REVEREND THOMAS WOOLSEY & SARAH PIERCE
CHRONOLOGY OF REVEREND THOMAS WOOLSEY & SARAH PIERCE
(Reverend Thomas Woolsey is my 4th Great Grandfather)
(He is son of Richard Woolsey & Sarah Fowler)
Kentucky was created from original Virginia land. Washington County Virginia was a boundary line for Lincoln County Kentucky! Washington County, Virginia was created on 7 December 1776 from Fincastle & Washington County’s; “In the fall of 1776 the General Assembly of Virginia, acting on a petition of the inhabitants of Fincastle County, voted to divide that enormous county into three separate new counties. These three, Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky Counties occupied a part of the special place in American history we call the frontier. For many years thereafter, hundreds of thousands of settlers moved down the Valley of Virginia, through Washington County headed west. Some stayed in Washington county.”
My Grandfather Thomas Woolsey was one of those that stayed in Washington County.
My Grandfather was a Minister of the Baptist Church ; It is of interest to me that he named his first son Zephaniah after one of the prophets of the old testament who prophesied to the people of Jerusalem about the coming destruction of Jerusalem because of the wickedness of the people in about 600 BC; The people in general would not believe that their great city could be destroyed because they chose to listen to the false prophets of that day who told them all was well. Of Course, Lehi of the Book of Mormon did listen to Zephaniah & the other true prophets of that time and took his family and fled into the wilderness as the Lord commanded him to do; They crossed the “great Waters” and were lead to the Promised Land of America.
My grandfather must have been familiar with the Bible account of that time period to have named his first son Zephaniah; My prayer is that he now understands the gospel more fully and has embraced its truths. I hope that his son, Zephaniah realized the significance of the great name that he had the privilidge to bear;
(See book of Zephania-Old Testament)
The Ancestral File lists the children of Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce as being born in Westchester Co. NY, but they may have been born in (now called) Suffolk County New York where I found the birth of a Zephaniah Woolsey in the right time frame to be the son of This Thomas Woolsey. Of coarse this is an assumption and is not proven at this writing.
Prior to 1761, (Rev) Thomas Woolsey & family removed to Ulster Co. New York where their children Priscilla, George & our Richard & Nancy Plumstead were married. A Joseph Plumsted family, probably Nancy Plumstead's family, are documented as being in Ulster County in the time fram of Richard Woolsey & Nancy Plumsted’s marriage;
From Ulster County New York, our Reverend Thomas Woolsey family removed to Virginia; Reverend Thomas Woolsey is documented as being in Washington County (then called Betotourt) by 1771 when he had land surveyed on the South Fork of The Holston River;
(Rev) Thomas Woolsey died in 1794 in Maiden Springs, Washington Co. Virginia and is burried in River Bend, Smyth, Virginia.
I found the following interesting account of my grandfather in “The Marriages Of Washington County, Virginia;” Book: 975.5725 V2b: The account is as follows:
“Reverend Thomas Wolsey or Woolsey as it is spelled in the marriage registers and elsewhere, is the earliest known minister in the Washington County area. He came to Sinclair Bottom, now called St. Clair Bottom, present Smyth County, in 1771 and settled on a tract of land where later the original meeting house would be built.
One legend that is told about Reverend Woolsey is that Wooley was the leader of a group of settlers from the New York-New England region. The people would of course have looked to their pastor for leadership but this does not prove that he enticed them to leave their homes in the Northeast and move to the Virginia frontier. (Although he may have;)
“Woolsey was born in 1719 in Bedford, Westchester County, New York the son of Richard Woolsey (1697-1782) and Sarah Fowler (1698-1799). He may have been married Twice. In his will his wife is “Sary” for Sarah but this may be his second wife Sarah who is somewhat tentatively identified as Sarah Perce. His first wife also seems to have been named Sarah, maiden name not known, and she was the mother of his nine children.” Whether this assumption is correct or not correct, I do not know at this writing.
“It is very likely that after he arrived and established at least a temporary home, one of Woolsey’s first priorities would have been to build the meeting house. This building was established and important enough to be mentioned in 1775 in a description of the 612 acre tract that Woolsey acquired from the Loyal Land company.
In March of 1773 he presided at the marriage of Joseph Drake and Margaret Buchanan and there is no reason to suppose that this was the first marriage at which he officiated but it is the earliest marriage of our area for which any record exists. He performed an unusually large number of marriages especially for such an early period. (84 marriages are documented for him;)”
“Another legend told about Woolsey is that he was a zealous Patriot and that his son Zephahiah had Tory sympathies. This, if it is true, or something else was the cause of estrangement between Thomas and Zephania, for when Thomas was too feeble even to sign his name he made his will seemingly to make sure that Zehaniah would receive none of his estate. In the will, Zephaniah or Sevenior as it is spelled, was to get only five shillings, a token amount.
It has been suggested that Woolsey accompanied the troops on their way to the Battle Kings Mountain (Battle against the Tory’s) in the fall of 1780. Reverend Thomas Woolsey would have been about sixty-one years old at that time and nothing has been found that would show whether the Thomas on this march was Reverent Thomas Woolsey or his son Thomas.”
In the book “Smyth County History & Traditions” Book: 975.5123 H2w; I find the following:
“Their preachers (of Washington County, Virginia) were not so much noted for learning as for fervent zeal, and were men who preached with power, sparing neither effort nor sacrifice to carry the gospel to the remotest settler. Many a rude arbor, shaded grove, and private dwelling, unlicensed by the general court as places of worship as the law required, were bravely used as such by these Baptist preachers. Tradition, or maybe a chance associational minute record, has preserved the names of a few of these noble men and pioneer preachers who were here before church work had taken organized shape, and we yet hear called the names and you may yet hear the name of Thomas W. Woolsey, whose remains lie buried in the Maiden burying ground near the home of Mrs. Wm. Britton; and a few years ago a monument was erected at his grave bearing his name and date of death, 1794, and the simple inscription:
“A Pioneer Baptist Preacher.”
“He owned land, probably that now is owned by the Dutton family, and was a worthy man. The county surveyor says this land is one of the oldest surveys in that section. There appears strong reason to think Reverend Woolsey helped to start, if not to organize, St. Clair’s Bottom church;”
Thomas Woolsey, “The pioneer minister”, died in 1794 and is buried in River Bend Cemetery, Smyth County, Virginia (or at least there is a Tombstone there for him in the River Bend Cemetery;) The date of his wife’s death is not known but since he names her in his will, she must have been living at the time of his death.”
