Diving into Kentucky Thompson Records

I wish I could say how excited I was about my discoveries during a trip to the Family History Library. After one of those “leave no stone unturned” marathons, I have little to show for my efforts.

A few more facts were duly recorded, but no smoking gun was found for Samuel W. Scott, nor Ephraim Thompson, nor for Lawrence Thompson.

Here are my “best guess” scenarios of my current theories:

  1. Facts: Samuel W. Scott was born 1 January 1797, the natural son of Alley Scott, deceased, recorded when he was bound out to George Thompson in 1812 to learn the art of draper (person who worked with cloth). Samuel’s only identified son was named Robert. The only Scotts living in Washington County, Kentucky in 1796 were Richard, George and Robert Scott. Robert married Nancy Clifton in 1795, so was born no later than 1774. The census places him in the age range to be born 1770-1780. Richard was slightly older, born 1760-1770. George Thompson was over 45 in 1810, thus born no later than 1764, and died in 1814, as an estate sale was held in January 1815 and recorded in the court records. Among the items in his inventory were cotton for cloth and a cotton wheel. It appears that Richard and Robert might be brothers and, depending on when George was born, he might be their father and the father of Alley Scott, mother of Samuel. No other children are mentioned for Alley and I think she might have died giving birth. Robert was newly married in 1795 and it is possible that he and wife Nancy raised little Samuel until he was old enough to learn a trade. There are a lot of maybes here, but there are no facts yet discovered that contradict this theory. Next, I need to research more about George Scott, as he owned 75 acres of land in 1810, but is gone from Washington County, Kentucky by 1820.

On to problem #2, Ephraim Thompson. I found very little else on Ephraim Thompson with no new data from Mercer County, Kentucky and only a couple of tidbits in Washington County, Kentucky:

2. Facts: Ephraim Thompson was called “Esquire” in several of the court sessions in Washington County, Kentucky in 1815, so he likely had the opportunity for some education and was literate. He appears on the 1817 tax roll there, but is gone in 1818, which fits with an arrival in Missouri before 28 May 1821, when he was executor of the estate of Grace Arnold. The fact that Grace Arnold had a son, Price, of legal age, but named Ephraim Thompson as her executor also points to the fact that he had experience in court matters and Grace obviously trusted him.

Problem #3 is Lawrence Thompson, who I still believe to be the father of Ephraim Thompson and others. Newly discovered information:

3. Facts: Lawrence Thompson first bought land in Mercer County, Kentucky in September 1791. He is not on the 1789 tax roll for Mercer County. Several years are then missing, but Lawrence Thompson appears on the 1794 rolls with two tithables. The second tithable could well be Ephraim, who was born c1771-1775. Lawrence Thompson disappears from the Mercer County tax roll after 1796 and appears next door in Washington County after that time. A search of land records revealed that he sold two pieces of property, one in 1795 and one in 1797. Both sales were in the deed index under Lawrence’s name, but both deeds included the name of wife Anne/Anna as the second grantor. Lawrence Thompson remained on the Washington County tax roll through 1815. He is then gone and, although he owned land at that time, there are no deeds to be found showing the disposal of that land. There is also no mention of any probate proceedings for Lawrence Thompson.

There were no Thompsons at all on the 1789 tax list of Mercer County, but when Lawrence appears on the 1794 list, these men are also listed:

Thompson, Archibald             1                                              8                      Thompson, David                     1                                              1
Thompson, Thomas                 1                                              3                      6
Thompson, Thomas                 1                                              2                      20
Thompson, William                 1                                              3                      2
Thompson, William                 1                                              4                      3
Thompson, William                 1                                            9                       30

The first number is white male tithables over 21, the second- #horses owned and the third – #cattle owned. It seems likely that he could be related to one or more of these other men. I suspect that David Thompson might be his son.

