John J. Thomas (9/22/1834 VA – 4/24/1904 Adams county IA; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=14...
) was married to a woman in Virginia before remarrying to Marian Flanders (1844 VT – 1939 IA; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=10...
) and moving to Iowa. He had seven known children from his first marriage:
* Martha Catherine Thomas Flanders Miles (12/24/1864 VA – 12/19/1919 Omaha NE; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=14...
* Henry Thomas (born c. 1862 VA)
* Sallie Thomas (born c. 1864 VA)
* Mary Thomas (born c. 1866 VA)
* Wilford Samuel Thomas (12/22/1872 Mahaska county IA - 10/19/1934 Creston IA; https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1...
* Rosa Alta Thomas Dhone (born c. 1870 VA – 12/24/1933 St. Joseph MO; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=19...
* Annie Thomas (born c. 1872 VA)
As for this first wife, I do not know when she was born or died, and I have seen her name as Claisey / Clerissa / Clarissa (maiden name Glaspie / Gillespie / Glasby, etc), based on the marriage records for Wilford: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XJDZ-X9B
and Rosa: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XJ83-SVK
and Katie: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XJ8D-5RB
I believe this could be them in Kanawha VA in the 1860 census?: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M41Z-KZB
I did not see a match for them in 1870. There is a likely hit in a marriage record for a Clarissa Gillespie and a John J. Thomas on Kanawha WV in 1858: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F1MD-ZZR
Funny thing is that I did not even think West Virginia was a state before the Civil War! Maybe the marriage record was filed after the war and they just happened to be on that side of the new state border? Note that if the 1860 census link is correct, she was born c. 1838 OH, and we know she died before 1880 and I would have to assume she died before 1878 when Etta was born. John may have been born c. 1837 VA per that 1860 census, and the 1880 census says he was born c. 1838 VA, although his memorial states that he was born 9/22/1834 VA.
Let's assume first of all at least for the moment that the 1860 census I noted above is the real deal; if so, that means we have parents John (born c. 1837 VA) and Clarissa (born c. 1938 OH) and a son James (born c. 1859 VA). I have yet to find them in 1870 but that should be very telling if it can be found; presumably Clarissa was still alive as she had a few more kids. Would we see Katie/Martha, Henry, Sallie, Mary, and maybe Wilfred and Rosa, possibly other children who died? We know we must have the family in 1880 with parents J.J. (born c. 1838 VA) and Mary (born c. 1852 VT), and several children Katie (born c. 1861 VA), Henry (born c. 1862 VA), Sallie (born c. 1864 VA), Mary (born c. 1866 VA), Wilford (born c. 1868 VA), Rosa (born c. 1870 VA), and Annie (born c. 1872 VA): https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MD24-7ZQ
In the 1900 census all of those children had moved out, so we still had parents John (born Sep 1836 VA) and their stepmother "Mariam" (Feb 1848 VT): https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9VB-DQQ
I did not find the link in FamilySearch, but someone told me that I would find the Gillespie family listed in 1850 census in Kanawha Co VA as GALLISTEE - "Claracy" was 13 born in Ohio daughter of Alexander and Martha born in VA. If you look at the 1860 census link above you will see that the image shows that on one side of the John Thomas family the Gillespie family is listed on the other side of John Thomas, consisting of parents Alexander (born c. 1800 VA) and Martha (born c. 1808 VA), and children Joseph (born c. 1832 VA), Alexander (born c. 1836 VA), Martha (born c. 1844 VA), and Henry (born c. 1840 VA), continuing on in the next household to them is a Wm H. Gillespie (born c. 1830 VA) and wife Elizabeth (born c. 1832 VA) and children Granville (born c. 1852 VA) and Anjaline (born c. 1855 VA). Those folks may or may not be related to Clarissa, but it is interesting to consider!
I also do not know the full DOBs of her children Henry, Sallie, Mary, and Annie Thomas, and when they died and where they are buried, or if any of them were married. Their ages vary wildly based on what record you are looking at. I did not find an obit for the father John J. Thomas, but on 11/5/1904 the newspaper did feature a note about his will, giving "$1.00 to each of his children as follows: John W., Henry F., Anna, Mary Elizabeth, Rosa, Catherine, Franklin, George, (he also to receive the black colt) Ellen, Wilfred and daughter Etta Yearington; to his wife all the balance of his property, both personal and real, to hold and sell as she may see fit.": https://adamscountyia.newspaperarchive.com/adams-county-free...
So that acknowledges that most of the folks from the earlier censuses are still alive at that time, and in addition there was a son John W. Thomas.
Henry was still alive and living in Wyoming in 1934 per the obit of his brother Wilford, and he was still alive in 1952 in living in Chicago based upon the obit of sister Ettie Yarrington. Sallie, Mary, and Annie were likely deceased by 1934 as they are not mentioned in the obit of brother Wilford. Sallie may have died by 1904, as she is not mentioned in the will notice of her father, although the other two are (no married names for them) still alive in 1904. Sallie was not with the family in the 1885 state census for Iowa, although she could have simply been moved out by then: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:H41Z-N3Z