Source: Book: 975.5725 V2b: “The Marriages of Washington County, Virginia 1781-1853;
From the Book: “Family of George Wood Woolsey & Sarah Nelson” by Hester Woolsey Brewer (Book: 929.273 W887), I find the Following Historical account:
“Rev. Thomas Woolsey was born at Bedford, a town of quaint old buildings and cemeteries, located in Westchester County, New York, where it was thought he married his wife, Sarah, as she is designated in her husbands will. The supposition has been made that the surnanme was Pierce, the only reason for this supposition being that John Pierce & wife Sarah were associated with Rev. Thomas in buying and selling various tracts of land.
From Bedford Rev. Thomas removed to ulster County, New York, and lived at Marlborough, New Paltz, or perhaps both for a short time each. About 1770 he removed to the beautiful valley of the Holston River in Washington County, Virginia, and settled in that region twenty-eight years before Henry Clay looked over the territory for a home before going on into Kentucky for settlement.
Rev. Thomas Woolsey must have been endowed with the spirit of adventure, or the great religious zeal which had brought his forefathers to America, to forsake his comfortable home in New York for one in the dangerour wilds of southwest Virginia. About this time, the Baptists were coming across the mountains and they might have influenced himn to make the move, or perhaps as in more recent treks, the change was favored as a means to acquire lands rich from primeval days. We would rather think it was a frontier-born experiment in uniting religious sentiment and political freedom, as a base from which this new nation could rise to the stars. It has been said it was not on the Mayflower, or the ship that brought Capt. John Smith to Virginia, that the American republic was born, but the new order came from these hills and mountains of Virginia.
If Rev. Thomas was a lover of beauty he was in need of no other incenitive for his entrance into the valley of the Holston, wehre buffalo, bear, wolf, elk and other smaller animals roamed the wilderness. Few white men had viewed the majestic beauty of its hills. Slasking the sky above the fertile valleys, ridges criss-crossed from east to west and through these ridges sparkling mountain streams dashed through deep, dark gorges on their entrance to the valleys where they gave sustenance to the blue grass that swayed knee-deep in the breeze.
In 1774, Rev. Thomas owned 300 acres on the Middle Fork on the Holston River and from Washington County surveys (we have copies of other land acquired from him);
In Revolutionary War days, in some parts of Virginia, persons were performing the ceremony of marriage without the proper credentials, finally a license was required and Rev. Thomas Woolsey’s nae was on the list of those to whom a license was given. The History of Washing County Virginia, lists eight-one couples married by him.
Some of the land he acquired was up the river from Abingdon and he was ordained for the ministry at a little church at Linville Creek, near Chillowie, Sept 1773. His record there states, “He came froma church in New york Government.”
Up to the time of Rev. Thomas Woolsey’s arrival in Washington County, Va., very few white men had penetrated thus far for settlement with their families. A few hunters and trappers has passed through and several years after his arrival that courageous hunter, Daniel Boone, blazed the trail called the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and gave to the pioneer a permanent route into the wilderness later to become Kentucky. Indians had a few trails known to them across the mountains in that territory, the most secluded running across powell Mountain, but it would have been foolhardy for the white settlers to use these trails as they were the liars of Indians who did not approve of the encroachment of the white men upon their domain.
The savages were dangerour and became very troublesome to the settlers who were seeking new homes in this beautiful country, which today surrounds the cultural city of Abingdon, then the southwest post, and one of the oldest towns in Virginia. At one time Abingdon was called Wolf Hills, as the locality was a headquarters for these animals which made their homes in caves nearby.
One of the churches in which our Rev. Thomas preached was in maiden Springs, and he is buried at Maiden Burying Ground in that part of Washington County which became known as Smyth County. Radford, on the New River north of Abingdon, was an early location selected by the Woolseys for their homes.
At the grave of Rev. Thomas Woolsey, at Maiden Burying ground, is a monument which bears the simple inscription “A Pioneer Baptist Preacher.” He lies under the spreading branch of a large tree, enclosed by a picket fence, whose roots have been nurtured by his dust for these many years. I have no knowledge of any member of his family remaining in the southwest Virginia, yet some one has cared for his graqve for the past one hundred and fifty years. His burial lot is upon the land of Mr. Rritton, doubtless once owned by Rev. Thomas, and I have been told it was he who erected the monument, which today marks the last resting place of the pioneer preacher. For this kindness in perpetuating the memory of our ancestor, Rev. Thomas Woolsey, and shielding his grave from sesecration, we tender our most hearty appreciation. Rev. Thomas Woolsey owned other land in this region, probably that now owned by the Dutton family.
His deeds were of an enduring character, in the beautiful valley of the Holston, and traditional stories still carry his name as among the first who served the church in this vicinity. We do not wonder at then when we consider how he ust have captured the imagination of the descendants of his early parishioners if they related the story of his primitive days among them. The territory surrounding his church was a wilderness, which in his tine was the home of all the wild animals that stalked that part of Virginia. It also wa the battleground of hostile India tribes, and Rev. Thomas and his congregation attended services decked out with rifles and other war paraphernalia. Can we of today appreciate the comfort and beauty of our services unless we carve a mental image of Rev. Thomas trudging through the deep snows of the wilderness, clad in buckskin brushed by the dangling tail of a coon-skin cap, and ever-ready rifle held by his side? Furtive eyes searched each tree and clump of brush for the hidden lair of the enemy, as he trudged, with his loyal wife Sarah and their children, to the little church hidden in the Wilderness.
The will of Rev. Thomas Woolsey, dated Feb 26, 1794, was filed at Abingdon, Virginia and was as follows: “I leve my wife Sary Wolsey all that I have but Sevenier Wolsey five shillings.” Witness, Frederick Ickes, Richard Woolsey, Nancy Woolsey.Sevenier Wolsey named in the will is supposed to be his son Zephaniah. Apparently this will was written by one less well educated than Rev. Thomas and it may have been completed at his death bed. It is noticeably that the signatures of his son and wife Nancy contain two l’s in the Woolsey, and the name in the will but one.
In a letter, Mrs. Gc. Purdue of Kansas City, Mo, a descendant of Rev. Thomas Woolsey, states, “Evediently this will was written by another as Rev. Thomas was an educated man. I have gone over records at Abingdon, Virginia, he had written with a quill pen and they are beautifully done.”
Rev. Thomas apparently had disposed of most of his estate before his will was executed, as he had deeded land on the South Fork of the Holston River to his son Richard before and made other transfer.”
