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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Thompson

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 100-104 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This branch of the Thompson family in Troy, herein recorded, descends in direct male succession from William Thompson, of Kittery, Maine. An eminent authority says he came from England. He received a grant of land in Dover, New Hampshire, in 1656, "beyond Cocheco Legg Swamp." In 1715 John Thompson, of Dover, conveyed fifty acres of land which "were granted to my father William Thompson by the town of Dover." There is no evidence that William Thompson ever lived upon the land. October 15, 1656, a grant made in Kittery "below Sturgeon Creek" to John White in 1651, was assigned to William Thompson, who is supposed to have been White's son-in-law. In 1659 William Thompson was presented at York court "For rebellion against his father and mother-in-law." He bound himself to the court in a bond of twenty pounds "that hee will be of good behavior towards all men, especially toward his father and mother." He left twenty-three acres of land, a house and orchard in Kittery, Maine, and fifty acres in Dover, New Hampshire. His wife had probably died before 1676. He left children whose ages were given in 1677 as here recorded:

  1. John, aged eighteen, married Sarah Woodman;
  2. William, aged sixteen, probably married Mary Levering;
  3. Robert, aged thirteen, "living with Toby Hansen in Dover";
  4. James, aged eleven, see forward;
  5. Alexander, aged six, married Anna Curtis;
  6. Judith, aged two.

John, the eldest, gave a bond in 1684 for the proper administration of his father's estate and to provide for "James, his lame and crippled brother."

(II) James, son of William Thompson, "the founder," was born in 1666; as noted in the preceding lines, he was "lame and impotent" at the age of eleven years, but he grew from this youthful weakness into a manhood of the sturdiest type. He became a tailor by trade. Land was granted him in Kittery in 1694 and 1696. In 1719 he moved to York, Maine, where he was also granted land. In 1727 he removed with his family to New Meadows, Brunswick, Maine, where he died. He married, in Dover, New Hampshire, March 3, 1700-01, Elizabeth, daughter of Adrian Frye, of Frye's Point, Kittery, Maine. She was a woman of great strength and ability. Children:

  1. Judith married, July 1, 1724, John Smith, of York, Maine, and had a large family.
  2. Alexander, born at Kittery, Maine. "He lived in Brunswick, Maine, before the Indian Wars. He lived to be over eighty years old. He had no learning, but was a hardy, honest, industrious man." He married May 20, 1731, Sarah Grover, of York, daughter of Matthew Grover. She bore him several daughters and one son, James.
  3. Captain James, born in Kittery, February 22, 1707, died at Topsham, Maine, September 22, 1791. He settled at New Meadows, Brunswick, Maine, where he was selectman and kept a general store. He was a member of the military company with his brother, Cornelius and Alexander. His son, Brigadier-General Samuel Thompson, was a brave soldier of the revolution. Captain James married (first) Reliance Hinckley, a descendant of Governor Thomas Hinckley, of Massachusetts; married (second) Mrs. Lydia Brown, of Ipswich, Massachusetts; married (third) Mary Higgins.
  4. Cornelius, see forward.
  5. Sarah, born April 27, 1711, "died in twenty days after her birth."
  6. Mercy (called Marcia and Marciel in some old records) born April 1, 1712; married (first) a Mr. Austin; (second) David Junkins, and settled in Brunswick, Maine.
  7. Joseph, born March 23, 1713-14, died before 1759. He lived and died at Sebascodegan Island, Harpswell, Maine. He was noted for great strength.
  8. Dinah, born May 6, 1716; married her cousin, Jonathan Thompson, October 1, 1737.
  9. Benjamin Thompson, born York, Maine, September 9, 1717, died 1765; married, October 17, 1744, Abigail Philbrook.
  10. Richard, born June 11, 1724; lived and died in Kennebunk, Maine, a respected farmer; he married Elizabeth Maddox, of Arundel, Maine.
  11. Elizabeth, born April 19, 1726, died December 22, 1726.

