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John Thompson

According to Clarence Almon Torrey in "The American Genealogist" Vol. XIV, #3, January, 1938, John was born Oct. 1, 1611 as the son of John Tomson of Little Preston, Northamptonshire, England.  John had one brother that is known, Thomas b. 1616. 

Thompson (Tomson); John. John Thompson, 22, departed London on Captain Roger Cooper's ship Elizabeth and Ann in May of 1635.  Thomas and Joseph Alsopp were also passengers. According to a story of Nathan Birdseye, John came to see New England, then went home to England to settle his affairs and then return here for life. Walking across the English countryside to his home, he stopped one morning at a farmhouse to have breakfast.  Revealing that he was from New England, he was pressed with questions about the new land.  "It is a goodly land," he said, "but as yet full of wild beasts and savage men, but a place where we may worship God with a true conscience." "Would God I were there!" the farmer's youngest daughter Mirable replied. She said she would gladly endure the hardship for the freedoms John talked about. Mirable had her chance.  John stayed, they came to know each other, he proposed, and they came to America as man and wife. It was about 1640 when they reached Stratford.   (In Pursuit of Paradise - Knapp)

 She had been imprisoned as a Puritan, attending Conventicle. (History of Fairfield, CT)

They settled first at Wethersfield and then moved to the area now known as Stratford, so were among the seventeen families with Reverend Adam Blakeman in 1639. 

Mirable Thompson moved across the earthen floor of the keeping room to check the little form in the cradle.  The baby was asleep.  As she adjusted the woolen blanket a shadow darkened the open door behind her, and an ear-splitting shriek rent the air. She spun around just in time to see two Indians race into the room, one with a tomahawk raised in the air.  Rushing past her, the first flung up his hands in self protection, as the other sank the tomahawk into his skull.  He fell dead across the cradle, and his killer ran out the door.
The Thompsons' first home, probably a one-room plank house with thatched roof, stood at the northwest corner of the village near the open gate to the Indian trail.  The spot is on the west side of present-day Main Street, north of Stratford Avenue.  Off to the west, on a dry ledge in the middle of a swamp, close to Lundy's Lane, was an Indian camping ground. The quarrel had started there, and the dead Indian was seeking protection from his assailant in the white man's village.   (In Pursuit of Paradise - Knapp)

As to the hallucinations and convulsions, John and Mirable Thompson were walking the Old Field one day when they came across wheat growing wild down near Fresh Pond.  They harvested nearly a peck of it and from 1651 wheat, rye, Indian corn, oats, and barley were all grown in Stratford.  From time to time, the wheat crop was infected by a fungus known as rust. The colonists didn't know it, but wheat rust does more than spoil the wheat. When ingested with the grain, it causes bellyaches and hallucinations.  It is in the same family as LSD.  The colonists were consuming bread contaminated by the rust and its relatives, and if we were to correlate bad growing years with illnesses and witchhunts we might find the cause of their misfortunes to be chemical, not spiritual. John Thompson is credited with bringing the first fruit trees to Stratford in the 1640s, and he and Mrs. Thompson are said to have found wheat growing alongside Fresh Pond and made the first wheat bread from it.  (In Pursuit of Paradise - Knapp)

Will: June 17, 1678, will written - proven January 29, 1679  'Very good estate"3
      "I John Tomson Senr inhabitent of the Towne of Stratford in the County of Fairfield in his majesties Colony of Conecticut being very weak in body under apprehension of my Change is approaching but as to my understanding being as understanding as at other times doe make this my last will and Testament as followeth.
      Imprimis I Commit my soul to my gracious God & redeemer who (?) able and faythful he keep what I have Committed unto him until the great day and my body unto a decent buriall according to ye discretion of my Realations surviving more over as for what worldly goods the lord of his goodness hath lent me I dispose of them as followeth all debts or engagements from me being first released.
      first I doe grant and bequeath unto my daughter Hurd Two Cowes.
      unto  my son in law Jonathan Curtiss I give one Cowe and six Acres of Land in the new pasture which I purchased of Capt Miner
      unto Samuell Galpin I give one Cowe and six Acres of Land in the New Pasture lying on an outside (?) which land was formerly Mr. Mitchils.
      I give unto my daughter Mary Two Cowes and six Acres of land in the New Pasture wch was Mr Mitchils.
      As for the remainder of my estate whether of lands buildings Cattle or moveables I doe give it to my Two sons John and Ambrose viz: Two thirds to my sonn John and one to my sonn Ambrose only under his engagement that  my wife shall have the use of my house during her natural life or soe much of it as shee shall see cause one of my sons to live in her house with her And that my Two sons John and Ambrose shall according to ther proportion aforesaid make full provision for ther mother during her life yt what be needful and Comfortable for her and that soe as to free her from all distractions of Trouble upon such Acounts.
      Moreover I doe appoint my dear wife Mirrable Thomson Together with my sons John & Ambrose To be the sole Executors of this my last will alsoe doe desire honnered and beloved freinds Mr Samuell Sherman Senr and Decon Timothy Wilcokson to be Assistant unto my above said Executors as need shall arise as overseers of this my last will and Testament.
      I doe declare by setting hearunto my hand & seal this 17th of July in the year of our lord 1678"

