Here's an excerpt from the Cane Creek Baptist Church website:
"Thomas Cate was born about 1747 and was the son of Thomas and Rebecca Sykes Cate who had migrated to Orange County from Prince George County, Virginia where the family had been Quakers. He had brothers named Barnard, John, and Richard. He married Sarah Estridge about 1767. His wife's last name is in dispute with some thinking that she was a Shepard. I can find no trace of Shepards in our local records On the other hand, there is a faint record of an Estridge family locally (sometimes recorded as Estes). This is mentioned in grants located to the northeast of Cane Creek. I suspect that the Estridges were Tories who may have left the community during the Revolutionary War.
"Thomas Cate's will mentions eleven children: Moses born about 1768 who married Hannah Bradford; John B. born about 1770 who married Priscilla Lloyd and who died in Tennessee in 1840; Fanny, born about 1772 who married John Sykes; Martha, birth date unknown, who married William Moore; Winny [Minny?] birth date unknown, who married William Roach, Huldah, birth date unknown, who married Elisha Cates, possibly a cousin; Tabitha, date of birth unknown, who married William Smith; Elizabeth, possibly born in 1784, whose marital status is confused; Thomas, born in 1784, who married Elizabeth Roach, and later Martha Carroll and who died in 1863; Ephraim, born about 1778, who married Rebecca Lindsey and who died in Missouri in the 1850's. The name of the eleventh child is unknown.
"From other sources, we know that Thomas Cate was an assistant preacher with Haw River Baptist Church (near Bynum) before establishing our church. He had probably been baptized by the Haw River preacher, Elnathen Davis, who himself had been baptized by Shubal Stearns who established the first Baptist church in this part of the state in 1756. It is a mystery why Cane Creek, established by a Baptist preacher, did not declare itself a Baptist church until the 18th year of its existence, in 1806.
"In his will, Thomas left his sons 500 acres. The inventory also mentions three slaves, smith tools, wagons, horses, two stills, boars, hogs, sheep, etc, all to be equally divided among the eleven children. The inventory lists property sold, to whom sold, and the amount paid. The total is $899.66. Another sale that brought in $1263 was conducted in 1825, following the death of Sarah.
"The inventory suggests that Thomas Cate was a fairly prosperous farmer." - Edward Johnson