Thomas Cary Anderson (28 Aug. 1832-4 Jun.1882)

Thomas Cary Anderson was the son of Benjamin Bapham Anderson (d. 1839) and his wife, Mary Burdette Nelson (1807-1878), a great-granddaughter of Thomas Nelson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Virginia during the American Revolution. The family lived at “Loch Lomond” in Goochland County, Virginia. Thomas Cary Anderson attended the University of Virginia in sessions 27-28 (1850-1852).

Anderson married Francis Elizabeth “Bettie” Otey (1841-1917) in Shelby, Tennessee on 19 Jul. 1858. Their children were Walter Otey, Thomas Cary Jr., Rosalie, Eleanor, and Virginia Anderson. Their daughters were born in Georgia, Arkansas, and Tennessee, which indicates the family moved around. In the 1860 U.S. Census, T. Cary Anderson is a lawyer in Phillips County, Arkansas.

In May 1861, T. Cary Anderson enlisted as a private in Capt. George F. Harrison’s Cavalry Co. (the Goochland Light Dragoons) of the Virginia Light Dragoons, later Company F of the 4th Virginia Cavalry, CSA. On May 10, 1865, he appears to have been a prisoner of war who was pardoned.

In the 1870 U.S. Census, T. Cary Anderson is listed as a teacher in Memphis, Tenn., and also served as first principal of the Memphis high school. In the 1880 U.S. Census, his occupation is teacher, and he is living in Holly Springs, Mississippi. In 1882, he died in Grand Junction, Tennessee of paralysis. (Milan Exchange, 10 Jun. 1882) His wife, Bettie, died in 1917, and was buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. (


  • Bettie Otey Anderson gravesite, Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.
  • Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia. Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations, compiled 1903-1927, documenting the period 1861-1865 Microfilm reel M324, Record group 109.
  • “The Douglas Archives.” [database online]
  • Goochland County (Va.) Chancery Causes, [1731-1924]. Guardians of Mary B. Anderson, etc. v. William Bolling Weisiger & Wife etc., 1879-005. Local Government Records Collection, Goochland County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
  • Hogge, Dwight. “Descendants of Thomas Nelson of Yorktown, VA.” [website] (accessed 9/7/2013).
  • Memphis City Schools. “Pioneers of Education in Memphis.”
  • “Over the state.” The Milan exchange (Milan, Gibson Co., Tenn), June 10, 1882, p.5.
  • “Tennessee, Marriages, 1796-1950,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 May 2014), Thomas C. Anderson and Frances E. Otey, 19 Jul 1858; citing , Shelby, Tennessee, reference 2:1L3TWBQ; FHL microfilm 24825.
  • “United States Census, 1850-1880,” index and images, FamilySearch.
  • University of Virginia, A catalogue of the officers and students of the University of Virginia, forty-eighth session, 1871-72. Charlottesville, VA, 1871, p. 8.
  • 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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