Friday, March 16, 2012

Lucy Bearpaw Proctor and James Edward Siasee Thomas

Preface: from 

    Betty Thomas Finger


Another discrepancy in Charles Thomas' book that contributed to the belief that Marchant and Abraham's families were connected was to list James Edward Siasee Thomas as a son of Marchant. However, Marchant's son James is living next door to him on the 1830 Clay County KY Census and appears on the Clay County Tax Lists from 1820-1842, while James Siasee Thomas is in Ashe Co. NC having children born from 1821 to 1836 - all in Ashe County. 

   Lucy Bearpaw Proctor and James Edward Siasee Thomas
                                       Excerpted from: Knott County Kinfolk

THOMAS, James Edward Siasee, born 1795 in Indian Territory in Ashe Co, North Carolina, married Lucy Bearpaw Proctor  in Granville, North Carolina, December 25, 1815.  James died about 1844 in North Carolina.  Lucy died about 1852.
 James Edward Thomas and Lucy Proctor lived among the Ashe County Cherokee during the early years of their marriage.  Lucy’s mother was a full blooded Cherokee (Tsalga Indian named Nancy “Nuche Bearpaw.” Her father was Joseph Proctor, Sr.(Che Wie Joseph Joe Proctor 1780-1818, Cherokee, Ga.)

  According to The Family Histories of Letcher County, James and Lucy had 10 children. In the late 1838, most likely in the month of September, James and Lucy, along with their ten children were forced to accompany American soldiers on the Trail of Tears.  This Trail was a forced march from North Carolina to Oklahoma.  Many American Indians lost their life along this trail.  Some branches of the family maintain that James Edward, Sr. died in somewhere between the Arkansas and Western Kentucky area of unknown causes. (Probably along John Benge’s Route. 1200 accompanied him, 3 births along the way, 33 deaths)  He was around 40 years old.  Lucy was left a widow with their 10 children.  Somehow, she managed to escape from the soldiers and bring her children to Letcher County, to be raised as “White Indians” (her own words).  Greenbury was approximately nine years of age at that time.  Several other family members appear on the Dawes List, indicating that they also survived the Trail of Tears and settled in Oklahoma or Arkansas.  Lucy died eight years after her husband did.  She died in Letcher Co, 1852.
 Map of the Trail of Tears Routes
The Trail of Tears Route.  From North Carolina to Oklahoma
The Trail of Tears - In 1835, a minority faction of the Cherokee signed the Treaty of New Echota, which ceded to the federal government all the tribe's lands east of the Mississippi River for $5 million and new homes in Oklahoma. Because the treaty was not signed by the elected representatives of the Cherokee, most considered it fraudulent and refused to leave.  In 1838, President Andrew Jackson ordered 7,000 state and federal troops to arrest the Cherokees and hold them in stockades until they could be moved west.
Major John Ridge, one of the Cherokee leaders signed a treaty leading to the forced removal of 15,000 people from their homes in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee in 1838.  The route they traversed and the journey itself became known as "The Trail of Tears" or, as a direct translation from Cherokee, "The Trail Where They Cried" ("Nunna daul Tsuny").  More than 4,000 Cherokees died from disease, hunger and exhaustion on the 1,000 mile march to their new home in present-day Oklahoma. 
It wasn't until 1987 that Congress designated the Trail of Tears as a National Historic Trail and established an advisory council to oversee the marking of it's routes.

 Dicy Jane, James and Lucy’s daughter applied for membership and entitlements in the Cherokee nation (Guion-Miller Case #35518, Film #378539 in the National Archives) She stated that she and her brothers and sisters were the children of James E Thomas and Lucy Proctor.  She further stated that her mother was a full blood Cherokee of the Northern Tsalagi band.  Lucy was the daughter of Joseph Proctor and Nuche Bearpaw.

Grandchildren of Aggie Proctor.... Susie b. d. August 12, 1889, Zeke b. d. about 1876, Lizzie b. d. about 1898, Elisha b. d. about 1880, Nannie b. d. about 1887
Mary Ann Thomas
Mary Ann Thomas Tyree – James E Thomas & Lucy Proctor’s daughter
Married David Tyree Jr.  Indian name Oniska

 James Siasee Thomas and Lucy Bearpaw Proctor’s children:

  1. Catherine  (1820) in Ashe Co NC Married Thomas Collins
  2. Greenbury  (1823) in Ashe Co NC  Married Celthany Sexton
  3. Lucy  (1825) in Ashe Co NC  Married Pense
  4. Mary Ann Harriet  (1828) in Ashe Co NC  Married David Tyree Jr of Scott Co Va
  5. James Edward  (1830) in Ashe Co NC  Married Mary Madden of Letcher Co, Ky
  6. Dicey Jane  (1831) in Ashe Co NC  Married Riley Sexton
  7. Solomon  (1832) in Ashe Co NC  Married Ulsey Adams
  8. William  (1834) in Ashe Co NC 
  9.  Nancy  (1836) in Ashe Co NC  Married Finley Collins

