Spouse Trees and Close Cousins

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Spouses 1700-1900 Spouses after 1900 Close Cousins Site Host

This page is dedicated to the family trees of the spouses of Morrisons, and to other close cousins.

Spouse Trees 1700 - 1850

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Henry Montgomery Keith Reed
Benson Murphy Hold Hold

This section will highlight the spouses of Morrison during the early years after immigration. We still do not know the maiden name of Robert Morrison who emigrated in 1740, but we believe clues point to the Henry (Hendrey) family.

Sarah Montgomery 1728 - 1817

William Morrison married Sarah Montgomery in 1748 in Middleborough, MA. Together they had five boys (William, Robert, Alexander, John and James) who moved to other states between 1798 and 1805. Their genealogy is the subject of the Strowbridge, Morrison book which makes up the majority of this site.

Sarah later married William Strowbridge, Jr. after William died during the French War in 1758. She was buried in Thompson Hill Cemetery, just south of Middleborough on October 3, 1817. From this tombstone, we know that she was born in 1728. This is where the mystery begins.

The Strowbridge book leaves many questions unanswered as to the origin of Sarah Montgomery. What appears certain is that she was related to "Elder" John Montgomery, who married Mary Strowbridge in 1735. They are buried close to each other, and their spouses were Strowbridges.

A conclusion that appears correct is that John Montgomery came to Boston in 1718 with William Strowbridge. This is in the record "Bolton, Charles Knowles; Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America." Page 156. There were no other Montgomeries listed on the ship, so the tradition that John came with his guardian William Strowbridge appears logical.

Then where are John's parents, if still alive? He was born in 1708 in Scotland, and Sarah in 1728. Tradition is that they were brother and sister, but there is too much information missing. Could she be his daughter out of wedlock? John was 20 at the time of her birth.

Another Montgomery genealogy on the web shows a Sarah Montgomery born in 1728 in Hopkinton, MA. She was the daughter of a John Montgomery born 1703, who was the son of William Montgomery and Mary Aiken. However, this John Montgomery married a Sarah Harper in 1728. There does not appear to be a connection to the Sarah Montgomery from Middleborough.

Another interesting thread on Sarah comes in the History of Farmington, Maine on the Morrison family who moved there from Middleborough. This history says that Sarah was a sister of the famous General Richard Montgomery, who fell at Quebec in 1775. This is also doubtful, as Richard Montgomery was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1736. His father was Thomas Montgomery, and there is no evidence of a daughter.

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Hannah Benson 1752 - 1825

Hannah Benson was born January 7, 1752, the daughter of Joshua Benson and Sarah Shutleff. This family has been traced back four generations to a John Binson, born 1582 in Caversham, Oxfordshire, England. There is some difference in the date of birth of Hannah, as the Benson family tree lists her birth in the year 1755.

Hannah married William Morrison on May 8, 1773 in Middleboro, MA. He was the son of William and Sarah (Montgomery) Morrison. Their children were all born in Middleboro, and in 1805 the family moved to Farmington, Maine. (See the History of Farmington in the Sourcebook section). The William Morrison homestead is believed still to exist and is pictured here as Farmington Back Lot #49.

View William Morrison Homestead

Another discrepancy exists at the cemetery transcription of Webster Cemetery in Farmington, Maine. This indicates Hannah died at age 79, but this could be nothing more than an error in reading the gravestone. Age 79 could easily be age 73 on a worn gravestone, and then this would agree with the Strowbridge book.

Webster Cemetery, Farmington, Maine

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The Keith Family
Mary (Polly) Keith Morrison 1780 - 1857

Dunnottar Castle - Scotland

Stronghold of the Keith family. Built in the the 14th century by Sir Robert Keith, the first hereditary Great Marichal of King Robert the Bruce. Sir Robert de Keith commanded Robert the Bruce's cavalry in the epic battle of Bannockburn in 1314, where the Scots soundly defeated the English. The Keiths stayed in Dunnottar off and on for over 450 years.

A famous story concerns the hiding of the "Honors of Scotland" in the castle from Oliver Cromwell's armies. The honors were a strong remaining symbol of the monarchy, and Cromwell wanted them destroyed. While the castle was under siege, they were secretly carried out under the noses of the besiegers. Some versions say it was hidden under a ladies skirt, others say they were buried in the weeds in the dark of night. They currently are on display at Edinburgh castle.

Morrison-Keith Genealogy

Robert Morrison, son of William Morrison and Sarah Montgomery, married Polly (Mary) Keith in Bridgewater, MA in June of 1780. The first clue we had was the epitaph on the headstone of John Keith Morrison's brother Joseph, which read "Beloved son of Robert and Mary". Of course, the Strowbridge book confirmed all of this. Robert and Mary had eleven children.

It is through Mary Keith that we can trace our Morrison family back to Francis Cooke of Mayflower fame. See the note from Larry Keith, who is the custodian of "The Keith Book". Joseph Keith was the ggg grandson of Francis Cooke.

This is what I have [including notes]:

Joseph KEITH (b. ca 1732) was known as Joseph “the 3rd”; m. 31 May 1759 to Chloe, daughter of Samuel PACKARD, Bridgewater; lived in Middleboro; d. 1814. DAR.
A) Aberdeen (b. 21 Feb 1760) d. 1778.
B) Keziah (b. 1 Feb 1762) died an infant.
C) Lurania (b. 15 Oct 1763) m. ca 1784 to Josiah LEONARD. D) John (b. 17 Oct 1765) d. 12 Nov 1809.
E) Timothy (b. 13 Jul 1767) m. ca 1789 to Miriam HUNT.
F) Joseph (b. 15 Jul 1769)
G) Martin (b. 22 Jul 1771) m. 1791 to Hope STURTEVANT; in Middleboro, MA, 1850.
H) Adam (b. ca 1772) m. 6 Sep 1795 to Sally , Middleboro, MA had
Joseph (b.10 Oct 1796),
Harriet (b. 7 May 1799, Middleboro, MA).
[A Joseph W. KEITH (b. ca 1797) m. Harriet and is listed in Plymouth Co., MA; a sailor, as is Philonda (b. 1801)]
I) Chloe (b. ca 1774) m. 1 Jan 1795 to Elijah Augustus HALL.
J) Arbela (b. 20 Feb 1775) m. 13 Mar 1794 to Simeon WILBUR, Middleboro; d. 6 Sep 1857, Raynham, Bristol Co., MA; bur Pleasant Street Cemetery.
[Children are discussed in "The Wildboars in America", NEH&GS, 1907] among children was
William Fales.
K) Desire (b. ca 1776) m. 7 Feb 1796 to Isaac TINKHAM, Jr, Middleboro.
[Linda Dufek, GenForum, 7/99; says she was b. 13 Jan 1779; d. 13 Nov 1832, Batavia, Genesee Co., NY.]
L) Polly (b. 1777) m. Robert MORRISON; moved to Farmington, ME ca 1810.
[Jim Morrison, jeddyveronica@aol.com, reports children as
William (b. 1799), Lucius (b. 1803), Robert (b. 1808), John Keith (b. 1809), and Hiram (b. 1811)]
M) Deborah (b. 1782) d. 1810.


The Keith Clan Family web site

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Charlotte Brown Reed 1812 - 1877

Charlotte Brown Reed married John Keith Morrison in 1832. They had nine children. John Henry Morrison was born in 1835 and later settled in St. Louis. Anson Reed Morrison was born in 1839, three years after Charlotte's brother by the name of Anson Reed died.

A personal genealogy was completed before 1950 of the Reed family. A four page discussion of the tree can be read here.
View Reed Genealogy Discussion

In addition, eight family trees were prepared as follows:
Daniel Reed born 1704 (Reed, Bickwald, Shaw, Randall)
Charlotte Reed born 1812 (Reed, Torrey, Turner, Blanchard, Brown, Emery, Norton)
Woodbridge Brown born 1714 (Brown, Savage, Rogers, Governor Dudley, Hubbard)
Captain John Norton born 1680 (Norton, Downing, Mason, Parker, Winthrop)
Ann Emery born 1716 (Emery, Webster, Sawyer)
Jacob Turner born 1693 (Turner, Vininy)
Jonathon Torrey born 1711 (Torrey, Frye, Hatch)
Thomas Blanchard born 1720 (Blanchard, Bates)

The Reed tree to Woodbridge Brown shows the connection to Governor Dudley who is traced back to English royalty by many.

