Thomas Estes Jr. was born in 1738 in Virginia. His father, Thomas Estes, Sr. had moved to Orange County, NC by 1760. Thomas Jr. had 4 brothers who were most likely all in the American army during the war for independence: Elisha, James, Aaron, and Moses. His son's bio says, "Burris Estes was an officer in the War for Independence, and had in the same army with himself eleven cousins of the same name and some of one father. [from: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast AR, Izard Co., Page 942]

Thomas was an active Tory in the Revolutionary War.  David Fanning, commissioned colonel of the Loyal Militia by the British, organized his regiment July 16, 1781.  Thomas "Estrich" was ensign of one of the two Orange county companies.  September 14, 1781, Ensign Thomas Estrich was promoted to Captain in his company. 

Savannah, Georgia was captured by the British in 1778, and Charleston, SC in 1780.  British Commander, Lord Cornwallis, then devised a plan to move through the Carolinas to take control of the back country by encouraging loyalists (Tories) to form militia groups to fight the rebels (Patriots). The Americans suffered a crushing defeat at Camden in August 1780 which made ultimate victory by the British in the South seem likely.  However, in the Fall of 1780 the Americans rebounded with some victories of

 their own [Kings Mountain, SC in Oct, 1780 and Cowpens in Jan. 1781]. Patriot leaders such as, Francis Marion "The Swamp Fox", Thomas Sumter, and Nathaniel Greene were active in the Carolinas.  The British won again at Guilford Courthouse (N.C., Mar 1781), but suffered great losses.  For the next 2 years, the Carolinas endured a vicious and bloody struggle -- their own civil war -- between the local patriots and the local tories--neighbors, even relatives, but enemies.

Picture: Battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC, Mar. 1781

Sometime in this time frame Thomas Estes/Estridge was captured by the patriots, tried and convicted of treason, and sentenced to hang on Friday, March 1, 1782

[Capt. David Fanning, one of the most despised people in North Carolina history, conducted a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the colonists in and around Randolph County, North Carolina, burning houses, pillaging and murdering, from 1775 to 1783.] 

Despite Fanning's murderous reputation, Thomas Estridge's neighbors thought he was not worthy of death because he had been more compassionate in his dealings with them. His neighbors petitioned Gov. Thomas Burke to pardon him because he had a wife and several small children. He was pardoned on condition that he immediately join the North Carolina State Militia for one year. He enlisted Mar 1, 1782 in Jones Company of Col. Abraham Shepard's 10th Regiment of the Continental line for North Carolina as a private, for 12 months. and was killed in battle before his year of service was up.  When or where he was killed is not known.  

After July 1781 the British left the area for the coast and there were no major battles,  however, skirmishes between locals continued into 1783 as Col. Fanning's Journal portrays so vividly.  Perhaps Thomas had been marked for murder by his former band.

Thomas' brother, Moses, however was a patriot soldier, as were many others in the family.  Can't you imagine the family strife this caused!  The Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas, Izard Co. [Page 942] says, "Burris Estes was an officer in the War for Independence, and had in the same army with himself eleven cousins of the same name and some of one father.  He drew from the government 600 acres of land, and located his claim in Henry Co., TN, where he passed his last days." [Burris being born in 1765 might have been too young to have actually participated in the fighting].

Moses received a land bounty from the government for his military service, and since he died during the War, leaving no children, his oldest brother, Thomas Jr. became his heir.  Burris, being Thomas Jr's only son, applied for Moses' bounty land in Henry Co., TN and received it [later causing Thomas' & Moses' other brothers and Burris' own sisters to sue him for a share of it.]

Thomas The Tory's children were:

1. Martha "Patsy", b abt 1762, Orange Co, NC; m James Cheek

2. Burris (Burroughs) Sr., b abt 1765 NC; m Martha "Patsy" Lloyd

       NC marriage: "Boroughs Estes & Patty Loyd - 26 May 1792"

3. Susannah, b abt 1770; m John Cheek

4. Elizabeth, b abt 1777, Orange Co, NC; m Josiah Pitman

The story above that Thomas was pardoned partly because he had several small children does not jive with the birthdates I have for these children.  In 1782 Patsy would have been 20, Burris 17, Susannah 12, and Elizabeth 5.  None were married yet, so maybe "small" is relative.

1790 North Carolina: 

    John Estes - Warren Co., Halifax Dist.

    Lyddle Estes - Stokes Co., Salisbury Dist.

[Since Burris was married in 1792, he probably should be living with his mother Elizabeth, but I can't find her.]

    James Cheek - Orange Co, St. Thomas Dist [According to this Cheek page, James married "Martha 'Patty' ESTRIDGE (ESTES), daughter of Thomas ESTRIDGE (ESTES) & Elizabeth BURROUGHS, Sept. 6, 1783, Orange Co., NC"]

    John Cheek - Warren Co, Halifax Dist.

