Father: Drewery Evans
Mother: Theodocia Jacobs
Spouse: Martha (Patsy) Peyton - b: 15/Feb/1815 - KY
d: 27/Feb/1883 - Casey Co., KY - bur: Peyton Cem.
m: ~1839 - KY
Child-1: Mary Jane - b: Jul/1840 - KY
d: 15/Nov/1931 - Lincoln Co., KY
2: Martha A. - b: 1841 - KY - nra: 1880
m: Milton Deaver or Dover - 23/Jul/1861 - Casey Co., KY
m: George W. Brown - 13/Jun/1875 - Casey Co., KY
3: Aletha - b: 1842 - KY - nra: 1870
4: Bleuford - b: 1845 - KY - nra: 1850
5: Amanda - b: 1849 - KY - nra: 1880
m: William Edwards - 11/Feb/1869 - Casey Co., KY
6: Ellen - b: Aug/1852 - KY - nra: 1930
m: Richard Moore - 26/May/1874 - Casey Co., KY
7: William Robinson - b: 15/May/1855 - Casey Co., KY
d: 13/Oct/1933 - Caddo, Bryan Co., OK
m: Belle Peyton - 14/Dec/1876 - Fannin Co., TX
8: Elizabeth - b: 1858 - KY - nra: 1870
The birth date of Thomas W. Evans, who is believed to be the fourth surviving child of Drewery and Theodocia Jacobs Evans, is asserted by some researchers of the Evans family to have been May 29, 1815.1 However, in the population schedule of the 1900 US Census for Casey County, Kentucky, it was given, presumably by Thomas himself, as May of 1817. Even so, in earlier census records his stated age sometimes appears to be more consistent with a birth year of 1815 rather than 1817. Nevertheless, since it seems reasonably certain that Thomas' next older brother was born in the summer of 1814, the 1817 date would seem somewhat more plausible. In addition, these same researchers further indicate that Thomas W. Evans was born in Tennessee. Of course, this would be consistent chronologically with migration of Drewery and Theodocia Evans from Montgomery County, Virginia, to Overton County, Tennessee, about 1811 and, subsequently, to Kentucky. However, in Casey County census records of 1850, 1870, 1880, and 1900, Thomas' place of birth has been given invariably as Virginia. It is possible that this simply means that he was mistaken about his own place of birth or that, perhaps, at least his mother, if not his whole family, returned to Virginia for some relatively brief period between 1815 and 1820. Within this context, such inconsistencies merely serve to illustrate that on the American frontier of the nineteenth century, exact ages as well as dates and places of birth were accounted much less cultural importance than they are at present. This is understandable considering the hardships of pioneer life, the frequent deaths of children, and standards of literacy. Alternatively, still other researchers have asserted that Thomas W. Evans was not a son of Drewery and Theodocia Jacobs Evans at all, but rather, he was the son of William and Jane Evans. Of course, there is good evidence that Drewery had a younger brother, William, with whom he seems to have been closely associated, so indeed, this may be plausible. Moreover, according to the corresponding census population schedule, there was a household of William Evans resident in Casey County in 1830. Even so, no further details are known and it is not possible to identify this individual definitively. In any case, there is, as yet, no conclusive documentary evidence to support or contradict any of these alternatives and, hence, identification of Thomas W. Evans as a son of Drewery and Theodocia Evans, as proposed in the work of Mr. Larry M. Evans, may be tentatively accepted until proven otherwise. Accordingly, it appears that Thomas W. Evans was the first member of his immediate family to settle in Casey County and that he married Martha Patsy Peyton about 1839. This inference is supported by the 1840 US Census of Casey County, in which the household of Thomas Evans was listed as consisting of a young couple and one small female child. The female child can be reasonably identified as Mary Jane, the oldest daughter of Thomas W. and Patsy Peyton Evans, born in July of 1840. Moreover, Kentucky Land Patent No. 3593 issued June 30, 1842, granted Thomas Evans twenty-five and one fourth acres along the Big South Rolling Fork of the Salt River. The location indicated is approximately ten to fifteen miles north of the county seat, Liberty. A second Kentucky Land Patent, No. 10711, for fifty acres in the same general area was granted to Thomas Evans on September 30, 1847.2