To view these trees, click on this link:
View Reed Family Trees

The above genealogies may well have been sourced from a publication in 1901 by John Ludovicus Reed called, "The Reed Genealogy - Descendants of William Reade of Weymouth, Massachusetts". This book of 760 pages is a landmark for the Reed families, and is available in many genealogy libraries. The following links to specific pages of this book discuss the emigration of William to Boston in 1635 and seven generations to Charlotte (Reed) Morrison, born in 1812. In addition, the wills of Daniel Reed and his son are also in this selection.
View Selected pages from "The Reed Genealogy"

There is another source of history and genealogy on this family called "The Reade Record". This was published from 1900 to 1930 by the Reade Historical and Genealogical Association of Boston, MA. This group continued the research on these families, and uncovered errors in the genealogy book of John Ludovicus Reed. Fortunately, in regards to the Morrison ancestry, the errors are inconsequential. What they found were two William Reade's who lived in Weymouth, MA during colonial times. Our William Reade has been referred to as the SECOND immigrant William Reade of Weymouth. This William has also been given the title of "Reade No. 16" on the Association's list of the 44 distinct immigrant Reade/Read/Reed families in Colonial America. The errors in the book sited were
- It is unlikely that William came on the ship Assurance
- It is unlikely that William's wife Avis had a maiden name of Deacon. May have been Chapman.
- There is no evidence that William was born in 1605 in England.

View Selected pages from "The Reed Genealogy"

The Murphy Family
Margaret Murphy 1853-1911 and John Henry Morrison 1835-1890

Following is a story from Jim Morrison on May 24, 2020:

Last week we knew very little of the Murphy family other than MARGARET MURPHY who married JOHN HENRY MORRISON and gave birth to ANSON REED MORRISON, our grandfather. We had a death certificate for MARGARET in 1911 that identified her parents as J. MURPHY and NORA LYNCH from Ireland. Larry Morrison believed they were from Cork, Ireland, and that there were cousins just across the river from St. Louis.

And then there was CORA PYLE, in pictures with Carrie Morrison (Keith’s mother) sometimes with Pops PYLE who sported a huge moustache.

A week ago, Dave (Jim's brother) sent all the siblings some old pictures looking for identification. The one that had us all thinking was this one from circa 1940:

Easy ones were back row: Carrie (Keith’s mom) and Dorothy (Labarge) Morrison. Middle row is Keith Morrison and probably Stan Morrison. Tom Morrison thought that Jack Heidenry (Margaret’s husband) was far right. We thought Margaret (Morrison) Heidenry was likely taking the picture.

In a phone call with Carolyn (Heidenry) Sharp, she identified Thelma Greenway (Reed Morrison’s wife) in the back row far right, Dessie (Larry Morrison’s sister) bottom row left and confirmed Jack (her father) far right. She also was pretty sure it was Stan in the middle with his girlfriend just to his left. Apparently at that time he was seeing someone that didn’t result in a later marriage. Given that Thelma was in the picture, we felt a good guess was Jeannie as the young girl in front (Thelma’s daughter). She would have been about eight years old. And Carolyn noted that her mom Margaret was always taking pictures.

So that left the two in the back row as CORA and POPS PYLE, who we identified from a picture from one of our first albums. On the back it noted their names.

I have our family tree out on Ancestry.com. It’s expensive to continue researching, so I only renew a monthly subscription every few years. It was time to add a monthly subscription and see if I could find the origin of Cora Pyle.

Putting Cora Pyle into our tree, I was surprised to see some hints pop up. Cora and George Pile (not Pyle) were in the US Census of 1900 together in the BOEDY household. And Cora’s name at age five was CORA MURPHY. She and her two older sisters STELLA (age 11) and MAMIE (age 16) MURPHY were also listed. Since Cora was a relative, she must be related to Margaret Murphy!

Now the questions arose:

How is Cora Murphy related to Margaret Murphy?

How did Cora come to live in the Boedy household?

Why was George Pile in the Boedy household and what is his special relationship with Cora?

After a few days of research and following hints given by Ancestry.com, I confirmed that Cora was Margaret’s niece. And I was also able to confirm the name of Margaret’s mother as HANORA LYNCH. But to answer the relationships of Boedy to Pile to Murphy, we need to start at the beginning.

The BOEDY family:

HENRY and LENA BOEDY in the 1870 US Census household sheltered two sisters. The relationship between these sisters and the BOEDY family is not known, but is not important for our needs.

MAGGIE BROOM age 7 (later spellings would be BRUN and BRAUN)


CAROLINE in 1877 would marry CORNELIUS MURPHY.

