Census:  Males<10M10<16M26-45F<10F10<16F26<45F 45+
1       013211            

Bible:Keiser     Rees ThomasMargaret    NancyCatherine   Thomas or
b. 1803        b. 1797         Catherine's
Sophia   mother?
b. 1806
b. 1807
b. 1809.    
Thomas Sawyers.
First Families of Ohio, 1803 Gallia
James Sawyers, I

b. 1722
possibly County Tyrone, Ireland T2
m. 1742-1748

Rachel Ball

b. abt. 1728

David Hays

James Sawyers, II

d. prior to Nov. 18,  1783 T1

Hannah Hays
Thomas Sawyers

b. May 12, 1772
Augusta County, VA
m. January 5, 1797
Botetourt County, VA
d. March 26, 1863
Gallia County, OH
buried Mt. Zion Cemetery
Green Twp., Gallia County, OH

Margaret Rees


d. April 30, 1805
probably OH
Footnotes starting with the letter "T " mean they're in the family tree above.  ALL FOOTNOTES ARE AT ThosSawyer_footnotes

Thomas Sawyers was born May the 12th day 1772 in the State of Virginia, Augusty [sic] County. 1  His father was James Sawyers who passed away when Thomas was about 11 years old, his will was proved November 18, 1783.  James lists his heirs as his "dearly and well-beloved Hannah Sawyers, wife," his sons were: David and George Washington; his daughters were: Ann, Rebeckah, Martha and Rachel.  He also included a sister Rebecca.  One of the executors of his will was Wm. Crawford. 2  A "William Crawford" was appointed guardian of Thomas Sawyers orphan of James Sawyers on November 18, 1783. 3

Thomas' grandfather James died sometime after January 19 and June 15, 1790 as his will was written on the former and probated on the latter. 4

Rebeckah Archer (sister of James I) passed away, her will was proved December 15, 1790.  James did mention a Mrs. Archer, and this Rebeckah Archer includes in her will: the following Sawyers children:  Anne, Rebecca, Martha, Rachel, Thomas, David and George, and a brother-in-law William Blair. 5 

Thomas apparently married a Catherine Allison, a spinster daughter of Robert Allison.  That marriage took place June 5, 1792. 6 I have not yet found any known issue resulting from this union, and I also have not yet found a death date for Catherine.

"Thomas Sawyers and Margaret Rees was married January the 5th in the year of our Lord, 1797, in Botetourt County, Virginia. 7  Their children were as follows:

1.  Nancy Sawyers was born November the 14th in the year of our Lord, 1797. 1  Based upon court records from Augusta County, VA that state that Thomas "is about to remove out of the State, 28th September, 1801" 8  and the 1850 census, Nancy was born in Virginia.

2.  Rees Sawyers was born December the 10th in the year of our Loard[sic], 1798. 1  Although the 1850 census 9 states that Rees was born in Tennesseee, both the court records 6 and the 1860 census 10 indicate that he was most likely born in Virginia.

3.  Sampson Sawyers  was born January the 31st, 1800, and lived 20 months and died. 1

Thomas Sawyers appears in the 1800 VA taxes for Augusta County along with Hannah (his mother), and David (his brother). 11

4.  Keisier[sic] Sawyers   was born September the 16th in the year of our Lord, 1801. 1  Keiser was most likely born in Virginia, probably just prior to his family's departure "from the state." 6  In the census he gives his place of birth as Virginia (1850),  Ohio (1860), Virginia again in both 1870 and 80.  I have seen it suggested that he was born in West Virginia (created in 1863).  That is hard to determine since historically WV was VA at the time, so technically he was born in Virginia either way.  Kieser married Sarah Morehouse July 13, 1837. 12

5.  Margaret Sawyers  was born January the 14th in the year of our Lord, 1803. 1  The 1850 census gives her place of birth as Virginia, which I find unlikely due to the Virginia court records mentioned above.  Also Thomas Sawyer erected a cabin in 1803 in Gallia County, Ohio. 13 In the 1860 and 1870 census she lists her place of birth as Ohio.  I believe that Margaret was most probably born in Ohio, and if this is true this would prove both Margaret and her mother, Margaret Rees, in Ohio as early as 1803.  Margaret married James Lawless December 5, 1850, in Gallia County. 14  Margaret died January 23, 1880, and is buried at Fairview (Long) cemetery in Springfield Twp.  She was aged 77 years and 9 days.