The following data on Rev. Thomas’s life is contained in a letter written 14 Sept 1981 to Patricia G. Hall of Scottsboro, Alabama; (I do not know who wrote this letter; It was sent to Carolyn Wilkerson at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/;
“Washington County, Virginia, lies in the Blue Ridge Mountain range. It is beautiful country but must have been difficult to travel in Rev. Wolsey’s day. Actually, Washington County seems to lie in the edge of the range. The hills and near mountains are not as large or as tall as those closer to the Kentucky boarder. An old Indian trail cuts east-west through those ranges and mountains, the highway travels the trail for a goodly distance on into Washington County. The name of the trail is called “Trail of the Lonesome Pine.”; Not certain why the Indians named it such, but can tell you that I did not see any pines in the area. Syth County lies to the north and east of Washington County. The hills become much more gentle in Syth. The Holston River and its forks are actually a goodly distance from Abingdon. I estimate a 20 minute drive by car, and most of the drive being on an interstate. The Maiden Burying Ground is located next to a branch of the holston River. The present name of the cemetery is the River Bend Cemetery. Maidens’ and tow or three other families are presently buried there. Thomas Wolsey’s concrete stone is the only one in that particular part or section of the cemetery. Tehre is green grass all abou, no trees remain in that particular section of the cemetery at the present time. The cemeters is well kept and the grass is neatly cut. It is likely that other Wolseys are buried there, however Thomas has the only stone-and there is no other trace or known location of graves in that section of the cemetery. There are no rocks or markers or foot stones in that particular section of the cemetery. Just his concrete block stone is all that remains. The stone is well carved and the letters are deep, the appearance of the letters, looks like stones carved by machine today. The stone says: “Rev. T.W. Wolsey, a pioneer Baptist minister, Died 1794.”
It happened that I met Mr Julius Brittion and his wife. Mr Brittion is presently in his early 60’s. His father William (Billy) N. Britton placed the stone on Thomas’s grave. He knew where Thomas was buried. Apparently there was a rock or some type of marker there. “
The St. Clari Bottoms Baptist Church (now a Primitive Church) is located some 2 ½ to 3 miles from the cemetery. The church is in a beautiful setting. It is in excellent condition and I am certain it has been built onto and expanded. It is well constructed. Beside the church is a picnic area with an enclosed wooden top over the many tables. Looked like the perfect place to eat wwetermelon. In front and just to the right of the church (facing the church) is a huge hard maple tree. It was in perfect condition. The trunk looked as if it could have been 10 to 11 feet wide. It is very wide at the bottom. The roots bulge from the sides of the tree on into the ground. I feel this tree may have been there when Thomas Wolsey was living. Both the cemetery and church are presently in Smyth County, Virginia;”
The following information on our Rev. Thomas Woolsey can be found in the book: “Thomas Wolsey, All But Forgotten is The Man Who Brought First Church To Holston -Clinch Valleys” by Gordon Aronhime. (The book is not found in the FHLC);
“Each Sunday morning in every hamlet and city and town along the Clinch and Holston thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children gather to go to church. The buildings they attend are built of brick, of log, of frame; some are large and some are small, but, of the countless thousands who attend these churches, only the tiniest handful—perhaps a dozen persons can tell you the name of the first minister to settle in our region and bring his message to the people. To most, the name of Thomas Wolsey would be meaningless.
This man lies in a grave in the River Bend Cemetery in Smyth county, along the South Fork of the holston River. His grave was unmarked for over 150 years. There is now a plain, modern stone abee it. The inscription merely says: “Rev. T.W. Wolsey-A pioneer Baptist Minister: Died in 1794. “ There is nothing more written upon the stone.
Yet, in spite of the indifference of an ungrageful area, this is the man who preached the first ermons, held the first Sunday Schools, the first funerals, and performed the first marriages in the holston-Clinch region. He was in the area about three years prior to the coming of the Rev. Charles Cummings, whom Presbyterians long thought he was the first minister living in our area.
It is apity that old Thomas Wolsey is so forgotten, for he was not merely a “pioneer” Baptist minister but the pioneer minister of our area!
Thanks to the sectarianism of the earlier historians of our day and to the great indifference of man to man, we kow but little about him. He seems to have settled on land very near and possibly including his final resting place, in 1770 or 1771. Though we approximately when he moved to the frontier settlements along the Holston, we do not know from whence he came. It is reasonably sure, however, he did not come from Augusta County, as the Valley of Birginia was then denominated.
His wife was Sarah, or, as she is called in his will, “Sary”. We know they had (at least) the following children, given without knowledge of order of birth: George, John, Richard, Stephen, Thomas Jr. and the “wicked Zephaniah. Just how Zephaniah was “wicked” is certainly not clear, but he was in disfavor with his stern father, as is shown by the Rev. Thomas’ will. In that remarkable document, he was given five shillings-in other words, cut off with a dollar—while not one of the other children are mentioned. From the little we know of this very early and energetic family, it would seem Zephaniah had Tory leanings—which must have been gall and wormwood to his father who was a militant apostle of liberty. In the early county records in Abington, there is an entry in which Zephaniah supported Francis Hopkins and his brother William.
The Hopkins brothers were noted Tories. Francis promised flashy clothes and high position to all willing to back him. He was captured, put in prison in the old fort of William Cocks, about the present location of the Spring Creek Church on U.S. LL. Hopkins escaped from there, and later, was ummmarily hanged by Genera William Campbell. Zephaniah lost his money put up for the good conduct of the Hopkins boys.
Old Thomas’ Patriotism was such that there is evidence to lean one to believe that he went with the troops to king’s Mountain in 1780. When Col. Arthur Campbell, fired up with seemly success the so –called “State of Franklin.” Tried to get the Commonwealth of Virginia to cede territory for a new mountain state, Rev. Thomas was one of his warmest supporters. This project had about the same fate as Zephaniah’s Tories. For the new state was summarily dispatched with, figuratively, a rope around its neck.
When Thomas Wolsey sesttled on the south fork of the Holston not far from the present grave, he built his home in the neighborhood of a group of hardy pioneer Baptists. These included the Pierces and Wolseys, who took up land independently and jointly, as well as the Holliotts, Coles, Wheelers, Thomases, and Bishops; The land of these early settlers lay around a mignificant tract of 996 acres, known then and still called Sinclair’s Bottom. This great tract had been patented by Charles Sinclair on 3 Aug 1753 and had lived on it until the French and Indian War massacres of 1755 drove him out.
The land around Sinclair’s Grant was the property of the speculative Loyal Company. From the Loyal company Thomas Wolsey bought a tract of nearly a square mile, 613 acres. On the edge of the tract, a Baptist Meeting house was erected. The date of the survey for this 613 acres to Wolsey is February 23, 1775 in the Fiscastle records, but the meeting house, of course, had existed before this.
It may well be that this was the first Church erected in the entire region of the Holston and Clinch. Regardless of this, it is certainly one of the three colonial churches built before the Revolution in Southwesteren Virginia-the other two being the Glade Spring and Abingdon Presbyterian churches.
