Page created: July 19, 1998

Page updated: July 25, 1998

Thompson Family

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 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 relocation.


    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.


    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 North Carolina.

    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 Gallagher.


Back to my Richard Thompson page.