When Thomas left Augusta County has been an issue long discussed, however if one goes by the court records then he was "about to remove out of the State" September 28, 1801.  This makes sense as in the days before even the National Road, travel would be difficult, not to mention dangerous for a lady in the 9th month or pregnancy (Keiser was  born Sept. 16th, 1801)"  I wonder if the 'about' meant, as soon as mother and the newborn could travel.  Thomas' intentions were to go to Kentucky, 15  16 but by 1803 he was in Gallia County, Ohio.

"[Springfield] township was laid out and organized June 2, 1812.  About nineteen votes were cast at the first election.  Thomas Sawyer erected a cabin in 1803 and the same year a settlement was begun on section thirty-five" 13

Margaret Sawyers [wife] departed this life April the 30th in the year of our Lord, 1805. 1

Thomas married Cathrine[sic] Lasley on September 3, 1805, in Gallia County, Ohio. 17  From this union were the following children:

6.  Sophia Sawyers was born June the 25th in the year of our Lord, 1806. She married John L. Entsminger on December 22, 1831 by 289.  18

In 1806 Thomas shows up as one of the "listers and appraisers" of Gallia County, Rackoon[sic] Twp.  He continues to show up off and on in the various tax lists, but he fails to appear between 1806 and 1811. 19

7.  Esther Sawyers was born August 24th in the year of our lord, 1807. 1  I did a general search for her Christian name, and age in Gallia County on ancestry.com  and came up with an Esther Futton.  I have not seen that anyone has really said who Esther married, so I looked at Fultons in the Gallia County Marriage Record book and found that a Hettie Sawyer married James Fulton on July 19, 1827, Gallia County Marriages Vol. 1 p. 162.  The Gallia County Genealogical Society has cemeteries online and there is an Esther Fulton buried at Calvary Baptist Church in Raccoon Twp., she died January 8, 1877, aged 69 years, 14[sic] months, 15 days wife of James. 20  I believe the 14 months is a misprint for 4 months in which case Esther Fulton and Esther Sawyers shared the same birthdate August 24, 1807.  Esther and Hettie were interchangeable, or in other words, Esther Sawyers was the Hettie Sawyer who married James Fulton.

I could not find Esther in the 1850 census, but in both the 1860 and the 1870 census she lists her place of birth as Ohio, she died prior to the 1880 census.

8.  Lydia Sawyers was born April the 15th in the year of our Lord, 1809. 1  Lydia gives her place of birth on the 1850 census as Ohio.  Lydia married Samuel R. Bing October 18, 1831, they were married by David Smithers, J.P 21   Lydia died  January 22, 1859 and is buried at Fairview (Long) Cemetery in Springfield Twp., Gallia County.  She was 50 years and 9 months, w/o Samuell[sic]  20

9.  Polly Sawyers was born December the 2nd in the year of our Lord, 1810.  1  Polly gives her place of birth on the 1850 census as Ohio.  Polly married David Glassburn, Jr. June 2, 1831 22  Polly passed away December 26, 1853, age 43 years 24 days, w/o David G. 20

Thomas shows up in Gallia County again in the 1812 chattel record.  He was living in Addison Twp, and had one horse and 4 cattle.  He also had a wolf scalp on December 11, 1812, but he still doesn't own any land.  19

10.  Rebecca Sawyers was born August the 20th in the year of our Lord, 1813. 1  I have been unable to locate Rebecca at this time.

