Thomas P FORRESTER William M FORRESTER Mini tree diagram

Mary TILLY1,3

about 17971 - before 18802

Life History

about 1797

Born in South Carolina.1

about 1818

Married Thomas P FORRESTER in South Carolina

Thomas' wife died after the 1870 census.  IN 1880, Thomas is an 80-year-old widower living in the household of his son William.

about 1819

Birth of son William M FORRESTER in South Carolina.4,5,6,7,2

after 1880

Death of Thomas P FORRESTER in Pickens County, Georgia.2

before 1880



  • The only wife of Thomas Forrester I have been able to document is named Mary with no last name.  Mary's maiden name might be Tilly, found in one genealogy, but not documented.  The first child reported here is also questionable.  This may be a different couple.  Thsi Mary Tilly apepars in several other genelaogies, byut as the wife of a John Forrester, not Thomas Forrester.

    Mary Tilly
    Birth 1797 in South Carolina, Death Unknown
    Spouse Thomas Forester b 1794
    Children Thomas Jr Forester 1818 - 1893, William Forrester b 1819
    --  Shrum Family,

    A proposed wife named Sarah Harris is based on the combining of two different families.  For instance, the Lance genealogy reports that Thomas P Forrester married  Sarah (Sally) Harris in Kentucky, and that Sarah died in Kentucky.  There is no evidence that our Thomas Forrester was ever in Kentucky, and much counter-evidence,

    Sarah Sally Harris
    Birth 1803 in South Carolina
    Death 4 Jul 1853 in Kentucky
    Parents Benjamin Harris 1778-1861
    Elizabeth Weaver 1779-1853
    Marriage to Thomas P. Forrester 14 Mar 1822 in Harlan, Harlan, Kentucky
    --  Lance Family,

    This is not Thomas Forrester, father of William Forrester who married Zenith Barnes.  I think the Kentucky place of birth and marriage is questionable for our Thomas Forrester.  I have found no supporting evidence for Thomas Forrester in Kentucky.  We find one or more individuals in Kentucky named Thomas Forrester, but they are different people.

    Some genealogies have combined information about two or more individuals named Thomas Forrester, and one of these lived in Kentucky.  Birth seems to have been about 1801-1803.  Our Thomas Forrester seems to have been born about 1794 in North or South Carolina, and moved to Georgia.

    There was another Thomas Forrester born about 1796, who moved to Green County, Missouri.  At least one genealogy has confused the death of this Thomas Forrester with ours, reporting William's father as dying in Missouri when he was still in his son's household in 1880 when he is almost 80 years old.

    There is another man of the same name in Habersham County, Georgia, that I have not definitely identified, and some consider to be the same as Thomas father of William, who married Zenith Barnes.  There are several others named the same in various states.  There seems to have been a William M Forrester, whom some have also combined with our William, whom I cannot identify with any middle initial.

    Several genealogies have Sarah as the mother of William, even though he was born 3 years before the marriage date of Thomas to Sarah.The facts do not allow for Sarah Harris to be the mother for William.  The dates don't work out correctly, since Sarah married a Thomas (perhaps Thomas P) Forrester in 1822, while William was born in 1819.

    I think it is further questionable that a Sarah Harris was even married to the Thomas Forrester who was the father of our William Forrester who married Zenith Barnes.  I have seen that information only on genealogies with no sourcing, conflicting sourcing or conflicting facts and no actual source record of the marriage.  A marriage date is given in several genealogies that appear to be copying each other, but none explain where they got that date.

    The fact that Thomas' wife in the 1870 census is named Mary allows room for Sarah to have been an earlier wife, since she died in 1853.  But some propose a Mary as the first wife, and William's mother, before the marriage to Sarah in 1822.  Only one genealogy I have found has this Mary as the mother of William, That Dedman genealogy has her name as J Mary.  But that genealogy has confused at lest three different Thomas Forresters.

    I have not been able to clearly identify the Thomas married to a Mary with our Thomas Forrester.  The 1870 and 1880 censuses place him near his son William (1870) or in his son's household (1880), so it seems odd he would have moved from North Carolina up to Kentucky to marry his second wife, then move down to Georgia, then his second wife die in Kentucky.  No, the Kentucky family is a different family, and thus Sarah is likely the wife of another Thomas Forrester.

    The J in Mary J of the Dedman genealogy seems to come from a census he attaches for 1850, where the members of a household are identified only with initials and the husband is T and the wife is J.  He combines this with Mary in another census.  The major problem is that the children of these families do not seems to match.  I cannot tell they are the same family.

    And censuses of individuals named Thomas Forresters from three states are included in that genealogy, combining mutually exclusive families.  Further, it appears the P in what some have as Thomas P comes from a census entry for a Paince (?) Forrester, and the compiler of the Dedman tree has combined this with the records for various Thomas Forrester individuals to get Thomas P.


  • 1. 1870 Federal Census, Pickens County, Georgia
    • 25 July, PO Jasper, page 111 (scan 55), Hse/Fam #864
  • 2. 1880 Federal Census, Pickens County, Georgia
    • 12 June, Jerusalem, District 163, page 19B, Hse/Family #165
  • 3. Ancestry Trees
    • Shrum Family,
  • 4. 1870 Federal Census, Pickens County, Georgia
    • 25 July, PO Jasper, page 111 (scan 55), Hse/Fam #863
  • 5. Email Sources
  • 6. 1860 Federal Census, Pickens County, Georgia
    • 13 June, Truckwheel District, PO Saunderstown, page 36 (scan 914), Hse #299, Fam #251
  • 7. 1850 Federal Census, Gilmer County, Georgia
    • 5 October, Subdivision 33, page 82, Hse/Fam #560

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