Submitted by DONNA MOLLAUN, descendant.

     THOMAS CLARK HARLOW, parents unknown, was possibly born 1828-1829 in Louisa County, Virginia.

     The first wife of Thomas Harlow was Caroline Davis. ----Proof: Tombstone application (Vet) that names the parents of son, William James Harlow. William James Harlow served in the Virginia Infantry, Co. C, 31 & 56 as a private. Interesting that father & son served on opposite sides of the Civil War.


1850 Augusta Co., VA (has wife Caroline & son, William J.)

1860 Allegheny Co., VA (several censuses there where the family has been farmed out in different locations after Thomas deserted)

1870 Rome, Athens Co., OH (Thomas with new wife, Martha Jane Skinner & living next door his son from 1st marriage, William James Harlow)

1880 Muskingham, Washington Co., OH (Thomas as "T.C." living next door to son, William James again.


----Marriage records, Washington Co., OH (2nd wife) Thomas C. Harlow marries Martha Jane Cane (nee Skinner) on 2/13/1864. Her first brief marriage was to Mandon Cane. Mandon was a veteran of the the 6th WV Infantry. Mandon died on 10/18/1868 Tucker, WV.

----Marriage records, Jackson Co., WV (3rd wife) Thomas C. marries Belle Burdett, nee Milam, on 12/27/1887. Belle is listed as being born in Kanawha Co., WV - with residence of Sissonville, Kanawha Co., WV. She is age 50. Thomas C. Harlow is listed as being born in Louisa Co., VA - with residence of Kanawha Co., WV. He is age 59. Belle (Isabella C.) was first married to George Washington Burdett from Kanawha Co., WV and died in Jackson Co., WV.


Widow: Isabella C. Harlow. -- Thomas C. Harlow died at the Dayton Veteran's Medical Center, Dayton, Montgomery Co., OH on 4/20/1894. He was buried there on the same day in Section 1, row 26, Site 21.

Service began on 30 Aug 1861. Service ended 8 July 1863.

Regiment: 1st WV Calvary - Union.


1) His address was given as Charlestown, WW (surely that was meant to be Charleston because last wife, Belle, was living near Charleston, Kanawha Co., WV. Charlestown in way up in Jefferson Co., WV).

2) His next-of-kin was Charles Harlow. This was probably the son, Charles, from his second wife, Martha Jane.

1) He faked a suicide by drowning.

2) He enlisted in the Confederate Army, deserted, then joined the Union Army.

3) He married the 2nd time without divorcing the 1st wife, who presumed him to be dead.

4) Wife #2 tried to collect his WV benefits because she thought he was dead.

-----In the 1880 census of Rome, Athens Co., OH, Martha Jane Harlow, 2nd wife, is listed as a widow.

-----Her (Martha Jane's) children are either farmed out or in the Athens Co., Children's Home (from Athens Co. Infirmary web site)

5) His VA family was so upset with him for being a traitor that they stopped turned their backs on him after he enlisted in the Union Army. -----Well, we know that at least son, William James Harlow made amends.

Added 14 July 2008:

In a testimonial (NARA Files) many are interviewed because Isabelle C. Burdette-Harlow tries to claim TCH's pension after his death. There were 2 problems:

  • 1) TCH had never divorced Martha Jane (Skinner) Cain-Harlow before he married Isabelle.
  • 2) Isabelle had kicked TCH out because of drinking and she a a truck load of kids that were all bastards of men she just slept around with.

    There was a steamy testimonial of a man who used to slip between Isabelle's sheets at night.

    Isabelle admits to being a brazen hussy, but begs for the money anyway because she is poor.

    Also in this testimonial, Martha Jane (Skinner) Cain-Harlow-Nice, tells the story of the newspaper article that tells of the drowning of TCH in the river. Reuben Nice, Martha's then future husband, went to Washington Co., OH to check on a possible divorce between Martha & TCH so that he could marry her. Martha stayed in Athens Co., OH to work & keep her job as a waitress. Reuben found the death notice or news article on the drowning of TCH. He came back with the good news (?) and married Martha.

    TCH liked widows. Lucy, his first wife, was a widow much older than he. Lucy Humphries died (probably during the birth of Lucy Harlow) and TCH took off leaving baby Lucy in the care of relatives.

