Thomas Fawcett (1795-1865)
Thomas Fawcett was born on 16 Feb 1794/5 in Frederick, Virginia as the thirteenth and youngest child of Thomas Fawcett and Martha Branson. His parents were of the Quaker faith, so his birth was recorded as 16th day, 11th month, 1794. Their year started in mid-March, so the 11th month was February. Thomas had twelve siblings, namely: John, Richard, Martha, Rachel, David, Hannah, Lydia, Thomas (died as child), Joseph, Mary, Eunice (died young), and Eunice.
When Thomas was about twenty years old, he and his parents removed from Virginia and resettled in Ohio. As Quakers, they had to go through a process to be allowed to move from the Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Virginia to the Plainfield Monthly Meeting in Ohio. They first had to ask for permission to leave. They made that request on 8 Nov 1814 (8th 9th mo. 1814). On 3 Dec 1814 (3rd 10th mo. 1814) a certificate of removal was granted. Then, when they arrived in Ohio, they had to present their certificate there as proof that they had permission to be there. Thomas’s mother presented the certificate at the Women’s meeting on 28 Mar 1815 (28th 1st mo. 1815).
Thomas wasn’t in Ohio long before he found a woman that he wanted to marry. On 8 Dec 1815, Thomas Fawcett and Rachel Vail declared their intention to marriage at the Women’s Monthly Meeting. They had their parents’ approval, but, as was common practice, a committee was assigned to make sure that the marriage could be approved.
A month later, on 25 February 1816 (25th 11th 1815), the Women’s Meeting approved the marriage.
When he was about 21, he married Rachel Vail, daughter of Benjamin Vail and Rebecca Webster, at the Plainfield Monthly Meeting in Belmont County, Ohio.
Thomas Fawcett and Rachel Vail had the following children:
- Joel Fawcett was born about 1816 in Belmont, Ohio. He married Sarah Conner on 03 Jan 1839 in Belmont, Ohio. He died in 1857 in La Grange, Lewis, Missouri at the age of 41. After his death, Joel Fawcett’s widow and children lived with Thomas and Rachel Fawcett.
- Simeon Fawcett was born about 1820 in Belmont, Ohio, USA. He married Margaret Woods on 30 Dec 1844 in Belmont, Ohio. Simeon was a Union Soldier in the Civil War. He died on 01 Jul 1897 at the Old Soldier’s Home in Marshalltown, Marshall, Iowa at the age of 77.
- Levi Fawcett was born on 22 Mar 1822 in Belmont, Ohio. He married Sarah Ann Haines on 09 Mar 1848 in Belmont, Ohio. Levi and his wife left Ohio and lived in Iowa.¹
- Nathan Fawcett was born on 11 Jun 1825 in Belmont, Ohio. He married Margaret Reckard on 12 Apr 1849. He died on 15 Nov 1896 at age 71.
- Amos Fawcett was born on 29 Oct 1826 in Belmont, Ohio. He married Charity Sutton on 6 Apr 1848 in Belmont, Ohio. He died on 25 Dec 1892 in Belmont, Ohio at age 66.
- Martha Fawcett was born in 1832 in Belmont, Ohio, USA. She married Henry M. Wells on 1 Sep 1854 at Belmont, Ohio.
- Edward Fawcett was born in 1 Oct 1833 in Belmont, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Morrison on 21 Mar 1860 in Cedar, Iowa. He was a Union Soldier in the Civil War. He died 24 Mar 1905 at Major, Oklahoma at age 71.
- Thomas Fawcett was born in 1 Mar 1836 in Belmont, Ohio, USA. He married Nancy Hinkle on 29 Jan 1863 in Belmont, Ohio. He died on 9 Sep 1900 in Belmont, Ohio at age 61.
- Rebecca Fawcett was born in 1837 in Belmont, Ohio. She married George W. Neff. She died on 25 Jun 1899 at age 62.
