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 ?





One thought on “Strategies for Sorting Men of the Same Name: Lawrence Thompson, Part 3”

  1. Wow – an embarrassment of riches there…quite a fascinating process. At least you have some original documents to work with. Can’t wait to see what you find next 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.