Monday, February 25, 2013

Thomas Fitzpatrick Carter (1842-1913)

Thomas Fitzpatrick Carter, probably around 1910.
Thomas Fitzpatrick Carter*
Born: Jan. 28, 1842 in Bucks County, PA
Father: Andrew Carter (1806-1886)
Mother: Mary Fitzpatrick (1805-1885) 
Siblings: Richard D. (1830-1869), Andrew (1834-1902), Robert (1849-?) Margaret, and William
Children: Richard Henry (1868-1870), Thomas Lynn Carter (1870-1913), Mary Jennie (1872-1947) William Russell (1874-1933), Ella (1876-1878), Lillian Ross (1878-1958), Effie Mae (1880-1948), Edward Vernon (1882-1882), Walter McClure (1883-1955), Elizabeth “Lizzie" Brady (1885-?) and Robert Lyman (1888-1944)
Spouse: Elizabeth McKee (1848-1889) Married 1867 (according to corrected obituary). Second wife: Nannie D. Vaughan, married 1890 or 1891.
Occupation: farmer (in Virginia)
Died: Sept. 30, 1913 in Amelia Courthouse

Thomas Fitzpatrick Carter was my great-great-grandfather. His parents (Andrew and Mary) had immigrated from Northern Ireland about 1830, and he was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The 1860 Federal Census lists him at age 18 as living in Northampton, Bucks County, with the Leedom family (Thomas, 64; Sarah, 54; John, 40; Ann, 33; Anderson, 31). The Leedom name shows up again in one of Thomas’ grandchildren, Miriam Leedom Carter, but I am unsure of the connection. They may have been related to each other, or just family friends. 

Possibly, this is Thomas about 1862
Here’s where it gets a bit murky. 

While he was living with the Leedoms, the Civil War broke out. The draft registration book for Northampton, Bucks County lists several Leedoms as well as a Thomas Carter as being enlisted on July 1, 1863. It lists this Thomas as an unmarried laborer born in Ireland. But according to records for a Confederate regiment, a Thomas Carter enlisted in Amelia County as a Private on 15 February 1864 in Company G, 1st Cavalry Regiment Virginia. This regiment fought in 1864 and 1865 in (among many other places) Charlottesville, Stanardsville, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Front Royal, Winchester, Amelia Court House and Appomattox Court House. Several Civil War records list a Thomas Carter with the same birth and death dates as my Thomas in Company G, 1st Cavalry Regiment Virginia.

Is it possible that Thomas left eastern Pennsylvania and enlisted with a Confederate regiment? It will take more work to figure this out. It fits with Thomas’ move to Amelia after the Civil War, but not with his upbringing in Pennsylvania. Also, his wife’s brother served in a Pennsylvania regiment.

The photo above has no name on the back, but I suspect it might be Thomas. I found it among family photos in Amelia Courthouse, in photos passed down to my second cousin Jack Vaughan. The original photo is reversed (because it is a tintype or daguerreotype; see explanation here). The version here has been corrected/reversed back. The cap has the letters AR on the rim, and possibly an eagle above it.

Elizabeth McKee Carter, about 1870.
Thomas married Elizabeth McKee (from Pennsylvania) in the 1860s. The date is not certain, but it was probably 1867, as noted on the corrected obituary that follows below. 

Together with Thomas’ younger brother Robert, Thomas and Elizabeth settled in Amelia Courthouse Virginia about 1870. They may have come to get away from city life in Philadelphia after his brother’s murder (see Richard D. Carter).

Robert Carter, Thomas’ brother, about 1910.
Thomas built a house, started farming (most likely tobacco, as it was the primary cash crop at that time), and raising his large family with Elizabeth. 

Thomas Fitzpatrick Carter, probably around 1870-1880
Elizabeth died (in childbirth after the death of her 11th child, according to Robert’s son) in 1889.

In 1891, Thomas married Miss Nannie Vaughan (born Nov. 6, 1846) of Amelia. Thomas’ brother Robert had married Isabella Vaughan in 1877, and I think Nannie was Isabella’s older sister.  She was apparently much beloved, and helped raise Thomas and Elizabeth’s younger children. In the 1900 census, she is listed, at age 50, as living with her husband Thomas, and Mary, Lillie, Effie, Walter, Lizzie and Robert. 
Nannie D. Vaughan of Amelia County, VA

Nannie and Thomas, about 1910 (detail of shot below)

One of Thomas and Elizabeth’s daughters, Lillian, married John Winston Vaughan (1851-1924). I think John was Nannie’s brother. If so, the Vaughan and Carter families were very interwoven at this time!

