Tag Archives: Tillman

Post-Research Thoughts on Tobias Tillman & Henry Sharp Family Connections

For the time being, I think I have finished what can be done concerning the parentage of Tobias Tillman. It may be that the names of his father and mother may forever remain a mystery.

However, Tobias’s FAN club most definitely includes the Sharp family – his wife, Catherine, is said to be a Sharp by birth. While leaving no stone unturned in my research, I expanded my “to do” list to include Henry Sharp, who seemed to live in the same locations at the time time as Tobias. He is reputedly Tobias’s father-in-law.

I found an excellent book on the Sharps, downloadable as a PDF – Know Your Relatives – The Sharps – Gibbs, Graves, Efland, Albright, Loy, Miller, Snodderly, Tillman, and other Related Families by Genevieve E. Peters, perhaps self published (the text is typewritten) in January 1953.

In spite of Ms. Peters work having been completed long before the Genealogical Proof Standard was even a thought in anybody’s mind, she has done an outstanding job with her research, literally following the ancestors’ trail, by car, to personally examine courthouse records. One huge difference for me, though, is that I have the luxury of accessing the same records online from home!

No, she doesn’t cite her sources to today’s EE standards, but she liberally footnotes in my favorite college paper format. Therefore, when she mentions someone on the 1755 tax list of Orange County, North Carolina, I can replicate her work and read the tax list for myself.

Tobias Tillman is mentioned several times in Mrs. Peters’ book, but there is also a short chapter dedicated to his line on pages 150-156. She is a lady after my own heart, as she supports several theories I have about Tobias and his family.

First, Tobias Tillman, in his Revolutionary War pension application, states that he was born mid-June in 1751 or 1752 in Orange County, North Carolina. Well, factually, there is anywhere from 0-50% chance that is true. Orange County was first set off on 31 March 1752, so it is possible that Tobias was born there if born in 1752. However, if he was born in June 1751 and grew up in the area where he was born, he would have been born either in Granville, Johnston or Bladen Counties, as they were the parent counties of Orange.

On the other hand, it is said – UNDOCUMENTED – that his parents were John and Eva Tillman. If so, the only documentary evidence I have come across for John Tillman in Somerset County, Maryland is a land deed in which John, no wife named, sold land there in 1753 and bought no further land in Maryland after that time.

If he is the same John who reportedly married Eva (UNDOCUMENTED and likely wrong) Dryden (as Eva is said to be German, but Dryden is a British surname), then the family seems to have left Maryland when Tobias was a baby.

Mrs. Peters adds a further detail about John and Eva Tillman in her book, one that I suspected – John and Eva reportedly had only two children – Elizabeth and Tobias – before John died (in North Carolina) and Eva remarried to a German man.

More than once I’ve found that one of my brick walls appeared because of the very situation of a spouse dying and a remarriage.

There is conflicting information about John Tillman. One common story – family lore – which I’ve been unable to document – is that John died at Tobias’s home in Preble County, Ohio in 1809 at the age of 105. His purported death conveniently happens before the first census of Ohio was taken. However, I truly doubt that Tobias was shuffling around his very elderly father in the back of a wagon as he moved from North Carolina to Virginia to Tennessee to Ohio. By the time Tobias removed to Preble County, Ohio, c1805, his own son, John, would have been of legal age. It seems much more likely that his son was the early John Tillman in Preble County, not a centenarian father.

Tobias and Catherine Tillman sold land in Montgomery County, Virginia in 1796. In footnote 1 on page 152, a descendant stated that the deed was in German script “probably because his father had been left an orphan at an early age and was raised by his mother’s people, who were German, and he never learned to speak English.” Exactly who the father is – Tobias or Tobias’s father – is unclear. However, this scenario makes more sense in terms of extant records because Tobias Tillman is the only Tillman found in early Orange County, North Carolina records. If John is his father and lived to be over 100 years old and Tobias grew up in Orange County, why isn’t John Tillman, or any Tillman, on the 1755 tax list or the 1779 tax roll?

That supports my theory that Tobias’s father died young, left no other sons besides Tobias, and Tobias’s mother remarried to a German man. Unfortunately, the 1755 tax list of Orange County is 23 handwritten pages long and only the male’s name is listed. There are way too many German families living there and no Tillman marriage, or even just “Eva”, to be found. However, the marriage records begin in 1754, so it is possible that Tobias’s father died shortly after he was born and his mother remarried just before the 1754 records begin.

In spite of the lack of a marriage record for Tobias Tillman and wife, Catherine, preponderance of evidence certainly points to a close association between Tobias and Henry Sharp.

Therefore, next up will be an introduction to Henry Sharp and a factual timeline of his life – as opposed to the many connections to several men of the same name.

Tobias Tillman, Rev. War Soldier, Updated Timeline

Tobias Tillman, one of my husband’s 5X great grandfathers, has much information to be found online, but not many people have cited much in the way of sources.

Little by little, I’ve been documenting the facts of Tobias Tillman’s life. I have still not been able to come to any definitive conclusion about his parents. However, his Revolutionary War pension application, some marriage records of his children and local personal property and tithable tax rolls have placed him in specific locations at specific times.

Therefore, since I’ve recently found Tobias in the 1783-1789 personal property tax lists of Botetourt County, Virginia, it’s time to construct an updated timeline of his life. [Note: Tobias was only found there from 1783-1789, minus 1786. He was absent before 1783 and not found on any of the 1790s lists.]

The facts in his timeline all come from one of the three sources I’ve mentioned above.

  • 1751 or 1752, mid-June – Tobias born in Orange County, North Carolina
  • 1776, February 15 – Tobias enlisted in Captain William O’Neal’s Company in Col. Butler’s Regiment of Orange County, North Carolina militia.
  • 1776 – Tobias married around this time. He stated that he lived in North Carolina “until the end of the war.”
  • 1779 – Orange County, North Carolina Tax List – Tobias Tillman
  • 1783 – Personal Property Tax List, Botetourt County, Virginia, Captain Looney’s District, 1 tithable, 2 horses, 4 cattle
  • 1784 – Personal Property Tax List, Botetourt County, Virginia, Captain Looney’s District, 1 tithable, 2 horses, 7 cattle
  • 1785 – Personal Property Tax List, Botetourt County, Virginia, Captain Looney’s District, 1 tithable, 3 horses, 6 cattle
  • 1787 – Personal Property Tax List, John Robinson’s Company, Botetourt County, Virginia, 1 tithable, 4 horses, 9 cattle
  • 1788 – Personal Property Tax List, John Robinson’s Company, Botetourt County, Virginia, 1 tithable, 5 horses/cattle
  • 1789 – Personal Property Tax List, John Robinson’s Company, Botetourt County, Virginia, 1 tithable, 6 horses/cattle
  • 1795, November 7Montgomery County, Virginia: Tobias Tillman & Catherine his wife sold 75 acres on a branch of Sinking Creek called Bear Camp to George Sharp for £40.
  • 1799 – November 16 – Daughter Barbara Tillman married Martin Rice in Knox County, Tennessee
  • 1800, October 14 – Daughter Catherine Tillman married James Abbott in Knox County, Tennessee
  • 1800, December 22 – Daughter Elizabeth Tillman married Alexander McNutt in Knox County, Tennessee
  • 1802 – Tobias Tillman taxed for 227 acres, south of Clinch River and 350 acres north of Clinch River, Anderson County, Tennessee [Note: Anderson County was formed from Knox and Grainger Counties in 1801.]
  • 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 called for jury duty
  • 1805 – Anderson County, Tennessee Tax List – Tobias Tillman
  • 1805 – Tobias Tillman with 3 sons and 7 daughters, plus extended family removed to Harrison Township, Preble, Ohio and settled on Swamp Creek about this time.
  • 1806 – March 14 – Deed recorded. 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
  • 1808, November 22 – Daughter Mary Tillman married in Preble County, Ohio
  • 1811Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1812Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1812, February 27 – Daughter Margaret Tillman married Isaac Nation in Preble County, Ohio
  • 1813Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1814Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1815Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1816Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1817 Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1818 – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1819 – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1820 – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1820 Census – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman
  • 1821 – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1821, October 11 – Daughter Eva Tillman married Jesse Piles in Preble County, Ohio
  • 1822 – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1822, June 13 – Son Jacob Tillman married Mary Thomas in Preble County, Ohio
  • 1823 – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1824 – Preble County, OhioTobias and John Tillman are taxed as NON-RESIDENTS of the county
  • 1825 – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1825, October 13 – Daughter Rachel Tillman married Moses Huffman in Preble County, Ohio
  • 1826 – Preble County, Ohio – Tobias Tillman on tax list
  • 1826, August 27 – Son Henry Tillman married Parmelia House in Preble County, Ohio
  • 1830 Census – 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 – 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

