Author Topic: Wondering about the odds  (Read 7811 times)

uneven

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Wondering about the odds
« on: January 23, 2011, 12:18:49 AM »
My brand new 1st cousin 3 times removed has sent me a family photo from the 1920's with a key to the names. It's awesome. It's a family reunion and like all reunions there are people with many names. It also contains many Thompsons and best of all several of Levi Thompson's (1834) children including his oldest daughter Mary and son James Thompson. I can account for most of the differing names through marriage but one is giving me some trouble and I'm looking for advice or estimates on the sanity of pursuing this.

My cousin's dad says we are related to the Swindells represented in the picture by Mollie and Mae ( a mother daughter team), but the elder Thompson doesn't know how.

So I set about making a family tree for the Swindells and used Mollie (the mother Swindell in the photo) as my base. Mollie is actually Mollie Hughes (1870) (Swindell is her married name). I followed her back to Thomas and Mary Hughes both born in 1840. Both of Thomas Hughes parents come from Ireland. Mary says her parents are from North Carolina.

For kicks I put Thompson in as the last name for Mary and searched the 1850 census (where I can find no trace of Levi Thompson). There is a Mary Thompson right there in Anderson Indiana with a family of Thompsons that includes an older brother born in 1834.

But the older brother is named James not Levi and the parents list themselves as being from Virginia not North Carolina.

I've run down other paths and got much of the tree back to 1809 for the Swindells but come up empty handed on a possible link.

So here's why I like this one:
-----------------------------------
It would make Mollie Swindell the cousin to Levi's children James and Mary Thompson and would tie things up nicely.

I've questioned Levi's name for quite a while because it's been extremely hard to find Levi Thompson outside the 1860 and 1870 census and his military records. People are fast and loose with names. Mollie Swindell's name alternates between Mollie and Mary for instance.

Levi's son is named James and his oldest daughter is named Mary (both super common... I know) perhaps Levi is a James who chose Levi.

the birth dates are dead on and the town is right.


Why I don't like it:
----------------------------
I have no evidence that Levi ever went by James.

The parents of this James and Mary (1850 census) are from Virginia and Mary in 1880 says her parents are from
North Carolina.

In 1860 Levi Thompson is already married and says he was born in Indiana (like James in 1850) but by 1870 he says he was born in Pennsylvania.

I have no 1880 record to try to match up his account of his parents with Mary's.

This would tie things up a little too nicely and I've been wrong before.
Mike Thompson from Michigan..then Indiana..then Pennsylvania and further...probably somewhere there are sheep. Call me Legion for I am many.

Mary

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2011, 10:36:59 AM »
All I can say is......   slog, slog, slog........ at least you keep finding really interesting possibilities! Much better than never finding any even possible links!  I must say I wonder why Levi would change his birth state - any chance it's a different Levi in one or the other census?

uneven

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2011, 09:51:32 PM »
Thanks Mary. That's a good question.

I'm pretty sure it's him in both, because he is with the family both times and the children's names match up. Also I've had the VanBuren location verified for me as I found out my hunch on his wife being Rose A. Blades from VanBuren Indiana in 1850 is correct (got his son's death record today!).

So the census record from VanBuren 1860 lists him as born in Indiana and the census from Alexandria after the war in 1870 says Pennsylvania. In 1869 I know he is attempting to get his civil war veteran's pension because of disability which seems to have taken him to Indianapolis proper. Perhaps he was away for the census?

Later after Levi is gone from any census I can find, the 1880 census (probably done by Rosa) for the children's records say he's from Pennsylvania. When the Children live on their own, in 1900 they say X. On the death record for his son Albert in 1909 it says Indiana.

Frustratingly I cannot find him in 1880..only in 1890 in the next state in Hopewell Ohio on a Veteran's roll. By 1900 Rosa says she's a widow. I wonder now if he didn't answer the questions for the 1870 census and Rosa did it for him. She seems pretty consistent that he's from Pennsylvania.

The further I go...the deeper the mystery seems to get. Of course, by this point if I got a straight answer, I wouldn't trust it.