Here are photos of some of Thomas and Elizabeth’s children:

Thomas Lynn Carter (1870-1913)
my Great Grandfather
Lillian Ross Carter (married John Winston Vaughan)
Unknown, perhaps Mary Jennie, one of Thomas and Elizabeth’s daughters
Children of Thomas and Elizabeth. I think this is Lillian (top),
and (from left, below:)Walter, Elizabeth and Effie
Thomas and Elizabeth’s son Robert Lyman Carter (b. 1888)
Thomas and Elizabeth’s son Walter McClure Carter, b. 1883
Thomas and Elizabeth’s son William Russell Carter, b. 1874
Thomas sold many of his farm goods in November-December 1912, soon after Nannie’s death. My mother had a copy of this poster advertising the sale: 

Poster in possession of Mark Robert Brubaker.
In January 1913, this ad appeared in the real estate section of the publication "The Southern Planter” (Volume 74, page 74):

It reads:

“FARM FOR SALE IN AMELIA County, Virginia, four miles from the beautiful town of Amelia; 300 acres of choice land, fronting on first-class, permanent road, noted for the production of Austrian tobacco, clover, wheat, corn and all other crops than can be raised anywhere in Southside Virginia; 10-room modern frame residence; first-class barns sufficient to cure 25,000 or 30,000 pounds of tobacco, stables, granary and all other types of buildings necessary on a well-kept farm. Net price $12,000 without the timber or $15,000 with timber. The timber land (about 100 acres is 3-1/2 miles from Amelia station) and valued at $4,000 on the stump. This is said to be one of the best farms in Amelia County (having water in every field, will make a splendid stock farm) and has been successfully operated by present owner forty-two years, who now desires to retire from active farm life. A minute description of the place will be given upon application. Address Thomas Carter, Amelia Virginia.”

Thomas died Sept. 30, 1913, only a few months after his son Thomas (my great-grandfather) died in an accident, and only a year after Nannie. I was told by a distant cousin that he died of a heart attack after getting very angry after witnessing a servant abusing a horse. Here is his death certificate (note that it lists his parents as having been born in Bucks County, PA, which I believe to be incorrect. Census documents for them list their birthplaces as Ireland.) It is signed by Thomas and Elizabeth’s youngest son, Robert Lyman Carter.

Here is his obituary:

Transcription of obituary above:
During the afternoon of September 30, 1913, Ruling Elder Thos. Carter, of Amelia, Va., departed to be with Christ. Mr. Carter was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, January 28, 1842. He united with the church when quite young. In 1870 he moved with his family to Amelia county, Virginia, bringing his church letter with him and united with the Presbyterian church at Amelia Courthouse, and immediately becaume thoroughly identified with her whole life and service. It was not long before he was a beloved teacher in the Sunday school and continued so to the end. And on the death of Mr. John Allen in 1908 he was elected superintendent of the school. 
In 1881 Mr. Carter was elected to the eldership, and in 1883 he was elected treasurer of hte church; in 1908 as clerk of session; both offices he discharged with fidelity and painstaking care to the day of his death. He was also a member of the building committee of the new house of worship the congregation was errecting at the time of his death. In 1876 (crossed out and 1867 is written in) Mr. Carter was married to Miss Elizabeth McKee, of Pennsylvania, and to that union were born eleven children, four of whom, with the mother, preceded him to the grave. In 1891 he married he married Miss Nannie Vaughan, of Amelia county, Virginia, who was called to her reward one year ago. He is survived by three sons, four daughters, twelve grandchildren and a host of friends. 
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that thye may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” – D. P. Rogers, Pastor. Amelia, Va. 
These are photos of the Carter plot in the graveyard of Amelia Courthouse Presbyterian church taken by me in the late 1980s, and by my brother Mark in 2011:


Thomas (seated by door) with some of his children,
in front of the house he built about 1870 in Amelia Court House, VA.

Thomas (second from left) with a hunting party.
Thomas (right) with his brother Robert, about 1910.
* NOTE: On the back of one of the photos of Thomas, he is identified as Thomas FRITZ Carter in what I think is either my great-aunt Miriam Carter’s or Agnes Loretta Warren Carter’s handwriting. These photos were given by Aunt Miriam to my mother Eleanor Carter Brubaker, and are listed in the notes regarding the dispersal of family heirlooms. I believe this to be incorrect, but do not yet have definitive proof. – SBK

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