Captain Thomas Helm  1748  - March 15, 1781

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Parents: Moses Helm and Sarah Jamison Helm
Married: Nancy Ann Gilbert in 1774

William Helm 1775 -1851 (or after)
James Helm 1776 - 1839
Samuel Helm 1778 - 1849
Elizabeth Helm 1780 - 1844

Chronological / Properties

1769 Thomas Helm purchased 225 acres on Falling River beginning at Watkins Corner, from Abraham Fleming.

Bedford Deed Book C-3 page 248

"This indenture made this twenty eight day of [] in ye year one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine between [] Fleming of the one part and Thomas Helm of the other part wit[] that the said Abraham Fleming for and in consideration of the [] Tenty pounds corrent money of Virginia to him in hand paid [] Helm the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge hath given bargained sold aliened enssoffed and confirmed and by these presense grant bargain sell aliened enssoffed and confirmed unto the said Helm and his heir and assigns forever one certain tract or parcel land lying and being in the County of Bedford on the waters of Falling containing two hunderd and twenty five acres and is bounded towit Beginning at Watkins Corner pointers thence north five dgrees east one hundred poles to a small white oak thence sine north sixty degrees west two hundred and sixty eight poles [] oak south twnty degrees west one hundred and thirty four poles oak west one hundred poles to a red oak south twenty degrees poles to a white oak on Watkins line thence along his line north eighty [] degrees east three hundred poles to the first station..."

1777 Thomas Helm purchased 140 acres on Falling River above the mouth of Naked Creek, from William McMurtry. March 16, 1777.

"This indenture made this sixteenth day of March one thousand and seventy seven between William McMurtry of the county of Bedford on the one part and Thomas Helm of the county aforesaid of the other part, that the said William McMurtry for and in consideration of the sum of eighty two Pounds ten shillings current and lawfull money of Virginia to him in hand paid the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowldge hath granted barganed sold set over and delivered and by these presense do grant bargan sell set over and deliver unto said Thomas Helm to his hears and assigns forever one certain tract of land willed to him the said William McMurtry by his father James McMurtry deceased containing one hundred forty acres lying and being in the county of Bedford on Falling River above the mouth of Naked Creed and bounded as follows towit Beginning at Sam'l McMartry's corner pointers thence along the old line north four degrees west one hundred and thirty nine poles to a small red oak thence south sixty four degrees west one hundred and sixty six poles to pointers thence south four degrees east ninty poles to Sam'l McMurtry's corner pointers thence along his line north sixty degrees east fifty four poles to an [] his corner red oak at the head of a small branch thence down said branch as it meanders eithy poles to his corner poplar near the head the mill pond thence crossing the same north eighty eight degrees east forty poles to the first station...."

1780 Thomas Helm received the grant for 220 acres including Pilot Mountain. The survey is dated May 4, 1780

Bedford Survey Book Record 1 page 247; deed igned by Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson Esquire Governor of the Common=wealth of Virginia to all to whom these present shall come greeting: Know ye that in consideration of the Acnient Composition of Twenty five shillings sterling paid by Thomas Helm into the treasury of this commonwealth there is granted by the said Commonwealth unto the said Thomas Helm a certain tract or parcel of land containing two hundred and twenty acres by survey bearing date the second day of may one thousand seven hundred and eighty lying and being in the county of Bedford including the pilot mountain and bounder as followeth to wit, beginning at Nathaniel Pattersons Corner shrub white oak on Bollings Sine thenee along Bollings Lines North Senty degrees West thirty Poles to his Corner Black Jack South sixty eight degrees west eighty eight poles to his and Wathans and Jennings Corner hickory thence along the old lines of Wathen and Jennings's north torty four degrees west one hunddred and forty four poles to corner hickory north twenty four degrees east fifty two poles to corner pointers sorth sixty five degrees past fifty eight poles to ..  Corner Shrub white oak north twenty three degrees west ten poles to Helm's corner shrub white oak thence along Helm's line north sixty five degrees east fifty eight poles to his corner small red oak south eighty degrees east forty four poles to his corner red oak north sixty two degrees east forty eight poles to his corner double red oak north eithty one degrees east eithy poles to his corner blak jack on an Ivy Hill north forty degrees east thirty poles to his pointers south eight five degrees east forteen poles to his corner white oak north seventy three degrees east four poles to William Denwiddies corner pointers: thence along Dinwiddies lines south thirty four degrees east one hundred and fourteen poles to his and Patterson;s corner shrub wite oak: thence along Pattersons lines north five degrees west one hundred and five poles to his corner small black jack south seventy seven degrees west one hudred and two poles to his corner chesnut south twenty degrees east fifty seven poles to his corner small red oak south thirty eight degrees west ninety poles to his corner black ??? and south forty nine derees east sixty poles to the first station with it appertenances: to have and to hold the said tract or pacel of land with its appertenances to the said Thomas Helm and heirs forever ?? In withness where of the said Thomas Jefferson Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia hath hereunto set his hand and ??? of the said Commonwealth to be affixed at Richmond on the first day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty and of the commonwealth the fifth. Thomas Jefferson
Captain Thomas Helm's Revolutionary War Service:

There were three Captain Thomas Helm from Virginia who served in the Revolutionary War.

One died in 1778.

One was from Fauquier County Virginia. In 1778, he resigned his commission as a Lieutenant and went to Kentucky. In 1781, after General Cornwallace was blockaded in Yorktown, he re-enlisted and was commissioned as a Captain in Fauquier County Virginia.

The Captain Thomas Helm in this article was from Bedford County Virginia. 
He died  on, or soon after March 15, 1781 as a result of wounds received during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina.

Apart from those who remembered Thomas Helm and made mention of him in their pension applications, very few records of Thomas Helm's military service exist. And even so, many years had passed before pension applications were made, and sometimes there was much forgotten and much confussion over details regarding the applicants own service. provides an excellent source of information for those who served.

1777 Thomas Helm served as a Lieutenant.

Pension Application W1590,  Thomas Franklin

[12 August 1833], [In June 1833], [September 1832]

"This day [12 August 1833] Majr. Thomas Franklin aged seventy five years, ...that in the year 1777 the British fleet entered the waters of Virginia and were lying in Hampton Roads and about the mouth of York River, there was a call for troops to march to the lower part of Virginia from the upper country and that there was a company of volunteers raised in Bedford aforesaid and commanded by Capt. John Talbot, Lt. Thomas Helm and Ensign Arthur Mosley, that John Hunter Junr was a private in said company and which company rendezvoused at the house of Capt John Hunter Sr in the said County of Bedford in the month of August in said year and from thence marched by way of Richmond Virginia to Williamsburg where we were stationed some time, from thence they marched to Yorktown Va where the company was stationed again, he thinks under the command of Col Maso[n]."
[In June 1833] Thomas Franklin corrects the statements he made to the court the year prior: "That in the month of August 1777 he again entered military service of the United States as a volunteer, and private in the militia of the said State of Virginia for the term of three months, in a company of which John Talbot was Captain, and Thomas Helm was lieutenant and Arthur Mosely was the ensign, and in a Regiment of which, as well as he now recolledts, Colonel Cabell wat the commanding officer." "Charles Glass and John Hunter of this county served with theis declarant during this last tour of duty."
[September 1832] "about [1779] two years afterwards, as well as he can recollect, he again entered service as a volunteer and private in the militia of said state for the term of three months, he believes in the company commanded by Capt. John Talbot (Thomas Helm the lieutenant) That he lived at this time in the said County of Bedford, (now Campbell) and marched from thence to Williamsburg in said state where he remained for some time, and from there thence to York in the same state." "He believes that the Regiment to which he was attached was commanded by Colo. Cabell. The duty performed by the Regiment to which he belonged during this tour of service was wholly garrison duty, in guarding the Public Stores, and Property."

1778 Thomas Helm is recommended to act as 1st Lieutenant in Bedford County.

Pension Application, John Vest S15692


"in the year 1778 judging from all the circumstances he can recollect while Patrick Henry was Governor of Virginia" [1776 -1779]  he "marched from Campbell County, then Bedford County as aforesaid, under the command of Capt John Talbot, Lieutenant Thomas Helms who was afterwards killed in the battle of Guilford and Ensign Arthur Moseley. The company met at Hunter Tavern crossed Charlotte Cumberland &c." "In this tour of duty he.. marched under aforesaid officers first to Williamsburg in Va. crossing James River at Richmond near Manchester passed through Henrico, New Kent, Hanover & returned to Williamsburg".. Colo. Mason then had command of the Regiment to which he was attached. From Williamsburg he was marched to York Town where his company was attached to the Regiment under the command of Colo. Lightfoot".. "he remembers that some men were tried at Williamsburg while he was there for burning and otherwise injuring the inclosure around park of Governor Henry. In this tour he was at York Town when the British vessels came in sight within the capes and cannonaded the American row gallies from about 9 oclock in the morning till near one hour .. when after having achored there for several days the enemy disappeared without endevoring to effect a landing."

