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Thomas Alderson (1744 - 1837)

Officer Thomas Alderson
Born in Germantown, Bucks County, Pennsylvaniamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 15 Dec 1767 in Baltimore County, Marylandmap
Husband of — married 14 Nov 1778 in Baltimore County, Marylandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 92 in Alderson, Monroe County, Virginia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Feb 2009
This page has been accessed 770 times.



1776 Project
Staff Officer Thomas Alderson served with Virginia Militia during the American Revolution.
Daughters of the American Revolution
Thomas Alderson is a DAR Patriot Ancestor, A001065.

Thomas Alderson was born on 22 Aug 1744 in Germantown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania[1] and his parents were Mary Jane (Curtis, 1707-1785) and John Harvey Alderson, Sr. (1699-1780).

About 1756 his parents moved the family from Pennsylvania to Virginia. [2]

Later the family moved to Maryland.

Thomas Alderson first married on 15 Dec 1767 in Baltimore County, Maryland to Hannah Davis. [2] [3]

His first wife Hannah died about 1777.

Thomas Alderson married secondly on 14 Nov 1778 in Baltimore County, Maryland to Sarah (Bond) Smithson, widow of Thomas Smithson, Jr. [4]

Soon after, they moved from Maryland to Rockingham County, Virginia, USA.

He performed military service a few times [2] ...

1780/Sep: first drafted for three months under Capt. Jeremiah Ragan
1781/Jun: again drafted for a period of 20 days
1781/Sep: again drafted for 3 months under Capt. Coge.

Perhaps as early as 1782 he moved his family to Greenbrier County, Virginia. Thomas Alderson used his bounty-land warrants to secure his property in Greenbrier County, Virginia. [5][6]

For about the next 50 years he lived in the same place but about 1799 that area where he lived changed names when part of Greenbrier County was split off to form Monroe County, Virginia (now in West Virginia, USA).

He died on 05 Mar 1837 in Alderson, Monroe County, West Virginia, USA and was buried there. His actual burial place is unknown but since he was a charter member of the Old Greenbrier Baptist Church, a grave marker was placed at that cemetery. [7]


  1. Davis Alderson (1769-1851)
  2. Jane Alderson Withrow (1771-1860)
  3. Naomi Alderson (1774-1859)
  4. Abel Alderson (1775-1841)
  5. Hannah Alderson (1777-1850)
  6. John Alderson, Major (1779-1855)
  7. Curtis Alderson (1781-1837)
  8. James Harvey Alderson (1784-1872)
  9. Ruth Alderson (1785-1860)
  10. Frances Alderson (1788-1856)
  11. Clementine Clemency Alderson (1792-1871).

Brief Family History

"When John Alderson [father of this Thomas] landed in New Jersey, he was bound to a farmer by the name of Curtice (Curtis) from his passage money. He was to marry Curtis' daughter Jane [Mary Jane Curtis, mother of Thomas] and become a convert to the Baptist faith."

"Alderson came to Botetourt County in 1773 and leased Miller's Mill in Fincastle from Israel Christian. His lease agreement showed his occupation as 'merchant'.

"Even though he was 76 years old at the time of the Revolutionary War, he furnished supplies for the Army.

"He died in Botetourt County in 1780, leaving children Simon, Samuel, James, John, Jr., Mary, Curtis, Benjamin and Thomas." [8]


"At age 12, Thomas accompanied his parents when they left Pennsylvania to settle in Virginia. His statement as an old man noted that as a child he moved to 'Shenandoah Co., and later to Rockingham'. Details of his childhood in the Shenandoah Valley remains unknown, but one can imagine how strikingly different life on the frontier was from the life in Bucks Co., which had been settled for over a hundred years." ...

"In the same year that the Aldersons came to Virginia, John Davis, the minister at the Pennepak Church, in Philadelphia, moved to Baltimore (later Harford Co., MD to join with a Baptist church there. John Davis and the senior John Alderson must have been acquainted, perhaps from Bucks County, or from activities in the Baptist Church, and they continued this acquaintance after moving to Virginia and Maryland."

