John "Theophilus" Thompson (c.1710 - 1757) MP

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Birthplace: Tyrone, Ireland
Death: Died in Barbados
Cause of death: Ship "Ranger" sunk by pirates
Managed by: DLD
Last Updated:

About John "Theophilus" Thompson

The Thompsons were of Scots-Irish and Native American Heritage (Chickasaw-Choctaw). The original Thompson Progenitor of American Thompsons was John Thompson, a seaman who owned his own ship, "Ranger". He died at sea in the Carribean, near Barbados, at the hands of pirates who had captured his ship. The family is said to go back to the 1400's in Scotland using the Thompson name and were thought to be of Danish origin rather than Celtic. (1)

Note: A number of internet sites and eastern Thompson family members state that John's name was Theophilus and that he was English. However, the Emerett Nicholson Papers and the book the Sharp, Nicholson and Thompson families of East Texas, both state he was an Irish seaman (LDS film 1,698,001) All land records list him only as John and not as Theophilus.

He did have a son named Theophilus and this may have been his middle name, or a nick name, but not the name he used on any official papers. This is one reason that those pursuing Theophilus Thompson can go no further back than him.

As to his English origins, all papers related to him including some census records of family members state Scot or Irish ancestry. As a merchant seaman married to an English woman he probably was in England rather often, but clearly from the family bible of his son Daniel, which was purchased in Scotland, this line of Thompson's is Scottish from Argyll via Ulster, Ireland.

John originally settled in Albermarle County, Virginia before moving to Norfolk County, Virginia. From there he took his family to Nash County, North Carolina and then into Robeson County, North Carolina. He was a merchant seaman, owning a ship called the Ranger that he sailed from Bristol, England, to Norfolk and then to the Bahamas and Barbados. His ship was captured and he was killed by pirates near Barbados in 1757.

Lumbee Indian tradition states he one of the primary progenitors of the Thompson's of the Lumbee (Cheraw) tribe. There are also a number of the Thompson family in Barbados today where it is also believed he had a wife or concubine. All of his proven descendants, however, are through his wife Alsey Butt.

There is also the line claimed through a Nepsy with two children Reuben and Nancy. However Reubens date of birth would indicate he was a grandchild rather than a child as Rueben was born 8 years after John's death. I am including him under what some have listed as his older sister through Nepsy for data purposes. More research will have to be completed before a positive link is accomplished. The possibility of Nancy's being Rueben's mother would make more sense. Nancy married a James Thompson, but I cannot determine who this is. The dates are wrong for it to be her first cousin James, who is Matthew's son. JCT 1/23/00 (2)

Links

  1.  http://www.genpage.com/htlewis.html
  2.  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~benonie/jcthom04.htm
  3.  http://trees.ancestry.com/owt/person.aspx?pid=14256792
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John Theophilus Thompson's Timeline

1710
1710
Tyrone, Ireland
1738
September 10, 1738
Age 28
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
1740
1740
Age 30
1742
1742
Age 32
1745
March 1, 1745
Age 35
Nash, North Carolina, United States
1747
1747
Age 37
Robeson, North Carolina
1748
1748
Age 38
Nash, North Carolina, United States
1751
October 31, 1751
Age 41
Robeson, North Carolina, United States
1755
1755
Age 45
Robeson, North Carolina, United States
1756
1756
Age 46
Robeson, North Carolina, United States