Owen Thomas (c.1730 - 1808) MP

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Nicknames: "General Owen Thomas", "Father Thomas"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Georges Creek, Springhill TWNSHP, Fayette, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: Died in Washington, Kentucky, USA
Managed by: David Prins
Last Updated:

About Owen Thomas

Owen Thomas, born Abt. 1730 in Georges Creek, Fayette, Pennsylvania; died May 02, 1808 in Washington, KY, (inv). birth location has also been seen as Frederick county, Virginia. Death date has also been seen as January 13, 1815 New Orleans, Orleans, LA. Name has also been seen as General Owen Thomas.

He was the son of Lewis Thomas and Jane Smith.

He married Mary/Polly Hardin WFT Est. 1763-1795. Mary/Polly Hardin, born Abt. 1735 died WFT Est. 1771-1830 She was the daughter of John Hardin and Catherine Marr.

Notes

  • "HARDIN THOMAS . . . His mother was a HARDIN, the daughter of JOHN HARDIN, who was a brother of the old original MARK HARDIN, of George's Creek, Pennsylvania. His father was named OWEN THOMAS; he [Hardin] was the brother of Gen. JOHN THOMAS, who commanded the Kentucky troops under Gen. JACKSON at the battle of New Orleans." --Samuel Haycraft, A History of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Its Surroundings (1869; Hardin Co. Historical Society, 1960), 123-24.
  • "Another church in this section of the state was THOMAS' Meeting House, six miles from Lebanon [now in Marion Co., KY, formed from Washington Co. in 1834]. Among the first members of this church were OWEN THOMAS and his wife. JACOB YOUNG, while making his first round on his first circuit in 1802, came to this church and has left us an interesting account of his visit to Father THOMAS'. He says: 'My next appointment was at what is called THOMAS' Meeting House. I went to this place with fear and trembling, for I had heard many things of old Father THOMAS. He was very severe on the young preachers, often telling them if they could do no better, they had better go home. I prayed much on my way thither. He met me at the door and gave me a very cold reception. He was a very large man, of rough features, stern countenance, and of great decision; withal he was very rich and felt his own importance. He sat down and looked at me as if he would examine my head and heart, and I felt very uneasy. Mrs. THOMAS entered the room with smiling countenance, shook my hand, and gave me a hearty welcome. She was a fine figure, and reminded me of what I had read of Lady Huntington. Her mind was filled with good sense, and her heart overflowed with charity. The congregation soon assembled. As the day was cold, and there was no stove in the meeting house, they concluded to have the preaching in the house, which was large enough to accommodate them. I arose under a heavy cross and went to a little stand. My Bible being in one pocket and my hymnbook in another, I was not dependant on anyone for books. My congregation was gay for those early days; Honorable Robert Wickliffe sat before me. I read my hymn, they sang, and I kneeled down to pray. The clouds dispersed and in the light of Almighty God I saw light. I had studied my text well and the Lord gave me great liberty. Old Father THOMAS wept freely, HIS BROTHER shouted* and his wife praised God with a loud voice. Brother THOMAS was never cross with me after that day. I had a pleasant night and a most delightful morning.'" --Reverend W. E. Arnold, History of Methodism in Kentucky, Vol. 1 (Herald Press, 1935), 180 (transcription courtesy Joseph L. Haw, Caledonia, MO, ca. 1976-77)
  • see Winthrop S. Hudson, Shouting Methodists (1968) <http://www.thunderstruck.org/revivalflames/SHOUT.htm>

Sources

  • [Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #5623, Date of Import: Oct 16, 1997]

Links

-------------------- Thomas Family Cemetery

LaRue County, Kentucky

This listing was contributed by Edward Benningfield [knobcreekboy@mindspring.com]. Total records = 5.

