Page created: July 28, 1998

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John Thompson, dec'd circa 1782???

Halifax Co., NC

Deed for land owned by Richard Head

There are two deeds in Halifax County which imply that a John THOMPSON living there may have died between 1779 and 1783. If these deeds, along with others can be used to determine the family in which this John Thompson belongs, it may be useful in narrowing down the families to which "my" Richard THOMPSON may have belonged.


    So far I think it's only implied that this John died during this time span. I need to learn more about the conventions used writing these deeds before I can really be certain that this John THOMPSON in fact did die between the times that the two deeds below were written.

    The first deed below written in 1779 refers to land adjoining property owned by John THOMPSON. Then in 1783 another deed was written involing the same piece of property. In the second deed, the land was described as adjoining property owned by "THOMPSON, dec'd".

    Obviously this John THOMPSON must have died prior to the writing of the 1783 deed. My question though is, can I be sure that he must have been alive when the 1779 deed was written? That seems like a pretty safe bet to me, but it's still an assumption.


    There are at least two Thompson families in which this individual might belong. The will written in 1760 by John Thompson mentioned a son named "Pridgeon". Tracking down this name has been a little difficult. It's certainly uncommon, but it doesn't seem to show up in other records. Could it just be a name that was incorrectly transcribed??? Could it be something that a "John" might have been called??? Or was it really this person's name.

    In 1770 William Thompson wrote his will naming his son, John. So this family is another candidate for the John Thompson named in the Richard Head deeds.


    I've included the information on the two deeds in which I'm interested immediately below. These records come from a book published by Dr. Stephen Bradley on Halifax County, NC deeds. Specifically, the records come from his book, "The Deeds of Halifax County, North Carolina, 1771-1786.


Richard Head Deed, 1779

Richard Head of Wake Co. to William Gill, Jr. of Granville Co. 10 Aug 1779. 600 pounds proclamation money. 500 acres on Roanoke River, joining Francis Redding, James Hockerday, Mitchel, John Thompson.

Richard Head

August Ct. 1779


William Gill Deed, 1783

William Gill of Granville Co. to Francis Gill of Chesterfield Co. Virginia. 26 Aug 1783. 250 pounds specie. 500 acres where Wm. Head lived and which Wm. Gill purchased from Richd. Head, on Roanoke River, joining THOMPSON dec'd., James Hockerday, and others.

William Gill

November Ct. 1783


Things "TO DO" based on the content of these deeds:

  1. Determine if it's reasonable to assume this John Thompson was alive in 1779

    I don't know if there is any way to determine this positively. Reading other contemporary deeds might suggest that it was at least conventional to never enter a deceased individual's name without explicitly stating that they were deceased, but there's still no absolute guarantee that this was always done.

    Regardless of whether I can actually determine when this John Thompson died though, the real value of tracking this piece of property is using it to identify other family members. It is likely that this piece of land would have passed to John Thompson's heir(s) when he died. Finding that transcation will help at least get an approximate date for his death. But the primary value of any other transactions involving this property is in establishing the names of his relatives. The following two tasks are directed toward that objective.

  2. Locate this property in earlier transactions

    If the record can be located dealing with John Thompson's original purchase or receipt of this property (possibly through a will), it may contain the name of his ancestors.

  3. Locate this property in later transactions

    If this particular piece of land which was owned by John Thompson can be located after his death, it may be useful in determing the names of his descendants.

If you have questions about the information you find here, or you can add to it, please get in touch with me via e-mail at Glen Gallagher.


Back to my Richard Thompson page.