Tag Archives: Ephraim Thompson

The Rest of the Children of Ephraim Thompson: Elmore, Elias, Hannah and Rebecca

As I long ago covered the families of Ephraim’s and Sarah’s two oldest children, Annie, who married James Madison Holland, and Sarah, who married Samuel W. Scott, and then recently covered the family of their son Ervin, I decided I need to share the families of their four remaining identified children – Elmore, Elias, Hannah and Rebecca.

Here are the basics on each:

Elmore Thompson was born c1805, likely in Washington County, Kentucky. He died before 13 September 1840, Howard County, Missouri, when his father was appointed administrator of his estate. Elmore married Martha Smith, 25 February 1830, Howard County, Missouri. She was born c1808, Kentucky and died 12 October 1881, Boone County, Missouri, where she lived with her daughter Elizabeth Long’s family.

Children (All events Howard County, Missouri):

  1. Sarah Ann, born 8 January 1831; died 10 February 1913; married Thomas Henry Richards (1824-1911) on 19 October 1848.
  2. Permelia, born 27 April 1833; died 29 August 1875; married William J. Rowland (1825-1862) on 2 February 1854.
  3. Mary F., born c1835; died between 1860-1870 censuses; married Robert Alexander Cornelius (1829-1893) on 25 October 1855.
  4. Elizabeth, born 27 March 1837; died 26 July 1915; married John Milton Long (1835-1920) on 29 October 1857.

Elias Thompson (administrator of his father’s estate) was born 6 October 1809, Washington County, Kentucky; died 23 April 1877, Howard County, Missouri; married Permelia Smith, c1834. She was born c1809 and died in 1890.

Children Cynthia, John and Nancy were not mentioned in Elias’s will.

Children (All events in Howard County, Missouri unless noted):

1. Hannah Ann, born 28 March 1835; died 23 September 1897, Boone County, Missouri; married Edward M. Thornton (1826-1913), 14 March 1854, Boone County, Missouri.
2. Cynthia, born c1838; died after 1850; no further record
3. Catherine Zerilda, born 1840; died 13 March 1888, Missouri; married James F. Epperson (1830-1900), c1857.
4. George Wilcox, born c1843; died 12 November 1917; married Eliza Wilcox Forbis (1844-1903) on 16 October 1866.
5. Mary Ellena, born 23 January 1845; died 5 September 1893; married (1) Henry Clay McKinney (1848-1880), c1872 and (2) Samuel Alexander Chitwood (1848-1922), 1 September 1880, Boone County, Missouri.
6. John H., born c1846; died after 1850 census; no further record
7. Nancy Jane, born c1847; died after 1850 census; no further record.
8. Thomas D., born 26 January 1849; died 22 February 1910; married Rebecca A. Hart (1855-1941) on 9 September 1879, Boone County, Missouri.

Hannah Thompson was born c1810, Washington County, Kentucky, died after the 28 August 1870 federal census, probably in Howard County, Missouri; married William Alexander, 10 January 1833, Boone County, Missouri.

Children: (All events in Howard County, Missouri unless noted.)

  1. Commodore Perry (aka C.P.), born c1834; died 18 November 1897, Lampasas County, Texas; a railroad man who never married. In 1860, he was unmarried and living with his uncle Ervin Thompson’s family in Cow House, Coryell County, Texas.
  2. Amanda Ellen, born February 1836; died 1935, Caldwell County, Texas; married John Hocker (1834-1908), c1861.
  3. Irvin, born c1839; died after the 1860 census; no further record.
  4. Elizabeth, born 1839; died 1909; unmarried.
  5. Robert Bruce, born 4 September 1843; died 10 March 1915; married Mary Elgin (1847-1926) on 1 December 1870. No children.
  6. Sallie, born 21 February 1849; died 14 February 1920; unmarried.

Rebecca Thompson was born c1813, Washington County, Kentucky; died 2 December 1877, Boone County, Missouri; married (1) James Copeland (c1810- c1844) and (2) Calvin A. Thornton (1817-1900) on 11 February 1844, Boone County, Missouri.

Rebecca had three known children, one son with James Copeland and two daughters with Calvin Thornton.


  1. John COPELAND, born c1833; died after the 1860 census when he was unmarried and living with his uncle Ervin Thompson’s family in Cow House, Coryell County, Texas.
  2. Laura THORNTON, born c1847, probably Boone County, Missouri; died after 1850 census; no further record.
  3. Cornelia THORNTON, born c1850, Boone County, Missouri; died 22 January 1902, Leavenworth County, Kansas; married John W. Barnett (1842-1890), c1872.

Although this ends my coverage of the Thompson family, at least for quite a while, Ephraim and Sarah (Curry) Thompson have many descendants today.

Among the grandchildren who lived to adulthood and married, only Robert Bruce Alexander has no known children.

I hope my research has helped piece together much of the Thompson puzzle as online information about these children had a lot of loose ends.

Speaking of loose ends, Ephraim had one surviving son named David, born c1847, with his second wife, Isabella Jones. I’ve previously written about him, too.

I believe that, for whatever reason, his name was changed to William P(erry?) Thompson. I think he is the William P. Thompson, born 6 December 1846 and who died 26 December 1899 and is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Boone County, Missouri.  William married Mary Frances Coonce (1850-1916), 26 August 1879, Boone County, Missouri.

They were the parents of Bertha, born January 1884 and died after 1900 census, Cornelia B., who died in 1893, George E. (1882-1883), Pauline (1891-1985) who married James Henry Bloomer and Myra, born June 1896 and died after the 1900 census.

If you are descended from the William Thompson family, I would love to correspond with you.


Ervin Thompson of MO, TX, NE and IA: Son of Ephraim & Sarah Curry Thompson

Sometimes, I think it is just serendipity! I’ve recently spent weeks on the Thompson clan and had to search many different ways to try to uncover the children of Ephraim who were born after 1810.

I wasn’t too hopeful of success, but I’ve found all – I think –  but for one son and daughter.

Ervin Thompson, subject of today’s family sketch, was a complete surprise. I had never seen his name anywhere and would have ignored him except for one very important detail.

I tried many different keywords when searching for more information that might relate to my Ephraim Thompson and Sarah Curry.

Look what popped up for one of them:

This is a marriage record for one Ervin Thompson, aged 52 years, to Harriet C(harlotte) (Clark) Vessel, 30 years old, on 26 February 1870 in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska.

This wouldn’t have mean anything to me EXCEPT that the bride and groom were required to provide the names of their parents and look who Ervin named – Ephraim and Sarah “Currey.”

Ervin Thompson
Source: FamilySearch Memories

Ervin was also born in Missouri and, being 52 years old in 1870, he was born c1818, soon after the family settled in Howard County.

This led me on another not-so-easy chase for information about Ervin. The big websites don’t have all of Ervin’s records linked together, so it meant another couple of days of experimenting with searches.

Ervin Thompson was born c1818, Howard County, Missouri. He died on died 4 May 1884 in Harrison County, Iowa.

If it weren’t for finding his marriage record to Harriet, I never, ever would have found him.

You see, Ervin was long gone from Missouri by 1850. He was enumerated in that census in Travis County, Texas with wife Mahala (Mussett) and their children.

Why was he so hard to find? Well, for starters, he was enumerated as Ivy Thompson and his wife as Wakaby! I think this was one of those record sets not indexed by a native English speaker because I would read his wife’s name as Mahaly.

Mahala Mussett was born c1814 in Ohio and married (1) Michael Costley on 18 January 1927, Washington County, Missouri. She is consistently several years older than Ervin in the few records in which they are found together.

The marriage date for Ervin and Mahala – 1839 in Coryell County – is not accurate as the county wasn’t even formed until 1852. The earliest parent county, Milam, doesn’t seem to have a record for them either.

It is possible that Mahala and Ervin never married, as I found an interesting tidbit about her first husband, Michael Costley:

W. E. Costley was born December 25, 1832 in Austin County, Texas to Michael Costley and Elizabeth Reed.  A second son, James, was b. 1835.   Michael was killed November 16 1837 by W.R.D. Spieght, the first District Clerk of Nacogdoches, Texas who didn’t approve of the fact that Costley was still married to Mahala Mussett, his first wife. A huge battle ensued over the thousands of acres of land that Michael owned and who had a right to it.  After Michael’s death, Elizabeth married two more times.

By 1850, Michael had died and the Thompsons are found in Travis County, Texas with the following children:

  1. Sennit, born c1840, Arkansas
  2. Eliza, born c1842, Arkansas
  3. Tyre, born c1844, Texas
  4. James, born c1846, Texas
  5. Mary, born c1847, Texas
  6. Susan, born c1849, Texas

Sennit, or Sennet, is a name found in the Mussett family. Tyre is also a Mussett name. Notice that they were born in Arkansas.

No marriage record has been found anywhere for Ervin and Mahalia – not in Arkansas, nor Missouri, nor Texas.

The family had moved to Coryell County, Texas by 1860.

Sennit was no longer in the home and I haven’t found him in any other records. He may have had a different first name or he may have died young. He would have only been 20 years old in 1860, so he might have died.

Ervin was 43 years old, so born c1817, Missouri. Mahala was 46 years old, so born c1814, Ohio.

Children, all born in Texas:

  1. Tira (I think this is Tyre), born c1845, noted as crippled
  2. James, born 1846
  3. Mary, born 1847
  4. Susan, born 1851
  5. Thomas, born 1854

Also in the home are two farmhands, who are very important supporting evidence connecting Ervin to Ephraim. James Copeland and C.P. Alexander, both 25 years old and both born in Missouri are more than just boarders. James is the son of Ervin’s sister, Rebecca, and C(ommodore) P(erry) Alexander is the son of Ervin’s sister, Hannah.

We’ve now reached the Civil War time frame. Ephraim Thompson enlisted as a private in the Company for the 2nd Frontier District for Coryell County on 30 January 1864 in Gatesville, Texas and served until 31 May 1864. His age is given as 46 years old.

At some point in the 1860s, Mahala was again abandoned by a husband. I have not been able to find her in the 1870 census, even though she appears on the Coryell County tax rolls until 1873, with her estate listed in 1874. Nor can I find youngest child Thomas Benton Thompson in 1870.

Mahala died on 3 July 1873 and is buried at Copperas Cove Cemetery. Her gravestone clearly identifies her as the wife of Ervin Thompson.

That leaves open the question of whether Ervin and Mahala separated and/or divorced or if he just disappeared one day and never came back home.

By 1870, as we already know, Ervin had married Hattie Vessel, who was 22 years younger than him. They were living in Omaha at the time of the census with three children, who were Harriet’s by a previous marriage to Thomas Vessel:


1. Josephine, born 1858, Georgia
2. John, born 1860, Georgia
3. Cora, born 1862, Georgia

The 1880 census found the Thompsons living in Rockford, Pottawattamie County, Iowa with a second set of Thompson children, all born in Iowa:

  1. Ervin H., born 1871
  2. George M., born 1875
  3. Robert T., born 1877
  4. Myrtle, born 1879

John and Cora, now correctly identified as Vessel children and stepchildren of Ervin, were also still at home.

Ervin Thompson died on 4 May 1884 and is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery, Harrison County, Iowa. Harriet survived him by many years, passing away on 19 March 1905. She is buried with Ervin.

What became of all of Ervin’s children?

With Mahala:

  1. Sennit, born c1840, Arkansas; died after 1850; no further record.
  2. Eliza, born c1842, Arkansas; died after 1850; no further record.
  3. Tira (I think this is Tyre M.), born c1845, noted as crippled; died after 1871, when he appears on the tax roll of Coryell County, Texas. No further record.
  4. James Ervin, born 2 November 1846, Texas; died 23 July 1919, Coryell County, Texas; married (1) Sarah Coulston, 26 May 1870, Coryell County, Texas (2) Martha Simpson, 15 August 1872, Coryell County, Texas. They were the parents of seven children.
  5. Mary Jane, born December 1847/48; died 27 March 1913, Tom Green County, Texas; married (1) Preston Chandler, 26 January 1866, Coryell County, Texas (2) Pinkney Eli Beeson, 19 April 1883, Coryell County, Texas and who died 22 January 1896, Tom Green County, Texas. She was the mother of four children, one with Preston Chandler and three with Pink Beeson.
  6. Susan, born 1851, Texas; died after 1880; married Thomas Walters, 21 September 1868, Coryell County, Texas. They were the parents of at least three children.
  7. Thomas Benton, born 25 November 1853, Texas; died 21 June 1918, Tom Green County, Texas; married Lillian Texas Hollingsworth, 1 May 1889, Coryell County, Texas. They were the parents of four sons.

With Harriet:

  1. Ervin Hill, born 14 December 1870, Douglas County, Nebraska; died 25 February 1949, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa; married Aurenia Cornelia Fosdick, 25 January 1905, Harrison County, Iowa. They were the parents of eleven children.
  2. George Milam, born 13 May 1875, Iowa; died 6 January 1963, Harrison County, Iowa; married Samantha Lovinia Berry, 18 September 1906, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Samantha married (1) Henry Case, 16 September 1890, Harrison County, Iowa. They were the parents of three children.
  3. Robert Travis, born 5 June 1877, Iowa; died 29 September 1966, Harrison County, Iowa; married Clara Ardilla Skelton, 6 December 1899, Harrison County, Iowa. They were the parents of three children.
  4. May Myrtle, born 8 April 1880, Floyd County, Iowa; died 26 July 1952, Pueblo County, Colorado; married (1) Charles E. Richards, 4 February 1896, Pottawattamie County, Iowa (2) James Felix Mizell, 5 April 1919, Pueblo County, Colorado. May had seven children with Charles Richards and two children with James Mizell.

If you are a descendant of Ervin Thompson, I’d love to hear from you to learn more about his life.






Identifying All the Children of Ephraim Thompson of Mercer & Washington Cos. KY and Howard Co. MO

Last month, I wrote a series about identifying the father of Ephraim Thompson, born c1770, probably Orange County, North Carolina and who died in Howard County, Missouri before August 1847.

However, there is still more mystery about Ephraim Thompson. I don’t know his cause of death. It might have been related to his age and on going health issues. I am also aware that northern Missouri had cholera tearing through the area in the summers of 1847 and 1848. It’s possible that Ephraim was the victim of an epidemic.

What facts have I gathered about Ephraim?

He first appears the court minutes of Mercer County, Kentucky in 1793 when he is part of a group of men named to help maintain the road.

In 1796, Ephraim’s name is found on the county tax list.

Ephraim married Sarah Curry, daughter of William, on 18 October 1798, also in Mercer County.

By 1800, he was taxed next door in Washington County. The federal census for that year has been lost.

The last census in which Ephraim Thompson and his family are found in Washington County, Kentucky is the 1810 enumeration.

At that time, there was one male, 26-44 (Ephraim), one female, 26-44 (wife Sarah) plus the following people in the home:

Male, 16-25 (unknown)
Female, 10-16 (daughter Annie)
Female 10-16 (daughter Sarah)
Male under 10 (son Elmore)
Male under 10 (son Elias)
Male under 10 (unknown)
Female under 10 (daughter Hannah)

Is the male aged 16 to 25 Ephraim’s son? I don’t know. There is no evidence that either he or Sarah had a previous marriage.

At this moment, I believe that he probably wasn’t a son of either of them. This unknown young man could have been a younger sibling of Ephraim or Sarah. He might also have been a work hand living with the family.

In any case, in 1817, Ephraim sold his land in Kentucky and left for greener pastures in Howard County, Missouri, where he appears in local records as early as 1818.

Unfortunately, the 1820 Missouri hasn’t survived either, so the next snapshot of Ephraim’s family is the 1830 census of Howard County.

In the household, we find a male, 50-59 (Ephraim), a female, 40-49 (Sarah) and:

Male, 20-29 (Elmore)
Male, 20-29 (Elias)
Female, 20-29 (Hannah)
Female, born 1811-1815 (Rebecca)
Male, born 1811-1815
Male, born 1816-1820 (Ervin)
Female, born 1821-1825

Marriage records are found in Howard County for Annie Thompson, who married James Madison Holland on 27 November 1818 and for Sarah Thompson, who married Samuel W. Scott on 26 February 1821.

Elmore Thompson later married Martha (Patsy) Smith on 25 February 1830 in Boone County, Missouri and Elias married Permelia Smith, c1835, but no marriage record has been found for them.

In 1840, Ephraim’s household seems to be a blended family. We find:

Male, 60-69 (Ephraim)
Female, 60-69 (Sarah)
Male, 20-29 (born 1811-1820) (Ervin)
Female, 20-29 (born 1811-1820)
Female, 15-19 (born 1821-1825)
Male, 10-14 (born 1826-1830)
Male, 5-9 (born 1831-1835)

The male and female highlighted in blue may be the same male and female highlighted in blue in 1830. The youngest two males might possibly be grandsons, children of Ephraim’s son, Elmore, who died in 1840. The female aged 20-29 is a mystery unless Ervin had an early marriage.

From the census, court, and vital records, Ephraim’s life and family can be constructed with some degree of security:

Ephraim Thompson was born c1770, probably in Orange County, North Carolina and most likely the son of Lawrence Thompson and Ann Logue, who removed from Orange County, North Carolina to Sumner County, Tennessee by 1787.

By 1793, Ephraim was living in Mercer County, Kentucky, as he was named as a road hand in court records. Whether he was married previous to his marriage to Sarah Curry  on 18 October 1798 in Mercer County, Kentucky is not known. Given his age and the fact that the 1810 census includes a male aged 16-25, it is possible.


1. Annie, born c1799, Washington County, Kentucky; died before 1830; married James Madison Holland, 27 November 1818, Howard County, Missouri.

2. Sarah, born c1801, Washington County, Kentucky; died after 1850, possibly Howard County, Missouri; married Samuel W. Scott, 26 February 1821, Howard County, Missouri.

3. Elmore, born c1805, Washington County, Kentucky; died before 13 September 1840, Howard County, Missouri; married Martha (Patsey) Smith, 25 February 1830, Boone County, Missouri.

4. Elias, born 6 October 1808/09, Washington County, Kentucky; died 23 April 1877, Howard County, Missouri; married Permelia Smith, c1835. Ann Smith lived with the family in 1850 and is apparently the source for Permelia’s maiden name.

5. Hannah, born c1810, Washington County, Kentucky; died after 1870, probably Howard County, Missouri; married William Alexander, 10 January 1833, Boone County, Missouri. Their son, Commodore Perry Alexander lived with his uncle, Ervin Thompson, in Cow House, Coryell, Texas in 1860.

6. Rebecca, born 18 June 1811/13, Washington County, Kentucky; died 2 December 1877, Boone County, Missouri; married (1) James Copeland, 31 October 1831, Howard County, Missouri (2) Calvin A. Thornton, 24 February 1844, Boone County, Missouri. Rebecca’s son, James Copeland, lived with his uncle, Ervin Thompson, in Cow House, Coryell, Texas in 1860.

7. Son, born 1811-1815, Washington County, Kentucky; died after 1830, probably Howard County, Missouri if he died young.

8. Ervin, born c1818, Howard County, Missouri; died 4 May 1884, Harrison County, Iowa; married (1) Mahala Mussett, c1839, possibly Missouri or Texas. Mahala was born c1814, Ohio; died after 1860 (2) Harriet Charlotte Vessel, 26 February 1870, Douglas County, Nebraska. This marriage record names his parents as Ephraim Thompson and Sarah Curry.

9. Daughter, born 1821-1825, Howard County, Missouri; died after 1840, probably Howard County, Missouri if she died young.

Ephraim’s wife, Sarah, died between the 1840 census and 1842 as Ephraim married (2) Isabella Dorcas W. Jones, 21 December 1842, Boone County, Missouri.

Ephraim died before August 1847 and, in 1850, Isabella was living in her parents’ household in Boone County. With her is 3 year old David Thompson, born Missouri.

Next door to Jones family is Robert T. Slate, 30 years old, and born in Tennessee. He is living alone.

In 1860, Robert, born 1820, and Isabella Slate, born 1822,  are living in Cole County, Missouri.  With them, all born in Missouri are:

Slate, William P., born 1847
Slate, Catherine, born 1853
Slate, Robert J., born 1855
Slate, Nancy, born 1857
Slate, James G. born February 1860

Here’s the question – Nothing further can be found about William P. Slate, but he was born in 1847, as was David Thompson. Nothing further can be found on David, either. Is this the same child, who perhaps was renamed William?

This child is of an age to have served and perhaps died in the Civil War.

In 1870, the family is still in Cole County, although Kate, Nancy and JOHN (not James G.), aged 10, are the only children still at home.

By 1880, Robert had died and Isabella was at home with children Joseph (Robert Joseph??), born 1856, Nancy and John, living once again in Boone County, Missouri.

Isabella died on 6 January 1894 and is buried in Boone County, Missouri. She is buried with Robert, whose gravestone dates say he was born 10 November 1819 and died on 9 December 1871.

I’ve found no further trace of either David Thompson. However, William P. THOMPSON (not Slate) is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Boone County, the same cemetery where Robert and Isabella are laid to rest.

This William was born 6 December 1846 and died 26 December 1899. He married Mary Frances Coonce, c1880, probably in Boone County. They were the parents of George E., born December 1881 and died January 1882, Bertha A., born January 1884, Cornelia B., born 1891 and died 1893, and Lillian Pauline, born 12 September 1892, died 19 October 1985, married James Henry Bloomer. and Myra, born June 1896.

I believe that David and William P. Thompson are the same person. For whatever reason, his parents chose to rename him.

Unless new clues appear, it is unlikely that the unidentified son and daughter of Ephraim Thompson will ever be known. Ephraim owned land in Livingston, Boone and Howard Counties. There are many Thompsons who married there in the correct time period, but so far, nothing has jumped out to make me think any of those people are a child of Ephraim.