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640 Acres of Property Conveyed in John Thompson's January 22, 1760 Will

In the will John Thompson wrote in Halifax County, NC in 1760, he conveyed 640 acres of property to three of his children and his "trusty friend", John Lewis. In an attempt to learn more about my ancestor, Richard Thompson (1742-1830), I've tracked the disposition of this land as documented below.

My hope is that in following the transactions involving these properties, I may find a piece of evidence which will help me confirm whether the Richard Thompson named in John Thompson's will is the same person as my ancestor. I cannot yet do that with the information which you'll find below. I'd certainly be glad to hear from anyone who has opinions or suggestions related to the details below.

I segregrated the four initial parcels of land using the four colors below. It is my assumption that the two columns on the left (merged into one parcel when sold by Thomas Pace in 1772) do represent the same pieces of land throughout this period. There is not enough detail in the will record to be absolutely certain about that, but I feel pretty positive about that assumption at this time. I'd be very glad to hear from anyone who has other opinions on this theory.

As much as I had hoped that following the history of these land parcels would give me the definitive answer on Richard Thompson's ancestry, I ended up learning new things about the family, and discovering new questions. Those findings are as follows:

What can be learned from these transactions?

  1. What happened to Pridgeon Thompson?

    This "Pridgeon" individual has always been a problem. I've never seen the name anywhere else. It is my understanding that these Halifax County wills and deeds were transcribed from the originals in the late 1800's. It's possible that this name is the result of an error by the clerk who did that previous transcription. Based on this Thompson family's inclination to use some of the same names over and over (specifically, John, William and Richard), it is possible that "Pridgeon's" correct name was "John".

    I have not yet located the record though which documents the transfer of Prideon's property to Peter Bruce. Bruce was apparently close to John Thompson, and was an executor of the will. Perhaps Pridgeon died shortly after his father, failed to take care of his sister, Sarah, as John's will required, or what ????. Somehow it seems that Peter Bruce gained control of the property willed to "Pridgeon".

  2. Is it possible that John Lewis' wife, Ann, is John Thompson's daughter?

    This is just a wild guess on my part at this time. It struck me as pretty "neighborly" that John Thompson willed this property to John Lewis, and that John was already living on it. The later deeds indicate that John's wife's name was Ann. So it just struck me as at least a remote possibility that John Lewis may have married John Thompson's daughter.

  3. How "famous" was John Thompson?

    If you follow the transations below, you'll notice that for as much as 19 years after John Thompson's death, some of this land is stilled referred to as land he had once owned. I'm curious as to why this land would be identified by someone that far back in time while not being referred to as property owned by its intermediate owners.

    I have seen a couple of Halifax County deeds as late as 1815 which refer to property that joins, "John Thompson, decd.". I don't know if these transactions are referring to the same John Thompson who wrote his will in 1760, but if so it would suggest that he was memorable for some reason.

  4. What happened to John's son, William Thompson?

    Actually I have no evidence that anything "happened" to William. I'm just surprised so far that after looking through all the records I've reviewed, I haven't yet come across any subsequent transactions involving his 140 acre block of land. Maybe he just lived there quietly and kept out of trouble???

Four initial land parcels
200 a. to my Eldest son Pridgeon 200 a. to my son Richard 140 a. to my son William 100 a. to John Lewis
the Plantation whereon I now live a parcel known by the name Winter's Place Land joining to the lands of William Rone Whereon he (John Lewis) now dwells
FIRST SALES
November 13, 1766 September 1, 1767
February 28, 1767
200a. Peter Bruce to Thomas Pace of Northampton Co. 200a. Richard Thompson to Thomas Pace of Halifax Co.
100 a. John & Ann Lewis to William Trent
joining Peter Bruce, Quankey Creek, Thomas Smith land which had belonged to John Thompson dec'd. joining Mead, Myrick, Indian Branch, Trent, Bruise.
land which had belonged to John Thompson joining Myrick.
NEXT SALES
August 19, 1772 (one deed conveyed both parcels above
March 15, 1768
Thomas Pace to Charles Pasteur of Town of Halifax
William Trent to John Myrick of Southampton Co., VA
200 a. joining Peter Bruce's old line, Thomas Smith.
200 a. which had belonged to John Thompson dec'd. joining Mead, Myrick, Thompson, Indian Branch, Trent, Bruce's old line.

100 a. which was part of land acquired by John Thompson, joining Myrick.
NEXT SALE
December 29, 1779 (one deed conveyed both parcels above

All 400 a. conveyed to John Purnal

These parcels were still being identified as land once owned by John Thompson even 19 years after his death.


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