Thomas Cordrey Sr.1

b. between 1740 and 1750

3rd great-grandfather of Ruth Minerva Fairfield.
5th great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Fairfield and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Ruth Minerva Fairfield
Click to view larger image
Thomas? Cordrey
     Thomas Cordrey Sr. was born between 1740 and 1750, probably in Kent County, Delaware.2 He married Comfort Bryan, daughter of Bennett Bryan and Rachel Shepherd.3 His will was probated on 5 July 1832 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
     In the brief references to Thomas found on the Internet, he is usually referred to as Thomas Cordery II, a son of Thomas and Ester (Davis) Cordery (or Cordray) of Kent County, Delaware. In most census records, the name is spelled "Cordery." The "Cordrey" variation used here is how the name is written in Thomas' will, and is the spelling that was used by most of his descendants of whom the writer has knowledge.

     Cordrey by any spelling is not a common name in early America, and it does appear that they were a Kent County family. Before 1800, some or all of Thomas' family moved to Allegany County, Maryland. His son Nathan married there in 1798, and Thomas and sons Isaac and Thomas Jr., as well as daughter Polly and her husband Jere Hillary, were living there in 1800. Daughter Elizabeth may be the under ten female living with Thomas Sr. in 1800, but Nathan and the other four boys have not been located in that census. In 1810 Thomas, and perhaps all or most of his children and their families, moved to Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Thomas Sr. entered the northwest quarter of Section 19 and lived and died there.

     Francis Cordrey wrote that his great-grandfather Thomas lived to the remarkable age of 106, but that is highly doubtful. By studying all available census records in which he and his children have been found, it appears he was born between 1740 and 1750, and that most of his children were born in the 1770s. Trying to figure the birth order of his children using age ranges from census records is problematic, but we know from Thomas' will that Isaac was the oldest son. The six younger sons are named in the list of children below in the order they appear in Thomas' will.

     In his journal, Francis Cordrey wrote an article about his great-grandfather.

Additional Data
Thos Cordray Senr appeared on the 1800 U.S. Census in Upper Old Town, Allegany County, Maryland. In his household were one male 45 and older; one female under 10, one female 45 and older.4 Click to view image

Thomas Cordrey Sr. moved in 1810 from Maryland to Fairfield township, Tuscarawas County. He entered the northwest quarter of Section 19 and lived and died there.5

Thomas Cordrey Sr. made a will on 23 February 1829 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Mentioned were "oldest son" Isaac Cordrey, daughters Mary Hilleary and Elizabeth Cordrey, and sons Thomas Cordrey Jr., Nathan Cordrey, Shephera Cordrey, Noble Cordrey, Jacob Cordrey and Barnett Cordrey.6 Click to view image

Thos Cordery Sr. appeared on the 1830 U.S. Census in Fairfield township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. In his household were one male 80-90, one female 50-60.2 Click to view image


  1. [S949] "Francis Cordrey Journal," (MS, 1897; Fort Wayne, Indiana); Charles Horn; Pasadena, Texas. Hereinafter cited as "Cordrey Journal". In a handwritten journal, or more precisely a ledger that he used as a journal, Francis wrote the family history as he knew it. It was among a collection of Cordrey papers and memorabilia that was given to Charles Horn by Francis' granddaughters, Coreinne Bitner and Mildred Bitner Stier. Click to view image
  2. [S963] Thos Cordery Sr. household, 1830 U.S. Census, Fairfield township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, page 55/56; National Archives micropublication M19, roll 141.
  3. [S968] Karen Wunderlich Siezowski, online <>, Karen Siezowski (unknown location), downloaded 2006.
  4. [S969] Thos Cordray Senr household, 1800 U.S. Census, Upper Old Town, Allegany County, Maryland, page 37/38; National Archives micropublication M32, roll 9.
  5. [S974] J.B. Mansfield, comp., History of Tuscarawas County, Ohio (Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co., 1884; reprint Strasburg, Ohio: Gordon Printing for the Tuscarawas County Genealogical Society, 1975), 547.
  6. [S973] Thomas Cordrey Sr. will (1832), Tuscarawas County Will Book Vol. 1-4: 54, County Clerk's Office, New Philadelphia, Ohio.