Thomas Pearson was a blacksmith, saddler and harness maker, as well as a farmer. He was known as "Little Old Tommy". Thomas Pearson was born March 23 1728 (1) in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was the son on Enoch and Mary (Smith) Pearson.He and Ann Powell were married June 5, 1751 in Philadelphia. Ann was born August 6, 1729 in ChesterCounty, Marple Township, Pennsylvania. He was married out of the Quaker Church. Ann Powell was the daughter of Joseph Powell and Mary Howell. (2)The couple were the parents of eight children. The were Mary born June 16, 1753; Joseph Born March 27, 1755; Ann born January 28, 1758; Enoch born September 27, 1761; Benjamin Sr born October 7, 1766; Samuel born May 5, 1771 and Jonas born September 14, 1773.Ann Powell Pearson died from complications from the birth of her last child , Jonas, on October 27, 1773. (3)Thomas had received a grant for 300 acres on the Broad River in South on December 29 1767.(4) He received another grant for 100 acres in Berkeley Co.,SC on February 10, 1773.(5) He did not move from Pennsylvania until after the death of his first wife. He had been in South Carolina on October 1, 1772 to witness the wedding of his brother Samuel Pearson at Bush River Monthly Meeting, in what becameNewberry County, SC. Thomas witnessed two deeds for his brother Samuel on 3/4 November 1772 inBerkeley Co. SC. (6) He must have returned to Pennsylvania as his eighth child was born there.Thomas was married on July 8, 1775, at Padgett's Creek Monthly Meeting, South Carolina to Mary. Shehas married first about 1757 to John Insco, who died in SC some time after 1765. (They had three children) She had married a second time about 1769 to Samuel Campbell, who was killed by Indians in 1773 in SC. (They had two children) In 1778 in Newberry Co., SC, Thomas Pearson and John Clark were appointed guardians of his step-sons, Ralph and John Campbell.
With his second wife Mary, he had two more children: Rebecca 1776, and Mary 1778. Both born at BushRiver, Newberry Co., SC. (3)During the Revolutionary War, as the legend goes, Thomas Pearson was captured by the British, who tried to impress him into service as a blackSmith. However, he exercised Quaker passive resistance, and refused to work. Some people have joined the DAR based on his "patriotic service" however the documents to support the claim are in error. They claim military service in North Carolina, not South, and trace through a nephew, not son.(7)In 1806, at the age of 78, "Little Old Tommy" crossed the mountains to settle in Miami County, Ohio where his children were living.(8) Though blind, he lived another fourteen years, dying on October 13, 1820 age 92 years, 6 months, 20 days, buried in Mill Creek Cemetery in Miami County, Ohio. (Please note on Saturday, October 3, 1992 the DAR held a ceremony to unveil a gravestone for Thomas Pearsonat the Frederick Cemetery (aka Mill Creek Cemetery) Monroe Township, Frederick, Oh on MontgomeryCounty Line Road in Miami County)This article was written by Corrine Hanna Diller and was published in the Miami Valley Genealogicalnewsletter GAB Vol 28 #3.
Footnotes:1. Thomas' birth is from his father's Bible, National Gene. Society Quarterly, Vol 26, pages 14-20. See also: " Benjamin & Esther (Furnas) Pearson" , (1941) by George M. Pearson, pages 16-18.2. "Thomas Powell, in Chester Co., Pa 1682, and Some of His Descendents", (1991) bh Dawn Powell Cartwright, pages 1-6. The Powell and Howell families came from Cheshire, England, as did the Pearson immigrant of 1683. There were at least six different men named Thomas Pearson who came to Pa in the1680's.3. Births of all Thomas Pearson's children are recorded in a child's penmanship exercise workbook which is preserved at the Hayner Center Genealogical Library, Troy, Ohio. The firth of Thomas, and the birthdates of both wives are also included. The last date is 1812, but Thomas's death in 1820 is not included.4. SC Liber 11, page 446.5. SC Liber 19, page 1116. Berkeley County, SC Deeds, Book M12, Vol 449, pages 3-4, recorded December 11, 1773: land now in Newberry Co., SC.7. DAR #219, 646, and #541,494, which have been quoted extensively, though they are full of errors.8. See "Annals of Newberry", for John B. O'Neall, pages 333-334, for interesting anecdotes about "Little Old Tommy".
