We have talked about genealogical "brick walls" in previous articles. Today I want to present a real brick wall that I am working on, and I am asking for your help.
I am sure that many of you know the name of Thomas E. Watson who was a senator and a statesman from Thomson. Thomas Watson did many great things for our community, and his life is well-documented. However, I want to go back a little further in time.
There was another Thomas Watson. This Thomas Watson was one of the original Wrightsborough settlers. He supposedly was the great, great grandfather to Senator Watson. The Quakers kept very good records and Thomas is listed, as well as two of his sons, John and Jacob. However, no wife and no other children are named. Many people have other children listed for Thomas including Peter Watson. Peter was the father to Thomas Miles Watson who was the father to John Smith Watson who was the father to Senator Watson. The family is well-documented from Peter on down. I have been unable to find any credible documentation showing that Peter was in fact a son of Thomas, original Wrightsborough settler. I also have many published genealogies showing a Rebecca Watson as one of Thomas' children. Again, I can find no supporting documentation for this.
This particular dilemma has me stumped. I have consulted every resource at my disposal. So here is my challenge to you, I would like to see if any of you can make the connection with proper documentation. If you can, I want to print the step by step process you took to find this information in a future article.
Here is what we "know:"
Thomas Watson was born ca. 1720 and died 1781 (possibly in Savannah). Thomas married "Margaret." I have also read that Thomas was married more than once. Thomas Watson and sons John and Jacob were part of the original Wrightsborough settlement.
I have consulted all of the biographies written about Senator Watson that I could find. The authors of these books did not cite their sources. I have also read many published genealogies of this Watson line. Again, the authors did not document their sources. I have also consulted the resources I have here at my house including Quaker records, census records, Richmond County and Columbia County records.
I am most interested in finding some sort of "official" record that Peter Watson (great grandfather to Senator Watson, was the son of Thomas Watson, Wrightsborough settler. I would also like documentation to show that Thomas Watson also had a daughter by the name of Rebecca. Possible resources would be wills, court records, guardianship bonds, Bible records etc.
If anyone can put together a family group sheet (FGS) for Thomas Watson that includes his wife (wives) and children, including proper source citations, I will print up the information in a future column giving you the credit for the find. I would eventually like to put together a comprehensive genealogy from Thomas Watson down to Senator Watson and present it to the Thomson Library's Local History Room. You can contact me through the newspaper or at firstname.lastname@example.org.