THOMAS, Greenbury  James and Lucy’s oldest son, was born in 02-1823 in Ashe Co, North Carolina. Greenbury Thomas, married Celthany F. Sexton, from Russell Co Virginia, in Letcher County, Ky on December 7, 1844 under the last name Thomason, as did his sister Mary Ann Harriet Susan (she married David Tyree of Letcher Co., KY, but the rest of his brothers and sisters married under the name of Thomas).  She was born in 1825.  He is given credit as being the first school teacher in Knott County.  They had 11 children according to The Family Histories of Letcher County.  According to a Cherokee Indian claim that was made in 1906 in Boyd Co., KY by Green's sister Dicy Thomas Sexton (who married Riley Sexton, son of Moses and Theny Sexton) she states her parents were James Thomas and Lucy Proctor from Ashe Co., NC. Their marriage record has been found in Granville Co., NC, and James married under the name of Thomas and Thompson. - Lona Ward Gibson has researched this family and believes that the Cherokee Indian blood was from the Proctors, because a lot of them were on the "Trail of Tears march out west, and had full blooded Indian names. She went through 46000 names on Miller Quion Indian rolls to find all of this information. - submitted by Lona Ward Gibson.  Greenbury remarried after Celthany died to a Margaret.  She is listed with him in the 1900 Knott County census

HUSBAND:  James Edward Thomas             OCCUPATION:
Born:  1795                                                   Place:  Ashe Co, North Carolina
Married:  1815 for 29 years                          Place:  Granville, North Carolina
Died:  1844 at 49 years old                           Place:  Ashe Co, North Carolina                                                                                  
Father:  Merchant Thomas                           Mother:  Jemima Hamilton
Other Wives: 

WIFE:  Lucy Proctor (Indian name – Bearpaw) 
Born: 1797                                                    Place: Ashe Co, North Carolina
Died: 1852 at 55 years old                            Place:  Letcher Co., Kentucky
Father: Joseph Proctor                                  Mother:  Nancy “Nuche Bearpaw”      
Cherokee of the Northern Tsalagi band
Other Husbands:






1.  Catherine

Wesley, Silas, Nancy, Thomas Jr.

Thomas Collins

2.  Greenbury

Polly Ann, Freeland, Marshall, Phelix,

Celthania Sexton

Loedicey, Lee, James, Frances, Rachel, John L., William R.
3.  Lucy


4. Mary Ann Harriet
William, Greenbury, Sarah, Benjamin,

David Tyree Jr

Samuel, Margret, Lucinda, David
5.  James Edward

Lucy, Greenbury, Granville, Fielding,

May Madden

James E, Nancy, Abraham, Allison, Sarah, Laura, William, Troy
6.  Dicey Jane
Maulda, Lucy, Caroline, Cass, Bryant,

Riley Sexton

Frances, Mary, Alfred, Amanda, John, James, Dean, Limae, Ben, Jennette
7.  Solomon

Lorenzo D.

Ulsey Adams

8.  William


9.  Nancy

Margret, Anna, Sarah, Dicey, Polly,

Finley Collins

                All 9 children were born in Ashe Co, North Carolina.  Lucy brought all children to Ky after husband died.  Son James Edward, #5 had a son named James Edward who became a famed dulcimer maker.  Dicey, child #6 lived 85 years, 6 months, 14 days.  Her occupation was listed as housework.  She was listed as white and single.  She died of tuberculosis which as lasted for two years.  She is buried in the Sexton Graveyard.  She also filed for her Indian rights in 1832.  Information is in the Guion-Muller Indian rolls – case # 35518 film # 378539, and is in the National Archives in Washington, D.C