I am somewhat stumped at the point on Lawrence Thompson. Recently, I came across this information in the Thompson Archives on Rootsweb, posted in 1999 by brothers Shay and David Blakeway:

JOHN THOMPSON AND PRISCILLA VA mid 1750’s, to Orange Co NC to Rowan Co NC to KY not to be confused with any other Thompson lines I have ever mentioned to the group except
John is probably a brother or cousin to Lawrence, Thomas and /or Closes Thompson) This John who married Priscilla had as children:
1 John Thompson,
2Ann Thompson,
3Lawrence Thompson born 1755 in Virginia who first married Eleanor Thompson and then Martha McNee having as his second wife Frances Thompson who married first James Booth and then Thomas Wheeler and John D. Thompson who married Elizabeth A. Elsey. This Lawrence is often confused with he other Lawrence Laurence Thompsons living in North Carolina during the mid to late 1700’s and later in Kentucky
4 Evan Thompson who married Chloe Bennett and had as children Daniel, John, Lucy who married first Joseph Duncan and second Allen Vaughn, David , Gabriel, Nancy , Rice, Austin, Chloe, and Sarah Evan’s revolutionary war pension application shows Orange Co 27 Aug 1765 as the place and date of Evan’s birth.

This 2ANN THOMPSON MARRIED JOHN ROBINSON and had Elizabeth “Betsy” Robinson, This family is not of my direct line however, they have been proven to lived in Frederick Co Va during the Mid 1750’s to Orange County NC in 1760 on to Rowan County NC and then into Kentucky about 1783 John Thompson and Lawrence Thompson received land warrants in Lancaster
Co, Pennsylvania on March 17 1738 No. 64 and 65, It is probable that the recipient John is the John in this paragraph in my opinion

An entry was made by John Thompson on 31 Oct 1778 for 500 acres in Rowan Co NC . The tract was surveyed on 21 July 1779 the grant issued on 21 March 1780. Chain carriers were listed as Lawrence and Evan Thompson. The description of the 500 acre tract on the north side of the S. Yadkin River states that included his improvement, indicating that John and Priscilla lived on the land some time prior to receiving title for it.

While residents of Rowan CO, two or possibly three of John and
Priscilla’s sons served the Revolutionary cause. Lawrence and Evan
services are documented by pension applications. John did not live long enough to receive a pension.

A tract of 400 acres “on a branch of Holeman’s Creek including where he now lives” was surveyed for John Thompson of Augusta Co Va by John Rutherford on Nov 28 1751. Closs Thompson served as marker, John and Reese Lewis were chain carriers. Another survey of 55 acres which joined the first tract and lands of Thomas Moore, was made on 1 May 1754. A note on the cover of each survey states that it was paid for by Evan Jones. The land where the Thompsons lived actually lay in Frederick Co as was made clear by the deeds issued by Thomas Lord Fairfax in April of 1760. In all probability plans for the move to Orange Co NC had been made well before the deeds were issued. On Sept 19 1760 John and Priscilla Thompson of Orange Co NC sold both properties to Thomas Heaton of Frederick Co Virginia.

The 300 acre tract John and Priscilla purchased in Orange County
bordered the land of Robert Thompson and Thomas and Ann Finney
Thompson. On Feb 19 1765 they deeded this tract to Jonas Chamberlain of Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania. The exact date of their move to Rowan County is not known, but I found Evan, their son’s birth there in the Revolutionary war pension records as mentioned elsewhere in this section.

In 1783 these Thompsons moved again, this time to the recently opened Blue Grass section of Kentucky of which they had sold on Aug 5 1783 the 500 acres on the Yadkin River to Joseph Pearson. One of their contacts in Kentucky was Capt. Laurence Thompson, son of Thomas, under whom Lawrence, son of John, had served in the Revolution, and who appears to have acted as the latter’s security in April 1779 marriage in Rowan County. The signature of Evan, John and Lawrence are affixed to a petition of inhabitants of Lincoln Co KY to the General Assembly of Virginia for a town in that county. The petition was not dated, but it is believed to have been drawn up about 1783 or 84.

In less than 10 years after this family’s move to Kentucky John Thompson died in Mercer County. His will, dated 20 Aug 1792 names his wife Priscilla and sons John and Evan. Priscilla and John were named executors; John Bennett and John Wilcoxon witnessed the document. It was proved on Jan 29 1793 before the Mercer County Court.

There is obviously more than one Lawrence Thompson mentioned here. Evan Thompson who married Chloe Bennett married in Mercer County, Kentucky on 25 April 1792. In 1810, he is in the Mercer County census, aged 45+.

If the data in the Blakeway post is accurate, there are some major clues here to be followed which might sort out the ancestry of “my” (apparent) Lawrence Thompson.

Guess what I will be doing on my next visit to the Family History Library this summer?

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