1779 Thomas Helm served as a Captain.

Pension Application, William Ely


"His enlistment was in Bedford County on 15 February 1779 with recruiting officer Capt. Thomas Helm. A march from New London took him to Petersburg where he was placed in the company of Capt Hughes Woodson in the regiment of Col Abraham Buford" .."with a march towards Charleston commenced in the spring of 1780" .."they were engaged by British LCol Banastre Tarleton at Waxhaws."

Request for Payment, John Helm

Regarding 1780

"John Helm for that a waggon and team belonging to him and Thomas Helm dec were impressed in South Carolina for the use of Gen Stephens Bregade of Virginia Malitia in August 1780"

"To the Admx of Thomas Helm Decd for 97 day of service of his wagon and team and driver for the use of the militia under the command of General Mulenburg." [date uncertain]

pension application S5951, John Pribble


"in the month of February 1781 I was again called to Long Island on Staunton River where I joined Capt. Thomas Helm's company and Lieutenant was James Dinwiddie, and Andrew Fields Ensign a part of the tour when John Steele took Field's place. We marched to the Redhouse in North Carolina we were at this time commanded by Col Lynch & belonged to his reginent. We marched with him to the Guilford Battle and was in the same; after teh battle we marched to Maijors Iron works on Troublesome creek.."

Pension application W4131 for Samuel Beard by his wife Mary (Mitchell) Beard


"She has frequently heard her dec'd husband Sam'l Beard in his life time speak of his being at the Battle of Guilford - and related many circumstances that took place ther - one was that he saw Caps. Moon and Helm after they were bounded - before they died - and spoke of how much they suffered from their wounds on the field of battle."

Pension application W6572 of Jesse Wood by Mrs Nancy Wood


"The last tour he served was in the winder and spring of 1781 under the command of Capt Wm. Jones and was at the Battle of Guilford during the performcance of said tour of duty. Edmond Wood, and perhaps Wm. Rosser was in the same company with him. Capts Moon and Helm was killed at said battle which was in March 1781." [Note: Nancy Rosser Wood is the daughter of Jonathan Rosser who later married Thomas Helm's widow Nancy Ann Gilbert Helm.]

pension application S21666, Hubbard Brown


"he entered the service of the states under the collowing named officers and served as herein stated he enlisted in the Regiment of Virginia Line command of Col. Charles Lynch under Capt. William Jones, as a minute man" .. "Col. Lynch's Regiment was ordered to join General Greene in North Carolina to prevent Cornwallis march into Virginia accordingly we marched from a place called Molly's Creek Church" ... "that he fought in the Battle of Guilford under General Greene in Col. Lynch's Regiment as an Ensign in Capt William Jone's Company in said Regiment on the day of the battle on which day two of the Captains of Col. Lynch's Regiment to which Moon & Helm were killed at the Battle of Guilford we served as Cavalry and was under the immediate direction and command of Col. William Washington."

Pension application S37971, Nathaniel Harris


"we lost four Captains out of Lynch's Regiment (towit, Captns Beard, Helm, Jones & Moore, the last of whom he brought from the ground on his back but the man died in a few days." "..after the battle of Guilford we marched to some old iron works .."

Pension application W10311, John Q. Dabney


"he was in the Battle of Guilford commanded by Captain Jacob Moon and Leiut Rice .. and fought on the right wing of the US army - where Capt Moon fell together with Capt. Jones and Capt Helms".

Pension application S6750, Thomas Brown


"He was in the battle which was fought on the 15th March 1781"  .. but what were the their numbers and by whom commanded he is not able now to remember, except Captains Moon and Helm, who commanded militia companies in his regiment and both of whom were killed in the battle of Guilford. He saw Capt Moon shot and carrid from the field."

For more information regarding the Battle of Guilford Courthouse read Long Obstinate

After the death of Thomas Helm


Bedford Claims p 2

"On the motion of Anne Helm (widow of Thomas Helm Decd. Admon. is granted to her on the [] Decedents Estate who made oath thereto and gave bond and [] acgto law."
"Alex Steel, William Brown, Charles Hall and Thomas McReynolds or any three being 1st sworn are aptd. to appraise the Decdt estate."

