Saturday, February 2, 2013

Surname Saturday - James Madison Thomas

I'm back to tracking my 3rd great-grandparents today with #19 on the list: James Madison Thomas. I am related to James through my mother's paternal side.

James Madison Thomas was born in Kentucky around 1848. His family was listed on the 1850 census in Greenup County, Kentucky, so this could be his birth place. His parents were James Madison Thomas and Nancy Johnson and he was one of 14 children. I have only found 11:
Sometime between 1850 and 1860 the family relocated to Ray County, Missouri. I have every census record available for James. After the family moved to Ray County, James spent the rest of his life in Camden, Missouri. 
A map of Ray County, Missouri, 1877, from the Missouri Digital Heritage Missouri Plat Book Collection. Camden is in the far south of the county along the banks of the Missouri River.  
James married Lucinda Megonnigil on October 23, 1870. 
Marriage record in Ray County, Missouri for James M. Thomas and Lucinda McGonnigil.
According to the 1900 census the couple had 8 children, with seven living. I have only found six to date:
I have not found the other two children, but it seems that one of them lived to adulthood and one died young. I found that they also lost their son, Rollie, at age 14 due to an accident. 

James was born in to a farming family, but he became a coal miner, along with at least one brother, John. Coal mining was a large industry in Ray County at just prior to and after the turn of the twentieth century. 
A description of Camden, Missouri from the History of Ray County, Missouri, 1881.
Based on this description of Camden, Missouri, it is possible that James Thomas was a coal miner right in his back yard, though there were mines in other parts of Ray County.

James Madison Thomas died on September 4, 1917, in Camden, Missouri. He is buried in Cravens Cemetery, Camden, Missouri.

Based on the above information I have the following "due-outs" for James:

1. Get a photo of his headstone (I have had a request on for this since 2011, I'll probably just head there myself on my next visit to Missouri).
2. Find out more about the origins of the Thomas family in Kentucky.
3. Try to determine James' and Lucinda's other two children.

This post is part of my on-going goal of 2013 to research each of my 32 3rd great-grandparents more in-depth. 

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