Captain Thomas Anderson of Virginia

My Ancestor, Captain Thomas Anderson, was the oldest son of Colonel William andrevwar_solderl Rachel Mary Lauren Anderson.  He was born in 1733 at Anderson’s Bottom in Hampshire County, Virginia. His father purchased a number of sizeable properties in Maryland and Virginia and they were often named after the owner and a geographical feature of the property. In this case, Anderson’s Bottom was some good bottomland on the eastern side of the Potomac River.

Thomas was one of five children in the family. He had five sisters and one younger brother named William. The family homestead was on the extreme western edge of European settlement in the 1740’s and frequent Indian raids were experienced by all of these edge settlers. William was killed by Indians in the hills near his home when he was about 20 years old leaving Thomas as the only son in the family.

Thomas Anderson took part in the Indian Wars and he accompanied Dunmore’s Expedition to Chillicothe. He fought bravely throughout the Revolutionary War and commanded a company at Yorktown under Washington when Cornwallis surrendered.

Thomas and his father William lived in a strategic location on the western border and often had many famous visitors. George Washington was there during his earlier years as a surveyor. He also visited the home when he was the General of the Continental Army during the Revolution. Daniel Boone traveled through the family farm and visited with the family as he moved farther westward to Kentucky. Many other famous individuals of this era were also frequent visitors of Anderson’s Bottom.

In about 1761, Thomas married Mary Elizabeth Bruce in Frederick County, Maryland. Mary Elizabeth was the daughter of James and Margaret McMahon Bruce. She is listed in different sources sometimes as Mary and other times as Elizabeth, so we don’t know which name she used in daily life.

Thomas served on local defense assignments from the time he was in his early teens. He served as a private with Captain John Gillison and Colonel John Greene of the 6th Virginia Regiment per DAR records. As the Indian incursions and the Indian / French raids strafed the western settlers, Thomas probably worked on the farms with a gun at the constant ready.

Thomas and his family probably lived on one of the Anderson properties Hampshire county Virginia most of their lives. Hampshire Co., Virginia was formed in 1753 (or 1754) from Augusta and Frederick counties, Virginia. It became part of West Virginia in 1863.

He was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church following the same religious denomination as his father. As noted in the history of his son, William Anderson, there were seven boys and four girls in the Thomas Anderson family.

I found a letter from Thomas’ son, John Anderson, to his great nephew, James House Anderson that should be included here to help paint a first person history of the family.

Speaking of Colonel William Anderson: "Thomas Anderson, his son, was born in 1733, and died in 1808. He often aided in thwarting the Indians, and in resisting their forays. He fought during the entire Revolution, as an officer, either on the frontier against the Indians, or farther east against the British.

He was at Yorktown, in command of his Company under Washington, at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis.

His highest rank during the Revolution was Captain. He never knew fear, and in fighting the Indians ran some great risks, and made many narrow escapes. I have a distinct recollection of his appearance. He looked like my brother, Thomas James, your father. He was a member of the same church as his father; was an honest man and a good citizen, and like all the family, of whom I have any account, always paid his just debts. He was a true patriot, and had he been more ambitious might have risen higher during the Revolution.

His wife was a Miss Bruce, of Virginia, by whom he had seven sons and four daughters. The sons were William, James, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Abner, and George. The daughters were Margaret, Rachel, Elizabeth, and Nancy.”

William and Joseph died (soldiers) in the war of 1812. Joseph was a single man. William left a wife, three sons and one daughter. William’s sons were Hiram, Joseph, and William. The daughter became the wife of my brother Levi.

Thomas moved from Virginia to Fairfield County, Ohio with most of his sons. They arrived in April when Thomas was 73 years of age. He died the following October and is buried in Fairfield County, Ohio

Note: follow the links for sources and related genealogy

Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2011-05-05 13:43:00
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