 James Edward Thomas – The Famed Dulcimer Maker

There have been three generations of James Edward Thomas’ that I know of.  The first one was Greenbury’s dad who died along the Trail of Tears.  His son, Greenbury’s brother was also named James Edward.  This James was married to Mary Madden.  They had twelve children.  They named their son James Edward.  They also had a son named Greenbury.  Talk about hard to understand.  This third generation of James Edward’ s was a very musically talented man.   The following is an article written about him by Ralph Lee Smith and published in the Knott County History Book.
             James Edward Thomas was Kentucky’s great pioneer dulcimer maker.  In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, he was largely responsible for introducing the world to this beautiful folk instrument of the Appalachians.
            Thomas was born in Letcher County in 1850 and died in Knott County in 1933.  His father and grandfather were also named James Edward Thomas.  Grandfather Thomas lived in Ashe County, North Carolina, where he married Lucy Proctor in 1805, and where he died in 1844.  It is widely reported that there is Cherokee blood in the Thomas family, and it is believed that Lucy Proctor was half Cherokee (she was actually full Cherokee).
            After Grandfather Thomas died, Grandmother Lucy went with her family to Kentucky in 1845.  Her children included Greenberry Thomas, born about 1823, and James Edward Thomas, the dulcimer maker’s father, born in 1825 or 1826.
            James Edward Thomas married Mary Madden of Letcher County in 1849.  Mary’s ancestors came from Russell County, Virginia.  James and Mary’s children included James Edward Thomas, the dulcimer maker.
            Thomas married Sarahbelle Nease of Letcher County.  Census records disagree on her age and some other particulars.  A summary of the 1870 census of Letcher County lists J.E. Thomas as being 20 years old, his wife “Sarah” as being 15, and his occupation as farmer.  The 1910 Knott County census lists “Edward J. Thomas,” and gives his age as 56 and his occupation as house carpenter, a change that this skilled woodworker may well have made.  His wife “Sarah” is listed as age 54.  The couple had ten children, of whom six were living in 1910.  According to the 1910 census, Uncle Ed could read and write – a fact that we know from the handwritten labels inside his dulcimers – but Sarahbelle could not.
            According to James Still, Thomas and his family lived “on Big Doubles under the Bell Conley Knob at the border between Knott and Letcher Counties.”  Mal Gibson, Letcher County resident who lived near Uncle Ed, says, “There’s a gap a-comin’ into Letcher County, and he had a log cabin our there, in this end of it.”
            It is reported that Thomas began to make dulcimers in 1871.  Fortunately for us, he numbered and dated his instruments.  The numbers show that Thomas made many dulcimers over a long period of time.  He was one of the first, or the first person ever to do so.  The oldest Thomas dulcimer thus far recovered is Number 469, dated January 10, 1891; the latest is number 1380, dated January 26, 1927.
            No-one knows how or from whom the young farmer Ed Thomas learned to make dulcimers, or how he developed his distinctive design.  Thomas’ answer to the question, “How did you learn to make dulcimers?” would have shown a flood of light into this corner of Appalachian history, but there is no record that anyone ever asked him. 
            During the summer, Thomas traveled the dry creek beds of Knott and Letcher Counties, carrying his instruments on a little cart.  He often stayed with families, who were delighted to offer him accommodations in exchange for listening to him play.  The instruments cost about $5.00.  According to one report, people who wanted a dulcimer but could not afford to pay cash, could buy one for 25 cents down and 25 cents a week.
            In addition to being an excellent craftsperson, Thomas was a fine player.  According to a neighbor, Thomas would often sit on the porch of his log cabin, playing to his heart’s content.
            Thomas’ fame had probably spread beyond the borders of Knott and Letcher Counties before the coming of Hindman Settlement School, but the establishment of the school in 1902 was a boon for his dulcimer making.  The accompanying photo shows Uncle Ed sitting on the school campus with two of his dulcimers.
            Thomas sold dulcimers to the ladies from New York and New England who came to the school to teach, and they spread the word back home.  Soon, he was receiving orders from the north.  His explanation for the popularity of his dulcimers in New York was simple:  “There’s more people in New York than anywhere else,” he said.
            Although the Settlement School and out-of-state sales accounted for a large share of his business, Thomas never neglected the people of Knott and Letcher Counties, and they never ceased to buy dulcimers from him.
            Thomas’ legacy is large and important.  The “Kentucky style” dulcimer pattern, with an hour glass-shaped body and heart-shaped soundholes, became the best-known form of the instrument during the post-World War II folk revival.  Nowadays, everywhere in the world, when most people think of dulcimers, they think of the beautiful pattern that Thomas developed long ago in Knott and Letcher Counties.
Knott County 1889 Tax List for Greenbury Thomas
Tax information and annotations provided by Mack Holiday of Knott Co. Gen  Web.
 Greenbury Thomas owned 100 acres of land valued at $300.00.  He lived in District 2 which I have determined to be Carr’s Fork area of Knott County.  His closest neighbor was J. L. Thomas.  Also J. L. Thomas was Lee Thomas’ nearest neighbor, suggesting that Lee Thomas lived close by Greenbury also.  (Lee was Greenbury’s son)
 Green owned one mare, colt or gelding of mixed or common stock with a value of $20.00.  He also owned one mule that had a value of $1.00.  He owned three bulls, steers, cows or calves of mixed or common stock with no value given.  He owned no sheep, but had six hogs with a value of $18.00.
 He owned one watch or clock that had a value of $10.00, no other jewelry or diamonds, etc. and also no pianos, flues, or other musical instruments.  He owned no paintings, other than family likenesses or photos.  He owned no sewing machines or libraries.  His furniture was valued for less than $200.00 so no taxes was owned on it.
 Total value of personal property was $138.00 and totals of personal and real (land) was $438.00.
 One male over 21, one legal voter, (which would be himself) none enrolled in Militia and one child between the age of 6 and 20 (probably son William Roscoe).
 He had no tobacco, but owned 100 bushels of corn and 7 bushels of wheat.  He had 8 areas of land planted in corn, 90 acres of land was in woodlands.  He had 3 head of cattle exempt from taxation that had a value of $30.00.  He had no money in a bank, no money in his possessions (or at least he did not tell the tax man) no bonds of any kind, no stocks and no judgements of notes in suit of the heads of another.  He had no gold, silver or plated ware.  He was not a store owner.  He owned no pig metal or bar iron.  He owned no steam engines (only one in Knott Co. did)  Only one or two owned a sewing machine, but we have found that more did, but just did not tell the tax collector for fear of theft.
 Also, at that time, Talt Hall was a friend of the tax man, and when someone reported that they had cash in hand, Talt would go rob them.  The people in the area learned not to tell the tax man when they had money on them.  Talt is also supposed to have killed over 50 people in Knott and Perry Co. before he was hung in Va.
 Some family members in Letcher and Knott Co. give Greenbury credit for being the first school teacher in Knott Co.  William Roscoe recounts in his book, Life Among the Hills and Mountains of Kentucky (Page 158) about how his father obtained his teaching license in Letcher Co. Ky (now Knott).  This story describes Green meeting the school commissioner who gave him a teaching certificate on the spot (approvimately 1853).  This story casts doubt on the legend that Greenbury was the first school teacher in Knott Co. since they already had a school commissioner at that time.