Later on, Thomas Wolsey moved from the portion of land on which the Meeting house stood and sold that section to Jospeh Cole, the wicked Zephanian being one of the witnesses to the deed. Still later, joseph Cole deeded one acre and 100 poles of land to the trustees and congregation of the Baptist Church. Oddly enough, no name is given to the church, but is referred to in the deed as “Congregational and Meeting house formerly know by Sinclair’s Bottom.”
The little church still stands, and it is one of the most beautiful of our old churches. When the little brick building now on this spot was ereted is not kown, but it must have been at 150 years ago, and is most likely one of the very earliest brick structures in the region. In front is a gigantic oak that three men with out-stretched arms can scarcely circle. In the rear of the church, in the graveyard is a splendid white pine that is worth the trip up the South Fork to behold. The stones in the cemetery date back to one for old oseph Cole himself, who was born in 1733 and died in 1806. Many of the older graves are unmarked.
The earlest marriage of which we have a record in our region was performed by Thomas Wolsey. This was not, of course, the first he performed, but just the first of which we have a record. This was in March of 1773, six months before the Reverend Cummings moved to near Abingdon to live. This was a brilliant wedding of its day. Margaret, daughter of Colonel ohn Buchanna, was married to Joseph Drake at the famed Townhouse in Chilhowie, home of the bride’s cousin James Thompson. Since there was no Lilian Childress to write it up, a brief account must be given to the guests. Present were Thompson (later son-in-law of General Shelby), a sister of the bride and a brother of the groom who later married each other, and the two sisters of General William Campbell. What this marriage had in brilliance, it lacked in durability, for Drake, a most disagreesble troublemaker to the settlers moved to Kentucky in 1778 and was killed by the Indians.
Thomas Wolseys will is probably the shortest on record in Abingdon. “Feb 26, 1794, I Thomas Woolsey (it is spelled both ways in the will) of Washington County and State of Virginia lise very low and dus not think he will live long. I do in the name of God make this my last Will and Testament. I leve my wife Sary Wolsey, allthat I have but Sevenior (phonetic for the “wicked’ Zephaniah) Wolsey five shillings. I do acknolege this to be my last Will and Testament Thomas Woolsey.”
The ‘lise very low” portion of the will must have been correct, for old Thomas did not sign the will, although he could write, and the document was probated in December, 1794.how “Sary” lived and where she is buried is not certain.
This, then, was the man who first brought the organized church into the Holston and Clinch. He lived and died and has been forgotten among the people of our area. The section in which Wolsey lived and died is one of the most quietly beautiful on the Holston River. (To get to the little brick church he founded, take State 91 out of Damascus to the village of Lodi. There, turn off to the right and follow 762 up to the brick Church in Sinclair’s Bottom that is a monument to our first minister.
After you have seen the church and its great white pine, Route 762 will take you back into Chilhowie. The trip between Sinclairs Bottom and Chilhowie passes through the Bonham apple orchard which are quite a sight in the spring when the blossoms are out.
Those who take this trip will have seen scenery they will not soon forgoten, one of the earliest churches we have, and perhaps, a glimpse into what was done by the most pioneer of our ministers-Reverend Thomas Woolsey.”
My Grandfather was a minister of the gospel and I have every reason to believe that he taught the gospel & did the very best he could with the limited light and knowledge that he had. He is in a place of perfect Light & Knowledge now and my prayer is that he has accepted the temple ordinances that are accomplished for him and that his knowledge of the fullness of the gospel has increased; I would like to dedicate this poem to him and to each of us, his progenitors, of whom may one day read this brief chronology of the long & laborious life of Reverend Thomas Woolsey;
BUILDING FOR ETERNITY
We are building in sorrow or joy
A temple the world may not see,
Which time cannot mar nor destroy;
We build for eternity.
Every thought that we’ve ever had
Its own little place has filled;
Ev’ry deed we have done, good or bad,
Is a stone in the temple we build.
Ev’ry word that so lightly falls,
Giving some heart joy or pain,
Will shine in our temple walls,
O ever its beauty stain.
Are you building for God alone-
Are you building in faith and love
A temple the Father will own
In the city of light above?
With the meager facts that I have found and received from various sources, I have endeavored to write a Chronological History of my grandfather; The Chronology is as follows;
1719 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Rev) Thomas Woolsey B: about 1719
(Rev) Thomas & Sarah (Pierce?) M: about 1738
1738 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
Reverend Thomas Woolsey & Sarah (Pierce ?) M: about 1728
“Rev. Thomas Woolsey was born at Bedford, a twon of quaint old buildings and cemeteries, located in Westchester County, New york, where it is thought he married his wife, Sarah, as she is designataed in her husbands will. The supposition has been made that the surname was Pierce, the only reason for this supposition being that John Pierce & wife Sarah were associated with Rev. Thomas in buying and selling various tracts of land.”
Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted);
It is not with certainty that I list the name of Sarah Pierce as wife & mother of my grandfather’s children. His wife was called Sary in his will. Whether “Sary’s” surname is actually Pierce, I do not know at this writing. His wife is called Sarah Pierce on the IGI File of the church and is sealed as such to Rev. Thomas & his children. I believe the supposition that her name was Pierce did indeed come from the land records in Washington County, and I have never found another document to suggest that Rev. Thomas married Sarah Pierce.
1739 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Rev. Thomas Woolsey & Sarah (Pierce?)
Mary Woolsey C: 7 January 1739
Mary D: Before 1820, Washington, Virginia
Mary & Jonathan Dean M: about 1765 New York
Is this Mary a daughter of Rev. Thomas? Actually, there is no substantial proof that Mary is a daughter of Rev. Thomas. This is what we know and what has prompted me to add her to his family:
This prompting came from W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted); I found his paper on “Descendanats of Thomas Woolsey (1719-1794): He says: “There is a Mary Woolsey, baptized in the Huntington, Long Island, Presby. Church Records 4 June 1732, daughter of John Woolsey & Mary Sammis, who were married in that church 15 December 1730 and joined the church that some day. This Mary Woolsey could not have married Jonathan Dean, as He and Mary Woolsey were having children in the 1780’s. (I don’t know who Debbie is) Debbie thinks that the Mary who married Jonathan Dean is the d/o of Rev. Thomas & Sarah because Johnathan Dean was living next to Rev. Thomas & Sarah in Washington Co, Va.”;
I agree with Debbie and have added Mary to this family until proven otherwise!
1741 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Reverend Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce)
Zephaniah or Woolsey B: about 1741
I have estimated the placement of Zephaniah in Rev. Thomas’s family along with the birth date of 1740.
