One of our family stories is that we’re British. The next family story is that we’re in some way Native American (Cherokee) and the third part of the story is that we’re related to the British Royal family in some way. Possibly through Mary Queen of Scots.
It’s not really important for me to follow up on the Queen of Scots thing except that the mythology of it may point me in the right direction to find the Thompsons. There is a family of Thompsons from Pennsylvania, Juniata I think, that marry some Stewarts and claim a Royal line through that. Here is a link to the text of the Descendants of John Thomson: http://archive.org/stream/descendantsofjoh00mcal/descendantsofjoh00mcal_djvu.txt
Specifically looking at:
- Branch No. 10, Andrew and Jane Stewart
- 55 — Andrew Thompson and Rebecca Stewart
- 52 – John Thompson and Rachel Stewart
So those are good Stewart/Thompson matches. The thing is that when I think about these stories I have to remember also that “The Aunts” were Ida Williamson’s daughters too. Their father Albert seemed to have no knowledge of where his father Levi was from and then Albert died young. It is possible that many of the stories of my Thompson family are actually stories of the Williamsons. Along those lines I decided to have a look at the Stewart I found in my recently discovered Williamson family tree. Hugh Williamson born around 1720 marries Elizabeth Stewart born around the same time. Elizabeth Stewart is listed as the daughter of John Stewart born in 1687 in Scotland who marries Mary Shaw.
There are two rumor trees assigned to John Stewart, one of them seems unlikely given that it says John’s parents were born in the Americas while listing him as being born in Scotland. The other cycles through several generations of Scots Stewarts until it reaches the High Stewards of Scotland that became the Stewart Kings of Scotland.
I’m pretty sure no one will haul out the stone of destiny so I can be crowned king of Scotland, but it would be reasonable to think that the Aunts would have known about Hugh Williamson and Elizabeth Stewart. That by itself (without the lengthy royal tree) would be enough to spawn a family legend.
As I’ve examined my family, I think I’ve grown accustomed to the idea that most of any Native American heritage we may have would come from our Finks (and associated) family. I show none of that genetically, but I think that might be where the story comes from.
Finding this Stewart in my Williamson tree makes me think the Royal connection is there. The Williamsons who were lost to me because of Henry’s missing dad may have been readily apparent and known to Ida Williamson and her daughters (The Aunts).
For reference here is the rumor tree back to a Scottish Stewart: