Thomas Gorham (c1734 – 1814)

Thomas Gorham is first found in the 1 October 1740 lease in Prince William (later Loudoun) County to “John Gorum and Mary, his wife, and Thomas Gorum his son”.1  He was probably quite young at this time, as his next appearance in the records is the Loudoun County tithables list of 1760. I note that he was not a tithable of his father in 1749, meaning that he had not yet reached the age of 16 that year. He thus appears to have been born after 1733, but before 1739 when the contract for the above lease was made. In addition, he was listed in the Loudoun County tithables of 1760, 1761, and 1762 as overseer for William Bronough, from which we can infer that he had probably reached majority by 1760.2

William Bronough’s plantation, on which Thomas was overseer, was located on Goose Creek, nearly 20 miles west of John Gorham’s leased land. Thomas Gorham’s subsequent appearances in Loudoun County are all in that same area, which became the eastern edge of Shelburne Parish after 1771. (He was, though, a purchaser at his father’s estate sale.) The 1763 tithables are missing, but he appears as a taxpayer each year from 1764 through 1775, paying the head tax for one or two other men in most of those years. [His relationship with these men is unknown but they were most likely servants.] It is not clear whose land he was occupying, as there is no record of a purchase or lease by him in the surviving Loudoun records. He was clearly farming on someone’s land, as he had acquired a slave by 1772, two more by 1774, and a fourth by 1778. Beginning in 1778 his own son John Gorham was taxed to him.3 The last tax list on which he appeared was in 1781 (the list for his district is missing for the years 1782-3, but he was no longer in the county by 1784.)

Patriotic Service

Thomas Gorham did not serve in the Revolution, but he supported the troops by providing a total of 612 pounds of beef for which he was reimbursed by the Loudoun court on 12 March 1782.4 A DAR application was approved in 1944 based on this evidence.5

On the following day, 13 March 1782, he was selected by his nephew Miles Barden as his guardian and filed a petition on Barden’s behalf to settle the estate of his father Thomas Barden a few months later.6 Thomas Barden, who had been listed near Thomas Gorham in the tithables lists beginning in 1768, died in 1775 leaving a widow named Elizabeth who later remarried to John Wells. Elizabeth Barden appears to have been Thomas Gorham’s sister, since her son Miles Barden’s full name is given in both the 1786 tithables and the settlement of his father’s estate as “Miles Gorham Barden”.

Marries Margaret Cotton

Thomas Gorham married Margaret Cotton, daughter of William Cotton, sometime around 1761 (their son John was born about 1762). The Loudoun County will of William Cotton, written on 30 June 1787 and proved on 9 June 1788, mentions two sons named William and John and two daughters, Margaret Gorham and Francis Spurr, to whom he gave “each a mourning ring of the value of thirty shillings”.7 All four children were then or later located in Fayette County, Kentucky. William Cotton himself was evidently married to Mary Taylor, as the will of Henry Taylor names his “son-in-law William Cotton”.8

Moves to Kentucky

On 14 August 1786 Thomas Gorham recorded a patent for land in Fayette (now Montgomery) County, Kentucky which he had surveyed two years earlier on 23 March 1784.9 Although many early records of Fayette County were burned, some deeds were rerecorded. One of them is dated 5 September 1787 when Thomas Gorham “of Fayette County” bought land in what was becoming Bourbon County with his sons John and Thomas Jr. as witnesses.10  Oddly, he was Thomas Gorham of Loudoun County when he purchased land in Fayette County from his brother-in-law Richard Spurr on 11 February 1788.11   By 1788 he was in Bourbon County.  He is not on its 1787 tax list, but does appear in the nearly complete annual tax lists from 1788 through 1797.  In 1788 and 1789 he appears as a single poll, his son John living apart and still in Fayette County.  His son Sanford Gorham first appears on the Bourbon tax lists in 1790, his son Thomas Jr. in 1791, and his son Alexander in 1793. Since these sons were all old enough to have been taxed earlier, I presume they had remained in Fayette County for a few years.

Settles in Logan County

Although Thomas and his three sons were all on the 1797 tax list of Bourbon County, they were evidently in the midst of a move to Logan County, where Thomas Gorham (either senior or junior) also appears on the 1796 and 1797 tax lists.  Thomas Gorham Sr. and Thomas Gorham Jr. between them surveyed six patents in Logan County in late 1796, and Alexander Gorham had one tract surveyed the same year.12  Sanford Gorham had purchased two parcels in Logan County in the fall of 1796 as well.13   The whole family had apparently had moved to Logan County by 10 August 1797, when Thomas Gorham Jr. was listed as a Lieutenant in the 23rd regiment of militia of Logan County.14  Thomas and Sanford Gorham are on the 1797 Logan tax list, and Thomas Sr., Thomas Jr., and Sanford Gorham are on the 1799 tax list.

The grant and deed records of Kentucky do not clearly differentiate between Thomas Gorham and his son Thomas Gorham.  Between the two of them, they received a number of Kentucky land grants totaling 1,300 acres in Logan County in 1796, 1799, and 1802, as well as 400 acres in Muhlenberg County, and 400 acres in Christian County.15  One or the other purchased another 2,000 acres in Logan County in several transactions between 1796 and 1804.16  From later sales, it appears most of these acquisitions were by Thomas Gorham Sr.

There is no surviving 1800 census for Kentucky, but the Logan County 1800 tax list shows Thomas Gorham Sr. along with sons Sanford, William, Alexander and Thomas Gorham Jr. Although some of the sons later moved back to Bourbon County, both Thomas Gorham and Thomas Gorham Jr. were enumerated in the 1810 census of Logan County. Thomas Gorham Sr. evidently still had sons Joshua, William, and one of the daughters in the household.

