Thomas BARTLETT c1730-1806

The Harrison County, Virginia Years

by Jim Bartlett


       Thomas and Sarah (CARROLL) BARTLETT moved their family to Harrison Co, VA by 1785. Most of the married children accompanied them. Thomas farmed a large Plantation along the West Fork River, north of Clarksburg. He and Sarah gave land and slaves to the children over the next 15 years. Sarah died around 1800; and Thomas died in 1806. At the time of his death in 1806, Thomas BARTLETT had sired 15 children and had 82 known grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

The move west to Harrison County in 1785

       In October 1784 Thomas and Sarah BARTLETT sold the last of their land in Fauquier County and prepared to move to Harrison County, in western Virginia. They probably waited for the spring of 1785 to begin their journey, perhaps until Jesse was born. And what a journey it must have been - from Fauquier County to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, along the established immigration wagon trails through the mountains to the West Fork River in Harrison County. This was all wilderness, and the threat of hostile action by Indians was real. The mountains were tortuous, with the wagon trail winding up and down valleys to reach the Eastern Continental Divide, and then down the watershed, toward the Ohio River. Just finding the land they planned to settle would pose a problem. But they made it and carved out homes in the mountainous forests, and started to farm - they needed to be able to feed themselves.
Getting settled in Harrison County

       Harrison County had just been formed in 1784 from Monongalia County. Thomas BARTLETT received a Land Grant for land on the West Fork River, near Clarksburg, and that is where he established his new homestead.

       The first Tax Lists in Harrison County in 1785 included Thomas BARTLETT, Sr. and sons John, Thomas Jr., Benjamin and Robert. The Tax List in 1787 confirms these BARTLETTs, and the notion that they were farmers with slaves and livestock they had brought from Fauquier County: Thomas Sr. (14 slaves, 5 horses, 17 cattle); Thomas Jr. (1 slave, 2 horses, 5 cattle); Robert (2 slaves, 1 horse, 4 cattle); John B (3 horses, 7 cattle); and Benjamin (1 slave, 2 horses, 4 cattle).
       John and Ann BARTLETT settled on the West Fork River, below Clarksburg. John is listed in the Harrison County Tax Lists from 1785 through 1800. John is also listed as a voter in the Presidential election of 1789.
       Thomas, Jr. and Sarah BARTLETT also initially settled on the West Fork River. Thomas, Jr. is also listed in the Tax Lists through 1800.
       Benjamin and Mary Ann settled near Bridgeport, and began raising their family. Benjamin is listed in the Harrison County Tax lists from 1785 through 1800 (in fact he was responsible for compiling the Tax List in 1797 and 1800). In 1786 he purchased 200 acres on Simpson’s Creek, and he voted in the 1789 Presidential election.
       In 1787, Thomas and Sarah BARTLETT gave 200 acres on the West Fork of the Monongalia River to his son Robert for five pounds. Robert was listed in the Harrison County Tax Lists beginning in 1785, he was in the 1787 Census, and he voted in the 1789 Presidential election. This all shows him to be over 21 years old, but there is no indication that he was married at that time. He did marry in January 1797 to Susannah HAYMOND. She was the daughter of William and Cassandra (CLELLAND) HAYMOND of Harrison County. This marriage to Susannah may have been his second.
       In 1788 Thomas HALL received a Land Grant for 2,000 acres on Ten Mile Creek, so it is probable that he and Nancy Ann were married by then and living in Harrison County. By 1798, when Thomas BARTLETT deeded a Negro slave to his daughter Nancy HALL, they had already moved to Nelson County, Kentucky.
       In February 1790 William and Sarah BARTLETT sold their land in Fauquier County; before joining the rest of the family in Harrison County. Two of their young daughters had died in 1786, and they brought the remaining seven children with them. William is included in the Tax lists of Harrison County beginning in 1791. They settled near Simpson, in what later became Taylor County, and brought six more children into the world.
       In August 1790 in Fauquier County, James BARTLETT married Sarah PHILLIPS. It appears that his brother, William, was still in Fauquier County at that time and helped James get the license. Sarah PHILLIP’s parents were Thomas and Mary (JOHN) PHILLIPS of nearby Loudoun County. James and Sarah soon moved to Harrison County, and James is shown in the Tax lists beginning in 1797. James and Sarah lived in Clarksburg where they ran a hotel and raised at least eight children.
       By 1792 Elizabeth BARTLETT, widow of Sanford CARROLL, had married Thomas ASBURY and they were living in Harrison County .
       By this time Thomas’ children, by his second wife Sarah, began to marry and start families and farms of their own.
       Sanford BARTLETT was born in Fauquier County about 1777, within the year after his father and Sarah CARROLL married in January 1777. It doesn’t appear that any of his older, half-brothers lived with their father on the Plantation in Harrison Co. Sanford grew up on that farm, and was probably the “man” about the Plantation and a big help to his aging father. In 1803 he married Anne MAULSBY. They lived in Harrison County for at least the next ten years .
       In February 1797 Mary BARTLETT married Benjamin WELCH. Benjamin WELCH was the son of Sylvester WELCH and Jemima CARROLL, originally of Fauquier County and later of Hampshire County, Virginia. To show the interrelationships that often occurred between families of the times, Jemima was the daughter of Demse CARROLL and Frances SANFORD - thus Jemima was the sister of Sanford CARROLL (who married Mary BARTLETT’s half-sister Elizabeth BARTLETT in 1771); the sister of Sarah CARROLL (who married Thomas BARTLETT, Sr., and was the mother of Mary BARTLETT - this made Benjamin WELCH’s aunt, his mother-in-law); and the half-sister of Mary Ann Heath CARROLL (who married Mary BARTLETT’s half-brother, Benjamin BARTLETT). By the way Mary Ann Heath CARROLL’s full sister, Cynthia CARROLL, married William HAYMOND, Jr, the brother of Susannah HAYMOND, who married Robert BARTLETT. Whew! They all lived in Harrison County through the first decade of the 1800’s.
       It appears that Richard BARTLETT never married .
       Permelia, the fourth child of Thomas and Sarah BARTLETT, and usually called Milley, was born about 1781 in Fauquier County. She married Andrew McINTIRE in 1801. They lived in Harrison County, but raised no children to maturity .
       And finally Jesse BARTLETT, who was born about 1785 - either in Fauquier County, and, as a newborn, was nursed by his mother as they crossed the Appalachian Mountains, or she made the trek pregnant and Jesse was born in Harrison County. Like Sanford, he was raised on the farm. In 1804 he married Lucinda DAVISSON, and they lived in Harrison County for the next few years .
The turn of the Century