One thing is for sure today. He is not John L Thompson who marries Rosanna Steele because I have his wife's maiden name Blades. The madison county historical society sent me a bunch of documentation but lamented that they could not find many records before 1880 because of a courthouse fire. I imagine a lot of people have gaps in their history because of it.

mike
Mike Thompson from Michigan..then Indiana..then Pennsylvania and further...probably somewhere there are sheep. Call me Legion for I am many.

Mary

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 08:08:04 PM »
I imagine a lot of people have gaps in their history because of it.

YUP!  That's what's happened to most of our records apparently.....at least, that's what we get told!

At least nor, you know his wife's name isn't Rosaura that we were looking for before!  Finding her name is Rose Blades is a true FIND. And I think I would trust the input of a wife than an offspring on where the spouse/father was born. She probably heard a lot more 'reminiscences' than the kids did over the years.

You're actually making amazing strides compared to most.....keep slogging!  :)

I'll do some more looking around when I get a chance.

Mary

uneven

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 08:21:52 PM »
Thanks Mary. I appreciate the help and wisdom.

I seem to be pretty lucky sometimes. In this case, I was lucky there were only 8 pages in the Van Buren 1850 census. Finding Rosa/Rose/Rosanna was like hitting the jackpot. I had filled her out on a hunch in my tree (and was thinking about removing it) and days later I got confirmation of the hunch in the mail. That 1880 census where she lists her parent's birth place was invaluable in matching her up.

With finding Levi in 1890 nearly 20 years after I thought he died and Rosa in 1850 with her dad and getting in contact with living relatives, this has been a pretty action packed month!
Mike Thompson from Michigan..then Indiana..then Pennsylvania and further...probably somewhere there are sheep. Call me Legion for I am many.

Sis Thompson's oldest

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2011, 07:46:40 AM »
Greetings all Thoms!
Just got a big big bonus from my newly found cousin in Richmond Indiana! :o
She sent me over 15 years of research on our Indiana Thom(p)son line on CD.
I am beside myself!  ;D Doin' the "happy dance"!
I'm downloading it now and will keep in mind some of the Indiana Thompson names I've been seeing flit in and out here on the forum. If I see anything that looks even remotely useful to anyone here, you can bet I'll share.

OK the CD stopped.............gotta go look around.
More news later!

Your Coz,
Sherry
The bad news? There is no key to the universe. The good news? It was never locked.

Mary

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2011, 08:40:42 AM »
Why oh why can't some unknown relative drop a bundle of information on us?????!!!!!!

Congrats, Sherry!  I'll BET you were doing a happy dance! Lucky duck!

When you settle down, let us know if you run across  Francis or Franklin anywhere..........:(  We know he came over from Ireland, married Hannah and died in PA. At least 2 sons James A. and Samuel.

Are you going to Loch Norman games in April??? We've got the tent reserved and a motel room in Statesville for the duration.......I may have to stay at the motel with the dogs (depending on weather), but Tom will be there at least!


uneven

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2011, 08:10:30 PM »
What an excellent windfall! If you find a Levi, don't hesitate to post it!
Mike Thompson from Michigan..then Indiana..then Pennsylvania and further...probably somewhere there are sheep. Call me Legion for I am many.

Dusevoir

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 11:46:22 AM »
Wow, I am very happy, for both of you!  What a great feeling.  I hope your luck rubs off and I'd like to see this "happy dance".

Uneven........is there a chance we get to see this great photo?
Old Genealogists never die - they just lose their census.

uneven

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 10:47:09 PM »
It's pretty big. I should post it on my blog and link it here so I don't eat up space on the forum server. In fact I probably should post all my pictures with descriptions in case other Thompsons see someone they know.

Mike Thompson from Michigan..then Indiana..then Pennsylvania and further...probably somewhere there are sheep. Call me Legion for I am many.

uneven

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 12:55:48 AM »
Well in regards to James 1834 from Anderson Indiana being Levi. The dates and area line up, but I was just reading in a history of Madison County about the father William A. Thompson (b Virginia). He was a prominent minister in the area and his living children are listed. James Thompson is James A. Thompson. (I was hoping for a James L Thomson). No luck though. So unless he totally changed his name I don't think this James and Mary sibling pair belong to me.

I've also figured out that the Levi Thompsons from 1850 both born in 1829 are one and the same Levi Thompson and also are not my Levi Thompson. So that's a couple more down. If I eliminate every Levi Thompson in the Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania area....
Mike Thompson from Michigan..then Indiana..then Pennsylvania and further...probably somewhere there are sheep. Call me Legion for I am many.

