Following my last post I sure wish documentation on my Thomas family was as easy to present. But, that’s not the case. Every day I seem to find new things and with each one come a new twist or change to the story. I’ve seen online where many have indicated that Michael, the son of Joseph [II], married Anne or Anney. That’s all. But in truth, the same person Michael who’s included in so many other family histories is a trouble maker. Flat out and clearly so, his record adds to, twists and turns, and confuses our story like no other. I try to understand who he is and then some record pops up telling me …no he can’t be that. Is he the son of Joseph [II] or his father Joseph [I]? Is there yet another Joseph whose family limbs have grown among our tree? It’ll all come out and we’ll know the truth someday but for now I blame it on Michael. With that, forgive me for the ramblings as that’s all he gave me to work with.
Both Joseph Thomas [I] and Joseph Thomas [II] above had sons named Michael. Some say that Michael, the son of Joseph Thomas [I], moved to Albemarle County in western VA where he died. I have my doubts about that as there’s no documentation that supports their claim …what a damn shame! Michael Thomas, the son of Joseph [I] was bequeathed land and was even appointed co-executor in his father’s last will and testament. He must have been older, being given such an important job. However, within seven years following his father’s death, this same Michael was listed on a tax record as living in the home of his brother Joseph Thomas [II]:
Aug 1742, Bertie – Joseph Thomas on oath proved his rights to wit: Joseph Thomas, Anne Thomas & Michael Thomas & Mary Thomas white persons.
There’s not much more on Michael Thomas until after the death of Joseph Thomas [II] ca. 1757. I guess, in itself, that is a clue. And then, beginning not long after, the name Michael Thomas is mentioned often in tax lists, deeds and court records. Depending on which Michael this really was, his life may not have lasted long as in 1766 a person named Michael Thomas penned his last will and testament in Bertie. A very odd thing though is that this Michael mentioned brothers Lewis and William Thomas. Neither Joseph Thomas [I] nor Joseph Thomas [II] named a son William or Lewis in their last will and testaments. Who are Lewis and William??!! This is huge and surely a key bit of information leading many to disavow themselves from even considering Michael as son of either Joseph [I] or [II]. They simply left him there by himself. How can we explain away this line in Michael’s last will and testament?
…I will and order that the remainder shall be given to my two brothers viz; William Thomas and Lewis Thomas only that my wife Ann received fifteen head of day hogs and two sows and three pigs for service
She got three little pigs …ha! Beyond the will there are land deeds that clearly connect with the name Joseph Thomas. And, we know from deeds that the location mentioned in Michael’s will connects with either the father (Joseph) or his son of same name. But, am I seeing Michael, son of Joseph [I] or Michael son of Joseph [II]? Are the same records attributable to Joseph Thomas [I] or [II]? At this point I simply can’t say as there are numerous other records pointing to either as possibilities. It’s a mess at least in my head.
And if that’s not enough, at the same time I’m seeing the mentioning of Michael Thomas in deeds near that of Joseph Thomas, there’s also mention of a person named Micajah Thomas. Could this be Micajah Thomas Senior or his son Junior who left the area of Northhampton to settle the town of Nashville NC? Or, there are people of that name in Darlington SC along with Hancock GA who are believed to come out of Bertie. Or, could it simply be a dual spelling of the name Michael? Is Micajah the same person as Michael? All of that will come into focus in later blogs …I hope.
