Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Thomas Sankey Born 22 Dec 1770 - Not 1764!!

For years I had a feeling that the information about Thomas Sankey's age was not correct. Until I did the research to submit his father, Abraham Sankey as a Revolutionary Patriot to DAR, I just kept the thought in the back of my mind, but didn't act on it. Then it became important and I did a census analysis on Thomas Sankey. Thank goodness he lived until 1850 when they actually listed the age as reported. Prior to 1850 the age was a tick mark in a 10 year span, like 40-50. 50-60, etc. In 1850 Thomas says he is age 80, and this figures his birth year to be 1770, not 1764 as his tombstone says, and as many researchers have repeated so many times it is taken as gospel. No, in analyzing the census data available he consistently is in the age bracket to back up his 1770 birth year. Why is it important? Because I found his father Abraham married Jean Scott on 15 March 1770. Thus, Thomas is HER son, not some mysterious first wife. This find more or less shoots a hole in the story repeated so many times by others. My theory is that the "readable" tombstone for him and his wife Hannah Morton, was placed by descendants many years after their deaths. I have pictures of Thomas and Hannah's original tombstones and his is next to impossible to read. It is so eaten away you can not even make out his name. I believe some later kinfolks just tried to remember how old he was when he died. I believe they have the day and month correct, December 22. Hannah's tombstone is very readable but his is a "goner".

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