JONATHAN THOMAS


Born ca. 1798, Jonathan Thomas is the son of Ezekiel Thomas and his first wife whose name is unknown. Prior to 1820, Jonathan married in Anson County, North Carolina to a person named Mary. Based on land records and the naming of Jonathan's children, I had long believed that Mary's maiden name was Sharp. After being set in to motion years ago, recently a long run of events has yielded welcome proof of this union. Several years back, I visited Cherokee Alabama and met Abbie Goss, an aged descendant of Mary Thomas who provided me with a great wealth of traditional family history. She allowed me to copy her family pictures and family Bible. Recently, Karen Griffin Barnett from Louisiana contacted me concerning ties between Jonathan Thomas and a Mr. Wiley Griffin. After a period of information sharing, things settled back down until recently Karen contacted me again. She had learned of Mr. E. Ray Green, another distant cousin who now 77 and living in Texas is also a descendant of Jonathan Thomas. Back in the late 1960ís, this man contacted Abbie's mother Emma Caroline Thomas Sharp. A spirited 93 years of age and clear of mind, she answered the Texanís questions as her daughter (Abbie Goss) wrote out the answers to send off in the form of a letter. And in that letter, the aged granddaughter of Jonathan Thomas states that his wife was one Mary Sharp. I am very thankful to Karen Griffin Barnett for sharing a letter written on 21 Jul 1969 by Mrs. Emma Caroline Thomas Sharp and her daughter Gail Goss to Mr. E. Ray Green of Texas.

As follows, hints of the familial ties appear in the following early interactions between Jonathan Thomas, the Sharp family, and other neighbors:

Grant #1349, Anson NC, Ezekiel Thomas. 50 acres adjoining Benjamin Thomas lands, Richardson's Creek, and the forks of the Walnut Tree Branch. Surveyed 6 Feb 1828, chainers were Jonathan Thomas and James Sharp.

Deed (W-134) Anson. Dated 20 Nov 1827, Willie Griffin sold 84 acres to Emery Sharp.

Deed (Y-488) Anson. On 24 Sep 1828 and proved Sep 1834, William Sharp to Jonathan Thomas, 54 acres adjoining lands of Ezekiel Thomas. Witnesses were Allen Carpenter and Emery Sharp.

Deed (X-506) Anson. On 25 Feb 1830, William Sharp sold to John Sharp 2223 acres adjoining that of Jonathan Thomas and James Sharp.

Deed (Y-530) Anson. On 30 Jan 1834, Willie Griffin to Emery Sharp.

Deed (10-33) Anson. Dated 11 Oct 1839, Andrew Sharp to Fredrick Staton, 32 acres adjoining Ezekiel Thomas lands.

Norfleet D. Boggan and Patrick W. Hammond were partners, owning a store in Burnsville, upper Anson County NC. Facing bankruptcy, a deed of trust (Z-571, Anson NC) was filed on 18 Dec 1837. Seeking to liquefy the business, this awesome record lists hundreds of people and their accounts with the store. The record also lists people whose accounts were outstanding and were being handled by way of legal judgment. A few chosen lines of entry from this immense record read as follows:

$9.09 -A judgment on Andrew Sharp stayed by Jonathan Thomas July 5th 1837 with Int. from 1st Jany
16.34 -A judgment on Jonathan Thomas stayed by Jno. Sharp July 25th 1837 Int. from Jan 1
46.19 -A judgment on John Sharp stayed by Jonathan Thomas Jul 25th 1837 Int from Jan 1st
20.83 -A judgment on Jesse Coburn Jul 15th 1837 Int. from Jan 1
17.10 -A note on Freeman High due 13 Mar 1837 Int. from Jan 1
25.00 -A note on James Sharpe due 29th of Janr 1837 Interest from 9th Jan
01.70 -A note on Phillip Karaker due 22 Nov 1836
31.26 -A note on James Sharp and J. Thomas due 25 Jany. past
18.21 -A note on Redding Sharp due 1st Jany. past
01.00 -A note on Benjamin Allen due 1st Jan next
10.33 -Jonathan Thomas
07.02 -Ezekiel Thomas
03.25 -James Cook
01.30 -Thomas R. Griffin
10.44 -Gardner High
08.17 -Caswell Kiker
09.11 -John Cook
01.73 -Mahala Richardson
01.20 -Ann Richardson
0.691 -Mahala Cook

