Monday, April 18, 2011

Mystery Monday - Thomas Powers where did you come from?

Ok for this mystery Monday I'm putting Thomas Powers out there (I know I said I was putting him on a shelf for a while, but this daily prompt has brought him back down).

What I have on Thomas:

1- According to my gg-grandmother's, Rebecca Emaline POWERS MASON (1876-1943) death certificate, her parents were Thomas Powers and Sarah (Sallie) McNabb, and it states my gg-grandmother was born in Marion County TN.

2 - A brother of my gg-grandmother, William Powers (1866-1937) states his parents were Thomas Powers and Sarah McNabb.

3- Thomas Powers shows up in Marion Co, TN, 6th Civil District, in the 1870 census - in his household are Thomas, age 35, born in Ireland; Sarah 29, born in TN; Margaret age 4, born in TN; William age 2 born in TN; and Mary age 3 mnths born in TN.

4- 1880 census, Marion Co, TN, still in the 6th district, Thomas (age 55 now?) and family are still there with the addition of Silas (spelled Charlis in this census) and my gg-grandmother Rebecca. (Side note, in this census, W. H. Mason is living next door, he is the man who Rebecca would marry so I like thinking of my gg-grandparents growing up next door to each other and knowing each other well before they married and moved to Birmingham, AL).

5- 19000 census, Marion Co, TN, shows that Thomas (spelled Pyers) came to the US 60 years earlier in 1840 - I can not (at the moment) find Thomas listed on a ship in 1840, I did find a good match in 1838 arriving in Pennsylvania. Though there is a possibility he arrived in Canada and made his way south.

6 - A deed index for Marion Co, shows that Thomas bought land from David McNabb (Sarah's father?), the book is labeled 1833-1890, and I haven't seen the deed yet, but it does list him as buying land in Marion Co.

7 - Thomas deeded his land on 22 June 1903, to his son Silas Powers.

8 - The 1906 obit for Thomas I've have states that he battled cancer for over 3 years, so he may have deeded the land to his son so that his son and family could take over the farming (that is a guess). I can not find Thomas in the death index for TN, so all I have is a hand dated obit and a tombstone transcription.

9- Thomas is buried in McNabb cemetery II in Marion Co, TN - the headstone dates are - 1/2/1826 - 1/13/1906. I do not have confirmation on this birth date.

So here is the big question for me: where was Thomas prior to arriving in Marion Co, TN around 1865? Did he fight in the Civil War and for which side? I have a lead that states his wife Sarah was the daughter of David McNabb and Maragaret Long (There is a Sarah listed in the household of David and Margaret in 1860, Marion Co, but I don't have proof yet of this being her family), so if this is the correct family, the brothers of this Sarah all fought for the Union in the TN calvary, so maybe Thomas met one of the brothers while fighting?

Did Thomas have a family prior to coming to Marion Co? The 1870 census shows his age as 35, if he was born in 1826 that would actually make him 44 at the time of the 1870 census, (his age never stays consistent) so he was of an age to have been married and possibly have children. Did something happen to the 1st family? Did he up and leave them? I don't know.

Doing a search for the name Thomas Powers in the 1860 census, only leads to more hair pulling, there are close to 100 Thomas Powers in the same age group and close to half of them were born in Ireland (I have started the slow process of looking up each one of those in the following year to see if they are still there but, well, I fell lost).

I will get to do some research in Marion Co, in May so I'm hoping something leads me to more info on Thomas, a middle initial would be nice, or something.  Thomas is driving me a bit crazy at times, he just seems to have appeared out of nowhere and started a family. I want to know where he was prior to his life in TN, and when he came to the US. So, if anyone out there runs into Thomas in their research, I would love a nudge in the right direction.

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