PRESLEY THOMAS


Presley Thomas grew up on Susey Boles Branch of Turkey Creek where he met and married his neighbor Martha Paulina Johnsey. Born Aug 1799 and somewhat older than Presley, she is the daughter of William and Mary Eakins Johnsey. The 1840 South Carolina Census shows Presley and his new wife living in Chester County near his father.

Dated 10 Oct 1840, Presley purchased 185 acres (N-37, York SC) on Turkey Creek from John Cairnes. The land adjoined that of Ash Harkness, Thomas Bratton, and Ira Presley. Witnesses to the transaction were Uriah H. Yarborough and Jacob Lucas. On the same date, Presley purchased 56 acres (N-35, Chester SC). This land was situated on Bullock's Creek and adjoined that of John Harkness, John Cairnes, and Jerimiah Gilfillan. Witnesses were John Caviness,Jacob Lucus, and Uriah H. Yarborough. On 28 Dec 1846, Pressley sold 61 acres to Thomas Conn. This land was bounded to the northwest by Presley Thomas and Robt Gilifilan and to the southeast by Richard A. Ingram.

For reasons unknown, Presley Thomas committed suicide on 12 Feb 1853. The following appears in the 22 Feb 1853 issue of the Yorkville Remedy.

"We regret to learn that on Saturday night last, Mr. Pressley Thomas of this district, aged about fifty years, committed suicide by hanging himself in his wagon. Where he had made purchases for his farm uses. There is no doubt of the act being voluntary on his part, from the position in which he was found---- but no cause whatever can be assigned, as he was a man of temperate habits, and sound mind. He was in good circumstances, and leaves a large family to mourn his loss."
Presley Thomas is buried at the Sharon A.R.P. Church in York County SC. His son Ananias Monroe Thomas was apointed administrator of the estate. A court return on the sale of the sizable personal estate of Presley Thomas was filed on 22 March 1853. Dated 4 Dec 1854, Presley's son William Fleming Thomas petitioned the court for guardianship of the minor children. William F. became the guardian of David Elam Thomas, Nancy Jane Thomas, Louisa A. Thomas, and John A. Thomas.

In the 1860 Census, Martha P. Thomas is living in Sharon with family members. She died on 27 Jun 1864 and was laid to rest beside her husband. A 25 Sep 1866 petition by daughter Lodusky P. Bigham requested the division of lands that were held by her mother. In the petition, the land was descibed as 71 acres on Turkey Creek adjoining the lands of R. Gilifilan, Alexander Lockhart and others. A survey of the land on 6 Oct 1866 indicates there were actually 89 acres.

The children of Presley and Martha Paulina Thomas are:

A. William Fleming Thomas b. 18 Dec 1828 d. 28 Jan 1905 bur Wells Chapel, Tippah County MS. William married Sarah Jane Latham in York County SC. Born 24 Feb 1825, Sarah is the daughter of Andrew and Sarah Latham. The children of William F. and Sarah Jane Thomas are (A)Martha Jane Thomas b. 13 Mar 1850 d. 23 Dec 1883, married John Garner Sherer 15 Apr 1865; (B) James Edward Thomas b. 4 Nov 1852 d. 12 nov 1855; (C)William Latham Thomas b. 23 Jul 1855 married Mary Elizabeth Porter 22 Oct 1872; (D) Andrew W. Thomas b. 1866; (E) Laura S. Thomas b. 1868; and (F) James L. Thomas b. 1870.

Sarah Jane died at the hospital in COlubia SC on 20 May 1892. William Fleming Thomas removed to Plant City in Union County, Mississippi. He was later buried nearby in Tippah County. Beside him, a second wife named Susan Thomas is buried. She was born 27 Oct 1839 and died 16 Jun 1911. The only other Thomas buried at Wells Chapel is G. W. Thomas b. 10 Apr 1854 d. 24 Oct 1920. Is he related to William Fleming Thomas?

B. Ananias Monroe Thomas b. 1832 d. 6 Sep 1861, married 10 Sep 1852, Rachel Aveline Neil b. 3 Nov 1833 d. 2 Dec 1902. Ananias lived in Sharon, York County SC where he died at age 29. Following the death of Ananias M. Thomas, Rachel married Mr. Stephenson. The children of Ananias and Rachel are (A) Sarah Margareta Thomas b. 14 Jan 1856 d. 1 Mar 1931, married Robert Burris Hartness b. 11 Nov 1851 d. 19 Nov 1929; (B) John Alonzo Thomas b. 1859 bur Woodlawn-Sharon, married 27 Apr 1880 Emma Amelia Cain b. 1861; and (C) Marion Walker Thomas b. Nov 1855 d. 27 Aug 1931 bur Woodlawn Sharon, married Grace McGuire.

