Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thomas Whitley and some on his parents

Continuing with my Grandma Lois' parents, this post is on my second-great-grandfather Thomas Whitley. Thomas was the son of Robert Jackson Wheatley and Melissa Catherine Grinstead. As it appears that Thomas spelled his last name Whitley, that's what I will use for him. It is difficult to capture the story of one's life based on census records and a death record alone. For Thomas, I have also included his mother in this entry and a bit on his father Robert.

Thomas Whitley

Thomas was born on 5 August 1861, in either Warren or Barren Counties. His death record lists his county of birth as Barren County, but with the Wheatley/Whitley family living in the borders of both counties, it is difficult to be certain. Thomas was the first son (and possibly the only child) of Robert and Melissa, born less than a year after they were married in Warren County on 14 September 1860.

I assume that Melissa died prior to February 1864, because Robert Wheatley appears as "unmarried" in the US Civil War Draft Registrations Record in Warren County.
US Civil War Registrations,
In the 1870 US Census, Robert and Thomas are shown as "living here" in the household of Robert's father, Richard Wheatley, in the Elk Springs District of Warren County, Smiths Grove Post Office.
Thomas would have been about nine years old at this time, living with his grandparents and their children.

On 21 March 1872, Robert married his second wife, Martha T. Hays. Robert and Martha had two daughters, Laverna V. Wheatley and Donna M. Wheatley, and were in Smiths Grove, Warren County, Kentucky in the 1880 US Census. Thomas was still living at home with his father, step-mother and step-sisters. Robert, Martha and family later moved to Mills County, Texas.

I do not have a marriage record for Thomas and Elizabeth Hayden Matthews at this time, but I assume they were married in 1885 or early 1886, given the birth date of their first daughter, Martha Bell 'Mattie' Wheatley (born 3 December 1886). Thomas, Elizabeth and family are found in the 1900 US Census in the Elk Springs District of Warren County.
They were in Rocky Hill, Barren County, Kentucky in 1910 (see record from my entry on Elizabeth Hayden Matthews). After Elizabeth died in 1915, Thomas remained in the Rocky Hill District of Barren County. See the record from the 1920 US Census:
I do not have a record for Thomas in the 1930 US Census. The next record I have is his death record, from 7 January 1940 in Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky.
Thomas' daughter Mattie Whitley Goff (listed as Mrs. H.C. Goff) was the informant on this death record.

Melissa Catherine Grinstead Wheatley

Thomas' mother, Melissa, was the daughter of Thomas Grinstead and Mary Petrie. She was born on 8 February 1843. I suspect she died before her 21st birthday in Warren County. In the 1850 US Census, the Grinstead family was in District 2 of Warren County.
The Grinsteads lived a couple of houses down from the Wheatleys, so Robert and Melissa grew up as neighbors.
In the 1860 US Census, the Grinsteads were still in Warren County, neighbors of Robert Lawrence and Richard Wheatley & family.
At the time, Robert Wheatley was living nearby in the home of William McMurry, neighbors of the Lawrence and Goodnight families. When they were married a year later, Robert would have been 22 years old, and Melissa age 17.

At this time, I do not have much else for Melissa Grinstead Wheatley or Thomas Whitley. There is more to Robert Jackson Wheatley's story, as he left Kentucky for Mills County, Texas, and later died there in 1922. I am hoping some Wheatley and Whitley cousins can help fill in these gaps.

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