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The strange mixup of the Thompson family

duckweed

Loyal Member
#1
I've been doing my husbands tree for a while and one branch is Thompsons. Not the easiest branch to look up. However made more difficult by one member claiming to be born in Parton, New Galloway, Scotland. I eventually, having searched the scottish sites to no avail, acquired his Marriage certificate which took me on a totally different trail as although relatives insisted his father's name was William, it was in fact Stephen. Then surprise surprise I find Henry Jamieson Thompson was born in Warton Lancaster to Stephen Thompson quarryman deceased and Mary Jamieson. Mary Jamieson turns out to be the one born in Parton New Galloway. The Thompsons go back centuries in the Lancaster/Kendal area. So why did Harry think he was born in Parton Kirkudbrightshire? He certainly knew his father was Stephen and there are hundreds of his relatives in Kendal. He lived there for sometime.

However I am beginning to think there is a reason for this.

Mary Jamieson in her marriage certificate puts William Jamieson Shepherd down as her father. Investigation into her parentage turns up a mother Mary Jamieson who never married but had four children. Each child had a different surname. William Jamieson was her mother's brother and was indeed a Shepherd, and in later years Mary's mother went to housekeep for him. I am supposing Mary put down her Uncle's name because it gave her an air of respectability. Mary's name on the 1861 census is down as Mary Orr, though in the 1851 it was down as Jamieson.

I have looked for years for Mary in the 1871 census and the 1881 census. Her marriage certificate lists her as a servant in Skipton.

I think I have found her in 1881 as Mary Orr in the Farnworth Workhouse but if it is her she is wrongly listed as married. She is a little older but it also says place of birth unobtainable. Could this be her. She is also listed as a nomad or traveller. It would make sense.

Here is Mary whose mother is a Gypsy. Jamieson is a common gypsy name in Dumfries and Galloway. So Mary is born out of wedlock to possibly an Irish gypsy father as Orr I believe is an Irish name similar to O'Hare and a Scottish Gypsy Mother. After coming out the workhouse she meets Stephen Thompson and she makes up a story. Probably she thought no one is going to check too carefully and after all there is a William and Mary Jamieson living at that address if they do check. However Stephen's family think Mary is a bit rough and have nothing to do with her, so somehow Stephen thinks he is Scottish and has no relatives to correct that fact.
 

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