William Thompson, #105 on “The Dunbar Prisoners” List

Every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy; please independently verify all data.

Published on: 04 Dec 2014
Updated: 02 Dec 2016

Descendants & Researchers

Surname variation: Thompson (common in England), Thomson (common in Scotland)

SPOW DNA Study:  Group 1-B, Haplogroup R-Z288

Scottish surname:
Black, George Fraser, 1866-1948. The Surnames of Scotland, Their Origin Meaning and History, (New York : New York Public Library & Readex Books, 1962), First published in 1946. Page 769.
Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 5.29.54 PM 2Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 5.30.12 PM

First Generation in the New World

1. WILLIAM¹ THOMPSON, was born probably in Scotland about 1635 and died at Kittery, York, Maine in 1676. He married at Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire, in 1658, UNKNOWN WHITE, daughter of JOHN WHITE.

Biographical Notes:
A few years after 1650 – William Thompson is in the town of South Berwick…SEE: Clayton, W. Woodford. The History of York County, Maine (Philadelphia: Philadelphia, Everts & Peck, 1880) page 315:

The History of York County, Maine, c1880. Page 315.

The History of York County, Maine, c1880. Page 315.

William Thompson was a farmer by trade at the time of the birth of his son John. There does seem to be a lot of confusing information on William Thompson on the Internet. More documentation is needed!

Children of William and Unknown (White) Thompson:
2. i.    JOHN² THOMPSON, born at Dover, New Hampshire about 1657*.
2. ii.  WILLIAM² THOMPSON, born at Dover about 1661
2. iii. ROBERT² THOMPSON, born at Kittery about 1664
2. iv.  JAMES² THOMPSON, born at Kittery about 1666
2. v.   ALEXANDER² THOMPSON, born at Kittery about 1671
2. vi.  JUDITH² THOMPSON, born at Kittery about 1675

Second Generation

2. i. JOHN² THOMPSON (William¹), born at Dover, New Hampshire about 1657. He married, SARAH WOODMAN.

Biographical Notes:
John Thompson was a carpenter by trade at the birth of his son, John.

Children of John and Sarah (Woodman) Thompson:
3. i. JOHN³ THOMPSON, (John², William¹), born at Oyster River, Durham, New Hampshire before 1680.

2. ii.   WILLIAM² THOMPSON (William¹)
2. iii. ROBERT² THOMPSON (William¹)
2. iv.  JAMES² THOMPSON (William¹)
2. v.   ALEXANDER² THOMPSON (William¹) born at Kittery, York, Maine about 1671.

Children of Alexander and Unknown (_____) Thompson:

2. vi.  JUDITH² THOMPSON (William¹)

26 Nov 2016, Sandra Burke wrote, I am a descendant of William Thompson’ son James.
James Thompson 1666
James Thompson 1707-1791
Elizabeth Thompson Weed 1733-1766
Lydia Weed Welch 1758-1805
Ezekiel Welch 1794-1863
Julia Welch Godfrey 1819-1877
Frederick Godfrey 1859-1939
Cecil Godfrey 1903-1987
Annette Godfrey Dugans 1930-2010″
~ Sandra

“He married, “about 1678″, Sarah Woodman. Both were of Oyster River at the time, which was then a part of Dover and is now Durham, NH.” ~ Wayne, 7th great-grandson of William Thompson

“Just a small correction to William Thompson’s page:  His wife was certainly a daughter of John White, but her given name is unknown.  It could not have been Mary, because John White’s daughter Mary was unmarried in 1665 when she bore an illegitimate child.  Source: Noyes, et al., /Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire/.” ~ Wayne Mitchell

New Hampshire- Births to 1901, Deaths and Marriages to 1937

Jackie Thompson wrote and submitted the following:
William Thompson is #105 on the George S. Stewart list for “The Dunbar Prisoners.” 

In Charles Edward Banks Scotch Prisoners Deported to New England by Cromwell, 1651-1652, William  is listed as being from the Battle of Dunbar and working at the Great Works Saw Mill managed by Richard Leader, who fled to Barbados in 1656 after getting into a bit of trouble with ruling politics between Maine and Massachusetts. He left the SPOWs destitute and it is unclear if he set them free at that time. However, grants of land for these men began appearing in court records at that time. 

1656 – William received a grant of land in Dover, NH. This was laid out, March 17, 1658/1659 “beyond Cocheco Logg Swamp.”   On November 8, 1715 William’s son John Thompson, Sr. of Dover, conveyed to John Tuttle fifty acres of land which “were granted to my father, William Thompson, by the town of Dover.”  It lay beyond Cocheco Log Swamp, “bounded on the south by Bellamy Bank River.” There is no evidence that William Thompson ever lived on this grant.

October 15, 1656 – Kittery Records – 23 acres were assigned to “William Thompson and his heirs forever at a town meeting in Kittery, Maine by John White” (William’s future father in law). It was located a short way below Sturgeon Creek. 

1658 – William married a daughter of John White – Mary Elizabeth White (born 1639 in Kittery, Maine).