Rather than continuing at this time based on some declaration I can’t defend, I’m pushing forward with a generic version of Michael Thomas in hopes the question of exactly who he is will somehow be resolved in the future. I’ll eventually dice the details of documentation including land records. But, for now, let’s look at Michael who died ca, 1766. Let’s focus only on records that relate to and grow from his life; let’s start with a reading of Michael’s last will and testament:
In the name of God amen the nineteenth day of December in the year of our Lord 1766, I Michael Thomas of Bertie County planter being such and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory that’s be given unto God for the same and calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I recommend my soul to the hands of God that gave and for my body I recommend it to the earth to be buried in a Christian like and descent manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith hath pleased God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith hath pleased God to bless me with in this life I give demise and dispose of the same in the manner and form following that is to say I first constitute make and ordain my true and faithful friends Thomas Pugh and Hardy Hayse and Anney Thomas my Executors of this my last will and testament I now give and bequeath to my son Joseph a certain tract of land lying on Cashe Swamps the west side and the north side of Spring Branch at my father’s sd decd mention to him his heirs forever only that his mother to have the use of the said land during his life and to my daughter Judy Thomas I give my negro boy named Sharp I give to my true and living wife my negro named Rose my riding horse for her service but not to dispose of during said horses life and two feather beds during the time she remains my widow and then for my daughter Judy Thomas to have the two beds.
I give and bequeath to my sister Elizabeth Thomas a negro girl named Nanny my right and title to her and her heirs and likewise feather bed to the said sister Elizabeth.
To my wife I give two cows and to yearlings and two steers and daughter Judy I give to cows and two yearling it is my will and desire that my brother Lewis Thomas shall have two year schooling and his board and clothing during the said time to be found out of my estate.
It is further my will and order that my other lands shall be sold and the said money to pay my lawful debts and likewise the remainder of my estate that is not bequeathed away in my will and if there be more than I —– to discharge my lawful debts I will and order that the remainder shall be given to my two brothers viz; William Thomas and Lewis Thomas only that my wife Ann received fifteen head of day hogs and two sows and three pigs for service.
And I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannull all and every other former testament will and legacies and Executors by me in any ways before this time named willed and bequeathed ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.
Signed sealed pubished declared by the said Michael Thomas as his last will and testament in the presents of us the under subscribers that is to say
Test. Robert Cake
Geo. Winslow Michael Thomas
Following the death of Michael Thomas, his widow Anney or Annis is recorded as follows in his estate proceedings:
Mar 1767, Bertie – ordered that Annie Thomas Exx of Michael Thomas sell the perishable part of the estate of the said Michael.
In 1774 Annis Thomas gifted her personal holdings to daughters Judith and Clara Mitchell Thomas:
[M-83 Bertie, 1 Aug 1774, Aug 1774, Annis Thomas of Bertie (widow) to my children Judith Thomas and Clara Mitchell Thomas] First, I give to my daughter Judith 2 cows & 3 calves one large pewter dish one bason and 2 pewter plates also my riding horse called Darby. Secondly I give to my daughter Clara Mitchell Thomas two cows and calves one pewter dish one bason and two pewter plates and likewise one feather bed & furniture. Witnesses James Purvis and Jane Purvis.
I wonder about the child’s name Judith as Annis’ likely sister in law (wife of James Thomas) is named Judith. Also, where did the middle name Mitchell come from for daughter Clara Mitchell Thomas? Note that Clara was not mentioned in the will.
Only two years later, in 1776, Zedekiah Stone (father of soon to be Governor David Stone) and others were directed to lay off dower rights to the widow Annis. But something changed in process because at this point Annis is suddenly identified as “Annis Collins.” Collins you say?
Feb 1776, Bertie – Ordered that David Standly, Peter Clifton, Zedekiah Stone and Watkin William Wynns and John Watson or any three of them lay off the third part of the real estate of Michael Thomas deceased for the use of his widow and relict Annis Collins and that they make return of their proceedings therein to next court.
In the same month, Josiah Williams was appointed guardian of Annis’ two daughters Judith and Clara Mitchel Thomas:
Feb 1776, Bertie – Ordered that Josiah Williams be appointed guardian to Judeth Thomas orphan of Michael Thomas on his giving security in the sum of one hundred pound proclamation money which security is accordingly given by Humphry Hardy
Feb 1776, Bertie – Ordered that Josiah Williams be appointed guardian to Clary Mitchel Thomas on his giving security in the sum of one hundred pound proclamation money which is accordingly given by Humphry Hardy.
In 1779 David Collins was appointed to be the guardian of Michael’s girl Judith. And then in 1783 guardianship of Judith and Mary Clara Mitchel Thomas was appointed to Joseph Sumerlin. So, who and why is David Collins entering the picture? And who is Joseph Sumerlin?
