Tobias Tillman is a Revolutionary War soldier and pensioner who is a 5X great grandfather to my husband.
I’ve written about Tobias in the past, but there is more to share about his life story. for information about Tobias’s family, click on the link above.
Today’s post will examine Tobias’s own life in more details. I was spurred on to this project because, although Tobias lived well into his 90s, I could only place him in once U.S. census.
That seemed odd given his pension statement of having been born in North Carolina, lived in Virginia after the American Revolution until 1806 and then settled in Preble County, Ohio, where he lived out his years.
While Tobias’s statement wasn’t wrong, it was lacking in many details, which have been gleaned from many online resources. It makes me wonder what further information is lurking in county courthouses!
A timeline of Tobias’s life will help fill in some of the details. His wife’s name, said to be Catherine Sharp, has not been proven, but the Sharps were part of Tobias’s FAN club.
1751 or 1752, June – Tobias was born “in the middle of June 1751 or 1752” per his pension application, reportedly in Orange County, North Carolina, which formed in 1752 (month and day not found)
1776 – February 15 – Tobias enlisted in Captain William O’Neal’s Company in Col. Butler’s Regiment of North Carolina militia. He re-enlisted a couple of times and also served as a minuteman. Tobias furnished his own horse and equipment.
1776 – Tobias Tillman married c1776, no record has yet been found in North Carolina or Virginia
1779 – Tobias Tillman on tax list of Orange County, North Carolina
“After the War,” Tobias said he lived in Virginia until 1806, when he migrated to Preble County, Ohio.
1783 – Tobias Tilman, Botetourt County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List, Captain Looney’s District
1784 – Tobias Tilman, Botetourt County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List, Captain Looney’s District, 1 tithable, 2 horse, 7 cattle
1785 – Henry Sharp (11-1-1) and John sharp (6-1-1) both appear in John Reynolds’ District, which includes several members of the Looney family. Tobias Tillman is not listed.
1795 – November 7 – Montgomery County, Virginia – Tobias Tillman & Catherine his wife sold 75 acres on a branch of Sinking Creek called Bear Camp to George Sharp for £40. On 2 November, Henry Sharp & wife Barbara sold 112 acres on Sinking Creek, a branch of the New River, to George Williams for £150. On 10 August, “Johon” Sharp & Fillis his wife, sold 199 acres, price not stated, on Clover Bottom, a branch of Sinking Creek, which is a branch of New River to George Sharp. This group all lived in the Sinking Creek neighborhood, but relationships are not stated in the deeds.
1799 – November 16 – Daughter Barbara Tillman married in Knox County, Tennessee
1800 – December 22 – Daughter Elizabeth Tillman married in Knox County, Tennessee
1801 – Anderson County, Tennessee formed from Knox & Grainger Counties
1802 – Tobias Tillman taxed for 227 acres, south of Clinch River and 350 acres north of Clinch River, Anderson County, Tennessee
1803 – March Session, Anderson County, Tennessee Court Minutes – Tobias Tillman bought 197 acres of land
1804 – June Session, Anderson County, Tennessee Court Minutes – Tobias Tillman and Henry Sharp called as jurors
1805 – Tobias Tillman with 3 sons and 7 daughters, plus extended family removed to Harrison Township, Preble, Ohio and settled on Swamp Creek.
It is said the family crossed the river in Cincinnati and traveled north through Franklin, Germantown and along an Indian trail on the east side of Twin Creek and then to Preble County a grueling 600 mile trip.
1806 – March 14 – Tobias Tillman sold 185 acres to Jacob Weaver and another 400 acres to Jacob Weaver. Both deeds witnessed by John Loy and Lewis (Ludwick) Clapp. Anderson County, Tennessee
1811-1826 – Tobias Tillman appears on all extant tax lists, Preble County, Ohio with one exception: 1824 – Tobias Tillman & John Tillman are taxed as non-residents of Preble County, Ohio (Where did they go for one year?)
1816 – Tobias Tillman elected Overseer of the Poor, Preble County, Ohio
1820 – Census of Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman
1823 – March 19 – Tobias Tillman and wife Catherine sell land to son Jacob Tillman, Preble County, Ohio. Tobias signed with X.
1823 – March 19 – 1830 Census – Catherine died in this time period, as she is not at home with Tobias in the household of Jesse Piles in the 1830 census.
1830 – Census of Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman likely was the male 70-79 living with Jesse and Eva Piles (his daughter). Eva is the only child of Tobias’s in Preble County that has a male in his age range in the home.
1833 – March 22 – Tobias Tillman was granted a military pension for his Revolutionary War service, Preble County, Ohio
1840 – Census of Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman likely was the male 80-89 living with his son Henry’s family
1845 – February 6 – Tobias Tillman reportedly died on this date. He does not appear in the 1850 census, Preble County, Ohio
This timeline provides a much more detailed picture of the life of Revolutionary War soldier Tobias Tillman.
Before finishing this update, it is necessary to provide some commentary on the origins of Tobias Tillman. My thoughts and theories will be covered in Part 2, coming up.