Jonathan's brother-in-law, Emery Sharp, married Anna Beasley, the daughter of John and Alsey Snipes Beasley. Implications from the Sharp and Beasley family history influences the time table for what happened next. At an unknown date in 1836, Emery Sharp sold three tracts of land (9-152, Union Co. NC) to Henry Chaney. Anna's sister Kizia married Henry Chaney. Situated in what is now Union County, NC, tract one was 150 acres adjoining Rebecca Harrington's line. Tract two was 20 acres adjoining his own line and that of William Sharp and Hammond lands. Tract three adjoined both his own and the lands of Bryant Austin. Sometime between this date of sale and the 1840 census, Emery Sharp moved to Cherokee County, Alabama. Some of Emery's family and friends moved at the same time. This migration continued through the late 1840's. Jonathan Thomas may have also made the move at an early pre 1840 date, but this cannot be said with absolute certainty.

The 1830 Anson County NC Census lists Ezekiel Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, and Emery Sharp as living beside each other. In May of 1839, Jonathan Thomas was listed in his father's last will and testament as receiving one dollar. This declaration indicated Jonathan had already received his share of any and all things due him. The will was probated in October 1839. Since no estate record survives in Anson County, North Carolina for Ezekiel Thomas deceased, we have no idea of how cleanly the estate was settled. At this point, the story is blurred by the record of other Thomas families impacting that of Jonathan as he moves with others to Alabama..

The 1840 Cherokee County Alabama census lists a Jonathan Thomas living near Emery Sharp. There are no land records in Anson or Union Counties NC indicating when Jonathan sold his land holdings in preparation of a move south. The only hint of the move is found in Frederick Staton's last will and testament written much later on 9 Jul 1859. In item 4 of the will, Frederick states:

I give and bequeath to my son Reddin Staton all the lands I own on Richardsonís Creek,
known by the name of the Austin, Sharp, and Thomas and Nance Land Ö
Annie Lee Traywick of Anson County NC told me that Frederick Staton was known for rounding up horses for sale to those who moved west. Though no land records chronicle Jonathan's move, it appears his lands may have ended up in the hands of Frederick Staton.

Let's look closer at the Jonathan Thomas listed in 1840 Cherokee County, Alabama. There is a James Thomas living near this Jonathan. The 1840 census reads as follows:

E. Sharp 1m0/5, 1m5/10, 2m10/15, 1m30/40/ 1f0/5, 1f5/10, 1f30/40
Jonathan Thomas 2m5/10, 1m10/15, 1m15/20, 1m40/50. / 2f10/15, 1f15/20, 1f40/50
James Thomas 3m0/5, 1m5/10, 1m10/15, 1m30/40 / 2f5/10, 1f10/15,1f40/50

In 1850 there are then two Jonathan Thomas's listed in the census of Cherokee County. Their ages and family sizes are similar. Ours is clearly enumerated as being from NC. The other was listed as being born in South Carolina. There is also a James T. Thomas of South Carolina living nearby. The timing of the move to Alabama depends upon our decision as to which Jonathan is the one listed in the 1840 census? To further complicate the issue, there is a Balaam Thomas who had lived on Watson's Creek near Jonathan in Anson County, North Carolina. And yet, there is another John Thomas, born in Tennessee whose record becomes intertwined in Alabama with later generations of our Jonathan Thomas from North Carolina. Who are these other Thomas families, and how do they relate? Before continuing, please take a look at the following listings for Jonathan Thomas and related families found in the 1850 Cherokee County census:

