Generations 4 & 5
4 Isham Thomas, a second great grandfather of mine, was born at the turn of the 19th century, in about 1798, in Virginia. He married his first wife, Nancy Whitman, on March 21, 1820, in his native state's Rockbridge County. She was born between 1790/1800 and died during the 1840s.
Isham and she were the parents of at least 9 children, most of whom were born in Virginia, though the youngest son, Isham Jr., was born in Indiana in 1839. The names are not known of all of these Thomas children (who can be deduced using early census information before all names were listed on the documents), but several are known.
After Nancy died, Isham and at least some of the family moved west to Iowa, where a number of them would spend the remainder of their lives. Isham worked as a cooper for a time.
Daughter Margaret (1820 — 1869), apparently the second oldest child of the Thomas family, married Daniel David Tuttle (about 1825 — 1877) and settled in Vinton, Benton County, Iowa. The marriage produced eight children.
Another daughter, Sarah (1822 — 1887), and her husband, David D. Nicholson (about 1823 — 1894) also had eight children and resided in Vinton.
Eliza Jane Thomas (about 1826 — 1856) married William Hall, and they remained in Benton County as well, though after her death he remarried and moved the family to Appanoose County, Iowa. Eliza (Thomas) Hall had four children, William's second marriage produced six more.
Isham Thomas Jr. (1839 — 1926) was born in West College Corner, Union County, Indiana. After the move to Iowa, he settled in Morning Sun, Louisa County, married Mary Jane Strope (1839 — 1913), and fathered 8 children. Isham Jr. was injured during the Civil War.
Isham Thomas Sr., meanwhile, remarried September 30, 1853, in Des Moines County, to 4 Mary (Flesher) Walker (1810 — 1889), a native of Virginia (from the part that became West Virginia). Her first husband, Joseph Walker, Jr., had died in 1852. She had nine (possibly only eight) children from her first marriage, the oldest of whom was 18.
Isham and Mary gave birth to my great grandmother, 5 Helena Vandalia Thomas in May of 1854. By 1856, the marriage between Isham and Mary apparently soured, as he had moved in with his daughter Sarah's family in Benton County. He died in Benton County in April 1865.
Mary remained on the Walker farm where she had lived with her first husband. Her children grew up and married, including Helena, who married 5 William Brumm April 1, 1873. Mary would live with the Brumms during her waning years and be buried at the extended family cemetery of her first husband, the North Walker Cemetery in Des Moines County.