Thomas Gillespie, of the Cowpasture, Augusta County, VA
b.WFT Est 1710-1718
d.BEF 15 JUN 1790 Augusta County, Virginia
m. est. 1740/41
Facts and Events
Thomas Gillespie was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Advisory on Two Thomas Gillespie's in Augusta County
Note: there was another contemporary Thomas Gillespie that lived for a short while and left records in Augusta County. This other Thomas Gillespie married Naomi Thompson in Augusta County in 1745 and moved to North Carolina shortly thereafter. Some researchers have confused the two Thomas Gillespie's.
Will of Thomas Gillespie
Records of Thomas Gillespie in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
Information on Thomas Gillespie
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~berry/newupload/pages/B6.htm#Gillespie Thomas Gillespie and Eleanor ? (Unknown Last Name) In-Laws of Rebecca Berry
Thomas married Eleanor ? (unknown last name) at an unknown date and place. One child, possibly their oldest, was born in 1738, and if he was the oldest child, Thomas and Eleanor were probably married not long before that. A tentative date of 1737 seems reasonable for an estimate of their marriage date if John is, indeed, their oldest child. They were living in Augusta County by 1742, and there is no documentation of their life prior to that date, so it seems likely that they were married either in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania or Augusta County, Virginia.
There is strong agreement among these sources on Thomas Gillespie's date of death, although some disagreement on the place of his death. Two sources give Augusta County, Virginia as the place of death, while two give Tazwell County.298,299,300,310 In every case where a death date is provided, it is given as 1789, and the information from the timeline, below, supports this date. There are several lines of evidence documenting the existence of at least one, and possibly two other individuals with the name of Thomas Gillespie, and it seems highly likely that the information from these individuals was conflated into a single individual.
Tazwell County, Virginia is located in southwestern Virginia over a hundred miles southwest of the area in Augusta County near the Cowpasture River, where Thomas Gillespie is known to have lived until at least 1785 (as shown by the information in the timeline, below). The great distance between these two points makes it somewhat unlikely that he traveled back and forth between these places frequently. Furthermore, the personal property tax listing for Tazwell County records the existence of another Thomas Gillespie there in 1802, which lends support to the assertion that personal information from at least two different men with the same name was merged into one individual.309 In addition, there appears to be another individual named Thomas Gillespie in Sevier County, North Carolina in 1787, and in Washington County, Tennessee in 1808.21 Both of these entries could represent the same individual, but are most likely not the same person that married Eleanor and lived in Augusta County.
Washington County, Tennessee, which borders Washington County, Virginia, was originally a part of North Carolina, and remained so until 1790, when that state gave up it's claim to the territory. This area also constituted the state of Franklin, which was in existence from 1784 through 1787.308 There is a 1787 Augusta County court entry, shown below, for a Thomas Gillespy, who served as a justice in Sevier County, North Carolina. It seems very unlikely that the same individual would serve as a justice in North Carolina two years after he wrote his will in Augusta County, Virginia. Presumably, Thomas wrote his will because he was either ill or quite old, or both.
Augusta County, Virginia Deed Book 26, page 44 James Gillespy and Sarah, of Sevier County, North Carolina, to Andrew Lecky, 143 acres on Elk Run in Beverley Manor, corner Thomas Hutcheson, deceased. Acknowledged in State of Franklin. Sevier County, 3d July, 1787 before Oliver Alexander and Thomas Gillespy, certified that they are justices by Samuel Wear, Clerk of Sevier County Court
All of these records seem to point to the existence of multiple individuals named Thomas Gillespies in southwestern Virginia and northeastern Tennessee in the late 1700's and early 1800's. It seems quite clear that information from these other Thomas Gillespies was merged, causing the resultant disagreement in dates and places. As will be shown in the timeline below, it seems certain that Thomas Gillespie, the father of Jacob Gillespie, passed away in Augusta County, Virginia, sometime between 1 June 1785, when his will was written, and 15 December 1789, when the will was proved. In all likelihood, he passed away sometime during 1789. As noted above, Eleanor's date and place of death are unknown, but it seems logical to assume that she died at or near her home on Stuart Creek near the Cowpasture River sometime after the death of her husband. Depending on her actual date of death, it took place either in Augusta County, Virginia or Bath County, Virginia.