Thomas Row (1754-1840) and Rachel Keeling (1754-1829)


Thomas Row and Rachel Keeling were born in Gloucester County, Virginia, and died in Orange County, Virginia.  They married in Virginia in 1774.


Children of Thomas and Rachel:

  • William Rowe (1775-1851) married Elizabeth Gaar (1781-1812), Agnes Alcorn
  • Edmund Row (1777-1797)
  • Mildred "Milly" Row (1779-1845) married Thomas Gaines (1771-1853)
  • Thomas Keeling Row (1781-1855) married Sarah Overton (1789-1863)
  • Rachel Row (1783-1855) married William Stribling Berry (1774-1861)
  • Keeling Row (1785-1869) married Rebecca Dillard, Fanny Brumley, Fannie Bates
  • Jincy Row (1786-1843) married William Roach (1782-1847)
  • Elizabeth Row (1789-1853) married David Williams (1793-1858)
  • Carlton Row (1790-1820) married Lucy Hardia
  • Hetty Row (1792-1823) married John "Jehu" Williams (1788-1859)
  • John Row (1794-1795)
  • Absalom Row (1796-1855) married Nancy Estes (1799-1873)
  • Elhanon Row (1798-1874) married Mary "Polly" Dawson Sanders (1798-?)


US Census records:

  • 1820, Orange County, Virginia; Thomas and five others in the household, plus 20 slaves.
  • 1830, Orange County, Virginia; Thomas and four others in the household, plus 22 slaves.


On February 23, 1776, Thomas enlisted in the 4th Company of the 5th Virginia Regiment, led by Captain Thomas Gaskins. This regiment served in Virginia until autumn of 1776 when it was transferred to George Washington's Continental Army. Gaskins' Company saw action in 1777 at the Battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Germantown. Thomas Row is listed as "Private Thomas Wroe" in military records. He mustered out on March 5, 1778.


Thomas acquired 260 acres in Orange County, Virginia, in 1779 and lived there the rest of his life. He was a farmer and grist mill operator, and he served the local community as a magistrate, justice of the peace, and sheriff. He was appointed High Sheriff of the region by the governor of Virginia.


The Special Collections Department at the University of Virginia Library has Rachel's Book of Common Prayer including several pages of handwritten notes, which list the names and birthdates of her 13 children, and also give the names and birthdates of 39 slaves born between 1793 and 1839. Click here to see images of this historic document. The Book of Common Prayer is used in Anglican churches and suggests that Thomas and Rachel were of English descent.


After Rachel died, Thomas married Sarah Shadrack, the widow of Thomas Shadrack, in 1829. Thomas Row's 1839 will divided his sizable estate, including his slaves, among his children. His property was near present-day Rows Mill Road, two miles west of Locust Grove, Virginia.