Updated Theory: Nagging Questions About the Many Lawrence Thompsons

Yes, I know I just posted about sorting out the Lawrences in the Thompson family.

In spite of all my work on the Thompsons, I still have some nagging questions.

Those questions pertain to exactly who Ephraim Thompson’s paternal grandfather was. In other words, who was the father of Lawrence Thompson and how does he fit in with all those Kentucky and Tennessee records that I’ve found.

I think there is a wild card – or two – in here. Let me explain why.

I like to do my own thinking and analyzing when it comes to genealogical research. That’s true whether I have primary records in front of me or am working with online chatter.

While meandering through that “chatter, ” I found an interesting “source” for much of what has been written about the Thompsons and Logues. I was already aware of the book that Jane Gray Buchanan published back in 1987. I referenced it in an earlier post, as I need to read it in the Family History Library. What I found interesting was the way a Logue researcher cited information:

Work and HYPOTHESIS [caps mine] of Jane Gray Buchanan

That tells me that even though Mrs. Buchanan’s book is said to be well done, there are unproven theories about some of the early families.

I have an alternate hypothesis that I think better fits the facts pertaining to all the Lawrences.

The first part of this post is a recap of earlier posts in my series. It is being repeated here because even I need it in front of me to keep all the details straight in my mind.

First, I am absolutely convinced that Ephraim Thompson was the son of Lawrence Thompson and Margaret Logue (not Ann Logue, as some say) because Margaret’s brother, Ephraim, wrote his will in April 1780 before he marched off to war. It was recorded in Caswell County, North Carolina in December 1780.

Ephraim Logue was a young man, married to Mary (MNU) and the father of only one child, daughter Eleanor. He seemed quite prepared to leave his estate to relatives and friends who named a son Ephraim after him.

I have an image of the will, but the book appears to have a stain mark and it’s hard to read. Here’s an abstract that I found online that appears to match the details in the will:

If Ephraim’s daughter, Eleanor (probably born c1767 as she married in 1787) died childless, Ephraim’s estate was to be divided between Ephraim Thompson (my Ephraim Thompson is the ONLY one I’ve found running around in this family in the 1700s) and the “first male heir of my brother John Logue to be named Ephraim Logue.” He further mentioned Alexander Walker of Guilford County, North Carolina, who was one of the executors of the will and a legacy to be given to Alexander’s son, Ephraim Walker.

Next, John Logue Sr. apparently wrote a will in 1769 in Orange County, North Carolina (Caswell County was formed from Orange County in 1777), but is said to NOT have been recorded, for whatever reason.

A copy of the will is said to survive among family papers, but no source or repository is given for either the will existing or who made this statement.

Aside from not being able to access this will, I have no reason to doubt that it existed at one time. Why it never was recorded is another issue.

However, the heirs of John Logue Sr. included wife Margaret, son John Jr., son Ephraim Logue (testator of 1780), and daughters Mary, who married Matthew Lindsey, 22 May 1755, Old Swedes Church, Wilmington, Delaware, Margaret who married Lawrence Thompson, Ann, who married Thomas Thompson and Elinor, who married a Hart.

Executor of John Logue Sr.’s will was Thomas Thompson, Sr., probable father of Thomas and Lawrence Thompson, his sins-in-law.

Assuming that the abstraction of John Logue’s 1769 will is real and accurate, this lends credence to the statements found online that Thomas Thompson (and Ann Finney) were the parents of Thomas Thompson Jr. and Lawrence Thompson.

Before I jump back into my questions about Kentucky records and assumptions, I need to remind you:

Thomas Thompson (born c1712) and Ann Finney migrated from the area around Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, c1750.

The Logues left Delaware in 1755, probably right after Mary Logue married Matthew Lindsey.

Lawrence Thompson Sr., (born c1710) married (1) Gertrude (MNU), before 1736 when daughter Elizabeth was baptized in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (2) Sarah Finney.

Lawrence left a will in Sumner County, Tennessee, dated 1796, which named children, including Lawrence Thompson Jr.

IMPORTANT: Thomas and Lawrence Thompson lived in the area of Orange County that remained Orange County while they lived there. They did not ever live in the portion that became Caswell County in 1777.