    Next, Caroline Davis came into the picture and shows up with TCH in Augusta Co., VA. They had many children, but TCH took off and landed next in Wood Co., (W)VA in 1860. Caroline lost all of her children who were farmed out in other homes in Augusta Co., VA.

    TCH joins the WV Calvary and fights bravely. There are over 200 pages of NARA docs that speak of his bravery and his drunkeness. Was he really brave or just drunk? He is shot through the hand. A horse gets shot out from under him and he hurts his groin area. That groin injury does nothing to stop TCH from marrying Martha Jane (Skinner) Cain, widow of Manden Cain, and producing more kids to abandon again.

    In Martha's testimony, she states that she continually asked TCH if he had been married before. TCH denies it, Martha asked other soldiers who fought with TCH and comes up with nothing. Martha said that she thought TCH was too old not to have been married before. She marries him anyway.

    They move to Rome, Athens Co., OH for work. TCH makes weekly leaving Martha and the kids at home for days at a time. Martha had no idea where he went on those trips. On one trip, he takes son, Charles, with him but Charles doesn't return. TCH gave young Charles to someone as a servant/worker. Charles was just a kid.

    The last trip TCH took is the one where he didn't return. He can be found in the Washington Co. OH census "working in the woods" and with a complaint of aches & pains in his side in 1880.

    Martha finds out where he is and writes to him, begging for his return. This didn't work. Martha and the kids, except Charles, go to the Athens Infirmary. Martha is released and is living in Rome, Athens Co., OH, with a male school teacher as a boarder.

    Some of the kids were placed in the Children's Home, some in the homes of others where they worked a servants. My g-grandmother was the youngest and she was sent to the Children's Home because she was too young to be a servant - I guess.

    Then the drowning. Faked? Probably. TCH married Isabelle Burdette in Jackson Co., WV. As far as I know this was his last marriage, but someone has pointed to another possible 5th wife.

    Eventually, TCH ends up in the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Dayton, OH. This is where he died and is buried. His son, Charles, was the next of kin. This is the same Charles TCH farmed out as a kid.

    Young Charles Harlow was a chip off of the old block. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Charles married a woman, moved her and the kids to Washington state, deserts them, wife thinks he's dead, but he is found in other censuses.

    My g-grandmother, Vinnie R. Harlow, married Charles T. Coates in Athens Co., OH at age 16. She lied about her age when they applied for the marriage license.

    Vinnie had two sons and one was my grandfather. While my g-grandfatherwas working in a brick factory, Vinnie stayed home to take care of the boys and a boarder. She ran away with the boarder and deserted the two boys. Something happened with the relationship so she returned home for a few months. Then, she ran away to Denver CO where she ended up living in a hotel, ran a booth at a flea market, latched on to a new boyfriend and never divorced my great-grandfather. Vinnie died in Denver.

    My g-grandfather remained in love with Vinnie until the day he died. He had no romantic connections to another woman in his lifetime.

  • [I'm descended from Thomas Clark Harlow, AKA Romeo, through the 2nd wife, Martha Jane Cain, nee Skinner, who was the daughter of Samuel Hamilton Skinner & Mary Adaline Leggett of Washington Co., OH.]

    Submitted by RAY HARLOW, descendant.


    Civil War medal of Thomas Clark Harlow.
    Claimed by Raymond F. Harlow from the West Virginia State Archives, 2008.

         THOMAS C. HARLOW, born in 1815 in Louisa County, Virginia, was the son of Charles and Mary (Crews) Harlow.

         Thomas was wounded twice during the Civil War: He was shot in the hand, and injured when he went over the saddle horn when his horse was shot.

         He was married four times, the second time to Caroline Davis Harlow. Their son, William James Harlow, fought with the Virginia 31st Infantry. His first wife was the widow, Lucy Humphrey, whom he married in 1840 in Louisa County. They had one child, Lucy.

         Thomas died in the Dayton Military Hospital 20 April 1894. He is buried in Section I, Row 26, Site 21, Dayton National Cemetery, 4199 W 3rd St, Dayton, Ohio. GRAVE MARKER