    John Cheek - Anson Co, Fayette Dist.

1790 South Carolina:

    Moses Estes - Pendleton Co. [122 = 1 white male over 16, 2 white males under 16, 2 white females] Since Burris' uncle Moses died in the Rev. War, this census listing could not be for him.

In 1800 and 1810 they were supposed to be in Orange Co., N.C.

1800 North Carolina:

    Orange Co: Elizabeth Estes - 01000 - 21010 [This means that she had 1 son 10-16 and 3 daughters 0-16, which is true, except that Burris married in 1792, Martha m in 1783, Susannah m in 1794]

    Chatham Co: Wiley Estes - 43010 - 11010

1800 South Carolina, Chester County:

    Thomas Estes - 11511 - ?1201

    Elibenes, William [30111-32211], William

1810 North Carolina:

    Orange Co: Elisa Estes - 00000-01101

    Burke Co: Laban, Langston, Larkin, Lott, Reuben

1810 South Carolina:

    Chester Co: Allen, Elisabeth, Erasmus, John, Lydal, Robt, Syl, Thos, Thos, Wm, Wm

    Colleton Co: Mary

1820 North Carolina:

    Burke Co: Lanckston, Larkin, Len, Len Jr, Lott, Reuben

    Caswell Co: Barnett, Bartlett [Eastes], Michael [Eastes]

1820 South Carolina:

    Chester Co: Eliza, Erasmus, Erasmus, Lyddal, Robt, Robt, Sarah, Syl, Thos Jr, Thos Sr, Westly, Westly, Wm, Wm, Wm

    Greenville Co: Clifford [Eastes]

1820 Tennessee:

    Rutherford Co: Anson L.

    Hickman Co: Armstead, Matilda

    Maury Co: Elisha, Elisha

    Lincoln Co: James D.

    Giles Co: Joseph

    Smith Co: Moses [Eastes] - 220010-3001

    Davidson Co (Nashville): Thomas [Eastes] - 00010-010101


Burris (Burroughs) Estes, Sr.

1765 NC - 1829 TN

son of Thomas The Tory

see also:

Burris Estes, Sr. was born in 1765 in North Carolina (probably Orange County).  He was named for his mother, Elizabeth Burroughs. On May 26, 1792 in Orange County, NC he married Martha "Patsy" Lloyd, perhaps the daughter of Frederick Lloyd and Mary Lacey.

Burris’ uncle, Moses Estes died in the Revolutionary War. Burris was an administrator of Moses' will, along with his brother-in-law James Cheek, and his cousin Wiley Estes (son of Aaron).

Moses had 640 acres of bounty land given to his heirs from the US government. In 1820 Burris applied for this land. The record of his application says Moses left no issue and so his oldest brother, Thomas, was his heir. Burris had no brothers and only 3 sisters, so he applied for his uncle's bounty land. He located his claim in Henry Co., Tenn. [map1 - map 2] where he and his family moved about 1821-25. [Henry County was formed in 1821 from Indian lands.] 

In 1827, Burris was on the tax list with 465 acres.  

In 1828 he was listed as having only 410 acres. 

They must have been a scrapping family! In 1829 his uncles (Elisha & Aaron) and his sisters (Martha, Susannah & Elizabeth) sued him for a share of the bounty land, but lost:

Henry County, Tennessee Court Minutes, Book 6, Pages 122-123, 233-235 

Elisha Estes and others vs. Burris Estes, Petition for the Division of a 640 acre tract of land 

Mar 4, 1829, Petitioners Elisha Estes, Aaron Estes, James Estes, dec'd. and his heir James Estes, James Cheek and his wife Martha Estes, John Cheek, dec'd. and his wife Susannah Estes and Josiah Pitman and his wife Elizabeth Estes files suit against Burris Estes for their shares of the 640 acres inherited by Burris' father Thomas Estes, dec'd., from his brother Moses Estes who died in service with no heirs.  Jun 10, 1829, Petition not granted and case dismissed. 

Burris died in the fall of 1829 near Paris, Henry Co, TN.   His will, dated Aug. 6, 1829, names his wife Martha, his sons, John, Thomas & Burris Jr., his daughters, Dicy & Delila, and one grandson, William Green. Elizabeth probably had died so her son William Green was mentioned in her stead, but the other daughters were not mentioned by name, though maybe they were to be included in "my daughters." Maybe he left more to Dicy & Delila because they were younger and not married yet. The will is witnessed by James M. Carr, a close friend or relative. Burris Jr. named one of his sons James Karr Estes, and the Karr name was carried down in several generations.

On Dec. 7, 1829, Burris' will was contested in court by Joseph Hastings, John Hastings [husband of daughter Anne], William Hastings and William Royall who all said it was not the will of Burris Estes and asked the court to look into it.  On March 1, 1830, these 4 men withdrew their complaint, agreed to pay all costs expended on behalf of their complaint, and Burris Estes' will was approved, with Thomas Estes the administrator.

