Author Topic: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?  (Read 20042 times)

William J. Thompson

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Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« on: October 24, 2010, 03:41:04 PM »
A few years ago, (long before I discovered this website,) I was browsing some of those fake "buy your family arms" sites. I noticed that under Thompson, they usually had three varieties:
the familiar red cabossed stag's head with devices on a blue chief for Scotland;
the black-and-silver three falcons with the counter-embattled divider for England; and
the three estoils with the sun-canton for Ireland. Nice and neat. If only it was that easy!

I had done some research in a book called The Enclyclopaedia of Heraldry, or the General Armorie of England, Scotland, and Ireland. (Published 1844, available on Google Books, and quite an interesting read in its own right!)

I had found about 44 variations of Thoms listed. When I separated the varieties of matriculations out, nine were the stag's-head motif, seven were the three-falcons motif, and four were the sun-in-canton motif. True to form, the Stag's-Heads were Thomsons, and the Three-Falcons were Thompsons. Surprisingly, ten were some version of a lion passant/sajant, and a further ten were chevron-dividing-three-bits (escallops, estoils, crescents, or whatnot.) There were also some oddballs, like an eagle displayed, or a seahorse holding a flag.

Is this indicative that these are completely separate lines of Thompsons? I suspect that Lord Lyon, the Garter King of Arms, and Ulster King of Arms all do things differently. Could the Non-Stag Thompsons be borderers who fled to England and were granted English arms, and the Sun-Canton Thompsons descendants of displaced Ulsterers? Or are they completely different Sons of Thom than Thomson of That Ilk? Or were they granted arms by England a propos of no previous arms at all?

I think I understand that Lyon may grant a differenced arms to anyone of the same family name, whether or not they can prove direct lineage. Does England work on a different system; that if you can't prove lineage your arms are unique? That would certainly explain the huge variety of English Thompson arms. ...Right?

This armiger stuff is very interesting...the more I learn, the more I want to know!

--Bill.

Scott Thomson

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2010, 04:43:32 PM »
Yes you're right,

In Scotland the Lord Lyon will give differenced arms to all of that surname regardless of proven descent, I think this can to some extent be based on the notion of the clan in Scottish history, all of a same surname will be regarded as branches of a family or clan.

In England where there is no concept of clan the arms tend to be completely different for every individual regardless of surname, a shared surname is not seen an extended familial bond.

I prefer the Scottish way, after all the purpose of heraldry is to identify individuals, and if those of a common surname have similar chargeson their arms it is a lot easier to determine the identidy of a person.

Mary

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2010, 07:15:44 PM »
Good post, Bill.......and good answer, Scott!

I've seen the very different designs of arms but never had the time to quantify them. It was interesting to see Bill's data.

When we send in the application to Lyon Court, we will undoubtedly request something based on the old, original arms w/red stag.

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 01:53:47 PM »
Bill, If memory serves correctly... the three estoiles with sun in canton is actually English as well being primarily associated with Maurice Thompson known for his connections to the West African slave trade. He was merchant involved, along with several brothers, in the early settlement of Virginia. Oddly enough his father was said to have come from the North, from the area north of Carlisle. The arms with the lion passant are associated most closely with either the Lord Sherriff of London or with the Thompson family from the village of Thompson in Norfolk and Tynemouth Castle in Northumberland. Seems no matter how you look at it, it always comes back to the Borders.
Stu
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

William J. Thompson

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 09:25:52 PM »
...He was merchant involved, along with several brothers, in the early settlement of Virginia. Oddly enough his father was said to have come from the North, from the area north of Carlisle...
Well, that's interesting, Stu! There's a far-distant Thompson on my mother's side (yeah, I got 'em down both sides, apparently! ;D), Roger Thompson, who was born in Yorkshire in 1607, and came to Virginia around 1623 or so. At least, rampant ancestry-ing lead me down that path.

 Who knows what secrets the dead may tell?

--Bill

Mary

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 12:02:20 PM »
Hi Bill --

Was Roger's wife ANN?

