- Born: Abt 1836, Of, Monroe, KY
- Marriage: Joseph Monroe THOMAS Abt 1858, , Monroe, KY
- Died: 9 Sep 1870, Monroe, KY
This is the original story told to me:
SHE WAS (2nd wife of Joseph M.) THE SERVANT OR MAID TO JOSEPH MONROE THOMAS AND NANCY GERALDS (should be Sarah Hood) AND WAS SAID TO HAVE USED WITCHCRAFT TO POISON THE COFFEE OF (SARAH HOOD) AND THE CHILDREN ALLEN, VIRGINIA, AND UNNAMED SON; BUT NOT WILLIAM MARTIN (WHO WAS WORKING IN THE FIELD WITH HIS DAD) AND JENNY(TOO YOUNG TO DRINK COFFEE)
I now have evidence from civil war records that the 1st wife was Sarah Hood (not Nancy Geralds) and that the 2nd wife was Martha L. (Fitz)Geralds. NOT Martha Wheat.
I have not found any evidence for the names of children told to me. I also believe that William M and Susan J. were the children too young to drink
This is the full story as I know it:
About 1863 just after the Civil war.... A man named Joseph Monroe Thomas lived in Kentucky near one of the largest caves in the world. He was a farmer. He had moved to Kentucky from Virginia when he was a young boy. He came to Kentucky the same way as Dainiel Boone a few yrs before. He came with other families too. One family (the Hood family) settled in the same neighborhood as the Thomas family. Joseph fell in love with a girl named Sarah Hood and married her after serving in the Civil War. They had 4 children by 1870. Joseph was a farmer and he and Sarah didn't have enough money to have thier own home, So they lived with some friends (the FitzGeralds). About that time a cousin of the FitzGeralds named Martha came to stay with them, she was about 20 yrs old and helped around the house and do chores and help with the family. Martha began to fall in love with Joseph. She was very jealous of Sarah and Martha wanted Joseph for her husband. There is one thing about Martha though, She was a witch. The story goes that she could make candles flicker and go out and She also made corn cobs dance on the family table and even jump over the Bible. One day... perhaps after she had seduced Joseph with a spell, she cast a spell on the morning coffee. She wanted to poisen the mother Sarah and even her children. The witch had killed the mother and two of her children. The youngest two children did not drink coffee and were spared. Only 2 yrs later the witch lady married Joseph Thomas and they had many children. Years later the witch died.....just after the clock struck 12 O'Clock midnight on Halloween!
Although the people in Kentucky were superstitious, I have found nothing to disprove this story.
In the 1870 Barren, Ky census there is a James Thomas (I believe this should be Joseph) and Sarah living with a Fitzgeralds family. I believe this is the Joseph M. Thomas family for the following reasons:
1. The youngest 2 children listed as William M. Thomas and Susan J. Thomas both born abt (+ or - 1yr)
2. The father (listed as James) and mother (Sarah) have the same birth year and birth sate as Joseph M Thomas and Sarah Hood
3. There are no Joseph Thomas familes in Monroe or Barren Counties, and no other Thomas familes with matching children.
4. The death date of Sarah Hood (9 Sep 1870) is just after the 1870 census was taken and a few yrs bef the marriage of Joseph M. and Martha Geralds
5. The Fitzgerald family and the Thomas family are listed in the same dwelling # and with the only Fitzgerald family in Barren, Ky (that I could find) and the added similarity is that the Fitzgerald wife's name is Martha and the oldest daughter is named Louisa both of whom have a different birth yr than the second wife of Joseph M. Thomas. who was Martha Louisa Fitzgeralds.
6. The residence of Martha Lousia Fitzgeralds at death was Cave City, Barren, Ky and the residence of this James and Sarah Thomas and the Fitzgeralds were in Cave City also. I have not found a direct conection between this Fitzgeralds family and Martha Louisa Fitzgeralds and this was not her parents according to her death cirtificate, yet it seems obvious there is a connection.
7. This census data and civil war record seem to back up or allow the posibility that the witch story is true.
Sarah married Joseph Monroe THOMAS, son of Allen THOMAS and Sytha Doss, about 1858 in , Monroe, KY. (Joseph Monroe THOMAS was born on 11 Jul 1836 in , Monroe, KY 1 and died on 8 Dec 1912 in Monroe, KY 1.)