He does not show up in the 1813-14, or 16-17 land records, but that doesn't bother me because there is concrete evidence of him in the county prior to 1817, and the first deed I could find for him in the county is 1817.  In 1817 Thomas purchased land in Springfield Twp., Gallia County.  This is the first evidence of Thomas actually owning land in the county.  In 1818 and 19 he shows up in the chattel records again owning 2 horses and 3 cattle. He shows up again in the 1820 census living in Springfield Twp.  In 1821 Thomas shows up in the chattel records with 3 horses and 4 cattle.   In 1822 he has 2 horses and 5 cattle, and in 1824 he has 2 horses and 9 cattle, and finally in 1825 he has 1 horse and 7 cattle.  He's in Springfield Twp from 1817 through at least1825. 

As I said, Thomas continued to show up off and on in the various tax lists, but he fails to appear between 1806 and 1811.  This has given room for some speculation as to where Thomas was during these 6 years.  It has been suggested by some that he had gone to Tennessee, and this is a possibility, as there is a Thomas Sawyer in the 1810 Rutherford County, Tennessee census.  Neither Hank nor I were able to find him in either ancestry.com or heritage quest, but I was directed to a site that said he was on the census for Rutherford County p. 5 line 23, 23 and sure enough I was able to find him. His name was as clear as day on the original census Thos Sawyers, but ancestry had it indexed as Lawyer.
Early Ohio Census.  1790-1810
One problem that we have is that in 1790 Ohio did not have a census taken, the 1800 and 1810 census records for the state were lost with the exception of Washington County, therefore we cannot state with any scientific certainty that this Thomas Sawyers is the same man who had appeared in Gallia County in 1803.  Slash marks really can't account for anything either, as without names, it's difficult if not impossible to prove that a particular slash referred to a relative or not but they can still prove that the census is worthy of further investigation.  Generally I would probably just dismiss Thomas of Rutherford as one of many Thomas Sawyers and move on.  But there are yet a couple of interesting facts that need investigated.

First, his son Rees.  In the 1850 census (the first to list names, ages and birthplace), Rees is listed as being 52 years old and born in Tennessee.  Huh?  Tennessee?  However, in the 1860 census Rees' place of birth is listed as Virginia.  He passed away in 1869, so there are no further census records to collect information off of.   I'll discuss this more in a few minutes.

Thomas of Rutherford also is a bondsman at a marriage that took place May 31, 1803.  He also was a signer of a petition 24 to make Rutherford a county, the petition was signed on August 10, 1803.  But was he the same Thomas Sawyers as was in Gallia County in 1803, that is the question.  It is possible that Thomas came to Ohio after August of 1803, all Hardesty says is that he built a cabin here in 1803, it doesn't say when.  Of course the question would be easier to answer if there was an 1810 census, but there isn't and all we have to go by are tax records and other documents kept within the counties, and census answers given by his own children.

The only irregularity in all of Thomas' children's census records is Rees.  He showed up in Tazewell County, Illinois in the 1850 census where he is 52 and born in Tennessee, but in the 1860 census his age and birthplace are recorded as being 60 and born in Virginia.  While the 1850 is closer to his actual age, as given in the Bible, I tend to believe the 1860 for his place of birth.  Remember in 1801 Thomas was "about to remove from the state [of Virginia]," and he was living in Virginia in 1797 and shows up on the Augusta County tax records in 1800, so I just really believe that someone made an error in reporting Rees' place of birth.

Of Thomas' first four children, born between Nov. 14, 1797 and September 16, 1801, only the second (Rees) had TN as a birthplace, and Keiser had Ohio, but in the other census or censuses they were both listed as born in Virginia.  Twelve days after Keiser was born it was announced that his father was preparing to move from the state.  Therefore, I believe that all four of them were indeed born in Virginia.

Thomas' other child with Margaret Rees was Margaret born January 14, 1803.  While the 1850 census gives her place of birth as Virginia, the 1860 and 70 both give Ohio.  Thomas built a cabin here in Gallia County in 1803, and I'm betting that Margaret was indeed born in Ohio.  All of Thomas and Catherine's children give their place of birth as Ohio, there is no other place given.

