" Born on Wheels"
This section is dedicated to my cousins Randall W. Fields and his sister Charlotte (Fields) Carroll. Randall for all the days and hours he has spent researching our ancestors over the past few years and his endless patience with and encourgement to me as we built this page.
Charlotte for the title "Born on Wheels", taken from her phrase, "they were born on wheels" and her contribution of the family stories passed on to her by her mother, Gladys Thomas Fields.
The constant driving need for a better way of life for themselves and their children led our ancestors on an unwavering trail from Sampson county, NC where we have traced them back to at this point in time.
The family migrated south westwardly to Gwinnett county, Ga. on foot and/or wagon over a period of several years. From Ga. they moved westward into Al. where they finally settled in or around the town of Jackosnville, Al. where many of the Holder decendants still reside today. Many childern were born along the way from North Carolina to Alabama..i.e. "Born on Wheels".
The shadow dancers---my name for them.. moving along before our time..almost like faceless shadows dancing on a moon lit nite...only the outline can be seen..not the details. Hopefully we will retrieve the details in our search.
Rabun county Ga. Birthplace of William Russell "Bear" Thomas on December 7, 1860. This is the first documented location of the "elusive" Floyd Thomas, William Russell's father, who at that time was married to William's mother, Nancy (Ransom) Thomas.
According to an application William filed in 1908 in connection with the Guion Miller Roll, index #45095, states that Floyd as well as Nancy's family were living in Rabun cty Ga near the town of Clayton in the year 1851. This application also states that Nancy was 1/4 Cherokee Indian.
William, who was a widower ( Abie Stamay is listed as his first wife on the application) with 5 childern( 4 of these five children are listed on the application) in 1900, met and married Sarah E.F. Holder, daughter of Jabez Holder, on July 21, 1900 in Gadsden,Al.
The above mentioned application also states that Floyd was living in or near Jasper, Tn. in 1908 with his second wife and their children. Seems Nancy had been dead about 12 years at this time. Family folk lore has it that he owned a huge farm there. Probably purchased with the money he recieved during the time he rode with the James gang and the Younger brothers(family folk lore also, not documented).
William and Sarah, being farmers moved throughout Al, always looking for better land to farm. They had 11 children of their own, hence the phrase "Born on Wheels" once again an accurate description. Sarah was know as a "bee charmer", for those of you not familiar with this term; a bee charmer is somone who can handle bees and rob the honey from the hives without wearing protection and not getting stung in the process.
William supposedly had 21 childern all total, that leaves 5 unaccounted for. Hopefully we will find them soon.
Nancy's maiden name.. the first documentation on the Ransom's as of now is the application filed by William R. in 1908.
Here he states that his mother, Nancy was born in Buncombe cty, NC just outside the Cherokee domain. Appears they migrated south east as did our ancestors, the Holders. Is it possible they could have travelled together?
This brings us to our present day family which is tremendous in number, many I don't even know about at this time.. however we are aware that William and/or Sarah's descendants are spread from NC, where some of our cousins have returned to their roots, to as far west as California, Texas and Missouri and as far south as south Fl. We are and will be forever in search of family members, wherever they are.
Here I hope to bring to you all the surnames connected to my family via this site. Please feel free to contact us if you think you are connected.
March 29, 2000
Well, Finally we have found the "elusive" Floyd Thomas, and what a colorful picture has been unveiled. Seems our Floyd Thomas did settle in Tn. the town of Jasper in Marion County. married to his very young 14 year old first cousin, Abie Haseltine Laney. It is said they had 9 children and Floyd sold shoes as far away as London, England. I guess Abie and the children worked the farm while he was away. Of course he was going by Newton F. Thomas by this time. Some even say he was loaded as for as money goes.
But, the colorful picture doesn't stop with Floyd, seems his grandmother, Hannah Thomas, was quite the rounder herself. The story goes that she had 9 children while unmarried.
Seems she lived next door to a certain Habersham county, Ga. sheriff, Darius Echols, and his wife. I'm told, there is strong circumstantial evidence that some if not all Hannah's children were fathered by Sheriff Echols. If they weren't, they may all have had different fathers. So, now who are we?
We do know that Hannah and the Sheriff were charged and found guilty of adultry and fornication in 1855 at the age of 79 and 55. This is in the County records. Didn't seem to bother them any..they kept right on doing what they wanted to do..Was this true love ? Or just lust?
Hannah And Darius are on the 1860 census records living together and Echols wife was living in Alabama with her son in 1860. Of course, Hannah and Darius were eventually married in 1863 Probably after the death of his wife, no record of her has been found after the census of 1860.
Let's not forget about Martin Riley, Hannah's son and Floyd's father. Who was also convicted of Fornication and Adultry with a Catherine Whitworth . Nor forget that he was living with Idella Isabella O'shield Collins, just before his death in 1889, and wrote out his will leaving everything to his children by her. The will was contested by his wife, Polly Ann Southerland, whom he married on December 29, 1844 and son-in-law, Pinkney Wood.
As for Nancy, Floyd's first wife, who was according to census records 19 yrs his senior. Well, we were beginning to believe that maybe there was never a marriage. Our family folklore has it that Floyd rode in from robbing trains, spent the nite and boom, baby makes 3 or 2 in this case. But, thanks to Randall's presistence, a record of their marriage was found. Took some hard work on his part, seems Nancy was married prior to Floyd, to Andrew J. Fuller. At this point in time we know very little about the Fuller family.
August 27, 2002..
I have just returned to my genealogy...I took a year off after the death of my dad July 31, 2001.
I will be updating these pages as I get more info on the family
Please visit and sign my guestbook, love hearing from you.
301 Bobcat Trail
P.O. Box 1072
Calera, AL 35040
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