(c1690 - 1735)



















The Sons of William D. Draper, Sr. (Part 2)

3. Thomas Draper
Thomas is listed in the 1850 and 1860 census records as being born in Virginia in 1791.  He married Lucinda (or Lucy) Hollingsworth in Henry County on 17 Oct 1808, according to family records about the marriage certificate.  Family research states that Thomas, and his mother Frances, traveled to TN in 1823 to purchase land for a plantation in Knox County, just above Knoxville, TN.  It is not known why Thomas needed to leave Henry County the year before William was born, or why his mother needed to accompany him.

A narrative by L. S. Draper states Thomas Draper emigrated from Virginia to TN very early in the nineteenth century.  Frances, his mother, made a trip with him in 1823 to buy 1200 acres of land some twenty-five miles north of what is now Knoxville.  For many years it was primitive with few neighbors, little better than a wilderness of endless woods and mountains.

According to family records, Thomas Draper was very wealthy in slaves and land when the Civil War started in 1863, which they say left him both physically and financially broken.  But in 1850 the value of Thomas’ real estate totaled $100, and the 1850 Slave Schedule shows Thomas with only six slaves.  In 1860 Thomas is living with the family of his daughter Lucy (his wife died in 1851), and the 1860 Slave Schedule shows no slaves at all owned by the Knox County Draper family.

Thomas seems to have been financially broken long before the war, and at 70 his health would have been questionable.  To the end of his life Thomas, who died at his home on 11 May 1879 at age 89, was remembered as an active working man.  But memories are tricky.

Thomas and Lucy had the following children:
1. Solomon DRAPER was born 22 Jul 1809 in Virginia and died Jul 1844.
2. Ruth DRAPER was born 1811 in Virginia.
3. William DRAPER was born 1813 in Virginia.
4. Frances DRAPER was born 1815 in Virginia.
5. John Rogers DRAPER was born 1818 in Virginia. He died 1889.
6. Mary Ann DRAPER was born 1820 in TN.
7. Josiah DRAPER was born 1822 in TN.
8. Elizabeth DRAPER was born 1824 in TN.
9. Lucy DRAPER was born 1826 in TN.
10. Thomas D. Draper was born 1828 in TN. He died 1868.

Thomas does not seem to appear in the 1810 or 1820 census records, but he does appear in 1830, 1840, 1850 and 1860 Knox County, TN, census records.  Known male children included Solomon (1809), William (1815), John Rogers (1818), and Josiah (born around 1822), who is the first child identified in the census as being born in TN.  John Rogers (born around 1818) is identified as born in Virginia so this verifies the time Thomas moved to TN.  An interesting note: family research records that Thomas tended to make frequent trips back to Henry County, often without his wife.

It doesn’t appear Thomas could have legitimately fathered William Franklin Draper. Since William Franklin named his second son John Harrison, it would seem obvious his father was very likely John Harrison Draper, the second son William Sr. But John is the least likely to be William Franklin’s father.

4. William [D.] Draper, Jr.
William [D.] Draper, Jr. is one of two North Carolina Drapers who fit the profile of William F. Draper’s parents, only documents proves William did not legitimately father or raise a son named William.  He was the oldest son of William Sr., and was born in 1785. He was undisputedly from NC - the only son from that state.  He married Lucy Meredith in Henry County on 30 Sep 1805, but does not appear in the 1810 census.  He does appear in the 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, and 1860 Henry County censuses.  In the 1840 census, William is the only head of a Draper family in Henry County, and in 1850 only William and his sons head Draper families - except for William Franklin.

William is known to have had three daughters and four sons, none of whom appear to be named “William” after their father.  Based on census records, William has a son born between 1820 and 1825, and based on William’s will, this appears to be John Granville since he was born around 1824.  William Franklin was also born in 1824.

William and Lucy had the following children:
1. Thomas Jefferson DRAPER Sr. was born 22 Sep 1808 and died 6 Dec 1885.
2. Elizabeth DRAPER was born 1810/1820 and died 1837/1838.
3. Ruth America DRAPER was born 1813.
4. Frances DRAPER was born 1817.
5. John Granville DRAPER was born 1824 and died 24 Jun 1882.
6. Elkanah Brammer DRAPER was born 20 May 1827 and died 10 Nov 1902.

