Clues to the Parents of Catherine, Wife of Rev. War Pensioner Tobias Tillman


I don’t want anyone mistaking this post as proof of anything, but I am sincerely hoping that a reader out there WILL have documentation to back this up.

I wrote about Revolutionary War soldier Tobias Tillman last week. although his marriage record hasn’t been found, his wife was definitely Catherine, proven in an 1823 Preble County, Ohio land deed where she released her dower rights.

Source: FamilySearch

However, I have never found any primary document confirming Catherine’s maiden name. There are many family trees online, along with query forums and the like, that all name her as Catherine Sharp, daughter of Henry Sharp and Barbara Graves. (I haven’t found any documentation for Barbara Graves, either.)

I would be suspicious about the Sharp connection, but instead I am just being cautious because I think it is likely correct information. Without documents, how can I come to this conclusion? Their FAN Club!

Tobias Tillman documented his migratory path in his pension application – born in Orange County, North Carolina and lived there until the “end of the war.” Assuming that was about 1782 or 1783, he then removed to Botetourt County, Virginia, where he lived until migrating to Ohio by 1806.

Tobias didn’t mention passing through Knox County) Tennessee and, although he did, it’s possible that he wasn’t there long enough for him to consider that he “lived” there.

Henry Sharp’s path can be tracked through land deeds and tax lists. He was in Orange County, North Carolina during the American Revolution. About 1782, the family removed to Botetourt County, Virginia. About 1790, they moved on to eastern Tennessee. By 1806, some of the family removed to Preble County, Ohio by 1805. Henry Sharp reportedly died in Preble County in 1814.

Are you noticing a migration pattern here? Orange County, North Carolina to Botetourt County, Virginia to eastern Tennessee (Knox County) before the final move to Preble County, Ohio.

In addition to the migratory pattern, we have marriages between Sharp children and the Loy, Gibbs and McNutt families paired with Tillman children marriages into the same families.

They all clearly knew each other and there is clearly a close relationship between these people.

Here is what I’ve found online about the Sharp family:

First, some claim that Henry Sharp served in the Revolution in Captain Pulaski’s Light Dragoons. I have found one Henry Shaup/Shoop in the German Regiment of the Dragoons, but have no proof that they are one and the same man.

Henry Sharp was reportedly born c1735 in the Palatinate area of Germany. Barbara Graves, his wife, was from Berks County, Pennsylvania and they reportedly married about 1759 or 1760.

Text in GREEN I have been able to document.Given the Tobias and Catherine were unable to sign their names on land deeds, it is likely that they couldn’t read either and would not have owned a family Bible. Where these exact dates are coming from I have no idea!


1. Catherine, born 19 September 1761, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; died 12 April 1837, Preble County, Ohio; married Tobias Tillman.
2. Elizabeth, born c1762; died 8 December 1835, Preble County, Ohio; married Frederick Miller.
3. Henry, born c1765, Orange County, North Carolina; died 20 September 1848, McMinn County, Tennessee; married Elizabeth Mosier.
4. Conrad, born c1767, Orange County, North Carolina; died 11 December 1826, Union County, Tennessee; married Sarah Gibbs. (Union County was not formed until 1850!)
5. Daniel, born c1769; died 1809, Union County, Tennessee; married Sarah Howard, 3 April 1799, Knox County, Tennessee. (Union County was not formed until 1850!)
6. Jacob, d. 1843, McMinn County, Tennessee; married Philopena Stoner (I don’t find any Jacob Sharp in McMinn County in 1840 or any in Tennessee who is old enough to be this man.)
7. Sarah, born c1774; died after 1860 census when she was living with son John Graves in Union County, Tennessee; married John Graves. He died before the 1850 census.
8. Mary, married James McNutt. He is probably the James McNutt, aged 50-59, in the 1840 census of Knox County, Tennessee. There is no female old enough to be Mary in the home. This James married Polly Agnew Fleming in Knox County in 1812, so if he is the same man who reputedly married Mary Sharp, then she died fairly young in life.
9. William,
born c1783, Virginia; died 25 June 1862, Union County, Tennessee; married Rachel Stoner. William is in the 1860 census of Union County. Rachel is not with him. There is a William Sharp in Anderson County, Tennessee, born 1783, Virginia who could be this man. Rachel is not in that household either. Jane/Jenny in both 1850 and 1860 is likely a second wife.

There are no Sharp or Tillman family members on the 1755 tax list for Orange County, North Carolina. Henry Sharp and Tobias Tillman are both listed on the 1779 tax roll of Orange County, North Carolina.

I recognize the Stoner name from Williams research I’ve done in Botetourt County. The 1784 personal property tax list for Botetourt County is online. In Captain Looney’s Company, Henry Sharp is listed with one titheable, five horses and eleven cattle. Also in the same company is Tobias Tillman, with one titheable, two horses and seven cattle. Being in the same (defense) company, Henry and Tobias clearly lived nearby each other.

If anyone is descended from or has information about the families of Henry Sharp & Barbara Graves or Tobias Tillman and & Catherine Sharp, PLEASE contact me. Many ladies have joined DAR under Tobias Tillman, including some recently.


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