Ellen Thomas was a validated American supercentenarian who died in 1991 at the age of 113.

Thomas was born on Wade Bolton’s Hoboken Plantation near Arlington in Shelby County, Tennessee, USA on December 25, 1877 (although she claimed 1874). Her parents were formerly enslaved. She was raised by her maternal grandparents, George and Nancy Bolton. Following her grandparents’ deaths, she journeyed across the Mid-South, laboring in cotton fields for 40 cents per day.

At around 21 years old, she married Jim Jones, with whom she had four children. Later, she married Jordan Thomas, with whom she had six more children. She was widowed in 1940.

In 1986, she relocated to Flint, Michigan, to reside with her daughter, Evelyn. In September 1990, at the remarkable age of 112, she embarked on her maiden airplane voyage, flying from Flint to Tennessee for a significant family reunion. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, reports indicated that her mind remained sharp and active.

In early 1989, at the age of 111, she surpassed the final age of Clara Willard, becoming the oldest person to have ever lived in the U.S. state of Michigan. She held the title until 29 January 2001, when Maud Farris-Luse surpassed her final age.


Thomas passed away at Hurley Hospital in Flint, Michigan, USA, on 2 December 1991, at the age of 113 years, 342 days. She was survived by four children, 11 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren, 33 great-great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-great-grandchildren.

Following her validation, it was concluded that, at the time of her passing, she was the sixth-oldest (known) living person, after Jeanne CalmentDelphia WelfordCharlotte HughesEttie Mae Greene, and Katie Hatton. She was also the fourth-oldest living person in the US, after Welford, Greene and Hatton.

LongeviQuest congratulates Ellen Thomas’s family on her posthumous recognition.

For more information, please view Mrs. Thomas’s Directory Profile here.