MAGGIE in 1889 would marry GEORGE PILE.

In the 1900 US Census, the BOEDY family continues to shelter MAGGIE and GEORGE PILE, now married. And they had added three more young sisters to their household. MAMIE, STELLA and CORA. What wonderful and generous people were the BOEDY’S. Taking all three sisters in an era of the 1890’s economic depression.


CAROLINE and CORNELIUS had seven children through 1896. By 1899, both died. The three youngest children (MAMIE, STELLA, and CORA) went to live with MAGGIE and GEORGE PILE, who were living in the BROADY household. GEORGE was in his late 40’s at the time, and it appears CORA then age five liked to call him Pops.


CORNELIUS was indeed the brother of our MARGARET. In fact, their parents JOHN MURPHY and HANORA LYNCH had at least five children, four of which moved from Ireland to St. Louis. The other two who moved to the St. Louis area were JOHN and THOMAS.

There is no more information on the parents of JOHN MURPHY and HANORA LYNCH. Yet.

An obituary for Cora Pile explains her life quite well. It and family tree charts of the BOEDY and MURPHY families accompany this.

Miss Cora M. Pile, 72, a resident nearly all of her life at 816 E. 6th St., died Friday at Villa Convalescent Home. She had been in ill health 4 ½ years.

At the beginning of her illness she had been at Blu-Fountain Manor Nursing Home and more recently at Villa Terrace.

She was born in St. Louis, Sept. 30, 1894, a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Murphy. Her parents died shortly after her birth and she was adopted by an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. George Pile. She had lived in the Pile homestead from infancy until she became ill and a patient in Blu Fountain Manor Nursing Home.

She attended Humboldt Elementary School; Alton High School and was a graduate of Ursuline Academy of Music.

During her early life Miss Pile was employed in the former Ryrie and Landau wholesale grocery firm, and later worked in the office of the American Automobile Association when it was located at Mineral Springs Hotel.

Miss Pile had been active in Democratic politics and was widely acquainted in Democratic circles in the county.

One of seven children in her family, she is survived by two brothers, John Murphy, Alton, and Thomas, California. There are several nieces and nephews including Miss Bernice Kauffold and Elmer Kauffold, Alton.

Funeral services…

For the family tree showing the Boedy family and the John Murphy-Hanora Lynch, click on the following:
Murphy Tree

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Spouse Trees 1850 - 2000

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Murphy Schuetz Pitz LaBarge
Semon Hold Hold Hold

This section is dedicated to the spouses of Morrisons after 1850.

Carrie Pitz 1882 - 1946

Caroline Florence Pitz was born June 17, 1882 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the daughter of Joseph Pitz and Josephine Schuetz, who had three other children over the next six years before Josephine's death in 1891. They were Ida, Robert and Katherine (Kate). Joseph remarried in 1892 Caroline Disch.

Carrie married Anson Reed Morrison in 1902 and had five children. They were Reed, Forrest, Stan, Margaret and Keith. Anson Reed died in 1923, leaving Carrie to support the family. These were hard times during the depression, and when next door neighbor Bill Morrison and wife Nettie died in 1937 and 1935, she took in three more children rather than see them split to different families. They were Bill, Larry and Dessa. As poor as they were, Carrie never turned away a tramp looking for a cup of coffee or a scrap to eat.

The following two pages were written by Keith Morrison about his mother and living on Athlone Avenue as a child.

Baptismal records kept at the St. Louis County Library recorded at the Lady of Perpetual Help the following:

Caroline Florence Pitz born June 17, 1882, baptized Sept 19.
Parents: Joseph Pitz and Josephine Schuetz
Godparent: Caroline Hartmann

Ida Louise Pitz born June 11, 1884, baptized Aug 26
Parents: Joseph Pitz and Josephine Schuetz
Godparent: Louise Schuetz

Robert Albert Pitz born Jan 21, 1886, baptized March 14
Parents: Joseph Pitz and Josephine Schutz
Godparents: Robert Disch and Ida Schutz

Katherine Rose Pitz, born April 29, 1888, baptized July 15
Parents: Joseph Pitz and Josephine Schuetz
Godparents: Christine Scetalle

The baptismal records were the first time we found evidence of the maiden name of Carrie Pitz. This also provided evidence of Carrie's sisters Louise and Ida. Ida married Robert Disch, undoubtedly the brother of Caroline Disch, the second wife of Joseph Pitz.

