Annmarie, Eli called Thomas Uncle. And he was born in Ar. 1855. Being orphaned at age 5 and living with Melissa suggest that his father was neitherJ.W., nor John's son. There- fore it is likely that his father was Robert Newton. Robert Newton lived in Van Buren Co. Ar. at that time.
It is very interesting that you mention that Eli was living with a H.T. Bradford family in the Red River Twnship. My grandfather was an H.T. Bradford fom that very neighbor- hood. However. my H.T. was born in 1872. His father was Samuel Bradford living at that location in 1870. Could it be that Eli lived with his family?
Melissa Shaw McGinty House was my Gr Gr Grandmother being the widow of Joseph Jackson who d. 1851 in Conway Co. Ar. And Melissa married Moses House in 1853. Do you have any thing on when Melissa died?