NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
The family of Thomson or Thompson, is one of the most ancient and most numberous of any in Scotland. From the origin of the name, son of Thomas, it is evident that there are many unrelated families bearing the surname. The leading and most ancient families of this surname in Scotland appear very early in Dumfries and Foxburgshire. Lieutenant Henry Thompson was at Newtownlimady county, Londonderry, Ulster, Ireland, during the war in 1689, and had probably been settled there for some years. Other Scottish immigrants of the Thompson families probably came to the north of Ireland, for we find this family one of the most numerous of the Scotch-Irish in Ulster even to the present (1910) day. In 1790 there were 239 births in Thompson families in counties Antrim, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh and Londonderry - all Scottish districts, in Ireland.
(I) John Thompson, immigrant ancestor of this family, was of Londonderry county, Ireland. He came, when a young man, to this country and settled on what was then the frontier in Indiana. He was born about 1770, and married about 1795, Lettice ____. Late in life he removed to Iowa, before it was admitted to the Union, and settled at Dodgeville, some thirteen miles from Burlington. He died and is buried in a country cemetery near Dodgeville. He was a sturdy pioneer, of great industry, fond of horses, and fearless and venturesome. When he was over seventy years he would ride his horse across the prairie like a reckless boy, at full speed.
(II) Robert, third son of John Thompson, was born June 6, 1797, in Rush county, Indiana. He grew up on his father's farm and had a meagre education in the district schools, but he was a student and made the most of his opportunities. He was elected county clerk of Rush county, Indiana, and held that office for twenty-one years. He removed with his father's family to a farm near Dodgeville, Iowa, where he followed farming the rest of his life, and died May 16, 1846.
He was gifted with a good voice and was well versed in music, and for many years led the singing in the Baptist church.
He married, Aug. 13, 1818, Susan Sailors, Rev. William Tyner officiating. She was a native of Kentucky. Her family removed to Indiana. She died May 14, 1846, two days before her husband, and both are buried in the cemetery near Dodgeville, where his father was buried.
David M., died Nov. 9, 1879, at Albany, Oregon.
Dr. Lewis S., born 1826; mentioned below.
John, died May 29, 1904.
Lettice T., died Dec. 22, 1904; married (second) Robert Williams.
Rachel, died 1905, in Washington state, married John Clymer.
Margaret T., married William Clymer; died Nov. 10, 1907 in Jefferson, Oregon.
(III) Lewis S. Thompson, M.D., son of Robert Thompson, was born in Rushville, Indiana in 1826, and died at Dundee, New York, Feb. 20, 1890. He attended the public schools in his youth, and Ashbury University, Indiana. He studied medicine under Dr. Ransome, of Burlington, Iowa, and began to practice in Nauvoo, Illinois, but soon afterward went to the Pacific coast, in 1849, at the time of the gold fever. After a few years he returned to New York state. In the civil war he enlisted in the Union army and was surgeon in the service in California; was a surgeon for four years at Fort Baker, and was in Oregon for a time. He returned east and resumed the practice of medicine in Washington, D.C., where he removed during the next ten years. He conducted a real estate business there and also owned a drug store. Thence he went to Goldendale, state of Washington, and for the next two years had a drug store there. Afterward he was in Texas and Arkansas, engaged in the drug business and in raising cattle until the time of his death. He died on a visit in New York.
In politics he was a staunch Republican, and was a delegate from Oregon to the Republican national convention that nomiated Abraham Lincoln for president in 1860. He was a member of the legislature of Oregon for a time, and being the only Republican in that body he enjoyed the privileges and duties of the entire minority. He was a member of the local lodge of Odd Fellows, and in his younger days belonged to the Baptist church.
He married, May 1, 1861, Almira Bliven, born at Ithaca, N.Y. in 1833, daughter of John E. Bliven. He is now (1910) living wih her son, Dr. J. M. Thompson.
Emma, born in Jacksonville, Oregon, lives with Jeremiah M. Thompson, her brother, at Potsdam.
Jeremiah McKay, mentioned below.
Robert G., born in Washington, D.C., dentist, practicing in West Virginia.
Lewis S., born in Dundee, N.Y., druggist at Penn Yan, N.Y., married Rena Clough.
(IV) Jeremiah McKay, son of Dr. Lewis S. Thompson, was born in Dundee, N.Y., in 1867. He was educated in the public schools of his native town and at Colgate Academy, from which he was graduated in the class of 1884. He began to teach in the grammar school at Dundee, but afterward entered Colgate University and graduated in 1898. From 1898 to 1901 he was principal of the Dundee high school, and from 1901 to 1906 was superintendent of schools at Penn Yan, N.Y. In 1906 he became special lecturer in the department of Farmers' Institutes of the State Educational Department at Albany. He was also appointed inspector of departments. In 1907 he was appointed to the department of Teachers' Institutes, a position he filled with ability until July 1, 1909, when he was elected principal of the State Normal School at Potsdam. Since then he has mad ehis home in Potsdam.
He is a member of various college fraternities; of Dundee Lodge of Free Masons, No. 120, of Dundee, and of the Presbyterian church.
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