 HUSBAND:  Greenbury Thomas         OCCUPATION:  1st teacher in Knott Co, KY
Born:  Feb. 1823                                           Place:  Ashe Co, North Carolina
Married: *12-21-1844  for 61 years              Place:  Letcher Co, Kentucky
Died:  1914 at 91 years old                           Place:  Knott Co, Kentucky Mallet Fork                                                                                  
Father:  James Edward Thomas                    Mother: Lucy Proctor
Other Wives:  Margaret?
They had 73 grandchildren
WIFE:  Celthany Sexton (Selia F.) 
Born: 1825                                                   Place: Russell Co, Virginia
Died: 1905 at 80 years old                           Place: Knott Co, Kentucky Mallet Fork Willard Creek
Father:                                                          Mother: 
Other Husbands:






1. Mary Polly Ann

James, Link, John, Lucinda, Armenta,

John Sexton

Betty, Jordan
2. Freeland Heison
Alexander, Ellen, Robert, John, Sarah,

Phoebe Jane Honeycutt

George, Elizabeth, Nona, Blane, Monroe, Berry, Cora, Albro, Hattie, Ida, William (last 2 are twins)
3. Marshall

Never married

4. Felix

Sherman, Guilford, Robert, Marion,

Serena Taylor

Sarah, Margret
5. Leander “Lee”

Walter, Polly, Susan, Bonaparte

Drucilla Sparkman

6. James “Jim”
Ida Mae, Bryant, Cecil

Sarah Belle Triplett

7. Frances “Frankie”

Margret, John, Monroe, Susie, Lucinda,

Charles Sturgill

Rose, William, Pearle, Hattie, Cora, Troy, Beckham
8.  Rachel


9. Lodicey “Dicey”

Vina, Hiram, Frank, Albert, Alice,

John L Pigman

Mary, William, Maggie
10.  John L


11.  William Roscoe

Della, Columbus, Jay, Eva, Amos, 

Spouse 10 kids
Helen Smith 1872
Mary Reynolds 1874
Children: 7 1Victor
2-4 Goldie Zella Sophia
Lawrence, Lot, Gracie, Anthony, Talmadge : 5 Charles, 6 Oid, 7 Willis
*Married under the name Thomason.  Both are buried in the Lee Thomas Cemetery in Knott Co.
 According to sources, the Troublesome Times Newspaper in Hindman, Ky. printed articles written by Green B. whose nickname was “Indian.”
 Greenbury and Celthany were married for 61 years and had 11 children:
  1. Polly Ann (1845) in Letcher Co Ky  Married John Sexton
  2. Freeland (1846) in Letcher Co Ky  Married Phoebe Honeycutt
  3. Marshall (1848) in Letcher Co Ky  Never Married
  4. Felix (1849) in Letcher Co Ky  Married Serena Taylor
  5. Lodicey “Dicey” (1851) in Letcher Co Ky  Married John L Pigman
  6. Leander “Lee” (1853) in Letcher Co Ky  Married Drucilla Sparkman
  7. James “Jim”  (1855) in Letcher Co Ky  Married Sarah Triplett
  8. Frances “Frankie” (1857) in Letcher Co Ky  Married Charles Sturgill
  9. Rachael b. 1859 in Letcher Co Ky 
  10. John L b. 1861 in Letcher Co Ky 
  11. William Roscoe (1863) in Hindman Ky  Married Helen Smith and Mary Francis Reynolds
 The 1850 Letcher Co census lists Greenbury with Celtania.  Green is 30, and Celthany is 25.  They have their first four children listed with them.  They are all listed as being born in Kentucky.  They are living next door to Preston and Mary Breeding and Huldy Sexton.
 1850 Letcher Co Census
District #1
US Federal Census:  August 25, 1850, by: W. Burns
Roll M432_209
#55   Thomas
Greenbury   30   B. NC, Male White, Married, Farmer, REV 30
Celtania       25   B. VA, White Female, Married
Pollyan          5   B. KY Daughter, White Female

