Robert Marbury, Margaret Beaufort – Mother of the Tudors & Me

It isn’t often that my family tree ties into documented records of English royalty. I also have to add that I’m not much into genealogical records of the Middle Ages. However, I very much appreciate the scholarly research published in well respected journals like  The American Genealogist, today’s source of genealogical gold.

A recent family Christmas gift was Uncrowned Queen, The Life of Margaret Beaufort, Mother of the Tudors, by Nicola Tallis and published in 2020 by Basic Books, New York.

Most of my family doesn’t pay much attention to my genealogy research. They lend an ear at times when I start going on about some find, but I doubt much of the information ingrains itself in their brains.

That’s what makes Uncrowned Queen so special to me. This isn’t a book review, but if you like English history and/or have an interest in English royal history, Tallis’s biography of Margaret Beaufort is well done and an excellent read.

Back to the genealogy end of things – Because of the semi-interest in genealogy, my family had no way of knowing that I actually have a historical tie to Margaret Beaufort, who was a strong, independent woman who led an incredible life. That is not even taking into account that she was the founder of the Tudor dynasty, which ended the War of the Roses when her son, Henry VII married Elizabeth of York.

Where does the scholarly genealogical research come into this story?

In October 1992, F.N. Craig published an article in The American Genealogist (pp. 201-210) titled The Well Beloved Mother-in-Law of Robert Marbury.

This Robert Marbury was the great grandfather of Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson and Katherine (Marbury) Scott, who settled in Massachusetts Bay and Rhode Island about the time of the Great Migration in the 1630s.

Robert Marbury was my ancestor, through his daughter, Katherine, who married Richard Scott. Look at what I found in Mr. Craig’s article:

Robert was a young yeoman to Margaret Beaufort and attended the funeral of King Henry VII!

It’s pretty amazing to find documentation that one of my ancestors who was born in the 1400s attended the funeral of a king!

Thanks to the top notch research completed by a handful of experienced genealogists, I have several documented ancestors who lived in the 1400s. Robert Marbury is, without a doubt, the most illustrious!

Proof of this line is possible because of my early colonial Massachusetts ancestry and plentiful probate records that have survived in England.

Because of further research by Mr. Craig, I can extend this ancestral line back two more generations before Robert Marbury, through his wife’s family, Katherine Williamson. Her parents were John Williamson and Jane Angevine. All four of Katherine’s grandparents have also been identified: Alexander and Alice (MNU) Williamson and Michael Angevine and Joan Towthby!

My line of descent:

  1. Alexander & Alice Williamson and Michael Angevine & Joan Towthby
  2. John Williamson & Jane Angevine
  3. Robert Marbury & Katherine Williamson
  4. William Marbury & Agnes Lenton
  5. Francis Marbury & Bridget Dryden
  6. Richard Scott & Katherine Marbury
  7. John Scott & Rebecca (MNU)
  8. Sylvanus Scott & Joanne Jenckes
  9. John Wilkinson & Rebecca Scott
  10. Israel Thornton & Joanna Wilkinson
  11. Ira Hicks & Sarah Thornton
  12. Israel Hicks & Abigail Carlisle
  13. Charles Augustus Stewart & Elida Ann Hicks
  14. Charles Edwin Adams & Annie Maude Stewart/Stuart
  15. Vernon Tarbox Adams & Hazel Ethel Coleman
  16. George Michael Sabo & Doris Priscilla Adams
  17. Linda Anne Sabo Stufflebean – Me!

That’s lot of generations and my ancestors’ lives changed a lot through the centuries.

The Scotts (Generation 6) left England for the New World, settling in Rhode Island.

The Thorntons (Generation 10) left Rhode Island and settled in Nova Scotia, today’s New Brunswick, Canada. They were pre-Loyalists who migrated in the 1760s.

The Stewarts (Generation 12) left New Brunswick and settled in Washington County, Maine before 1850.

