I've not yet been able to tie Thomas and James, which has been bugging me for years!!
When I first started working on my genealogy a decade ago, I got back to my gg-grandparents quickly, then began struggling.Before then, though, I began trying to run names forwards...I knew that my gg-grandfather John Bright was from the Reedy Creek environs, and I quickly found evidence that Thomas Bright moved to the North Fork of Reedy Creek in 1800 (at that time considered Virginia, but is actually just a bit south of the state line in Tennessee).Continuing along that track, it appeared that Thomas had evidentally moved down the North Fork of the Holston River in Virginia before ending up on Reedy Creek in 1800.Some of the records seemed to indicate that his land grant was related to lands issued during the French and Indian War.I expected Thomas to be an ancestor of John.
Continuing traditional methods, I worked back to John's parents, Elijah and Dorcas (Green) Bright.Then I found James and his pension record, which showed that he also arrived in Tennessee in 1800, also onto the North Fork of Reedy Creek, and that he had his wife Sarah and children James, Elijah, Pritchet, Betsy, Ansel, and Peggy.So, at that point, I was clueless as to who Thomas was.
To have two Brights end up on the North Fork of Reedy Creek at the same time and not have some tie between them would be pretty far stretched, but haven't yet found anything.
I haven't made much progress in researching in Dorchester County MD yet.I'd battled with the Sarah West versus Sarah Busick, and I'm confident about that bit (as confident as you can be for something from over 200 years ago). The same source that tried to point me to the Sarah West also said that James' parents were James and Elizabeth of England, and had arrived in Baltimore with James as a child.BUT, Dorchester records show that an Elijah Bright was born in 1751, about the same age or a year or so older than James. So I hadn't yet worked out if Elijah and James were one in the same, or brothers, or who their parents were, or etc etc etc.....