Freelin (m)    4   B. KY, Son, White Male
Marshal         3   B. KY, Son, White, Male
Phelex  (m)    2   B. KY, Son, White, Male
 The 1860 Letcher County census show Green and Celthany living in Whitesburg, part of Letcher County.  They have all eight of their children in the household.  This is the first time James is listed.  He is five years old. Dicey, John L. and William Roscoe have not been born yet.  I found a Daniel and Sarah Triplett in Perry Co.  Daniel and Sarah are supposed to be James’ wife Sarah’s parents, but these seem to be awful old to be hers.
 1860 Letcher Co Census
Precinct #4 Post Office: Whitesburg
U.S. Federal Census
July 16, 1860 by: J. E. Brashears
Roll M653_381 REV 300  PEV 300,
#434/434  Thomas, Green 37 yrs old,  NCNCNC   Farm Laborer  W M M 8/8
                                Sila F. 44 yrs old, VA, Keeping House,           W F M  8/8
                                Mary A. 14yrs old, KY White Female, Daughter, Single
                                Frelin  13yrs old, B.KY, White Male, Son
                                Marshall 12yrs old, B.KY, White Male, Son
                                Philix  11yrs old, B.KY, White Male, Son
                                Lee  7yrs old, B.KY, White Male, Son
                                James 5yrs old, B.KY, White Male, Son
                                Francis 3yrs old, B.KY, White Female, Daughter
                                Rachel 1yrs old, B.KY White Female, Daughter
 The 1870 Letcher County census shows Greenbury with wife Celthany and six of their children.  Mary Polly, Freelin, Phelex, and Rachel are no longer in the household.  James is listed as 15 years old.  Rachel may have died.  I see no record for a Dicey being in a census report with this family.  I found Nimrod Triplett in Perry Co.  He was a brother to  James’ wife Sarah.
 1870 Letcher Co Census
Precinct #4, Post Office: WhitesburgU.S. Federal CensusAugust 1870 by: C. Strange
Roll: KYM593_483  Image 0171
#104  Thomas, Green  47 yrs old, B. NC, White Male, Farmer, REV: 300, PEV 150
                         Cilthany  43 yrs old, B.KY, White Female, Married, Keeping House
                         Marshall  22 yrs old, B.KY, White Male Single, Farmer
                         Frankey   18 yrs old, B.KY, White, Female, Single
                         Lee           17 yrs old, B.KY, White Male, Single
                         James        15 yrs old, B.KY, White Male, Single
                         John            9 yrs old, B.KY, White Male
                         William      6 yrs old, B.KY, White Male
 The 1880 Letcher County census, taken on June 15, 1880 by Morgan T. Craft lists Green B, 57 years old with wife Ciltana, 55 years old.  They are living in Precinct #3.  They have Marshall, John L, William, and a 17 year old named Mary Sexton living with them. (Mary was listed as a cousin) They live next door to John B Smith Sr. and wife Susanna, and James Huff and wife Aurora.  Green’s son James is listed in this census living a few houses down from his parents.  He is listed with his wife Sarah and their three children Ida May, 3 years old, Bryant P, 2 years old, and Cecil, 1 year old.  His other son Lee is also listed with wife Drucilla.  I found Nimrod Triplett in Perry Co.  He was a brother to  James’ wife Sarah.
 1880 Letcher Co Census
Dist. 64, Voting Prec. 3
June 16, 1880 by: Morgan T. Craft
Page 34  Image 0175  Roll# KYT9-429_428

