Is Laurence Thompson Part of the Bigger Picture?

Hints have begun to crop up in this saga about Ephraim Thompson possibly being related to Laurence Thompson and daughters Grace who married Henry Landers/Landes in 1799 and Peggy, or Margaret, who married “Amer” Stalcup in 1792. When Amer or Emmer died about 1805, Ephraim Thompson served as the estate administrator. Peggy is clearly identified as the daughter of Laurence Thompson in her marriage record.

What documentation can be found involving Laurence Thompson? Like Ephraim, he didn’t leave behind many crumbs.

Based on the estimated ages of four possible children, Laurence Thompson was probably born in the early 1740s. Where is as much of a mystery as the birthplace of his children. Unlike his probable children, no marriage record has been found for any Laurence Thompson anywhere.

Laurence sold land in Mercer County, Kentucky to Peter Titsworth in 1795 (DB 5:305) and to Peter (Brocan?) in 1797 (DB 3:243). No biographical or familial data is to be found in either of those land deeds.

By the early 1800s, Laurence was residing in Washington County, Kentucky. John Davis of Mercer County sold 225 acres of land on Beech Fork for £227 to Laurence Thompson of Washington County. (DB B:686) Beech Fork is the same area in which Ephraim Thompson lived.

The 1800 census of Kentucky is lost and Laurence isn’t enumerated in 1810, but I believe that is a mistake. Take a look at this:

? Thompson, Washington County, KY in 1810

Enlarged view

This person is at the end of the T section on the census, in which the enumerator grouped everybody together by surname instead of enumerating neighbors. This person is indexed as Samuel, which I don’t believe is correct. First, that given name is way too long to be Samuel. Second, I haven’t come across any other records for a Samuel who would be over 45 years of age, which this man was:


This household had a male and female, each over 45, one female aged 156-26 and 2 males aged 10-16.

I believe this is the household of Laurence Thompson.

Laurence does not appear in the 1820 census of Kentucky, nor is he in the 1830 census of Missouri. There are no will or other probate records for him filed in Mercer or Washington Counties.

Furthermore, Ephraim last appears in the county records in 1813. Remember, Price Arnold, son of Grace Arnold, whose estate Ephraim executed, was said to have arrived in Missouri by about 1812. The Arnold family either migrated with him or soon after and I suspect the Thompson clan moved en masse from Washington County about the same time.

There are no probate records for Howard County, Missouri before 1818. Much to my chagrin, I believe Laurence Thompson died between 1810 and 1818, probably in Missouri or on the way there.

What is the configuration of Laurence Thompson’s family? With an unknown wife, he likely had at least four children who survived to adulthood and married:

  1. Ephraim, born c1771; married Sarah Curry, daughter of William Curry on 18 October 1798, Mercer County, KY; died before 13 September 1847, Howard County, Missouri. Ephraim was ordered to help maintain the roads in 1793, so I assume that he was 21 by that time.
  2. Margaret, born c1774; married Emmer Stalcup, 25 March 1792, Mercer County, Kentucky. Her father gave permission for the marriage, so she was under 21 and thus born in 1772 or a little later. Margaret was enumerated in the 1810 census of Washington County, Kentucky, but is not found after that time.

Amer and Margaret apparently had a son, born c1794, two daughters born 1795-1800 and three more daughters born 1800 to 1806, if all are children of Amer/Emmer.

There is an Emmor Stallcup who married Nelly Stallcup on 13 September 1821 in Washington County, Kentucky.

This Emmor is said to be the son of Henry Stallcup, brother-in-law of Margaret Stallcup, and born c1789 or 1790. Henry and Emmor Stallcup were the only two known family members who lived in Washington County. Emmor obviously didn’t marry his sister, which means Nelly was probably the daughter of Emmor and Margaret.

I have not been able to find a second marriage record for Margaret Thompson Stallcup or any probate record for her and I don’t know what became of any of the children in her 1810 household.

3. David, born c1775; married Malinda Neville, 7 December 1796, Mercer County, Kentucky; died 2 June 1821, Callaway County, Missouri, per probate records (Volume A:13) Malinda was reportedly born 30 January 1778, Tryon County, North Carolina; died 29 January 1869, Lake County, California.

David is tentatively placed as a son of Laurence Thompson because (1) he is the right age (2) he is on the same removal list as Ephraim from Mercer County in 1798 and (3) he also migrated to Missouri at an early time. Callaway County was set off from Montgomery County in 1820. Then and now Callaway County borders Boone County, where Ephraim Thompson also owned land.

4. Grace, born c1779; married Henry Landes/s, 25 February 1799, Washington County, Kentucky, with the name of her father, Laurence Thompson recorded on the record.

The Landess family migrated to Lincoln County, Tennessee, where Henry and Grace were still living in 1850.

Although this census record says she was born about 1779 in North Carolina, a Goodspeed biography on their son says his parents were born in North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively. On the other hand, in the 1880 census, the same son reports both parents were born in North Carolina. Who knows, but 1779 would be quite early for a birth of a white child in Kentucky so perhaps this is yet another bread crumb to follow on the Thompsons.

5. ?George, born c1780 – There appear to be at least two contemporary George Thompsons. There is a George Thompson recorded in Washington County, Kentucky deed records (D:93) who, on 9 March 1812, agreed to take on Samuel Scott, aged 15 on 1 January 1812, named as the natural son of Alley Scott, deceased, as an apprentice to learn the art of draper. I believe this Samuel Scott, born 1 January 1797, per the apprenticeship record, is the Samuel W. Scott who married Sarah Thompson in Howard County, Missouri on 26 February 1821. There is no probate record for this man and it is possible he migrated with other Thompsons about 1813.  There are three marriages which might pertain to this man. George C. Thompson married (1) in Mercer County on 8 May 1806 to Sally Thompson (2) again in Mercer County on 21 August 1809 to Mary W. McDowell. There is also a George Thompson who married Biney Blandford on 6 December 1806 in Washington County. Biney was born c1784 in Maryland. She married (2) James Brewer, 17 October 1818, Nelson County, Kentucky. Nelson County borders the western side of Washington County.

Where do I go from here? Let’s review tomorrow.

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