The wife of Zephaniah is not known at this writing, but he had a son named Zephaniah born about 1786 in Washington Co. Virginia;
Source: Will of father Thomas Woolsey made 26 February 1794: “I leve my wife Sary Wolsey all that I have but Sevenior (Phonetic for Zephaniah) Wolsey five shillings”
1743 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Reverend Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce)
Priscilla Woolsey B: about 1743
Priscilla & John Woolsey III M: 20 Nov 1761 Marlborough, Ulster, New York,
Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted): “Was Priscilla Woolsey a d/o of Rev. Thomas & Sarah? W. Herbet Wood, concluded there was enough evidence to include her in Rev. Thomas’ family. Priscilla Woolsey married a distant cousin, John Woolsey III as his first wife. From the John Woolsey Bible Records: “John Woolsey B: 15 Oct 1737 married Priscilla on 20 Nov 1761. This doesn’t tell who Priscilla’s parents were, but she would have had to be born about 1740 to be md in 1761, and in my data base, I only have one Mary born in that time period, the possible d/o Rev. Thomas & Sarah.”
John Woolsey II is the son of John Woolsey II & Mary Samis.
1745 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Reverend Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce)
Simon Woolsey B: about 1745
A Simeon Woolsey is found in the 1810 Randolph Co. Illinois Census: pg: 17; Census 0010-00100. This census indicated that it is not this Simeon; Who is it?
Nothing more is known of Simon
1747 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Reverend Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce)
David Woolsey B: about 1747
A David Woolsey & Elizabeth Butler was M: 3 Aug 1801 in Franklin Co. Virginia;
A David Woolsey can be found in 1830 Randolph Co. Illinois census; Nothing more is known of David.
1748/49 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Reverend Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce)
*Richard Woolsey B: about 1748/49
Richard & Nancy Plumsted M: about 1769
Richard D: after 14 Sept.1823
Richard is my progenitor in this family;
(For data on Richard Woolsey & Nancy Plumsted see my Family Group Sheet & my Chronology for Richard Woolsey.)
1751 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Reverend Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce)
George Woolsey B: about 1751
George & Mary Hopkins M: about 1770 in New York:
The Mary Hopkins Family is said to be of Rhode Island. She may be related to our Nancy Hopkins who M: John (Shepherd) Schaeffer. Perhaps our Nancy Hopkins family can be found in Rhode Island?
A note about Mary Hopkins, daughter-in-law of Rev. Thomas; Mary’s father, Francis Hopkins was a notorious Tory. (He was hanged in Washington Co. Virginia for his Tory affiliations!;) He was in Ulster Co. New York before he went to Virginia;
This is proven by the following information I received form W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted): In which he found Francis Hopkins attending a meeting At Newburg (which included Marlborough (Ulster, New York) at Nehemiah Dentons’ on first Tuesday in April 1770. (Others of our Woolsey family were also in attendance)..and then Francis Hopkins appears in Washington Co. Virginia; with our Woolseys! Perhaps they all came west together after the Revolution & after 1771 when Rev. Woolsey appears in Washington Co.;
(I believe even more strongly that Mary Hopkins & Nancy Hopkins of whom married John (Shepherd) Schaeffer are on the same Hopkins line.)
31 August 1781: George Woolsey (son of Rev. Thomas), owned land on the Middle Fork of the Holston River; The Hopkins family also owned land here in the same time frame. Rev. Thomas Woolsey & Zephaniah Woolsey all owned land here in the same time frame.
1753 BRDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Reverend Thomas Woolsey & (Sarah ?) Pierce)
Abraham Woolsey B: about 1753
Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted).
1755 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Reverend Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce)
William Woolsey 2nd B: about 1755
William M: Sarah Woolsey?
William is said to have D: in Bedford, Westchester, N.Y, but I wonder abouthis place of death. A William b: 1740-D; Mar 1771; Served in Westchester Co Militia 1763 & is burried Old Bedford Ceetary. Could he be this William?
Source: Bedford Patriarchs; W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted);
1757 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Rev. Thomas Woolsey & Sarah (Pierce?)
Sarah Woolsey B: about 1757
Sarah & John Pierce M: about 1777
Source 1: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted)
It makes sense to me that the land records involving John Pierce & Sarah his wife & Thomas Woolsey & Sarah his wife is for Reverend Woolseys daughter Sarah, rather than his wife’Sarah’s father!
No more is known of Sarah.
1760 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Rev. Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce)
Thomas Woolsey B: 2 Oct 1760 Bedford, Westchester, New York
Thomas D: 6 April 1794
Thomas & Phoebe Gilbert M: 1779 Radford, Washington, Virginia;
I believe this son Thomas Was also a Baptist minister; There are other marriages being peformed in Washington Co. Virginia after the death of his father & also performed by a Reverend Thomas Woolsey of whom I believe is this son who was named after his father & also became a Baptist minister;
(Rev) Thomas Woolsey & Sarah (Pierce ?)) family removed to Marlborough, Ulster, New York around 1761 because Pricilla Woolsey, dau. of (Rev) Thomas & her cousin John Woolsey (of Marlborough) are married there! Also, Richard Woolsey & Nancy Plumsted are said to have married there along with George Woolsey & Mary Hopkins. All are sons of Rev. Woolsey;
1761 MARLBOROUGH, ULSTER, NEW YORK:
(Dau.) 20 Nov 1761: Priscilla Woolsey & John Woolsey III are married.
Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted).
John Woolsey III is son of John Woolsey II & Mary Samis.
1762 MARLBOROUGH, ULSTER, NEW YORK:
(Child of Rev. Thomas Woolsey & (Sarah ?) Pierce)
Lucinda Woolsey B: about 1762
Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted).:
1763 MARLBOROUGH, ULSTER, NEW YORK:
8 August 1763: A list of subscribers to build a house of worship; John Woolsey, Benjamine Woolsey, Reverand Thomas Woolsey & Richard Woolsey all sign the list;
Source: Film: 0934825: “History of Ulster County, New York; The Index is Book: 974.734 H2ww;
I believe these are all sons of Richard Woolsey & Sarah Fowler;
1765 MARLBOROUGH, ULSTER, NEW YORK:
(Dau.) Mary Woolsey & Jonathan Dean M: about 1765
Jonathan is son of Jedediah and Ariontyea-----? Dean) They are said to have been neighbors of our Reverend Thomas in Washington Virginia! (I have a question-were the Deans ever in Bedford, Westchester, New York?)
1769 MARLBOROUGH, ULSTER, NEW YORK:
(Son)*Richard Woolsey & Nancy Plumsted M: about 1769
The Marriage place of Ulster Co. New York makes good sense since I believe that Nancy Plumstead’s family are of Ulster Co. NY; (Plumsted families are documented as being in Ulster Co. in the right time frame to be the family of our Nancy Plumsted.)
