Clifton Thomson & Wives Mary Ragland, Eliza Ford

NOTE: This is a (VERY) late addition to my February 2017 series on the Thomson-Quarles-Rodes family from Virginia that I once hoped were part of my husband’s Ephraim Thompson family, but there is no apparent connection. This sketch was written for any actual descendants out there who might be researching them.

The fifth child, but third son of William Thomson and Ann Rodes was Clifton Thomson. Clifton is a very unusual first name, especially for the mid-1700s. As Rodes was his mother’s surname and that became a popular name in his family, I have to wonder if one of his grandmother’s maiden names might not have been Clifton. However, that is another story.

Clifton was  born on 15 October 1761 and died 24 June 1833, of cholera according to a newspaper announcement. His will, written 29 April 1828, five years before his death, was proved in the Fayette County court during the September 1833 term. Besides the children listed below, his will also named William R. Morton and James Rodes, but did not identify them as sons-in-law. Apparently, they married his daughters Nancy and Martha, respectively.

Clifton married (1) Mary Ragland, 22 February 1788, Louisa County, Virginia (2) Elizabeth, or Eliza, Ford, who survived him. Clifton and Eliza likely married in Kentucky. It is not known whether Mary was the mother of all his children.


  1. Sally R., born c1789; died 1830-1840, probably Fayette County, Kentucky; married Henry Rogers, 27 August 1807, Fayette County, Kentucky
  2. Nancy, born c1790; married William R. Morton, 14 November 1807, Fayette County, Kentucky. William Morton Jr. died of cholera at the home of William R. Morton in 1833. No further information found.
  3. Louisa, born c1791, probably Fayette County, Kentucky; died 1840-1850, Montgomery County, Kentucky; married Henry Daniel, 11 October 1809, Fayette County, Kentucky. He was born 15 March 1786, Louisa County, Virginia; died 5 October 1873, Montgomery County, Kentucky. Henry was a lawyer – perhaps he got into a court case argument with Clifton Rodes Thomson, who was also an attorney.
  4. William Z., born 14 November 1793, Kentucky; died 2 January 1848, Fayette County, Kentucky; married Sarah Ann Quarles, 10 December 1817, Fayette County, Kentucky. William had a first cousin, also named William Z., close to his age, who was the son of Rodes Thomson, named in Rodes’ 1844/45 will. I am not sure anyone has tried to sort out these two men.
  5. Martha, born c1795; died c1822, probably Fayette County, Kentucky; married to James Clifton Rodes, reportedly in April 1818 in Fayette County, Kentucky, but no record found. They may have married in Scott County. James was Fayette County Clerk in the 1820s. Online information indicates that Martha may have died c1822. James Rodes was born c1792, Kentucky; died 11 November 1843, Cole County, Missouri.
  6. Clifton Rodes, born 16 November 1803; died 6 March 1845, Montgomery County, Kentucky, killed by his brother-in-law, Henry Daniel, in Mount Sterling Courthouse, per a newspaper announcement. No marriage record has been found for him and no further information is found as to any descendants.
  7. Mary Ann, born c1805, Kentucky; died 1869, Pettis County, Missouri; married Manlius Valerius Thomson, her cousin. He was born 13 August 1802, Scott County, Kentucky and died 22 July 1850, probably in Scott County, Kentucky after contracting cholera on a trip (probably to Washington County, Mississippi, where his estate administration was filed). They likely married c1823 in Scott County, whose marriage records don’t begin until 1837. Manlius was the son of Mary Ann’s youngest uncle, David Thomson.
  8. Letitia, born c1810; died 1833-1850, probably Scott County, Kentucky; married Thomas Jefferson Payne, c1828, probably in Scott County, Kentucky. He was born c1806, Kentucky; died after 1880, probably Howard County, Missouri.
  9. Emmerine, born 1800-1810, probably Fayette County, Kentucky; reportedly married Elijah H. Drake on  7 October 1829, no place cited and no documentation found. There is an Elijah H. Drake in the 1830 Fayette County census living next to Benton Drake. There are 3 males, all aged 20-30 and one female, aged 20-30, in his household. Elijah H. Drake died in June 1833, of cholera, at his father-in-law’s house. Emmerine has not been found after the 1833 announcement of her husband’s death, although it is assumed that she survived him since he died at the his father-in-law’s home. She may also have died during the epidemic. The will of Elijah H. Drake, written 10 November 1832, was proved in July 1833. At that time, Elijah made mention IF his wife had a child, so only his wife was named as heir. After her death, he made bequests to the Baptist Church, the poor and directed that his factory business be closed. It appears they had no children.
  10. James Keath, born c1816, Fayette County, Kentucky; died 1868, Fayette County, Kentucky; married (1) Unknown, c1847 (2) Mildred Ford, c1855. She was born 1821; died 1896, Fayette County, Kentucky. The 1850 census shows James K. Thomson with one year old James C. Thompson, along with members of the Stone family. It appears that James may have married about 1847 or 1848 and perhaps the mother died giving birth.

Thus ends the family of Clifton Thomson. I see no place in here for my Annie  who married James Holland. Sigh. . . .So I move on.

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