Subject: Who were the parents of “Mingo”’ John Thomas of Champaign County, Ohio?
My 4th great grandfather, John Thomas was born abt 1758 in Pennsylvania, married Nancy Unknown abt 1780 in PA. They had the following children: William Thomas (abt 1781-bef 1846) Hester Thomas (abt 1784-bef 1846) Nancy Thomas (abt 1786-bef 1846) James Thomas (abt 1787-4/20/1874) Ross Thomas (abt 1790-aft 1850) John Thomas Jr. (3/18/1791-1/12/1852) Richard Thomas (abt 1792-bef 1846) my 3rd g-gf Ellen Thomas (abt 1796-5/1830) Sarah E. Thomas (abt 1799- bef 1846) Rachel Thomas (abt 1800-aft 12/1845)
John Thomas brought his family(less William, who had married and decided to stay in PA) to the Mingo Valley in Ohio, March of 1806, and remained there for the balance of his life, passing in 1846. John’s 1st wife, Nancy passed abt 1825 and he married 2nd, Pricilla Lindsey abt 1826.
My 3rd g-gf, Richard Thomas, married Hannah Gray (1793-1829) abt 1814 in Champaign County, Ohio. Hannah was the daughter of Isaac Gray(1762-1831) and Lydia Robinson(1763-1843) ofthe Mingo Valley.
There was a close connection between the Thomas and Gray families with several more marriages, and being very devout Quakers, both of their homes were used for many religious services. Thomas family traditions also claim our family’s roots are in Wales.
Hannah’s sister, Mary Gray(aka”Aunt Mary” Gutheridge) was a big factor in Richard & Hannah lives. She was a source for much of the early history of Champaign County in her later years. In a letter, “Aunt Mary” writes: In the year 1829 my sister died leaving eight children, the youngest a few hours old, six boys and one girl, and the infant just born was a girl. She had been afflicted so long; she gave me one of her little boys, Isaiah Thomas(my 2nd g-gf) as my own child. I had the measles soon after I was married and I took cold and It brought on a disease I never got well of. I had no child when my sister lay a corpse. People would look at the little babe and say; "Poor little thing".It is a pity it could live but a few hours, It was so little and poor that it hardly looked like a child. After sister was buried we went back to her house. Richard Thomas, her husband, said we must take care of the children for he would do nothing for them, he said he would not stay another day in the house. When we left he gave me the infant, I told him he ought to have asked me if I would take her; he said they did not expect it to live. I said it might become a useful child and then he might want her. He called all in the house to listen and witness what he would promise me If I would take her; under no circumstances would he ever ask for her any more than If she was my own born child. I told him he must give me Lydia and the little girl too. He said that was what he wanted to do. Then I had three and the relatives took the rest of the children.
Note by RBE: I was not very proud of this grandfather when I learned of this. With repeated searches I have never been able to find what became of Richard after this time.
John lgou married Hannah Thomas, she was that poor little babe that was born when her mother died, he took her to Illinois and there she died and left three little boys and he brought them back to me and I raised them.
With such a large family, all located in the Mingo Valley for many years, you would think there would be some recollection or family traditions that would identify or point to the parents of Mingo John, who most likely also stayed behind in PA, or perhaps had already passed on when Mingo John took his family to Ohio, but I have not yet been able to discover the facts.
There was a tradition of naming the 1st born grandson after his grandfather. William Thomas, John’s 1st son had a son and named him Owen Thomas.
There was an Owen Thomas(1731-1769) who married Mary Polly Hardin(1733-1805) in VA abt 1755, and they had a son named John; and his family line has roots in Wales.
With my John being born abt 1758, the dates would work, but I have not been able to find any other facts to prove a connection.
Are there any other Thomas researchers out there who can add to this story? If so, I would be delighted to hear from you and will gladly share any details.