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Thomas Isbell, forgotten patriot of the American Revolution
Posted by: Sharon Dallman (ID *****3148) Date: February 23, 2011 at 09:55:16
  of 18096

Thomas Isbell was my 5th great grandfather. My only connection to him is through his service in the Revolutionary War and the military land grants he was awarded for his service. I've spent the last twenty-three years digging into my Isbell roots; the most productive of which have been the last few.

Thomas Isbell enlisted in Captain Thomas Walker's 9th Virginia regiment and afterward in Captain William Henderson's company. He enlisted April 10, 1776 and was apparently discharged some time in July of 1778, as his name was no longer on the rolls.

This very information has been reported as the military service of another Thomas Isbell, husband of Discretion Howard, who lived in the same area during the same era. I sent for the file on this Thomas Isbell and found where his descendants had written numerous times seeking information on him and some of what they were given was the information on my Thomas Isbell.

The Thomas Isbell, husband of Discretion Howard, "enlisted in Albemarle County, Virginia in 1775 under Captain Dalton, and served two years as private in the Virginia troops". This being a direct quote from the file I sent for and received on this Thomas Isbell. I believe it was my Thomas Isbell who really served under Captains Walker and

Here is a copy of one letter from the file of Thomas Isbell who married Discretion Howard:

War Department
Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D.C.
November 19, 1913

Miss Emma L. Hampton
223 Inman Street
Cleveland, Tenn.

"The records of this office show that one, Thomas Isbell, served as a private in Captain Thomas Walker's Company, 9th Viginia Regiment, commanded by Thomas Fleming, Esq., and subsequently in Captain William Henderson's Company, same regiment, commanded by Colonel George Matthews. Revolutionary War.

The term of his enlistment is shown as "2 years, from April 10, 1776," His name is bourn on the rolls from November 1776, to and including July, 1778, when he is reported as discharged. Nothing further relative to his service has been found on record.

The records also show that one, Thomas Isbell, was a soldier in the Virginia Artillery, Revolutionary War. His name appears on the records under the heading: "A list of state soldiers and seamen, who have received certificates for the balance of their full pay, agreeable to act of Assembly passed November session 1781," which show relative to him as follows: "By whom drawn, William Reynolds; time, April 30, 1785; Sum, 76, s6, d3."

George Andrews,
The Adjutant General

Form No. 70 A. G. D.

The above military land grant belongs to the Thomas Isbell who married Discretion Howard.

My ancestor, Thomas Isbell, is believed to be the father of Temple Elliott Isbell, Sr.

The following excerpt is from a book entitled "North Carolina Land Grants in Tennessee from 1778-1791":

from Appendix A:

Thomas Isbell; III 486, assigned by Hardy Alway, Pvt. (W. B. says assigned by heirs of Hardy Atway)
III 732, assigned by Arthur Smith, Pvt.
III 736, assigned by heirs of Abraham Duoster (or Decoster) Pvt.

Charles Hickman; see Fenner, Richard

Corben Hickman; see Jones, Ambrose

Edward Hickman; see Hickman, Edwin (Tennessee Book says Edward but Archives say Edwin Hickman)

Edwin Hickman; III 509, assigned by Daniel Campbell, Pvt.
III 552, assigned by Hugh Fresher, Non-Com. (W. B. says Hugh Fraysher, Sgt.)
III 570, assigned by John Fraiser, Pvt.

John Hickman; see Jones, Ambrose

Thomas Hickman; III 740, assigned by Nathaniel Smith, Pvt. (W. B. says assigned by heirs of
Nehemiah Smith)
III 743, assigned by heirs of Frederick Cross, pvt.
III 744, assigned by heirs of James Davis, Pvt.
III 759, assigned by assigned by heirs of James Cannon, Pvt. (note says: Heirs of
James Carrom).
III 768, assigned by heirs of Henry Dickenson, Pvt.