The Vernon Adams family (Generation 15) left Maine and lived in New York, New Jersey and finally Massachusetts, as Vernon was transferred multiple times during his career with Western Union.

The Sabos (Generation 16) lived in New Jersey.

I left New Jersey for Rhode Island, Mexico, California and, finally, Arizona, when we retired.

One more plug for Nicola Tallis’s book, which is an EXCELLENT history of England in the Middle Ages – it is available online either as a hardback book or on Kindle. Prices range from $20 to $24.

I kind of knew that the Middle Ages were a violent time period, but wasn’t really aware of the almost constant warfare among the nobility as they vied for power and riches. I loved the book!


Strategies for Sorting Men of the Same Name: Lawrence Thompson, Part 4

Congratulations! You’ve made it to Part 4 of my quest to sort out Lawrence Thompsons born in the 1700s. I hope you aren’t too confused. I actually have many more notes about the Thompson family than I’ve shared.

One thing is for certain – this Thompson clan is a big family and their FAN club is telling me that they are all related.

This group came out of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in the late 1750s, migrating to the Rowan/Orange Counties area of North Carolina, which were created in 1753 and 1752, respectively.

The Thompson FAN club includes the allied families of Logue, Finney, Debow, Shelby, Tinnin, Whitsett, Simpson, Scott, Wilkinson and Wilson. There are likely others that I haven’t yet come across.

These families intermarried through multiple generations and left North Carolina to settle in Kentucky and Tennessee in the 1780s. It appears that they didn’t always remain in one cohesive group. Some who went to Mercer County, Kentucky moved to Madison County, Kentucky and lived near other Thompson relatives. Some in Tennessee later removed to Mercer, Madison, Washington and Shelby Counties in Kentucky. They were an extremely mobile group.

The same thing happened with Kentucky family members who later moved on to Indiana and Missouri.

The common thread tying the Thompsons together is finding these collateral families appearing and disappearing at the same time and in the same places as the Thompsons.

I mentioned in Part 1 of this series that it is unlikely to successfully sort out men of the same name in an hour or even a day. I’ve been working on this research question for several weeks now and, although the series is ending, I am still not done with my “reasonably exhaustive search” aka leaving no stone unturned.

However, I have made great progress and think that Ephraim Thompson, Dave’s ancestor, WAS the son of Lawrence Thompson. The surprise is which Lawrence Thompson I think he was.

To recap, I began with one Lawrence Thompson living in Mercer and Washington Counties, Kentucky at the same time as my Ephraim Thompson.

Next, I uncovered two Lawrence Thompsons, both Revolutionary War pensioners.

Lawrence Thompson #1 married Martha (MNU), was born 1755 in Dunmore, Frederick, Virginia, moved to Rowan County, North Carolina (where he served in the war) and then moved on to Kentucky (place not stated) and, finally, Harrison and then Clay County, Indiana, where he died after the 1840 census of Clay County, Indiana, which enumerated him (incorrectly) as 99 years old. He stated that he was 78 years old in 1833! Martha survived him, but there is no data on his family, except for the statement that he had two children – a son and daughter. I think that meant he had two children living nearby – son John D. Thompson and daughter Fanny, wife of James Booth and then Thomas Wheeler.

There is more work to do on this man, as Indiana records are locked on FamilySearch. His pension application also omits any mention of marriages he might have had previous to Martha (said to be McKee, although I haven’t yet found proof.) However, this Lawrence makes no mention of ever having lived in Tennessee, so I think this is a different man than Lawrence Thompson Jr., below, from Sumner County, Tennessee.

Is this the same Lawrence Thompson, son of John Thompson, who married Eleanor Thompson, 8 April 1779 (bond) in Rowan County, North Carolina? I don’t know – maybe, maybe not.

Lawrence Thompson #2, son of Thomas Thompson, married Keziah Hart, probably at Fort Boonesborough, c1780. He was born c1753 and died 21 April 1835, Madison County, Kentucky. Keziah survived him, passing away on 13 February 1837, also in Madison County. His pension file states that her heirs tried to apply for a widow’s pension in her name in the 1840s. It was denied because Keziah died before Congress pass the law allowing widows to apply for their own pensions.

In any case, this Lawrence Thompson is absolutely NOT the father of Ephraim Thompson. Keziah’s brother, Simpson Hart, died in Sumner County, Tennessee and left a will in February 1790. He made bequests to his sister Keziah Thompson’s five children – Richard Lawrence, Sarah Finney, Nathaniel Hart, China Benton and Azariah Thomas with instructions that his brother-in-law Lawrence Thompson be in charge of the lands given to them until they became of age.

Ephraim Thompson was likely born in the 1770s and possibly even in the late 1760s. He is clearly too old to have been their child and he is not mentioned in Simpson Hart’s will.

Lawrence Thompson #3 is one I had written off, as he was born c1712 and was living in Sumner County, Tennessee when he died, leaving a will dated 26 October 1790, proved in January 1791. FAN club connections lead me to believe this Lawrence was probably the brother of Thomas Thompson who married Ann Finney (who were the parents of Lawrence Thompson, Rev. War pensioner who died in 1835 in Madison County, Kentucky.)

Although no documentation is provided on FamilySearch family tree, this Lawrence is said to have married Sarah Finney in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, c1734.

In any case, Lawrence’s wife predeceased him, as she is not named in his will. His heirs were daughter Sarah Whitsett (married John Whitsett), granddaughter Sarah Whitsett, granddaughter Sarah Thompson (father not named), daughter Isabella Tinnin (married Hugh Tinnin), daughter Mary Whitsett (married Lewis Whitsett, 1 August 1785, Orange County, North Carolina), son Azariah and son LAWRENCE. A Joseph Thompson, relationship not stated, received $10, which was the amount of the debt that Joseph owed Lawrence Sr. Joseph also appears to be a son of this Lawrence.

Lawrence Sr. stipulated in his will that his son Lawrence was to be “discharged from his portion of my estate.” I don’t know if that means he was to receive nothing or if it meant that Lawrence Jr. had received his fair share during his father’s lifetime.

Either way, there is now Lawrence Thompson #4 to consider in this picture.

This discovery sent me scurrying to the Sumner County, Tennessee tax records. In 1789, I found John, Lawrence, Lawrence Jr. and Azariah all listed. Lawrence Jr. was taxed for 3 polls, which would be himself plus 2 males over the age of 16. He had a son who could fit the age of my Ephraim Thompson.

Next, I did an online search for possible new information about this Lawrence Thompson and Sarah Finney. A couple of surname forums posted some interesting new clues.

Lawrence Thompson Sr. supposedly married one Ann Logue (no date given.) Ephraim Thompson’s oldest known daughter was Annie Thompson. That proves nothing EXCEPT Ann Logue had a brother named EPHRAIM. Ann and Ephraim were children of John Logue, who was the son of an Ephraim Logue, who died in Delaware in 1751.

There are no other Thompsons that I have come across who are named Ephraim. Remember those naming patterns?

Back to the tax lists – I found it curious that although Lawrence and Ephraim Thompson are both on the Mercer County, Kentucky tax list in 1796 and then next appear in Washington County, Kentucky, they weren’t on any earlier tax lists in Mercer County (1789 and 1794 are extant.)

Just as curious is the fact that Lawrence Thompson Jr. ONLY appears on the 1789 tax list of Sumner County, Tennessee. If he is Ephraim’s father, Ephraim was one of the 3 polls for which his father was charged that year.

Right now, I don’t believe that Lawrence who died after 1840 is Lawrence Jr. from Sumner County, Tennessee, although it isn’t impossible. I need to access records from Harrison and Clay Counties, Indiana to see if any new clues turn up.

I also need to scour Sumner County, Tennessee records more thoroughly. There are no land deeds found there for Lawrence and the court records are locked so I need to get to a family history center when they open. However, Lawrence Jr. is looking like a good candidate to be the father of Ephraim Thompson.

The Logue family connection accounts for Ephraim’s name coming into the Thompson family and there are no records (yet) showing a Lawrence in Sumner County at the same time as Lawrence in Mercer County.

There is also a book I would love to get my hands on – Thomas Thompson and Ann Finney of Colonial Pennsylvania and North Carolina, by Jane Gray Buchanan, 1987. It is described as “excellent” and the closest copy to me is at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Oh well, the pandemic will eventually come to an end!

I had planned to conclude this series in 4 parts, but did not expect the flood of information that surfaced about the Thompsons and their FAN club.





Strategies for Sorting Men of the Same Name: Lawrence Thompson, Part 3

In Part 3 of this series trying to sort out men of the same name, so far, we have only found two Lawrence/Laurence Thompsons, both born in a time period which allowed them to fight in the American Revolution, but hints of more men of the same name.

We will take a look at them today, but I will warn you now that my widely cast fishing net caught almost more Lawrences than I know what to do with!

So many FAN club documents and records are appearing that I have started to save them all in an Excel file organized by place and dates.

Back now to our two Lawrence Thompsons –

I ruled out Lawrence Thompson of Madison County, Kentucky as a possible father of my husband’s Ephraim Thompson, but there are details to be analyzed in his pension application.

This Lawrence Thompson was born c1753 in North Carolina, so he was close in age to Lawrence, also of Kentucky and later of Clay County, Indiana. He died on 21 April 1835, leaving widow Keziah (Hart), who died 13 February 1837, both in Madison County, Kentucky. It seems likely that they married in Boonesborough, Madison, Kentucky, as Keziah’s family lived there and Lawrence stated in his pension application that he had lived in Boonesborough at one point.

Here is where things get interesting. These are positively two different men. Yet, in both of their pension applications, they stated that they served from Orange County, North Carolina and served under Captain Alfred Moore!

Next, I tried a Google search. I came across this information in the Thompson Archives on Rootsweb, posted in 1999 by brothers Shay and David Blakeway. There are a ton of clues to follow in this message, but don’t feel overwhelmed. For now, we will just focus on the few portions highlighted in green, maroon and pink. I’ve numbered several portions with brackets, e.g. (1):

[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 Closs 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 by 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 the other Lawrence Laurence Thompsons living in North Carolina during the mid to late 1700’s and later in Kentucky.
4 (1) 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

(2) 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.

(2) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) 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 (2) 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.]

First, let’s focus on paragraph (3). Captain Laurence Thompson was the bond security for Lawrence Thompson when he married in 1779 in Rowan County, North Carolina. That is absolutely true and the marriage bond confirms it:

The clerk’s scribbled additions were likely to help keep the clerk on track in clearly recording which Lawrence was which and who was getting married. It probably didn’t help that the bride was also a Thompson.

Lawrence Thompson, son of John, was the groom to be. Lawrence (later Captain and resident of Madison County, Kentucky) Thompson, son of Thomas, was the bondsman. Often a relative of the bride handled this duty, so it seems likely that Eleanor may have been the sister of Lawrence and daughter of Thomas Thompson.

Between the military pension records and this marriage bond, I think the two Lawrence Thompsons have been untangled.

Now, let’s look at the pink paragraph:

3Lawrence Thompson born 1755 in Virginia who first married Eleanor Thompson and then Martha McNee having by 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 the other Lawrence Laurence Thompsons living in North Carolina during the mid to late 1700’s and later in Kentucky.

Lawrence Thompsons are beginning to appear in multiple locations!