Thomas Dies in 1814

Thomas Gorham died intestate in late 1814, with William Gorham appointed as his administrator.  His inventory was dated 15 December 1814  and filed a month later by William Gorham.17    Among the items in the estate were “two big Bibles”, “twelve books on divinity”, carpentry tools, and more than $1,000 in notes receivable.   Although no still was mentioned, the inventory included a brass cistern and a whopping 30 barrels of run and 50 gallons of whiskey.   He is believed to have been buried in a “Gorham Cemetery” on his property in Logan County, which has  been paved over in recent years, but it is not clear whether there ever was an identifiable stone in it.  (I note that neither the cemetery records of Logan County nor the local library contains any identification of the burials in it.)

His widow, Margaret, died in late 1817.  Her estate, consisting mainly of household goods, was appraised on 13 December 1817 and recorded a month later. 18

Estate Settlement

A joint settlement of the estates of both Thomas and Margaret Gorham was recorded on 7 April 1823, with William Gorham the administrator of both.19 It lists the legatees as Thomas, Joshua, John, William, and Alexander Gorham, the heirs of Sanford Gorham, John Boyd, Thomas Redman, Thomas Riggs, Abner Clark, John Beck, and John “Burnaugh”.   Most of the heirs received $178.18, although Alexander Gorham, John Burnaugh and Thomas Riggs received slightly less than the others, apparently having previously received a portion.

The heirs are also confirmed by a series of deeds of gift made by Thomas Gorham before his death.  Thomas Gorham owned a large contiguous tract which he split into several plots of roughly 175 acres each and sold to his children and sons-in-law for $1 each.   There was considerable trading back and forth of these lands among the heirs, the deeds for which are not further mentioned here. Finally, a release from Joshua Gorham to the other heirs on 11 December 1817 provides us with still another list of the heirs, and refers to “his mother Margaret Gorham dec’d.”, confirming that she died in 1817.20

Two family legends

There are two later records of interest. First, a daughter of his son Thomas Gorham Jr. wrote in 1880 that “My grandfather, Thomas Gorham crossed the ocean from England with two brothers; one of them a lawyer with one arm, the other a farmer. They settled in Virginia, from there they moved to Pennsylvania and lived there until it was made a free state.  An unknown brother sold his slaves and went to Massachusetts and Thomas Gorham went to Loudoun Co., Virginia with his slaves.”21  There are numerous errors of fact scattered through the entire letter, and the writer could not have personally known her grandfather, so its accuracy is somewhat suspect. However, there may be some truth in this legend. (The stopover is Pennsylvania and the mention of Massachusetts, in particular, seems to be just a legend. This may be connected with the desire among some descendants to claim a connection to Nathanial Gorham, signer of the Declaration of Independence.)

Second, the notes of Mrs. William B. Ardery (the genealogist who assisted in the preparation of Ms. Schooler’s 1944 DAR application) are preserved in the Logan County Library, and I will refer to them as the “Ardery Papers”. A handwritten set of notes in that collection was published nearly verbatim in The Kentuckian-Citizen issue of 11 September 1945. Mrs. Ardery was evidently the source of the DAR application’s claim that Thomas Gorham was “born in Delaware or one of the New England States” and of the early theory that his wife was Margaret Taylor. (This may have been a typo, since Mrs. Ardery later acknowledged that his wife’s name was actually Margaret Cotton.  It could be that she sported the middle name of Taylor, though there is no record of it and middle names were exceedingly rare in her generation.)  Mrs. Ardery’s papers also include notes on a suit in Bourbon County which names the heirs of Thomas Gorham. The heirs are the same as those mentioned in Logan County records, with the exception that it names Francis Burnough’s husband as “George”, who was still alive at the time of the suit.

Twelve Children:

  1. John Gorham (c1761/2 – ca1836) He first appears as a tithable in his father’s household in Loudoun County in 1778, 1779, and 1780.  This suggests a birth in late 1761 or early 1762.   He was almost certainly married before leaving Loudoun County.   A great-grandson named Samuel J. T. Gorham, a grandson of William B. Gorham, wrote that his great-grandfather “Jack Gorham, was one among the pioneer settlers of Fayette County, Kentucky it was either 1767 or 1776 when he came there from Lonadall (sic) County, Virginia…”22   John Gorham was in Fayette County by 1787 when he witnessed a deed of Thomas Gorham.23   He remained in Fayette County where he appears in the 1788, 1789, and 1790 tax lists.   Nearly all county records burned in 1803 but a deed dated 10 June 1799, fortuitously preserved, shows John Gorham of Fayette County buying land on Cane Run just north of Lexington, apparently the location where he was later buried.24  Another preserved deed dated 29 May 1799 shows Thomas and Margaret Gorham deeding land in Fayette County to their son John Gorham.25   There is no 1800 census for Kentucky, but he appears in the 1810, 1820, and 1830 censuses of Fayette County.26   John Gorham is listed among the heirs of Thomas Gorham in several of the estate records, including the estate distribution of 1823.His wife was Priscilla George.  The will of Sarah Smith of Loudoun County, Virginia mentions her daughter Priscilla Gorham — a daughter by an earlier marriage.27  Clift’s Kentucky Obituaries mentions the death of “Priscilla Gorham, consort of John Gorham of Fayette County” in 1824. Samuel J. T. Gorham’s letter also states that he had visited John Gorham’s grave: “…I have been to his grave 4 miles north of Lexington…I found but the one grave there and it is under an elm tree, the old one-story brick house, his former home, still stands but a short distance from his grave…” There is a Gorham Cemetery located five miles from Lexington near Cane Creek which may be this burial place.28 John Gorham’s will was dated 15 October 1825 and proved in December 1836.29  The will left a house and land to his daughter Molly “now Pearson” for her lifetime after which it was to be used for the “full maintenance of of Thomas Gorham as he is lame.” 30  The will clarifies that Thomas Gorham was a son, and names the other heirs as John A. Gorham, George Gorham, William B. Gorham, Thornton F. Gorham, Peggy Gorham, Lelatia (Letitia) Gorham, Simpson C. Gorham, and Travis G. Gorham.   Note that the 1810 and 1820 censuses suggest there were at least six sons, as well as two daughters still at home in 1810.