1769 MARLBOROUGH, ULSTER, NEW YORK:
(Son) George Woolsey & Mary Hopkins M: about 1769
Ancestral File states marriage place as Bedford, Westchester, NY; This marriage place may not be correct; Ofcoarse, the marriage date is estimated;
Add www data of Francis Hopkisn being in NY hereIn about 1771 Our Thomas Woolsey & Sarah Pierce family removes to Fincastle, Virginia. Fincastle was later called Washington Co. (1774)
“Old Parson Woolsey was in the Holston Mills vicinity in the early seventies and the Houstons, Bohams, Pierces, and Gollehons were pioneers further down the South Fork”
“About Holston Mills you may yet hear the name of Thomas W. Woolsey, He owned land probably now owned by the Dutton family, and was a worthy man. The country surveuor says this land is one of the oldest surveys in that section. There appears strong reason to think he helped to start, if not to organize, St Clair’s Botom Church. There are several Baptist churches in Smyth County whose organization antedates the formation of the county.”
Source: Book: 975.5123 H2w: Smyth County History And Traditions; pg: 30
1771 SINCLAIR BOTTOM, FINCASTLE, VIRGINIA;
“Thomas Woolsey settled on a piece of land where later the original meeting house would be built;”
Source: Book: 975.5123 h2w: Smyth Co. istory & Traditions;
“In 1772 there was reveived into the church by letters Joshua Lewis, from New Valley Church; David Pergrin and wife Mary, from Great Valley Church, Pa.; and Thomas Woolsey, from a church in New York Government, and now ordained for the Ministry by Order of this Church, by the Rev. Mr. Jon, Alderson.”
Source: Virginia Valley Records: (Largly a source book of genealogical and historical materials, compiled from the public records of Rockingham County, Wythe County, Montgomert County, and other counties of Virginia;)
I have found a number of marriagae that Reverend Thomas Woolsey officiated at and I have chosen to add them to his chronology; Although the reading of the marriages may seem to be reduntitory to us, they were a part of his life’s ministry.
I am indebted to Wilford W. Whitaker W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted), for telling me about all the marriages he found for Rev. Thomas Woolsy; His telling me prombted me to find the original sources and to list them in this chronology;
1772 WASHINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA:
(Dau.) Priscilla (Woolsey) Woolsey D: 1772
1773 WASHINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA:
Reverend Woolsey presided at the marriage of Joseph Drake & Margaret Buchanan;
1774 WASHINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA:
3 May 1774: Court case: Ross & Trigg verses Francis Whitney & Thomas Woolsey.
Source: Annals of Southwest Virginia: Book: 975.5 H2sl;
In 1774 Rev. Thomas owned 300 acres of land on the Middle Fork of the Holston River;
1775 WASHINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA:
Thomas Woolsey owned 612 acres of land, a part of the Loyd Co. Tract in 1776. The land is located on the South Fork of the Holsten River.
Source: Fincastle Plot Book A: Book: 976. 9Hacc Vol. 1.
His uncle, Jonathan Woolsey, is said to have died in Washington Co. Va. about 1782.
1777 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
(Dau.) Sarah Woolsey & John Pierce M: about 1777
Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted).
1779 WASHINGTON, COUNTY VIRGINIA:
17 June 1779: Court held for Washington County Virginia:
Bates vs Woolsey;
19 Aug 1779: Richard Woolsey, John Pierce, & Zephania Woolsey is allowed 3 days attendance for the suit against Bates:
Richard & Zephania Woolsey are sons of Reverend Thomas Woolsey. John Pierce could be either father or brother to Thomas Woolsey’s wife Sarah; Or, more likely, the husband of his daughter Sarah!
Source: Annals of Soutwest Virginia: Book: 975.5 H2sl
(Son) Thomas Woolsey & Phoebe Gilbert M: about 1779
1780 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
“Previously to the year 1781, it seems that the ministers of the dissenting churches were not authorized by law to perform the rites of matrimony between any of the citizens of the Commonwealth and if they did so, considerable doubt was expressed as to the legality of the marriage. It was necessary that the marriage ceremony, to be legal, should be performed by a minister of the Church of England, and that minister, in this portion of Virginia, was the Rev. Adam Smyth, who lived in Botetourt Co., Virginia.”
“The General Assembly of Virginia at the October Session, 1780 enacted a law declaring what should be considered a lawful marriage; By this act it was decided that it sould be lawful for any minister of any congregation to perform marriages. At this time, Reverend Thomas Woolsey, Baptist Minister was granted authority to perform lawful marriages.
By the act in question it was declared that it should be lawful for any minister of any congregation to celebrate the rite of matrimony according to the usage of the congregation to which the parties to be married respectively belonged and declared such marriages, as well as those theretofore celebrated to be good and valid in law. But the act provided that no person should be married without lawful license first ahd or thrice publication of bans in the respective congregations in which the parties to be married severally resided, and the fee of the minister was fixed at twenty-five pounds of tobacco, and no more. The minister was required to make a certificate of the fact of marriage and return it to the court, there to be cecorded by the clerk.
This same act provided that the Courts of the different cities shall, and are hereby authorized, on recommendation of the elders of the several religious sets, to grant license to dissenting ministers of the gospel, not exceeding the number of four of each sect in any one county, to join together in holy matrimony, any persons within their counties only, which license shall be signed by the judge or elder magistrate under his hand and seal. Permit to this act, the following ministers of dissenting congregations were granted license in this county; Reverent Thomas Woolsey, a Baptist minister’s name was on this list; “
Source: Book: 975.5 H2sl: Annals of Southwest Virginia 1746-1786, Washington County, 1777-1870; Book: 975.5 42SLP (1966);
In the fall of 1780 it is suggested that my grandfather accompanied the troops on their way to the Battle of Kings Mountain. This Battle was fought against the Torey’s; They were a Rebel Group who advocated or actively supported continued allegiance to Great Britian; (Reverend Woolsey’s son George married Mary Hopkins who had a brother Francis Hopkins who was an active member of the notorious Tory movement and met a terrible death; He was hung by an angry group of men from Washington county;)
He, my grandfather, would have been about sixth-one years old at the time of the Battle of Kings Mountain, and nothing has been found that would show whether the Thomas on this march was him or his son Thomas. I frankly believe that it was his son Thomas;
1781 WASHINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA:
15 May 1781: At a Court held for Washington Co. Virginia:
"Ordered that Rev. Thomas Wolsey a regular Baptist Minister as certified by Jonathan Biship, John Pierce & Hellens Dungins have licence to Solemnize the Rights of Matrimony according to law."
Source: Annals of Southwest Virginia: Book: 975.5 H2sl; “History of Southwest Virginia, 1746-1786; Washington County, 1777-1870; Book: 975.5 42SLP (1966)
Reverend Thomas was ordained to the ministry in a little church at Linville Creek, near Chilhowie, in Sept. 1773.
Source; W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted).
