The Mysterious Mary Thames


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Here’s one to ponder. I hope someone already knows the answer and can jump in.

On 15 July 1781, at Bladen County NC, Mary Thims was issued a certificate for supplying quite a lot of beef (looks like either four or five hundred pounds of beef – the first letter of the quantity begins with an “f”) to feed the troops in the revolutionary war, for which she was to be paid 22 Spanish-milled dollars.

The certificate reads that she was to be paid on or before Sep 1782, but the reverse side indicates it took a good five years after that:

Who is Mary? Because she – being a female – received a certificate, it seems to indicate she was probably a widow. But if so, whose widow? There are only a few possibilities that I can think of:

  1. Cornelius who died around 1761 (was married to Mary Evans);
  2. Jesse, proposed son of Cornelius;
  3. Thomas (son of Thomas d. 1758).

Regarding the third option: While it hasn’t been determined who Thomas (son of Thomas Sr) was married to, it’s theorized that he went to South Carolina along with his brothers John and Amos. But to date, I’ve found no record of son Thomas actually being in South Carolina. Any contributions from readers that place him in South Carolina would be helpful and welcomed.

The certificate was issued after Joseph died in 1780, so she can’t have been the widow of one of the (male) children who appear to be missing in the 1752-1758 span of births of Joseph and Martha’s children, because that child (a son) would have been named in Joseph’s will, and at this point in time we have all of Joseph and Martha’s known sons accounted for.

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