3rd Great Grandparents Ephraim Balem Thomas and wife Sarah Mathena Edwards

Ephraim Balem Thomas

Born: Mason County, KY – 16 Oct 1805

Died: Richland County, WI – Before 1870

Father: David Thomas

Mother: Margaret Ann Brent


Sarah ‘Sally’ Mathena Edwards Thomas

Born: Campbell County Kentucky – 3 Sept 1804

Died: Richland County, WI – about 1863

Father: Rev. Uriah B Edwards

Mother Nancy Grigg / Gregg


When Ephraim Balem Thomas was born on October 16, 1805 in Mason County, Kentucky, his father David and his mother Margaret were both 19 years old. Ephraim’s parents moved to Wayne County Indiana in 1815 or 1816 when he was about 11 years old.

Sarah Mathena Edwards was born in Campbell County Kentucky September 3, 1804. Her father, Rev. Uriah Edwards was 23 years old and her mother, Nancy Gregg, Edwards, was 22 years old. Sarah Edwards was with her parents in Covington, Campbell County, Kentucky in 1820.

It is not known how Ephraim Balem Thomas and Sarah Mathena Edwards met or exactly where they lived in 1824 but it is likely that one or both of them lived in Rush County Indiana. They were married in Rush County, Indiana July 22, 1824. Ephraim was 18 years old and Sarah was 19 years old.

Sixteen years later, Ephraim Balem and Sarah were listed on the 1840 census for Clinton County Indiana with 8 children. On the 1850 census they are listed with Uriah, Charles, Melissa and Susan living with them in Johnson Township, Clinton County Indiana. Ephraim and Sarah were born in Kentucky and the 4 children were listed as being born in Indiana. Their son, Solomon, was listed on the same page with his wife Martha and son Andrew. All three claimed their birthplace was Indiana.


Ephraim and Sarah had 8 children:

Margaret Ann, born 1825, Lexington, KY – died 1901 in Oregon

Solomon Scott, my 2nd great grandfather, born 1827, Covington, KY – died 1916 in Winner, SD

Uriah L, born 1829, Indiana – died 1898 in Ohio

Charles Gregg, born 1831 in Indiana – died, 1916 in Wisconsin

Nancy Gregg, born 1832 in Indiana – died 1915 in Washington

Melissa, born 1833 in Indiana – died 1916  in Wisconsin

Sarah, born 1835 in Indiana – died before 1850 in Indiana

Susan Ann, born 1837 in Indiana – died 1924 in South Dakota


On the 1860 census Ephraim is shown as farming in Forest Township, Richland County, Wisconsin with his wife Sarah. Three of his daughters and one son are also on the same 1860 census: Margaret married to Levi Barnett, page 78, Nancy married to Jesse Hopkins, page 7, Susan married to Hopkins, page 24, and Charles Thomas, page 6. It is strongly believed that his son Solomon Scott was also in Forest Township but he was not listed in any 1860 census. 

There are some who believe that Ephraim died in 1863 but there has been confusion with another Ephraim Thomas who enlisted in Kentucky. After studying various military records it was shown that Ephraim Thomas died 2 Jan 1863 suffering from gunshot wounds at the Battle of Stones River near Murfreesboro Tennessee.  He is buried at the Stones River National Cemetery but the records show this is Ephraim D Thomas and that he was from Barren County KY and enlisted in nearby Adair County KY. He was married to Mary Delilah Lee and had a daughter Sarah Brown Thomas Rigney. He was not Ephraim Balem Thomas.

Actually Sarah must have died in about 1863 or early 1864 instead of Ephraim because Ephraim married Delila May Clark on March 3, 1864 in the town of Lone Rock Wisconsin. The marriage registration shows that the parents of Ephraim Thomas are listed as David and Margaret Thomas. Delila’s parents are listed as David and Lucy Clark.

Ephraim was a farmer in the township of Forest in the northwest corner of Richland County Wisconsin in 1860.

Ephraim left no record after 1864 but is presumed to have died in Richland County, Wisconsin before 1870. The graves for Ephraim and Sarah have not been located.

© Alan 2017