Location is an important factor when separating out men of the same name.

John Thompson Sr., born c1715, and wife, Priscilla, also migrated to North Carolina, but settled in Rowan County. They came via Frederick County, Virginia (which previously had been Dunmore County, Virginia), where John owned land by 1751. They also had a son named Lawrence Thompson.

This Lawrence Thompson (son of John, so noted on the marriage bond) married Eleanor Thompson in Rowan County, North Carolina in 1779. Bondsman was Lawrence Thompson, son of Thomas (so noted on the bond).

Closs Thompson Sr., (born c1730) may have been the brother of John Thompson Sr. as they migrated together from Dunmore County, Virginia to Rowan County, North Carolina and on into Kentucky. Closs, too, had a son named Lawrence Thompson.

Therefore, we have these five Lawrence Thompsons:

  1. Lawrence Sr., born c1712; died 1790, left a Sumner County, Tennessee will that included son Lawrence Jr. Lived in Orange County, North Carolina by 1757, when he was named sheriff.
  2. Lawrence Jr., born say 1738 or later; died before April 1804, Tennessee when his estate administration began in Sumner county, Tennessee.
  3. Lawrence, son of John, born 1755; married Eleanor Thompson, 1779, Rowan County, North Carolina
  4. Lawrence, son of Closs, born c1762. Closs’s family lived in Rowan County, North Carolina
  5. Lawrence, son of Thomas Sr. and bondsman for Lawrence, son of John in 1779. Thomas Sr. was in Orange County, North Carolina by early 1750s.

My nagging questions have to do with fitting the Kentucky and Tennessee records to the way others have attached the frontiersmen with these five men in North Carolina.

My inquiring mind is having trouble reconciling two Kentucky Revolutionary War pensioners – Lawrence who married Keziah Hart and lived in Madison County, Kentucky when he applied for his pension and Lawrence married to Martha (MNU), of Clay County, Indiana, but who lived in Kentucky (counties not mentioned in his pension application) after the war with their likely parents.

Lawrence who married Keziah is said to be a son of Thomas Thompson Sr., who married Ann Finney.

I AM BEGINNING TO DOUBT THAT. I think “everyone” might have him in the wrong family.

Here is my reasoning.

Thomas Thompson Sr.  and Ann Finney were the parents of Thomas Jr. and Lawrence, bondsman for Lawrence, son of John. This family lived in Orange County, North Carolina.

Lawrence Sr., proposed brother of Thomas Sr., migrated to Sumner County, Tennessee. The family of Lawrence Sr. also lived in Orange County, North Carolina.

In 1789, there were THREE Lawrence Thompsons living in Sumner County, Tennessee. For sure, one was Lawrence Sr. It is likely that the second man was Lawrence Jr. named in his father’s will. The third Lawrence is an unknown.

Thomas and Ann (Finney) Thompson’s son, Thomas Jr. (who married Ann Logue), also lived in Sumner County.

Lawrence who married Keziah Hart is also connected to Sumner County because his brother-in-law, Simpson Hart, also lived there and left a 1790 will with bequests to the five (at the time) children of Lawrence and Keziah. They had NO son named Lawrence.

Because of Thomas Thompson Jr. being in Sumner County, Lawrence who married Keziah has been called the son of Thomas Thompson Sr.

My hypothesis is that Lawrence who married Keziah was Lawrence Jr., son of Lawrence Sr.

Remember my first theory about Ephraim and Lawrence Thompson first found in 1793 and 1789, respectively, in Mercer County, Kentucky and then next door in Washington County, Kentucky after that time?

These two families lived near each other – and moved together – for years. There are even two transactions in land records in 1803 and 1804 noting that Ephraim bought land from Lawrence in Washington County, Kentucky.

If Ephraim is the son of Lawrence Thompson and Margaret Logue, and from Logue family records, Lawrence is the son of Thomas Thompson Sr. and Ann Finney, then we have father and son living near each other.

To further support that theory, Margaret and Grace Thompson, both identified as daughters of Lawrence, who gave permission for them to marry, wed in Mercer County. Margaret married Emer Stalcup in 1792 and Grace married Henry Landes in 1799.

