These are the people in my Thompson family.

Thompson Family 1927

My Grandfather is the boy labelled Charles in the middle there. Sitting on the lap of his grandmother Ida Williamson Thompson. His father is Ray Thompson in the back row. These are the names and families I’ve followed on the Thompson side of my paternal family.

James Thompson, Mattie Clifford and Mary Fenimore represent the Thompson straight paternal line here. Missing is Albert (their sibling), my second great grandfather. By the time of this picture he was dead for about 18 years. They are the children of Levi Thompson (b. 1834 Butler PA) and Rosa Blades daughter of James Blades (a pioneer in the area).

Ida Williamson is my second great grandmother. You can see her sons Francis, Ray and Cuba (Harold missing from photo) and daughters Marjory Thompson Sturm and Eva Thompson McCann. My grandfather appears to be named for Charles Sturm and Paul McCann (Charles Paul Thompson). He was raised by “The Aunts” along with his cousins in Alexandria Indiana.

Mary Hardcastle is married to Francis Thompson. In the picture is their daughter Rosemary, her brothers Harold and Richard will lead to the Thompson branch that I have most contact with.

Onda Harris married Cuba Thompson. They had one son before their separation that I have been able to follow. Gerald Thompson. He would be the only other known male line Thompson (at this time) beside the families of Ray and Francis. James Thompson was childless.

We are in some way related to the Swindells, but no one knows how. Dick Karn and Nellie Little continue to elude me too.

Ray Thompson (my great grandfather in the picture there) worked on the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad.

Grand Rapids Indiana Railroad

The story is that he met my great grandmother Orvetta Finks at a dance at some point. My best guess is that he met her after her family had moved to Cadillac Michigan following a bad land deal in the Traverse City area.

Records show the Finks family including Orvetta living in Peoria Illinois in 1924. My grandfather was born in Cadillac in 1925. Apparently born in a taxi cab? So between 1924 and February 1925 Robert Finks was convinced to sell his land in Illinois in a trade for land in northern lower michigan. Finding nothing but sand to farm, they moved to Cadillac.

It may be that Ray Thompson met Orvetta at some dance in Cadillac while he worked on the railroad. That would make sense but that part of my family history is misty to me. What I know is that Ray Thompson continues to live in Indiana and my grandfather continues to live with the Finks family (who move to the Flint area) until he is about three years old.

At the age of two or three, my grandfather is sent to live with his father…that gets us to the family picture above.

The other thing I know, is that there are two Thompson families in that picture. Y DNA and autosomal testing has shown that there are no genetic links between Charles Thompson (the boy in the middle on his grandmother’s lap) and Francis Thompson (his uncle). The Thompson men descended from Francis are in a different haplogroup in R1b called U152. The Thompson men descending from Charles Thompson are in the U106 haplogroup in R1b. There are thousands of years separating those haplogroups. Further testing is necessary to untangle the details.

I’ve had years to work on the U106 side of things and we have several good leads. I haven’t had as much time with our U152 cousins, but as I progress in testing I hope to be able to tie them to an existing Thompson family and jump my brick wall at Levi Thompson.

My Thompson page is more complicated than the others because of that simple divide. I’m pursuing two goals for them now instead of one which divides my efforts.

I do not have all the answers yet, but I’m working on it.

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