The other find was the different spelling of the last name Schutz. In the census records as well, we find different years with different spellings, sometimes "ue" in Schuetz, sometimes without the "e".

St. Louis Directories

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Close Cousins to the Morrison Family

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Thompson Brown Woodbridge Dinsmore

This section explores the family trees of the cousins of the descendants of Robert Morrison, who were not spouses of the primary line. Spouses are covered in the sections above. Many of these cousins are interested in the ancestry of Robert Morrison, and have corresponded over the years with the host of this site.

The Thompson Cousins

The Thompsons have a long tradition of close relations to the Morrisons. As the Morrisons, many of the Thompsons were Scotch-Irish having come to America from Scotland through Northern Ireland.

Archibald Thompson was a neighbor of Robert Morrison in North Bridgewater, MA. The family tree of Archibald is not known, but the Strowbridge book believed that he was the father of John Thompson. John Thompson was the father of Ann and William. They both were born in Blandford, MA. Ann Thompson married Alexander Morrison and had two sons before she died around 1782. Alexander married again, and with William Thompson they settled in the central Ohio region in Worthington in 1805. A brother, James Morrison, went further north to the Geneva, Ohio region.

The other connection with the Morrisons occurs in Ohio. The daughter of James Morrison, Ann, marries Lyman Allen. Ann Morrison had a daughter Harriet who was born several years before the marriage. Harriet Morrison later marries Norman Thompson. Several of Norman's descendants moved west and ended up in Oregon, Colorodo and Alaska. There has been correspondence with these cousins, sometimes linking families that had lost contact with each other. The parents of Norman Thompson has proven a brickwall, as we have not been able to determine his parents or any connections with the Thompsons of Worthington, Ohio or others. The family tree of Norman can be found in the Robert Morrison family tree available on this website.

There are several Thompson genealogy books of importance. The genealogy of William and Margaret Thompson was written in 1915. This book can be viewed on Ancestry.com if you have a subscription. A fourth generation granddaughter, Elizabeth Thompson, married Robert Morrison, who was a grandchild of our Robert Morrison of Bridgewater. This is the line of John Morrison who went to Connecticutt and settled in Enfield. For other Thompson genealogies, see the following website.

Digital Thompson genealogies

In addition, a family tree on ancestry.com called "One-name study" looks to be a dump of many Thompson family trees. The number of Thompsons in this tree number over 9,000. But many are duplicate, and data is suspect. However, it may lead to more accurate records elsewhere. For instance, Norman Thompson is listed in this tree with his wife (referred to as Harriet Allen, rather than Harriet Morrison), and their children.

The Hunt for the parents of Norman Thompson

We do know the following about Norman Thompson:

From the 1880 US Census, we see that his father was born in Connecticut. His mother was born in New York.

We have from his death register in Ashtabula that Norman Thompson's birth was January 2, 1814 in Genesee County, New York.

From the History of Ashtabula, we know that a Samuel Thompson came to Geneva, Ohio between 1806 and 1815. Samuel settled in Geneva "in the vicinity of the now North Ridge". Norman Webster was with him. An Amos Fisk came to Geneva from Middleton, CT in 1810. The area was called "New Connecticut" by the early settlers, but later was referred to as the Western Reserve. The trail west from Connecticut came through Genesee, NY.
The History of the Western Reserve

The Census of 1820 listed Samuel Thompson with one male age 10-16, one male age 18-26, himself age 45+, one daughter 10-16, one female 16-18, and likely his wife age 26-45. Close by was Samuel Jr with two males age 1-10 (possibly Norman), himself age 26-45, two females age 1-10, and a wife age 18-26. A possible brother was also close by, Elijah with a wife age 16-18 and a child 1-10. Elijah does not show up in later Ashtabula census.

A 1927 township census of Geneva of "over 21" males listed Abisha Lawton, Norman Webster, Saml Thomson Jr., James Morrison Jr., and several other Morrisons. Samuel senior is not listed, but likely an error as he shows up in the 1830 census.

The 1830 US Census shows Samuel age 60-70 placing a birth between 1760 and 1770. They have two males under five years, but these could be grandchildren. One female age 20-30 is in the household. The wife is also age 60-70. A couple doors down is the James Morrison Jr. household with daughter Harriet (the future wife of Norman). Within the Geneva neighborhood is Samuel Jr. Thompson age 40-50, with a son under 5, son 5-10, son 10-15 (possibly Norman), and four daughters under 15. His wife is age 30-40.

