Descendants of Samuel Thomas

1790 Carteret County Census
Samuel Thomas (25 July 1771-11 Jun 1839) and Mary (1773-1861) married about 1792. Samuel was noted in 1790 census in Carteret County, North Carolina, perhaps in Beaufort. Children were born in Beaufort. Mary and Samuel were parents of five known children: 
  • Nancy Thomas (1799-1864) 
  • Marcus Cicero Thomas (1801-1853) married Elizabeth King Duncan in 1825  
  • Robert S. Thomas (1806-1857) married Nancy Fulford, then Hannah Bell 
  • Eliza Thomas (1814-1886) married George Walker
  • Thomas Thomas (1816-1898) married Martha Dudley Murray
Captain Thomas
Martha Dudley Murray
Capt. Thomas Thomas married Martha Dudley Murray on August 3, 1841 (bondsman James W. Hunt, witness David Rumley). In 1858, Thomas purchased 301 Front Street, where he and Martha reared their family - there until his death and last occupied by granddaughter Laura Esther Thomas.

Martha Dudley Murray was daughter of Thomas Murray (1795-1868) and Nancy Roberson Bell (1799-1884), married in 1815. Thomas Murray was born in Carteret County, the only child of Bartholomew Murray and Martha Dudley. Nancy Roberson Bell was the daughter of Elijah Bell (1765-1809) and Mary Gibbons (1780-1857). The Bell family descended from Andrew Bell (1670-1725), who acquired land in 1708, in what would become Carteret County.

It is believed that Martha and Thomas had 16 children; only 5 lived—Isabella, Charles, Samuel, Thomas Murray and William Alonzo:
  • Isabella Thomas (29 May 1842-27 Jan 1932) married Benjamin Midgett about 1886.
  • Charles Thomas (21 Nov 1843-10 Apr1871) was a merchant and died at 27.  
  • Samuel T. Thomas (16 Dec 1845-18 Mar 1932) married Elizabeth Bell. (According to P.W. Fisher, Samuel was the last Confederate soldier remaining in Carteret County at the time of his death.) His wife Elizabeth was daughter of Gideon Cummings Bell and Eliza A. Pigott. 
  • Thomas Murray Thomas (30 Jul 1848-3 May 1940) married Laura Pelletier. His family was noted in the house at 301 on the 1940 census. Died at 91. Wife Laura was a great granddaughter of Jerome Pelletier, a French Huguenot naval officer, born in France about 1740, who stayed in Carteret County after the Revolutionary War.
         Children: Charles W., Mary Adeline, Jerry Pelletier, Thomas Murray, Samuel Hughes, Leonidas Elijah, Laura Esther and Phillip Novel Thomas.
         ·    Laura Esther Thomas (28 Feb 1890-3 Nov 1986) never married; she died at 96 in a nursing home in Morehead City. It appears that Laura lived at 301 Front Street from at least 1940, until she went into the nursing home.  In February 1962, Miss Laura Thomas was one of a dozen citizens who attended an early Beaufort Historical Association planning meeting; the BHA officially founded January 25, 1960. Also of note, from about 1930 until his death in 1958, Laura's brother, Charles Walter Thomas Sr. (1878-1958), owned the Josiah Bell House circa 1825, at 138 Turner. 
  •  William Alonzo Thomas (3 May 1850-18 Nov 1915) married Rosetta Howland Manney (1852-1889) in 1874; they had five children: Julia Manney, Martha Dudley, Rosebell, Thomas and Samuel Alonzo. Rosetta was daughter of Dr. James Lente Manney and Julia Ann Fulford. Alonzo’s second marriage was to Nannie Fletcher Davis; they had one son Alonzo Fletcher Thomas (1894-1959) and lived in the Jacob Henry House, which the younger Alonzo left to the John Jones family when he died in 1959. (In 1907, Alonzo and Samuel Alonzo were temporary workers at the Federal Biological Lab on Piver's Island. Alonzo Jr.? worked in the administration office from 1920-52.) When Capt. Thomas died in 1898, his property was divided among his surviving children and grandchildren; this included many property transactions, re-allotting quarter shares or giving lifetime use and/or reverting back to siblings.
Gray's 1880 Map - Capt. Thomas Thomas House at Front & Orange 
and Capt. Thomas' waterfront wharf a block east.
     In her book The Story of the Methodists in the Port of Beaufort, Amy Muse wrote of Miss Laura Thomas' treasured sacrament ticket for the third quarter of 1843, issued to her great-grandmother "Miss Mary" Thomas, signed by John T. Brame.
      Laura Esther Thomas (1890-1986) was the daughter of Thomas Murray Thomas (1848-1940) and Laura Pelletier (1853-1944) married February 21, 1877.  

Thomas Involvement in 1885 School

      In 1885 a Committee of Citizens leased lots 136, 144, and 152 on the northwest side of the Court House Square which had been “reserved for an Academy by an Act of the General Assembly in 1816.” They agreed to pay an annual rental of $6.00 and were to erect upon it a school building for white children, the building to cost not less than $1,000.00. The following were on the Committee: Thomas Thomas, B. L. Jones, W. F. Dill, William Sabiston, J. B. Davis, N. W. Taylor, S. M. Buckman, S. J. Moore, Sarch A. Davis, J. B. Jones, J. C. Davis, W. B. Duncan, B. J. Bell, T. D. Noe, N. L. Carrow, M. R. Geffroy, F. Borden Mace, J. D. Davis, W. S. Chadwick, R. W. Bell, James R. Bell, and R. W. Bell, Sr.

      This school was built facing Market Street, now Turner, and for fifteen years was operated as the Beaufort High School. In 1900, the Methodists leased the land for ten years with the privilege of renewing for fifty years and operated it as a Methodist school. The Methodists never exercised their privilege of renewing their lease for fifty years. Instead in 1907, after operating the school for only seven years, the Church sold a strip of land on Broad Street, back of the A.M.E. Zion Church to the town for $1,250.00 “also that certain school house building now standing on the public Court House Square in the said town of Beaufort and commonly called the Beaufort High School Building.” The trustees signing the deed were T. M. Thomas, C. P. Dey, T. W. Lindsay, H. C. Jones, C. L. Duncan, B. J. Jones, Charles L. Abernathy, and W. L. Arrington. (Muse) 
This photo was taken about 1912 on Ann Street, just around the corner from the Thomas house. Note the "ribboned" goat hooked up to the interestingly-designed cart. Nancy McKee Smith’s mother, Louise Gordon Thomas, born in Beaufort in 1906, was about 8 years old. Nancy’s mother went to St. Paul’s School until 1918. The small boys are Louise's twin brothers - Thomas Thomas and Edward Gordon Thomas - born in 1910. The Thomas Thomas (1883-1937) family lived in the second block of Front Street, referred to in a letter from Nancy's mother as “…a wide road made of oyster shell between the house and the wharves.” Thomas was the eldest son of William Alonzo Thomas and his first wife, Rosetta Howland Manney

The Thomas family plot is in the Old Burying Ground on the north side of the Methodist Church. Other family members were buried in Ocean View Cemetery.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Piver's Island became site of the fisheries laboratory. On May 12, 1900, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an act authorizing the establishment a U.S. Fish Commission Laboratory at Beaufort. Funds were appropriated, but no provision was made for the purchase of land. Through the efforts of Joseph Austin Holmes and Henry Van Peters Wilson, five universities and private donors raised $400, the amount needed to purchase 3-acre Piver's Island. Private donors were Samuel Thomas, Alonzo and Nancy Thomas, Thomas Murray and Laura Thomas, and Benjamin J. and Isabella Thomas Midyette.