Married: Lucy Grymes on July 29, 1762
Parents: William Nelson and Elizabeth Burwell
Thomas Nelson was educated in England. He served as a member House of Burgesses and then the Virginia Convention in May, 1776. He was elected by the Virginia Conventions to be a delegate from Virginia to Continental Congress, 1775-77. He signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
He was appointed by the General Assembly to be commander of the Virginia forces in 1777, was elected by the General Assembly to be a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1779-80, and was elected by the General Assembly to follow Thomas Jefferson and serve as the third Governor of Virginia in 1781.
His election as governor occurred after Jefferson's term expired, and after the legislature was forced to flee to Charottesville and then Staunton by Col. Banastre Tarleton's raid.