The 1840 census shows Norman Thompson as he was married in 1836 to Harriet Morrison. They have two sons under 5 years, who would be Orson Samuel and Wilbur Fisk. Byron born in 1838 died in 1840 before the census was taken.

The 1850 census adds James and Lawton. All children are now named in the census for the first time. Norman is shown born in New York. Julia Morrison, sister of Harriet, is living with them and continues to do so through the 1880 census. He is a tanner by profession. The Websters age 67 and 62 live next door.

The 1860 census adds Laura to the family, and they are now living in Rock Creek, OH. Norman now is listed as a shoemaker. From Tami Glatz research:
Sheffield, Ashtabula, Ohio: "The first store was built by Norman Thompson and John C. Richmond and kept by Salmon Chandler, in the old store building opposite the Methodist church." (p. 240, 1798 History of Ashtabula County, Ohio with illustrations and biographical sketches of its pioneers and most prominent men." on FHL film #1035930.

The 1870 census shows that Orson has a family of his own in Morgan, Ohio with Lamira Lattimer with two young boys, Harlan and Guy. Wilbur can be found at Fort Scott in Kansas, listed as a ?Lemir? Dealer. Following is a picture of Wilbur Fisk and Emma his wife.

The 1880 census shows Norman with Harriet and Julia in Morgan. Norman still deals in boots. Abisha is next door with his family. Orson is in Farmington, Trumball, OH working as a farmer. Has a new wife Eliza. Children Harlan, Guy, Ethel and Milo age 3.

So the evidence points to Samuel Jr. Thompson as the father of Norman. But we have to wait for the proof, and we do not know the name of the mother who was born in New York. Tracking Samuel to Connecticut needs to be done. Perhaps he was on his way to the Western Reserve, fell in love in Genesee County and married there. And traveling with friend Norman Webster, named Norman for him. Or possibly, Samuel's wife was a Webster.

Civil War Pension documents of James Morrison Thompson

The following was provided by Tami Glatz based on the records:

James Morrison Thompson
b. 25 Aug 1841
d. 17 Jun 1912, Kansas City, Missouri
m. 11 Aug 1867, Oskaloosa, Iowa
Maggie J. Mendel
b. abt 1849
d. 13 Mar 1922, Kansas City, Missouri.
(she wrote: "I first became acquainted with the claimant at Ottumwa Iowa about one year before I married him.")

He owned a shoestore at 1331 East 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. He lived at 1724 Montgall Ave., Kansas City, Missouri. During the Civil War he was shot in the right wrist and lost the use of his right hand. He was thrown off a horse, but one foot stuck in the stirrup and he was dragged for a distance, where he sustained a hernia which crippled him later in life. He was also shot in one of his legs and was taken prisoner. He suffered from deafness which he attributed to hearing explosions during the war.

In his words: "I lived at Rock Creek, Ashtabula Co Ohio and I had lived there for about 10 years first prior to enlistment from Rock Creek, Ohio I moved to Ottumwa, Ia and lived there one year. I was in the shoe business there. I next went to Oskaloosa, Ia and remained there one year in the shoe business. I next went to California, Mo and remained there two year in the shoe business. I next went to Osceola, Mo and remained there 5 or 6 years in the shoe business. I left Osceola, Mo in 1875 and went back to Rock Creek Ohio and remained there until 1880 when I came to Kansas City, Mo and have lived here ever since. I have been in no business but the shoe busines since my discharge."

Letter to Norman and comments by Donald Stewart a great grandchild

Copied from "Ashtabula County, Ohio - "Now and Then" published in 1984, a history book of Ashtabula co. area's and families:

NORMAN THOMPSON FAMILY I have before me a letter dated 1840, addressed to my great-grandfather, Norman Thompson, Morgan, Ohio. In these days envelopes were exceedingly rare. As a result, the pages of a letter were folded and the address written on the outside. What is interesting about this letter is that on one side of the outer fold is the address: Mr. Norman Thompson, Ashtabula County, Ohio, Kingsville Post Office. On the reverse or back of the folded page is a duplicate address: Norman Thompson, Esq., Morgan, Ohio.

