Edna Elizabeth Gilchrist (born Thomas)

Born:Nov 16 1839 In:  Moore County, North Carolina
Died:May 16 1940 (at age 100)In:  Upper Little River Township, Harnett County, North Carolina

Immediate family

Henry Tillman Thomas
Her father
Harriet Malinda Thomas (born Judd)
Her mother
William John Thomas
Her brother
Macklin C. Thomas
Her brother
Jefferson Thomas
Her brother
Henderson Bennett Thomas
Her brother
Mary Adeline Howard (born Thomas)
Her sister
John Martin Beaton Thomas
Her brother
Henry Tillman Thomas
Her brother
Mary Frances Thomas
Her sister
James Knox Polk Thomas
Her brother
Malinda Pettie Thomas
Her sister

Source citations

Page: Edna Elizabeth Thomas
Confidence: Secondary evidence
Date: Mar 8 2018
Citation text:
Added via a Person Discovery


[Jeff WesterII.FTW]


On this 5th day of July, A. D. 1915, personally appeared before me...E. E. Gilchrist, age 75 years, and a resident at Jonesboro, Route # 1 post-office, in said County...that she is the widow of the late C A Gilchrist who enlisted in Company "F", 50th Regiment, North Carolina State Troops, on or about the 14th day of March, 1862, to serve in the armies of the late Confederate States...E E Gilchrist...Approved.

In Harnett County an Application for Increase in Pension was received Jul 15 1936 by Mrs. E. E. Gilchrist, Widow of C. A. Gilchrist County "F" Regt. 50th Now on Class B. Age of Widow 96 Date of Marriage 1868. The law required Class A Pensioners to be "totally blind" or "totally disabled and confined to the house." The application was approved.

CENSUS: February 2, 1920 ED 88, Upper Little River Township, Harnett County, NC: 122/122 Gilchrist, John C. O F 49 M NC NC NC Farmer General Farm, Maggie H. Wife 51 M NC NC NC, Chalmers B. son 19 NC NC NC, Curtis son 11 NC NC NC, Audry son 6 NC NC NC, EDNA E. Mother 81 wd NC NC NC.

April 19, 1930 ED 24, Upper Little River Township, Harnett County, NC: 107/108 Gilchrist, John C. Head 60 M at 20 NC NC NC Farmer General Farming, Mattie H. Wife 56 M at 16 NC NC NC, EDNER E. Mother 90 Wd 18 yrs at first marriage NC NC NC, Curtis Grandson 20 NC NC NC, Miriam A. granddaughter 16 NC NC NC.

NOTE: Excerpt from HARNETT COUNTY HERITAGE: "Isaac Jones and Nannie McDonald Gilchrist," by Peggy Gilchrist Smith and Dorothy Johnson, page 187: "Daddy (Jones Gilchrist) was born April 16, 1894, in the Cool Springs Community, and one of his ancestors, my Great-Grandma Edna, was said to have lived to be over 100 years old, and when in her 90s, she could throw a rock across the Cape Fear River."

THE SANFORD HERALD, February 20, 1936:


Though her father, William Tillman Thomas, lived to be 82 years old and her mother, Harriett Judd Thomas, lived to be 91 years old, Mrs. Edna Gilchrist of Broadway has already outlived them in years and is still active as she nears the end of her first hundred years.

Born in 1839 in that part of Lee county which was formerly in Moore, Mrs. Gilchrist celebrated her 96th birthday last November 18, and last Tuesday finished the first fourth of her 97th year in active health.

Living with her daughter, Mrs. Mary Knight in Broadway, Mrs. Gilchrist often indulges in her favorite recreation by enjoying a walk. The radio affords her entertainment and each Sunday brings church services to her, seated in her comfortable rocker by the fireplace.

Mrs. Gilchrist is the lone survivor of a family of fourteen sons and daughters, all of whom reached maturity. Three of her brothers served in the Confederate army during the Civil War.

Her first husband, Stanford Hunter, was killed in the Civil War, and she was later married to Charles Gilchrist. Although she has six children, a large number of grandchildren, and hundreds of nephews, nieces and other relatives scattered throughout a number of states, she herself has never traveled outside of Moore, Chatham, Lee or Harnett county.

Nearing 100 Mark


This was probably out of the SANFORD HERALD:

Lee's Oldest (Photo) Mrs. Edna Gilchrist, Route 2 Jonesboro, has witnessed much time and history. She will be 101 years old November 18, 1940, and is the last surviving member of a family of 14 children.