William J. Thompson

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2010, 09:07:42 PM »
Whoa, chills....
Why, YES Mary, it seems Roger was married to Ann Thompson, b. 1605 Yorkshire! I just hope it's a real connection. It gets murky: I have Roger's great-granddaughter Esther Thompson marrying Robert Watkins Crockett, who apparently married a few times. If she wasn't the mother of John Crockett, that particular line of Thompsons may be my stepcesters.

Mary

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2011, 08:46:56 AM »
Hi Bill ---

May have found some info for you...will send by email.  A SIR Roger Thompson born in 1607 in Yorkshire and died 1675 in Virginia.... could this be your Roger?  It would be English arms, not Scottish.



Mary

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« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 09:18:51 AM by Mary »

William J. Thompson

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2011, 01:51:05 PM »
Wow! It sounds like it could be; the dates certainly line up!

I've untanged some knots in the line, and that branch of Thompsons really IS related to me. The confusion came with Esther Thompson marrying Samuel Crockett (of the Antoine De Crocketagne line! Who knew?) Some records have Esther marrying Samuel's brother, with an incomplete list of her kids, which made her look like a step-aunt. Straightened out -- it's a straight shot from my maternal grandmother to Esther (1710-1770), then right back to John Thompson (b. 1475) and Eleanor Phillips (b. 1478).

I have my Roger coming to Virginia in 1619, at age 12. Do you have Ann dying in Yorkshire in 1670?

If you have Roger's parents as Richard Thompson (1580-1650) and Anne Nelthrope (1584-1607), it's a good chance we're talking about the same guy.

Mary

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 10:00:17 PM »
Yep - those are his parents! And yes, Ann is lisetd as dying in Yorkshire in 1670 (which I thought was odd if Roger was in Virginia?)

Anyway, it sure sounds like you are descended from an English armiger!

William J. Thompson

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 01:25:18 PM »
Wow...so, Sir Roger (1607)'s parents are Sir Richard Thompson (1580) and Anne Nelthrope (1580).

Sir Richard's parents are William Thompson (1554) and Francis Elizabeth Barker (1558).

William's parents are Sir Richard Thompson (1530) and Bridget Fleming (1530).

Bridget's parents are Sir Malcolm, 3rd Lord Fleming, Baron & Lord Chamberlain of Scotland (1494), and Lady Janet Stewart (1502).

And Lady Janet's father is James IV (1472). As in "King of Scotland"...So he's my 15th great-grandfather!  :o

I wonder if Lord Lyon would grant a matriculation?  ;D


Mary

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 08:59:47 PM »
Sorry.....wrong side of the family! But what good info you've got.....your 'almost majesty!'

Here' a page on the Flemings you might find interesting:  http://www.house-empire.com/personpage.lasso?token.cardid=6729

But you might be able to get English ones:)  And you know you ARE Scottish through the female side....... What a great history to have!

Lucky you!  Sending a bit of stuff email....

Now.....you should join the society!  We do good work .......

Mary

William J. Thompson

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2011, 10:53:49 AM »
Thanks for the info! Odd that house-empire.com and ancestry.com show the Fleming link as a direct line, and the book pages you sent don't. The confusion might be that William had a son and brother both named Richard, and which Richard did Bridgett Fleming marry?

Still, what fun to be able to trace that far back! Wish I could do the same on the paternal side and see where things match up. I may have to take a trip to the Tazewell County library and do some page-flipping in the old records.

And I'm gonna join pretty soon...just have to recover from the yearly post-Christmas financial crisis first!  :o


William J. Thompson

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Re: Varieties of Thom(p)son(e) arms?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2011, 12:29:49 PM »
Yep! That was included in the house-empire.com site. That's the same line that ancestry.com shows: Bridgett marrying William's son Richard, not his brother Richard.

(Burke's History that you sent shows the Bridgett-marrying-William's-brother version.)

I hope ancestry is the right one. ;)