Halifax County, NC
Were they British Loyalists?
One of the puzzles I've had with my Thompson family research relates to the fact that
the family pretty much completely moved out of the Halifax County, NC area at the end of
the 18th century. That's just a problem since it creates a break in their records which has
made it difficult to follow the family through that time period.
I think it's possible that a reason for that departure from Halifax County could have been
that at least part of the family was loyal to the British cause during the American
Revolution? I'll be placing the records below that have caused me to wonder if this could
have been a factor in their migration -- and virtual disappearance from the county.
So far, I have three pieces of information which would suggest that at least some of
the Halifax County, NC Thompson's were British loyalists. Well, it's three if my "hunch"
about their virtual disappearance from the county gets to count. I've been pursuing this
line of information in the event I can learn anything else about the family which would help
me sort out everyone. Here's what I have on this so far:
- THE FAMILY'S "DISAPPEARANCE"
The Thompson's in Halifax County were a large family that appeared in quite a few
records -- up until the late 1780's. Then within a decade or two, they just don't appear
in the county any more. That has always struck me as strange for a large family with such
a common name. Since this is about the time period when the Thompson's begin showing up
in western Virginia and eastern Kentucky, I've always wondered if the two groups were
connected, and if the outcome of the American Revolution might have been the cause of their
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA RECORDS
In the spring of 1784, the state of North Carolina considered a bill dealing with
the property of individuals who had been supporters of England in the American
Revolution. Among the names on the bill of the people who would have their land
confiscated was John Thompson of Halifax County.
I currently have only a segment of the record on this bill which was addressed
in the House session of May 29, 1984. I'll need to get some of the missing pages
associated with this action, and see if I can find some of its earlier forms which were
referred to in my May , 1784 session. As noted in the extract of this record, it is an
amendment to some earlier action.
HALIFAX COUNTY, NC LAND RECORDS
In April of 1778, John Thompson deeded a great deal of his property away. I have an
abstract of this record in a book published by Dr. Stephen Bradley, Jr. of South Boston,
Virginia in 1989. In the abstract of this particular record, there is a comment which
I believe Dr. Bradley introduced suggesting that John Thompson had been "exiled" from
I'm going to try to confirm this by obtaining some of the related land records, and
through contacting Dr. Bradley directly. I'm interested in learning if in fact this
"exile" is the reason the Thompson family showed up in western Virginia -- and of course
determining whether this John Thompson is connected to "my" Richard Thompson.
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
Back to my Richard Thompson page.