I will begin this post by pasting information from Harriet Imrey. I will spend time adding to this entry and adding comments when I have time. My comments will be in blue. The black font is information from Harriet.
To see where Edward was living before his move to SC, go to
We know when (old) Edward Thomas arrived in SC, because Edward
petitioned for 250 acres on Bush River on Tuesday, 7 Apr 1767, petition
adjacent to those of John Rankin (married to Elizabeth Thomas, Isaac's
sister) and Nehemiah Thomas (Edward's brother). We also know where
they'd been: Nehemiah Thomas married Abigail Moore at Cane Creek MM
(NC), and Edward and Sarah Thomas sold his Frederick Co VA lands on 1
Nov 1762 and 11 May 1764 while still resident in Frederick Co VA, but
sold 50 acres of it on 10 Jun 1766, specifying residence on the Bush
River in Berkeley County SC.
What we do not know is exactly when (old) Edward Thomas left SC and
settled in Orange County, NC. He sold his only SC land in 1774. The deed got
lost during the war, but was recorded 20 years later:
Newberry Co SC Deed Book C, p. 510: South Carolina, Newberry County.
Personally appeared Daniel Clary Esquire and made oath that some time in
1774 he was called upon to witness a set of titles from Edward Thomas to
Timothy Thomas for 250 acres on branch of Bush River called Youngs fork,
granted to Edward Thomas 15 May 1772 and which said titles he believes
were destroyed in the time of war and that he saw Jeremiah Ham and Peter
Hawkins subscribe their names thereto as witnesses, 20 Oct 1795 before
J.R. Brown, J.N.C. Recorded 2 Jan 1796.
[Note: Daniel Clary was a reliable witness for how things got destroyed
during the Revolution, since he was the Loyalist Colonel of the Dutch
Fork Militia--he and his opposite numbers on the Whig side (Col. Jonas
Beard and Col. Philemon Waters) racked up a lot of property
destruction. Clary would be likely to remember the particular deed,
because his sister Cassandra Clary had just married Timothy Thomas after
the Clary family arrived from MD in 1774.]
The witness to the 1778 deed (John Rankin to Abel Thomas) was
necessarily an Edward Thomas who was physically present at the time.
Isaac's oldest son Edward (age 17) was old enough to witness a deed.
The magic age at which a minor could select a guardian, witness a deed,
testify in court, etc., was 14. He could not buy or sell property,
vote, or do most other things until age 21. Details about legal age are
summarized very nicely at www.genfiles.com/legal/legalage.htm. These
laws were operative in VA, but SC had a few differences, the main one
being that there was no lower age limit for land grants. The names of
the three witnesses in 1778 (Edward Thomas, Isaac Thomas, Timothy
Thomas) would lead me to suspect that all of the parties involved were
members of the older generation. If "old" Edward Thomas had actually
left SC shortly after selling his property, then the 1778 witness would
have to be the next Edward down--Isaac's 17-year-old son.
The 1791 transaction refers to Edward Thomas as an adjacent landowner,
rather than as a person who was present at the sale. The specific piece
of land that adjoined all of Timothy Thomas, Isaac Thomas, and Peter
Hawkins was that granted to "old" Edward Thomas in 1772, and sold by him
to Timothy Thomas in 1774. Edward Thomas was no longer a resident of SC
after the Revolution, but I don't know if he'd moved before or after
1778, just sometime after 1774.