Most family records disagree about the members of William Jr.’s family, but according to census records and William Jr.’s final will, three sons and three daughters lived to build families.  Unfortunately, William Franklin was not among those named.  The following lists census notations for William Jr.’s children, and suggests names based on those known from family and future records.

In the 1850 census, the only Drapers in Henry County are:  William and Lucy, Thomas (William’s oldest son) and Nancy, William F. and Mary, Elkanah B. Draper (William’s youngest son), and Franky Draper (William’s mother).  John G. (William’s middle son) was living with Franky, his grandmother.  In 1850 William and Lucy are living with four Stone boys between 19 and 12, including Solomon - most likely the children of Elizabeth. William Franklin married in 1845, and in 1850 is 26 and living nearby. E.B. is living with a fellow merchant farther away. And even farthest away is William’s mother, 93, living with John, 24 (according to the 1850 census).

William Jr.’s will is located in Will Book 6, page 686, Henry County, Virginia.  It was witnessed in 1854, but William was listed in the 1860 census, and the General Index to Henry County Decedents list William’s will as filed in 1863.  William Franklin is not listed in this will, and John G. is listed as William Jr.’s second and middle son.

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Last Will and Testament
Of William D. Draper, Jr.

In the name of God Amen, I William Draper of the County of Henry and the State of Virginia of sound mind and disposing memory feeling that immortality is har? on when I must resign my mortal part to the tomb and my spirit to the God who give it. I do therefore hereby make this my last Will and testament in manner and form following.

1st I commit my spirit to Almighty God and my body to the tomb 2nd I desire that all of my just debts if any be paid and that my funeral expenses be paid out of the proceeds of the sale of my perishable property.

2. I give and bequest unto my beloved wife Lucy Draper four choice negoes and such portions of my perishable estate as she may need this is my stock plantation tools household and kitchen furniture all moneys and lands which I may dec. possessed also my lands and tennaments to have and to hold during her natural life if she should marry I desire she should only have a third part of my estate during her life and the remainder to be equally divided between the lawful heirs of my body either by lot or sale and it is my desire that none of my children should be required to pay rents for the lands but to have the use of their present homes unmolested. I further desire that all my slaves together with their increase after complying with the above provisions of four choice negrows to my wife shall be equally divided between my five living children and the body heirs of my daughter Betsy Stone decd by lot or sale and in the final distribution of all my estate to my bodily heirs I desire that my children living on my lands shall the priviledge of holding these homes and improvements at valuation and after the death of my wife I desire that my lands and negrows be equally divided by executors hereafter named between the aforesaid heirs of my body all my perishable estate to be sold and an equal division as aforesaid and after complying with the provisions.

1st I finally give and bequest unto my oldest son Thomas I Draper and one six part of my estate as above describes.

2 I give and bequest unto the lawful heirs of the body of my first daughter Elizabeth Stone decd one sixth part of my estate.

3 I give and bequest unto Ruth Dyer and her bodily heirs one sixth part of my estate.

4th I give and bequest unto my third daughter Frances Bird and her bodily heirs one sixth part of my estate.

5th I give and bequest to my second son John G. Draper and his bodily heirs one sixth part of my estate and that the same be under the supervision of my son Elkanah B. Draper for the purpose of securing the benefit to him and his heirs as above named.

6th I give and bequeath unto my youngest son Elkanah B. Draper one sixth part of my estate.

And lastly I do hereby ? and appoint my beloved sons Thomas I. Draper and Elkanah B. Draper Executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other former wills and testaments by me ? made in witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix my seal this 23rd day of ? AD 1854.

Signed William Draper – Seal

Signed sealed ? and delivered as witness the last Will & testament of the above named William Draper in present to us

E. B. Tuner

George W. Napier

Moses C.? Napier



© 2014, Bill Draper. All Rights Reserved.