(III) Cornelius, son of James and Elizabeth (Frye) Thompson, was born at York, Maine, October 14, 1709, died 1792. He served in the Indian wars in 1757. He married Hannah Smith, of York, Maine. Children:

  1. Thomas, who moved to Plattsburgh, New York;
  2. Amos, who moved to Bowdoin, Maine;
  3. Joel, see forward;
  4. Richard Thompson, who moved to Wales, Maine;
  5. Robert, who died at New Meadows;
  6. Phinias, lost at sea on ship of war.

(IV) Colonel Joel, third son of Cornelius and Hannah (Smith) Thompson, was born in New Meadows, October 23, 1753, died in Lewiston, Maine, May 1, 1841. He was a soldier of the revolutionary war. He enlisted May 15, 1775, from Brunswick, Maine; not long after the revolutionary war he moved to Lewiston, Maine, where he spent the remainder of his days. He represented Lewiston, Maine, in the general court of Massachusetts. He married, February 18, 1780, Martha, daughter of the Rev. Thomas and Agnes (Smith) Cotton, born in Brunswick, Maine, May 18, 1762, died July 16, 1828. Children:

  1. Mehitable, born May 10, 1782, died March 22, 1839, married General Jedediah Herrick;
  2. Joel, see forward;
  3. Phineas, born May 23, 1786, died young;
  4. Sarah, born March 2, 1789, died 1825;
  5. Cornelius, born April 18, 1791, died in Lisbon, Maine, November 15, 1857, he served for a time in the war of 1812, being stationed at the garrison at Bath, Maine;
  6. Martha Cotton, born April 17, 1793, died October 13, 1880, married (first) Henry Herrick, who died in 1816, married (second) Captain Nathaniel Eames. Ithamer B. Eames, a son of the second marriage, was the father of Emma Eames, the noted singer;
  7. Ruth, born February 9, 1796;
  8. Hannah, born December 3, 1798, died August 1, 1837;
  9. Isaac Cotton, born May 22, 1801, died July 14, 1861;
  10. Theophilus Boynton, born June 6, 1803, married, November 1, 1841, Charlotte Corbett, of Worcester, Massachusetts;
  11. Horatio Nelson, born December 10, 1805, died 1852, unmarried.

(V) Joel (2), son of Colonel Joel (1) and Martha (Cotton) Thompson, born in Lewiston, Maine, July 26, 1784, died in Wayne, Maine, September, 1851. In 1809 he moved to Litchfield, Maine, where he taught school in the vicinity of Oak Hill. He lived in Litchfield several years and was on the committee of safety in the war of 1812. He moved to Wayne in 1848. He was a man of education and decided executive ability. He married (first) Ruth, daughter of Aaron Dwinel, of Lisbon, Maine. She died before 1811. He married (second) Rachel Wilson, of Topsham, Maine, daughter of William and Mary (Patten) Wilson, born December 12, 1813, died January 1, 1853. Child of first marriage:

  1. Joel Dwinel, see forward.

Children of second marriage:

  1. Rev. Thomas Wilson, born November 12, 1814, died in Sumner, Maine, a prominent Free Baptist minister, married Hannah Harmon;
  2. Jedediah Herrick, born January 11, 1817, died January, 1848;
  3. William Wilson, born April 12, 1819, married Abbie Clark, resided in Jay, Maine;
  4. James Smullen, born April 9, 1822;
  5. George Owen, born March 11, 1826;
  6. Actor Patten, born April 26, 1828, died May 7, 1904;
  7. Josiah Sanford, born December 4, 1832, resides in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, married (first) Rose Hayford, (second) Lena Edson;
  8. Rachel Wilson, born March 21, 1835, died April 21, 1889, married Major Warren L. Whitney.

