Thomassons learn about Springs ancestry

Published 12:49 pm Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Thomasson Family Association gathered for its annual reunion on Saturday, August 5, in the fellowship hall of Cedar Grove Church of Christ located on Brooklyn Road in Andalusia, Ala. Present were some 75 descendants of six of the 11 children of Thomas Randolph and Sarah (Roach) Thomasson who migrated to Covington County in 1856.

The Thomasson ancestry has been traced back to George Thomasson of Sudlow, Cheshire County, England. He was described as a “husband” in the Registrar of Stationers’ Hall. Only the name of one son, George Thomasson Jr., is known. George Jr. was born circa 1592 and died in London in 1666. In 1626, he became a member of the Stationer’s Company where he engaged in the publishing and bookselling business. He became famous for his collection of the English Civil War Tracts, and apart from this, very little is known of his life. Around 1630, he was married to Katherine Hutton, only daughter and heiress of Francis Hutton of London. They reared nine children among which was a son named Thomas.

Thomas Thomasson became the immigrant ancestor of this family when he came to Virginia circa 1677. In 1703, he patented 150 acres of land in King William County, Va., and he increased that by 400 acres in 1714. He apparently secured additional acreage, because he sold 400 acres in 1729 and 600 acres in 1730. He died sometime after this, but the year is not known and neither is the name of his wife.

Thomas and his wife had the following three children: Samuel, b. 1691, d. 1753, m. (1) Hannah Glass (2) Temperance (Yancey ?); George, b. 1703, d. 1783, m. ca 1733 Mary Pollard; and Thomas Jr., d. ca 1773. George is the ancestor of the family being feature in this writing. Around 1733, George was married in Louisa County, Va., to Mary Pollard, daughter of Richard Pollard and Martha Fleming. At the time of his death, George owned more than 1000 acres of land, which was located on both sides of Christopher’s Run in Trinity Parish, Louisa County, Va. All of his 10 children married into influential families of Virginia.

George’s son, Thomas Thomasson was born in 1737 and was married circa 1759 to Anne McAllister/Mackalester, daughter of William McAllister and Elizabeth Garland. Around 1777, they moved to Granville County, N.C. where Thomas paid the taxes on his land from receipts obtained from furnishing supplies to the American Army during the Revolutionary War. Among their 11 children was a son named William Pollard Thomasson who was born in 1763, so he was the right age to serve in the American Army. After the war ended, he was married in 1782 in Granville County to Mary Anne Reeves, daughter of William Reeves and Elizabeth (Hardy ?). During the late 1790s, William P. moved his family to York County, S.C.

Among William Pollard’s nine children was a son named Thomas Randolph Thomasson who was the ancestor being honored at the 2017 Thomasson Reunion. Thomas R. was born in 1797 in Granville County and was married in 1823 to Sarah Roach, daughter of Major Thomas M. Roach and Ann Abbagail Garrison. Around 1830, they along with many of their Thomasson family moved south to Franklin County and settled in Morgan County, Ga. By 1840, Thomas R. had moved to Pike County, Ala., where they settled in a community named Thomasville, which was later named Inverness. In 1856, they moved farther south to Covington County where they finally settled and resided in the Red Level and Rose Hill/Burnout communities.

Thomas R. and Sarah Thomasson reared the following 11 children: Thomas Roach, b. 1824, d. 1862, m. 1850 Margaret (Hammond) Frazier; Trezevant Fernandes, b. 1826, d. 1898, m. (1) 1851 Susan Dudley Barron (2) 1885 Philura Massengale Read; Lorenza Marion, b. 1829, d. 1910, m. Martha Hammond; James Franklin, b. 1831, d. 1918, m. 1859 Julia Ann Shaw; William Monroe, b. 1833, d. 1863, m. 1857 Martha A. Ingram; Cornelius Starr, b. 1836, d. 1919, m. 1859 Susannah Henley; John Randolph, b. 1838, d. 1860s during war, m. Mary ?; Madison, b. ca 1841, d. ca 1849; Jefferson Sylvanus, b. 1844, d. 1939, m. (1) Rebecah Butler (2) Inez Davis (3) 1915 Mrs. Missouri C. Houston; Mary Ann Abbagail, b. 1847, d. 1936, m. 1866 Micajah “Mike” Henley; and Charles Clawson, b. 1850, d. 1929, m. ca 1872 Mary E. Little.

Eight of the sons and the future son-in-law served in the Confederate Army, but Madison had died as a child and Charles Clawson was too young. Three sons, Thomas Roach, William Monroe and John Randolph, died during the war. Those attending the 2017 family reunion were descendants of Trezevant Fernandes, Lorenza Marion, James Franklin, Cornelius Starr, Jefferson Sylvanus and Mary Ann Abbagail.

This series of Thomasson family reunions was begun in 1978 with the first one being held at the same site as the 2017 one. The attendance and activities grew substantially to a maximum of over 400 in 1983, the year the local United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter, the Thomasson Randolph Chapter # 2471, was chartered at the reunion. There were 56 charter members, all direct descendants of Thomas R. and Sarah (Roach) Thomasson, which made for the largest chapter to be chartered in the State of Alabama. The chartering president, Marjorie B. Malloy who was a great granddaughter of Thomas R. Thomasson, was the organizer and registrar who created this outstanding family legacy.

At the 2017 reunion, a current officer, Tammie Evans, gave a report on the membership and achievements of the actives Thomasson UDC Chapter. Other segments of the history program included introduction of each attendee by ancestor; recognition of the oldest present, who was Lester Thomasson at 99 years of age; Jake Smith, youngest at 8 years old; and Hazel Thomasson Ehnes who had traveled the farthest from Cabot, Ark. Sue Cowger of Tallahassee, Fla., gave a summary of her research of the Springstein/Springs family from which Sarah Roach Thomasson descended. The event was concluded by the group singing a favorite hymn, “The Unclouded Day,” of Lorenza Marion Thomasson who was a minister for the Baptist Church in Covington County.

Throughout the day, those present visited with each other sharing family memories and updates along with examining family photos and memorabilia, which was on display. These included a wall-hanging of the Thomasson family crest made and quilted by Charlotte Thompson; an oil painting of the crest by Dot Burkett; a water-color painting by Martha Richey of the original Thomasson house in Louisa County, Va.; an encased stone from the foundation of that house donated by Stephen Hise; an encased Confederate Battle Flag donated by Hise, which he carried across the Gettysburg Battle Field as he traced the steps of his Great Grandfather, Cornelius Starr Thomasson, during that battle; a picture of the Thomasson School, which has been restored in the Burnout community next to the Covington/Crenshaw County line; a large drawing of the family tree; and a wall-hanging created by Hazel Thomasson Ehnes, which featured a tulip quilt block made by her Aunt Runie Hare Thomasson. Numerous photos of ancestors and past reunions were also on display.

Following announcements by Curtis H. Thomasson and an invocation by Garrett Davis, the crowd enjoyed an abundant buffet dinner, provided by those in attendance. The meal was followed by the program. Afterwards, it was determined that the 2018 reunion will be on the first Saturday in August as usual and at the same location. For a special attraction, everyone was encouraged to bring their family heirloom quilts to display.

Anyone who might have a question or comment regarding the reunion is encouraged to contact this descendant and writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: