Biography of James Thomas
Kent County, MI Biographies



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James Thomas was born in Northumberland Co., Pa., Jan. 1, 1814; is son of William and Susan (Little) Thomas, natives of Pennsylvania, of French and Welsh descent. His Grandfather Thomas came to America with Lafayette; Mathias Little, grandsire on the mother's side, was also a Revolutionary patriot. Mr. Thomas' mother died when he was four years old and he was bound to Joseph R. Priestly. Their affairs were managed by the outside jury -the neighbors-and Mr. Thomas lived to regret the severing of this relations with his real friend, Mr. Priestly. He learned the blacksmith's trade and after six months went home and went to work on the canal; was taken sick, and after recovery went to boating, working hard and saving nothing, going to school in the winter and doing chores to pay his way. In 1834 he came to Michigan, and in 1841 settled on sec. 20, southwest 80 acres, and in 1865 sold out to his son and bought on sec. 27. In 1867 he bought a blacksmith shop. He was fifth settler in the tp., and his experienoes with Indians and pioneer life rank with the "oft told tale." He was married in February, 1832, to Elizabeth Miller. They had five Sons and four daughters; two children are deceased. Four sons enlisted in Co. H, 21st Reg. M. V. I.; son John was Sergeant. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are members of the M. E. Church. Mrs. Thomas was born July 23, 1810, and died May 31, 1880.

History of Kent County, Michigan
Chas C. Chapman & Company
Chicago 1881.

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