Thanks for responding to my post.
My Thomas R Wyatt was not the son of Saunders Wyatt, rather his nephew. I've seen many trees that include the following children as Saunders and Eliza Ralston's children: Thomas R Wyatt, b. 1844, Joseph L Wyatt, b. 1849, and Margaret Wyatt, b. abt 1854.
The above 3 children were born to Samuel Wyatt & Mary DeLozier (younger sister to Rachel DeLozier, who was Saunders' first wife). My greatgrandfather was Joseph Larkin Wyatt, and Thomas was my greatgranduncle.
I have death certificates showing their father as Samuel, not Saunders Wyatt. I've found Samuel & Saunders on the 1840 Missouri Census for Rives Co, (which was the original parent county for Henry & St Clair counties).
Now, here's what I've found (so far) regarding Thomas R. Wyatt, Joseph Larkin Wyatt, and Margaret Wyatt. In a letter from my 2nd cousin, he states that 'Jody' (my ggrandfather Joseph) had one brother, Thomas, and a sister Margaret. On the 1860 MO census, I find Thomas living with his Aunt Adaline [DeLozier] Lawler & her family, but unable to find Joseph or Margaret in 1860 (Saunders died in 1858 in St. Clair). Joseph is found living with his Uncle Joseph DeLozier and his family on the 1870 MO census. Again, no hint of where Margaret is - she ultimately appears in Oklahoma where another DeLozier family member migrated to.
Here's what I'm thinking may have happened. I think Samuel & Mary may have met an early death, when their children were very young. I haven't been able to determine the relationship between Saunders and Samuel (they may very well have been brothers) but I think Saunders and Eliza may have taken them in to raise as their own. Once the boys became teenagers, they were sent to work on their relatives farms (as their occupation on the census shows Laborer). This may be why Edward DeLozier names the children of Samuel as heirs to Saunders estate. Saunders may have inherited Samuel & Mary's land when they perished. And when Saunders died in 1858, these three children were 'farmed' out again to DeLozier relatives. Of course this is all conjecture, but.....stranger things have happened..
Look forward to hearing from you. If you like, you may email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org