(VI) Joel Dwinel, son of Joel (2) and Ruth (Dwinel) Thompson, was born in Lisbon, Maine, December 25, 1810, died at Bangor, Maine, February 21, 1853. He taught school in his early life; later moved from Lisbon to Bangor, Maine. He was city clerk of Bangor, and afterwards engaged in business there. In politics he was a Whig. He belonged to the Methodist Episcopal church, of Bangor, where he spent the greater part of his life. He married, February 17, 1842, Harriett Newell French, of Bangor, Maine, daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Libby (Quimby) French, born April 11, 1818, died November 13, 1893. (See French VIII). Children:

  1. Professor Dwinel, see forward;
  2. Alice, born June 1, 1851, died April 17, 1855.

(VII) Professor Dwinel French Thompson, son of Joel Dwinel and Harriett Newell (French) Thompson, was born in Bangor, Maine, January 1, 1846. He is a direct descendant of (I) Michael Dunnel, of Topsfield, Massachusetts, 1650, died there in 1713. (II) Thomas Dunnel, born November, 1672, died in Topsfield, 1747. (III) Jonathan Dunnel, or Dwinel, born June, 1702, in Topsfield. (IV) Amos Dwinel, born in Sutton, Massachusetts, 1734. (V) Aaron Dwinel, born in Sutton, Massachusetts, August 10, 1762, died in Leeds, Maine, August 5 1844. (VI) Ruth Dwinel, born in Sutton, Massachusetts; married Joel Thompson, of Lewiston, Maine; she died about 1811, in Lisbon.

Professor Thompson, after the death of his father, removed with the family to Auburn, Maine. He attended the (Abbott) "Little Blue" school, later completed his preparatory course at Lewiston Falls Academy (now Edward Little Institute), took a two years' course at Bowdoin College, and then entered Dartmouth, taking a scientific course, and graduated with the degree of B. S., class of 1869. He taught three years at Dartmouth. In 1872 he was appointed to the chair of descriptive geometry, stereotomy and drawing at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, which position he still holds (1910). In his younger days he was greatly interested in athletics, and was called the "Father of Baseball" at Dartmouth, where he captained the first college team. He has always had a deep interest in archeological and genealogical research, has compiled a genealogy of the descendants of Edward French, of Salisbury, Massachusetts, and given valuable assistance to genealogists in preparing the many and complicated Thompson lines. He has the finest private collection of Indian relics in the state. His college fraternity is the Delta Kappa Epsilon, and he is an honorary member of Sigma Psi and Tau Beta Pi, scientific fraternities, whose membership is based on merit and achievement. He is a director of the Leonard Hospital, Troy, and was a trustee of the old Lansingburg Academy. Professor Thompson is well known in educational circles, where he is held in the highest esteem.

He married, January 1, 1880, at Troy, New York, Mary Lena, daughter of Solomon Burt and Mary Eliza (Thompson) Saxton (see Saxton VII). Children:

  1. Alice Quimby, born at Troy, December 17, 1880; married, February 8, 1910, Robert Hall, of Lockport, New York, secretary and treasurer of the Lockport Steam Heating Company.
  2. Gordon Saxton, born in Lansingburg, New York, August 6, 1883; was graduated from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with the degree of C. E., class of 1905; he married, February 7, 1906, Ethel Williams, of Troy.
  3. Nathaniel French, born in Lansingburg, October 16, 1884; graduated at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with the degree of C. E., class of 1907, now assistant engineer in the department for the elimination of grade crossings on the New York Central railroad; he married, September 28, 1909, S. Lavinia Morrison, of Lansingburg.
  4. Dwinel Burt, born in Lansingburg, December 14, 1886; also a graduate of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1907, with degree of C. E.; will graduate in class of 1911 from the same institute with degree of E. E.

(The French Line)

Harriett Newell (French) Thompson, mother of Professor Dwinel French Thompson, was a direct descendant of Edward French, of Salisbury, Massachusetts.