There still remain several place names apparently associated with the Peyton family, e.g., Peytons Store, Peyton Ridge, etc., in the northern part of Casey County near Big South Rolling Fork, which would indicate that members of the Peyton family were early settlers in the area. In addition, census records from the nineteenth century also indicate that they were quite numerous. Within this context, it can be concluded that after their marriage, Thomas W. and Patsy Peyton Evans settled with her relatives where they remained for the rest of their lives. This is supported by the appearance in existing population schedules for Casey County of a household that can be identified with Thomas W. Evans, for every census taken between 1840 and 1900 with the exception of 1860. (Of course, on the eve of the Civil War, 1860 may well have been a problematical year for the census to be taken in a border state such as Kentucky.) Patsy Peyton Evans died February 27, 1883, and was buried in the Peyton Cemetery. Thomas W. Evans survived until March 2, 1906, when he died. In his later years, he apparently lived in Casey County with his unmarried and widowed daughters, Mary Jane Evans and Ellen Evans Moore, who afterward lived together in the town of Hustonville in neighboring Lincoln County.
Source Notes and Citations:
1. Tim Mattingly (among others) states in his research that Thomas W. Evans was born in Fentress County, Tennessee, on May 29, 1815. Of course, Fentress County did not exist in 1815. Moreover, assuming that the month and day are correct, for reasons cited above it seems more likely that Thomas W. Evans was born May 29, 1817, in Virginia. (Private correspondence with Tim Mattingly)
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2a. Kentucky Land Patent No. 3593; Grantee: Evans, Thomas &c.; 25 1/4 acres; County: Casey; Water Course: Big South Rolling Fk. Salt R.; Survey Name: Evans, Thomas &c.; Survey Date: 17/Sep/1841; Grant Date: 30/Jun/1842; (Warrant No. 1: 116): Grant Bk. 8, pg. 283. (Willard Rouse Jillson, The Kentucky Land Grants - Vol. I, Part 2, Chap. X, Filson Club Pub., Louisville, KY, 1925: pg. 1227.)
b. Kentucky Land Patent No. 10711; Grantee: Evans, Thomas; 50 acres; County: Casey; Water Course: Big South Rolling Fk.; Survey Name: Peyton, Thomas S.; Survey Date: 17/Mar/1846; Grant Date: 20/Sep/1847: Grant Bk. 21, pg. 562. (Willard Rouse Jillson, The Kentucky Land Grants - Vol. I, Part 2, Chap. X, Filson Club Pub., Louisville, KY, 1925: pg. 1227.)
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3. 1840 US Census Population Schedule for Casey County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 180, (microfilm roll M704_107; img. 90).
4. 1850 US Census Population Schedule for Casey County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC: pg. 315A, (microfilm: roll M432_196; img. 59).
5. 1870 US Census Population Schedule for Casey County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC: pgs. 256A, (microfilm: roll M593_454; img. 511).
6. 1880 US Census Population Schedule for Casey County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC: pgs. 654B, (microfilm: roll T9_408; img. 589).
7. 1900 US Census Population Schedule for Casey County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC: pgs. 70B, (microfilm: roll T623_514; img. 576).
8. Birth Records, Casey County, Liberty, KY, 1855, pg. unk., (Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, KY, (microfilm: roll 994032; img. 24)).
9. Marriage Records, Casey County, Liberty, KY, (LDS Family History Library microfilm: rolls #0591587-0591590 and #1942728, Salt Lake City, UT, 2002).
10. Comp. Kentucky Death Index, 1911-present, Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning, Health Data Branch, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Frankfort, KY.
11. Larry M. Evans, "Notes by Larry M. Evans", Springfield, IL, May 7, 1979, unpublished. (non-circulating copy available in the Casey County Public Library, Liberty, KY)
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