"In 1767, Thomas was back in Baltimore Co., where he married Hannah Davis, a daughter of John and Jane Davis, on 15 Dec. Thomas may have stayed a year or so in Maryland, but he was back in the Shenandoah Valley by 1769 where his son Davis was born. His presence is also attested by a survey taken for Thomas, of 80 acres in Augusta Co., lying on Daniel James' branch of Smith's Creek, and neighboring Jacob Woodley, Looker, and Carols; the survey was entered in the land book for what is now Rockingham Co. on 2 Nov 1770 ... Thomas' wife Hannah gave birth to daughter Hannah on 7 October 1777, shortly after which she died."

"Thomas apparently maintained his connections with Maryland, since by 22 November 1778 he had returned to marry Sarah (Bond) Smithson, widow of Thomas Smithson, Jr. in Baltimore Co. The newly married couple probably returned to Rockingham Co. a short time after ... Thomas participated as a buyer in the sale of the estate of old Augusta resident and neighbor, John Harrison, on 16 September [1779]."

"Thomas' life on Smith Creek changed abruptly in September 1780, when he was drafted for three months into military service under Capt. Jeremiah Ragan; he was marched to Richmond, where he stood guard at a jail holding "Robers and Torys, 5 of whom (as he was told) were condemned to be hanged." The shortage of provisions faced by the Continental Army at the time can be imagined from an incident related in Thomas' pension application: "a short time before his three months had expired, a proposition was made by a regular officer, his name not recollected, that if the Militia would give up their blankets and tent cloths for the use of the Army that they might go home, which was agreed by the Militia officers."

"Thomas returned home in time for Christmas ... In June 1781 ... he was again drafted, this time for a period of 20 days, and marched again to Richmond. Thomas arrived in Richmond during or shortly after the burning of the city by the British, and he left there with the army to march on to Williamsburg. At Kent Court House (now New Kent, VA), the army ran into the British, and the troops, under the command of Col. Harrison of Rockingham Co., were ordered 'to turn a little to the left where they remained about two hours for the British to get out of the way." This incident was followed by a skirmish at a place named Hot Water, where Thomas was finally discharged."

"... in September 1781, he was again drafted for three months under Capt. Coger, and was appointed by Col. Daniel Smith to be quartermaster to the troops. The troops, again marching to Williamsburg by way of the Swift Run Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, continued on to Yorktown, where the troops joined with those of General George Washington in the final stand against Lord Cornwallis' British troops. In Yorktown, Thomas joined a scouting party which lost several men as the soldiers, under the command of Col. Lewis and Major Lockhard, attempted to take a redoubt. Thomas Alderson was one of a few historic few who witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis on 19 October 1781. His service ended with his assignment to guard duty for British troops, but he was soon appointed to take care of sick soldiers and to try to get them home. Thomas notes in his pension application that he spent two thousand dollars to get the sick soldiers home, and received nothing but $1.25 in return from a grateful soldier."

"According to Thomas' pension application, after the war he moved to Greenbriar Co., "that part of which is now Monroe, and has resided where he now lives for fort-nine years.' This would place his move in 1782 at the earliest, a date consistent with his statement that he returned from Yorktown 'about the 1st of December [1781].' The minutes of the Greenbriar Baptist Church, however, note that Thomas was a charter member of the church, organized on 14 November 1781. Whether Thomas erred in his recollection of the events following Yorktown or he was considered a charter member in absentia of the Greenbriar Baptist Church cannot be determined, but given the date of Cornwallis' surrender, it is likely Thomas could have finished the terms of his enlistment, returned to Rockingham, and moved to Greenbriar in less than one month's time."

"Thomas quickly adjusted to the possibilities on the Greenbriar frontier. Property being plentiful and cheap, most settlers were able to acquire much larger tracts than available further East. In May 1785, Thomas' nephew, George Alderson, who was prominent in the settlement of Kanawha County, entered for him 10 acres near 2-mile Creek of Elk River (in present-day Kanawha Co. near Charleston and 2 acres on Twentymile Creek of Gauley River (now in Nicholas Co. near Belva.) Perhaps the freedom of the frontier was instrumental in affecting his behavior, for which he received criticism from the church; in September 1788, his "unruly passions threatening the Church and refusing to hear the Church" led to his excommunication. At the time, this was a serious charge - but Thomas eventually repented and was received back into the church. In 1789, Thomas had made a survey of a 320-acre tract of land lying on the south side of the Greenbrier River near Wolf Creek; as assignee of George Alderson, he received this land (granted in 1793) as part of the same Land Office Warrant for 1,916.5 acres, dated 300 July, 1783, for which George had patented his and Thomas' other lands in Kanawha and Nicholas Counties."

