Author Topic: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan  (Read 7401 times)

Allan Thomson

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Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« on: January 10, 2010, 12:57:28 PM »
Why do almost all Thomson arms have the image of the Stags head?

I don’t think we will ever know why the early armigers decided to use a stags head as a symbol but the reason so many have such similar imagery can be explained using a quote from “Simple Heraldry Cheerfully Illustrated” By Iain Moncreiffe & Don Pottinger (1978):

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Having the same surname does not entitle a man to use another’s arms.

If he can prove a blood relationship he is entitled to a differenced version of those arms.  Buit he may be unable to prove it – or may not be related at all, in which case he has no right whatever to any form of those arms.  

In England, therefore, unrelated families who happen to share the same surname are usually given utterly dissimilar plain coats of arms.

BUT in clannish Scotland, where plain arms are the mark of a Chief, there can be only one Chief of any surname – and so any man who bears (or takes) that surname comes beneath the Chiefs banner.  He is therefore only granted arms which allude in some way to those of his Chief.  

But such coats are quite unlike the systematically differenced coats of proved branches of the Chiefs house.

While most of the THOM(P)SON arms share the stags head symbol there is probably no common blood relation between most of the armigers.   However its clear from the similarities between some of the arms that there is probably a family connection between some of the armigers.

In particular there are a number of armorial groups or distinct families within the general population of Thomson armigers and I think these merit some particular mention and perhaps future study.  I hope to list some of these within this thread....

Allan Thomson


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« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 12:19:41 AM by Allan Thomson »

Allan Thomson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2010, 01:02:29 PM »
THOMSON FAMILY GROUP ONE

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1672 - THOMSON OF FAIRLIEHOPE (Arms) -Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper on a chief wavy Gules a crescent between two mullets of the first.

1678 -  Andrew THOMSON Advocate, Aberdeen (Arms) Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper on a chief wavy Gules a lozenge between two mullets of the first.

1735 - Andrew THOMSON Merchant, Aberdeen (Arms) Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper on a chief wavy Gules a lozenge between two mullets of the first.

1756 - THOMPSON OF BANCHORY (Arms) Argent a stag’s head cabossed proper attired Gules on a chief wavy of the second a lozenge between two mullets of the first.

We know from the Lyon Register that William Thomson of Fairliehope and Andrew Thomson (Advocate) were brothers.   Andrew Thomson (Merchant) appears to have registered the undifferenced arms of his predecessor which suggests direct descent (son or grandson etc). Thomson of Banchory is almost certainly of the same family as the only real difference in that Coat is the change in colour of the stags antlers.

There are one or two other arms of a similar design and these may represent other members of this armorial Thomson group...

Allan Thomson


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« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 01:45:06 PM by Allan Thomson »

Allan Thomson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 01:14:16 PM »
THOMSON FAMILY GROUP TWO

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1672 - THOMSON OF COCKLOW & THOMSON OF MAINS share the same arms (Arms ) Parted per pale Argent and Gules a stag’s head cabossed and attired with ten tynes counterchanged on a chief wavy Azure a cross crosslet fitchée Or between two spur-revels of the first.

1672 - THOMSON OF FAUCHFIELD (Arms) Parted per pale Argent and Gules a stag’s head cabossed and attired with ten tynes counterchanged on a chief Azure a cross crosslet fitchée Or between a spur-revel and a crescent of the first.

1811 - THOMSON OF WESTERBOGIE (Arms) Parted per pale Argent and Gules a stag’s head cabossed and attired with ten tynes within a bordure engrailed all counter-changed on a chief Azure a cross crosslet fitchée Or between two spur-revels of the first.

Comprising Thomson of Cocklow, Thomson of Mayns, Thomson of Fauchfield and Thomson of Wester Bogie.  This family are from the North East of Scotland.  

Allan Thomson


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« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 01:34:43 PM by Allan Thomson »

Allan Thomson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2010, 01:19:06 PM »
THOMSON FAMILY GROUP 3

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1923 - Theodore Radford THOMSON [Arms] Potent Argent and Azure on a bend  Sable a mullet between two stags' heads cabossed Or Recorded – Registered 23 March 1923 (25/63)

1923 - Charles Sheldon THOMSON & Alice Emily THOMSON or WILSON [Arms]Potent Argent and Azure on a bend Sable two stags' heads cabossed Or – Registered 10 December 1923 (26/15)

1924 – Rev Clements Reynolds THOMSON [Arms] Potent Argent and Azure on a bend engrailed Sable two stags' heads cabossed Or – Registered 2 April 1924 26/28

1958 - Theodore Radford THOMSON OF CORSTORPHINE Potent Argent and Azure on a bend Sable a mullet between two stags' heads cabossed Or accompanied by a bugle horn Sable stringed Gules in sinister chief. – Registered 28 March 1958 42/139

1965 - Bernard St Clair THOMSON Potent Argent and Azure a bend Sable charged with a mullet accompanied by two stags' heads cabossed Or between two hunting horns stringed all Gules one in sinister chief and the other in dexter base. – Registered  12 August 1965 49/28

This family group share arms that are quite dissimilar to the usual Thomson coat of arms.  The stags head is still present but appears in the bend (the diagonal line) on the shield.   I would be amazed if these arms were not still in use by some of the descendants of this family.  