(I) The surname French is found in Wiltshire, England, records as early as 1252, and is found m Scotland in the records of the old monasteries under the forms of Francus, Franciscus, Francegena, Franceis and Franke. The family is a most honorable as well as an ancient one. The branch herein considered was founded in America by Edward French, of Salisbury, Massachusetts, who received land in the "first division," bought land in 1642, was selectman and a man of influence. He was of Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1633. He married Ann Goodale; died December 28, 1674. He had four children.

(II) Samuel, son of Edward and Ann French, died in Salisbury, Massachusetts, July 26, 1692; married (first) April 1, 1664, Abigail, horn February 23, 1643, died January 11, 1679-80, daughter of Henry and Abigail Brown. She was the mother of six children. He married (second) Esther ————, who bore him three children.

(III) Deacon Joseph, son of Samuel and Abigail (Brown) French, was born in Salisbury, Massachusetts, 1676, died there August 27, 1749. He was a soldier 1697-1710. He married Hannah ————, who bore him five children.

(IV) Samuel (2), son of Deacon Joseph and Hannah French, was born December 11, 1699, at Salisbury, died April 21, 1767. He married, November 23, 1721, Mary Collins, born May 1, 1698, died November 18, 1766. Nine children.

(V) Nathaniel, son of Samuel (2) and Mary (Collins) French, was born January 13, 1724, at Salisbury. He married Anna Russell. Nine children.

(VI) Nathaniel (2), son of Nathaniel (1) and Anna (Russell) French, was born March 15, 1757, at Epping, New Hampshire, died at Sandwich, that state, January 16, 1799. He was a farmer. He married, August 27, 1780, Martha Jewell, of Sandwich, New Hampshire, born September 14, 1762, died in that town, September 28, 1822, daughter of Rev. Jacob and Martha (Quimby) Jewell; nine children. Martha Jewell was a descendant of the fifth generation from Thomas Jewell, of Braintree, Massachusetts, 1639.

(VII) Nathaniel (3), son of Nathaniel (2) and Martha (Jewell) French, was born in Sandwich, New Hampshire, May 23, 1799, died June 28, 1876, at Auburn, Maine. He was a man of great natural ability, a good mathematician and noted for his excellent memory. He was a manufacturer and at one time owned a machine shop and foundry. He held several public offices, including that of trial justice. He was a man of influence and a member and deacon of the Congregational church.

Nathaniel French married, in 1817, Elizabeth Libby Quimby, born at Sandwich, New Hampshire, August 25, 1797, died while on a visit to Troy, New York, November 18, 1873. Elizabeth Libby Quimby was a daughter of Lieutenant Enoch Quimby, of Sandwich, New Hampshire, a descendant of Robert Quimby, the immigrant ancestor from England, 1653, who married Elizabeth Osborn, and settled at Salisbury, Massachusetts. Her grandfather, Major Aaron Quimby, served in the revolution. Her father, Lieutenant Enoch Quimby, served in the war of 1812.

(VIII) Harriett Newell, daughter of Nathaniel (3) and Elizabeth Libby (Quimby) French, was born at Sandwich, New Hampshire, April 11, 1818, died at Lansingburg (Troy), November 13, 1893. She married, February 17, 1842, at Bangor, Maine, Joel Dwinel Thompson (see Thompson VI).

(The Saxton Line)

This name is common in England, especially in Yorkshire. The family name appears early on the Massachusetts colonial records. Rev. Peter Saxton (also written Sexton) emigrated to Massachusetts as early as 1630, and was the first minister to Scituate. The first of record in the Connecticut colony were Richard and George Sexton, who embarked from London, England; Richard, 1635, on the chip "Blessing," and was in Windsor, Connecticut, 1643; George came later, was a contemporary of Richard, and probably his brother. It is very sure that he was not a son. The earliest mention found of George Sexton is in Book of Deeds, at Springfield, Massachusetts, in a deed from Thomas Cowper to George Sexton "Now resident of Windsor," June 10, 1663. He removed to Westfield, about 1671, where a son Benjamin was born, said to have been the first white child born in the town. He died between 1688 and 1690. He married Katharine ————, and had seven children.