(Hodgenville map, Section 24-M-46 Carter coordinates) This small cemetery is located about four miles south of Hodgenville. It is east of highway 31-E between the South Fork Church and Buffalo on the north side of the road. Mr. J. L. Haw of Caledonia, Missouri wrote the following about John Thomas, who was the parent of Robert H. Thomas. "John Thomas, son of Owen Thomas, and brother of Mrs. James Haw, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. John Thomas was born on 10 April 1763, Frederick County, VA. He came to Kentucky and lived in Hardin County, and married Susanna Hodgen, daughter of Robert Hodgen on 27 April 1786." (Not shown on topographic maps)

- Edward Benningfield

Bayne, Louisa J. – (wife of W. Bayne) 30 Jan. 1818 – 31 May 1846

Thomas, Adam H. – (son of R. H. & L.) 20 June 1832 – 30 May 1852

Thomas, Letiticia Miller – (wife of Robert H.) 11 Sept. 1793 – 9 April 1865

Thomas, Robert H. – (hus. of Letiticia) 25 Sept. 1789 – 10 April 1878

Thomas, Sara J. – (dau. of J. A. & L.) 11 June 1848 – 20 Sept. 1849

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Quaker of Welsh descent, but Methodist in his later life. Moved from Frederick Co., VA, to Bedford (now Fayette) Co., PA, on Georges Creek after September 12, 1771; then to Nelson (later Washington) Co., KY, about 1785.

It's interesting that your Thomas family was in both Chester Co., PA, and in Frederick Co., VA, as was the Kinnison / Kennison / Kinison family. I located an Enos Thomas whose birth was recorded in the records of Goshen Meeting in Chester, PA, which is where Edward Kinison was a member (I found this on the LDS Ancestral site). --Donna Woehrle to Candy Wagner , October 29, 2002. (This Enos Thomas, b. ca. 1747, son of Isaac Thomas and Mary Townsend, birth recorded Concord MM, Chester Co., PA.)

Today, there's a Georges Creek in Bedford Co. and another in Fayette Co. Which Georges Creek did Owen THOMAS settle near? Did he first go to the area that is now Bedford Co., then move further west to the area that is now Fayette Co.?

1771 March 9, Bedford Co., PA, formed from Cumberland

1773 Feb. 26, Westmoreland Co., PA, formed from Bedford

1783 Sept. 26, Fayette Co., PA, formed from Westmoreland

1783 assessment, Springhill Twp., Fayette Co., PA: Owen, AENEAS, Henry, Joseph, John, Edward S. THOMAS, several HARDINs, James and Joseph KENNISON. --Clara Wilson , e-mail to Candy Wagner , May 26, 2000.

1786 state tax return, Springhill Twp., Fayette Co., PA: most HARDINs gone and all the THOMASes except ENEAS. --Clara Wilson , e-mail to Candy Wagner , May 26, 2000.

1786 list of tithables, Nelson Co., VA: Owen, Hardin, John, Isaac THOMAS, and various HARDINs. --Clara Wilson , e-mail to Candy Wagner , May 26, 2000.

1789 Nelson Co., KY, ENOUS THOMAS. --Clara Wilson , e-mail to Candy Wagner , May 26, 2000.

1790 Fayette Co., PA, census, ENOS THOMAS, Springhill Twp. --Clara Wilson , e-mail to Candy Wagner , May 26, 2000.

"HARDIN THOMAS . . . His mother was a HARDIN, the daughter of JOHN HARDIN, who was a brother of the old original MARK HARDIN, of George's Creek, Pennsylvania. His father was named OWEN THOMAS; he [Hardin] was the brother of Gen. JOHN THOMAS, who commanded the Kentucky troops under Gen. JACKSON at the battle of New Orleans." --Samuel Haycraft, A History of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Its Surroundings (1869; Hardin Co. Historical Society, 1960), 123-24.

