Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Dr. Thomas Galphin Holmes

Male 1780 - 1852  (72 years)


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  • Name Thomas Galphin Holmes 
    Title Dr. 
    Born 21 Jan 1780  Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Military 30 Aug 1813  Fort Mims, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Holmes, the assistant surgeon at the Mims stockade, was one of the survivors of the Ft. Mims massacre. (Sam Mims had been a pack-horseman for Holmes' grandfather, George Galphin.) He chopped through the stockading with an axe, making his escape with the mortally wounded Dixon Bailey, and hid in the stump hole of a fallen tree. (Holmes is a frequently cited source in Pickett's History of Alabama.) 
    Fort Mims Massacre
    Fort Mims Massacre
    30 August 1813
    Probate 20 Sep 1852  Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Subscription of will. 
    Thomas Galphin Holmes Will
    Thomas Galphin Holmes Will
    "Alabama Probate Records, 1809-1985," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-25319-24012-0?cc=1925446&wc=M6DK-WNL:220032901,220305801 : accessed 24 July 2015), Baldwin > Wills 1809-1934 vol A-C > image 73 of 718; county courthouses, Alabama.
    Thomas Galphin Holmes Will
    Thomas Galphin Holmes Will
    "Alabama Probate Records, 1809-1985," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-25319-23913-73?cc=1925446&wc=M6DK-WNL:220032901,220305801 : accessed 24 July 2015), Baldwin > Wills 1809-1934 vol A-C > image 74 of 718; county courthouses, Alabama.
    Last Will and Testament of Thomas Galphin Holmes
    Last Will and Testament of Thomas Galphin Holmes
    "Alabama Probate Records, 1809-1985," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-25319-24012-0?cc=1925446&wc=M6DK-WNL:220032901,220305801 : accessed 20 August 2015), Baldwin > Wills 1809-1934 vol A-C > image 73 of 718; county courthouses, Alabama.
    Probate 26 Sep 1852  Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Codicil to the will.  
    Died 19 Oct 1852  Tensaw, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Estate of Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, Baldwin County, Case 320
    Estate of Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, Baldwin County, Case 320
    "Alabama, Estate Files, 1830-1976," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-23286-4297-77?cc=1978117&wc=MX5G-TMQ:314239301,314957301 : accessed 24 December 2014), Baldwin > Holmes, T G, Dr. (1833) > image 1 of 62; county courthouses, Alabama.
    Probate 13 Dec 1852  Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Will proved and recorded. 
    Person ID I5415  Dickinson
    Last Modified 20 Aug 2015 

    Father William Holmes,   b. abt. 1740, North Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. bef. 1808, Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 68 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Barbara Galphin,   b. abt. 1760, Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1830, Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 70 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Notes 
    • Nephew David Holmes and sons George, John (by wife Metawney of Coweta Town) and Thomas (by wife Rachel Dupre) assumed control of George Galphin's trading house upon his retirement in 1774 [Wright] [Braund]. It is not known if William Holmes was related to David.

      There is a debate about the distaff line of Thomas Galphin Holmes and his siblings, as some family members have claimed Creek ancestry. (Galphin was not unusual among back-country traders in that he took Indian wives-- Nitechucky and Metawney.) However, court records frustrate the claim. In 1833 Thomas and the other legal heirs (Martha Lehiffe and Mary Bowers) were summoned to settle the estate of Barbara Holmes, the daughter and former slave of Galphin. Barnwell, South Carolina Court of Equity, bundle no. 53, package 5.

      According to historian Mario de Valdes y Cocom, Barbara's mother Rose was an enslaved quadroon and the daughter of Moses Nunes, a Jewish back-country trader. "The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families", Frontline, Public Broadcast System. (Some confusion on this point is introduced by Nunes' 1785 will which identifies a "Mulatto Rose" as his wife and the mother of his children, James, Robert, Alexander and Frances.) Woodward has a somewhat similar account: Galphin "raised" a child, Barbary, with a slave named Mina; Mina was emancipated at his death; and Barbary married a Holmes, who "raised" Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, Pickett's informant. Woodward apparently would have obtained his information from Mina's brother, Ketch. Ketch was given to Woodward by Gen. David E. Twiggs (1790-1862) to care for in his old age. As he states, "I had a little mill on a creek near Tuskegee, where I kept Ketch and several other Indian negroes, and here I used to spend much time in listening to them tell over old occurrences of by-gone days." The 1775 deed of sale for Mina and Ketch confirms Galphin's ownership of these slaves. South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Sec. of State, Misc. Records, R, pp. 287-290. However, Woodward's claims are not always above reproach and this may simply be the tale that grew with the telling. Galphin's will is explicit in identifying Barbara's mother as Rose. See, Bowers v. Newman, 2 McMul. 472, 27 S.C.L. 472, 1842 WL 2403 (S.C.Err., 1842).