Feb 1779, Bertie – Ordered that David Collins be appointed guardian to Judeth Thomas on giving security in the sum of one thousand pounds which security is accordingly given by Joseph Collins and Josiah Collins.
Feb 1783 – Ordered that Joseph Sumerlin be apt guardian to Judeh Thomas and Clary Micthel Thomas with security given by Hardy Hayes.
It’s becoming evident that David Collins was involved with the children of Michael Thomas. Could he be the one who married Michael’s widow Annis? Let’s look at an important deed which resolves this issue:
[N-233, 8 May 1786, May 1786, David Collins (and Annis) to Benjamn Bryars] Being 250 acres beginning at the Beaver Dam Swamp where Wm. Wilson did live near a white oak then running up the said swamp then down the said swamp for compliment. Witness was James Barnes.
The above deed specifically from David Collins to Benjamin Bryars was legally signed by David Collins and Annis Collins. There’s nothing saying she is his wife though joint signatures provide overwhelming proof through the customary practice. We now know that David Collins married Annis, the widow of Michael Thomas.
The Collins family were possibly of mixed race with a history rich in how that all played out. Members of the family spread west into Johnston, Wake and other counties in that area. Also, the following deed foretells of David Collins’ death and of the family’s move to Georgia. And note that all of these folks are connected by way of a piece of land once in the hands of Joseph Thomas. And note that Joseph Collins was a sworn witness in Joseph Thomas [II]’s 1752 last will and testament:
[Y-40 Bertie, 4 Feb 1814, Aug 1818, Jacob Collins of the State of Georgia and County of Tatnell of the one part acting agent for Joseph Collins, heirs David Collins, John Collins, and john Collins heirs and Drury Wilson of the state of South Carolina Edgefield district, Jonas Summerlin & wife of Bertie Boswell (Braswell?), Charles Collins and the heirs of Miliba Collins of the one part to John Bass] A parcel of land lying on the north side of Cashy Swamp one part being that land Joseph Collins bought of Joseph Thomas the other part of the land being the said land that Joseph Collins bought of Francis Pugh. Being 253 acres beginning at a cypress on the run of Cashy Swamp formerly George ___ corner then along Meets line to a cypress then running N80W88 to hic then N220 to red oak then S77W192 to a cypress near the run of the swamp then to the main run of Cashy Swamp and then the various courses of the said run to the first station. Witnesses were Jos. Eason, John Robbins.
We know from this deed that Annis’ husband David Collins died prior to 1818. From unsubstantiated information online, it’s likely that David settled in either Georgia or Tennessee. There’s much out there on David Collins but nothing really at all on his wife Annis. That said, a loose estate paper in Bertie County indicates she may have died prior to 10 Nov 1823. Did she make the move before returning home to die? Is it possible David Collins removed and remarried? From the surviving paper below, Temperance Hobbs was appointed administrator and the estate settlement was was witnessed by E. A. Rhodes and Hardy Hayes. Hardy Hayes was also the Executor of Michael Thomas’ last will and testament:
From the Land
In the following line from his 1766 last will and testament, Michael Thomas provides a nice description of his land situated on the Cashie Swamp adjoining the “Spring Branch:”
I now give and bequeath to my son Joseph a certain tract of land lying on Cashe Swamps the west side and the north side of Spring Branch at my father’s sd decd mention to him his heirs forever only that his mother to have the use of the said land during his life.
In comparison of what Joseph Thomas [II] wrote in his last will and testament we find:
Imprimus I bequeath to my loving wife Ann Thomas the use or the plantation whereon I now live during her natural life and all the land thereunto belonging except what land lies on the south & southeast side of the plantation called the Spring Branch
4th I give to my son Joseph Thomas my land & plantation whereon I now live and all my stock of mare cattle that belongs to the sd. plantation except what cattle I have given to my wife and two three year old horses two breeding mares one young horse six sows and piggs one negro boy named Bason and Liberty if he sees proper to make a plantation on the south east side of the Spring Branch in case his mother is living when he is at age to him and assignees forever.