Tobias Tillman, in his pension application, somehow forgot to mention that he lived in Tennessee for at least six years between 1799-1805. That fact didn’t pertain to his pension eligibility, but it did leave a gap in his timeline. His land purchases and children’s marriages helped fill in that omission.

Unfortunately, there are no extant tax lists for the time period in which Tobias was a young adult in Orange County, nor are there any land records there in his name.

There is still more to be learned about the life of Tobias Tillman. Perhaps continued research will point to the names of his parents.

Tobias Tillman, Rev War Pensioner Update, Part 2: 12 for ’22

Today, let’s look at the possible origins of Tobias Tillman, Revolutionary War pensioner.

There is a lot of “information” to be found, both in print and online, but there is one huge problem. Not a single source was identified in any resource I checked.

Most assign John Tillman and Eva (Dryden) as Tobias’s parents. However, I can’t find a single document created in their or Tobias’s lifetime that supports this idea.

In order to present my theory in an easy-to-follow format, let’s start at the beginning with Tobias’s purported immigrant ancestor, Gideon Tillman, who settled in Somerset County Maryland in the latter part of the 1600s.

Gideon Tillman was born by 1645, as his cattle marks were recorded in Somerset County, Maryland on 4 June 1666.

There are church records documenting Gideon Tillman who married  Margaret Manax/Maneux, 15 February 1681 in Somerset county, Maryland. [Maryland Marriages, 1634-1777, by Robert Barnes]

Children born to “Gydeon & Margarett Tillman, “ apparently in Manokin, although I can’t find cited church records:

1. Gideon, born 12 October 1682
2. Solomon, born 13 February 1685
3. Eleanor, born 13 February 1688
4. John, born 15 September 1690
5. Moses, born 26 June 1692
6. Elizabeth, born 1 January 1694/1695
7. Aaron, named in father’s 1720 will
8. Joseph, called youngest son in father’s 1720 will

Next, we have another problem. Some claim that he married in the 1670s to an Eleanor (MNU), but there is nothing to support that idea. There is also an extensive list of children attributed to them, again with no sources cited, so I am sticking with the idea that Margaret was Gideon’s first wife and the mother of the children above listed.

His sons Gideon, Solomon, John and Moses are all of an age to be the paternal grandfather of Tobias Tillman.

What became of these four sons? The short answer is “I mostly don’t know.” No marriage records have been found for any of them, nor have I found probates for any of them except John.

The eight children above are all named in their father’s 1720 will. Gideon’s wife was named executrix, but he did not include her given name in the document.

The sons all inherited land and the will stipulated that none of the five boys were to sell or dispose of any land except to each other. The will made no reference to where any of the children lived or if Eleanor and Elizabeth were married. It is assumed that all the children lived locally.

There is one more helpful record in Somerset County. Gideon’s son John Tillman wrote his will there on 26 March 1733; it was proved in court on 16 June 1733. John’s wife Rosanna claimed her one third share and was named as executrix of John’s estate. Children who received bequests were Benjamin, Aaron, John, Moses, Rebecca and Manex.

John was likely the first born son as John Sr. staed in his will “should my brother Gideon lay any claim to the dwelling plan intended by my father for me and mine (before Benjamin and Aaron come of age) then the whole estate to be to use of the executrix to defend same.”

This portion of the will tells us several things. First, his brother Gideon was still alive in 1733. Second, John married right around his 21st birthday (c1711) and, third, his son John was born c1712 and likely turned 21 right about the time his father died.

