Thomson Family

Family tradition has it that the Thomsons originally came from Arbroath, Angus and when I found the family, without the father, in the 1841 census living in Arbroath I assumed this was correct. Although this family had lived for many years in England, the father's death is recorded in Arbroath in 1865. His death certificate showed that his father was a farmer in Roxburgh and his baptism and that of many of his brothers and sisters are recorded in the Roxburghshire church registers. I have not yet discovered why he returned to Abroath and have been unable to find him in either the 1841 or 1861 census in either England or Scotland. His son John, born 1830, did not name any of his 12 sons after his brothers David or George or his grandfather David.

The use of Hallyburton as a middle name does suggest a conection with the east coast of Scotland as it is a surname from this area. I have, however, been unable to discover why the Thomsons used it when naming their children.

It is interesting that the first John Thompson in this part of my tree always spelt his name the English way, with a 'p', and it is recorded in the Linton baptismal register with this spelling, although his siblings baptised in other parishes were spelt the Scottish way. It is the later Thomsons that dropped the 'p'.

By 1822 the Thompsons were living in Berkshire and remained in England until the second half of the 1830's when they moved to Abroath. By 1851 the family had moved to London, south of the river and remained there for over a century. The later Thomsons started a very successful drapery business with many of the extended family employed in it. The business was based in Greenwich and the last shop closed in the late 1960s.

Being Scottish, the Thomsons were of low church persuasion and attended St Marks Presbyterian Church, Greenwich from 1853, when it was newly built, until the early 1970s. Many family members were involved in the running of the church and several became deacons. Thomson babies were baptised here but, until the early 20th century, their weddings took place in Church of England churches. Social life would appear to have centred round the services and meetings as many of the Thomson marriages are to other church members.

The original St Mark's Church building was bombed in 1944 and rebuilt in 1953. In the early 1970's this building was marked for demolition to make way for a road scheme which was never carried out and it still stands on the corner of South Street and Ashburnham Place.

Below are links to the pages that are relevant to the Thomsons

Family Tree

Family Members with Their Own Page




Links to other websites

Documents Consulted