Many of us that come through Thomas Arnett Sr. and his wife, Sarah, of Clark County and later Bath County KY have been trying to prove or disprove that he is the same Thomas Arnett of Loudoun County VA. Thomas Arnett, son of Alexander and Ruth Arnott, left Loudoun County after 1764. He shows up in Augusta County VA by January 1769 (and Botetourt County when it is formed from Augusta County in 1770). Thomas and his wife, Sarah bought land on Craig's Creek called Mulberry Bottom. In 1786 they built a large stone home, 2 stories and a basement that still stands today. In 1789 they sold the home and farm to Robert Harvey, "in consideration of a tract of Kentucky Land." Thomas and Sarah then show up in Clark County KY with their 8 children. Thomas died in 1809 in Clark County, KY.
All of this made sense until looking at the deeds and wills we noticed that Thomas could write his name in Loudoun County and Botetourt County, VA, but by the time he got to Clark County, KY he signed all documents with a mark, suggesting he could not write. This sent us back to the library to try to prove or disprove the connection.
In June, 2000, I spent a few days in the Mormon genealogy library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I began by looking for evidence that would tie Robert Harvey or his property to the Arnetts of Clark County KY. I found military grants of thousands of acres in Kentucky to Robert Harvey for his service in the French and Indian War. I don't think Robert Harvey ever lived in Kentucky, but he owned a lot of land there. It was frustrating because the records of Military grants did not make it clear where the land was located. I searched all of the Kentucky counties in existence at the time of the Robert Harvey>Thomas Arnett transaction. No luck, but I did find some more Arnetts in these other counties, adding to the confusion. I began to carefully put all of this mew information into my computer database for later study. I found information on Robert Harvey's wife, Martha Borden Hawkins Harvey, her parents and husbandsÕ names, etc.
By the third day, I was getting a little discouraged. Nothing I was finding was inconsistent with our theory of the connection between Thomas of Loudoun Botetourt and Clark. But nothing was clearly making the connection either. I was only about half way through my list of things to look at and more than half of my time in Salt Lake had been consumed.
Finally, late Thursday evening, I was checking the microfilm copies of the Clark County Deed books, writing the details of each land transaction such as the waterways mentioned, neighbors, witnesses, any clues that would tie me to Robert Harvey or Benjamin Hawkins, Martha HarveyÕs first husband. Among the deeds in Volume 7, page 385 of the Clark County Deed books I found, not a deed for property, but a contract in which Samuel Arnett (Thomas Sr. and SarahÕs son) agrees with Aaron Burson and John Duncan of Loudoun County Virginia to assign to them his right to the personal
estate (as opposed to the real estate) of his uncle Samuel Arnett of Loudoun County VA! They pay him $300. If the personal estate is more than $450 they will split it 2/3 to Samuel Arnett and 1/3 to Burson and Duncan.
Samuel Arnett of Loudoun County, VA is a son of Alexander and Ruth of Loudoun County, VA. This document absolutely ends the debate as to whether Thomas Sr. of Clark County KY is the same as the Thomas of Loudoun County VA, and son of Alexander and Ruth. Thomas and SarahÕs son, Samuel, is the nephew mentioned in Samuel Arnett of Loudoun County VAÕs 1810 will. There is now no room for doubt with this tie.
I have a copy of the agreement and have made a typewritten copy as well. If any of you are interested, email me and I can send a copy.
With this evidence we can be certain that Thomas of Loudoun is the same as Thomas Sr. of Clark. IÕm still not absolutely sure that Thomas went to Botetourt County for the interim years, but I think so. The only reason to doubt this was the problem with the signatures and marks. However, the Thomas of Loudoun could write his name. The Thomas of Botetourt could also write his name. Only in his final years of life did Thomas lose the ability to write his name. We know that Thomas of Clark and Thomas of Loudoun are one and the same, with this 1810 agreement. There is no reason to believe that the Thomas of Botetourt is not also the same. With this new evidence, the signature issue can no longer be considered significant.
I am posting this information here so that interested Arnett researchers will know of this definite connection.
I am now very interested in discovering who Alexander's parents were and where he came from. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
Wayne Charles Arnett
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