CategoriesSurname Saturday

Surname Saturday: THOMPSON

THOMPSON is probably the most common surname in my ancestry. When I say “most common” I don’t mean that it shows up the most. I mean that’s the most “common” surname. Trying to search for THOMPSON is much more difficult than searching for ZALEWSKI due to the amount of names I get in return. I always assumed that searching for more uncommon names was more difficult, but I was wrong. So what if you only get a few results, at least you can look through them fast. Just try searching for “William THOMPSON” without knowing an exact birthdate or coutry or origin and tell me how fun that is.

The top THOMPSON in my tree is William Henry THOMPSON. The census records show a fuzzy picture. The 1870 census shows him as being born about 1810 in England. The 1860 census and his headstone show him as being born in about 1813 in Ireland. The 1880 census shows him as being born about 1816 in Ireland. The 1850 census and the 1900 census (as birthplace of the father of his daughter) shows him as being born in 1816 in Scotland. So, I at least know that he is from the United Kingdom, but beyond that I’m not sure. I am leaning more towards Ireland due to the fact that it’s on his headstone, but we know those aren’t always 100% accurate. Also, it usually lists his parents as being born in Ireland in his census entries.

I know that William married his wife, Claude-Françoise “Francesca” Quinet, in New York state in about 1839 according to multiple sources. Some sources note it as Syracuse, Onondaga Co., New York, but I’ve not found any useful information in that area. I do know that sometime between 1839 and 1841 William and his wife moved to Granville, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin since they are listed in the 1842 Wisconsin State census and their first child, Mary, was born in about 1841. This would also match up with the Quinet family as they traveled to Wisconsin about the same time.

The family lived and grew in Granville until they moved up north to the small town of Morrison in Brown County, Wisconsin. Their last child Charles was born in Morrison. I assume Francesca and William lived the rest of their lives in this area as they are listed as passing away in nearby Wrightstown and are both buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Wrightstown. I posted about my trip up there last year and finding their headstones.

I’m not sure where I got this, since I probably copied it early in my genealogy research, but I have William’s mother listed as Isabella.

Does anybody have any tips on searching for a common name like William Henry THOMPSON or maybe some more research items for that area of New York besides the GenWeb sites? I’d really like to trace William back to Europe.

Published by Brian Zalewski

I started genealogy research about mid-1999. My grandfather had passed away in April of that year. Since then I’ve done a lot of research not only for myself, but for friends and other relatives. In 2006, I married the love of my life, Darcy, and welcomed the birth of our daughter, Aerissa Jean, in 2010 and our son, Xander Lee, in 2012. I can’t wait to tell them stories about all of their ancestors.