    1.1. William B. Gorham (c1785 – 16 May 1851) is a proven son by the Samuel J. T. Gorham note and the will. He married Mary Gunn, then Priscilla Pope, and had four children by each wife. He was in Robertson County, Tennessee by 1820 thus couldn’t be one of the males in his father’s 1820 household.  See separate page for more detail.

    1.2. John A. Gorham (13 Sept 1786 – 26 August 1853) An apparent twin of George Gorham below, John A. Gorham is described in an 1882 biography of his son David, which notes that John A. Gorham was born in September 1787 (sic) in Fayette County, married Caroline Kerr in 1813, and had ten children.31  He is in the censuses of Scott County from 1810 through 1850.

    1.3.  George Gorham (13 September 1786 – 18 August 1849) John’s apparent twin, he appears in the 1810 and 1820 censuses of Fayette County, Kentucky.  A bible record copied by the WPA project and filed in the Robertson County library gives his birth and death dates, his wife’s name as “Nancy”, and lists five children: T. J. (1832-1875), George M. (1815–1877), William (1820-1888), Thornton F. (1830-1896), and Lydia Ann (1821-1900).32  Another Bible lists these and more children: John Graves (1810), George Madison (1815), Zirelda Emaline Singleton (1818), William (1820), Lydia Ann (1821), Thomas Jefferson (1823), Buford (1825), Priscilla (1827), Thornton P. (sic) (1830), Andrew Jackson (1832), Boswell Yates Barlton (1835).33  The death date matches the George Gorham who died in Fayette County as reported by Clift’s Kentucky Obituaries. There is a marriage record in Fayette County for a George Gorham to Sally Graves dated 30 June 1807 and another to her sister Nancy Graves on 18 September 1808; this appears to be the same George Gorham. Both marriages are also recorded in Bourbon County, with slightly different dates. Both Graves women were daughters of John and Lydia Graves.

    1.4.  Thomas Gorham (c1805? – ?) The “crippled” and “lame” son mentioned in the will. He is apparently one of the sons in the household in each census, most likely one of the younger sons. Although he was alive at his father’s death, he does not appear in the 1830 census as a head of household.

    1.5.  Travis G. Gorham (c1803 – Feb 1850) was apparently one of the younger sons in the 1810/1820 household. He first appears in the 1830 census of neighboring Scott County, with two other adult males in the household. The 1850 mortality schedule llists his death in February 1850 at age 46.

    1.6.  Simpson C(otton?) Gorham (c1797 – 1856) He married twice in Fayette County, first in 1829 to Letita (Priscilla) Boyd and in 1840 to Delilah Tompkins.  By 1850 he was residing in Randolph County, Missouri where he witnessed the will of his cousin Toulman Gorham. His own heirs included John, James Travis, Margaret, Mary, and Martha.

    1.7.  Thornton F. Gorham (c1795 – by 1860)  He appears in the 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses of Hendricks County, Indiana, where he married Maria Newham in 1840. The 1850 census indicates he was born about 1795 in Kentucky. His children included John A., Thornton F., Daniel S., Thomas J., William, and Priscilla Ann Gorham. The prevalence of “Thornton” in the Gorham family, and the names of his own children, suggest a relationship of some kind with John and Priscilla Gorham.

    1.8.  Sally Gorham  (? – ? ) She married Absalom Cavins on 11 August 1809 with the consent of her father John Gorham. She may have been another daughter who died without heirs.

    1.9.  Margaret Gorham (? – ?)  Absalom Cavins’ brother William Cavins married a Margaret Gorham about 1815.  She was listed among the heirs of John Gorham in later deeds. 34

    1.10. (Mary) Molly Gorham (? – ?) Other than her mention in her father’s will as “Molly Gorham now Pearson”, I know nothing about her.  She was the widow of a Perason

    1.11 Letitia Gorham (? – ?) She was the wife of John Harris in 1840 when they sued the other heirs of John Gorham.  35 Other than her mention in her father’s will, I know nothing about her.

  2. Sanford Gorham (c1764 – 1816) He first appears on the 1790 tax list of Bourbon County, as well as the lists for 1792 and 1795. He apparently moved to Logan County with the rest of the family but later returned to Bourbon County. In 1796 he purchased two tracts in Logan County, and he is on the Logan 1800 tax list, but he and his wife “Hanner” sold these tracts to his father in 1804 as residents of Bourbon County.36  The 1810 census of Bourbon County shows him as age 26-45 with six male and two female children. He died intestate in Bourbon County by June 1816 when his widow Hannah filed an inventory. The 16 April 1816 issue of the Western Citizen mentions the death of Sanford Gorham, killed by a falling tree. A court case in 1826 names the heirs as John, George, Sanford, Harvey T., William, Aaron, Thomas Richard, Thornton, Betsy (wife of Charles Russell), and Susan (wife of Sylvester Bailey).37  As of 1 December 1826, Thornton, Aaron, and Thomas were under 21 and represented by their guardian Thomas Elliot. Hannah, the widow, remained in the area for several years, apparently living in her son Harvey’s household, but is said by descendants to have died in California. Indeed, there is an 1875 death record in Napa County, California for a Hannah C. Gorham, age 99.38  Ms. Schooler’s DAR application gives Hannah’s maiden name as “Cavendish”, with the source given only as “family knowledge”. However, the will of John “Cabaniss” of Green County, written on 11 December 1817, names “my daughter Hannah Gorham” as the wife of Sanford Gorham deceased.39  Indeed, John “Cabiness” was on the 1793 tax list of Bourboun County, about the time Sanford and Hannah must have married. (I would note that “Cabaniss” appears to be a Huguenot name apparently quite different from “Cavendish”.)  The children are also reported in the Ardery papers, although I don’t believe all are correctly identified. Note that the 1810 census shows Sanford with three males under 10 and three males 10-16. Two more sons, both born after 1810, are added in the court records. The three sons born before 1800 can be identified as Sanford, Harvey and William. That means that the three sons born 1800-1810 must have been John, George, and Aaron. Apparently there were only two daughters. The children are apparently split between two households in 1820. Sanford Gorham, married by then, has his own household. Harvey T. Gorham appears to have been the head of a household consisting of his other siblings and his mother in 1820.40

    2.1.  Sanford B(uford?) Gorham (18 October 1794 – 28 January 1882) He married Mary Ashurst, daughter of Josiah Ashurst of Bourbon County, on 2 January 1819.41  He is in the 1820 census of Bourbon County with his wife and one daughter. He evidently moved to Ray County, Missouri sometime in the 1840s. He is in the 1850 census of Ray County, Missouri (age 52). He and his wife are buried in Sandals Cemetery in Ray County, Missouri. His children in the 1850 census were Elizabeth, John, William, Sanford, Mary, Thomas J, and Francis M.

    2.2.  Harvey Taylor Gorham (16 June 1797 – ?) He married twice, first to Mahala Grimes 10 October 182642 and then to Grisela Oakley about 1828.43  He is in the 1840 census of Calloway County, Missouri with three male and two female children. His son by the first marriage, William Rogers Gorham (1827 – 1884), was the grandfather of the Mary S. Gorham who filed the DAR application in 1944.

    2.3.  William Gorham (19 June 1798 – 18 August 1856) I haven’t traced him, but a descendant reported that he lived in Franklin County, Kentucky, married Miranda Collins as a second wife, and had at least six known children: Susan, Agnes Adaline, Robert, Mildred, Louella, and Amy Elizabeth. William may be the other adult male in the 1820 household of Harvey T. Gorham.

    2.4.  John Gorham (c1805? – ?) The son John must have been one of the three males under 10 in his father’s 1810 household. I have no idea what became of him.

    2.5.  George Gorham (c1802-4 – ?) Most genealogies seem to identify him as the George Gorham that I have shown as the son of John Gorham (see 1.3 above), but that can’t be the case. Sanford Gorham’s son George must have been one of the males under 10 in his father’s 1810 household. We know he was of age by 1826, meaning he was born sometime between 1800 and 1805.

    2.6.  Aaron Gorham (c1806 – ?)

    2.7.  Thomas Richard Gorham (c1811 – ?)

    2.8.  Thornton F. Gorham (18 March 1815 – July 1883) He is apparently the same Thornton Gorham buried in the Paris Cemetery of Bourbon County, alongside his wife Elizabeth Powell Gorham. He evidently married again to Emily E. Ross in 1856, according to the Kentucky Statesman. Another newspaper article places him in Bourbon County in 1849.44   [However, a Thornton F. Gorham, who appears to be a different person, is the 1830 census of Hendricks County, Indiana (aged 30-40) and in the 1850 census of the same county (aged 55). See John Gorham #1 above for a possible father.]

    2.9.   Elizabeth Gorham was identified as the wife of Charles C. Russell. Her marriage took place 2 May 1822 in Bourbon County.

    2.10.  Susan Gorham (c1808 – 15 May 1880) She was identified as the wife of Sylvester Bailey. On 7 April 1841, she remarried in Bourbon County to Ambrose D. Tuttle, to whom she was married when she died in Napa County, California.

  3. Thomas Gorham (c1766 – c1837) He appears in the Bourbon County tax lists from 1791 through 1796, then in Logan County’s tax lists for 1797, 1799, and 1800. He seems to be the Thomas Gorham who married Sally W. Sugg on 5 October 1795 in Davidson County, Tennessee.45  The 1810 will of Noah Sugg in Robertson County, Tennessee names “Sally Gorum” as his daughter.46  However, Thomas Gorham’s daughter wrote that her mother was “Sallie Childs”.  He was listed as a Lieutenant in the 23rd regiment of militia in Logan County on 10 August 1797.47  He and William Gorham both appeared as Captains of the same regiment on a list dated 31 October 1802. Although the grant and deed records do not always distinguish between him and his father, it is clear from subsequent sales that he acquired several tracts of land in Logan County starting in 1796. The earliest 1796 survey in Logan County was his, as he and his wife Sally sold that same land in 1804.48  He seems to have sold most of his land by 1811 when he began to acquire land across the state line in Robertson County, Tennessee.He was in the 1820 census of Robertson County, but by 23 February 1823 was a resident of Howard County, Missouri when he began selling his land in Robertson County in several transactions.49   In 1824 he sold 1089 acres in Robertson County “on which sd. Gorham resided before his removal to Missouri”.50  Both his brother William and brother-in-law John Boyd had received grants in Chariton County, Missouri which they sold to Thomas Gorham on the same day in 1825 for $1.51   By 1829, he was in Randolph County, Missouri, where he was appointed surveyor at the county’s formation52 and where he appears in the 1830 census with his son Thomas J. Gorham.53  He was still a resident of Randolph County on 13 July 1833 when he was granted additional land in there, but was apparently briefly in Hines County, Mississippi, for he sold land in Robertson County (which he had purchased in 1811) on 5 May 1834 as a resident of that county. He is thought by many to be the same Thomas Gorham who died intestate in Howard County before 6 November 1833 when his administrators made bond.54  However, that this record predates the 1834 land sale by six months, suggesting that the death in 1833 was a different Thomas Gorham55  His daughter’s letter says he moved from Hines County, Mississippi to Louisiana where he died, which seems to better fit the facts.  In fact, there are at least 17 grants recorded in Missouri to a Thomas Gorham from 1834 through 1840.  At any rate, he was certainly dead by August 1837 when his son Toulman Gorham made a codicil to his will mentioning “my father Thomas Gorham decd” and indicating that his estate had not yet been settled.   Thomas Gorham Jr. was evidently an itinerant preacher, but also a large landowner and had owned both a mill and a still in Robertson County.   According to the 1880 letter by his daughter Mary Gorham Ingram, Thomas Gorham had a first marriage to Sallie Williams, who died after six months and “then he married Miss Sara Childs [not Sugg] and they had 12 children, six of whom died, Patsy, Thomas, Elizabeth, Simeon, Malinda, Tolman, Frances, Henry, and me, Mary Jane.”56 [Note that she names nine children, and gives details on only six.] The 1810, 1820, and 1830 census records suggest that there might have been a third son, who is in Thomas Gorham’s household in all three censuses. If that person was a son, he was dead by 1837 when Toulman Gorham’s will implies only one living brother.

    3.1.  Thomas J. Gorham (c1802? – 1850s) He appears three names away from his father in the 1830 census of Randolph County, with an apparent wife and one male under 5. He is not the same Thomas Gorham who died in 1833 in Howard County, as he was alive to prove his brother’s will in 1838. According to Mrs. Ingram’s letter he married Burvilla Burton and had five children. “Barrilla” Gorham is in the 1860 and 1870 censuses of Macon County, Missouri with sons Thomas L. Gorham and Richard Toulman Gorham and an apparent widowed daughter. The sons and their mother were in Montana by the 1880 census.

    3.2.  Toulman Robert Baylor Cotton Gorham (c1798? – 1838) He is in his father’s 1830 household. According to Mrs. Ingram he married Martha Vivian and had one daughter. His will was proved in Randolph County on 14 April 1838 by Thomas J. Gorham and William Fort. The will, dated 22 August 1837, mentions his wife Martha A. F. Gorham, and one child, Sarah F. Gorham. (The daughter is in William Fort’s household in 1850, age 15.) His will makes the contingent beneficiaries his “brother and sisters”, implying only one living brother. A codicil six days later mentions his brother and sisters “of the white blood” (were there mulatto siblings?) and bequeaths to them his interest in the estate of “my father Thomas Gorham dec’d”. The language makes it clear that his father’s estate had not been settled.

    3.3.   Nancy Malinda Gorham (15 March 1806 – March 1844) She married John J. Lowery according to Mrs. Ingram, and had twelve children.

    3.4.  Martha Francis Sugg Gorham (10 July 1796 – 4 October 1881) She is fairly well researched on the internet. She married a neighbor, William Fort, in Robertson County in 1815. They are in the 1850 census of Howard County, Missouri.

    3.5.   Frances G. Gorham ( ? – ?) married Robert Dysart and had eleven children according to Mrs. Ingram.

    3.6.  Mary Jane Barbara Gorham (? – ?) The author of the 1880 letter, she married James Samuel Ingram and had thirteen children.

  4. Alexander Gorham (3 August 1770 – 15 December 1837) He first appears on the 1792 tax list of Bourbon County and is listed again in 1793 and 1795-1797. On 10 July 1795 he married Saphronia Champ in Bourbon County.57  Like his brother Sanford, he returned to Bourbon County after a few years in Logan, appearing on the 1800 tax list for Bourbon. As mentioned above, he surveyed land in Logan County in 1796 for a grant, which he sold in 1820 as a resident of Bourbon County.58  Saphronia Champ apparently died before 1800, and Alexander remarried to Sally Tyler, by whom he had eleven of his thirteen children. The 1835 will of her father William Tyler mentions his daughter Sally Gorham.59  [Sally Tyler’s mother was apparently the sister of John Gorham’s wife Priscilla George.60  He appears on the 1810 and 1820 censuses of Bourbon County, and was still in Bourbon County in the mid-1820s when two children were married, but by 1830 had moved to Putnam County, Indiana where he appears in the 1830 census. He died there and was buried in the Fillmore Cemetery. His will in Putnam County names four sons: George, Alexander, William, and Thomas, and six daughters: Sally Gorham, Susannah Gorham, Polly Saunders, Barsheba Reeves, Lina Purcell Coffman, and Ruth Barlow. There was one deceased daughter, as the will names grandchildren with a surname of Stobaugh. The son, Alexander Gorham Jr., has a biography in an 1887 history of Putnam County, which gives his father’s second wife’s name as Sally Tyler and states he came to Putnam County in 1829.61  This says he had thirteen children, but names only the six who were alive in 1887. All but one of the children went with their father to Putnam County, Indiana. Additional details in the list of children below are courtesy of Pat Obrist.

