Hurley/O'Brien Family Tree

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  • ID: I01456
  • Name: Thomas EVANS
  • Sex: M
  • Residence: Prestonsburg, Floyd County, KY
  • Note:
    Archives of the Pioneers of Tazewell County, Virginia:

    In July 1786, a group of Shawnee Indians attacked Thomas' village. Several were killed (Mr. Moore and several children), and several were captured (Mrs. Moore, a couple of her daughters, and Thomas' sister Martha). The captives were treated as well as the Indian women but this of necessity was very harsh. A band of Cherokee Indians passed through, seized Mrs. Moore and one of her daughters, tortured them and burned them at the stake.

    One fall the militia, frustrated because they were unable to stop the raiding of the settlements, went to the Ohio Indian camp. The Indians took refuge in the timber but the militia destroyed their winter supplies and housing. The Indians were forced to walk to Canada in the snow where there was a tribe that would supply them through the winter. In Canada, near Detroit, they sold Martha Evans and Mary Moore to white men living in the area.

    When Thomas Evans learned his sister had been captured, he started planning how he might find Martha and bring her home. Some of Thomas' adventures in the wilderness for those two years are narrated in the New Edition 1942 of "The Captives of Abb's Valley". Thomas traveled mostly with a couple of renegade white men that had spent most of their lives with the Indians. They visited twenty one Indian villages asking about Martha. Thomas was convinced the renegades purposefully did more to hinder him than help. Eventually he learned from a previous prisoner that Martha was safe with the English in Canada. He returned to Virginia for money and supplies and then to Detroit.

    Mary Moore had a brother, James, that had been captured a year before the girls and also sold near Detroit. Thomas started back to Virginia with the three of them. By joining a band of friendly Indians he got them to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This was the most dangerous part of the journey. He dislocated his shoulder and his arm was broken trying to set it forcing them to stay the winter with his uncle and aunt near Pittsburgh. With spring Thomas took Mary and James Moore to their relatives in Virginia. Returning to Pittsburgh, he and Mary Moore made a more leisurely trip home visiting with relatives along the way. It was three years from the time of capture until they were home. Thomas then married his sweetheart, Ann Crow, and they went to settle in Kentucky.

    By Luther F. Addington

    Martha's Home Folks Worry About Her
    Martha Evans' family lived on a branch of the Bluestone River in what is now Giles County. They were desperately worried about her. No one was certain which way the captives had gone, although it was thought that the Shawnees had taken them northward.

    Martha had a brother, Thomas, who planned day after day to take a gun, a few clothes, mount a horse and go in hunt of her. But what an undertaking! To go alone into a land inhabited by hostile Indians would most likely mean his death.

    But Thomas set out and traveled to the Shawnee towns about the time Mary and Martha were taken to Canada. He found Girty and Conoly, two renegade white men, who traded among the Indians and knew pretty well what went on among them. But these men said they knew nothing about Mary or Martha; they didn't even believe that they had been brought to any Indian village. And, most likely Girty didn't know about them until they were taken to Canada, although Thomas said later that he believed they knew but were concealing information from him.

    Eventually Thomas heard that there was to be a meeting of Indians and white people on the border of Kentucky, and the main purpose of the gathering was to ransom prisoners. Thomas was in hope his sister would be brought there, so he attended. His sister was not present; but from one who had long been a prisoner among the Indians he learned that Martha was in Canada, not far from Detroit.

    Since he was now about out of money and thinking he'd have to pay a ransom for his sister before he could get her, he returned home. He told his parents where Martha was; also, he told of many narrow escapes he himself had had on the trip.

    Although Thomas was given what money he'd need to go to Canada, winter was approaching; and he thought it best not to start again until next spring. And, when spring came, he set out, riding horseback. Although he came near losing his life at the hands of the savages several times, he continued to travel until in August he arrived at the home of Betsy Dolson, where Martha was living.

    It was a happy Martha who dashed into her brother's arms. As soon as a burst of emotion subsided, she calmly asked, "Are all the folks alive?" And she was extremely happy when he said yes.

    The Dolsons were good enough to let Thomas stay with them while he rested from his long journey. Meanwhile, he learned from Martha that James and Mary Moore were in the neighborhood, although each was at a different place.

    Planning to Go Home
    Thomas, although having come the long journey, found a great problem before him; that was getting Martha safely home. When he saw Mary Moore, he learned that she was anxious to go back also, although her parents were dead. But James, since he was in love with a girl of the community and was being treated well by his owner, didn't much want to go; but, when he saw that Thomas Evans would be carrying a great responsibility in trying to get the two girls home, he said that he'd go along, help them back to Virginia, then he'd visit friends and relatives and return to Canada.

    It was well up in October when the four people were ready to start back for Virginia. James and his sister Mary went with hunters across Lake Erie by boat, taking the luggage of all four of them. Meantime Thomas and Martha Evans, taking three horses, rode around the end of the lake and met the others where the boats landed.

    On the southern edge of Lake Erie the travelers found themselves among friendly Indians who had been taught the principles of Christianity by Moravians. Since some of these Indians were going on a hunting trip, the Evanses an the Moores went for a considerable distance with them.

    And it was well that they did for they learned that a son of Simon Girty had planned to kill James Moore and Thomas Evans and take the girls back with them. But the presence of friendly Indians fouled them, and the would-be murderers returned to their homes.

    After leaving the hunting party, the travelers went southward, knowing that it would take them about five days to reach white settlements in Pennsylvania. These days, they knew, they would be traveling through an area inhabited by hostile Indians. When they lay down to rest at night, Thomas always gave the rest instructions on how to travel should they be separated. He himself would try to engage the savages, should they be attacked, while the others escaped. He told them to follow streams and watch out for certain mountain peaks. The general direction would be toward Fort Pitt.

