Thomas P Hamblen (1793-1864)
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Most of the text on this page was provided by Larry Hamblen, author of Our Hamblen Heritage, copyright, with his permission; with a few details pointed out by Reverend Linda Pope of Alex, Oklahoma.
Thomas P Hamblem was born 1 Jan 1793 in Sullivan County, Southwest Territory (now part of Tennessee) to Pierce Dent Hamblen of Maryland and his wife Abigail Vincent of Virginia. His father Pierce had served in the Revolutionary War 4th Virginia Regiment, Continental Line.
He most likely was raised in the Holston River Country of southwestern Virginia, and then in Knox County, Kentucky. He first appeared on the Knox County poll tax in 1817, at age 24. At that time he had one mare. He appeared on the tax list for 1818 and 1819 also, but not in 1820. It is believed that Thomas was in Tennessee that year, and most likely in Hawkins or Claiborne County.
Thomas reappeared on the Knox County tax list in 1821, but not in 1822. That year, a Thomas Hamblen sold property in Hawkins County, Tennessee, to a Robert Gambill. It is possible that this is the same Thomas. Knox County, Kentucky, is not far away, and many people made their way back and forth across the state line.
Thomas Hamblen married Mary Dunn, daughter of Thomas Dunn by his wife Margaret "Peggy" Beeler (who married firstly to a Mr Smith). If she is the mother of all his children, then they must have married by 1822. Mary was born abt 1799 in Tennessee per her entries in the 1850 and 1860 census. Mary is named as "daughter Mary Hamblen" in her father's will in Claiborne County, Tennessee. The Dunns lived in Speedwell, Claiborne County, Tennessee, a short distance from Hamblintown where Thomas' brother, George, lived.
From 1823 through 1828 Thomas appeared on the tax list for Knox County, Kentucky. In 1824 he was the bondsman for his sister, Elizabeth, who married John Wesley Owens, January 5, 1824.
In 1829 Thomas and Mary lived in Tennessee, most likely in Claiborne County, and probably in Speedwell, near the Dunns. Their first child, Catherine, was born there on May 16 of that year. Later that year they became a part of the great western migration, moving to Lafayette and Jackson Counties in western Missouri. On January 12, 1830 Thomas entered land in Jackson County (Range 31, Township 47, Section 30). This was eight years before Kansas City was settled. On July 10, 1832, Thomas purchased two more pieces of land: Range 30, Township 47, Sections 25 and 36.
Thomas and Mary were members of the Pleasant Garden Regular Predestinarian Baptist Church, just east of Pleasant Hill. This church was constituted by the Baptists on the second Saturday in June, 1832, either at the house of Warren Reavis or William Butler, one mile south of the Reavis home. In 1833 the membership was about forty members. James Savage was the first pastor. Warren P. Reavis was the first church clerk. By 1834 Reavis had moved on and David L. Cadle was the clerk and most influential member.
At first the meetings of the church were held at private houses, most commonly in the home of Thomas Hamblen or at the house of William Butler. By 1837 or 1838 a log meeting house was built where the Rheem Cemetery later was located (Range 30W, Township 47, Section 25). At this time, however, Thomas and family moved south to the new State of Arkansas.
Arkansas had been admitted to the Union in 1836. It was probably in 1837 that Thomas and his family moved south, first appearing in a Tax List for Madison County in 1837 on page 10. On page 9 of this same Tax list we see Francis Dunn and John Dunn. Shortly after this, Thomas Hamblen settled in Franklin County. The Indians had been removed from this area by 1828, and then settlers from Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri began to pour into that area. Thomas Hamblen (this spelling) is listed on the assessor's book of 1839 for Franklin County. However, it appears that Thomas located there by 1838, because his third known child, Elizabeth M., was born there in 1838.
Thomas and Mary probably moved to Arkansas to be near Mary's brother, Francis Dunn. Francis had settled in Washington County, Arkansas, on War Eagle Creek by late 1832 or early 1833. Francis was magistrate there in 1832 and 1833. In 1835 Francis was elected as one of five representatives from Washington County to the Territorial House of Representatives in Little Rock, serving under the last Territorial Governor, William S. Fulton. Francis was appointed as an appraiser for the Real Estate Bank of Arkansas, by Governor James Sevier Conway. He became the postmaster of the third post office created in Madison County, Arkansas, on July 1, 1840 and was elected Justice of the Peace on November 17th of that year for the Bowen Township. Francis served as Postmaster until February 18th, 1841.
Thomas Hamblen is listed on the 1840 Census of Franklin County in the White Oak Township. At that time there were five members of his household: himself; Mary, his wife; Catherine; Pleasant W.; Elizabeth. On Monday, January 26, 1840, Thomas along with Eli Patty and James Morris, was appointed a commissioner to view and mark out a road leading north from Ozark to the Madison County Line towards Hustsville. This appointment by the Franklin County Court was in response to a petition presented to said court by the citizens of the Boston Township. On Monday, April 20th, 1840, Thomas Hamblen and Eli Patty reported to the court a new road had been marked-out but there was a protest that the old road ought to be used. The court, therefore, ordered that John Tucker, David Harris, Robert Tucker, John Nixon, and Jenkins Davis be appointed to view and report to the court which was the best and most practical route to take. Thomas received $6.00 for six days service for viewing the new road.
