Person:Thomas Christian (13)

Thomas Bailey "Kumskaka" Christian
Facts and Events
Name Thomas Bailey "Kumskaka" Christian
Gender Male
Birth? 15 Mar 1770 Botetourt County, Virginia, USAin what is now Tazewell County
Adoption[2] Aft 1777 date is when his father was murdered
Marriage 1793 to Louisa Katherine Harman
Residence? 20 Dec 1799 Tazewell, Tazewell, Virginia, USATazewell County was created from portions of Wythe and Russell Counties. [1]
Marriage 18 Jun 1829 Tazewell, Tazewell, Virginia, United Statesto Mary Altizer
Census[1] 1850 Tazewell, Tazewell, Virginia, USA
Death? 7 Dec 1853 Sinking Waters,Tazewell, Virginia, USA

Kumskaka, later named Thomas Bailey Christian, was the grandson of the Shawnee leader Cornstalk. His mother died in childbirth and his father was murdered, along with his grandfather, Chief Cornstalk, at Fort Randolph November 10th, 1777. This is the story handed down in his family. According to the pension application of Hezekiah Whitt, he was orphaned and raised by Thomas Mastin/Masten and his Indian wife Agnes.s2

Confusion with Thomas Christian, son of Nathaniel Christian

Thomas Bailey Christian (13) has been confused with Thomas Christian (18), son of Nathaniel. Similarities are that they lived approximately at the same time and they both lived in the early frontier. They were both orphaned by their father although Nathaniel's wife did not die young. Researchers believe that Thomas Bailey Christian could not have been the son of Nathaniel Christian and Jane Ewing because their Thomas Christian (18) is believed to have been born sometime between 1750 and 1757 [3] and Thomas Bailey Christian is known to have been born on 15 Mar 1770. (needs citation) And Thomas Christian (18) was living in Tennessee in 1830 and Thomas Bailey Christian (13) always lived in what is now Tazewell County. (needs citation)

Excerpt on a discussion about the confusion about the two Thomas Christians: "The following is being sent to all of you who received information that "Old Lewis' brother Nathaniel settled in Tazewell Co., VA . . .

Not so! Or at least I have never seen any evidence that would substantiate such a move. Indeed, I have written numerous letters within the last year showing that Nathaniel Christian's son Thomas was not the one who settled in Tazewell Co., VA. Where on earth is all this erroneous and dubious information coming from?

Thomas Christian, progenitor of Tazewell Co., VA, was born about 1770—a boy of only 9 years of age when Nathaniel Christian's estate was settled in Montgomery Co., VA. A 9-year-old boy would have been too young to have served as security of his father's estate. Nathaniel Christian's son Thomas, born about 1750-57, was one of the securities of Nathaniel's estate (along with Thomas' brother-in-law William Boydston); and, of course, as a 22 to 29-year-old was quite old enough to serve in such a capacity. Nathaniel's son Thomas was living in Cocke Co., TN, in 1830 at the same time the other Thomas was living in Tazewell Co., VA. The U. S. census as well as other records document their presence and approximate ages. It is my guess that because, as court records reveal, Thomas of Tazewell was "an orphan," someone simply assumed that he must have been Nathaniel's son, but that simply was not the case." by Agnes Branch Pearlma

Origins of Surname Christian

Thomas Mastin gave three of the orphans alternate names. Possibly as one criteria for owning land (it was probably not possible to own land with an Indian name at that time and it is believed that Thomas Mastin gave land parcels to two of the orphans). We know that Mastin gave Low Hawk the new name Hezekiah N. Whitt in honor of his friend and neighbor. We believe he may have named Kumskaka for Col William Christian, another admired military figure on the frontier. At this point though this is just speculation. user:cthrnvl


Thomas Bailey Christian's parentage is controversial because it relies on oral history (Wikipedia). No written records have been found and the only sources are stories passed down through his family. As of this writing, May 2012, there have been no sources found that contradict the family stories. Research is ongoing.

Image Gallery
  1. Tazewell County Historical Society (Tazewell, Virginia). 1850 Tazewell County, Virginia Census. (Signal Mountain, Tennessee: Mountain Press, 199-?).

    Thomas Christian Sr., b. 1770 Virginia, living with Mary (40y), Mathew (16y), George (14y), Susana (13), Sally (10y), Letty (8y)

  2. Whitt, Hezekiah. Revolutionary War Pension Application. (Tazewell County, Virginia: National Archives, 27 March 1844).

    Excerpt: In addition to the certificate given by this affiant, he would state that this affiant was raised from childhood (being Left an orphan) by Captain Thomas Ma(s)rtin, whom he has often heard say, that Hezekiah Whit, the applicant for a pension in the foregoing declaration, was a soldier under him in the Cherokee Expedition into Tennessee. This affiant knew the said Whit at that time and has known him ever since. This affiant knows nothing of any other service stated by the said Whit, but he believes them to have been performed as stated. Sworn to and subscribed the day and year above written in open court. (signed) Thomas Christian

  3.   1820 Tazewell County Census - he may be the "Thomas Christian" listed User:cthrnvl
  4.   I believe these land grants were for this "Thomas Christian" because he is the only Thomas Christian in Tazewell at this time as far as I know. User:cthrnvl

    Thomas Christian - 21 Feb 1785
    Montgomery County
    255 a. On Brush Creek, a branch of Bluestone the waters of New River
    Grants No. N, p. 696 [This could be Thomas (13) or Thomas (18) depending on where the Montgomery County border fell. More research needed.]

    Thomas Christian - 17 Jun 1824
    Tazewell County
    40 a. On Indian Creek
    Grants No. 73, p. 180

    Thomas Christian - 17 Jun 1824
    Tazewell County
    120 a. On Indian Creek
    Grants No. 73, p. 192

    Thomas Christian - 6 Sept 1826
    Tazewell County
    15 a. On Tug River and lower end of his land
    Grants No. 75, p. 274

    Thomas Christian - 10 Jul 1826
    Tazewell County
    58 a. On the Tug fork of Sandy River
    Grants No. 78, p. 228

    Thomas Christian - 21 Mar 1836
    Tazewell County
    77 a. At the mouth of Crain (sic) Creek
    Grants No. 85, p. 403

    Thomas Christian - 1 May 1855
    (of David)
    Tazewell County
    392 a. On Left hand fork of Indian Creek of Clinch
    Grants No. 111, p. 180

    Thomas B. Christian - 1 Jun 1856
    Tazewell County
    140 a. On a ridge dividing waters of Indian Creek from Middle Creek
    Grants No. 112, p. 547

    Transcribed at this website. [2]
    * The last two are probably not this TBC because he died in 1850. Thomas Christian 1855 is probably a grandson and Thomas B. Christian may be Thomas Beavers Christian. User:cthrnvl
  5.   Website: Dahnmon Whitt Family File for Web
  6.   Named in the will of his brother Hezekiah N. Whitt Excerpt: Last be known it, I leave to my wife, Hannah Whitt, 1/2 of two lots lying at Indian Creek, in Tazewell County, on the south side of the River, and now in occupation of Moses Christian; also all my estate at Sinking Waters, while she remains my widow, and she is to pay all my just debts and funeral charges. "I leave to my brother, Thomas B. Christian, my gold ring and my morters, and to him £100, he paying to the Patron or Lord of the Manor 5 bushels of wheat". I leave to my brother, Thomas B. Christian, after my wife's death or marriage, all the rest of the farm, and he is to pay to my sister, Sarah Adkins, £50, and to all my nephews and nieces, £5, and to the Patron or Lord of the Manor 5 bushels of wheat.
  7.   Descendancy File by Caryl Lamont