So, is Thomas of Rutherford, Thomas of Gallia?  No, and here's why...

Thomas of Rutherford was supposedly in Rutherford on May 31, 1803 and on August 10, 1803, and he also appears in the 1810 Rutherford County, Tennessee census (enumerated on August 6, 1810) 25.  So far I've shown that his children born between 1803 and 1809 were all born in Ohio, so what of Thomas of Rutherford?  According to the Village Messenger, Fayetteville, TN, a Thomas Sawyers had a letter at the post office on the 31st of March 1828.

Thomas of Gallia married Catherine on September 3, 1805, Thomas of Rutherford was a witness of a deed in October of '05.  I don't believe this to be the same man since Thomas of Gallia not only married a month earlier, but was a "lister and appraiser" in Raccoon Twp. , Gallia County in 1806.

I just don't see Thomas as someone who's going to go from Virginia (1797) to Tennessee (1798), to Virginia (1800) to Tennessee (early 1803) to Gallia (late 1803), sometime between 1806 and 1810 returning to Tennessee only to be back in Ohio by (1811).  That's a lot of traveling in an era where there were not state and interstate routes, and vehicles were slow and rough.  I believe we're talking about two different Thomas Sawyers.

But I believe that we're still talking about the same Sawyers family of Virginia.  In Chalkley, we find "Sawyers, executor of Sampson Sawyers, who died in 1817, testate.  In 1820 William Sawyers, one of sons of Sampson by the first marriage, who lives in Alabama, claimed share of the estate.  In 1805 William was living in Tennessee..."  So some Sawyers were in Tennessee early on, and they were connected somehow to the family of Thomas.


Current chronology of Thomas Sawyers of Gallia according to the above documentation.

1772 Augusta County, born.
1773-1782 presumed Augusta County
1783 Augusta County, father's will proved and William Crawfore became Thomas' guardian
1784-1789 presumed Augusta County
1790 Augusta County grandfather's will proved.  Hannah 26 shows up on tax list with two tithable males (Thomas and George Washington?), and also aunt's will proved.  All in Augusta County.
1791 presumed Augusta
1792 Augusta County m. Catherine Allison
1794 1794 Botetourt Co. VA Personal Property Tax List, First District:
1795-1796 presumed Botetourt County
1797 Botetourt Counry married Margaret Rees, daughter Nancy  born  in VA
1798 Son Rees born probably VA
1799 presumed either Augusta or Botetourt County
1800 Augusta County Tax List, son Sampson born
1801 Augusta County Court Record "about to remove from the state." son Keiser born probably in VA
1802 unknown
1803 Gallia County, Ohio Hardesty "Thomas Sawyer erected a cabin in 1803." daughter Margaret born probably in OH
1804 unknown
1805 Gallia County married Catherine Lasley
1806 Gallia County chattel "lister and appraiser" Raccoon Twp. daughter Sophia born in OH
1807 daughter Esther born in OH
1808 unknown
1809 daughter Lydia was born in OH
1810 daughter Polly was born in OH
1811 JP, married people between 3/1811 27 and 6/1837
1812 Gallia County chattel and record also wolf scalp
1813 daughter Rebecca born (probably OH)
1814-1816 unknown
1817 Gallia County deeds Springfield Twp.
1818 Gallia County chattel and tax record
1819 ditto
1820 US Census Springfield Twp., Gallia County, Ohio
1821 Gallia County married Martha Bing.

Some other good Sawyers sites:

