My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Dyer County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

B. L. Thomas, mayor of Dyersburg, was born in Christian County, Ky., October 16, 1838, being the son of Frank W. and Martha (Grivenwood) Thomas. The father was of English descent, and a native of Richmond, Va. He was a tobacconist. His father, James W. Thomas, was a native of England. About eight years after his marriage. Frank W. moved to Christian County, Ky., where he remained until his death. While a resident of Kentucky he was a tiller of the soil. He died in 1840, aged forty-five years. Martha Thomas was a native of Virginia, and died in 1867, aged fifty-two years. They were the parents of three children, only two of whom are now living: Frank W., who resides in Paducah, Ky., and is a printer by trade, and B. L. The latter was reared and educated in Ballard County, Ky., and Paducah. At the age of twenty he began learning the jeweler’s trade, in Paducah, and in March, 1857, moved to Dyersburg, where he has since resided. May 4, 1859, he married Miss Frankie E. Pierce, daughter of J. N. Pierce. Mrs. Thomas was born in Dyersburg, in 1844. They have ten children: Mattie (wife of G. W. Thomas), Rebecca, Joseph W., Manemma, Frankie, Katie, Bev. L., Jun., Daisy, Whitfield and an infant son. In June, 1861, Mr. Thomas enlisted in Company E, Forty-seventh Regiment Tennessee Confederate Infantry. He fought at Shiloh, at Davis’ Mills, and had charge of the hospital at Jackson, Tenn., for four months in 1863. He returned home just before the war closed. He was elected mayor of Dyersburg in 1880, and has been re-elected each year since. He is a Democrat and a Mason, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The county has no better citizen.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 128 biographies included in The History of Dyer County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Dyer County was included within The History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley & Lake Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Gibson, Obion, Dyer, Weakley, and Lake Counties of Tennessee

To view additional Dyer County, Tennessee family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.