Born November 18, 1839, She Is Last Living Member of Family


By Thomas L. McIver

When some energetic person goes about writing a comprehensive history of this section of the state, he might do well to visit Mrs. Edna Gilchrist, Route 2 Jonesboro, for a first hand version of the past century in Moore and Lee counties.

For Mrs Gilchrist, born November 18, 1839, and now nearing her 101st birthday, is Lee county's oldest living person, so far as is known, and recorded in her memory are many personal experiences and many facts about people who have made this section their home over the long decades that have passed since 1839.

Mrs. Gilchrist was born in what was then Moore county, the daughter of William Tillman Thomas and Harriet Judd Thomas. One of 14 children, all but one of whom reached the age of maturity; she is the last surviving member of the family. The house in which she and the other 13 Thomas children were born is the old homestead on which J. R. Howard has lived for a number of years.

Runs in Family

Longevity seems to have run in Mrs. Gilchrist's family. Her mother, whose family name was Solomon before her marriage and who was related to the Solomons of Henderson and the Judds of Wake county, lived to be 91, and her father died at 82.

Mrs. Gilchrist remembers she had at least three brothers who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil war. These were J. M. B., Henderson Judd, and William Thomas. Among her other brothers were Jefferson and Mack Thoms, and Polk Thomas, the last of whom was too young to see service at the time of the war, and who was later killed while cleaning a loaded pistol.

The Civil war claimed the life of Mrs. Gilchrist's first husband, Stanford Hunter. Later she married Charles Gilchrist, and to the couple were born six children. She lives with one of them, Mrs. Mary Knight, wife of Sion Knight, near the Harnett county line within a few miles of Buckhorn falls.

Formerly a member of the Juniper Springs Baptist church, she now has her name on the rolls of the Baptist Chapel church.

Remembers Grandfather

Questioned some time ago about her grandparents, she said she remembered her grandfather, John Thomas, very well but could not recall anything about her "Grandma," Mary Thomas, other than that "She was Mary Oaks before she married, and they always said I favored her."

A diminutive little old lady of five feet two who could never have tipped the scales at more than 100 (?) ...prime, Mrs. Gilchrist has delicate features which do not betray her age. She has blue eyes and a fair amount of soft, wavy gray hair.

Even at 101 she still is able to visit neighbors who live as much as a half mile distant, likes to talk, is happy, and enjoys her mellow philosophy, developed over the years, of being a friend to everyone.

Friend To Everybody

Speaking of a granddaughter-in-law in a recent interview, Mrs. Gilchrist said "I know she has her hands full now. I wish I could help her, for I do love her well." and added reflectively, I love everybody. There is nobody anywhere I could hold an ill feeling against." Perhaps that attitude of being a universal friend to man has had much to do with Mrs. Gilchrist's longevity, which she so well deserves.

Mrs. Gilchrist's once very clear eyes have dimmed in the past few years, and her hearing has grown bad as time gradually catches up with her, but she is still surprisingly healthy and active for a woman nearing 101 years of age.

Mrs. Edna E. Gilchrest, 100, Dies in Harnett; Rites Held

(Special to Daily News)

DUNN, May 17.--A throng of more than 500 people attended the funeral service this afternoon for Mrs. Edna E. Gilchrest, of near Lillington, widow of a confederate veteran. She died late yesterday.

Mrs. Gilchrest, believed to be the oldest resident of the county, celebrated her 100th birthday last November 16. She leaves 243 descendants.

She was in good health up until a month ago, when she became ill for the first time in several years, and her condition became gradually worse.

Despite her age, she was active up until the time of her illness and visited in the neighborhood regularly. Mrs. Gilchrest was born and spent her entire life in the section between Lillington and Jonesboro.

Her first husband, Stedford Hunter, was killed in service during the civil war, and she later married Charles Gilchrest, who died about 25 years ago. Since her husband's death she had lived with her daughter, Mrs. Mary Knight.

Funeral service was held at the Cool Springs Methodist church, near Mamers.

Three Earlys, another of Harnett's first families, officiated. Rev. J. V. Early, of Hillsboro, former pastor, Rev. B. G. Early and his son, Rev. Waldo Early. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Surviving are two sons, J. C. Gilchrest, of Broadway, route 1, J. P. Gilchrest, of Lillington, route 3, and her daughter. There are 43 grandchildren, 151 great-grandchildren, and 46 great-great-grandchildren.

Photo caption: MRS. EDNA E. GILCHREST.

DEATH: State of North Carolina Certificate of Death for Edna E. Gilchrist Nov. 16, 1839-16 May 1940, born in Moore County, NC, widowed, daughter of Tillman Thomas and Hattie Judd both born in Cumberland County, died at age 100 yrs. Informant was J. C. Gilchrist of Broadway, NC.

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