1659 – William Thompson was presented at York Court “for rebellion against his father and mother-in-law” He bound himself to the court in a bond of 20 Pounds “that hee will be of good behavior towards all men, especially towards his father and mother.” (State copy of Court Records, Vol. I page 331.)

1676 – William died at Kittery, York, Maine and his estate was appraised, June 22 of that year, at 52 Pounds and 18 Shillings. He left twenty-three acres of land, a house and orchard at Kittery, Maine, and fifty acres in Dover, NH, which he gave to his sons. His wife had died before 1676. He left children, whose ages were given in 1677 as follows:
i.    JOHN THOMPSON, aged 18 (Born 1658)
ii.  WILLIAM THOMPSON, aged 16 (Born 1661)
iii. ROBERT THOMPSON, aged 13 (Born 1664)
iv.  JAMES THOMPSON, aged 11 (Born 1666)
v.   ALEXANDER THOMPSON, aged 6 (Born 1671)
vi.  JUDITH THOMPSON, aged 2 (Born 1675)

I am descended from Alexander Thompson. – Jackie

Torrey's New England Marriages to 1700 (3)

Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. Page 1511.

10 Responses to William Thompson, #105 on “The Dunbar Prisoners” List

  1. George Thompson says:

    I am also descended from Alexander Thompson:
    Gen. I. William Thompson
    II. Alexander Thompson
    III. Samuel Thompson
    IV. Phineas Thompson
    V. Isaac Thompson
    VI. Isaac Thompson 2nd
    VII. Curtis Austin Thompson
    VIII. Lee Austin Thompson
    IX. Lewis August Thompson
    X. George Douglas Thompson

  2. Michael Johnson says:

    I am a descendant of John Thompson (who married Sarah Woodman), or so I understand based on my research thus far. My confusion or questions have to do with who his father was. I know his name was William Thompson, but am unclear about his past and lineage beyond. Who was William’s father, for example? Was he Robert Thompson, and if so, what does anyone know about him? My limited research/information implies that Robert was in Durham/Dover, N.H. as early as 1635. William, once he came to Dover, received a grant of land in 1656. Is this the same William Thompson that was a prisoner of the battle of Dunbar?

  3. Hi Michael, Thanks for your comment! The earliest a Battle of Dunbar prisoner of war could be in Massachusetts would be December 1650. All I know at this time is what is on this page. Most of the history of the SPOWs PRIOR to being exiled to the New World (Massachusetts Bay Colony) is not known. Many of us are trying to find out where these men came from in Scotland. I would encourage you to contact the descendants and researchers above and see if they can give you more information. George Thompson – oengusmstr@aol.com
    Jackie Thompson – JackieT27@aol.com
    Richard Thompson – rm_thompson@q.com
    Wayne Mitchell – gwmitchell_46@yahoo.com

    Do subscribe to this site by submitting your email address in the window above right on this page. I will be updating this page as time goes on.
    Good luck on your research!

  4. George Thompson says:

    Regarding 2nd generation, above says “Children of Alexander and Unknown (___)
    (From Stackpole’s Old Kittery, page 767)
    Alexander Thompson (2.v.) married Anna, daughter of Thomas Curtis of York . Their children:
    1. Elizabeth b……m. John Allen of York
    2. Abigail b……m. John Garry or Geary
    3. Benjamin b. 14 Oct. 1702 m. Hannah Smith
    4. John b. 30 Dec. 1704 m. Priscilla Davis of Haverhill (settled in Sanford, Maine.)
    5. Samuel b. 6 April 1707 m. Hannah Brackett of Berwick
    6. Joseph b. 13 May 1711 m. Mary daughter of Philip Welch of York
    7. Jonathan b. 1 May 1713 m. his cousin Dinah, daughter of James Thompson
    8. Curtis b. 2 June 1715 m. Sara daughter of Daniel Junkins of York
    9. James d. 22 Oct. 1724

    Regarding Michael Johnson’s query: again quoting from Stackpole’s Old Kittery, page 767:
    “There is a tradition that Robert Thompson was the emigrant ancestor of the Thompsons of Durham, N.H. It may have been the one who witnessed a deed in 1652. Thompson’s Point, just south of the mouth of the Cochecho River, was so called as early as 1644 and probably in 1635. Thompson’s Point House was taxed in Dover in 1648. The name of the owner is not given. Perhaps he had died. William Thompson appears soon after. He received a grant of land in Dover in 1656, which was laid out 17 March 1658-9, ‘beyond Cochecho log swamp’.”

    So, “a tradition”, in my mind, is conjecture and posits no proof. William may have been related to Robert, (perhaps brother) but I am skeptical about that. I believe the probability that William was a lowland Scot captured at Dunbar and was unrelated or distantly related to Robert, who was already in the Colonies at the time. Who knows?

    I have no information about William’s lineage in Scotland.

