James Thompson

Last revised: 19 Dec 2012

Born ? – Died ?, KY

James Thompson came into Kentucky County, Virginia in 1779 from the northern neck of Virginia, Fauquier and Loudon County area. He was familiar to the families of that area and his family married into them for the next three generations. He was appointed a deputy surveyor of Kentucky County by John May who was the county surveyor. When Kentucky County became the three counties of Lincoln, Jefferson and Fayette, he presented his commission from The College of William and mary and being recommended by Col. William Preston, Surveyor General, he took the oath as head surveyor of Lincoln County Virginia on November 1, 1780, entering into bond of 25,000 pounds with John and George May, his sureties. He actually became the surveyor on January 17, 1781, according to court records, and set up his land office at St. Asaph’s or McAfee’s. Collins’ History of Kentucky states that the surveying job was very dangerous but was the best paying job in the territory. They were usually paid by part of the land that they surveyed from each warrant. He had 35 deputy surveyors working for him from 1780 until 1783, two of them being Daniel Boone and Green Clay. He was instrumental in surveying the early county lines surrounding Lincoln County and relocating the Virginia-Kentucky and Virginia-North Carolina state lines. I posted a list of the land warrants that James received and paid taxes on before 1797 on the Lincoln County genweb which totaled 38,863-acres awarded by patrick Henry, Edmund Randolph, Benjamin Harrison and Isaac Shelby.

James Thompson was on the first list of inhabitants of Boonesborough Fort, a Justice on the court at Harrodstown when it was convened, a Justice of Madison County when it was formed from Lincoln and a Justice of Garrard when formed from Mercer, Madison and Lincoln Counties. He gave the land for the Sugar Creek meeting house when he was in Madison County near the forks of Dix River, where he lived. He was also a State Representative from Garrard County in 1803 and a State Senator from 1804 through 1806. He was also awarded the Lincoln County surveyor job when Kentucky became a state in 1792.

He also served with the Kentucky County and Lincoln County militia, most of the time as the team horse wagon master. Hs is listed in the Illinois State archives as the wagon master for George Rogers Clark’s Illinois troops under Col. Benjamin Logan; forty seven and a quarter days with Lieut. Samuel McAfee, July 6th until Aug. 20, 1780; payroll certified by John Bowman, for Kentucky County, commanded by George Rogers Clark; thirteen days with Capt. John Martin under Col. Benjamin Logan to remove salt and powder to Lincoln County from the Salt River at The Falls of Ohio, April and May 1782; six days with Capt. Samuel Kirkham Co. of Lincoln County as the wagon master under the command of Col. Benjamin Logan at Blue Licks, but arriving after the massacre, cleaned up the area and buried and removed the dead, August 19, 1782.

He married Ruthie Peyton, daughter of Capt. James Peyton and Susannah Threlkeld on April 10, 1784 in Nelson County. The children from this marriage were Andrew Peyton Thompson, who married Elizabeth (Betsy) Pepper from Mason county; Margaret, who married Enoch Burdett; Susannah, who married William Obannon; Mary who died at one year; Mary (2), married Daniel Obannon; Elizabeth, married Granville Pollard; James Jr., died at ten months; Jemima, married Burdett Kemper, minister at Forks church for over thirty years; Anne, married John Banks Pollard; and Thornton Kemper Thompson, married 1.Wilhemina Rout, 2.Lucretia Jeffries, 3.Susan Letcher, 4.Mary Berry and 5.Mary E. Thompson in Noxubee, Mississippi.

James Thompson is buried in The Forks of Dix Baptist Cemetery and I believe that his wife, Ruthie, is also buried there along with the Kempers and the Burdetts.

My ancestry through this line is Harold William Rarden formerly of Gypsum, Ohio (Port Clinton) now of Fleming Co., KY., to my mother, Ellen Thompson, daughter of Benjamin M. Thompson and Mary Martin, Woodford County, to Benjamin F. Thompson and Annie Davis, Mason Co., then Woodford to Telephus Pepper Thompson and Elcinda Swope, Mason and Garrard Counties, to Andrew Peyton Thompson and Elizabeth Pepper, Mason and Garrard Counties, to James Thompson and Ruthie Peyton.

By: Harold W. Rarden
Source: The Kentuckian Vol. 3, Issue 2, pages 7 & 8