Campbell Claims p 2

"John Helm for that a waggon and team belonging to him and Thomas Helm dec were impressed in South Carolina for the use of Gen Stephens Bregade of Virginia Malitia in August 1780 were lost and never returned for which he is allowed  131.13.0"

"To the Admx of Thomas Helm Decd for 97 day of service of his wagon and team and driver for the use of the militia under the command of General Mulenburg."
1st August 1781, Appraisment of the personal estate of Ths Helm Deceased.

Source Virginia Library
Reel 25 p 398

Appraisement of the personel estate of Thos Helm deceased 1st August


Old Rate New Rate

4 Head Horses 57.0 11400

9 Head Cattle 16.0 3200

1 Wagon 12.10 2400

1 Saddle & Saddle Bags

2.10 500

5 Sheep 2.10 500

10 Hogs 2. 400

Iron Tools 2.19 600

Books 3.1 600

Sord 4.0 800

Potery 2.7 9.25

Beds & Furniture 8.5 1650.

4 Pots & Other Citchen Furniture

11.7.6 2175

Total 124.9.6 25160

Thos McReynolos

Charles Hall

William Brown


At a court held for Bedford County 28th August 1781 This inventory and

appraisement of the estate of Thomas Helm dec was returned to court and

ordered to be recorded.

Test J Steptoe Cl

1782, Thomas' widow, Nancy Ann Helm married Jonathan Rosser
Children (half-brothers to the children of Thomas Helm):
David Rosser, Preston Rosser, and Vincent Rosser.
1795 appraisal of Jonathan Rosser Estate

1796 Nancy married Vincent Glass

Settlement of Jonathan Rosser Estate


"To Ann Rosser and her three orphans [Children by Jonathan Rosser]:" David Rosser, Preston Rosser, and Vincnet Rosser.
The settlement also lists Jonathan Rosser's other children: Pleasant Rosser, William Rosser, (in right of one of his sisters) William Bailey husband of Mary Rosser, and Samuel Gilbert husband of Fanny Rosser.  April 1797.

Thomas Helm's estate settled

July 1797

"after all debts being paid the said estate to be worth two humdred thirty four pounds, three shillings and ten pence." The distribution of the estate followed: a Bond on Thomas Dillon, cash to John Helm, a Bond on John Steal, a Bond on James McCallister, a Bond on Alexander Steel, a Bond on John Aue, and cash to William Rosser.

1797, James married Sarah Watkins (daughter of Moses Watkins).

Thomas Helm property transfered to his son William Helm


"Vincent Glass and Nancy his wife of Campbell County do hereby give up all claims or rights that are now or ever henceafter shall be maid by us to any part of the land and property of Thomas Helm deceased to William Helm to sell make title or do with as he seems caus and to cetigy that we quit all claims to all or any pat of the above lands we hereunto set our hands and seals this 9th day of February in the year seventeen hundred and ninty seven. Teste: Matthew Willson, William Glass; Vincent Glass, Ann Glass."  "At a court for Campbell County -February 12, 1798.
The within deed of relinquishment was acknowledged by Vincent Glass and Ann his wife parties thereto and ordered to be recorded."

William Helm sold property on Falling River above Naked Creek to John Arrington

June 1799

8th day of June 1799, William Helm sold the property on Falling River above Naked Creek to John Arrington. This is the same property, "contains by survey 86 acres".
In contrast Thomas Helm bought this same property in 1777 as 140 acres from William McMurtry.

During 1798 and 1799 Vincent Glass and his wife (variously known as Nancy, Ann, and Agnes) methodically gave their property to thier children, or sold properties to others.
When they died and where they are buried is unknown.

William Helm remained single. In 1850 he is listed in the census as age 75 years old, a millright, living in Appomattox County. During 1851 he registered a request for payment in Campbell County court from the estate of   "if funds are available."
James and Sarah Helm c. 1803, moved to Georgia (near present day Athens GA), and later to Tennessee.

Samuel married Aline Taylor. They presumably moved near Alleghany Springs or Shawsville Virginia. Several family members are buried in White (Boone) Cemetery.

Elizabeth married Aaron Watkins. They moved to Ohio. Their children and the children of James and Sarah Helm are listed in Aaron's and Sarah's uncle's will.

More information is in My Family Tree Database