C. David Elam Thomas b. 27 May 1834 d. 13 Feb 1905 bur Kings Mountain Chapel, York SC. He married first Lydia Jane Sherer on 20 Sep 1853. She was born on 10 Oct 1836, the daughter of Hugh Sherer and Rachel Waggoner Sutton. Lydia died 6 Nov 1855 and is buried at the Sharon A.R.P. Church. The two two infant children of David and Lydia lay at rest beside their mother. Less than a year old and dying in the same year as their mother, they were likely twins. The children of David and Lydia Sherer Thomas are R. B. Thomas and M. H. Thomas.

David Elam Thomas married second Manerva Ellen Coln on 29 May 1856. She was born 13 May 1834 and died 19 Jan 1908. Manerva is the daughter of Thomas and Larey Jane Coln. David "Ely" Thomas enlisted on 25 Mar 1862 in Charleston SC. Serving in C.S.A. Co. K, 17th Reg. SC, Ely was wounded in the leg in the Battle of Crater at Petersburg VA on 30 Aug 1864. Due to the severity of this injury to his thigh, David Ely Thomas had to use a high heel shoe the rest of his life. David Elam Thomas died in 1905. His wife Manerva Ellen Thomas wrote her last will and testament on 17 Jun 1911. She mentioned he daughter Cora C. Castles, and sons James E., Willie D., Samuel W., John J., and Bishop P. Thomas. Her son Samuel W. Thomas was appointed administrator cum testamento annexo.

The children of David and Manerva are (A) James Edward Thomas b. 20 Jul 1857 d. 6 Sep 1946 bur Kings Mtn Chap., married 23 Nov 1882 Sara Ann Wilkerson b. 16 May 1862 d. 18 Jan 1931; (B) Mary Christina Thomas b. 1859 bur Laurelwood Cem. Rockhill SC, married 9 Dec 1879 Wilbur F. Caston; (C) John Joseph Thomas b. 29 Jul 1864 d. 25 Jun 1938 bur Kings Mountain Chap., married Sarah Smith 27 Dec 1866 d. 1 Aug 1938; (D) William Davis Thomas b. 2 Sep 1866 d. 29 Apr 1929 bur Kings Mtn Chap, married 2 Jan 1894 Susan Jane Cannon b. 24 Sep 1871 d. 26 Feb 1953; (E) George Elam Thomas b. 27 Jul 1861 d. 16 Feb 1901, married 11 Feb 1883 Martha Ann Dunlap b. 18 Oct 1863 d. May 1914 bur Rose Hill Cem.; (F) Lindsay Ervin Thomas b. 15 Oct 1868 d. 27 May 1920 bur Kings Mtn Chap., married first and divorced Doshia, married second to Millie while living in Florida; (G) Cora Cornelia Thomas b. 8 Apr 1871 d. 2 Nov 1939 bur Beersheba Pres., married Leonard Harris Castles b. 3 Oct 1866 d. 11 Dec 1948; (H) Samuel Walter Thomas b. 26 Dec 1873 d. 7 Mar 1969, married 8 Sep 1897 Emma Jane Turner; and (I) Pinkney Bishop Thomas b. 27 Sep 1876 d. 12 Feb 1941, married Sarah Elizabeth Bolin.

D. Nancy Jane Thomas b. 16 Aug 1835 d. 2 Mar 1901, married 10 Aug 1858 J. Alexander Lockhart.

E. Louisa Adeline Thomas d. 30 Aug 1876, married 13 Dec 1865 Benjamin Franklin Williams.

F. John Alexander Thomas b. 1841 d. 1890, married Mary Maloney on 12 Dec 1865. In 1860, John is listed as living with his mother in the Bullock's Creek section of York County SC. As with others of his family, John later moved to the Kings Mtn. section of York County where he owned land on Clark's Fork of the Broad River.

Signaling the death of John A. Thomas, Charles E. Spencer, Esq. was appointed guardian ad litem for the children of Mary A. Thomas on ????1891. The children's names reflect those people found in the community where David Thomas Sr. once lived. The family of Mary A. Thomas and children do not appear in the 1900 York or Chester County SC census.

The children of John Alexander and Mary A. Maloney Thomas are (A)James Monroe Thomas b. 1867; (B) William J. Thomas b. 1872; (C) Meek H. Thomas b. 1874; (D) Emmet Lee Thomas; (E) Corry Joanett Thomas b. 1877; (F) Mattie Leasy Thomas b. 1879; (G) Hattie Jane Thomas; (H) Jerusha Anna Thomas; and (I) Mamie Olive Thomas.

G. Lodusky Paulina Thomas b. 4 Jul 1830 d. 11 Apr 1891 bur Bethany Cem in York County. She married 1 Nov 1853 Thomas Bigham b. 1823 d. 26 Feb 1855.

H. Rolley E. Thomas b. 1842 d. 9 Sep 1844 bur Sharon A.R.P. Cem in York County.


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