      Pickett, in his notes, interestingly describes Thomas Holmes as "a good looking intelligent very dark skinned old gentleman with a remarkable memory." (Emphasis supplied.) [2, 3, 4]
    • http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~scedgefi/pioneers/galphin-thomas.pdf
    Family ID F1452  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Elizabeth Weekley,   b. 1802, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Nov 1862, Latham, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Married 04 Jan 1820  Monroe County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Children 
     1. Sarah Margaret Holmes,   b. ca. 1822, Tensaw, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [Birth]
     2. George Weekley Holmes,   b. 04 Feb 1823, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jul 1842, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 19 years)
    +3. Mary Elizabeth Holmes,   b. ca. 1825, Tensaw, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [Birth]
    +4. Thomas Galphin Holmes,   b. 02 Apr 1827, Latham, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Jul 1901, Tensaw, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)  [Birth]
     5. Hanna Elizabeth Holmes,   b. 29 Oct 1829, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jul 1863, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years)
     6. Martha Julia Holmes,   b. 05 Dec 1832, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 May 1864, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 31 years)
     7. William Ervin Holmes,   b. 14 Dec 1835, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1847, Baldwin County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 11 years)  [Birth]
    +8. Origen Sibley Holmes,   b. 11 Jul 1840, Tensaw, Baldwin, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Mar 1892, Mobile, Mobile, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years)  [Birth]
    Last Modified 14 Jan 2012 
    Family ID F1451  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Elizabeth Wood 
    Married 1799  Barnwell District, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 26 Aug 2011 
    Family ID F2019  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 21 Jan 1780 - Silver Bluff, Aiken, South Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1799 - Barnwell District, South Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Holmes, the assistant surgeon at the Mims stockade, was one of the survivors of the Ft. Mims massacre. (Sam Mims had been a pack-horseman for Holmes' grandfather, George Galphin.) He chopped through the stockading with an axe, making his escape with the mortally wounded Dixon Bailey, and hid in the stump hole of a fallen tree. (Holmes is a frequently cited source in Pickett's History of Alabama.) - 30 Aug 1813 - Fort Mims, Baldwin, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 04 Jan 1820 - Monroe County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProbate - Subscription of will. - 20 Sep 1852 - Baldwin County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProbate - Codicil to the will. - 26 Sep 1852 - Baldwin County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 19 Oct 1852 - Tensaw, Baldwin, Alabama Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProbate - Will proved and recorded. - 13 Dec 1852 - Baldwin County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Documents
    Holmes, Dr. Thomas Galphin
    Holmes, Dr. Thomas Galphin
    Albert Pickett, History of Alabama: And Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi from the Earliest Period (Sheffield, Alabama: Robert C. Randolph, 1896), 535
    Holmes, Dr. Thomas Galphin
    Holmes, Dr. Thomas Galphin
    Albert Pickett, History of Alabama: And Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi from the Earliest Period (Sheffield, Alabama: Robert C. Randolph, 1896), 536
    Holmes, Dr. Thomas Galphin
    Holmes, Dr. Thomas Galphin
    Albert Pickett, History of Alabama: And Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi from the Earliest Period (Sheffield, Alabama: Robert C. Randolph, 1896), 537
    Holmes, Dr. Thomas Galphin
    Holmes, Dr. Thomas Galphin
    Albert Pickett, History of Alabama: And Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi from the Earliest Period (Sheffield, Alabama: Robert C. Randolph, 1896), 538
    Holmes, Thomas Galphin
    Holmes, Thomas Galphin
    Albert Pickett's notes of his interview with Thomas Galphin Holmes, June 1847.

  • Sources 
    1. [S336314] History of Alabama and Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, Albert James Pickett, (Sheffield, Alabama: Robert C. Randolph, 1896), 535-538.

    2. [S336313] Woodward's Reminiscences of the Creek or Muscogee Indians, Thomas S. Woodward, (Montgomery, Alabama: Barrett and Wimbush, 1859), 105-106.

    3. [S336311] The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders on the Old Southwest Frontier 1716-1815, Amos J. Wright, Jr., (Montgomery, Alabama: NewSouth Books, 2001), 79.

    4. [S336338] Deerskins and Duffels: The Creek Indian Trade with Anglo-America, 1685-1815, Kathryn E. Holland Braund, (Lincoln, Nebraksa: University of Nebraska Press, 1996), 55.

    5. [S336312] History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, 4 volumes, Thomas McAdory Owen, (Chicago, Illinois: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921), Vol. 3, 833.