I believe John Pierce mentioned in the above document may be the husband of daughter Sarah if she did indeed mary John Pierce-and I now think that the daughter married John Pierce;
14 August 1781: Thomas Woolsey had 300 acres of land on the South Fork of the Holston River surveyed in his name;
30 August 1781: Thomas Woolsey had 400 acres of land surveyed in his name; The land is on the South Fork of the Holston River;
Thomas Woolsey, assignee of Irathias Wall, assignee of Elias McCoy…300 acres on the waters of the Middle Fork of Holstein, the east side 124 acres of which was conveyed for Elias McCoy, 11 january 1774, includes improvements, by actual settlement made in 1774: Assigned to Jonathan Dean.
(It is believed his daughter Mary married Jonathan Dean.)
(31 August 1781: His son George had 300 acres surveyed in his name on the Middle Fork of the Holston River;
Source: Book: 975.5123 H2w: Smyth County History & Traditions
“Some of the land he acquired was up the river from Abingdon”;
Source; W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted);
In 1782 Thomas' father, Richard, died in Bedford, Westchester, N.Y.; His brother Jonathan died here in Washington Co. Virginia. My grandfather & his brother Jonathan are the only two of my grandfaher’s family, to my knowledge, that migrated to Virginia.
1782 WASHINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA:
17 December 1782: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Francis Arbough & Mattony Hennegas;
17 May 1782: Jonathan Dean Jr, assignee of Thomas Woolsey…241 acres…commissioners Certificate..on the waters of the middle and south forks of Holstein River…Beginning corner with Thomas Woolsey, Sr. land…corner with Jonathan Dean…on Sampson Coles land…corner with Richard Higins line…corner to George Woolsey…with George Woolsey then with Joseph Cole & Jonathan Dean:
12 June 1782: Thomas Woolsey had 400 acres of land surveyed in his name; The land is on the South Fork of the Holston River;
Source: Book: 975.5123 H2w: Smyth County History & Traditions
1783 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
17 June 1783: Thomas Woolsey viewed the estate of Hugh Cole.
Source: Book: 975.5 H2sl: Annals of Southwest Virginia;
1785 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
22 April 1785: "Joseph Cole. His estate to his wife, Freelove, his son Sampson, his daughter, Elizabeth, and his grandson Joseph Cole. Executor: Joseph Cole.
Witnsses: Thomas Woolsey, John Pearce;
John Pearce is probably the husband of daughter Sarah.
Joseph Cole is the family line of Clarissa Cole, who married Richard Woolsey, son of Joseph Woolsey & Abigail Shaffer; (I believe Clarissa to be a plural wife to Richard; She was his (3) wife.
Source: Washington Co. Virginia, Will Book 1, 1777-1792.
*18 Aug 1785: Land was Surveyed for Thomas Woolsey, Richard Woolsey & John Pierce, three hundred acres of land in Washington County by virture of a Virginia Land Office Treasury Warrant; The Land is lying on the south fork of the Holston River & “joing the land the said Thomas Woolsey lives on with a (Unlegible)---of the same beginning at a Poplar corner between John Pierce & Woolsey”;
(James Wheelers land is also mentioned. Possible sisters of Nancy Plumsted married into a Wheeler family) I have determined from this record that John Pierce & Thomas Woolsey were neighbors and that the John Pierce mentioned could (& probably is) married to his daughter Sarah; Thomas the father and his two children are having land surveyed together. Makes sense to me.
I am indebted to Wilford W. Whitaker at W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted) for telling me of all the marriages Thomas Woolsey performed as a minister of the gospel. I was then able to find the sources and I have chosen to list each marriage in this chronology.
2 September 1785: Reverend Thomas Woolsey performs a marriage for John Thomas & Elizabeth Gross
19 November 1785: Reverend Thomas Woolsey performs a marriage for William Belsher & Hannah Markum;
22 December 1785: Reverend Thomas Woolsey performs a marriage for Carles Carroll & Agness Gibson
29 December 1785: Reverend Woolsey peerfroms a marriage for Jacob Beck & Sarah Lloyd;
1786 HALIFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA:
(Son) Thomas & (1) Dianna M: 18 April 1786
This marriage is not proven to be for his son Thomas;
1786 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
14 March 1786: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Elias Woolman & Esther Raffery;
20 June 1785: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for William Alexander & Barbra Rollen;
(Date uncertain) Reverend Woolsey perfors a marriage for James Bates & Mary Murphy;
10 August 1786; Revernd Thomas Woolsey performs a marriage for James Belsher & Fanny Lee;
22 August 1786: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for William Snodgrass & Sarah Long
26 December 1786: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Thomas Canberry & Catharine Abrian;
1786: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Stephen Woolsey & Catherine Wilkinson;
1787 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA: Tax List
(Rev) Thomas Woolsey is listed: He has 4 horses & 8 head of cattle; Self & no other males are listed;
Richard Woolsey is lsited: He has 3 horses & 5 head of cattle; Self & not other males are listed;
Zephaniah Woolsey is listed: He has 1 horse & 6 head of cattle; Self & 1 male 16-21;
George Woolsey is listed: Washington Co. Virginia;
George is also listed 1787 Madison Co. Kentuky Tax list. Because of the dates, this is possible.
Nehemiah Pierce is aso listed; (Is he a brother to Sarah?)
Source: Washington co. Personal Property Tax 1787-list "B"
10 May 1787: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for John Widner & Mary Pauses
19 May 1787: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Edward Austin & Sarah Ford;
5 July 1787: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Macom Wjitney & Rachel Debush
26 July 1786: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Joshua Walker & Elizabeth Burde
2 Aug. 1787: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for James Smith & Hannah parker
23 Aug. 1787: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Elisha Debush & Margaret Stuart;
7 Sept. 1787: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Edward Smith & Hannah Crabtree
15 Sept. 1786: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriagae for Joseph Snodgrass & Anne hutlon
27 Sept. 1787: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Martha Anderson & Turner Lee;
1788 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
25 March 1788: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Charles Stigler & Elizabeth Widner
14 June 1788: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for Hezekiah Clem & Mary Smith
18 October 1788: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage forNicholas Talbott & Jane Bates;
1789 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
2 April 1789: Reverend Woolsey performs a marriage for James Smith & Catherine Snodgrass
1790 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA: Census
Thomas Woolsey is not found?
1790 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
17 June 1790: (Pg: 362 Thomas Woolsey & Sarah his wife of Washington Virginia, sell land to Nathaniel Hull, county of Ulster, state of New York for 130 pounds. The land consists of 300 acres on the waters of the South Fork of the Holston River. (Who is Nathanial Hull?)(possible husband of Lucinda-who are now removing to Virginia?)
Witnesses: James Wheeler, William Tilson, Recorded 20 Jan 1795.