005-005, 001
Jonathan Thomas 53 NC
Mary 50 NC
James R. 16 NC
Jonathan E. 14 NC
Emery 13 NC
Andrew D. 11 AL
Mary Ann 8 AL
William E. 4 AL
Martha Griffin 30 AL
095-095, 008
Jonathan Thomas 53 SC
Tempy 56 SC
Elizabeth 28 SC
Laura 25 SC
Amanda 18 GA
John 15 TN
Thomas R. 11 AL
332-332, 048
James T. Thomas 52 SC
Sarah 50 SC
Rody J. 19 TN
Martha M. 16 TN
Barnaby W. 14 AL
William L. 13 AL
James A. 9 AL
John A. Thomas 17 TN
Louiza H. 17 GA
572-572, 043
John Thomas 42 TN
Elizabeth 43 TN
William 14 TN
Alriea 9 AL
Margaret 7 AL
Sarah 6 AL
Bradford 2 AL
733-733, ____
**Balaam Thomas 70 VA
Clarissa 69
706-706, 052
Ezekiel Thomas 27 NC
Amenia 23 GA
Mary J. 7 AL
William A. 5 AL
Sarah C. 2 AL
Elizabeth A. 2/12 AL
J. L Thomas 18 NC
Mary J. 20 AL
006-006, 001
Lewis Griffin 26 NC
*Louiza J. 26 NC
Thomas E. AL
191-191, 014
John A. Thomas 22 NC
Louiza M. 23 SC
John B. Smith 33 NC
*Rebecca 23 NC
Naoma 7 AL
William 6 AL
Alexander 4 AL
Caroline 2 AL
Catherine 11/12 AL
007-007, 001
+David Humphrey 37 TN
James H. 14 TN
John 12 TN
David C. 8 TN
Andrew 6 TN
Henry C. 5 TN
Abigail Minn 32 TN

*Daughter of Jonathan Thomas from NC
+Married Martha Griffin, widow of unknown Mr. Griffin and daughter of Jonathan Thomas of NC
**Lived near Jonathan in Anson County NC. Born in VA

It appears at first glance that the Jonathan Thomas listed in the 1840 census was the one from South Carolina who was likely the brother of James. But, the birth dates and locations as found in the 1850 census leaves open the possibility that our Jonathan from North Carolina was also in Cherokee County AL in 1840. Of interest, both our Jonathan Thomas of NC and James T. Thomas of SC received land grants in Cherokee County. There is no record of Jonathan Thomas of SC ever owning land in Cherokee Co. AL.

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At Barry Springs, or otherwise located on maps at Berea or Grover in Cherokee County, Alabama, a historical marker reads:

BARRY SPRINGS INDIAN STOCKADE

One hundred feet east was one site where "The Trail of Tears" began. On May 23, 1838 the Indians in this general area, who had been held in a chestnut log stockade after being gathered by the U. S. Army, began their long trek to Oklahoma. The spring, which was the source of water for the Indians, is believed to be the mouth of an underground cavern. Eli O. Alexander and wife Margaret (Barry) Allison and Richard Barry settled in this area about 1838. The Richard Barry log house c. 100 yards west of the spring was recently (c. 1970) destroyed by fire.

CHEROKEE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Barry Springs is located on county road 99 less than one mile from the Georgia state line. Prior to the 1840 census, Jonathan Thomas and families of Willie Griffin, Emery Sharp and others began settling in Jamestown in Broomtown Valley about 4 miles west of Barry Springs. Present day county road 15 runs to the northeast through Jamestown. County road 60 crosses county road 15 and immediately winds its way north over the abandoned Georgia-Tennessee-Alabama railroad track. At the crossing stands the home of settler George A. Moseley. Jamestown once boasted its own depot that stood on the opposite side of the tracks from the Moseley home. Running parallel to county road 15 and less than 200 yards away from county road 60, the long and steep flanks of Shinebone Ridge provide northwest winter protection for the Broomtown Valley. County road 60 ends less than one half mile after crossing the abandoned train tracks. As per Cherokee County tax maps, the road ends at our Jonathan Thomas's old home place.