As for son Michael, Joseph Thomas [II] bequeathed another tract as follows. Note that I’ve yet to find the deed from Thomas Kearney …who is he???:
2nd I give and demise unto my son Michael Thomas six hundred & forty acres of land now the occupation of Griffin Summerell it being the land I purchased of Thomas Kearney
Doing a search for Spring Branch and other mentions of Michael Thomas, I found the following:
[L-42 Bertie, 24 Jun 1766 Sep 1766, Michael Thomas planter to John Capehart] Being 70 acres on the south side of Cashy Swamp beginning at a stooping oak in the Spring Branch and running down various courses of the said branch to a pine in the branch then cutting across a course of marked trees another branch that makes __ of Spring Branch to a water oak then running up the said branch to a water oak then running up said branch the various courses to the head line Robert Hardy’s line then cutting across a course of marked trees to the first station. Witnesses were David Gaskins, William Starke and Hezekiah Ponder.
[P-180, 25 Oct 1790, Feb 1790, Josiah Collins (and Nancy Collins) to John Thomas] Being 70 acres lying on the south side of the Cashy Swamp beginning at a stooping oak in the Spring Branch then down the various courses of the said branch to a pine in the branch then running across a line of marked to another branch that makes out of the Spring Branch to a water oak then running the various courses of the said branch to the head line Jesse Bazemore’s line then running across a line of marked trees to the first station, being the land that Michael Thomas sold to John Capehart and the said Capehart sold to John Freeman and & by Freeman to Josiah Collins afrsd. Witnesses were Josiah Thomas, John Collins and Mary Asbell. It is firmly believed that Mary is the daughter of Joseph Thomas [I]. It’s also believed that she and her husband Solomon Asbell were massacred by Indians in South Carolina. Would that have not occurred sooner and if so, why is Mary Asbell mentioned in this deed?
[O-86, 6 Mar 1787, May 1787, James Williford to John Bazemore Senr] Being 130 acres beginning at a live oak in the fork of the Great Branch & Spring Branch then running up the said Spring Branch to a pine John Freeman corner tree then along John Freeman’s line to a poplar standing in a swamp which runs along Freeman’s line then up the said branch to a maple in Jesse Bazemore’s line then along Jesse Bazemore’s and Thomas Pugh’s line to a live oak & sweet gum standing in the Great Branch then down the said branch to the first station. Witnesses were: David Stone, Elizabeth Stone, and Josiah Thomas. In this deed we’re seeing future Governor David Stone. Also, the deed is witnessed by Elizabeth Stone. David’s mother Elizabeth died in the 1770’s and his sister of same name was born in the early 1780’s. As his sister was too young to be a signature for this transaction, exatly who was the witnessed named Elizabeth?
[P-85, 17 Nov 1789, May 1790, Joseph (actually Josiah) Thomas to Jesse Bazemore] A certain tract beginning at a persimmon tree in John Brown’s line on Little Chesky then up the branch and along the line of marked trees to the road that leads from Cashy Bridge to Halifax then up the road to the Spring Branch then along the said Spring Branch to a gum in the said Bazemore’s line then along the said Bazemore’s line to the first station. Signed Josiah Thomas. Witnesses were Richard Dawson and Arthur Williams. The road from Cashy Bridge should be locatable and note that Arthur Williams along with Thomas Whitmell were Co-Executors in the last will and testament of Joseph Thomas [II].
[l-50 Bertie, 25 Oct 1766, Dec 1766, Robert (x) Hardy to Jesse Bazemore planter] Being 253 acres on the north side of Chesky Swamp, joining Thick Branch, Frances Hobson, Thomas Jones, Joseph Thomas, Edward Gilman. Wit: Herbert Pritchard, Jas. (X) Basmore, Peter Byran. Here’s mention of Joseph Thomas lands adjoining Frances Hobson whose widow Elizabeth married Zedekiah Stone. Their son David Stone became Governor after marrying Hannah Turner.