    4.1.   Malinda Gorham (18 June 1794 – 24 Sept 1867) She married Thomas Purcell 11 May 1811 in Bourbon County, and then Jacob Coffman 3 September 1833 in Putnam County, Indiana. She died in Putnam County.

    4.2.   Ruth Gorham (c1798 – ) She married Thomas Barlow and apparently also went to Indiana.

    4.3.   Letitia Gorham (c1805 – 11 December 1894) She married John S. Allen and also moved to Putnam County.

    4.4.   William Gorham (c1805 – aft1860) He remained in Kentucky, according to the biographical sketch mentioned above. He seems to be the William Gorham who appears in Nicholas County, Kentucky censuses. The 1850 and 1860 censuses show him to be a wealthy farmer with a wife named Susan. She is probably the Susannah Brand, who married a William Gorham in Bourbon County on 17 February 1830. There are many children in their household, but the eldest were named Thomas (c1833) and Alexander (c1835), which seems to support the idea that this was the same person as Alexander’s son.

    4.5.   Thomas Gorham (8 Dec 1808 – 5 June 1893) He appears in the 1850 census of Putnam County, Indiana with a wife Cassandra (ne Hopkins) and several children. He died in Putnam County.

    4.6.   Priscilla Gorham (c1809 – after 1887) She married Timothy Mark, and was still alive in 1887 according to her brother’s biographical sketch.

    4.7.  Margaret Gorham (c1811 – bef 1837) She married James Stobaugh, and was deceased when her father wrote his will.

    4.8.   Alexander Gorham (10 November 1813 -17 March 1893) He married Elizabeth C. Jackson in 1834 in Putnam County, Indiana. See his biographical sketch of 1887 mentioned above.

    4.9.   Beersheba Gorham (14 October 1816 – 8 July 1905) She married Caleb A. Reeves in 1836 in Putnam County. One of the three triplet girls mentioned in Mary Jane Gorham’s letter of 1880.

    4.10.  Mary Gorham (14 October 1816 – 24 December 1900) She married Henry Sanders in 1837 in Putnam County.

    4.11.   Sarah Gorham (14 October 1816 – 31 January 1887) She married John Sanders in Putnam County in 1838.

    4.12.  George Gorham (8 February 1818 – 13 August 1877) He married Emerine Hayforth Moss in Putnam County in 1840.

    4.13.   Susannah Gorham (ca1820 – after 1887) She married Samuel Flynn after her father’s will was written, and was still alive when her brother’s biographical sketch was written in 1887.

  5. William Gorham (c1775 – 1837) He was apparently the same William Gorham listed as a Captain of the 23rd Regiment of militia in Logan County along with his brother Thomas.  He married Nancy [Darrington?] and had at least eight children. See separate page.
  6. Margaret Gorham (c1774 – aft1850) The release from Joshua Gorham mentioned above refers to Margaret as the wife of Thomas Redmon, who had also received a legacy from the estates of Thomas and Margaret Gorham. She was apparently the “Peggy Gordan” (sic) who married Thomas Redmon in Bourbon County by bond dated 11 March 1793. In addition, Thomas Gorham Sr. sold 187 acres adjacent his other children to Thomas Redmon for $1 on 23 June 1810.62  He seems certain to be the Thomas Redmon in the 1810 census of Logan County (21010-10201), but apparently left the area soon after. They moved to Morgan County, Illinois where Thomas Redman died in 1837.  Margaret, age 76, is in the household of a daughter in the 1850 census of Cass County, Illinois.
  7. Elizabeth Gorham (c1773 – ?) She is identified in the estate records as the wife of Thomas Riggs. On 29 November 1810 Thomas Gorham Sr. sold 97 acres to “my son-in-law” Thomas Riggs for love and affection and five shillings.63  Thomas Riggs had been on the 1800 tax list of Bourbon County, but by the time of the gift he was in Logan County’s 1810 census (31010-13010). The presence of four children born before 1800 suggests that Elizabeth was probably one of the elder children. I didn’t attempt to track them.
  8. Mary Ann Gorham (11 September 1782 – ?) She married John Beck in Logan County on 5 December 1801.64  He is named as one of the heirs of Thomas Gorham in 1817. Her birthdate comes from Mrs. Schooler’s DAR application, attributed to family records.
  9. Susannah Gorham (27 January 1788 – 31 July 1853) She married John Boyd in Logan County on 28 September 1805.65   John Boyd is listed among the heirs of Thomas Gorham in 1817, and on 21 June 1810 Thomas Gorham Sr. had sold him 187 acres for $1.66  They must have had some plan to move to Missouri, for John Boyd filed a grant in Chariton County in 1822. However, they sold that land to Thomas Gorham Jr. in 1825 for $1.67  They apparently remained in Logan County.
  10. Joshua Gorham (c1785 – c1851) He was born about 1785, according to the 1850 Logan County census. (Oddly, his state of birth is written as Pennsylvania, although none of his children claimed that in the 1880 census.) He appears to be in his father’s household in the 1810 census, but he was head of his own Logan County household by 1820. On 19 October 1809 his father sold him 181 acres “whereon I now live” for $1.68   He was probably married shortly after 1810, as the 1820 census shows him with five children under the age of 10. He is in the 1830 Logan census, age 40-50, with eight children in the household, and in the 1840 census with six children. The 1850 Logan County census shows him as age 64, with a wife Elizabeth and three children: Penelope (23), Presley (18) and Jackson (16). Probably the same Elizabeth was his wife when she released dower in a sale of his inherited land in 1814.69  Descendants report that she was Elizabeth Addison. The widow Elizabeth is in the 1860 census (age 64) as a domestic with an apparent sister Tabitha Addison. Some of the children below are from descendants.