Allan Thomson



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« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 01:54:06 PM by Allan Thomson »

Lin and Malia Thompson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 02:52:59 PM »
I'm very new to the study of heraldry and could use some help.  This is the description of a coat of arms found in a family genealogy-
The Arms:  A stag's head, cabossed, affronted, gu.  Cross-crosslet, fitched, on a agure, engrailed chief, between two spur rowels.
The Crest:  A dexter, embowed arm in armor, the hand ppr. holding a cross-crosslet, fitched, -all gu.
The Motto:  Honestie is the best policie."  Excerpt from document entitled "Thomson Genealogy and History.  Historical Society of Montgomery County, PA , stamped #8232.

We thought the attached image, attributed to John Thomson on  http://www.baronage.co.uk/2002d/thomson.html best matched the description above but would like the opinion of someone with knowledge greater than our own.  Any feedback would be appreciated.

Lin and Malia Thompson
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 02:56:40 PM by Lin and Malia Thompson »

Allan Thomson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 03:11:47 PM »
Hello,

The arms you describe appear to closely describe the arms of John THOMSON Secretary to the Board of Excise "Argent (silver) a stag’s head cabossed (facing forward and neckless) Gules (Red) on a chief (compartment at the top of shield) engrailed Azure (blue) a cross crosslet fitchée (a cross with the upper limbs of the cross also crossed) Or (Gold) between two spur-revels (Stars with holes in centre) of the field (silver)." found in Sir James Balfour Paul’s Scottish Ordinary registered in 1781.

I would be very happy if you could prove a genealogical link to this individual as they represent one of the earlier Thomson grants of arms.  I have noted in another thread that there are probably family links between some of the earlier armigers and I think this probably applies to John whose arms share similarities with some others of that time period.

Allan Thomson

 

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« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 02:14:05 PM by Allan Thomson »

Lin and Malia Thompson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 03:38:49 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply. The earliest ancestor my husband can trace and document is Archibald Thompson 1678-1746.  The only hint we have going further back is this excerpt quoted in a Montgomery, PA Historical Society document.

 "Among the writings of one of the descendants is a description of the old ancestral home of Robert Curry Thomson at Changewater, N.J.  It says, "A stag's head, with the antlers always hung in the hall, and I have a faded remembrance of being told when a child that it represented a special connection with the Thomson name.  I have since learned that it must have represented a part of the Thomson Arms."  These writings also state that the following was taken from a genealogy of the family compiled by Edward Sharp Thomson of Port Colden, N.J.  This genealogy has not been found.
The Arms:  A stag's head, cabossed, affronted, gu.  Cross-crosslet, fitched, on a agure, engrailed chief, between two spur rowels.
The Crest:  A dexter, embowed arm in armor, the hand ppr. holding a cross-crosslet, fitched, -all gu.
The Motto:  Honestie is the best policie."  
Excerpt from document entitled "Thomson Genealogy and History".  Historical Society of Montgomery County, PA , stamped #8232.

Thanks for your help.  We really appreciate it.  

Do you know of any place John Thomson's genealogy would be posted?

Malia  

Allan Thomson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 03:54:21 PM »
I think you are doing very well if you can get back as far as 1678.  I have only managed circa 1790 for my own Thomson family.

I have not found much detail on John Thomson yet but I will be looking into this in the future.  I will post anything I find on this forum.

Allan Thomson


Lin and Malia Thompson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 07:57:34 PM »
Thanks Allan.  We were very lucky.  Google Books digitalized two books that I found this summer.  One was a book of historical sketches that included the history of an inn in Norriton, PA that the family built on land Archibald Thomson bought.  The other book had a whole chapter on one of Archibald's great-grand daughters-in-laws, Elizabeth Stroud, who lived to be 102 outlining her posterity down to my father-in-law's grandparents.  I really appreciate Google Books. 

Lin and Malia Thompson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2010, 07:31:42 PM »
I noticed nobody posted this version of the Thompson Coat of Arms yet.  It belonged to another John Thomson.  I think it best matches the description I posted earlier.  What do you guys think?  Thanks for all the help by the way.  Sure do appreciate it.

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Forum_mgr

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2010, 08:32:43 PM »
Actually, it's posted along with the other Thom(p)son arms on the main website. This particular on is on  http://clanthompson.org/arms2.html

Just in case you want to look at the others -   :)

F.M.

Lin and Malia Thompson

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Re: Thomson armigers - 'Families' within the Clan
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2010, 07:44:47 AM »
Awesome!  I looked there and must have missed it.  I say stars but no spurs.  Thanks!