TIME LINE FOR THOMAS PEARSON -----BLACKSmith, SADDLER, HARNESS-MAKER, AS WELL AS FARMER1762, SC, at Brook's ( Rawl's) Fort, on land of Jacob Brooks, on Bush River, payment to Benjamin Pearson, for corn & pork. (brother ofThomas)1767, December 19, SC: 300 acres on Broad River, for Thomas Pearson (11:446)1772, October 1, Bush River MM, wedding of Samuel Pearson (brother of Thomas) and Mary Steddom; witnesses: Left, William Wright,David Jenkins & Charles Patty. Right Mary Oglesby (Thomas's remarried mother) Benjamin Pearson, Sarah Sprag, Enoch Pearson, Henry Steddom, Wm. Steddom & Ann (sic) Pugh 1773, FEb 10, SC, Berkeley Co., 100 acres for Thomas Pearson. (19:111)1776. . . Revolutionary War, Thomas Pearson was captured and impressed into service by the British for his blackSmithing skills. However he exercised Quaker passive resistance, and refused to work. (We would call it a sit-in) Rendering himself useless, he was released.1778, Newberry Co., Thomas Pearson & John Clark appointed guardians of Ralph & John Campbell1778/79, SC, Jurors in lower part of District 96, at fork of Broad & Saluda Rivers: Wm Pearson, Enoch Pearson, John Pearson, Thomas Pearson, Samuel Pearson, John Pearson. John Duncan, Samuel Dunkin, James Pettey, Charles Pettey, James Hall, Matthew Hall.1789, July 25, Union Co., deed, Isaac Edmondson, farmer to John Campbell, Cordwiner (shoemaker) both of Union Co., for L191 sterling for 425 acres, part of a 750 acre tract on the north side on Enoree River, conveyed to said Isaac Edmondson by his father Caleb Edmondson, tract where Isaac now lives . . . . witnesses, Ralph Hunt, John Hunt, David Smith; Isaac signed.1789, Aug 27, Union Co., John Campbell assigned all his right and title to the deed from Isaac Edmondson, to Caleb Edmondson Jnr. . . . John signed; witnesses, John Pearson, Sarah Pearson.1790, SC, Newberry Co., Thomas Person, 5-0-3. (Census)1800, SC, Newberrt Do., page 89. . . .Enoch Pearson, 31010-21010; Hannah Pearson, 00100-10010; Jefs Pearson, 11001-11010; Joseph Pearson, 11001-21110; Thomas Pearson, 00011-11010; Benjamin Pearson, 20010-10010; Enock Pearson, 21010-20010; Joseph Pearson, 20001-22010. Abel Pearson,00010=30010.. Page 90, Samuel Pearson, 00100-20100. Benjamin Pearson, 41010-10110, Joseph Pearson, 10010-00010, Samuel Pearson, 30010-00010.1806, at age 78, Thomas Pearson crossed the mountains to settle in Ohio. It is said that he was proud of having been older than George Washington. See: "Annals of Newberry (Sc)" by John B. O'Neal, pages 333-334, for interesting anecdotes.1816, Miami Co., Ohio. Taxes, one Thomas Pearson on list.1816, April 11, Miami Co., Ohio Deed, Thomas Pearson, to Concord Friend Church, for church lot, R6, T4, Sec. 17, Monroe Twp. (3:49)1820, Miami Co., Monroe Twp. page 78 Census, Thomas Pearson, 311201-10101-4.1821, Miami Co., property taxes: Thomas Pearson, R6,T4, Sec 17SE, Monroe Twp. Thomas Pearson, R6, T4, Sec 20 SW, Monroe Twp.
Thomas's birth is from his father's Bible,"Encyclopedia of American Genealogy" by William Wade Hinshaw, Vol l, page 1023; Vol 5, page 790.The following is copied from a child's school workbook, a penmanship practice exercise. The book is now found in the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, Miami Co., Ohio:Thomas Pearson was born the 24th of March, in the year of our Lord 1728.Ann Pearson was born the 6th of August in the year of our Lord 1729, and Departed this Life 27th of October 1773.Mary Pearson was born the 24th of the First Month 1738. Mary Pearson Wife of Thomas Pearson Departed this Life the 22 Second of the8th month 1812, aged 73 years, 7 months, 29 days.Mary Pearson was born the 16th day of June 1753.Joseph Pearson was born the 27th Day of March 1755.Ann Pearson was born 28th Day of April 1759.Enoch Pearson was born the 27th Day of September 1761.Benjamin Pearson was born the 7th Day of October 1766.Thomas Pearson was born 14th of Feburary 1769.Samuel Pearson was borth the 5th Day of May 1771.Jonas Pearson was born the 14th Day of Ninth Month 1773.Rebekah Pearson was born 20th Day of Ninth month 1776Mary Pearson was born 23th of the 9th Month 1778.Above was written after 1812.
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