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Brief History of Vincent T and Sarah Pierson Allentharp



Vincent T. and Sarah Pierson Allentharp

In "Georgia Baptist Historical and Biographical" by J. H. Campbell he states "Vincent Tharp, a native of Virginia was born in 1760 and bore arms in the cause of his country towards the close of the Revolutionary War." The family Bible gives the date of his birth as November 18, 1760. He came with his family into the Sumter District, South Carolina before the Revolution. When the British overran South Carolina and required all males between 15 and 60 to join the British Militia, in some way, Vincent Allentharp did not obey this order. Even as his father and brothers joined the British, Vincent slipped away and joined the forces of General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. He was taught to make nails in the blacksmith's shop. This knowledge served him well, for years later he helped make nails for the Briar Creek Baptist Church in Warren County, Georgia. Owing to the hardness of the times, and his being a poor man at the time, he learned the gunsmith trade, and was said to be a superior workman. For his services he was given a land grant in Washington County, Georgia, in 1784.

Vincent is described as being tall, dark, a large man, with one blue and one brown eye.

He married a Miss Rogers in South Carolina about 1780. This marriage received a son and daughter before Mrs. Allentharp died sometime between January 1783 and 1786. Exactly when he moved to Georgia is uncertain for the early records were lost. On January 10, 1787 he married Sarah Pierson, a daughter of Jeremiah Pierson, who had moved from Fairfield County, South Carolina, to Warren County, Georgia.

Vincent was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Wilkes County, Georgia, on December 20, 1792. Also he was Justice of the Peace in Warren County, Georgia, on June 23, 1796. It was at this point that he started signing his name Vincent A. Tharp. Vincent had dropped the Allen in his name as had all his other relatives in Georgia. From then on he signed his name A. Tharp and all the children, including the girls, used A. Tharp. Between 1850-1860 the A. was dropped and the name was Tharp. Another generation added the 'e' thus the spellings of Tharpe.

The Allentharp family attended Aquia church and St. Paul's church in Virginia. They were known as "Church of England." After the move to Warren County, Georgia, there was no Church of England in the neighborhood for after the Revolution the people hated the name of England and there were only six Church of England's left in all Georgia. Vincent joined Briar Creek Baptist Church in about 1800 as it was near his house. He was ordained as a minister shortly thereafter. He preached at several churches in the vicinity, including Sweetwater and Rocky Creek, and was the pastor of Briar Creek from 1802-1811.

In 1809 Vincent A. Tharp sent two sons and some slaves to build a house for him and his family in the Stone Creek neighborhood of Wilkinson County, Georgia. The house was built and the Tharp family moved into the house in 1811. He became pastor of the Stone Creek Baptist Church and remained until his death in 1825. Stone Creek was one of the earliest churches in the county and soon became an influential church. It was called the Mother Church for middle Georgia. Vincent served as Moderator of the Ebeneezer Baptist Association a number of years. He preached at Richland Baptist Church in Twiggs County and served other churches in the neighborhood.

This story is told of Vincent in a book by Mrs. McSwain. While preaching, Vincent carried a small songbook in his pocket. One day his son, John, who was known for being mischievous, made a switch in the pocket contents. During the service when it was time to sing, Vincent reached in his pocket and pulled out a deck of cards. Everyone had a good laugh. Vincent, however, wasn't amused.

To this union of Vincent T. Allentharp and Miss Rogers two known children were born: 1. John A., born September 1, 1781 2. Mary A. born January 28, 1783

To the union of Vincent T. A. Tharp and Sarah Pierson eight known children were born: 1. Elizabeth, born September 11, 1787, died before 1829 2. William, born October 5, 1788, September 25, 1841 3. Charnick, born February 27, 1790, died November 19, 1867 4. Nancy, born January 15, 1792, died 1843 5. Jeremiah, born October 1, 1793, died June 26, 1870 6. Fletcher, born November 17, 1797, died September 12, 1825 7. Rebeccah, born October 3, 1801, died young 8. Sarah, born January 25, 1803.

Vincent died September 23, 1825, and was buried in the old cemetery on the top of a high, rocky hill near where the original Stone Creek Baptist Church then stood. Sarah Tharp continued to live in the old homeplace after Vincent's death. She died January 1, 1832, and was buried in the cemetery on the church grounds next to her husband. However her grave was never marked. A Daughters of the American Revolution Marker, was placed on Vincent's grave on October 30, 1955. It was said of him "benevolence and hospitality were prominent traits in his character."

On Monday, March 19, 1987, it was discovered that vandals had dug up the grave of Rev. Vincent A. Tharp. Thankfully the vandals had not dug deep enough to disturb the 162-year-old coffin and remains. The decision was made by family members to remove the graves from the now remote area and bring them down the hill to a safe setting. At this time it was noticed that on the bottom of Vincent's marker is the statement that it was made in Italy. The old markers were sent to America as ballast for a ship. This one came to Savannah, Georgia, and it was the custom in those days to haul the markers by oxcart the two hundred miles from Savannah. The graves were moved to the Davis Family Cemetery near Macon, and a dedication ceremony was set for June 6, 1987. This cemetery is located in a chain link fenced area, about a 100 yards off the north side of Franklinton Road, approximately 1-2 tenths mile off Highway 80 between Macon and Dry Branch, Georgia (closer to Dry Branch). Exit I-16 at Spring Street and take Highway 80 south 7 miles.




Linked toALLENTHARP Vincent T, Reverend; PIERSON Sarah

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