# 285/285   Thomas
Green B   57 Head    Farmer                 NKN
Ciltana     55 Wife      Keeping House   VVN

Marshall   31 Son       Farmer                KNV
John L      19 Son       Teacher             KNV
William   16 Son        Teacher               KNV
 Mary        17 Cousin                              KKN  
#288/288  Thomas
James    25 head       Farmer   KNV
Sarah     24 wife       Keeping House  KKK
Ida May  3 daughter
Bryant P  2 son
Cecil        1 son
Greenbury’s son William Roscoe was a great educator in Knott County.  He was an author, a minister, and a professor of English.  He started teaching when he was fourteen.  He studied at Cumberland College in Eastern Ky.  He wrote the book, “Life Among the Hills and Mountains of Kentucky,” and speaks of his father Green going to Letcher Co, Ky to apply for his teacher’s license.
Greenbury and Celthany are buried in the Lee Thomas Cemetery, located on Mallet Fork a tributary of Carrs Fork located at Pinetop, Ky on Highway Route582 off Route 160 from Highway 15 to Hindman Ky.  Greenbury died in 1914 at the age of 91 years old.  His wife Celthany died in 1905 at 80 years old.  They had 73 grandchildren.
 THOMAS James, born March 18, 1855, in Letcher Co Kentucky,  He married 1st to Sarah Triplett, born in Elkville, North Carolina (Wilkes Co. N.C.) She was born 1856, daughter of Daniel Triplett and Sarah Ferguson.   James’ grandson Ellis Thomas remembers going with his dad B.T. to look for James and Sarah’s gravesites.  Ellis said they were buried over on Jones Fork (near Pine Tree Hollow) in unmarked graves.  He said that when they went to the cemetery they were unable to find exactly where they were buried, but that B.T. had pointed out a spot next to a tree where he had been told his mom’s grave was.  Ogie Thomas states that they were buried on Jones Fork, but in different cemeteries. She also remembers that Mandy told her B.T.'s dad James died in an accident.  He was building a fence with his father-n-law, when he was hit in the head with a maul.  His father-n-law was trying to throw it to him and it accidentally hit and killed him.
James Thomas’ parents were Greenbury Thomas and Celthany Sexton
James and Sarah had three children:
  1. Ida May b. 1876
  2. Bryant b. 1877
  3. Cecil b. 1879
 (Daniel Triplett, Sarah’s dad was born 1798 in Elkville, Wilkes Co., North Carolina. Daniel died 11-8-1881 in Floyd County, Kentucky.  Daniel married Sarah Ferguson on 1813 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.  Sarah Ferguson was born 1795 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She died 11/19/1861 in Floyd Co., Kentucky.)  Note: Daniel & Sarah Triplett are buried in the Triplett Cemetery, near the George Cox Cemetery, between Four Mile and Porter on Old Route 80, Lackey, Ky
James Thomas is listed in the 1900 Perry County census with a second wife named Nancy Jane Smith.  She was born December, 1865.  Ogie thinks she could have been the daughter of Nick and Artie Smith, which would make her a sister to Martha Smith Collins (Manda’s mom).  Nick and Artie did have a daughter named Nancy, but the birthdates I have for them both do not match.  Ogie also thinks that her dad’s first wife Poppy Smith Moore was related to this family. 
The 1900 Knott County census lists Nancy as 34 years old and having one child living. (Mary, 16 yrs. old)  James is listed as being 43 years old and his occupation as farmer.  They married in 1885 and had been married for fifteen years.  Two of James’ three children are still in the household; Bryant, 22 years old, and Cecil, 21 years.  They are both listed as farm laborers.  I’m not sure where Ida Mae is. She would have been 23, so she might have been married and in another household.  A third child, Mary, 16 years old, is also listed.  Mary was Nancy’s daughter.  James’ first wife Sarah died between 1880 and 1885.  They live next door to Daniel Triplett (his father-n-law?).  His dad Greenbury is also listed this year, but in the 1900 Perry Co. Census.  He is listed with a second wife, Margaret.  He is 77 years old with no children in the household.  They have been married for 3 years.
 1900 Knott Co Census
Magistrial District 3 June 1, 1900
Beaver-District #45  by: George M. Adams
Roll KYT623_536  Image 011
127-127 THOMAS
James    43  Head 12/1856  md 15 yrs KY KY KY Rents Farm Can read & write
Nancey 34  Wife  12/1865  1/1           KY KY KY 1 child cannot read & write
Bryant  22   son   10/1877                   KY Farm Laborer cannot read & write
Cecil     21   son    5/1879                   KY Farm Laborer cannot read & write
Mary    16   dau   12/1883                   KY cannot read & write

1900 Perry Co. Census
Lost Creek Magisterial District No. 8
Series T623, Roll 548, Page 273, Sheet No. 14,
Supervisor’s District No. 11, enumeration district no. 95, enumerated on June 22, 1900, by John C. Combs.
#215 Thomas, Green       Head W M  Feb. 1823  77   M3  KYKYKY      Farmer
                        Margaret  Wife  W F   Oct. 1829  70   M3  VVV      
 Greenberry was listed as being unemployed for six months during the year, renting farm number 213 and able to read, write and speak English. Margaret, his 2nd wife was listed as having had no children and not able to read and write but able to speak English.
 HUSBAND:  James “Jim” Thomas           OCCUPATION: Farmer
Born: March 18, 1855                                   Place: Letcher Co. Ky
Married: 1876                                                Place: 
Died: 1925                                                     Place:  Knott Co. Ky. near Jones Fork
Father: Greenbury Thomas                           Mother:  Celthany Sexton
Other Wives:  Nancy Jane Smith. b. 12-1865 in Ky  Married in Dec 25, 1885. According to the
Knott Co Census they had been married for 15 years, in 1900.
WIFE:  Sarah Belle Triplett

Born:  1856                                                   Place:
Died:   aft. 1880 before 1885  at 29 yrs.       Place:
Father: Daniel Triplett                                  Mother:  Sarah Ferguson
Other Husbands:






