My paternal Great Grandfather was Thomas Stafford. The story handed down through the generations is that he was born in Ireland. The first record we have is the 1870 census showing him born in Virginia. We are trying to find out if he was in fact born in Virginia, County Cavan, Ireland or that area around 1816 and what his parents (our paternal great-great grandparents) names were. The story goes on to say he left Ireland about the age of 15 or 16 which would be 1831 or 1832 and stowed away on a ship bound for the US. He was caught and sold into endured servitude upon arrival in the US to pay his passage. It continues to say he was trained as a stone mason by his owner. After his early release from his servitude, he married and has several sons and daughters. Location is unknown. The first actual documentation we have on him is him and his second wife, Sarah Ann (Brown) Stafford living in Madison County, North Carolina with Sarah's son Walter Brown and their first son together, Luther Stafford. It was also said that Thomas was married prior to the Civil War in the US and while he served int he war, his family left where they lived with his wife's brother in Illinois. He found them only after his had remarried our Great Grandmother Sarah.
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