The area in which Thomas settled in Franklin County is in the eastern part of that county, just about five miles from the Johnson County line. In 1840, not far from where Thomas lived, a John Hamblen purchased land in Johnson County. This may have been Thomas' brother. In 1843 the last child of Thomas and Mary was born and named John V. Hamblen.
By 1844 two of Mary (Dunn) Hamblen's brothers, Francis and Joseph had moved into Franklin County. By 1846 Francis was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives as a Whig. He was reelected in 1848 as a Democrat. Joseph, his brother, appeared to purchase land where he thought settlements and towns might spring up. Both Francis and Joseph settled in the Prairie Township of Franklin County, about 20 miles from Thomas and Mary. Many of Francis and Joseph Dunn's descendants still reside in Franklin and Sebastian Counties.
In 1850 Thomas appears on the census for Franklin County. Two children and a niece were still at home with Thomas and Mary. Their daughter Catherine had already married about 1845 to John L. Haynes, a half-first cousin, and Pleasant W., their son, was now married and living with his new bride, Lucinda (Ransome), next to Thomas and Mary.
The next move for Thomas was across the line into Johnson County (1855). On the 1855 tax list of Johnson County, Thomas shows a middle name. It is difficult to make out the name other than it begins with a "P" and includes an "i." It looks kind of like Price, but could be Pierce. He and Mary appear on the 1860 Census for that county. They were living alone. Beside them, however, was their sixteen year-old son, John V. Hamblen, with his new bride, Virginia E. Sutherland. That year Thomas' property was valued at $600.00. However, his personal estate was valued at $7,252.00, which is a reflection of his owning slaves. By 1860 Thomas owned seven slaves.
In 1861 the dark shadow of the Civil War moved into the lives of Thomas and Mary, as it did the entire nation. In February of 1862, Thomas' youngest child, John V., enlisted in the Confederate Army. Enlisting at the same time was George A., and Andrew J. Ransome. George was Pleasant W. Hamblen's father-in-law, and Andrew was his brother-in-law. In November of 1863 Pleasant enlisted in the Union Army. Like the entire nation, the Hamblen family was divided because of the war.
Thomas and Mary remained in Johnson County until about 1864. The war had an awful effect on Thomas. His son, John V., was killed on October 4, 1862, in the Battle of Corinth. No doubt with the Emancipation Proclamation made by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863, Thomas lost his slaves. During this time Elizabeth M. Hamblen, his daughter, died. Also, Mary, his wife died. It is believed that Thomas was moved back to Springfield, Missouri, by his son, Pleasant during 1864.
Thomas did not live long thereafter. He died in Green County, Missouri, September 27, 1864. There are records of a will, written in 1856, but that will evidently was not known by the court in 1866:
"Thomas Hamblen dec., minor heir Thomas Hamblen, grandson age 6. Others, Margaret, wife of George McWilliams; Catherine, wife of John Haynes, and Pleasant Hamblen."
On May 31, 1866, Pleasant W. Hamblen, son of Thomas, was appointed administrator of the Thomas Hamblen estate, and the records reveal that Thomas died intestate. The probate records are as follows:
"(1866, Thomas Hamblen, dec. died in Green County, Missouri, no widow. Heirs Pleasant Hamblen; Catherine Haines; John Hamblen, dec. his son John; Margaret McWilliams, dec. minor heirs; Alice and David McWilliams)(1865 John D. Mullins, guar. of Martha J. and Julia A. Mullins)."
In his will Pleasant's son, Thomas M. Hamblen is listed as an heir. Thomas' minor son, John V., is not listed, and there is no reference to the Mullins. However, in the probate records all of Thomas' four children are named, as is Martha J. and Julia A. Mullins.15
The children of Thomas and Mary (Dunn) Hamblen:
- Catherine Hamblen, b. May 16, 1829.
- Pleasant W. Hamblen, b. Jan. 30, 1830.
- Elizabeth M. Hamblen, b. 1838.
- John V. Hamblen, b. 1843.
- Index to 1837 Tax List of Madison County, Arkansas Territory (index at ancestry $$$) "Thomas Hamblin" on Page 10
- 1840 Census of Franklin County, Arkansas, (image at ancestry $$$) showing "Thomas Hamblen", transcribed here and with annotations here
- Index to 1845 Tax List of Franklin County, Arkansas "Thomas Hamblin"
- Posting by Larry Hamblen to the Franklin County, Arkansas Board at Ancestry.com stating that from probate records, he has that "1866 Thomas Hamblen died in Green County, Missouri, no widow. Heirs Pleasant Hamblen; Catherine Haines; John Hamblen, dec. his son John; Margaret McWilliams, dec. minor heirs; Alice and David McWilliams)(1865 John D. Mullins, guar. of Martha J. and Julia A. Mullins)." These details come from the book "Probate court records : wills, estate settlements, deeds, 1835 tax list--1840 census : Johnson Country, Arkansas, over 10,000 names", by Mickel, R. W., Wimberly, Vera. Montgomery County Genealogical & Historical Society, Inc., Conroe, Tex. : 1981.