(II) Captain Joseph, fourth son of George and Katharine Saxton, was born at Windsor, Connecticut, 1664, died at Enfield, May 3, 1742. Removed from Westfield to Enfield about 1704. He married, November 20, 1690, Hannah Wright, born July 28, 1669, died in 1742, daughter of Abel Wright, of Springfield. Seven children.

(III) Ensign Joseph (2), son of Captain Joseph (1) and Hannah (Wright) Saxton, was born in Westfield, October 2, 1694. He removed to Enfield with his father and settled in the East Parish (now Somers). He married (first) October 16, 1723, Sarah Parsons, born March 10, 1705, died at Salisbury, August 25, 1747. She was a daughter of Samuel and Hannah (Hitchcock) Parsons, of Enfield, Connecticut; granddaughter of Deacon Benjamin and Sarah (Vere) Parsons, and great-granddaughter of Richard Vere Parsons, of Westfield. He married (second) Widow Mary Collins, by whom he had one child. By his first wife he had ten children.

(IV) Deacon Samuel, son of Ensign Joseph (2) and Sarah (Parsons) Saxton, born June 22, 1726, died March 22, 1816. He lived in Connecticut, near Springfield. He married Sarah Chapin, January 23, 1754. She was born October 19, 1736, died March 27, 1821. The Chapin family were prominent in Springfield, where a statue is erected to their memory. She was a direct descendant of Henry and Nelly (Burt) Chapin.

(V) Noah, son of Deacon Samuel and Sarah (Chapin) Saxton, was born July 24, 1772, at South Wilbraham, Massachusetts, died April 15, 1850. He probably lived at South Wilbraham all his life, as all his children were born there. His eldest son, Noah Chapin Saxton, was the first publisher of the New York Evangelist. He married, December 15, 1796, Martha Bliss, born in North Wilbraham, March 12, 1775, died December 18, 1836.

(VI) Gordon Bliss, son of Noah and Martha (Bliss) Saxton, was born in South Wilbraham, Massachusetts, June 5, 1800, died in Troy, New York, April 28, 1868. He was a merchant of Troy, first engaged in dry goods and millinery, later with his son, Solomon Burt Saxton, in the flour and grain trade. He was a member of the Presbyterian church, and one of Troy's most respected citizens. In 1825 he married Philena Fletcher Severance, born April 26, 1800, died August 3, 1851, daughter of Benjamin and Betsey (Joslyn) Severance, of New Braintree, Massachusetts. Five children.

(VII) Solomon Burt, eldest son and child of Gordon Bliss and Philena Fletcher (Severance) Saxton, was born in South Wilbraham, Massachusetts, January 31, 1827, died at Troy, New York, January 12, 1903. When a young man he came to Troy and engaged in business and later became a member of the firm of Saxton & Thompson, with large flouring mills at Lockport. This business is still continued in the family name of Thompson by George Thompson. Mr. Saxton later disposed of his interest in Lockport and devoted himself exclusively to the wholesale flour business in Troy. He was interested in many of the manufacturing enterprises of Troy, and was officially connected with the banks of the city. He was a successful business man and highly regarded as a citizen. He was an accomplished musician, and for forty years was a member and organist of the First Presbyterian Church of Troy, taking high rank as a performer on the pipe organ. He married, September 1, 1851, Mary Eliza Thompson, a descendant of John Thompson, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, the American founder of her family. (See Thompson Genealogy of Troy, New York.) Children: Mary Lena, born December 27, 1855, in Troy, New York, married Professor Dwinel French Thompson (see Thompson VII); John Gordon, born November 1, 1857, in Troy, New York, he is a landscape painter of fame, with residence in Brooklyn and Amityville, Long Island, married, June 20, 1885, Hattie Thompson Rowe, of Auburn, Maine.

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