From the 1758 estate settlement of Joseph Thomas [II], we know his widow married second to John Hill. Proof of this marriage comes in Oct 1760 when the courts ordered that Absolum Collins be brought in to answer a charge by “John Hill and Ann his wife (executrix) and Arthur Williams and Thomas Whitmell executors of the last will and testament of Joseph Thomas.”
The marriage of the widow Ann and John Hill opens a whole new dynamic that needs to be worked out as there are numerous deeds and records connecting Michael Thomas to his mother, his aunt Mary Asbell, and brother Josiah Thomas. In the thick of it all are court records and deeds also connecting to John Hill Junior:
[l-80 Bertie, 15 Sep 1766, Jun 1767, John Hill planter to Josiah Thomas taylor of same] As by the will of his father, Joseph Thomas dec’d. Being 320 acres on the south side of Cashy River, joining Great Branch, Michael Thomas, Joseph Thomas, Whitmel Hill, Middle Branch, Cashy Swamp. Wit: Jos Collins, William (x) Boyce. Here we see mentions of Michael, Joseph and and Josiah Thomas. The prominent Whitmell Hill is mentioned. How does John Hill Junior relate to the prominent Whitmell Hill?
Here are a few deeds reaching back and even identifying the land which Joseph Thomas [I] purchased from Samuel Bass in 1729. Conveyances mention Thomas Blount and Whitmell Hill who seem to be tied up in this mess of a storyline.
[F-200 Bertie, 18 Feb 1740, Apr 1741, John Lett and Mary his wife to Thomas Blount late of Edenton merchant] Beginning at an ash on Mr John Hardy’s corner tree then S 65 W 270 to pine then N 25 W 320 to pine then N 65 E 320 to pine on the Cashie Swamp then the windings of the swamp to the first station. By patent to John Griffin being 591 acres and was given by William Griffin son of the said John Griffin to his wife Mary Griffin by Will “….except a piece of the land which was sold by William Griffin unto Samuel Bass containing by estimation 320 acres or agreeable to the bounds set off & known by the sd sale to the sd Bass since belongs to Joseph Thomas. Wit: Hezekiah Muhon Bart. Barnes. Witnesses were Sarah Hunter and Elizabeth Whitmell.
[M-206 Bertie, Nov 1774, Whitmell Hill and Winifred his wife to Josiah Williams] Beginning at an ash on John Hardy’s corner tree then S 65 W 270 to pine then N 20 W 320 to pine then N 65 E 270 to pine on Casky Swamp then the windings of the swamp to the first station. By patent to John Griffin being 591 acres and was given by Wm Griffin son of the said John Griffin by will ….except a parcel of the land which was sold by William Griffin unto Samuel Bass containing by estimation 320 acres or agreeable to the bounds set off & known by the sd sale to the sd Bass since belongs to Joseph Thomas. Wit: Hexekiah Muhon and Bart. Barnes.
Another deed likely adjoining those above likely originates as a 700 grant to John Hill Esq:
[M-204 Bertie, 3 Aug 1773, Whitmell Hill and Winefred his wife to Josiah Williams] Being 700 acres of land lying in Cashy Swamp beginning at a little cypress on Cashy Swamp being in the line of Catherine Hunter minor of Moses Hunter Dec’d then N 44 W 90 along Cashie Swamp being her line to a beach her corner standing on the swamp then up the swamp being Maj. Robert West’ line S 85 W 38 to a gum on the sd swamp then along the said swamp N 57 W 22 to a cypress then along the swamp N 75 W 26 to an ash then N 76 W 12 to an ash in the swamp then S 51 W 28 to a beach on the swamp then S 41 W 28 to a beach then S20 E 32 to a beach then S 18 to a cypress then S 44 W 24 to a beach then N 41 W 8 to a white oak on the swamp then N 15 E 26 to a gum then N 16 W 28 to an ash then N 42 W 38 to a maple then N 19 W 36 to beach N 52 to a beach on the swamp then N 33 W 24 to a gum then N 68 W 26 to a gum then S 78 W 48 to a white oak then North 16 W 30 to a beach then N 3 E 36 to a poplar then N 42 W 2 to an ash then N 12 E 16 to a water oak then N 40 W24 to a gum on the swamp near (Bryar?) House then N 36 along sd swamp being Joseph Thomas’s line to a cypress in the swamp then N 11 W 50 to an Elm then N 71 W 20 to a cypress then N 7 W 26 to a beach then N 43 W 28 to a beach then N 46 W 70 to a cypress then N 10 then N 7 E 36 along Henry Bunch’s line to a white oak then N 8 W 22 to a beach then S 72 W 20 to a cypress then along the swamp being Bunch’s line then N 27 W 34 to a beach on the swamp then N 33 E 16 to a beach then N 57 W 18 to a beach then N 27 W 68 to a beach on swamp then N 22 to a chinkerpin then N 43 W 20 to a beach then N 18 to a beach then N 30 E 26 to a chinkerpin then N 44 W 20 to a hickory on the swamp then across the Cashy Swamp to a pine on the swamp standing above Micajah Thomas’ plantation then down the said swamp S 28 E 14 to a red oak then S 12 W 56 to a beach then S 33 E 16 to beach then S 7 W 27 to a pine then S 53 W 16 to a dogwood then S 11 W 14 to a gum in John Hill Junior’s line then S 51 E 6 to a beach them S 46 to a sourwood then S 36 W 30 to a chinkerpin then S 47 E 38 to a gum them S 8 E 42 to a pine in Whitmell Hill’s line then S 44 E 22 to a hickory then N 53 E 8 to a pine then S 65 E 20 to a pine. Witnesses are Hezekiah Mohum and Bart. Barnes. Note that this deed possibly mentions “Bryar” who purchased land from Davie Collins and his wife, the widow Annis Thomas. The 700 acres also adjoin Micajah Thomas and in other records land in the area adjoin Michael. Are they one and the same?
At this point I could go deeper into the story of Michael Thomas but would like to end while keeping focus on revelations born of land and deed. However, note in Michael’s 1776 last will and testament the names of Michael Thomas’ brothers Lewis and William and sister Elizabeth. William and Lewis are not mentioned in the last will and testament of Joseph Thomas [II]. Let’s take a look at a telling line:
To my wife I give two cows and to yearlings and two steers and daughter Judy I give to cows and two yearling it is my will and desire that my brother Lewis Thomas shall have two year schooling and his board and clothing during the said time to be found out of my estate.
It appears that William and Lewis were born in the mid 1750’s and were simply not old enough to receive from their father’s last will and testament. They certainly are not the sons of Joseph Thomas [I]. Michael’s brother is quite young and upon reaching age will likely attend school at William and Mary as was customary. It would be a good next step to see if the name Lewis Thomas can be found among the school’s records.
And, as for Sister Elizabeth who is mentioned in the last will and testament, she too could very well be the daughter of Joseph Thomas [II] mentioned thusly in his last will and testament:
6thly I give and demise to my daughter Elizabeth Thomas my land and plantation whereon Judeth Thomas now lives it being the land that fell to me by the death of my brother James Thomas. I also give to my daughter Elizabeth the second child that shall hereafter be born of my negro woman (named Rose) that shall live to the age of three years old two breeding mares one young horse to hers and her heirs and assignees forever.
I remind you that James Thomas (son of Joseph Thomas [II] died ca. 1750, not in 1780 as traditionally told. We know from his estate that Judeth is his wife and widow. From Michael Thomas’ last will and testament, was she the person whom his daughter was named? There is one other record that beckons to shake the tree. Dated 20 Apr 1762, Thomas Pennington of neighboring Halifax County mentioned a Judeth Thomas as follows:
I give to Judah Thomas one bay mare named Nan and also lend to her a “garl” mare for three years and and after return her to my daughters
Note that Thomas Pugh served as Executor and the last will and testament was witnessed by Adam Raby. The same two were similarly named in the last will and testament of Joseph Thomas [II].
