The map below locating THOMAS lands in old Anson County is not meant to be highly accurate. However, the locations indicated are closely identified by land grants and deeds.
The Thomas family in old upper Anson (now also in Union) settled along the waters of Richardson Creek. Past history holds to the belief that Benjamin Thomas is our family’s earliest known ancestor. His first appearance in the records of Anson County was as chain carrier for two grants issued to 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.
Benjamin Thomas would not be a land owner himself until well after the revolutionary war when on 26 October 1785 he purchased Gideon’s grant #4324 above. Benjamin Thomas went on to acquire other lands to the north and south of Richardson Creek in the same area. He would later deed land along the north side of Richardson Creek to “my son” Ezekiel (Map Key A). This land continued to be identified as lying on Walnut Tree Branch of Richardson Creek. And near to the branch is the old THOMAS cemetery (see cross) now gone and planted in crops. This is also the location of Charity Ford, possibly named for Ezekiel’s wife Charity.
The elder Benjamin Thomas deeded his lands on the south side of Richardson Creek to “my son” Ananias (Map Key B). East of Gourdvine Creek, the lands were close to an old Baptist Church near the Edmond Davis Cemetery where Ananias Thomas is buried.
David Thomas, believed strongly to be the son of Benjamin Thomas acquired grants of land along the Flag Fork of the Watery Branch (Map Key C). There’s no record stating specifically that David is the son of Benjamin. However, David named a son Ananias and Benjamin’s son Ananias named a son David. The honoring by name shows relation and it’s always been believed that it signified that David and Ananias were brothers. Also, David Thomas moved to Chester County SC around 1810 where family remain in part today with others moving to Blount County Alabama. There is also a deed in Chester County SC where David’s brother Ezekiel Thomas is witnessing land transactions from Michael and Gideon Austin. Michael lived earlier in Anson and his lands were located close to those of David Thomas.
Benjamin’s son Jacob Thomas married the daughter of John and Sarah O’Neal Edwards and began acquiring grants along Crib’s Creek in present day Burnsville (Map Key D). Jacob is buried in a family cemetery along the fence line at the right angle turn on Jones Pond Road. However, because the headstones were being destroyed by farming equipment, they were removed across the road to the old Thomas cemetery where slaves and their descendants are buried.
Old Benjamin deeded his son Benjamin Jr. lands north of that deeded to son Ezekiel (Map Key E). Some believe that old Benjamin married the daughter of his contemporary William Gurley. I do not believe this is true as it was Benjamin Thomas Junior who was of right age and who in fact was bequeathed land from William Gurley’s estate.
As far as tradition goes, this is what we know of the family of Benjamin Thomas. However, there is another THOMAS living nearby whose records will likely open the door to a deepening family history. Two years prior to Benjamin’s purchase of land from Gideon Green, a Jacob Thomas was issued a land grant (Map Key F) in 1783 on the north side of Richardson Creek. Chainbearers were Joacim Hudson and Thomas Gilbert.