"The Court Orders of 24 April 1792 named Thomas as the appointed overseer of the 'road from the river at John Alderson's to the foot of Fishbrough Hill, with the tithables from David Jerritt's and up the river, including Graham's company to clean and keep same in repair.' In August 1793, Thomas and wife Sarah appeared in court at the suit of James Kitchen against James Dyche, who seem to have spent much of the 1790's exchanging suits. Two years later, in August 1795, Thomas and nephew George Alderson served as jurors on a case that found James Mayse guilty in his suit against Daniel Fear. As this case ended, Thomas found himself appointed as processioner in a district laid off within the bounds of Capt. Elijah Garten's militia company." In the summer of 1796, "Thomas acted as assignee of Joseph Parsons in accepting a bounty for a wolf's head."

"Thomas added more property to his estate in 1798 when he was granted 86 acres on Lick Creek, north over Keeney's mountain (now in Summers County). He then appeared as plaintiff in court May 1799, when he argued cases against David Jarrett and Bradley Meredith on behalf of his son John. Both cases were dismissed."

"In 1799, he is listed as a resident property-holder of Monroe County, recently split off of Greenbrier, he and Sarah are enumerated with 2 daughters in 1810. "... in May 1811 at the age of 66, he and Thomas Creigh appeared in Lewisburg court to prove a deed presented by John Hutsenpillar. In 1820, at age 76, Thomas was head of a household including wife Sarah and perhaps son John. By 1830, Thomas and Sarah no longer lived in on their own; both, now in their 80's, are found living with John M. Alderson, in Monroe Co."

"His actual burial place is unknown. The marker has been place at the Old Greenbrier Church since he was a charter member and brother of the founder." [2]

Research Notes

A source is needed the confirm the correct death year ...

d: 05 Mar 1836 ? OR
d: 05 Mar 1837 ?



  1. "Family Data Collection - Births". Ancestry Record 5769 #51699 (accessed 4 February 2022). Thomas Alderson born on 22 Aug 1744, child of John Alderson Alderson & Mary Jane Curtis, in Germantown.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Alderson Roots and Branches 1:2:1-4 (1989)
  3. "U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900". Source number: 1844.015; Source type: Family group sheet, FGSE, listed as parents; Number of Pages: 1. Ancestry Record 7836 #11408 (accessed 4 February 2022). Thomas Alderson marriage to Hannah Davis in 1764 in MD. b: 1744 PA & Hannah Davis, b: 1748 MD
  4. "Maryland, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1655-1850". Ancestry Record MDmarriages_ga #1790 (accessed 4 February 2022). Thomas Alderson marriage to Sarah Smithson on 14 Nov 1778 in Baltimore County.
  5. Survivor's Pension Application File citing NARA#M804; roll#26; 37 pages; for Thomas Alderson, res: Virginia
  6. "U.S., Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900". Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry Record 1995 #706 (accessed 4 February 2022). Name: Thomas Alderson; Application State: Virginia; Applicant Designation: Survivor's Pension Application File; Archive Publication Number: M804; Archive Roll Number: 26; Total Pages in Packet: 37.
  7. Find A Grave: Memorial #25639384 for Pvt. Thomas Alderson, b: 22 Aug 1744 Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA; d: 05 Mar 1837 Alderson, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, USA @92yrs; buried: Old Greenbrier Baptist Church Cemetery, Alderson, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, USA
  8. "Places Near the Mountains in Botetourt and Roanoke Counties, Virginia" by Helen R. Prillaman; published in 2002; page 140
  • Greenbrier County Virginia Marriage Permission Slip 12 Aug 1789
Thomas Alderson
Males 45+ - 1
Females 16-25 - 2
Other Free Persons - 1
Thomas Alderson
Males 26-44 - 1
Males 45 + - 1
Females 45+ - 1

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Thomas:

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Comments: 3

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Alderson-1312 and Alderson-2 appear to represent the same person because: dups with same father and same son Abel
posted by N Gauthier
Alderson-768 and Alderson-2 appear to represent the same person because: I discovered these duplicate profiles when I was sourcing one of them. They are a match, with the same dates and places. If you'll approve the match, I'm happy to do the merge. Thanks so much for your help with this.
posted by Julie (Miller) Mangano