My line is Caleb, Isaiah Marion, William M. (Billy), Charles Columbus, Homer Ervin. (From there, my mom, Mary Ellen, then me). I believe that makes us third cousins.
I will have to review your post about Thomas more in depth later, but I am confused about when you refer to "where Caleb is in 1790-1810." I have been unable to confirm his whereabouts for 1790-1800.
The first Caleb Brothers I find is in 1810 Spartanburg Co, SC and he is the only one I can find that year (according to Ancestry census records). He may well have been there in 1800 or 1790, but that would be, to my knowledge, suspicion only.
In 1800 there is a Cloc or Cloe Brothers in Spartanburg, that we may assume to either be a relative. (Appears Cloc on the original, Cloe according to Ancestry's transcription). I think the name Cloe back then would be VERY rare, so I wonder if it was a misread from the original (to the index or Ancestry's transcription) to Cloe from Cloc.
In 1790 Spartanburg Co, SC, there was only a Mary Brothers, and some have supposed that could be his mother, but again, as far as I am aware, that is supposition only.
The 1810 Spartanburg seems to be our best early evidence (to my knowledge). The only Caleb Brothers found in 1810 (per ancestry.com) is:
1810 Spartanburg Co, SC;
slaves / # HH under 16 /# HH over 25 /# HH total
Ancestry.com overview shows:
= 2w males bet 16-25, (i.e. b/ bet 1783 - 1794)
=1w female bet 26-44 (i.e. b/ bet 1766-1784)
= 1in HH over 25+, (i.e. 1 wf (probably mother) b / bef 1784 (1783 or earlier, & appears to be / 1766-1783).
3 total HH members
The males are probably Caleb and a brother. Elder female individual is probably Caleb's mother. Since Caleb was listed as head, we can likely assume the brother was younger (even if only by a year).
IF this is our correct Caleb, whoever his father may have been was likely either dead by 1810 or had deserted the family. This would mean that either Thomas Nails Brothers was NOT his father or the death date on the modern grave marker is very wrong.
Also, assuming this 1810 Caleb is ours, he would be at MOST 24 years old. (The mother would be the one listed as over 25, so though his age range is given as 16-25, unless an error was made, he was at most 24 years old in the census). That would mean to be the "Cloc or Cloe" Brothers (assuming a misread of the census for Caleb was possible), he would have been at most 14 years old, much too young to be listed as head of household.
As I mentioned, Cloe seems a rare likelihood (the name today isn't really very common, but especially back then), but Cloc is even more unusual. I looked at the original on ancestry, and it looks more like Cloc than Cloe to me. The last letter has no opening like an e would and the end is very short. There is a name below it where the surname ends with an e, and that letter has a loop for the e, and doesn't end as abruptly (more of a swoop tail).
I've never heard of Cloc before, but assuming it wasn't a typo or misread of sorts, my first hunch was that it sounds Scottish. I Googled it, and cloc appears to be either Old Irish meaning "bell" or "by extension, clock," or, if derived from "cloch," then "stones." Or it could be the Scottish Gaelic alternative form of "gleoc" and mean "clock." It'd be interesting if this was a clue not only to this Brothers' heritage (Irish or Scottish), but perhaps his occupation (clock-maker or stonemason?).
Other than some uncited family historians, this Thomas Nails as a possibility seems rather elusive and I've seen nothing other than what appears a misplaced (and misdated?) marker, to indicate he may have even been in Alabama OR possibly tied to our Brothers line. I can't find him in any census records, land records or tax records to confirm being in Alabama. I wasn't even able to find him in SC. (Other than possibly simply as Thomas Brothers, who could have been other men named Thomas). I have always been stumped by the Nails name and wonder why, if he was even a relative (let alone father) to our Caleb, why that name was not (apparently) passed down? I am beginning to suspect its accuracy more and more.
As is, if we believe it is our Caleb in 1810 Spartanburg Co, SC as head, then this Cloc seems a more likely suspect to me.
Also, I believe the death date I have for Caleb probably is the other NC Caleb's birth date (15 Nov 1787), but I believe they were born about the same year. I know the 1830 and 1840 census records give his age range so that he would be born 1791-1800. The 1850 gives his age as 62, making him b/ ca 1788 (possibly Fall 1787). If you are correct about Thomas Nails being the father and dying in the 1780's in Spartanburg, Thomas would have had to die aft ca 1787 (he could have died while his wife was pregnant or when Caleb was a babe). Otherwise, his death would have been before Caleb was conceived.
It would be interesting to know the source of the marker at Moody's as well as the details of the letter stating that "Thomas Nails was buried where Brison is" that one poster mentioned. Even still, unless it was very very old, written around the time of his death, or based on an old (now illegible or missing) marker, it would likely be based on other, possibly flawed, research or family lore, making it suspect as well.
Love to hear your thoughts on all this.