Family Stories

Samuel Thomas Moves From Washington County to Graves County in the 1830’s

An entry from Vol. I, Graves County Kentucky, gives us the following information about Samuel Thomas.  His parents moved from Maryland to Kentucky before his birth in 1797.  They settled in Washington County, near the church of St. Rose.  After marriage Samuel and brother William left for the western portion of the state. to Graves County.  They were among a band of pioneers who helped establish the church of St. Jerome in the area now known as Fancy Farm.

Samuel Thomas, his brother William H. Thomas and their families, were among the first Catholic settlers in Graves County.  They and other pioneer families are listed on a monument erected in St. Jerome Cemetery.  These Catholic settlers migrated to the St. Jerome area of Graves County from Washington County, Kentucky, and St. Rose Priory, near Springfield, Kentucky.

Know all men by these presents that we, John Thomas and Bennett Thomas, are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency the Governor of Kentucky, in the sum of fifty pounds current money to the payment of which well and truly to be made to the said Governor and his successors.  We bind ourselves, our heirs, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 24th day of February 1797.  The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended between the above bound John Thomas and Susannah Hilton, for which a license has issued.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage, then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full force.  John Thomas, Bennett Thomas

Samuel and William H. Thomas were two of the eleven known children of John “Jack” H. and Susannah (Hilton) Thomas, who were born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, and married at St. Rose, Washington County, Kentucky, in February 1797.  John Thomas was the son of Mark Thomas, II, and Elizabeth Abell.  Susannah Hilton was the daughter of William and Mildred (Hagar) Hilton.

February 23, 1797.  Sir, please to issue license for my daughter, Susannah Hilton and John Thomas, and you will oblige yours.  William Hilton.  Test.  Bennett Thomas, James Hagan.

Samuel Thomas was their first child, (December 17, 1797, Washington County – December 1, 1855) married 1823, in Washington County, Kentucky, Elizabeth Thorp, one of the four orphan daughters of Terry and Susanna (Totty or Folley) Thorp.

Samuel Thomas and Elizabeth Tharpe married April 7, 1823.

Samuel and Elizabeth had nine known children.  Because some early church records at both St. Rose and St. Jerome are gone, census and other records were used to identify their children:  Daughter A. S. (about 1824); Carolyn “Cary” Elizabeth (about 1826-about 1861); Nancy A. “Ann” (about 1828); sons George Washington (1831); Robert Abell “the younger” (1833-1833), appear to have been born in Washington County and baptized at St. Rose Priory.  Robert Abell, “the older” (1836), Samuel Thaddeus (August 1836); Benedict Joseph (1839); and Elisha Logan (1842); were baptized at St. Jerome, Fancy Farm, Kentucky.

Carolyn “Cary” Elizabeth Thomas married about 1843, John Joseph “Joe” Greif, son of Adrian and Barbara (Auer) Greif.  John Joseph Greif, his parents, five brothers and sisters immigrated directly from the town of St. Wendel, in what is now Saarland, Germany, to what is now St. Johns area of McCracken County, Kentucky.  The parents of Adrian Greif were John and Magdalena (Conzelbusch) Greif.  Johannes and Catherina (Morell) Auer were the parents of Barbara Auer.

The known children of John Joseph and Carolyn Elizabeth (Thomas) Greif are Barbara Elizabeth, Elisha “Lish” Logan married Julia Ermanella Mitchell, Adrian Samuel married Henrietta “Hallie” Mitchell, Samuel Thomas, Joseph Francis married Susanna Elizabeth “Bettie” Lofton, Ann Madora, George W. married Wilhemina “Minnie” Puress and Carolyn “Carrie” married Robert Leander Mitchell, Sr.

Family oral history reports that about 1863, Carolyn knew she was dying and arranged for her husband to marry Maranda Ann Thomas, her first cousin, and daughter of William H. and Eliza (Jarboe) Thomas.

The children of John Joseph and Maranda Ann (Thomas) Greif who lived to maturity were, Victor William, Augusta Ann and Mary Verena.

Among the gravestones in the cemetery we find ones for Samuel and two of his sons – Samuel T. and Robert Abell Thomas.

Samuel Thomas, born December 17, 1797, died December 1, 1855, aged 57 years 11 months and 14 days.

Samuel T. Thomas, born August 5, 1837, died November 11, 1858, aged 21 years, 3 months 6 days.

Robert A. Thomas, born January 12, 1836.

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