    10.1.  Gladden G(reen?) Gorham (c1810 – 1853) He bought land in Logan County in 1836 and sold it with his wife Elizabeth in 1837.70  He is in the 1850 Logan County census with Elizabeth L. and two children. The wife was Elizabeth L. Smith, whom he married by bond dated 3 March 1833.71  In 1860 he is listed next door to his eldest son, Sylvester W. Gorham, and has seven children in the household.

    10.2.  Delilah Gorham (c1812 – 1879) married Lindsay Goff by bond of 21 December 1831.72  Later moved to Illinois according to descendants.

    10.3.   Rachel Gorham (c1815 – ?) Descendants have identified her as the Rachel Gorham who married Robert Murray in 1833, but that person can be proven to be the daughter of William Gorham, #5 above, not this daughter of Joshua Gorham.

    10.4.  Henry Sanford Gorham (c1816 – 1884) He appears selling land in 1836 with his wife “alias Mary Cooper”.73  He is in the 1840 census of Logan County, not found in 1850, and in Jefferson County, Illinois in 1860 and thereafter.

    10.5.  George W. Gorham (c1821 – ?) married Mary Addison 4 March 1845.74

    10.6.  Laura Gorham (c1822 – ?) married John Morgan.

    10.7.  Elizabeth Gorham (c1823 – ?) who married Jesse Rogers.

    10.8.  Penelope Gorham (c1826 – ?) possibly Susan Penelope, she married William Starks.

    10.9.  Derious Gorham (c1828 – ?) He is in the 1850 Logan County census age 21, in the household of John Addison.

    10.10. Presley E. Gorham (c1831 – ) married Elizabeth Starks 25 April 1852.75  He is in the 1860 census in his mother-in-law’s household with four young children.

