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By Walt and Maxine Gabennesch
The following information is the result of several years of rather intensive research. The information that we have gathered about this family in NC is far from complete. This document is not static. This information is in a constant state of change. When we find an error we correct it and when we find new information we add it. This is an effort to help people with their research of the Thames Family of Bladen/Cumberland Co., North Carolina and beyond.
Evaluate it and use your own judgment to accept or reject the information contained therein. This information and conclusions are current as of the date shown above.
There is so much on record in Bladen/Cumberland Co. NC about this family it is an endless task to do a thorough job. Our research deals with the time period about 1730 to about 1850 in NC. We have a great deal of information about the family members who went west but chose to go there with only those who left around 1808/10 and another group that left in the years 1817 through 1821.
The following is what we have been able to find so far. It is full of documents and some necessary speculation.
You may think it is disorganized. If so, you can sort it out. What the heck, it’s fun. If you read and study this you will find out an awful lot about the Thames Family of Bladen/Cumberland Co. NC. In addition you will have the most accurate history of this family ever put together. I also believe it is at least 98% to 99% accurate (nothing is 100%).
The early Thames family of Bladen/Cumberland Co. made their fortune by aggressive land and timber speculation. Thomas Matthews was the father-in-law of John Newberry the father of Martha who married Joseph Thames. When Cumberland Co. was formed from Bladen Co. Thomas Matthews was named a Vestryman for the new county. There was nothing that they couldn’t do with timber. They were Millwrights and Sawyers and house carpenters all very important occupation for that time. They had the skills and ability to build sawmills or gristmills. They built and owned both.
John Newberry and his son-in-law Joseph Thames were “real estate developers” in Bladen/Cumberland Co. NC. The land they owned in Cross Creek is now the site of the Cumberland Co. Library and includes the smrnunding area. They, along with Thomas Matthews and Jesse Newberry, subdivide part of the Cross Creek area into lots and created the town of Cross Creek that later, along with Campbellton, became Fayetteville, North Carolina. Fayetteville, NC is now famous for being the site of Fort Bragg the home of the 82nd Airborne Division and Special Operations.
The Thames Family of North Carolina was an authentic “Colonial Family”, “The Salt of the Earth”, “Devout Christians”, “Dedicated Patriots”, human beings with all of our human strengths and frailties. They did their share in building this great country. This family fought in the “American Revolution”, “The War of 1812″, ”The Indian Wars”, “The Texas Rebellion from Mexico of 1835/36” and the “Mexican – American War of 1845”. Many of this family served “The Cause” in the uniform of the Confederate States of America. They served when called.
The Thames extended family, under the guidance of its “Matriarch” Martha (Newberry) Thames took care of its own. One of the legacies of this family is the “Cape Fear Baptist Church” of Cumberland Co. NC, which still stands and holds regular worship services.
We are doing this because we want to correct some of the mistakes that we know have been put forth about this family in published books and on the Internet. It also is really a lot of fun because, with the many documents available, it is possible to research them and gain a somewhat intimate knowledge of certain individuals. It is a “labor of love”. We hope reading it will be informative and fun for you. The information contained herein is based on RESEARCH. Unfortunately some information is not, nor can it be, based on a single document. Some information is based on a series of documents such as deeds, tax lists, censuses, court minutes, estate papers and other miscellaneous information to arrive at a conclusion.
WEBSTER’S New Universal UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY Deluxe Second Edition
RESEARCH-Definition: research n. careful, patient, systematic, diligent inquiry or examination in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as researches of human wisdom.