Erie County Early Settlers!

Thomas M James

Submitted by Thomas M James

Erie first settler Thomas M James

Erie first settler Thomas M James came to America in 1806. He lived in Oxford township, on pipe creek, (present day NASA land). Thomas and Jane James had children who lived in Huron, later Erie County, with one son, Peter, remaining at a second location in Hartland township, Huron County. Many of the James family tombstones were moved to the Bloomingville Cemetery in 1930-1940 when the original homestead was taken over by the US Government.

Excerpts from "The Firelands Pioneer" by Aldrich, Book 1, June 1865, page 11

"The first permanent settler in the township was Thomas JAMES, an Irishman, who emigrated here from one of the New England States in 1810 and located in the south part of section four. He had come over to this country several years before. He purchase his land in Connecticut without having seen it. It proved to be a good tract of valuable land. He was accompanied by John BEATTY, Esq., another Irishman, whose object was to explore the country with a view to buy a large quantity of land.

They traveled through the State of Pennsylvania, and there enlisted in their enterprise a brother-in-law of BEATTY, James FORSYTH, who came on with them with his family, and located in the north part of Oxford Township the same year, being assured by his brother-in-law (Beatty) that he (Beatty) would come on with his family in a year or two. FORSYTH's son-in-law was John HARRIS...

...They crossed the mouths of the Vermillion and Huron rivers on sand bars. While FORSYTH and BEATTY, with Jabez Wright and Almon Ruggles went prospecting for lands, JAMES went directly to the lands he had already purchased, which he reached in the same month of July...

...But the largest colony of settlers came on in the fall of 1815. John BEATTY, at the close of the war (1812), having made a large investment in lands in Perkins township, including nearly all of section one, removed his family, and was accompanied by the following persons with their respective families: Julius House, Joseph Taylor, Eleizur Bell and Jesse Taylor. Ross E Parker, from Toledo Ohio in 1932, stated that John BEATTY came to the firelands in 1810 and purchased 40,000 acres near Milan, Huron/Erie County, east of the Bloomingville area".

For additional information about Thomas James and his entire family, please visit


Walk Along Trout Stream in The Blue Hole, Castalia

Return to Index