Could brothers Benjamin, John and Moses have been the men who appear later in Craven and Johnston Counties, North Carolina? Perhaps. . . .

Now, how do we connect Gideon and his sons to Tobias Tillman?

There isn’t one other Tillman found in the records of Orange County, North Carolina from its formation in 1752 until the end of the American Revolution – not on the 1755 or 1779 tax lists, not in marriage records nor land records nor in probate records. Aside from Tobias stating in his pension application that he was born in and volunteered for war service in Orange County, the Tillman surname is not to be found in any other Orange County records.

If Tobias was truly born in Orange County just as it was formed in 1752, then the only explanation that makes any sense is that his father died when he was young, he had no brothers and his mother remarried.

On the other hand, we need to look at the parent counties of Orange County, particularly since Tobias was born in either 1751 or 1752.

Orange County was formed from Bladen, Granville and Johnston Counties and early land grant records indicate the presence of several Tillman males.

Bladen County

Gideon Tillman appears as early as 1766 when he received a land grant. Supposedly, this is Gideon Jr., born in 1682. However, he then would have been 82 years old when the land was granted. This I doubt.

No Tillmans are found on the 1763 tax list of Bladen County.

Granville County

George Tillman received land grants in 1762/63 and William Tillman received grants between 1790-1793.

Johnston County

Johnston County records are more plentiful in terms of Tillman data. It is important to note that Johnston County was formed from Craven County in 1746. In addition, Dobbs County was formed from Johnston County in 1758, but existed only until 1791 when it was renamed Wayne County.

There is a Moses Tillman living in Craven County as early as 1739/40 when he witnessed a land sale from John Gatlin Jr. to Thomas Hustleton. Whether he was Moses Tillman, born 26 June 1682 in Somerset County, Maryland, there is no way to tell because no North Carolina record has been found indicating an age, other than he was at least 21 by 1739 to be able to witness a land sale.

Moses Tillman received grants in both Craven and Johnston Counties, with all the land located on the south side of the Neuse River.

John Tillman also received many land grants in Craven County beginning in 1761 through 1793. [These grants may represent more than one John Tillman.] He is called Esquire in some records.

John Tillman is on the 1779 tax list of Craven County.

Benjamin Tilghman received a land grant in 1766.

No early tax lists for Johnston County survive.

Dobbs County

Moses Tillman appears on the 1769 tax list.

Joseph Tilghman appears on the 1780 tax list.

1790 Census – John Tillman, one M 16+, 2 M under 16, 2 F
1790 Census – Ann Tillman – 2 F
1790 Census – Joseph Tillman, 3 M 16+, 3 M under 16, 3 F
1790 Census – Mary Tillman, 1 M under 16, 4 F

Exactly how are all these Tillmans related? NO records have yet been found in North Carolina that explains any family relationship.

Unsourced Tillman family data online states that Moses Tillman (born 26 June 1692) of Craven and Johnston Counties and Gideon Tillman (born 12 October 1682) of Bladen County were brothers, both children of Gideon Tillman and wife Margaret of Somerset County, Maryland. I’ve already stated my doubts about Gideon in North Carolina being too old to be the Maryland man born in 1682.

The bottom line:

I do believe Tobias is part of the Tillman family that migrated from Somerset County, Maryland to North Carolina by the mid 1700s. Not only is the Tillman name relatively rare, but his known FAN club supports a Maryland connection.

I also believe the fanciful lore about Tobias’s father moving with Tobias’s family from Virginia to Tennessee to Ohio and then dying aged 105 years in Preble County, Ohio is totally untrue. Someone created this story because (1) Tobias’s eldest son was named John (presumably in honor of his father) and (2) John Tillman appears on the 1805 Anderson County, Tennessee tax list with Tobias. However, his son John was a young married man by 1805 and it is much more likely that he is the John Tillman on that tax list.

I’ve also found no evidence that a married couple named John Tillman and Eva Dryden ever existed!

Having said all that, I have found not one shred of evidence as to the names of Tobias Tillman’s parents.