Ida May



Manda Collins

05-1879 KY
Mitchel, Verda, Vena, Nervia, Missoura

1888 KY

Martha, Minnie

Abt. 1902
Lizzie 1902, Lewis 1904, Nancy 1906

Leonard Moore

Jefferson 1908
Mary is the child of James’ 2nd wife Nancy.  
Sarah Triplett Thomas’ family (B.T.’s mom)
TRIPLETT, Daniel b. 1734
Daniel Triplett’s parents were Francis Triplett III and Elizabeth Browne
TRIPLETT, Jesse b. 1776, London, VA md. Susan Hodge.
Jesse Triplett’s parents were Daniel Triplett
Jesse and Susan (Hodge) Triplett’s children were:
  1. Daniel
 TRIPLETT, Daniel b1798, Wilkes Co., NC d1881, Floyd Co., KY married Sarah Ferguson.  She was b. 1798, Wilkes Co., NC d. 1861, Floyd Co., KY, the daughter of Thomas Ferguson and Edith Foster.
Daniel Triplett parents were Jesse Triplett and Susan Hodge
Daniel and Sarah (Ferguson) Triplett’s children were:
  1. Nimrod md. Sarah Martin
  2. Wilson b. 1822, Wilkes Co., NC d. 1912, Knott Co., KY md. Eleanor Issacs
  3. Sarah b. 1856 md. James “Jim” Thomas
1860 Perry Co Kentucky Census
Household Numbers
July 1860
210/208     Triplett, Danl      60       M       North Carolina
                                Sarah     70       F        North Carolina
                                Nimrod  23       M        Kentucky
1870 Perry Co Census
Troublesome Creek Precinct
34-34/8 Triplet, Nimrod M W 30 Ky Farmer
                          Saley F W 26 Ky Keeping house, (Triplett)
                          John M W 8 Ky At home, (Triplett) m. Arminta Stewart
                          Daniel M W 3 Ky
 1870 Floyd Co Census
157      Triplett, Daniel                      76  North Carolina
 1880 Perry Co Census
District 2 - Part 1
209-215 Triplet Nimrod  M W 42 M KyKyKy Farmer, s/o Daniel & Sarah Francis Ferguson Triplett
                           Sarah Wife F W 40 M KyKyKy Keeping house, nee Martin
                           John Son M W 17 S Ky   Farm laborer, poss m. Arminta Stewart
                           Daniel Son M W 12 ? Ky
                           William Son M W 7 ? Ky
THOMAS, Bryant “B.T.” known to his family as “B.T.,” “Grandpap,” or “Poppy” was born October 26, 1877 in Knott Co Ky.  He married Amanda Collins, daughter of Will Collins and Martha Smith.  She was born May 30, 1882 in Knott Co, Ky.  They married January 1, 1903 at Softshell. She was 21 years old and he was 26.  They were married to each other for 60 years.  Manda, or “Grandma Mandy” as she was known by her grandchildren, married under the last name Gibson.  B.T. and Manda had ten children and sixty-three grandchildren.  Manda was 25 when she had her first child Stella, and 43 when she had the last one, Lora.
B.T. died on October 28, 1963, two days after his 86th birthday.  Manda lived to be 85 years old. She died four years after B.T. on December 4, 1967.  They are both buried in the Thomas Cemetery on Sofshell, Ky in Knott County on the property of their son Ellis Thomas.  Both were livelong members of the Balls Fork Regular Baptist Church.
 B.T.’s parents were James Thomas and Sarah Triplett.
Children of B.T. and Manda:
  1. Stella b. 2-11-1908 md. George Conley
  2. Madison b. 8-27-1909 md. Ogie Moore
  3. Flara b. 3-9-1911 md. Mitchell Conley
  4. Ellis  b. 12-9-1912 md. Sarah Terry
  5. Oma  b. 12-26-1914 md. Coy Sturgill
  6. Eva   b. 11-7-1916 md. Amos Hicks
  7. Denvil  b. 2-23-1918 never married (died young)
  8. Hubert  b. 3-26-1921 md. Sylvia Handshoe
  9. Clara    b. 4-4-1923 md. 1. Dingus Beverly 2. John Combs
Lora     b. 8-5-1925 md. Sam Conley
The 1910 Knott County census finds B.T. Thomas living with his wife Manda and their first two children.  They are living on Ball.  His brother Cecil is living in household #41 in the precinct of Quicksand, also in Knott County.
1910 Knott County Census
Ball, Magistrial District 4, Part of Precinct 9
190-211 THOMAS
Bryant T. 32 Head md 3 yrs KY KY KY
Manda 27 wife 2/2               KY VA KY
Stella 2 dau                          KY
Madison 0?/12 son               KY
1910 Knott County Census
Quicksand Precinct 4, Part of Magistrial District 4
41-41 THOMAS
Cecile 32 Head md 7 yrs       KY KY KY
Sarah 22 wife 4/3                   KY KY KY
Mitchel 6 son                         KY
Verva 4 dau                            KY
Vena 1/12 dau                        KY
Cecil also had Nervia Thomas born 1913, Missoura Thomas b. 1915, Martha Thomas b. 1919, and Minnie.  Cecil’s son Mitchel was a State Police officer, moved to Prestonsburg and later became a barbour. 
The 1920 Knott County census shows B.T. Thomas with his wife Manda still living in the Ball precinct of Knott County.  They have seven children listed.  Clara is listed as child #3, but that should actually be Flara.  The baby son is Denvill.  He is two years old at the time.  B.T. is listed as a farmer.  They live next door to William Bolen and Alex Gayheart.
 1920 Knott Co Census
Ball Precinct
Thomas, B.T.  Head          M W   42  M  Kentucky  Farmer
               Manda  Mother  F   W  37   M  Kentucky
               Stella  Daughter F   W  11   Kentucky
               Madison  Son     M  W   9    Kentucky
               Clara  Daughter  F   W   8    Kentucky
               Ellis  Son            M  W   7    Kentucky
               Oma  Daughter   F   W   4    Kentucky
               Evy  Daughter    F   W   3    Kentucky
               Baby  Son          M   W  2 6/12  Kentucky
 The 1930 Knott County census shows B.T. and wife living in Knott County, still on Ball.  They have seven children.  Their oldest child Stella and Flara are no longer in the household and they have added Hubert, Clara, and Lora.  Denvill died in 1922.
Flara is listed with her husband Mitchell and first child Edith.  They have been married for one year.  I could not find Stella and George Conley listed.
 1930 Knott Co Census
Magisterial Dist. 5, Upper Ball, Quicksand,

