Thomas Ford was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. His father was Robert Ford, of a Maryland family. His mother, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Hugh Logue and Isabella Delaney, both natives of Ireland.
By a former marriage she was the mother of George Forquer, who by the time of his death in 1837 had risen to be the Jackson leader in Illinois.
Robert Ford died in 1803, and the next year his widow removed first to St. Louis, then to New Design in the future Monroe County,