Thomas Underwood

By Jerome Tew and John Thorne

Thomas Underwood came from Virginia to Duplin (Sampson) about 1782. He is listed as a likely RW VA soldier in the Bizzell Book. The Bizzell Book says that Thomas may have been married when he moved to NC. Only daughters Eleanor and Rebecca and son David Underwood are listed in the Bizzell RW book.

Thomas married 10 March 1783 Sarah Thornton. Sarah was age 16 and Thomas was 40. The headstones for both Thomas and Sarah can be found in the White Oak Church cemetery near Bonnettsville, though both were buried in a field nearby.

Based on the Bizzell book and listed grave markers, Thomas was born 1743 and died age 60 on 4 April 1803. Sarah died May 1849 at age 82. This puts Sarah’s YOB at 1767. She was likely born in Johnston Co. NC. It took 18 years to settle the estate of Thomas Underwood.

Research now shows that Sarah Underwood gave an affidavit in 1845 for Tabitha Holder Royal, widow of RW soldier William Royal of Sampson. She gave her age as 90 in the affidavit. I think this age is in error and the grave marker dates are better.

Underwood researches put Thomas Underwood as a son of Sampson Underwood, Sampson as a son of John Underwood, John as a son of Thomas Underwood Jr.

More research in the estate records of Thomas Underwood show that a daughter Ann of Thomas Underwood married William Jackson Jr. The 1850 US Census list William Jackson as born 1779 and wife Sarah was the same age and born in Virginia. This puts Sarah as most likely Sarah Ann Underwood Jackson and born in VA to the first wife of Thomas Underwood. I believe that his first wife died after he moved to Duplin (Sampson).

He married Sarah Thornton in 1783. It is my thinking, and not proven, that the first wife of Thomas Underwood was also named Sarah. When she died and he married Sarah Thornton, she wanted a daughter named after her. So this family had two daughters named Sarah, named after their mothers. Sarah, the elder, went by Ann in the 1803 estate papers of Thomas Underwood. She was listed as Sarah born in VA in the 1850c. See attached copy.

Sampson deed book 13 page 74 in 1805 list three of the sons of Thomas Underwood, as Josiah Underwood, John Underwood, and David Underwood. Thomas Underwood is also mentioned. Their father might have started this transaction as all his sons were under age. They were getting land, not selling it. They bought 84 acres for about 11 pounds.

Sampson deed 18 page 11 list all five sons of Thomas Underwood in 1817. Josiah Underwood, John Underwood, and Timothy Underwood sold 484 acres to David Underwood and Sampson Underwood for $1000. Timothy Underwood here was likely underage and had to sign the deed. Since, this is a family deed, no one cared.

Sarah Ann Underwood born 1780 to Thomas and his first wife and married 1805 William Jackson Jr. 1775- known issue: Wiley Bryant Jackson 1810- Sampson David Jackson 1812- Elizabeth Jackson Ingram 1814- m: Lovet Penelope Jackson Norris 1816- m: Robert Note: Sampson David Jackson is named for two of Sarah’s brothers.

William Jackson Jr. was the son of William Jackson Sr. 1741-1830 and grandson of Thomas Jackson 1695-1751.

Josiah Underwood born 17 May 1786 married Sabra ___ 1790- and this family is listed in the 1850 US Censes for Sampson. Josiah was the son of Thomas and 2nd wife Sarah. Josiah had 11 children, wrote his will in 1854, and died 7 July 1854. In an 1830 deed 23:357 Josiah sold his son Thomas 277.5 acres for one dollar. This Thomas 1812-1875, married 1 Dec 1846 Mary Ann Royal 1 May 1828-1888 and later was elected Sheriff of Sampson and by 1860 had moved to Johnston Co. NC. This Thomas and wife Mary had 13 children. Mary Ann was the daughter of Whitney and Sarah Martin Royal.

Sarah Underwood was born in 1788 and married Dickson Jackson 1785-1838. Sarah was named for her mom. She is listed in the 1850 US Census for Sampson.