Rock Fork, and Salt Lick (South Part)
50-50  Thomas  Bee T.  Head  M  W    52  M  28 Farmer / Farm       
           Manda    Wife     H         F  W   48  M  24  none      
           Madison Son                  M  W   20   S        none      
           Ellis        Son                  M  W   17   S        none      
           Oma       Dau                  F  W   15   S        none      
           Eva         Dau                  F  W   13   S        none      
           Hurbert   Son                 M  W     9   S        none      
           Clara       Dau                 F  W     6   S        none      
           Lora        Dau                 F  W     4  8/12  S none      
26-26  Conley  Mitchel  Head     M  W 22  M    21 KYKYKY  Farmer / Farm  
            Flora     Wife H  F    W 19  M     18 KYKYKY  none               
     Edith Dau F  W 7/12 S KYKYKY  none


  1. I have just made a connection with this line of my husband's family. All the work you have done is great to find.

  2. Trying to find mother and father of Solomon Thomas born in Arkansas greenberry Thomas father

  3. Trying to find mother and father of Solomon Thomas born in Arkansas greenberry Thomas father

  4. Im trying to find out more about Dicy and Williams daughter Amanda. can you point me in a direction please?

  5. After all these years i finally found where my line began . I can't be more excited.I am a direct descendant of james edward siasee thomas and lucy bearpaw thomas.My name is melvin thomas.Green berry was my great great great grandfather, then freeland, then willy then alvin, then alfred and now me. Thanks so much.

  6. After all these years i finally found where my line began . I can't be more excited.I am a direct descendant of james edward siasee thomas and lucy bearpaw thomas.My name is melvin thomas.Green berry was my great great great grandfather, then freeland, then willy then alvin, then alfred and now me. Thanks so much.

  7. My name is Tressia Nunn maiden name Collier I am the oldest grand daughter of Greenberry Thomas son of Solomon and Sara Stidham Thomas. They are buried at the Kona, ky.

  8. My grandfather's mother was Lucy's first child Catherine. She married Thomas Collins. Their daughter Rozilda married Henry Collins and had alot of kids. My grandfather Glenn Collins was the youngest b 1928 or 1930. I remember my Uncle John and my Aunt Parthene. My grandfather even though he would of been like 1/4 native considering his grandmother was full blooded. Still looked Native, as well as my Aunt Parthene. My grandfather had 3 kids. Glenda (b. 2/8/1955) my mother, Brenda, and John. My Aunt Brenda is the only surviving one right now. My problem is that I cannot find any information on my grandfather. He married Frances Brann. They both were born in KY, but ended up going to Detroit, MI. My mother was murdered in 1982. My name before I was adopted was LeeAnn May Collins (Burchfield is my adoptive name). Any info please email me at Thank you

  9. My grandfather's mother was Lucy's first child Catherine. She married Thomas Collins. Their daughter Rozilda married Henry Collins and had alot of kids. My grandfather Glenn Collins was the youngest b 1928 or 1930. I remember my Uncle John and my Aunt Parthene. My grandfather even though he would of been like 1/4 native considering his grandmother was full blooded. Still looked Native, as well as my Aunt Parthene. My grandfather had 3 kids. Glenda (b. 2/8/1955) my mother, Brenda, and John. My Aunt Brenda is the only surviving one right now. My problem is that I cannot find any information on my grandfather. He married Frances Brann. They both were born in KY, but ended up going to Detroit, MI. My mother was murdered in 1982. My name before I was adopted was LeeAnn May Collins (Burchfield is my adoptive name). Any info please email me at Thank you

  10. My line is this. Catherine, who was Lucy's daughter, had a grand daughter named Grizilda. Grizilda was married to Robert Collins. Robert stabbed Grizilda with a hat pin which killed her. He ran off to West Virginia.
    Martha Collins and her brothers and sister went to live with Catherine. She raised them.
    When Robert came back after a few years, he took the children back. He was real abusive. Martha in particular was treated harshly. She did all the work around the house. Robert said that she was just an old Indian and wasn't worth anything.
    He married again, and the children were mistreated.
    Martha married Seymour Amburgey who was from just down the creek on Burgey's Creek. These two are my great grandparents. I actually remember both of these
    people. I also remember Jim Wes and Silas.