As for Michael’s sister Elizabeth who was named in his will, is she the same person as is listed above in “Item 6thly” of the last will and testament of Joseph Thomas [II]? Answering that question raises a huge question as the following deed bridges a huge gap. Apparently Elizabeth married Joseph Sumerell in the following identifies herself as the daughter of “Alice Thomas.” Problem is that Alice is the wife of Joseph Thomas [I] and in his last will and testament was no mention of a person named Elizabeth. Was Elizabeth, the child of Alice, born after her father’s death? Could her mother have died and could she have been raised by Joseph Thomas [II} who could have been her half-brother? I certainly have no idea other than knowing it’s huge knowing the particular land she and her husband Joseph Sumerall are selling:
[M-731, 5 May 1785, May 1785, Joseph (X) Sumerell & wife Elizabeth to Hezekiah Callum (Collins?)] Being 220 acres beginning at a gum that was once James Blunt’s and Thomas Busby’s corner and then along the first line to a red oak standing near patent line at a beginning tree at a dividing line between Spivey and Page then along a line of marked trees until it meets with the afsd patent line to a marked white oak standing in the line and then down the patent line to a marked pine then along a line of marked trees to the head of the branch then down the branch to the first station which land was made over unto me from my mother Alice Thomas by a deed of gift and now I have sold the land unto my brother James Thomas. Witnesses were Luke Raby and Edward Collins.
Looking back in time, take a look at earlier conveyances of this same land:
[E-395 Bertie, 13 Nov 1738, Feb 1738, Littleton Spivey to Eeale Thomas] Being 220 acres lying on the north side of the Morrattock River beginning a gum John Blunt’s and Thomas Busby’s corner then running along the patent line to a red oak standing in or by the patent line a beginning tree of a dividing line between Spivey and Page then running along a row of marked trees until it meets the patent line to a marked white oak s standing in the line so down the patent line to a marked pine then along a row of marked trees to the head of a branch so down the branch to the first station. Witnesses were George House, James Carter and Luke Thomas, jurat.
[F-450 Bertie, 29 Dec 1740, Feb 1742, Alice Thomas, widow to Luke Thomas] Deed of gift 220 acres to well-beloved son Luke, land Adj. James Blunt Thomas Busby, Spivie, and Page, which land Alice Thomas bought of Littleton Spivie. Wit. William Carter and James Thomas.
There’s no further deed of conveyance from Luke Thomas as grantor for this land. It’s believed Luke moved to Edgecombe County where he wrote his last will and testament naming Brother and Sister Jacob and Mary. You’ll note that deeds below show later divisions of the land or at least land very close nearby. It has reduced in acreage but the mentions of past ownership and certain metes surely link it to being near the original 640 acres:
[K-240 Bertie, 9 Feb 1763, Feb 1763, Adam Raby to John Francis Spivey] A plantation of 120 acres being part of a patent formerly granted to John Blount bearing date 3 day 1721 beginning at a gum the said Raby’s & Christopher Butler’s corner then along the said Raby’s line of marked trees to a white oak John Harrell’s corner then along Harrell’s line to a red oak said Harrell’s corner standing in Elizabeth Thomas’ line then along the said Elizabeth Thomas’ line to the first station. Witnesses were William Andrews, Lydia (A) Andrews, James (X) Hedgepath.
[K-86 Bertie, Jul 1761, John Francis Spivey to Edward Holmes] Being 100 acres beginning at a pine Elizabeth Thomas’ corner standing in Henry Hill’s line thence along said Hill’s line to a white oak thence along line of marked trees to red oak standing on Elizabeth Thomas’ line thence along said Thomas’ line to the beginning.
[K-326 Bertie, 13 Oct 1762, Edward Holmes to John Harrell] Witnesses were Wm Andrews, John Francis Spivey and Lemuel Harrell.
[K-391 Bertie, 4 Jan 1764, John Harrell to Hardy Hays] Witnesses were William Andrews, Bo___ Harrell and Nicholas Skinner.
I’m tired so I rest my case …for today