Will of Burris Estes Sr.:

August the 6th day, 1829

In the year of Our Lord 1829 and August the 6th day. In the name of God, Amen:

State of Tennessee, Henry County: I, Burris Estes, of the State and County aforesaid, being in my proper mind and memory, but low in health.

Item. I leave unto my beloved wife Martha Estes during her widow-hood the dwelling house where I now live and ninety acres of land adjoining, household furniture and stock of all kinds, farming tools, and at her death or end of her widowhood my will and desire is that the said ninety acres of land be given to my son John Estes. At the expiration of my wife Martha’s widowhood or death, my will and desire is that all of the stock and moveable property be sold and equally divided amongst my daughters at the death or end of widowhood of my wife, and also the balance of the land on which I now live if any.

I give to my son John Estes one roan colt called Jinnes(?), bridle and saddle.

Item. I give and bequeath to my grandson William Green one sorrell Filly and one years schooling and his mother’s part of my property.

Item. I give to my daughters Dicy & Delila one feather bed and furniture, one cow and calf each more than my other daughters.

Item. I give and bequeath to my son Thomas Estes his equal share of land by deed heretofore rec’d.

Item. I give and bequeath to my son Burris Estes his equal share of land by deed heretofore received.

Item. If the land lying over on big Harper River ever be got in my possession, my will and desire is that it be equally divided amongst all my children.

Item. My will and desire is that the ninety acres of land which my son John is to fall heir to at my wife’s death or expiration of her widowhood be run off as follows:

Beginning at the South West corner of the farm which my house is on, running thence east to the Hazle Hollow branch. Thence down the branch to the lower corner of my barn field. Thence north to the north boundary line for the balance of the complement of the ninety acres of land.

Item. My will and desire is that Thomas Estes be my executor and that he should see that my grandson Wm. Green have his years schooling and that my children have their proportion as aforesaid.

This my last will and testament and hereby disanul and revoke all others by me made.

Signed in presence of James M. Carr and Jesse Burton.

signed Buris Estes.

The 1830 census is too faint and difficult to read to see their listing.  Burris probably died before the 1830 census, but Patsy should be there.

Burris and Patsy had 3 sons and 6 daughters: 

Thomas, John H., Burris Jr, 

Elizabeth Green, Anne Hastings, Hannah Hastings, Patsy Morris, Dicy & Delila.

All 3 of His sons, ThomasBurris Jr. & John, moved to Arkansas in 1839. It's likely that their mother died before then. [See more on Burris Jr. below]

pictured, Thomas Estes (b 1799, son of Burris Sr.), m Millie Cate in NC.


Burris Estes, Jr.

1805 NC - 1863 AR

son of Burris Estes, Sr.

see also:

Burris Jr. moved to Henry Co, Tn with his father about 1821.  [Henry County was formed in 1821]

Here he married Martha "Patsy" Morris and lived about 8 miles east of Paris, Henry Co. [probably in the Sunny Side or Oakland communities]

They attended a Baptist Church about 6 miles east of Paris.  [Jones Chapel Baptist Church is abt 4 mi NE of Paris, but I don't know if it was the right one.]

They must have been on the Henry Co, TN census in 1830.  He and his 2 brothers moved to Arkansas in 1830.

In 1840, all three brothers were living in Lebanon twp, Lawrence County, Ark. (census p 17)

Burris Estes 30-40   [Burris-35]

woman 30-40   [wife Martha-36]

2 boys 10-15   [Archie 12, Tom 10]

1 girl 10-15

1 boy 10-15

2 girls 5-10    [Mary 8, Eliza 6]

1 boy 0-5   [John 3]

1 girl 0-5   [Martha 4]

1850  - Richwoods twp, Lawrence Co, Ark., p 195:

Estes, Burres - 45 NC, farmer 1000

Estes, Martha - 46 NC

Estes, Eliza - 16 Tn

Estes, Martha F. - 14 Tn

Estes, John C - 11 Tn

Estes, James K. - 9 Ark.

[His brother, John was living in Fulton Co., and his brother Thomas was living in Lawrence Co. near Burris]

Can't find any of them on the 1860 census.

His brother John went to Oregon with Thomas' family in 1853. John Estes was killed by the Indians during the Yakima Indian War of 1856, at Burnt River a few miles above Wallula, Washington, on the Oregon side.

In 1861 Thomas moved to Walla Walla, Washington.

Burris Jr. was a farmer and died leaving considerable property in land and slaves. He and his wife were members of the Baptist church. 

Burris died March 1, 1863, Lawrence Co. , Ark.   David Spurlock (his son-in-law) was appointed administrator of his will.  The case was transferred to Sharp County when Sharp County was created in 1868. Martha died in 1872.


Estes Family

Thomas "The Tory" Estes/Estridge Jr.

1738 Va - 1782 NC

See also: