Thompson descendants are of Scottish ancestry

Published 11:59 pm Friday, July 17, 2009

There is a record of an Alexander Thompson residing in the Lowlands of Scotland in 1637. He had a son, Alexander Jr., who was a soldier in the Tyrones Rebellion (1601-1603). He rose to the rank of Captain and was granted a parcel of land for his service in the northwest side of the County of Ulster in Ireland.

Alexander Thompson Jr. had at least four sons, three of which migrated to America. They settled for a short time in the New York area before moving to other areas. The fourth son, John Thompson, was married to Esther Hale, and they lived in Antrim, Ireland during the early 1700s.

John had a son, James or Jimmie Thompson, who was 10 years of age when his parents died. The authorities bound him over to an older fellow, Patrick Hagan, who was a farmer and a Presbyterian. He was known to be very strict and would have been quite demanding of Jimmie. After three years with Hagan, Jimmie ran away and caught a boat ride to Scotland. There he secured a farming job with John Alexander. He fell in love with John’s daughter, Ruth Alexander, and they were married eight years later.

The John Alexander family along with Jimmie Thompson immigrated to America in 1730. They settled near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and soon afterwards, Jimmie and Ruth were married. They reared at least two children: Esther, b. ca 1737, m. William McDaniel; and Alexander, b. 1739, d. 1808, m. 1760 Elizabeth Mary Hodge (1732-1815), daughter of William Hodge.

It is believed that Jimmie and Ruth died in Pennsylvania during the early 1870s. After their deaths, Alexander and Esther sold their inheritance in Carlisle and moved their families, including William Hodge, south toward Georgia. They settled for three years or more in Burke County, North Carolina, while the Revolutionary War was underway. In fact, Alexander’s oldest son, James, enlisted in the war around the age of 16 and fought at Cowpens, King’s Mountain, Guilford County Courthouse in North Carolina.

After the war, the Thompson families continued their journey southward into Georgia. They settled first in Wilkes County for about two years, and they then traveled some 20 miles north to Madison County. Alexander built the first gristmill in North Georgia on South River. He also built a cotton gin, sawmill and turpentine still.

Alexander and his wife, Elizabeth (Hodge), reared the following children: James, b. 1764, d. 1851, m. Sarah Saye; Sarah, b. 1766, d. 1845, m. David Robinson; Alexander Jr., b. 1771, d. 1824, m. 1794 Eunice Strickland (1776-1845); Robert, b. 1776, m. 1797 Mary Saye; William, b. 1781, d. 1851, m. 1810 Nancy Tillman (1784-1858); John, single; Ruth, d. 1860, m. (1) 1787 Henry Strickland (2) 1823 Samuel Benjamin Bagley; Esther, m. 1810 William Langford; and Mary, killed by falling timber when a child.

The son William left the family and moved to the Comer community in Georgia. He and his wife, Nancy Tillman, daughter of William and Nancy (Farrow) Tillman, reared the following children: John Alexander, b. 1811, d. 1885, m. 1836 Eleanor K. Burroughs; William Tillman, b. ca 1812, m. 1830 Frances P. Berryman; Ansel Dickerson, b. 1814, d. 1890, m. 1837 Mary “Polly” Richards; James Madison, b. 1816, d. 1878, m. Mary Diane Pelham; Elizabeth Eleanor, b. 1819, m. Amos Carrithers; Berry Milroy, b. 1821, d. 1906, m. 1850 Amanda J. Carrithers (1830-1875); Mary Farrow, b. 1823, m. 1842 James W. Carrithers; Nancy Emiline, b. 1825, d. 1875, m. (1) 1840 James Crumpton (2) 1855 John A. McCurdy; Harriett Calista, b. 1827, m. Merit Landers; Sarah, d. young; and Esther, d. young.

William’s son, James Madison Thompson, and his wife, Mary Diana Pelham, daughter of Umphrey Pelham, eventually settled in Enterprise where they were buried in the Enterprise City Cemetery. They reared the following children: Nancy, b. 1839, d. 1884, m. Sebron Andrews (1830-1908); James Alexander, b. 1841, d. 1891; Martha Elizabeth, b. 1845, d. 1920; William “Uncle Billy” Iverson, b. 1846, d. 1917, m. 1886 Smitha A. Whitman (1843-1910); Harret C., b. 1849, d. 1932, m. Daniel Decatur Respess (1851-1930); Mary E., b. 1849, d. 1915, m. Edward lamb “Boy” Andrews; and Callie Missouri, b. 1857, d. 1940, m. William Henry Cain.

James Madison’s son, William Iverson Thompson, resided about where the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Coffee County now stands. He was a farmer who taught singing schools at churches and schools, especially during the summers when the children were out of school. At his death, he was buried beside his wife in the Darian Cemetery, which is located within the borders of Fort Rucker.

William Iverson “Uncle Billy” and his wife, Smitha A. Whitman, reared the following children: Euphma Caladona, b.&d. 1869; Joseph B., b.&d. 1870; Emma Costell, b. 1872, d. 1913, m. 1892 James Albert Byrd; William R. “Billie,” b. 1874, d. 1950, m. 1895 Arizona Parker; James, b. 1875, d. 1885; Jessie A., b. 1877, d. 1940, single; Ula Valgene, b. 1879, d. 1882; Mattie Mae, b. 1881, d. 1957, m. 1898 John C. Harper; Gussie E., b. 1883, d. 1915, single; and Lamuel Charlie, b. 1885, d. 1969, m. 1914 Willie Ethel Adams (1893-1974).

A Thompson descendant who shared her family records for this writing is Dorothy Jean (Thompson) Roberts, a resident of Andalusia. She was the daughter of Lamuel Charlie and Willie Ethel (Adams) Thompson who lived most of their adult lives in or near Ozark. When they were married in 1914, they were residents of the Batten Crossroads community a few miles south of Enterprise. They attended the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in that area.

Lamuel Charlie Thompson and his wife, Willie Ethel (Adams), daughter of Will and Clyatt “Kitie” Lavenia (Clifton) Adams, reared the following children: Annie Mae, b. 1915, m. Emmett F. Andrews; Bernice Francis, b. 1919, m. (1) Ray Turner (2) Rafe Ward; Willie Charles (female), b. 1923, m. John Edward Chancey, Sr.; James Edwin, b. 1926, m. Betty Joiner; Dorothy Jean, b. 1930, m. James Harrell Roberts; and Harold Fred, b. 1934, m. Martha Stephens.

Additional data on Thompson genealogy is available on the family and descendants of James Lucius Thompson who resided in Covington County. To date, no relationship has been found between his family and the Thompsons of today’s writing. However, there is most likely a connection, because there were several descendants in today’s family who used the Lucius name. Since it is an uncommon name that is used in both families, there would appear to be some association.

The source for today’s writing was a book, Cain, Harper and Thompson Family History, by D. Edwin Cain, Sr., which was shared by Dorothy Jean (Thompson) Roberts. In addition, she added several personal notes of interest. Appreciation is expressed to her for her assistance.

Anyone who might have a correction to the above or additional information is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; call 334-222-6467; or e-mail at