Sources: Film: 0034364 Pg: 281: Deeds, 1778-1887; wills, 1811-1813, general Index to deeds of Washington Co. Virginia –Virginia Co. Court (Washington Co.); Land Records Book 1; Annals of Southwest Virginia; Book: 975.5 H2sl
1792 WASHINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA:
20 November 1792: Thomas Woolsey and Sarah his wife sell land to Joseph Cole for 10 pounds. 112 acres lying in Washington Co. Virginia on the north side of the South Fork of the Holston River; A part of a tract said Woolsey formerly lived on. (Where does he live now?) Woolsey holds the patient dated: 7 May 1787.
Witnesses: Joseph St. John, Samuel Lewis, Zachariah Woolsey, (son);
Sources: Film: 0034364 pg: 281: Deeds, 1778-1887: Index to deeds of Washington Co. Virginia; Virginia Co. court (Washington Co. Annals Of Southwest Virginia, Book: 975.5 H2sl
5 Dec 1792: This indenture made Between Thomas Woolsey & Sarah his wife, John Pierce & Sarah his wife, of the first part & Richard Woolsey of the 2nd part; both parties are of Washington, Virginia; Parties of first part sell to Richard Woolsey. (wife, Nancy Plumstead); For sum of 10 pounds. A certain tract of land being the same Thomas Woolsey & John Pierce hold by Patent bearing date 5 May 1787. About 300 acres lying in Washington Co. on the waters of the South Fork of the Holston River adjoining the land Thomas Woolsey formerly lived on.
Witneses: Joseph Cole, Samuel Lewis, Zachariah Woolsey (son);
In my opinion, the strong possibility exists and makes sense to me is that The Sarah, wife of John Pierce, is Sarah, the daughter of Reverend Thomas & Sarah! They are selling their portion of the land to Richard Woolsey, brother, and maybe moving elsewhere-maybe Green County Tennessee where brother Thomas lives? Maybe where Reverend Woolsey now lives?
Source: Film: 0034364 pg: 283: Deeds, 1778-1887; wills, 1811-1813, general Index to deeds of Washington Co. Virginia, Virginia County Court (Washington Co.);(Note: Film may be: 0034363)
1794 WASHINGTON COUNTY VIRGINIA:
26 February 1794: The Will of Thomas Woolsey is proved.
The will is very shot and mentions only his wife of whom he calls “Sary” and another person of whom he calls “Sevenier”; (WhichI believe to be Zephaniah)
"I leve my wife Sary Wolsey all that I have but Sevenier Wolsey five shillings." Witnesses: Frederick Ickis, Richard Wolsey, Nancy Wolsey.
Who is Frederick Ickis?
“In a letter, Mrs. G. C. Purdue of Kansas City, Mo., a descendant of Rev. Thomas Woolsey, states, “Evidently this will was written by another as Rev. Thomas was an educated man. I have gone over Records at Abingdon, Va., he had written with a quill pen and they are beautifully done.”
Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted).
Sources: Annals of Southwest Virginia; Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800, compiled by Claton Torrence; Annals of Southwest Virginia; Book: 975.5 H2sl: pg: 1350
Reverend Thomas Woolsey is buried in River Bend Cemetery in Symth County Virginia;
Carved on his Tomb Stone is:
“Thomas W. Woolsey, Reverend;
Pioneer Baptist Minister
B: 1719; Died 1794”
Source: Smyth County Virginia Cemeteries, Volume 1; (He now has a Modern Memorial Stone)
Sarah (Pierce) Woolsey died after 1794 in perhaps in Maiden Springs, Washington, Virginia; Her grave sight has not been found, but she is no doubt buried in one of the ancient cememteries of Washington County; Her tombstone, if still there would have become cracked and perhaps even crumpled as many stones have become through the long years;
1797 GREEN COUNTY TENNESSEE:
(Son) Thomas Woolsey D: 6 April 1797
Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted):
“In the old cememteies in the springtime hyacinths, daffodils, lilies and roses bloom from a carpet of periwinkle entirely covering some of the small abandone cemeteries. There are others overgrown with briars scrubby plants and fallen trees where only by using garden implements could some of the stones be found. From many of the spots found in Washington County the poet Clinton Scollard could have been inspired to write his poem entitled “The Sleeper”; I have chosen to dedicate this lovely poem to my grandmother “Sary”. Of whom I am not certain of her maiden name.
Above the cloistral valley,
Above the druid rill,
There lies a quiet sleeper
Upon a lonely hill.
All the long days of summer
The low winds whisper by,
And the soft voices of the leaves
Makes a murmurous reply.
All the long eves of autumn
The loving shadows mass
Round this sequestered slumbering-place
Beneath the cool hill grass.
All the long nights of winter
The white drifts heap and heap
To form a fleecy coverlet
Above the dreamer’s sleep.
All the long morns of springtime
The tear-drops of the dew
Gleam in the violet’s tender eyes
As if the blossoms knew.
Ah, who would break the rapture
Brooding and sweet and still,
The great peace of the sleeper
Upon the lonely hill!
I know my grandmother is not sleeping as the beautiful poem suggests; I know her spirit is very much alive in our next home beyond the veil. My prayer is that she has been taught & has accepted the gospel teachings there; Her temple work has been accomplished in her behalf. She has been sealed as Sarah Pierce.
The following records are for the children of Reverend Thomas & “Sary”, his wife:
1817 EDMONDSON,, KENTUCKY:
(Son) George Woolsey D: About 1817
Source: IGI File; Ancestral File;
-1820 WASHINGTON COUNTY NEW YORK:
(Dau.) Mary (Woolsey) Dean D: before 1820
“Mary’s husband died 21 March 1820, Washington Co. Virginia and is buried at Scratch Gravel, Smyth, Virginia; Source: W_W@emailaddress.com (omitted);
+1823 MERCER COUNTY, KENTUCKY:
(Son) It is believed that his son Richard Woolsey, of whom married Nancy Plumsted, died in Mercer County, Kentucky and after he applied for his Rev. War pension there on 14 September 1823; No death date has been found in Mercer County for this son.
Sources; Revolution: Schedule-Disctric of Kentucky-Jessamine Cicuit Ct. & County; Wilford W. Whitaker: email@example.com; (Sent me a copy of the application)
1839 BEDFORD, WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK:
(Son) William Woolsey D: about 1839
1856 HOPKINSVILLE, CHRISTIAN, KENTUCKY:
(Son) Thomas Woolsey D: 12 May 1856
(This dats is probably not correct for Reverend Woolsey’s son Thomas Woolsey)
He, Thomas Woolsey, was also a Baptist Minister and performing marriages in Washington County Virginia after the death of his father in 1794! This is proven by the Washington County Marriage Records;
No more is known of Reverend Thomas Woolsey’s family at this writing.