Early Thompsons in Mercer and Washington Counties, KY

My head was spinning with Thompsons last spring when I wrote several posts about them. I decided my brain needed some relief, so I left them for a while.

I decided it was time to take another look at the pile of notes I’d accumulated. Here are my findings, but I’m pretty much back to the brain spinning again.

As I delved into Kentucky county records, the first mention I found anywhere of Ephraim Thompson is in a list of court orders of Mercer County, Kentucky dated 24 December 1793. On page 68, Ephraim Thompson, among many others, is ordered to help Alexander McClure to open and keep a road in good repair. I would assume from this that Ephraim was at least 21 years old at the time, putting his birth around 1771, which I think is fairly accurate.

Next, in the Stray Book and Tax Record, Mercer County, Kentucky 1787-1806, on page 193, there is a list of Removals and Insolvents dated 1798. On the list are David Thompson, Ephraim Thompson, John Thompson and a second John Thompson, all with one levy.

Ephraim Thompson married Sally Curry on 18 October 1798 in Mercer County, but after 1798, he appears in Washington County, Kentucky. Washington County was organized in 1792, so that would imply that Ephraim didn’t happen to reside in a section of land which formed a new county, but that he moved to Mercer’s neighboring county. I don’t know if he was closely related to the other Thompsons, but I suspect that he was related to at least one Joseph Thompson.

That is because William Curry, Ephraim’s father-in-law, left an estate that was probated in 1801. One of the appraisers was Joseph Thompson and among the estate records was the notation that William held a note on “Evan Thompson.”

However, in spite of the fact that Ephraim removed to Washington County, I need to carefully examine ALL the Thompsons in Mercer and Washington Counties as a number of them are mentioned in records found in both places.

Next, a look at the Thompson land deeds in Mercer and Washington Counties was overwhelming. A quick scan for “heirs of” or other similar clues was negative, but I need to revisit those deeds in a future Family History Library session. I did find several references to Ephraim, though.

As mentioned in a previous post, Ephraim Thompson was mentioned as a witness or neighbor in several lands that also involved  William Crowdus. Remember, William Crowdus married Dolly Arnold and Ephraim was executor of the estate of Dolly’s mother, Grace Arnold.

Hmmm! Maybe another clue – One Lawrence Thompson sold land to Ephraim in 1804, but no relationship was stated. Witnesses were William Baxter, Edward Briscoe and John Gray. Both were of Washington County.

In 1811, Ephraim Thompson was a witness to a land sale where Joseph Howdershell and wife Mary sold land to William Crowdus.

These lands were all on Beech Fork.

Marriage records were next on the list. Besides Margaret’s 1792 marriage to Emmer Stalcup, I also found:

Marriages in Mercer County:

Evan Thompson to Chloe Bennett, 25 April 1792
Ephraim Thompson to Sallie Curry, 18 October 1798
Arthur Thompson to Martha Cochran, 4 April 1795
Roger Thompson to Betsy A. Shields, 24 November 1798
David Thompson to Malinda Newell, 7 December 1798
Elizabeth Thompson to Jonas/James Williams, 5 April 1798

Marriages in Washington County:

Gracy Thompson to Henry Landes, 25 February 1799; father named as Laurence Thompson
Sally Thompson to John Gray, 3 January 1803

There are many, many other Thompson marriages in these two counties from 1785 to 1815, but these are the only records that caught my eye. I don’t know that any of the other Thompsons in Mercer County are related to Ephraim, but Gracy and Sally could easily be younger sisters of Ephraim. Gracy is identified as the daughter of Laurence and a John Gray witnessed the land sale from Lawrence Thompson to Ephraim Thompson in 1804.

The next building block in this house of cards is Laurence/Lawrence Thompson. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this saga!


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