There is a deed that ties this family all together. It is an 1840 deed book 27 page 94 from John Underwood to Sarah Underwood Jackson, widow of Dickson Jackson and it named her three sons. Sarah purchased five slaves on credit from her brother.

John Underwood was born in 1791 and married Janie Marie Boykin 8 Sep 1795-1858. John was well to do in 1850 and is listed in the 1850 US Census for Sampson. He wrote his will in 1860 and died in March 1860 of liver problems. John wrote a 13 page Will and left his seven children with money and much land. Janie Marie was the daughter of Tobias Boykin Boykin 1747—22 May 1812. In Bizzell’s book, John was giving credit for inventing the cotton plow.

David Underwood was born in 1793 and married Sabra Stephens 1800-1855. David and family are listed in the 1850 US Census for Sampson. David’s five daughters are listed in his mom’s 1847 Will. Four of the daughters of David were named Sarah Ann, Margaret Ann, Eliza Ann, and Mary Ann.

Sampson Underwood was born in 1795 and died in 1828. He had married Ann. Sampson left three sons: Daniel Joyner Underwood 1820-, Benjamin Thomas Underwood 1824-, and John Ingram Underwood 1828- All are listed in the 1850 US Census for Sampson.

Timothy Underwood was born 1798 and died about 1845 and married Elizabeth Wright 1797-. Elizabeth Underwood was living with her son Lucian Underwood in 1850.

Rebecca Underwood born 4 Feb 1802 and married 1822 in Sampson, Charles Butler 15 May 1795-11 Dec 1865, moved to Decatur Co. GA, and Rebecca died there 6 August 1865. Issue: Nancy Jane Butler 6 May 1823, John Robert Butler 30 Dec 1824, Charles Quincy Butler 17 Nov 1826, Nathan Williams Butler 3 Jan 1829, James L. Butler 25 Dec 1831, Thomas Butler 25 Dec 1831, Elizabeth Ann Butler 16 Feb 1833, Sarah Butler 1 Nov 1835, Josiah Blackman Butler 25 Oct 1836, David King Butler 17 Nov 1838, Rebecca Eliza Butler 4 Jan 1840, Thomas Jefferson Butler 4 Nov 1844.

Charles was the son of Robert Butler 1777-1839 and Robert was the son of Charles Butler Sr. 1748- 1819.

Eleanor Underwood born Nov 1803 married Rueben Reynolds. Eleanor died about 1843 and is buried with her mom.

With what we have now, it is impossible to say that Thomas Underwood did serve in the RW in Virginia.

We do know that Thomas was born in 1743 and could have served. He died in 1803 and did not live to apply for a RW pension. However, his wife Sarah Thornton Underwood did live to 1849 and did not file for a widow’s Pension. Six months service was required to get a RW pension. However, to get approved by the DAR, any militia or Patriot Service can be used. We do not know where in Virginia that Thomas Underwood came from.

We do know that he may have come from Goochland Co. Virginia and there was a John Bradshaw who gave an affidavit in a RW pension application of Susannah Lacy, widow of Mathew, and stated that Lacy got a bull from Thomas Underwood to be used by the Virginia Army.

Stephen Clarke also lived in Goochland Co. VA, when he entered service, he mostly substituted for others during the whole RW. In 1781 he served for three months as a substitute for Thomas Underwood in the militia. It was a normal thing for an older man with a family to hire a younger person to serve his time. At that time, daughter Sarah Ann was just an infant.

In 1781 in Duplin, Marmaduke Royal hired Henry Holland to serve one year for him. Marmaduke gave Henry 100 acres of land. See Sampson deed 7-394.

The estate records of Thomas Underwood, ties William Jackson Jr, 1779- and wife Ann, Charles Butler 1795- and wife Rebecca, John Underwood, David Underwood, Josiah Underwood, Sampson Underwood, Sarah Jackson, Eleanor Underwood, and Timothy Underwood to Thomas Underwood 1743-1803. Deed Book 27 page 94 ties Dickson Jackson and sons to Sarah Underwood and this family. Copies of these documents are available.

* From the April 2010 issue of The Huckleberry Historian