"Another church in this section of the state was THOMAS' Meeting House, six miles from Lebanon [now in Marion Co., KY, formed from Washington Co. in 1834]. Among the first members of this church were OWEN THOMAS and his wife. JACOB YOUNG, while making his first round on his first circuit in 1802, came to this church and has left us an interesting account of his visit to Father THOMAS'. He says: 'My next appointment was at what is called THOMAS' Meeting House. I went to this place with fear and trembling, for I had heard many things of old Father THOMAS. He was very severe on the young preachers, often telling them if they could do no better, they had better go home. I prayed much on my way thither. He met me at the door and gave me a very cold reception. He was a very large man, of rough features, stern countenance, and of great decision; withal he was very rich and felt his own importance. He sat down and looked at me as if he would examine my head and heart, and I felt very uneasy. Mrs. THOMAS entered the room with smiling countenance, shook my hand, and gave me a hearty welcome. She was a fine figure, and reminded me of what I had read of Lady Huntington. Her mind was filled with good sense, and her heart overflowed with charity. The congregation soon assembled. As the day was cold, and there was no stove in the meeting house, they concluded to have the preaching in the house, which was large enough to accommodate them. I arose under a heavy cross and went to a little stand. My Bible being in one pocket and my hymnbook in another, I was not dependant on anyone for books. My congregation was gay for those early days; Honorable Robert Wickliffe sat before me. I read my hymn, they sang, and I kneeled down to pray. The clouds dispersed and in the light of Almighty God I saw light. I had studied my text well and the Lord gave me great liberty. Old Father THOMAS wept freely, HIS BROTHER shouted and his wife praised God with a loud voice. Brother THOMAS was never cross with me after that day. I had a pleasant night and a most delightful morning.'" --Reverend W. E. Arnold, History of Methodism in Kentucky, Vol. 1 (Herald Press, 1935), 180 (transcription courtesy Joseph L. Haw, Caledonia, MO, ca. 1976-77)

The Thomas Meeting House was definitely located where the article says it was and Lewis Thomas deeded this property to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The words that keep me coming back to the article are "Old father Thomas wept freely, his brother shouted, and his wife praised God with a loud voice." Did our Owen have a brother in the vicinity and who was he? The possibilites so far include Thomas Thomas of Washington County who died somewhere around 1805, the John Thomas who was an early surveyor in Mercer (Lincoln) County, and whoever Henson Thomas in Hardin County was. --Clara Wilson , e-mail to Candy Wagner , July 1, 2000.

Methodist beginnings [in Kentucky] are traced in Albert H. Redford, The History of Methodism in Kentucky, 3 vols. (Nashville, Tenn., 1868-1870), and set in perspective in Walter B. Posey, The Development of Methodism in the Old Southwest, 1783-1824 (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1933), and William Warren Sweet, ed., Religion on the American Frontier: The Methodists, 1783-1840 (Chicago, 1946).

The state of Kentucky is covered by two Methodist conferences that oversee the missions and business of the church. The conferences have collected records from churches that have closed. Records of existing congregations are generally still in the churches. The Kentucky Annual Conference oversees the majority of the churches in Kentucky, while the Redbird Missionary Conference oversees the state's southeastern counties.

Kentucky Annual Conference, 2000 Warrington Way, Browenton Bldg. Suite 280, Louisville, KY 40222-3407. 502-425-3884.

Redbird Missionary Conference, 6 Queendale Center, Beverley, KY 40913. 606-598-5915.

For background information about the Methodist Church, see:

Arnold, William Erastus. A History of Methodism in Kentucky. 2vols. Louisville, KY: Herald Pub., 1935-1936. (FHL book 976.9 K2a; fiche 6048430–1; computer number 220599.) This book is indexed and contains a history of the Methodist Church before 1935.

Short, Roy H. Methodism in Kentucky. Rutland, VT: Academy Books, 1979. (Not at Family History Library.)

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Owen Thomas's Timeline

1730
1730
Georges Creek, Springhill TWNSHP, Fayette, Pennsylvania, United States
1751
1751
Age 21
Frederick, Virginia, United States
1751
Age 21
VA, USA
1752
1752
Age 22
Georges Creek, Fayette, Pennsylvania, United States
1758
February 17, 1758
Age 28
Cumberland , Virginia, United States
1760
1760
Age 30
1762
November 19, 1762
Age 32
Orange, North Carolina, USA
1763
April 10, 1763
Age 33
United States
1764
July 29, 1764
Age 34
Rowan, North Carolina, USA
1764
Age 34
Frederick, Virginia, United States