1760 - 1835
Miriam Thomas Winsryg
James Thomas was born in 1760 in St. George's Parish, Georgia, in what is now Screven County, Georgia. His father was Gilshot Thomas who migrated from Cecil County, Maryland, and settled in the Province of Georgia sometime prior to 1756, this being the year he made his first petition for land. He received a Royal Land Grant in St. George's Parish. (Candler-Colonial Records of Georgia - Volume VII - Page 816.) It is not know who James Thomas' mother was. Gilshot Thomas' parents were John Thomas and Ann Gailshiott Thomas, daughter of Lawrence Gailshiott. All were substantial citizens of Cecil County, Maryland as early as 1720.
The records of the Jerusalem Lutheran Church, New Ebenezer, Georgia, show that Elizabeth Thomas, the daughter of Gilshot Thomas and his wife, was born the 11th of February, 1769 and was baptized the 15th of September, 1769. Godfathers and Godmothers were both parents and John Casper Wertsch. Gilshot Thomas died in Screven County, Georgia in 1809.
James Thomas and his father, Gilshot Thomas, were both soldiers in the Revolutionary War and fought together in the same company in the South Carolina State Militia. This company was commanded by Lieutenant Jacob Buxton and Colonel Alexander Garden.
James Thomas was married about 1783 to Sarah Banner. It is not known at this time who her parents were. He is listed in the U.S. Census of 1790 in Beaufort County, South Carolina as head of the family, with a wife and three sons under 16 years of age. He and his wife, Sarah Banner Thomas, had at least seven children in all, but only five are known at this time. They are:
1. Banner b. 1785 m. Mary Mixon, daughter of Redden Mixon, July 4, 1808, Liberty County, Georgia
2. Absalom b. 1787 m. Rebecca Lowery, daughter of Henry Lowery, May 13, 1816, Liberty County, Georgia
3. Lewis b. 1789 m. Elizabeth Mixon, daughter of Redden Mixon, June 18, 1810, Liberty County, Georgia
4. Harriett b. 1793 m. James Crawford
5. James, R. Jr. b. 1801 m. Rebecca
James Thomas and other members of his family moved to Liberty County, Georgia about a807 and he is listed in the Tax Digests of Liberty County, continuously, from 1808 to 1828. He and his wife, Sarah, were among the first members of Jones Creek Baptist Church when it was newly constituted on April 22, 1810. James Thomas served as clerk of the Jones Creek Baptist Church from March 23, 1822 to December 22, 1822. Sarah Banner Thomas died in Liberty County sometime after 1820 and before 1830.
The son, Absalom E. Thomas, appears in the 1820 Census of Georgia in Appling County. In 1824, Ware County was formed and he was cut out of Appling into the new county. He was elected one of the first Justices of the Ware County Inferior Court and served out his full term of four years. About 1829, James Thomas and other members of the family followed Absalom to Ware County. Banner Thomas, Lewis Thomas and James Thomas, the father, are listed in the 1830 Census of Ware County as heads of families. They were living adjoining each other in Ware County in the area that is new Pierce County. There farms were located about five miles north of Patterson, between Paterson and Blackshear.
The son, Banner, was married to Mary Mixon and had the following children: Redding, Nancy, Banner Jr., Letitia, James, Jonathon, Matilda, Lewis, Edmond, Jackson, Bathsheba, and Sarah. He and his wife became members of High Bluff Primitive Baptist Church in 1832 and they are both buried in the cemetery there.
The son, Absalom E. Thomas, was listed in the 1830 Census in Ware County, Georgia, in the area that is now Clinch County. His farm was located about 10 or 15 miles south of Homerville, Georgia. Absalom E. Thomas was killed in an Indian uprising about 1838. He had loaded his family in wagons to go for safety. He returned to warn his neighbors and was never seen or heard of again. In the 1830 Census he had a wife, one son under five years of age and five daughters. The daughter, Rebecca, who was married to George Newbern, is the only descendant of whom any record is known.
The son, Lewis, was married to Elizabeth Mixon. Their children were: James R., Jr., Joseph, Amarinta, Sarah, Martha, Absalom, Lewis, Jr., Banner, and Elizabeth. Lewis Thomas was a charter member of Shiloh Church when it was newly constituted in 1831. He and his wife Elizabeth are buried in the cemetery there.
The daughter, Harriett, was married to James Crawford, a Primitive Baptist Minister, and a brother of Elder Reubin Crawford who was pastor of Shiloh Church for many years. They had no children. They are buried in the cemetery of High Bluff Primitive Baptist Church in Brantley County, Georgia.
The son, James R. Jr., was married but his wife' maiden name is unknown. They had only two children: Nancy who married Reddick A. Thornton and James S. who married Nancy Baxter. James R. Thomas, Jr. was elected the first Coroner of Pierce County in December, 1858. He wife died about 1865 and he made his home in his last years with his son, James S. Thomas, in Pierce County where he died about 1875.
James Thomas, the Revolutionary War Soldier, died in 1835 and is buried in the cemetery of Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church in Pierce County.