       The last record of Sarah, wife of Thomas BARTLETT, Sr., was in September 1800 when she signed a deed with him. She probably died soon after that, as all subsequent deeds, including those in 1803, 1805 and 1806 (to sons born by Sarah) were signed by Thomas BARTLETT, only. At this time Thomas began to give much of his holdings to his sons: 255 acres on west side of West Fork River to Sanford BARTLETT for $1 in 1803; 100 acres, same place, to Demcy Porter CARROLL (one of his first grandchildren) for $1 in 1804; and in 1805: four Negroes to Sanford; gift of 200 acres on west side of West Fork River, Plantation where Thomas “now and for long time has resided”, and adjoining Sanford and Robert BARTLETT, to son Jesse “heir apparent”; gift of Negro to “loving son Thomas BARTLETT, Junr. of the County of Monongalia”; and finally in January 1806: 200 acres on the West Fork about a quarter mile below the ford on the main road to Clarksburg to his son Richard BARTLETT for five shillings; and 50 acres on Lambert’s Run to Jesse BARTLETT for five shillings.
Thomas BARTLETT, in his late 70’s, dies in Harrison County, Virginia in 1806
       Thomas BARTLETT must have died without a will in 1806 because an inventory of his estate was recorded in January 1807. At his death Thomas BARTLETT was survived by fourteen of his fifteen known children, over 82 grandchildren, and at least 33 great-grandchildren.
Thomas BARTLETT’s family in 1806:
Children of Thomas and Anne BARTLETT

