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Major William Thomas Chapter, NSDAR

St. Mary's City, Maryland

Chapter History

The chapter was named for Major William Thomas in honor of Annie Thomas Lilburn the organizing chapter regent. He was her great-great grandfather.

"Major William Thomas of Deep Falls", was born in Charles County, Maryland, in 1714, and moved to Saint Mary's County in about 1745. He was educated by private tutors. He seems to have been a useful and public spirited person. He represented St. Mary's County in the House of Delegates in 1761, was a delegate to the Revolutionary Convention, served as a member of the Committee on Safety for the county in 1774, was Adjutant of the 25th Battalion Maryland Militia in 1776, and a Representative from the county in the first House of Delegates of Maryland. After the adoption of the State Masonic Order, he received the 33rd degree which is the highest honor of the order bestowed upon its members. Major William Thomas and his sons achieved marked distinction during the Revolutionary period. He died in 1795, and was buried in the family grave yard at "Deep Falls" which contains within its sacred limits the successive generations that have lived and passed away.

The Major William Thomas Chapter, NSDAR, began organizing in 1915. Annie Thomas Lilburn had been appointed organizing regent by Mrs. Arthur E. Bosley, State Regent of Maryland. The chapter was finalized on October 23, 1915.

A look back through the years of records of the Major William Thomas Chapter, NSDAR, reveals much of the charm, the strength, and the character of its membership. These records prove a continued determination to carry out the objectives of the National Society. The first work of the chapter was to "fit up" a library for the students of Saint Mary's Female Seminary. Through the years, scholarships, furniture, and other gifts regularly were made to the school. A few of the other works include: a fund to restore the foundation of the first Maryland State House in Saint Mary's City; knitting garments for the men on the destroyer, Joshua Barney, during World War I; restoration of Ye Coole Springs at Charlotte Hall, Maryland; donation of money for blood plasma equipment to Saint Mary's Hospital during World War II; presentation of the first National Defense Awards for meritorious service in a community in Maryland; attendance at many naturalization ceremonies to welcome new citizens; contribution toward the construction of the Dove, a replica of the 1634 ship carried supplies for her sister ship, the Ark, that landed the first colonists on the shores of Maryland; and dedication of many American Revolutionary soldier's markers at the gravesites of our patriots.