    After a month on the way, the party arrived in mid-November at the home of relatives of Thomas and Martha. Here they stopped to rest. While they were there, Thomas dislocated his shoulder and in an attempt to reset it broke his arm. This delayed their going out immediately. And during the wait winter set in, and travel was made more difficult.

    It was yet a long way home. Thomas was almost without money again and must get some right away. James knew that if they could reach relatives of his near Staunton, Virginia they could get help. In James' own words, handed down to posterity, here was the situation: "Mr. Evans got his shoulder dislocated. In consequence of this we remained until spring with an uncle of his in the vicinity of Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh). Having spent nearly all his money in traveling and with the physician, he left his sister and proceeded on with Mary and me to the house of our uncle, William McPhaestus, about ten miles southwest of Staunton, near the Middle River. Here he (Thomas) received from Uncle Joseph Moore, the administrator of father's estate, compensation for his services, and afterwards returned and brought his sister in." (2)

    Home Again
    After returning to his home, Thomas Evans married his old sweetheart, Ann Crow. Soon thereafter he moved to the Big Sandy River Valley, near the present town of Prestonsburg, Kentucky. Later he moved again, this time to Salem, Indiana. He died there in 1829.

    FOOTNOTES: (1) Bickley (2) Bickley (3) Pendleton, History of Tazewell County, p. 414. SOURCES: The Captives of Abb's Valley, by a son of Mary Moore (we do not know which son) published by the Presbyterian Board of Education, Philadelphia, 1854; Pendleton's History of Tazewell County (1920) and Bickley's History of Tazewell County (1852).

    Pages 59 to 76
  • Birth: 1762 in Botetourt County, VA 1 2
  • Census: 1810 3 4 5
  • Census: 1820 Washington County, IN 6
  • Death: 02 SEP 1829 in Salem, Washington Twp., Washington County, IN 7 8

    Father: Robert EVANS b: 1727 in Big Elk River, Cecil County, MD
    Mother: Mary HOGE b: 1742

    Marriage 1 Ann CROW b: BEF 1776
    • Married: 15 SEP 1789 in Botetourt County, VA 9
    1. Has No Children Mary EVANS b: 1790
    2. Has No Children Nancy C. EVANS b: 1792
    3. Has Children William EVANS b: 16 NOV 1794 in Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, KY
    4. Has No Children Janeta EVANS b: 1796
    5. Has Children Robert EVANS b: 15 AUG 1798 in KY
    6. Has Children John Crow EVANS b: 16 OCT 1800 in KY
    7. Has No Children Thomas EVANS b: 1802
    8. Has No Children Martha EVANS b: 1804
    9. Has No Children Lucretia EVANS b: 1806
    10. Has Children Isaac A. EVANS b: 1808 in Shelby County, KY
    11. Has No Children Sarah A. EVANS b: 17 FEB 1811 in KY
    12. Has No Children Newton EVANS b: 1812

    1. Author: Donald R. Hickman
      Title: Ancestors of Donald R. Hickman
        Name: Internet

      Source Medium: Electronic

      Text: Thomas Evans b. bef 1770, s/o Robert Evans and Mary Hoge
    2. Title: Evans Clan & Allied Families
      Publication: Name:, db=levans,;
      Source Medium: Book

      Text: Thomas Evans b. 1762 in Botetourt, Va.
    3. Author: United States Bureau of the Census
      Title: 3rd Census of the United States, 1810.
        Name: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC


      Page: Kentucky, Adair County Page 13
      Text: Evans, Thos. Males: 2 age 0-9, 1 age 10-15, 2 age 16-25, 1 age 45+. Females: 1 age 10-15, 1 age 45+.
    4. Author: United States Bureau of the Census
      Title: 3rd Census of the United States, 1810.
        Name: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC


      Page: Kentucky, Barren County Page 80
      Text: Evans, Tho. Males: 2, 1, 0, 1, 0. Females: 3, 0, 0, 1, 0.
    5. Author: United States Bureau of the Census
      Title: 3rd Census of the United States, 1810.
        Name: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC


      Page: Kentucky, Rockcastle County Page 7
      Text: Evans, Thomas. Males: 0, 1, 0, 1, 0. Females: 3, 2, 0, 1, 0.
    6. Author: United States Census Office
      Title: 4th Census of the United States, 1820.
        Name: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC

      Source Medium: Microfilm

      Page: Indiana, Washington County Page 43
      Text: View Source 
      Evins, Thomas. Males: 3 10-15, 3 16-25, 1 45+. Females: 1 0-9, 2 16-25, 1 45+. 1 person in Agriculture.
    7. Author: Donald R. Hickman
      Title: Ancestors of Donald R. Hickman
        Name: Internet

      Source Medium: Electronic

      Text: Thomas Evans d. Sep 2 1829 Washington County IN
    8. Title: Wills of Washington County, Indiana
      Source Medium: Book

      Page: Page 267
      Text: Thomas Evans. Dated: June 19, 1828. Probated October 17, 1829. Wife: Ann Evans. Sons: William, Robert, John C., Thomas, Isaac A and Newton. Daughters: Mary Cooly, Nancy Willis, Janeta Pearson, Sarah Evans, Martha Evans and Lucretia Evans. Executors: Wife Ann and son John C. Witnesses: James Givens May, Abraham Stover and William W. Martin.
    9. Title: Miscellaneous Marriages from Botetourt County
      Publication: Name:;
      Source Medium: Electronic

      The heading of the page says "From Loose Probate Records "

      Text: Ann Crow and Thomas Evans Jr., 15 Sep 1789
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