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Thomsons of Edinburgh


My Thomson ancestral line came from Edinburgh, Scotland to America about 1685, transported by Col. Ninian Bealle and settled on land in Scotland Hundred near Bladenburgh, Md.  Historical notes about Col. Ninian Bealle indicate that he transported an entire Presbyterian Congregation to America and that became the Presbyterian Church at Bladensburg, Md.  It seems possible that the congregation could have been from Fife or the Firth of Fourth which appears to be the location where he lived prior being transported to America.

I've incorporated a lot of the Thompson family history linked from my web site on the internet:

The link to the Thompson books are from that page including "The Covenanter's Quest" and the Thompson family ged file.  Some documents require user name of thompsons and password of ronsfile to download although most require no password.

The Thompson family page is at link:

Maryland documentation is specific in that migrating ancestor William Thomson was a Gent from Edinburgh, Scotland.  His brother Walter Thomson was married to a Margaret and was a merchant in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Yet I can find no documentation pertaining to Walter Thomson in the Scotland documentation.  ALso Walter's eldest son was William Thompson, a mariner who sailed out of London, England.  Walter and William's brother Christopher Thomson was a merchant in Maryland and a trustee of the Presbyterian Church at Bladensburgh, Md.  I think that Christopher owned property in Thompsons Town in that general location of Maryland.

The Thomson y-dna profile matches that of the current chief of Clan McTavish -1 marker.

The Thomson y-dna profile also matches the Scottish Modal 47 which pertains to about 10-20% of all modern Scotland.  And -4 marker y-dna matches include a William McTavish from Lanark, Scotland who migrated in the middle 1800 time span to America.  So it is fairly obvious that this group were descendants from Clan McTavish.

In America in Scotland Hundred near Bladensburg, Md. the Thompson property adjoined that of a George Thompson who named his tract as Duddingston Manor and another tract as Duddingston Pasture.  This seems to be more than coincidental.

Migrating ancestor William Thomson was literate and willed his divinity books to a grandson, therefore probably studied for the ministry.  I found several William Thomsons listed as students in that time period in the University of Edinburgh but nothing to identify any specific person.

I think it is very probable that these Thomsons were cousins to or descended from Sir Thomas Thomson of Duddingston.  William Thomson was about 18 years of age at the time that property was sold.  But there is nothing to connect anyone, only the Edinburgh, Scotland location and speculation.

The Thomsons in America were intermarried with Angus McDonald, a Col. who was the Deputy for Lord Dunsmore in his war against the Indians.  Migrating ancestor William Thomson's grand-daughter Ann Thompson married Angus McDonald.  Both Angus McDonald and my ancestor William Thompson, brother to Ann and grandson of migrating ancestor William Thompson are listed in George Washington's diary as dinner guests.  The main reason for that is that Angus McDonald owned property in Virginia and collected rent for George Washington on properties that Washington owned there.  A transcription of a letter from George Washignton to Angus McDonald is in my files and available on line with the original letter in the possession of Hunter McDonald of Nashville, Tn. at last account.

The Thompsons were intermarried with the Van Meteren and DuBois lines who settled in Ulster County, N. Y. because of religious persecution and then migrated south.  John Van Meteren was married to Sarah DuBois and their daughter Rebecca Van Meteren was married to Cornelius Eltinge whose half sister was married to Nicholas Roosevelt, the patriach of Teddy Roosevelt and FDR.  Yacomintye Eltinge, the daughter of Cornelius and Rebecca Van Meteren Eltinge was married to John Thompson, my 6th great-grandfather.  Migrating ancestor William Thomson and Ann Chittham Thomson were my 7th great-grandparents.

Also in my ancestral lineage from my mother's line are the Wigton, Scotland Walker line and others who migrated with those groups.  Religious persecution seems to be the general motiviation with one ancestral line tracing back to Rev. Joseph Alleine who was imprisoned in England for religious purposes and whose daughter married Rev. John Rutherford with their daughter intermarried with John Walker of the Wigton, Scotland Walker line.

Many of the notable historical figures in the foundation of America are direct descendants from some of these families including Gen. Sam Houston, Gen. George S. Patton, Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, and FDR.  Also from the Wigton, Scotland Walker line was explorer Johnny Rutherford Walker.  Dna testing has connected them as well as documentation supporting it.

Just about all of these Scotts were Scottish Covenanters and either escaped murder by migrating to America or were banished.

The Thompson y-dna profile also matches that of an Anderson and Tate group from Scotland and matches that of some who lived in England near the Scottish border.  There are matches to a Robert Norton descendant from Yorkshire, England from a family that was intermarried with the Stewart nobility.  Also matching from that location was a descendant from Henry Thompson, a persecuted Quaker.

I would have thought that there would be a record of merchants who operated in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Walter Thomson, the merchant, was survived by his spouse Margaret and an eldest son named William and was deceased by about 1730.  So it would seem unlikely that there would be more than one Walter Thomson listed as merchant in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The researchers seem to have lost track of the Duddingston Thomsons and I think that our line could be them, particularly with a y-dna profile matching that of clan McTavish.  But I would particularly like to connect to the earlier lineage of Walter Thomson, the merchant, since that would seem to be traceable.  BUT since these were Covenanter Scotts it is possible that all records about them were purged by Kings Charles II and James II.

Your thoughts will be appreciated and at the least you can have documentation showing where some of the Edinburgh, Scotland Thomsons went.


Ron Thompson



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