Sis Thompson's oldest

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2011, 11:34:11 AM »
Greetings All Thom(p)son Cousins!

Mary, I most definitely, positively, absolutely WILL be at the Loch Norman games! I'll bring my man along if he can get time off. But you can bet your haggis, this Scottish, Irish, English (with a drop of Dutch thrown in for good measure) lass will be there. :D

Wow 15 years of research is alot of stuff! :o
So here we go with some of the names I've found on my cousin's CD and the earliest year the name shows up. If you recognize a name let me know and I'll give you what info I have. It might not be much but it could be a missing link.........so to speak. ;D

Abshire - 1700
Baird - 1600
Baynes - 1890 to 1950s
Beasley - 1790 to 1890s
Bell - 1890 to 1990s
BERRY (I've seen this name on the forum) 1920 to 2009
Bowen - 1700 to 1900s and beyond  My 3rd greatgrandfather's wife's family.
Boyd - 1900s
Chamness - 1700 to 1800s
Chenowith - 1870 to 1950s
Cooper, Creech, Cox (1700s my grandmother's family)
Douglas - 1400
Fraser - 1200
Frazier - 1800s
Gordon - 1400
Hale - 1700
Harris - 1700 to 1800s
Hinshaw - 1700
Hunt - 1700
Kieth - 1400
Starbuck, Simmons, Stephenson (3rd great grandmother's second husband)
Yount, Young, York (great great grandmother's second husband)
The names above in bold are almost a direct blood link back to my Thompson's. 

And here are the Thompson's, first name and middle name or  initial with approx birth year.
Abraham Lincoln - 1861
Charles Edward - 1924
Garnett Eufhena - 1889
Garnette Ruby - 1909
Garnette Marilyn - 1927
James Fredrick - 1901
Lula Merl - 1877
Nancy V. - 1857
Oscar H. - 1873
Walter John - 1905
William Howard - 1923
Wilson E. - 1876
Frances Earl - 1882
Frank Benjamin - 1903

And this is just a smattering of what I have. Like I said .....WOW  :o
Enjoy!
Your Coz,
Sherry
The bad news? There is no key to the universe. The good news? It was never locked.

Sis Thompson's oldest

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2011, 11:47:59 AM »
Uneven,
Sorry no Levi......................yet.
I've only scratched the surface of what I have here. So, who knows Levi may show up yet!

Mary,
There is a Frances Earl and a Frank Benjamin, both Thompsons. Let me know if they sound like yours. I'll look up more on them next week. AND Yet another score in the data my cousin sent. A picture of my gggrandfather at 27yrs old in his Union uniform with pistol. (Can you say Gettysburg?) Along with the roll call and muster docs. Makes it real ya know?

Dusevoir,
Ah yes, the "Happy Dance". It sounds better than it looks, unless there is "uisge-beatha" involved. Then I'm not to be held accountable...... I'm just sayin' :o

That's it for now,
Sherry
The bad news? There is no key to the universe. The good news? It was never locked.

uneven

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2011, 12:50:05 PM »
Thanks for looking Sherry. My new cousin from Indiana sent an email yesterday saying he got to 1450. I was pretty flabbergasted. I wanted to get to like 1790..but 1450? HOLY CRAP!

Well it turned out he was following a different family line than the Thompsons. It's pretty exciting, of course. It's nice to get those answers no matter what family you're following.

Back to the mire.
Mike Thompson from Michigan..then Indiana..then Pennsylvania and further...probably somewhere there are sheep. Call me Legion for I am many.

uneven

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Re: Wondering about the odds
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2011, 02:55:57 PM »
Here is a posting for that Thompson family picture Dusevoir. It is taken in front of the Clifford's house. It contains my grandfather sitting on my great great grandmother's lap and right next to him Mary Thompson, Levi Thompson's oldest daughter. They all look pretty mean, but I think that was the style of the day.

http://thompsonhunt.blogspot.com/2011/02/thompson-photo-1927.html
Mike Thompson from Michigan..then Indiana..then Pennsylvania and further...probably somewhere there are sheep. Call me Legion for I am many.