His estate was inventoried 16 August 1678:
      "The Inventory of the Estate of John Tomson Senr of Stratford in the County of Fairfield in his Majesties Collony of Connecticut being taken by us Select men this present 16th od august 1678 according to law.
      Imprimis his waring Apparle                                                           10.13.00
      bible and books                                                                                 0.12.00
      a little serge Carsy & silver & wampum                                           02.07.00
      brass vessels                                                                                     08.19.00
      Iron vessels hooks Trammels Tongs firepans                                    02.19.00
      ocamy Spoons & pewter platters 2 pots                                            04.17.00
      Tin pans                                                                                             0.02.00
      wooden ware                                                                                     02.17.00
      stone wear and earthen                                                                       0.15.00
      Table Trenchers seats & Cushings                                                     01.19.00
      bedding with furneture                                                                      50.12.00
      napkins Tablecloathes & five pillow beers                                         04.06.00
      home spun Cloath                                                                             15.16.00
      in yarn wool and flax                                                                         05.00.00
      Two Chests                                                                                        01.00.00
      wheat Rye pease Indian Corn                                                            16.06.00
      Lethar Nayles Armes & Ammunition                                                 09.17.00
      bags holland & Ginger                                                                       03.16.00
      Spinning wheels Cards                                                                        01.00.00
      a barrle of porke                                                                                 03.10.00
      sider barles and Tubs                                                                          03.00.00
      in provisions                                                                                       16.00.00
      Tallow & Candlesticks                                                                        01.06.00
      new barrls 5 hives of bees                                                                    07.10.00
      Saddle pillion pannel bridles                                                               03.00.00
      a measur a riddle & sives & smoking Iron                                            0.10.00
      Axes howes a Spade Rings & wedges                                                   01.06.00
      Clevis (?) pin & in Sheele                                                                    00.12.00
      old Iron Sieths and Sickles and such other small things and Tooles
                                                                                                                  01.04.00
      Cow bels & 2 pair of horse geers                                                          01.13.00
      Cart with the furneture plowes & other Irons
     Chayns & yoke & (?)                                                                            07.15.00
      Clapboards & boards Trucking cloath
                 a yd of Land glass Licqors                                                        08.06.00
      oxen & Cowes with ther Cattle                                                             91.00.00
      in horses in hand & in the wood                                                           17.00.00
      in Sheep                                                                                                15.00.00
      in Swine                                                                                                25.00.00
      in wheat & Rye Peas and oats in yestraw                                               32.16.00
      flax in the Stalk                                                                                     03.00.00
      Ind Corn upon the ground                                                                     12.00.00
      house & homelot & other lands Joyning therto in the North
               part of the Towne                                                                        150.00.00
      dwelling house & homelot & sider  ress viz his homstead                     140.00.00
      a parcel of land purchased of Jame Blakman                                         20.00.00
      land in the great neck                                                                           111.00 00
      land in (?) neck                                                                                      20.00.00
      land upon Cupboard Hill                                                                       20.00.00
      a barn and land in the New pastur                                                        115.00.00
      a wood devission of land                                                                        52.00.00
      a devission of Swamp land                                                                     10.00.00
      meadowland at Neesingpawes                                                                 55.00.00
      meadowland at the woodend                                                                   50.00.00
      meadowe at Galops Gapp                                                                       68.00.00
      a grindle Stone and autor Skins ome Sider & ye Cask                            01.00.00
                                                                                                                   ========
                                                                                                                   967.03.00"



Thanks to Stanley L. Thompson for sharing the will, inventory and other information related to the Thompson family!


 


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