1  Gallia County Historical Society Newsletter Vol. 17, No. 1, Spring 1992 Pg. 9 "A Family Bible Record.  The following is a true and accurate copy of the family record in the Holy Bible (New York: American Bible Society, 1858), which was owned by Ray Morehouse of Bidwell, Ohio.  Submitted by E. Paul Morehouse, Jr. (current [2008] President of the Ohio Genealogical Society).
One thing about the transcript, (and I assume that it is the same with the actual Bible), there was no distinguishing of a change of wife.  If one were to just read through it, they would assume that all the children were Thomas and Margaret's.  I'm basing the change of wife based upon death dates.  Margaret died in 1805 and thus could not have been the mother of Thomas' children born from 1806 through 1813.  Since Thomas married a Cathrine [sic] Lasley in September 1805 and the next child was born 9 months later, I am assuming that the children from there on out are her's.
Chalkley, Lyman.  Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia -- a special thanks to Gina who gave me the link to the entire site I can spend hours in here!  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~chalkley/  Vol. 3 p. 169 #373.
3.  Chalkley.  Vol. 1 p. 233 and Vol. 2 p. 384
4.  The will of James Sawyers http://www.sawyers.20m.com/james%20sr.html
5.  Chalkley.  Vol. 3 p. 186 #187
6.  Chalkley.  Vol. 2 p. 299 & 358 http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/augusta/court/2court33.txt
7.  Botetourt Co. VA, Marriages 1770-1803 Sorted by Groom's Surname                                                                                                                                            http://files.usgwarchives.org/va/botetourt/vitals/marriages/mar1770grooms.txt
8.  Chalkley.  Vol. 1 p. 425 Vol. 2 p. 33
9.  Reese Lawyer  (52) 1850 census Tazewell, Illinois [need subscription to ancestry.com to view]
10. Reese Sours (60) 1860 census Tazewell, Illiois
11. 1800 Augusta County Tax records http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Augusta/1800PersonalA/23.jpg

12. Trowbridge, Michael L. (compiler) Marriage Records 1803-1850 Gallia County, Ohio.  pub. by the Gallia County Genealogical Society, OGS, 2007. 13. Hardesty's History of Gallia County published in 1882.
14. Trowbridge, Michael L. (compiler) Marriage Records 1803-1850 Gallia County, Ohio.  p. 41  Gallia County Marriages Volume 2 page 178
15. Chalkley. Vol. 2 p. 428
16. It is possible that Thomas was heading toward Kentucky since his father (or grandfather) was granted land for service in the Virginia military.
17. Trowbridge, Michael L. (compiler) Marriage Records 1803-1850 Gallia County, Ohio.  p. 63. Gallia Marriage Records Vol. 1 p. 4
18. Trowbridge, Michael L. (compiler) Marriage Records 1803-1850 Gallia County, Ohio.  p. 22. Gallia Marriage Records Vol. 1 p. 206
19.  Gallia County, Ohio Residents, 1800-1825.  Containing Resident/chattel tax lists for many years between 1800 & 1825.
20.  Gallia County Genealogical Society, OGS chapter cemeteries.
21. Trowbridge, Michael L. (compiler) Marriage Records 1803-1850 Gallia County, Ohio.  p. 5  Gallia County Marriages Volume 1 page 209
22. Trowbridge, Michael L. (compiler) Marriage Records 1803-1850 Gallia County, Ohio.  p. 27  Gallia County Marriages Volume 1 page 200
23. http://www.censusdiggins.com/tennessee_census_index3.html
24. http://www.tngenweb.org/rutherford/petition1.htm
25.  http://www.lhaasdav.com/census/1810census.html
26.  Hannah Sawyers w/o James was the d/o David and Isabella Hays.  ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/va/augusta/court/3court14.txt
27. Gallia County Marriage Book 1 Pg. 22 married John Glassburn and Peggy Richardson Mar. 18, 1811 (I have copy of marriage record signed by Thomas Sawyers, JP) his last marriage performed was George Shumaker June 1, 1837.  If I counted correctly he married a total of 32 couples, with 1821 being his busiest year with 9 marriages in 5 months!

Click on picture for larger image.
Thos. Sawyers 3rd from the bottom.
Image courtesy of Ancestry.com
I am awaiting additional information that may prove two Thomas Sawyers. And make Thomas, of Gallia County, the son of Sampson and Agnes Sawyers of Botetourt County, and not James of Augusta, though Virginia records show he was still born in Augusta County, in 1772. The family lived next door to David Rees.the brother of Margaret, who was was living with him at the time.
Chalkley known to contain errors.