  5. Jackie Thompson says:

    We, too, do not believe “a tradition” is proof. We have read the same phrase above and do not believe through our family research that the “Robert Thompson” mentioned above as in “There is a tradition that Robert Thompson was the emigrant ancestor…” is related to our William Thomson who came as a Scottish Prisoner of War after the battle of Dunbar. The Robert Thompson mentioned was established much earlier and does not seem to be connected to William Thomson from the Battle of Dunbar. He can be confusing but further research shows separate lines for William. William was sold to Richard Leader of the Great Works Saw Mill in Kittery, Maine, with land grants showing up in 1656.

    Through the DNA SPoW study we do know now that our direct line is connected to a DNA SPoW participant who is descended from an Alexander Thomson who came on the John and Sara after the Battle of Worcester. So William and Alexander came one year apart, both from Cromwell’s wars. The DNA is very close and our William and this Alexander could have been cousins or even brothers. We are so excited for what more can be revealed by this SPoW DNA project. We welcome others from these Cromwell wars to join the SPoW DNA project if they feel they could be connected through their paper trail.

    As far as the name of William’s wife (who we do know was a daughter of John White), I have seen the names in research separately of Mary and in other places Elizabeth or a combination of Mary Elizabeth or an Elizabeth Mary. I’ve seen all four of those. It’s possible that two sisters names have been aligned incorrectly . Maybe there was a Mary and an Elizabeth. I keep looking for the correct answer. I’m always disappointed that more care wasn’t given the women when names were listed on documents back then.

    My lineage through our paper trail is
    William Thomson – birth date and birth place in Scotland unknown but we sure would like to know!
    Alexander 1671-1752
    Benjamin 1702-1768
    Benjamin 1727-1816
    James 1761-1846
    George 1801-1880
    Charles 1833-1910
    Henry B. 1855-1928
    HB 1890-1955
    John 1918-1988
    me Jackie, so William is my 8th great-grandfather

  6. Sandra Burke says:

    There is an error in your biographical notes section that states the William Thompson was in Berwick in 1650. The writer credits Woodford’s “History of York County”. The writer failed to note the punctuation in the excerpt from that publication. There is a period after the name Daniel Goodwin, the next 6 names (including William Thompson) are part of the next sentence which states that the names were found a few years later in Berwick records. I am a descendant of William Thompson’ son James.
    James Thompson 1666
    James Thompson 1707-1791
    Elizabeth Thompson Weed 1733-1766
    Lydia Weed Welch 1758-1805
    Ezekiel Welch 1794-1863
    Julia Welch Godfrey 1819-1877
    Frederick Godfrey 1859-1939
    Cecil Godfrey 1903-1987
    Annette Godfrey Dugans 1930-2010

  7. Phil Swan says:

    Hi Sandra, George, Michael, Teresa, Jackie and others… I posted a comment on another SPOW site and will insert it herein FYI.
    “I’m sure Jackie and Rich won’t mind if I update this last entry which is well written. I descend from William Thompson’s eldest son, John Tomson/Thompson. John White and Lucy mnu White had 5 children in America after they were married about 1634…I say 1634 because John apparently arrived in about 1632. Elizabeth b. 1639 in Kittery married William Thompson; Mary b~ 1646 was unmarried in 1665 when she was presented at court for bearing a child out of wedlock; Sarah b. 1640 married Adrian Frye who was the neighbor to the north of William Thompson; Hannah b ? married John Allen. Seems there was a son named John White, Jr. I know nothing of him….yet. Hope this helps, phil swan p.s. My paternal grandmother was a Thompson lass.” I have done a fairly indepth genealogy on the White family and on the Allgar family. I have LOTs of information on my Thompson family. Write to me at philswan192@gmail.com with questions. I live in Dover, NH about 4 or 5 miles across the river from Eliot and Kittery. best regards, phil swan

  8. Samantha Clark says:

    I believe that I am descended from William Thompson as follows:
    1. William Thompson
    2. Alexander Thompson
    3. Benjamin Thompson Sr.
    4. Benjamin Thompson Jr.
    5. James Thompson Sr.
    6. James Thompson Jr.
    7. Johnson Thompson
    8. Alice Thompson
    9. Ruth Kearney
    10. Raymond Clark Sr.
    11. Raymond Clark Jr.
    12. Samantha Clark

    Making William my 9x great-grandfather.

    There’s so much conflicting information on William out there, particularly in the older genealogies. I love seeing the work being done!

  9. Marcia Armstrong says:

    I am a descendant of 4 Kittery Scottish POWs. The families do seem to have intermarried. Alexander Cooper/POW’s daughter, Sarah, seems to have married George Gray/POW. Their son Alexander Gray supposedly married an Ellen E. Thompson. I have Ellen’s father as a John Thompson and his father as a Miles Thompson, son of David Thompson of Mass. Problem is the records don’t prove out and Miles was born in Berwick and is really too young to be David’s son. My spidey sense tells me to go back to the Scottish POW well. I find William Thompson and John there. Before I go erase several generations on a speculation, does anyone have any info that might bear this out as William’s line. Thanks

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