that of brother Lewis. With brothers Lewis and John, James left out for Guilford County NC in the early 1780's. James married Milley Clark in Guilford County on 26 Mar 1785. From the marriage bond, brother Lewis Thomas was the bondsman. Milly was born in 1765, the daughter of Francis and Christian Stone Clark. She was also the sister-in-law to James's brother John. On 19 May 1786 in Guilford County, Fancis and Wife Christian Clark sold to James Thomas 119 acres adjoining John Clark's mill pond on the south bank of the Reedy Fork of the Haw River. The Deed was witnessed by his brother Lewis.

James Thomas died shortly after marrying Miley Clark. He left two sons named for his brothers Benjamin and John. Writing his Last Will and Testament on "the sixtenth of the ninth month in the year of our lord 1788", he "publicly orders" that the estate would go to his loving wife Milly. In the case that if his wife were to die or remarry, James originally stipulated that the estate would descend and belong to his brother John Thomas. Changing his mind, James marked this line out. Instead, and still if Milley were to die or remarry, then Jame's son Benjamin would receive the land in Guilford County. His son John would receive "a certain piece of land lying on Bare Creek in Richmond County". This was Jame's Land grant. James then stipulated that if all his heirs should die, then the estate would go to brother John's sons named Elijah, Stephen, and Francis Thomas. The will was witnessed by friends Aaron Mendenhall, Laban Tharpe, and Thomas Willcuts.

In an addenda dated 6 Nov 1797, in the minutes of Deep River MM, Benjamin and John W. Thomas and Clark Willcuts received membership through the request of their father Thomas Willcuts. The record then mentions that Benjamin and John W. Thomas were stepsons of Thomas Willcuts. This record indicates that Milly Thomas had married Thomas Willcuts. Remember that he was one of the witnesses to the James Thomas will.

The family moved to the Piney Grove community of Marlborough County SC. Thomas and Milly had eight more children. On 19 Mar 1814, Thomas and Milly Willcuts requested membership to the White Water MM in Indiana. Milly's sons John W. and Benjamin would also make the journey.


Benjamin Thomas was born on 29 Dec 1786 in Guilford County NC. His father died in 1789 and his mother married second to Thomas Wilcuts. Still a minor, Benjamin and his new family moved to Piney Grove community of Marlborough County SC. After reching legal age, Benjamin Thomas returned to Guilford County where he claimed the land left by his father. He married Ann Baldwin on 2 Mar 1807 at New Garden Meeting House. Ann was born 28 Jul 1784. Benjamin and family requested membership on 29 Aug 1812 to White Water MM in Indiana. Settling on land in Wayne County IN, they lived a few miles east of New Garden MM. This family was founding members of Arba MM. Their children are:

1. Mary Thomasb. 14 Oct 1809 Guilford County NC, married William Peacock on 22 Oct 1840 at Newport MH.
2. James Thomas b. 20 Oct 1811
3. Daniel Thomas b. 11 Jan 1814 in Indiana d. 24 Aug 1823 bur. Dover Cem.
4. Milly Thomas b. 21 May 1816, married on 20 Apr 1835 Josiah Woodard at New Garden MH.
5. Arcadia Thomas b. 28 Mar 1818, married on 22 Oct 1840 Daniel Hill at New Garden MH.
6. Sophia Thomas b. 26 Mar 1820 d. 28 Aug 1823 bur Dover Cem.
7. Calvin Thomas b. 19 Nov 1822
8. Thomas Thomas b. 25 Apr 1825


John W. Thomas was born on 19 Aug 1787 in Guilford County NC. After the death of his father in 1789, John W. Thomas moved to Marlborough County SC with his mother and stepfather. Upon reaching legal age, John W. claimed and lived on his father's Richmond County estate. Dated 18 Dec 1810, he sold the land to George Wright. John probably left with his family for Indiana in 1814. John W. Thomas married Aschah Peele who was from Wayne County NC. The marriage probably occurred ca. 1816. The children of John and Aschah are:

1. Tabitha Thomas b. 11 Mar 1817 married a Hollingsworth.
2. Henry Thomas b. 9 Jun 1819
3. Selah (Celia) Thomas b. 8 Jun 1821, married a Williams.
4. James Thomas b. 27 Sep 1824
5. Beda Thomas b. 1 Mar 1827, married on 24 Oct 1849 at Arba MH to Elwood Arnett.
6. William Thomas b. 13 Feb 1829
7. Huldah Thomas b. 11 Sep 1831
8. Malon Thomas b. 23 Feb 1834
9. Jesse Thomas b. 27 May 1836 d. 11 Feb 1916 bur Arba Cem. Jesse married in 1861 to Peninah Arnold b. 11 Dec 1830 d. 27 Aug 1910. Their children are (A) Emily C. Thomas b. 12 May 1863 d. 3 Jul 1883; (B) Anna M Thomas b. 23 Dec 1864; and (C) Oliver Thomas b. 2 Apr 1867 in Randoph County IN.


The Last Will and Testament of James Thomas as recorded in the Will Book


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