Thomas Amis (5 Mar. 1812-5 Sep. 1886)

Thomas Amis was a son of John Dillard Amis (ca. 1785-ca. 1841) of Jackson, Northampton County, North Carolina, and his wife, Elizabeth Bynum (ca. 1793-by 1840). John D. Amis was the son of William Amis, the owner of Mowfield Plantation near Jackson. In 1818, William Amis purchased the famous Thoroughbred stallion Sir Archy, and the horse stood at stud at Mowfield until its death in 1833. (Baird; Robison) In the mid-1830s, John D. Amis moved his family to Lowndes County, Mississippi.

Thomas Amis attended the University of Virginia in session 8 (1831-1832), where he studied law. On 22 Dec. 1834, he filed a bond to marry Sarah Davis (b. ca. 1815) in Warren County, North Carolina. Their marriage was reported in the Raleigh Register (North Carolina) in the 20 Jan. 1835 issue. Amis and his wife returned to Lowndes County, where he became a planter and slaveholder. (U. S. Census; Mississippi Census) The couple had four daughters: Sarah, Mary E., Elizabeth, and Julia McRae Amis.

In 1866, Thomas Amis appears in the Great Register of voters in Alameda County, California, and by 3 Aug. 1867, Amis was registered to vote in San Francisco, where he is listed as a “farmer.” (California, Voter Registers) By the date of the 1880 U.S. Census, Amis was paralyzed and living with his sister in Marin County, CA. He died in Napa County, California, and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, CA. (Daily Alta California, 1886;

[Note: Thomas Amis’s birthdate is from the U.Va. Matriculation books. His death date is from his obituary in the Daily Alta California newspaper.—JLC]


  • Amis, Thomas, tombstone, Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, CA.
  • 1850-1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009.
  • California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • Mississippi, State and Territorial Census Collection, 1792-1866 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2007.
  • Baird, Robert W. Bynum and Baynham families of America, 1616-1850. 2nd ed. 2013. [ebook]
  • Broughton, Carrie L., comp. Marriage and Death Notices in Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1826-1845. Baltimore, MD, 1992, p. 126, 130, in North Carolina, Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.
  • “Died [Thomas Amis].” Daily Alta California (San Francisco, CA), 8 Sep. 1886, p.8.
  • Robison, David R. Robison, Dunn, Dickson, Bassett and Allied Families. [database online]
  • “Sir Archy,” in Thoroughbred Heritage: Portraits. [webpage] c2005.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
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