Brief History of James Thompson
FIRST, James of Lincoln has some history recorded in the genealogical
societies of Lincoln and Garrard Counties calling him the nephew of Isaac
Shelby and also the grandson of James Patton of Augusta Co. Virginia.
He is neither of these. James of Henrico Co. Va. married and remained
and is buried there. Capt. James Thompson, son of William and
grandson of James Patton is buried in Burkes Garden Va. Both of the
above James Thompsons were active in the counties in which they lived while
James of Lincoln and Garrard was active in Kentucky Co. Va. and later Lincoln
Co. Va. On the tithable records of Va., 1782-1787 James, the surveyor,
is the only James Thompson listed in Lincoln Co.
After several years of research I have determined that James of Lincoln
was from the northern neck of Virginia. He is very close to the families
of Thomas Marshall, Capt. Joseph Smith, Capt. James Peyton, Burdetts, Kempers,
Peppers, Obannons and other families of early Prince William and Fauquier
Co. Va. The people in this area of Virginia were nearly all of the
Baptist faith before entering Kentucky. Now on to the research that
I have done on James of Lincoln, Madison, Mercer and Garrard.
He showed up on surveys done for the May brothers of Kentucky Co. Va. in
1779 and 1780 and presented his commission from the College of William
and Mary being recommended by Col. William Preston, Surveyor General,
and took the oath as the surveyor of Lincoln Co. Va. November 1, 1780,
entering into a bond of 25,000 pounds with John and George May. He
actually became the surveyor January 17,1781 according to court records.
According to Collins History of Ky. Few people realized the dangers
of being a surveyor in this territory at this time and that it was the
best paying job awarded. They were usually paid by part of the land
which they surveyed. I will list the treasury warrants that I have
for him given by Patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph and Benjamin Harrison
from Virginia. He was also given warrants from the State of Kentucky
after 1792 and paid taxes in 1797 on 38,863 acres in six different counties
Some of James Thompson's accomplishments in Kentucky. He was awarded
a 400 acre preemption for being a pioneer into Kentucky. He was on
the first list as being a member of the first families of Boonsborough
Fort. He was a justice on the first court at Harrodstown when
it was convened. He was a justice when Madison County was formed
from Lincoln and he lived near the line on Sugar Creek on August 22,1786.
Garrard County was formed from Lincoln,Madison and Mercer.
He was then living near the Forks of Dicks River and became a state representative
for Garrard in 1803 and a senator from 1804 through 1806. He was
also appointed as the Lincoln County Surveyor again in 1792 by Govenor
Isaac Shelby. Two of the earlier surveyors who worked for him in
Lincoln Co. were Daniel Boone and Green Clay.
He also served with the Lincoln County Militia several times being the
team horse wagonmaster and supplying horses. 471/4 days with Lieut.
Samuel McAfee July 6th to Aug. 20th 1780. The payroll certified by
John Bowman, County Lieut. For Kentucky County Virginia and commanded by
Col. George Rogers Clark. 13 days with Captain John Martin under
Benjamin Logan,County Lieut. Who certified the payroll to remove salt and
powder to Lincoln Co. from Salt River at the Falls of Ohio. Also
paid for a horse for this trip in April and May 1782. 6 days
with Capt. Samuel Kirkham Co. of Lincoln Co. Militia under the command
of Col. Benjamin Logan to fight at the battle of Bleu Licks but arriving
after the fight only buried the dead. August 19th,1782. Team horse
There is a letter in the Draper Manuscripts from James Thompson, Surveyor
of Lincoln to William Preston stating that he had stayed with Col. John
Floyd, Jefferson County Lieut. after being at the Falls of Ohio.
He thanks William Preston for giving him the Surveyor job and states that
Col Floyd,a stranger to him, took him in until he recovered and could return
to Lincoln. This letter was written June 2, 1781 so the recovery must have
been after the July-August trip with Clark. He stated that he was
destitute at the time.
This is another reason for disproving the relationship of James of Lincoln
to James Patton. William Preston was a relative of James
Thompson of Augusta(later Washington) and John Floyd was William Prestons
son in law. James of Lincoln said that he was a stranger to him.
He also states in a P.S. in this letter that he had received a letter from
I have two certificates that verify that he surveyed two different tracts
of land that were granted to George Rogers Clark for leading the fight
into the Illinois Territory. They total 74,000 acres but he most
probably surveyed the whole 150,000 acre grant in southwestern Ky.
On April 10, 1784 he married Ruthie Peyton, Daughter of Capt. James
Peyton and Susannah Threlkeld in Nelson Co. Va.(KY) Capt
Peyton had received a 2000 acre grant for serving in the revolution
and later received a grant for 400 acres for being a pioneer into Ky.
James and Ruthie Thompson had the following children, Andrew Peyton
Thompson who marrried Elizabeth(Betsy) Pepper in Mason County, Ky,
Margeraet Thompson who married Enoch Burdett , Susannah Thompson who married
William Obannon, Mary Thompson 1 who died at about one year, Mary Thompson
11 who married Daniel Obannon, Elizabeth(Betsy) Thompson who marrried Granville
Pollard, Anne Thompson who married John Banks Pollard, James Thompson
Jr. who lived only about ten months, Jemima Thompson, who married Burdette
Kemper, and Thornton Kemper Thompson who married first Wilhemina Routt,
second Lucretia Jeffries, Third,Susan Letcher, fourth, Mary Berry, and
lastly in Noxubee Mississippi, Mary E. Thompson.
As I stated before, James Thompson of Lincoln was a staunch Baptist
before coming into Ky. He gave the land for the Sugar Creek Meeting
House and was instumental in forming the Forks of Dix Baptist Church on
Rt 27 North of Lancaster in 1782. He was born circa 1755 in northern
Va. and died April 6 1825 in Garrard Co. Ky. He is buried in the
Forks Baptist Church Cemetery on Rt. 27. Along with several of his close
Land Warrants will
be on another page.
Submitted and compiled
by Harold W. Rarden, Rt 2 Box
40F, Wallingford, Kentucky 41093