One more Lawrence Thompson lived in Orange County, North Carolina during the American Revolution. This Lawrence was born c1712, gave civil service during the war and migrated to Sumner County, Tennessee, where he died sometime after 26 October 1790, the date of his will. He reportedly married (1) Gertrude (MNU) and (2) Sarah Finney. Given the Finney surname, I’d say it is extremely likely that he is related to Thomas Thompson who married Ann Finney. This Lawrence named children Sarah Whitsett, Sybilla Tinnin, Mary Whitsett, Azariah, Joseph and Lawrence in his will.

Next, let’s look at the three sections of paragraph 2, covering John and Priscilla Thompson. I haven’t sought out the land conveyances. However, John Thompson’s tract of land in Rowan County, North Carolina, was surveyed in 1779. Chain carriers were Lawrence Thompson and Evan Thompson. Chain carriers were generally required to be of legal age. Both Lawrence Thompsons would have met that requirement, but unless Evan’s age was misrepresented by several years (He gave his date of birth as 27 August 1763), then there must have been an earlier Evan Thompson who was not the Revolutionary War pensioner who died in Shelby County, Kentucky.

Next, I have read the will of John Thompson, who died in Mercer County, Kentucky in 1793 (Will Book 1:100). He did name wife Priscilla and son Evan as executors and only named his wife, Evan and son John as his heirs.

If Lawrence Thompson was also his son, why was he not mentioned at all (e.g. my son Lawrence having received his portion. . . )? Or might the other chain carrier have been Lawrence, son of Thomas, who was of legal age?

As to land that John and Priscilla owned in Orange County, North Carolina in 1765, it says it was bordered by land owned by Robert Thompson and Thomas and Ann (Finney) Thompson. Thomas is probably the father of Captain Lawrence Thompson.

Who is Robert Thompson???? No answer at the moment.

Lastly, let’s look at the maroon paragraph.  It states that John, Evan and Lawrence signed a petition as residents of Lincoln County, Kentucky, undated, but apparently from c1783 or 1784. I found the petition, from 1785, which sought to establish Harrodsburg as a town. Signers included three Thompson men – John Thompson, Evan Thompson and L. Thompson.

Lawrence Thompson, pensioner of Madison County, Kentucky states that he was at Harrodsburg by 1783. Evan Thompson, also a pensioner, but of Shelby County, Kentucky didn’t marry Chloe Bennett until 1792 and in Mercer County, Kentucky. Was Evan who signed the petition in 1783 the same Evan Thompson or might he be the chain carrier noted in the 1779 land deed of John Thompson of Orange County, North Carolina? I don’t know.

Where was Lawrence Thompson, pensioner who died in Clay County, Indiana at this time? Well, if he was in Harrodsburg, he didn’t sign the petition, but we will get back to him later.

Anyway, those are separate issues to tackle at another time. For now, I have proven beyond a doubt that there were (at least) two Lawrence Thompsons, who were contemporaries and probably first or second cousins. They knew each other in North Carolina, both served under Alfred Moore during the Revolutionary War, but led separate lives in different places after the war ended.

While both lived in Kentucky, Captain Lawrence Thompson, son of Thomas Thompson, apparently lived in Madison County, Kentucky (organized 17 October 1785 from Lincoln County) for many years.

Lawrence Thompson, son of John Thompson, married Eleanor Thompson and first appears in Mercer County, Kentucky (formed 17 October 1785 from part of Lincoln County and retains Harrodsburg as its county seat)  in the early 1790s.

By the way, Shelby County, final home of Even Thompson, lies a bit north-northwest of Mercer County.

This muddies the water a bit, given that both Lawrence Thompsons lived in a close geographic area to each other and that Lawrence born c1712 who migrated to Sumner County, Tennessee had a son Lawrence Jr., who WOULD be a contemporary of the other two Lawrences.

In the next part of this series, we will try to sort out details to determine which Lawrence was who and where was he living at a given time.

Notice that my genealogy net has now been cast in several directions and in more than one state. What will I find next ?