According to family history, JAMES was born on March 4, 1854 in South Carolina. Sometime between 1857 and 1858, his parents, MABRY and JANE THOMAS, moved from Chester Co., South Carolina, to Fayette Co., Alabama. JAMES THOMAS married MARY ELLEN TRAYLOR on January 3, 1878 in Lamar Co., Alabama; the marriage was performed by J E GRAVES, a Justice of the Peace. For almost 125 years the THOMAS FAMILY has said that JAMES died on May 4, 1888 in Lamar Co., Alabama and was buried in the Providence Methodist Church Cemetery in Lamar Co., Alabama. (Find A Grave Memorial #58466154). But thanks to the internet, and, specifically, the listing of burials of the "Fairview Park Cemetery", the truth shall be known for future generations. We will never know the reason that JAMES left his wife and children, but at least we will know his final resting place.
My grandfather, JAMES ANDERSON THOMAS, the youngest son of JAMES and MARY ELLEN TRAYLOR THOMAS, was born August 27, 1888 in Lamar Co., Alabama. He never knew his father, and for his entire life thought that his DADDY had died 3 months before he was born.