Thomas Steele
Generation No. 1

1. THOMAS1 STEELE1, 2 was born Abt. 1780 in ? North Carolina, and died Aft. 1840 in ? Carroll County, Tennessee. He married SARAH ANN PYLE Abt. 1800 in North Carolina. She was born Bet. 1780 - 1790 in ? North Carolina.

There is Sarah A. Steel who died June 13, 1869 buried in the Sardis Cemetery, Henderson County, Tennessee. The tombstone has fallen and is broken through the birth date. This Sarah A. Steel is not confirmed as Sarah Ann (Pyle) Steele. There are a total of 15 Steeles buried in this cemetery.

Marriage Notes for THOMAS STEELE and SARAH PYLE:
Oral history passed down through the family of John Yates (a descendant of John Jehu Pyles Steele) names Thomas Steele and Sarah Ann Pyle as the parents of John Jehu Pyles Steele. The Goodspeed Biography and History Memoirs of Southern Arkansas, Pages 586-587, lists John Jehu Pyles Steele's wife as Christina Bargar. It goes on to say that both John and Christina's families were originally from North Carolina and that John and Christina were married in Henderson County, Tennessee. There is a John P. Steele on the 1830 Henderson County, Tennessee Census with a wife and one daughter under five years old. John P. and his wife were both listed as being between 20-30 years old at that time. The age brackets for both fit with the birth dates listed on the tombstones for John Jehu and Christina, and the marriage corresponds with the date of marriage on the tombstone of Christina, which records the she “married J. P. Steele August 27, 1829.”

Also in Henderson County, Tennessee on that same census, and living next door to each other, are Thomas Steele and Henry Barger. The families of John P. Steele, Thomas Steele and Henry Barger are all living in the same township. It is assumed, but not confirmed, that Thomas Steele and Henry Barger are the parents of John Jehu and Christina.

Thomas Steele and Henry Barger had large families. The names of Thomas and Sarah's children are provided through oral history. The children of Henry Barger are also provided through oral history and supported by the ability to locate four of their assumed children in Lafayette County, Mississippi during the 1840's and later finding three of them in the Nevada County, Arkansas area.

All of this information together helps support but not confirm the belief that Thomas Steele and Henry Barger are the parents of John Jehu Pyles Steele and Christina Barger.

Thomas Steele is shown on the 1830 Henderson County, Tennessee Census as being between 40-50 years old. On the same census his wife is shown as 30-40 years old. If the age range of his wife is accurate she would have been too young to be the mother of Thomas' son John Jehu Pyles Steele, who was born in 1802 and would have been 28 years old at the time. This suggests that Thomas' wife on the 1830 Census might have been his second wife. The possibility also exists that the age of Thomas' wife may have been incorrectly recorded on the census.

A Thomas Steele is listed on the 1840 Carroll County, Tennessee (Carroll County is directly above Henderson County). Thomas Steele is shown on this census as being 50-60 years old. A woman in the household, probably his wife, is also listed in the 50-60 year old age range. This wife's age range doesn't match with the age of the wife on the 1830 Census. This could suggest a number of possibilities:

  1. Thomas first two wives had died and this was his third wife. This could explain the two children in the 5-10 age bracket. It is possible but not likely that a woman between 50 and 60 years old would have two children less than ten years of age. This would mean a 27-28 year range between John Jehu Pyles Steele and the youngest child. However, the youngest children on the 1840 census could be grandchildren.
  2. The age of the wife on the 1830 Census was listed incorrectly and she was listed correctly in 1840, making it possible that the woman on the 1840 census was indeed the mother of Jehu Pyles Steele.
  3. Neither of the women listed on either census was his wife, but a sister perhaps (could be any kind of relationship).
  4. The Thomas Steele on the 1840 Carroll County, Tennessee Census was not the same Thomas as the one on the 1830 Henderson County Census.

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