Note from "How to Use Appendix A":
If this name appears only in this Appendix, it means the person did not hold a grant in Tennessee, but assigned his warrant for military service to someone else, and the grant was issued in the purchaser's name. If the soldier took up his own land the entry in Appendix A appears as:

Ashe, Samuel, Capt: III 27

If the soldier assigned his land, the entry in the Appendix appears as:

Abbett, John; see Bradley, James
Bradley, James; III 472, assigned by John Abbett, Sgt.

Not every North Carolina Revolutionary Soldier is mentioned, only those who had presented their warrants for payment prior to July 1791 are listed. There is a note which says that 2,227 other warrants had been issued, for which grants had not yet been made.

In some cases the rank of the soldier was not given. The rank appears after the soldier's name wherever it was clearly stated.

After grant No. 1369 the names and numbers in the Grant Book did not correspond to those in this list. Since the time of our research, however, a thorough restudy of the Land Records has been made by Mr. Quarles and his staff in the Tennessee Archives. It is possible that more information about the holders of the warrants based on these grants is now available.


G. B. - Grant Book
W. B. - Military Warrant Book

from Appendix B:

Thomas Isabell - page 35: # 1635 - 200 acres, 1786, Greene Co., on both sides Lick Creek.

Jason Isbell - page 48: # 2274 - 100 acres, 1788, Greene Co., on South side French Broad River above big Pidgeon.

Thomas Isbell - page 91: # 486 - 640 acres, 1787, Davidson Co., on long creek of Barren River,
92 (2): (none listed on page 92 but found them on page 92 below)
96 (2): # 732 - 640 acres, 1788, Davidson Co., on the south side Big Barren River,
# 736 - 640 acres, 1788, Davidson Co., on the south side Big Barren River.

Thomas Ishabell page 34: # 1573 - 100 acres, 1786, Greene Co., on the waters of Lick Creek.

Edward Hickman page 92 (2): # 509 - 640 acres, 1676, Davidson Co., on the north side of Cumberland river,
# 552 - 1000 acres, 1787, Davidson Co., on south side Cumberland river,

Edwin Hickman page 92 (2), see above.
93: # 570 - 640 acres, 1787 (or 1788), Davidson Co., on Hickman's Creek

Thomas Hickman page 96: # 740 - 640 acres, 1788, Davidson Co., on the waters of Stones river,
# 743 - 640 acres, 1788, Davidson Co., on the waters of Stones river
97 (2): # 759 - 640 acres, 1788, Davidson Co., on the east fork of Stones river,
# 768 - 274 acres, 1788, Davidson Co., on the waters of Caney fork.

I have included some information on my Hickman side of my family tree and as you can see they also served in the Revolutionary War and received military land warrants for their service.

These lands are the only connection between Thomas Isbell and his son Temple Elliott Isbell.

I have a copy of the original deed dated September 2, 1787 and it shows a map of the land survey with a handwritten description mentioning Thomas Isbell, (assigned by Arthur Smith above) and the 640 acres lying on the south side off Big Barren River. The deed was drawn by Thomas Hickman and witnessed by James Saunders and James Bradley.

In June of 1803 Thomas Isbell, as power of attorney, signed in behalf of Sarah Bradley, the widow of James Bradley in the court of Stokes County, North Carolina.

I have a scrap of paper in my cherished Isbell genealogy file which states:

"Wm. Isbell can search the records at Gallatin and Carthage and if there is any conveyances from your Father to any person they ought to be registered at one or the other places as the law requires deeds to be registered in the county where the land lies or they can't be valid - (signed by) Thomas Hickman December 4, 1816."

I also found an old newspaper article from the Carthage Gazette dated September 19, 1808 which reads:

State of Tennessee,
Jackson County,
By virtue of a writ, Venditioni Exponas, to me directed,
from the worshipful Court of said County, I shall Expose
to sale, in the Town of Williamsburgh, on the first Saturday
in November next, all the right, interest, & claim, that
Thomas Isbell has to six hundred and forty acres of land,
being on line Creek, of Barren River, said to begin in John
Fraines field, taken be an original attachment by Daniel Hilton, to satisfy the sum of two thousand and eighty dollars, unless debt and costs should be previously satisfied.
Pr. fee 1 25. 4.3t.
James Cook Sheriff.


Sharon Dallman

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