Our Patriot Ancestors
     . . . Biographical Sketches

Thomas Gaitrell

  U. J. Jones included the name of Thomas Gaitrell in his narrative of the massacre. Thomas' surname is sometimes assumed to be Gartrell.

  The name of Thomas Gaitrell does not appear in any tax assessment returns for the region prior to 1780, nor does his name appear in any roster for the Bedford County Militia.

  A man by the name of John Gartrell was born in 1748 in Prince Georges County, Maryland. While they resided in Maryland, John and his wife had at least two sons: Thomas, born circa 1755 and John Jr., born circa 1765. John moved his family to Pennsylvania, settling in the region that would eventually become Hopewell Township, Bedford County. The man identified as Thomas Gaitrell who was massacred here on 16 July 1780 was undoubtedly Thomas Gartrell, the eldest son of John. Thomas would have been twenty-five years old when he lost his life here.

  It is not known for certain if Thomas was married prior to the massacre. But it might be assumed that he was indeed married, because a man by the name of Thomas Gaytrell was residing in Huntingdon County only ten years after the massacre. This man, who was undoubtedly the son of the massacred Thomas Gaitrell, was included on the 1790 U.S. Census for Huntingdon County.