A person by the name of Jacob Thomas appears in the earliest court records of Wake County as one of several men ordered to work under Nathan Rowland on a road from Terrible Creek to the Cumberland County line. The order reads:
Ordered that Nathan ROLAND be overseer of the road from Terrible Creek, to Cumberland line, and that the following persons work under him viz. William ROLAND, Etheldred JONES, William JONES, Role STEDSEON, William WAMMACK, Jacob THOMAS and Smiths BATTEMORE. 1st Tuesday, December 1771, Book A-1, Page 22.
One year later, Joseph Thomas first appears in the records of Wake County as member of a Jury of local citizens ordered to lay off a road that was likely an extension of the road where Jacob Thomas had worked:
Ordered that the following Persons be appointed a Jury to lay of a Road from James Quantocks to the County line agreeable to the Order passed last Court (towit) Jacob Utley, James Quantock, Christopher Woodward, Lewis Jones, Landman Short, Francis Settles, Christopher Osborn, William Barker, Henry Day, James Holland, Richard Green, Anthony Holland, Lazarus Hood, Joseph THOMAS, and that John Utley be appd. Constable to summons said Jury.
There are no further court records or deeds in the name of Jacob Thomas and he was never issued a land grant in Wake County. However, the location of Jacob’s living in Wake County can be gleaned from a land grant issued to William Jones. Being grant # 973 in Wake County, William Jones was issued 200 acres in the fork of Neill’s Creek. The grant was entered 27 May 1779 by Daniel OLDhands (Oldham) and on 16 Jul 1785, Daniel Oldhands assigned the grant to William Jones who it was finally issued to on 15 May 1787.
From the original entry book and as written in the survey below, the 200 acres was located “on the fork of Niel’s Creek including an improvement made by Jacob Thomas.” From the illustration at the top of this page, you can see William Jones’ 200 acres colored in green. You can compare the information to the survey below. You can also locate the road where Jacob, Joseph and other members of the THOMAS family once worked.
It’s my belief this Jacob Thomas is somehow related to Joseph and others who lived in and around Wake County. It’s my belief he walked the road a few miles south to the ferry where he crossed the Cape Fear and likely never returned. He obviously lived on the land granted to Daniel Oldham who later assigned it to William Jones. And after doing so, the record of Jacob Thomas in Wake and surrounding area dies. Jacob could have purchased, sold or otherwise lived on lands in Wake, though such records are lost due to the 1832 fire in the office of the Wake County Clerk of Court.