Jonathan Thomas received four land grants with the first signature date being in 1848. Land granted in Alabama could be lived on and paid for at a later date. It appears Jonathan Thomas settled these four tracts of land and paid for them as he could. The legal descriptions of the four tracts are as follows:

Grant #9149, Cherokee AL, sig. 10 Apr 1848. For Jonathan Thomas, being 40.56 acres and the NE quarter of the NW quarter of Sec. 33 in Township 7 of Range 10 east.
Grant #10501, Cherokee AL, sig. 1 Mar 1850. For Jonathan Thomas, being 40.56 acres and the SE quarter of the NW quarter of Sec. 33 in Township 7 of Range 10 east.
Grant #14363, Cherokee AL, sig. 1 Dec 1852. For Jonathan Thomas, being 40.56 acres and the NW quarter of the NE quarter of Sec. 33 in Township 7 of Range 10 east.
Grant #15972, Cherokee AL, sig. 15 Jul 1854. For Jonathan Thomas, being 40.56 acres and the SW quarter of the NW quarter of Sec. 33 in Township 7 of Range 10 east.

Let's look back at the intersection of county roads 15 and 60. A short distance southwest of the intersection, Moseley Cemetery sets at a clearing on the northwest side of county road 15. The cemetery is the resting place of many settlers of this area. Continuing down county road 15 you will see county road 46 turning off to the south. Emery Sharp once owned this land. Sharp and Thomas descendants donated the land for Pleasant Valley Baptist Church that is now situated at the intersection of county roads 15 and 46. Also, a short distance to the east-northeast of the intersection at Jamestown is the Smith cemetery.

Jonathan Thomas died prior to the 1860 census. On 10 Oct 1859, an agreement of Dower Right for Mary Thomas identified not only the heirs, but also named all of Jonathan's son-in-laws. Sons Ezekiel and Jonathan Thomas were listed as Co-Administrators. As with all other county records, this wonderfully valuable estate record was lost in the Cherokee County courthouse fire on 25 May 1882. The Dower agreement (B-412, Cherokee AL) was entered anew on 24 Dec 1884. Deed books tracing the passing of Jonathan's four tracts of land were also burned in the fire. But like the dower agreement, they too were re-entered after the fact. Spanning the civil war period, this series of deeds reflects the losses and suffrage experienced during the war. But more important, the names of those involved in the later conveyance of Jonathan's land raise questions contradictory to easy thinking.

As written in the 10 Oct 1859 dower agreement, Ezekiel and John Thomas were listed as Administrators. Dated 5 Nov 1859, all four tracts of land held in the estate of Jonathan Thomas deceased were sold at public auction (A-459, Cherokee AL) to James Pinkston. The transaction was not registered at the courthouse until 13 Jun 1863. At that time, and as listed in the deed, the transaction was made by "Elizabeth and John Thomas as the Administrators of of the estate of Jonathan Thomas late of said county deceased". Who was Elizabeth? Jonathan did not have a daughter named Elizabeth. He did not have a daughter-in-law of that name either. Son Ezekiel Thomas had been named Co-Administrator as per the Dower Agreement. Why is Ezekiel not listed as Co-Administrator in this sale of his father's land?

In 1863, most of Jonathan's son's were serving in the civil war. And most of them would soon loose their lives. Military records indicate Jonathan's sons Ezekiel and John were likely at war when their father's land was sold. So who were John and Elizabeth Thomas named as Administrators in the land sale? It is likely not John Thomas of Tennessee as it is believed his wife Elizabeth died after 1850 and then he married Emery Sharpís daughter Roena. And this John Thomas is believed to have died prior to 1860. His children by his first wife are spread about the community while the children of wife Roena are living with her at her fatherís house. To learn more about what is known on this family, please take a look at John and Elizabeth Thomas.