When Thomas’ father died in 1822, Thomas inherited a large share of his father’s estate, but as a consequence, he he also inherited responsibilities to take care of his mother. After asking that his debts be paid, Thomas Fawcett, Sr. bequeathed to his wife (for her use until her death) part of the garden and orchard, household and kitchen furniture, and his wearing apparel and watch. But he went further and said that in order that she may be amply provided for in all respects, Thomas Jr. would have the duty of providing her annually with a third of all the sugar made at the sugar camp near the house, six barrels of good flour, forty bushels of corn, three hundred pounds of pork, one hundred pounds of beef, and $20. Thomas Jr. was also responsible for maintaining the carriage, two horses, two milk cows and six sheep for Martha’s use. He also had to make sure she had fuel. He would have had to do these things for only five years, because his mother, Martha Branson Fawcett, died on 4 Feb 1827 at the age of 77.
Thomas and Rachel Fawcett lived at Richland, Belmont, Ohio for the rest of their lives. They saw some of their children grow up and leave Ohio for wild places like Iowa and beyond. They also saw sons leave the Quaker faith and fight in the Civil War.
Thomas Fawcett died on 22 Jan 1865 in Belmont, Ohio. He was buried in the Old Quaker Cemetery at St Clairsville, Belmont, Ohio. His wife died just a few months later on 17 Jun 1865.
Thomas Fawcett left a sizable estate that he distributed carefully through a will and codicil.
|Will of Thomas Fawcett (1795-1865)|
|Children||Where in 1858 – 1864.||1858 Will||1864 Codicil||Comments|
|Joel||Deceased. His widow and children lived with his parents in 1860.||Item #8: Land gifted to his children minus $220.||No gift.|
|Simeon||Living in Washington, Washington, Iowa in 1860.||Item #11: Share of estate to his children.||No change.||Union Soldier, 1862.|
|Levi||Living in Iowa in 1856.||Item #11: Share of estate.||No change.|
|Nathan||Living in Marietta, Washington, Ohio.||Item #11: Share of estate.||No change.||Executor.|
|Amos||Living in Belmont, Ohio.||Item #11: Share of estate.||No change.||Executor.|
|Martha||Married and living in Malta, Morgan, Ohio in 1860.||Item #7: $600 to her son, Thomas Wells.||No change.|
|Edward||Living in Richland, Jasper, Iowa in 1860.||Item #10: Land in Jasper Co., IA minus $220.
Item #11: Share of estate.
|No change.||Union Soldier, 1861.|
|Thomas||Living in Belmont, Ohio.||Item #11: Share of estate.||Gets land previously gifted to the children of his deceased brother Joel in will Item #8 instead of a share.|
|Rebecca||Married and living in Bethel, Clark, Ohio.||Item #9: Land minus $220.
Item #11: Share of estate to her children.
|She already received the land and paid $270.|
When studying the will of Thomas Fawcett, I can’t help but wonder why nothing was left directly to our ancestor Simeon Fawcett, the oldest living son of Thomas. On 26 Feb 1866, Simeon went to court in Iowa to be appointed guardian of his sons in regards to this inheritance. Then, on 18 July 1866, he reported to the court that he had received $500 on behalf of his sons, with each child to receive $83.
The estate inventory and sale bill are interesting reading. The appraised value of the estate was $2787.00 and the estate sale proceeds were $2351.85. Among the highest value items per the appraisal were 2 firkins of lard, horses, and grains. There were a lot of farm and household items too. A lot of family members were able to make purchases to keep some of the items in the family.
Where is he in the tree?
¹Disclaimer: There was another Levi Fawcett born around the same time. Additional research is needed to determine which Levi was the son of Thomas and Rachel. Among other reasons that I’m leaning towards this being our Levi is that the other Levi was born in 1827 but, that birth date doesn’t match the order in which Thomas listed his children in the will. Other researchers should be warned that the other Levi, born 1827, is attached to our Thomas and Rachel in FindAGrave.
Ancestry.com, 1830 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data – Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Gr), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1830; Census Place: Richland, Belmont, Ohio; Series: M19; Roll: 127; Page: 245; Family History Library Film: 0337938. Record for Thomas Fawcett
Ancestry.com, U.S., Quaker Meeting Records, 1681-1935 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014), ancestry.com.
“Ohio Probate Records, 1789-1996.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. County courthouses, Ohio. Belmont County, 1865, file #5470.