       Reuben and Susannah STROTHER were still living in Fauquier County. They raised twelve children there, and by 1806 at least five were married and had at least six know grandchildren. Susannah must have died before 1832 when Reuben’ will was first written. Reuben STROTHER died in 1836.
       Thomas and Elizabeth (Betty) ASBURY were both living in Harrison County. Elizabeth had three children through her first marriage to Sanford CARROLL, all of whom were married by 1806, with at least nine grandchildren. Thomas and Elizabeth ASBURY had at least two children by then.
       William and Sarah BARTLETT had sixteen children, four of whom died young. The twelve who survived past 1806 had at least sixteen grandchildren by then. William and Sarah were active in the community and the Church in Simpson, and many descendants live in the area today. William died in 1825 and Sarah died in 1831 . They are both buried in the cemetery in Simpson, West Virginia.
       John BARTLETT died in 1804 - probably suddenly and unexpectedly - as he left no will. An inventory was administered by his wife, Anna, in July 1804. They had raised thirteen children, some of whom were married by 1806. His widow, Anna, never re-married, and is in the census records in 1810, 1820 and 1830.
       Thomas BARTLETT, Jr. lived in Harrison County through 1800, and then moved his family to Monongalia County (in the area that would later become Preston County) before 1803 when his eldest daughter was married. The 1805 gift from Thomas BARTLETT, Sr. to his son Thomas Jr. “of the County of Monongalia” mentioned before, proves that Thomas Jr. had moved. By 1806 all eleven of their known children were born, some were married and at least three grandchildren were born. Thomas and Sarah are in the 1810 Monongalia County census, and the 1820 Preston County census. Sarah died in the 1820’s, and Thomas is listed in the 1830 census. Thomas BARTLETT, Jr. died in 1832.
       Benjamin and Mary Ann BARTLETT had at least seven of their nine children before 1806. Benjamin BARTLETT died in 1824, leaving a will naming his wife Mary Ann and the eight surviving children. He is buried in Bridgeport, WV. His wife, Mary Ann, was laid to rest beside him in 1846.
       George and Sarah FOWKE had stayed in Fauquier County, at least through 1791. They later moved to Montgomery County, Kentucky. They had at least seven children before Sarah passed away. The children are named in a suit in Harrison County, Virginia in 1816 as children of Sarah FOWKES, deceased, a daughter of Thomas BARTLETT, deceased.
       In April 1810 Robert and Susannah BARTLETT sold the 200 acres on the West Fork where they had resided, and moved to New Madrid, Missouri. There are only two known children of this family, but there were doubtless more.
       Thomas and Nancy Ann HALL were probably in Harrison County in 1788, but by 1798 they had moved to Nelson County, Kentucky. They had at least one daughter, but probably more children. There are some records of a Thomas HALL in Nelson County, Kentucky, but what happened to this family still needs some research.
       James and Sarah BARTLETT lived in Clarksburg, Harrison County. Their eight known children were all born before 1800. James appears to be a black sheep in the family, almost never mentioned in the records involving Thomas BARTLETT, Sr. Only in 1838 is there a reference to James BARTLETT selling land, “his part of estate of Thomas BARTLETT”.

Children of Thomas and Sarah BARTLETT

       Sanford and Anne BARTLETT were married in 1803 and listed in the 1810 census of Harrison County with two children, who may have been born by 1806. Sanford left Harrison Co shortly afterward and became a Captain in the Army during the War of 1812. Sanford died at Winchester, VA in 1817 at age 40.
       Benjamin and Mary WELCH were in the 1810 census of Harrison County, and it appears they had at least three children by 1806. They sold a tract of land in 1812 and there are no more records of them in Harrison County. This branch needs more research.
       It appears Richard BARTLETT died intestate and without issue before 1814.
       Andrew and Permelia (“Milley”) McINTIRE are listed in the 1810 census of Harrison County with two daughters less than ten years old. However, it appears no children survived.
       Jesse and Lucinda BARTLETT were living in Harrison County in 1809, but by 1812 they had moved to the Territory of Louisiana, New Madrid District. They had four children before Jesse died in 1816.
       A suit in Harrison County in 1816 confirms thirteen of the above fifteen families. Richard BARTLETT had died without issue, and so was not listed. For some reason James BARTLETT was not listed in this suit and it is a mystery why not. This just confirms the unusual nature of his relationship to the family, and points to the need for more research.
       Today the descendants of Thomas BARTLETT are all over the world. It is conservatively estimated that there are well over 100,000. I’ve personally compiled about 10,000 and have not yet gotten very far into the collateral lines formed as the female descendants marry. What a proud heritage these descendants have in Thomas BARTLETT, Colonist, pioneer, settler, father, farmer, and American Patriot!

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