Lawrence Thompson & (1) Gertrude (2) Sarah Finney of PA, NC & TN, 1700s

Lawrence Thompson, born c1712 and wives (1) Gertrude (MNU) and (2) Sarah Finney is the third of four Thompson families I have previously researched.

Realizing that Thompson descendants might not want to traipse through all my theories and research steps, trying to sort out these four families, I decided to highlight each family in its own post.

The family of Lawrence Thompson is the third in the series, having already covered my research on the families of Closs Thompson and John Thompson.

This Lawrence Thompson is thought to be the brother of Thomas Thompson who married Ann Finney, but I have not found any conclusive proof of that.

My belief of the makeup of Lawrence Thompson’s family differs from most others found online. I’ll explain was we move through Lawrence’s records, but I believe that Lawrence who married Keziah Hart was the son of this Lawrence and NOT the son of Thomas and Ann (Finney) Thompson.

Lawrence, born c1712; died before 26 October 1790, Sumner County, TN, where he left a will naming his children; married (1) Gertrude, c1735, probably Berks County, Pennsylvania (2) Sarah Finney, probably c1840 in Pennsylvania.

Nothing further is known about Gertrude, with no known date of birth. She likely died before 1740. Since Gertrude’s only known child was baptized in Amityville, which was originally settled by Swedes, and Gertrude is a common Scandinavian name, she may have been of Swedish ethnicity.

Gertrude gave birth to one child, who only appears in a baptismal record in 1736. Elizabeth isn’t mentioned in her father’s will and no further records have been found for her.

Child of Lawrence and Gertrude:

Elizabeth, baptized 22 August 1736, St. Gabriel Episcopal Church, Amity, Lancaster County (today Berks County, Pennsylvania; died before her father, as she is not in his will.

Lawrence married (2) Sarah Finney, sister of Ann Finney, who married Thomas Thompson. The date of their marriage is not known, but probably around 1740 or 1741 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Sarah was likely a fair bit younger than Lawrence, as she was his second wife, born perhaps c1720. She isn’t mentioned in her husband’s will written on 26 October 1790 in Sumner County, Tennessee. Where she might have died is also not known.

Children of Lawrence and Sarah Finney (Birth order uncertain):

  1. Sarah, born c1745; died after 26 October 1790; married John Whitsett, c1767. John was born 8 October 1743 and died 11 August 1819, Greene County, Alabama. He served in the Revolutionary War in the Orange County, North Carolina militia.
  2. Sybilla, born c1747, probably Pennsylvania; died after 26 October 1790, probably Davidson County, Tennessee; married Hugh Tinnen, c1768. He was born c1745, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; died 20 December 1794, Davidson County, Tennessee.
  3. Lawrence, born c1753, probably Orange County, North Carolina; died 21 April 1835, Madison County, Kentucky; married Keziah Hart, c1780, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Nathaniel Hart and Sarah Simpson. Keziah was born c1762, North Carolina and died c1837, Madison County, Kentucky.
  4. Joseph, born c1750, probably Pennsylvania; died after 26 October 1790.
  5. Mary, born c1759; died after 26 October 1790; married William Whitsett, 1 August 1785, Orange County, North Carolina.
  6. Azariah, born c1760; died 1797, Sumner County, Tennessee; married Catherine Allison, 4 September 1784, Orange County, North Carolina.

With no birth records in existence, the children’s birth order is based on marriage years, or estimated years of marriage. Given the gaps in years, it is likely that Lawrence lost one or more children before his own death in 1790.

Why have I chosen to place Lawrence who married Keziah Hart in the family of this Lawrence Thompson? It’s because of early Kentucky and Tennessee tax records, the Thompson and Hart FAN clubs, a 1779 marriage on North Carolina and the Revolutionary War pension application of Lawrence, who married Keziah.

First, there is a marriage bond for Lawrence Thompson, son of John Thompson and Eleanor Thompson, dated 8 April 1779 in Rowan County, North Carolina. Lawrence’s bondsman was Lawrence Thompson, identified on the bond as the son of Thomas Thompson.

Now, most people have identified Thomas’s son, Lawrence, as the man who married Keziah Hart. I don’t believe that. Lawrence who married Keziah stated in his pension application ((R10546) that he had a captain’s appointment in Orange County, North Carolina and served in the war from 1776-1778, and “continued in Commission through the latter part or sometime after the year 1778 when he resigned his commission as Captain to Archibald Lytle, Colonel, in North Carolina.”

Why would a captain resign his commission? Certainly not because of Tory tendencies. The Thompsons were patriots through and through.

It was because Lawrence headed off to Fort Boonesborough in Kentucky and married Keziah Hart, c1779-1780.

Daniel Boone was a Thompson friend (and bondsman for Closs Thompson who married in Rowan County, North Carolina in 1759) and other family members were in Kentucky by 1780, if not before that time.

Next, Lawrence Thompson Sr. (born c1712) appears on the tax lists of 1789 and 1790 in Sumner County, Tennessee and wrote his will there, dated 26 October 1790.

There were not one, not two, but THREE Lawrence Thompsons on the Sumner County 1790 tax list – Lawrence Sr., Lawrence Jr. and Lawrence who was taxed for 2 polls, meaning 2 males over 16.

I am quite certain that Lawrence Jr. was Lawrence who married Keziah Hart. That’s because Simpson Hart, Keziah’s unmarried brother, died in Sumner County after writing his will dated 23 February 1790. In it, he named the five children of his sister, Keziah Thompson, and appointed Lawrence Thompson to look after the legacies he bequeathed to their five young children, all of whom he named.

Since Simpson Hart didn’t say his sister was living elsewhere, say in Kentucky, it is reasonable to think that Lawrence and Keziah lived close by.

One of his daughters was named. . . . Sarah Finney Thompson. Lawrence Thompson Sr. married Sarah Finney. It seems quite probably that she was named for Lawrence’s mother.

I believe the third Lawrence Thompson was the son of Thomas and Ann (Finney) Thompson. His brother, also Thomas, is found on the same 1790 tax list. I also believe the second male in the third Lawrence’s household was my husband’s 4X great grandfather Ephraim Thompson, born c1772.

By 1793, the Thompsons were gone from Sumner County. Lawrence Sr. had died, Lawrence and Keziah removed to Kentucky, where they spent the rest of their lives and the third Lawrence removed to Mercer and then Washington Counties, Kentucky.

Another piece of the Lawrence puzzle is that Thomas’s son, Lawrence, married Ann Logue. Ann’s grandfather and brother were both named Ephraim, a given name that appears no where else in the Thompson family, with the exception of my husband’s Ephraim.

By 1794, Lawrence and Ephraim are found in marriage records and on tax lists, at least until 1796, when they appear in Washington County, Kentucky tax lists.

Now, we need to look once more at Lawrence Thompson who married Eleanor Thompson in 1779 back in Rowan County, North Carolina. This Lawrence eventually removed to Harrison County, Indiana and then to Clay County, Indiana, where he died after the 1840 census. He applied for a Revolutionary War pension and from names given in the application, we learn he had at least two children who removed to Indiana with him.

His daughter, Fanny, married James Booth on 11 February 1805 in . . . .Washington County, Kentucky.

Tax lists for that county show two Lawrence Thompsons from 1804-1806. The first is Lawrence, father of Ephraim, who appears taxed on the same day as his father and is sometimes listed right after his father and both are taxed for personal and real estate. This Lawrence was still living as late as the 1810 census, but no probate or estate records have been found for him.

The second Lawrence, who is the son of John and Priscilla Thompson, owned no land in Washington County and remained there only for a couple of years before leaving for Indiana.

In Washington County, Kentucky, Lawrence and Lawrence have come full circle, as these men are Lawrence, son of John Thompson, who married in 1779 and his bondsman, Lawrence, son of Thomas Thompson.

I have tried placing the Lawrence Thompson puzzle pieces together in multiple ways, but this is the only way that all the pieces fit together and make sense.


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