An additional detail which I haven’t mentioned is that Emer Stalcup, husband of Margaret Thompson, died in 1805. Ephraim Thompson was the estate administrator. In those days, family members were most likely the ones to take on the job of settling an estate. If Ephraim was Margaret’s brother, it makes perfect sense.

David Thompson, who is said to be a son of Lawrence Thompson, married Malinda Newell/Neville there in 1796. This David Thompson died in Montgomery County (which bordered Boone County, where Ephraim owned land), Missouri in 1821. Could he be the reason that Ephraim and second wife Isabella Jones, named their son David in 1846?

If I accept that Lawrence Thompson in Mercer County is the son of Thomas and father of Ephraim, then all those pieces of the puzzle fit.

If Lawrence Thompson who married Keziah Hart and lived early in Sumner County, Tennessee, the puzzle pieces also fit. His family had a double reason for being there – he was close to his own father and to some of Keziah’s kin.

That accounts for the first Revolutionary War pensioner. Lawrence and Keziah soon removed to Madison County, Kentucky and spent the remainder of their lives there.

As for the second Revolutionary War pensioner – Lawrence Thompson of Clay County, Indiana – he was quite helpful when he provided Dunmore County (later Frederick County), Virginia as his birthplaces c1755.

That places him as the son of either John or Closs Thompson. I’m not sure that Closs’s son Lawrence was born soon enough to be this man born c1755.

Therefore, by process of elimination. the Indiana man is the Lawrence, son of John, who married Eleanor Thompson in 1779. By the early 1800s, Eleanor had died and Lawrence was married to Martha (MNU).

The only piece from Washington County, Kentucky that doesn’t fit with Ephraim is that Fanny Thompson, daughter of John and Martha Thompson, married James Booth in 1808 in Washington County, Kentucky. Fanny and her brother moved with John and Martha to Harrison County, Indiana and later to Clay County.

Tax records may come to the rescue yet again. Several early years of Washington County records are so faded or blurred that it is impossible to read them, BUT the 1802 list is clear and crisp. On 24 August, Lawrence Thompson was recorded on the tax roll with no land. On 31 August, Ephraim Thompson was recorded with no land and ON THE SAME DAY – 31 August – Lawrence Thompson was taxed for 255 acres of land at the 2nd rate.

That proves there were two Lawrence Thompsons there at the same time. One is the Indiana pensioner and the second is Ephraim’s father.

The Indiana Lawrence left Kentucky sometime after 1806.

Ephraim’s father likely died not many years after 1802. Ephraim bought his land in 1803 and 1804. He may well have moved in with Ephraim, or the family of one of his other children, passed away and had no probate because he no longer had real estate to bequest.

There is one Lawrence Thompson in the 1810 Washington County census. This seems to be Ephraim’s Lawrence, as two Lawrence Thompsons appear on the Washington County tax rolls through 1806. After that time, Lawrence with 145 acres of land is consistently listed, often on the same day, on the tax rolls through 1815.

No Lawrence Thompson is found after that date and Ephraim appears for only two more years, in 1816 and 1817. However, I can’t account for the sale of Lawrence’s 145 acres. Ephraim sold his 110 acres on 11 May 1818. (Deed Book F:6)

As for the last loose end – the third Lawrence in Sumner County, Tennessee – I believe he is Ephraim’s father who left Tennessee for Mercer County, Kentucky sometime between 1789 and the 1783 road work order in Mercer County court records.

Readers, what do you think? All the puzzle pieces fit with my hypothesis. I think I might be on to something. 🙂


5 thoughts on “Updated Theory: Nagging Questions About the Many Lawrence Thompsons”

  1. I too found this difficult to track – had I been sitting beside you with a family tree for each Lawrence, it likely would have made more sense. You’re doing great work!

  2. Linda, I was just in Orange County, NC, at the Orange Co Historical Society going thru vertical files and a few books mentioning my 6th great-grandfather Lawrence THOMPSON (b. ca 1712 PA, d. post 13 Dec 1790, Sumner Co, TN. After reading thru your posts, it appears to me that I need to delve into the tax and land records for my Lawrence (and probably the other men). I didn’t have time to go to the Office of Recorder of Deeds there in Orange Co, NC. Hope to do that next visit.

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