To further complicate the matter, on 5 Nov 1859 and registered on the same day (13 Jun 1863) as the above transaction, James Pinkston conveyed the Jonathan Thomas land as a gift deed (A-460, Cherokee AL) to his daughter "Louisa M. Thomas wife of John Thomas". This is the son of our Jonathan Thomas from North Carolina. As earlier stated, John Thomas was in service at this time and died in 1864.

Looking at the records, we can only see what survives and we try our best to make sense of it all. There are still many gray areas in this story that scream for clarification. We know that Jonathan Thomas moved to Cherokee County where he died prior to 1860. His wife Mary was listed in the Cherokee County census with son Andrew and later with William E. Thomas. In 1870, she is listed in Chatooga County Ga living beside son Andrew Thomas. In the 1880 census, she is listed back in Cherokee County AL as living with her son William E. Thomas. Mary died sometime after the 1880 census. Jonathan and Mary Thomas could possibly be buried on their home place. However, there is a possibility one or both are buried at one of the many unmarked graves at nearby Moseley Cemetery. Though I do not know of any graves that date to the 1850's, there is a strong possibility Mary could have been buried there. Son William Early Thomas is buried there as well as James Marion, son of John and Louiza M. Thomas above.

Here are the children of Jonathan and Mary Thomas.


Contributors to this Thomas Family History.
The following people are contributors of information that relates back to those who once lived in Jamestown, Cherokee County, Alabama. I thank them for their help and hope this link will serve in creating new family connections.

Don Reed: Descends through William Henry Richardson who married Mary Ann, daughter of Jonathan Thomas of Anson County NC. Don has provided "Richardson" related information from North Carolina through Alabama and on to north-east Texas. Thank you for all the help in making this story-line possible.

Janet Richardson: Also descends through William Henry Richardson. She has a related web page. Thank you for all the help in making this possible.

Michelle Holt: Descends through Jesse Lee Thomas and wife Mary Jane. Following the civil war death of Jesse Lee Thomas, Mary Jane and children moved to Jackson County Alabama. Thank you for all the help in making this storyline possible.

Mark Thomas: Descends through John Thomas and wife Elizabeth who were born in Tennessee. This line has not yet been linked to Benjamin Thomas of Anson County NC. However, the children of John and Elizabeth migrated from Alabama to Arkansas with children of Jonathan Thomas, a grandson of Benjamin Thomas of Anson County NC. Thank you for all the help in making this storyline possible.

Katrina Johnson: Also descends through John and Elizabeth Thomas. Katrina has provided valuable information from Arkansas, completing the story line of the migration west. Thank you for all the help in making this possible.

Karen Griffin Barnett: Descends from Wiley Griffin who is recorded with our Thomas family in the annals of Anson County NC as well as Cherokee County AL.


Cemeteries
Moseley Cemetery Situated in Jamestown, Cherokee County AL on County Road 15.

Smith Family Cemetery
Situated in Jamestown, Cherokee County Alabama on County Road 60.

Gant Family Cemetery Situated on Gant Road in Holliday, between Bellefonte and Scottsboro in Jackson County Alabama.

McAnelly Family Cemetery Situated one mile south of Gant Cemetery on the west side of the Tennessee River on a hill just beyond the bridge on highway 35.

Old Union Cemetery Situated on Steel Brdige Road in Saline County, Arkansas.

Wesley Chapel Cemetery Situated in Saline County, Arkansas.

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Genweb Pages
Other information can be gleaned from the following USGenweb County sites:

Anson County, North Carolina

Cherokee County, Alabama

Chatooga County, Georgia

Jackson County, Alabama

Saline County, Arkansas


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