Since Norman Thompson resided in what is now Rock Creek, where he operated a shoe repair shop and sold boots and shoes, it makes one wonder what the situation was for getting mail from Kingsville over the miserable dirt roads of the period.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Norman Thompson's two oldest sons, James and ? enlisted in the Union forces. Abisha, the youngest son, wanted to enlist as a drummer boy, but his mother rebelled at the thought. As a result, one heartbroken boy stayed home as his two older brothers marched off to war.

The two brothers survived most of the war, and were captured by the Rebs and wound up in the infamous Libby Prison in Virgina. They managed to escape July 21, (year?). Inscribed on the bottom of a tobacco tin I have:"Left the Rebs on July 21." Traveling by night, barefoot, in rags, living off the country, they managed to sneak through both Rebel and Union lines. Fed up with the war, they had one desire: to get to Rock Creek.

I remember my Grandfather (Abisha) telling of the pounding of the back door early one evening, and my Great-Grandmother, after a brief embace, telling them to undress outside while she heated water for a bath. Incidentally, that house still stands in Rock Creek.

Abisha Thompson turned out to be quite a scholar. He authored three books on Freemasonry. After his death in Masonic library of approximately 150 books was presented to the Masonic Lodge in Rock Creek. He was also a student of Ancient Greece. Up to the time of his death, he corresponded with two other devotees in the East, and all letters were written in the Classic Greek. Among his possessions were a number of books and handwritten records of the early history of the Western Reserve, before it became a State (present whereabouts unknown). One of the books, (more a pamphlet, as I recall), told about one of his antecedents who rode a horse from Connecticut to what is now Conneaut. At the time Conneaut was considered the Far Frontier, long before the Territory became a State. He built a cabin, wintered there, and in the spring rode back to Connecticut, married his sweetheart (age 16), and the two of them riding the one horse, made the trip back to the cabin in Conneaut. Some day I hope to learn of the names of those two early pioneers. I have the red riding cape she wore on that trip and the brass candleholder that was part of her dowry. These I would like to donate, if there is ever a Pioneer Museum set up in Ashtabula County, and their names can be authenticated.

Written by Donald Abisha Stewart.

The following email from Jim to Tami tells what we know about Donald Stewart.

"I found Donald Abisha Stewart. He was living with Abisha and Nancy Thompson in the 1920 Census and was age 7 at the time. So if he is still living, he would be over 90 years old.

Apparently Abisha T. dies before 1930. In that census, Nan Thompson (matches age and birthplace of PA) is living with daughter Mae Stewart (born 1881) and grandsons Robert born 1906 and Donald born 1912.

The 1910 census shows Mae Stewart in Ashtabula married to Clarence Stewart with a son Robert age 4. That matches the grandson in the 1930 census. Also listed is a son age 10 named Paul.

So a possibility is, since Nancy Thompson married Abisha in 1894, the daughter must be from a previous marriage. Possibly Nancy's given that she was married at age 17 per the 1930 census. Maybe Abisha was an "adopted" grandfather of Donald's. Or more likely, Mae/May (May was a family name, see Ethel May daughter of Orson Samuel) is the natural daughter of Abisha from his second wife, Nell Powers."

Wilbur Thompson Sr. Sad Story

From Suellen Thompson, wife of Robert Thompson, great grandson of Wilbur Thompson Sr.

Wilber died in Salem OR at the Oregon Insane Asylum (now called OR State Hospital), on 26 Dec 1910. He was on the 1910 Census in April of 1910, 70 years old. So he wasn't at the hospital any longer than 8 months. I talked to the director at the hospital, and he was there (although called Wm Thompson). His number was 1370. He died there and was buried at the Asylum Cemetery, which was much nicer than the asylum itself, from what I understand. The cemetery was very well kept. However, at some point, I can't remember just when, it was decided that the property could be used in a better way. So all the remains were exhumed, some 1500 of them, and cremated. Relatives were notified if possible, and some were picked up. They don't have a record of this with Wilber, and there is no sign of him in the cemetery in Richland, where Emma is buried. So, Wilber may still be in Salem, in the cannister. The problem is that when they were exhumed, they changed the numbers to the order in which they were removed. Names were put on the cans on paper, which fell off over the years. The numbers on the cans do not match the patient number. Also, apparently many records were lost prior to 1914 in a fire, so the Hospital is lacking alot of information that could help.

Military Records

Wilbur F. Thompson: 19th Ohio Infantry. Three months, 1861. Private.
Wilbur F. Thompson: 105th Ohio Infantry. Sergeant.

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