    10.11. General Jackson Gorham (c1834 – ?) married Jemima Ray.

  11. Nancy Gorham (? – ?) She married Abner Clark in Logan County on 28 July 1804.76   Abner Clark received a legacy from the estate of Thomas Gorham in 1814. On 20 June 1810 Thomas Gorham Sr. sold 181 acres to Abner Clark for $1, described as where Clark then lived and adjacent to Betsy Riggs, and Joshua Gorham. He is also listed among the heirs of Thomas Gorham in the estate settlement of 1817. They moved to Brown County, Illinois about 1835.77   In 1839, Abner Clark and his wife Nancy, then of Brown County, sold their last piece of land in Logan County.78
  12. Frances Gorham (c1765 – bef 1823?) She seems to have been one of the elder children, who married George Burnough probably before 1790.   Note that Thomas Gorham deeded George Burnough land in 1796, two years after the birth of his son Thomas Gorham Burnough.  The will of George Burnough, proved in 1810 in Bourbon County, names sons John, George, and Thomas Gorham Burnough, and unmarried daughters named Polly C., Peggy, and Susan.79   It does not give his wife’s name, calling her only “my dear companion”. The will implies that the son John, at least, was of age at the time. The release by Joshua Gorham in 1817 lists among the heirs of Thomas Gorham a “Franky Burnough”, and John Burnough (apparently the son) was paid a full share of the estate of Thomas Gorham. Francis was apparently alive in 1817 but probably dead by the 1823 settlement. I do not know of any children other than the six named in George Burnough’s will.
  1. Loudoun County Deed Book A, pp45-47. []
  2. Loudoun County, Virginia Tithables 1758-1786, Marty Hiatt & Craig Roberts Scott, (3 volumes, Iberian Publishing Co., 1995). Complete lists survive for only some of the years 1758-1786. []
  3. The 1776 and 1777 tithables were charged from a single list taken in January 1777, so it is possible that the son John Gorham cold have been 16 by June 1777. Normally, the tithables were taken annually in June. []
  4. Loudoun County Minute Book 1780-1783, p73. (items no. 55 and 56. []
  5. DAR Application (National #34655) by Mary Schooler Gorham dated 30 May 1944. Mrs. W. B. Ardery provided some of the research. []
  6. Loudoun County Minute Book 1780-1783, p108. []
  7. Loudoun County Will Book C, pp345. []
  8. Loudoun County Will Book A, p318. []
  9. Virginia Land Office Grants No. 4, p346. []
  10. Bourbon County Deed Book A, p163. []
  11. Bourbon County Deed Book A, p196. []
  12. The Kentucky Land Grants, W. R. Jillson, (Genealogical Publishing Co., reprinted 1971). Thomas Gorham’s surveys: Book 1, p18, p24, p25, p26, p252. Alexander Gorham’s survey: Book 1, p111. []
  13. Logan County Deed Book A-1, p86 and p135. []
  14. The Corn Stalk Militia of Kentucky 1792-1811, G. Glenn Clift (Kentucky Historical Society, 1957), p40. []
  15. Land Grant Book 1, p18, 24, 25, 25,252. Book 2 p179, Book 5 p68, 69, 70, 75, 316. Book 15, p484. []
  16. Logan County Deed Book A-1, page 425, Book A, pages 84, 85, 159, 236, 278. []
  17. Logan County Will Book A, pages 380-2.)  An estate sale was held on 29 December 1814 and recorded at the same January 1815 court.  ((Logan County Will Book A, page 377 with a supplemental list of sales recorded in Will Book B, pages 1-2. []
  18. Logan County Will Book B, page 98 []
  19. Logan County Will Book B, pages 482-3. []
  20. Logan County Deed Book F, p128. []
  21. This letter is posted on at least two websites as of August 2001. It was written by Mary Jane Gorham Ingram (1814-1899), a daughter of Thomas Gorham Jr. []
  22. Undated letter from Samuel J. T. Gorham (1876-1940) to the editor, published in the Springfield Herald-News, found among the A. L. Dorsey papers in the Robertson County Library. The newspaper clipping has no date. []
  23. Ardery Papers (see elsewhere). []
  24. Fayette County Deed Book B, p402. []
  25. Fayette County Deed Book C, p69 []
  26. 1810: John Gorham, 2 males under 10, one male 10-16, one male 16-26, one male over 45, 2 females 10-16, and one female 26-45. 1820: 1 male 10-16, 1 male 16-18, 2 males 16-26, 1 male over 45, 1 female over 45. 1830: 1 male 20-30, 1 male 30-40, 1 male 60-70, 1 female 15-20. []
  27. Loudoun County Will Book L, p9. Dated 8 June 1788, proved 10 March 1813. The will names children with both George and Smith surnames. []
  28. Fayette County, Kentucky Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol 2, No. 2, p62. []
  29. Fayette County Will Book N, p44. []
  30. My thanks to Diane Groves Smith for this and many other details. []
  31. History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky, William Henry Perrin, (O. L. Baskin & Co., 1882), p634. []
  32. Bible owned in 1938 by Samuel Gorham of Robertson County, Tennessee and copied as part of a WPA project, Robertson County Library. []
  33. Found in the Ardrey Papers. The Bible record is attributed to the transcript of Mrs. Redmond Talbot of Paris, Ky. Repeated in The Kentuckian-Citizen issue of 11 September 1945. []
  34. Fayette County Deed Book 22, pp303-4, thanks to Diane Smith. []
  35. Fayette County Deed Book 22, pp303-4, thanks to Diane Smith. []
  36. Logan County Deed Book A-1, p86, p135, and Book A, p278. []
  37. Bourbon County Circuit Court case #606. []
  38. Napa County Deaths Book 1 1873-1903 , No. 314 “Hannah C. Gorham”, born in Virginia, died 5 November 1875 aged 99 years 1 month and 17 days. []
  39. Green County Will Book 2, p28. Will dated 11 December 1817, proved on 22 June 1818. []
  40. 1820 Bourbon County census, Harvey T. Gorham: 1 male under 10 (Thomas), 1 male 10-16 (Aaron), 2 males 16-26 (Harvey, William), 2 females 10-16 (Elizabeth, Susan), 1 female over 45 (Hannah). []
  41. Bourbon County Chancery Court Case, Box 744, dated 9 October 1820. Also, Marriage Records of Bourbon County 1785-1851 gives the marriage date as 8 January 1819. []
  42. Bourbon County Marriage Book 2, p90. []
  43. Ardery Papers. []
  44. Kentucky Obituaries 1787-1854, Clift quotes the Lexington Observer and Reporter issue of 2 October 1849 and mentioning the death of Rowland Powell at the home of his brother-in-law Thornton Gorham in Paris, Kentucky. []
  45. Davidson County Marriage Bond Book 1, p28. []
  46. Robertson County Will Book 1, p44. Dated 8 January 1800 and proved the same month. []
  47. The Corn Stalk Militia of Kentucky 1792-1811, G. Glenn Clift (Kentucky Historical Society, 1957), p40. []
  48. Logan County Deed Book A, p263. []
  49. Robertson County Deed Book R, p39, p333, and p435 and Deed Book S, p33 and p45. []
  50. Robertson County Deed Book U, p252. []
  51. Logan County Deed Book N, p181 and p182. []
  52. Missouri Historical Review, Vol. 24, p223. []
  53. 1male 20-30, 1 male 30-40, 1 male 60-70, 1 female 15-20, 1 female 50-60, 22 slaves []
  54. Howard County Will Book 2, p66. []
  55. The Thomas Gorham whose bond is recorded above is a mystery. Both Thomas Gorham and his son Thomas J. Gorham were still alive at that time. Thomas Patterson made bond as administrator, implying perhaps that there were no close relatives in the area. The bond was made in Howard County, Missouri where the deceased apparently had resided. Further, Thomas Gorham’s estate had not been settled four years later when Toulman Gorham made reference to it in his will. []
  56. This letter has been published on line from time to time.  I would note that the letter contains the dates of death for some of Mrs. Ingram’s children, decades after 1880.   Obviously, parts of the “1880” letter were modified after Mrs. Ingram’s death. []
  57. Register if the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 22, No. 64 (issue of January 1924). []
  58. Logan County Deed Book H, p181. []
  59. Fayette County Will Book P, p364. []
  60. She is thought to be the Letty Tyler mentioned in Sarah Smith’s will. See above. []
  61. Biographical and Historical Record of Putnam County, Indiana, (The Bookmark , 1975 reprint of 1887 original). []
  62. Logan County Deed Book C, p132. []
  63. Logan County Deed Book C, p282. []
  64. Logan County General Index to Marriages 1790-1818. []
  65. Logan County General Index to Marriages 1790-1818. []
  66. Logan County Deed Book C, p130. []
  67. Logan County Deed Book N, p182. []
  68. Logan County Deed Book B, p614. []
  69. Logan County Deed Book D, p247. []
  70. Logan County Deed Book U, p347; Book V, p192. []
  71. Logan County Marriage Book 1, p103. []
  72. Logan County Marriage Book 1, p97. []
  73. Logan County Deed Book V, p38. []
  74. Logan County Marriage Book 2, p28 []
  75. Logan County Marriage Book 2, p82. []
  76. Logan County General Index to Marriages 1790-1818. []
  77. Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, (Biographical Review Publishing Co., 1892), p439. []
  78. Logan County Deed Book W, p365. []
  79. Bourbon County Will Book D, p134. []