John Bayer 1782 Butler PA

I attempted some follow up on the Thompson children living with John Bayer born 1782 in Ireland. These are further Thompsons who live near John B Hollingsworth in Butler PA.

There are multiple names in North Butler at the time that seem like I might be looking at an extended family. John Bayer has a wife named Isabelle in the census. His daughter is named Margaret B Bayer born 1828. The Thompsons living with him are John born 1833, Mary born 1835 and Isabelle the youngest.

Also in North Butler is a woman named Margaret Thompson born in the 1760s in Ireland with another woman named Isabelle Thompson who is in her 50s living with her. That’s a lot of Isabelles and Margarets between these two families and it makes me suspect some sort of relationship. It also makes me suspect some missing male Thompsons.

It’s possibly of interest that in the same 1850 census Jane (Stevenson) Thompson (b 1781) is living with her adult son David William Thompson and Nathaniel S Thompson. Her husband John Thompson having died in the 1840s. Jane would be about 69 here, which is one reason I doubt she could be the mother of Levi Thompson, she would have been 53 when he was born in 1834. So there is at least one missing male Thompson that I know of.

In at least one family tree for John Thompson and Jane Stevenson I see a daughter named Isabella. In all the trees I have John Thompson is listed as being born around 1770 which would make him about 10 years older than Jane Stevenson. If I make some conjectures given the relative ages of people, it seems like John and Jane have at least one child born around 1802 (Samuel). The Isabell listed with Margaret is in her 50s (I’ll have to recheck the record). That would put her birth date around 1800. This could be John’s child..possibly an oldest daughter. Margaret born in the 1760s could be a sibling to John..she doesn’t seem old enough to be a parent, but then the 1770 date for John’s birth may be a best guess.

They could be totally unrelated Thompsons in the same town. I’ve seen that enough.

I couldn’t track the Bayer family any further than this single census because I’m not sure their name is spelled 1840 there are Barrs, Bears and Berrs in Butler.. and with one daughter of marrying age and parents near their 70s, they just may not exist as a unit beyond this point. “John” and “Mary” Thompsons will be hard to track. Isabelle offers the best hope because of her relatively young age and fairly unique name.

Also in this family, John Thompson living with John Bayer would have to BE Levi Thompson. What I’m really hoping for here is sort of what I found with my Williamsons. If I looked at the Census That listed Henry Williamson with his mother and no father, a few houses away was his grandfather..sitting there the whole time. I can’t say with a certainty who his father was but I have a few candidates among the Williamson men who all died around the same time that would fit well.

Similarly Levi and his parents may just fall into a record gap I can’t get past. Not all the children of these Thompson patriarchs are known or documented, but if I can jump over is parents to find his grandparents (like I did with Henry Williamson), I might get a lot closer to piecing this together and maybe with the help of genetics, work it the other way around.

It’s possible that these people who live near John B. Hollingsworth represent a larger family we’re tied to. It’s a funny quirk of being a Thompson that even here when I’ve got a very narrow search I turn up at least two totally separate Thompson families. Still it gives me a bit of hope to think that I may be looking at aunts, uncles, cousins or if I’m really lucky, grandparents for Levi.


  1. Sometimes I re-read these and wonder if I'm being explicit enough. John Thompson who lives with John Bayer from Ireland is roughly the same age as Levi Thompson. So it would be unlikely they were siblings, but it's possible Levi Thompson had a first name of John and chose to difference himself later. Too bad he didn't name any of his children Isabelle or Margaret. Also too bad I don't see any Renas or Frances here.

  2. Sorry. I lost the trail there when searching. The Thompsons have a lot of mythology to try to work through and that, plus the general problem of tracking John or James Thompsons makes it very hard for us I think. That's one reason I turned to Y testing to jump the gap and try to match up with another Thompson family.

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