Friday Finds

Do you have ‘same name’ struggles with your family history research? Regular readers of this blog will realize that I struggle with several men named James Crawford living in the same vicinity at the same time. However, that is not the only instance of ‘same name’ issues in my tree.

My third great grandfather, William Thompson was born in 1820 in Ohio and married in Warrick County Indiana before migrating to Wapello County, Iowa where he died. Also living in Wapello County, Iowa is another William Thompson. This William was born in 1818 in Ireland, married in Coshocton County Ohio and died in Wapello County, Iowa.

As I was digging thru my old Thompson files for Iowa, I found two pdf documents that are for the family of this second William Thompson. Unfortunately, I don’t have much sourcing information on these documents.

The first document is the will for Mrs. Polly Thompson. If one was not aware of these two separate families, one might assume that this will was for my third great grandmother, Polly Ann Evans Thompson. Fortunately, I have identified the children of my William and Polly Thompson:

  • Sarah Jane Thompson Briles (1843-1930)
  • John Evans Thompson (1845-1918)
  • William R. THompson (1848-1922)
  • Martha E. Thompson Ingersoll (1850-1929)
  • Julia A. Thompson (1853-1887)
  • Amanda Ellen Thompson Goudy (1854-1907)
  • Arcena M. Thompson Harper (1858-1928)
  • Polly Ann Thompson Ricket (1860-1942)
  • Clara Belle Thompson Goudy (1863-1943)

Knowing the children of my ancestor helps me confirm the will for Mrs. Polly Thompson is not my Polly Ann Evans Thompson since the names of the children to not match.

Last Will and Testament
Mrs. Polly Thompson, Dec’d

I, Polly Thompson, aged sixty nine years, residing near Kirk-
ville, in Wapello County, Iowa, widow of the late William Thompson deceased, hereby make and
proclaim this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills, by me at any
time heretofore, made, to-wit;

1 – It is my will that my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid out of my

2 – All of my household goods and household supplies together with my family horse
and carriage, I hereby give and bequeath to y three daughters, Eva J., Fannie L., and Bertha
M. Thompson, share and share alike.

3 – I next give, devise and bequeath to my said three daughters, Eva J., Fannie L. and
Berthas M. Thompson, the sum of One Thousand ($1,000.00) Dollars each[m]to be paid out of my

4 – I next give to my daughter Hattie E. Simpson, and to my son John Q. Thompson, the
sum of Five Hundred ($500.00) Dollars each, to be next paid out of my estate.

5 – All the remainder of my real and personal property of every kind and character,
I give devise ad bequeath to my sons George W. Thompson and James S. Thompson, and to my
three daughters, Eva J. Thompson, Fannie L. Thompson and Bertha M. Thompson, share and share alike.

6 – I hereby constitute and appoint George W. Kirkpatrick residing near Kirkville,
Iowa, executor of this, my last will and Testament, and herby empower him at public or pri-
vate sale, on such terms as may seem to him to be for the best interest of my estate, to
sell all of my personal and real property, of every kind and character whatever, not in-
cluding the bequeathed to my three daughters, in Paragraph No. 2 of this Will, so as to
enable him to distribute the same according tot he terms of this, my will.

Witness m hand at Ottumwa, Iowa, on this July 20th, 1896.

Polly Thompson; Testatrix

We, the undersigned residents of Ottumwa, Iowa, hereby certify that we were present
and saw the testator, Mrs. Polly Thompson, sign and execute the foregoing Will, which she dec
clared to us to be her Last Will and Testament, and that at her request, in her presence,
and in the presence of each other, we hereto sign our names as attesting witnesses, on this
July 20th, 1896

E/ M. Jenison Witness

Hettie Dana Witness

E. E. McElroy

Unfortunately, the Wapello county Iowa will records are locked. Thus, I cannot figure out the source of my document from home. Hopefully, there is enough information in the will for descendants to locate the original.

The second document I have for this family is a photocopy of page 571 from “History of Wapello County” containing the first part of a biography of George Wilber Moore Thompson.

George W. M. Thompson, engaged in – merchandising at
Kirkville, has for a considerable period been closely associated
with the commercial activity of his part of the state, and intelli­-
gently directed effort, unfaltering enterprise and laudable ambi-
­tion have constituted the keynote of his success. He was born in
the Mohawk valley of Coshocton county, Ohio, March 31, 1860.
His father, William Thompson, was a native of Omagh, County
Tyrone, Ireland, and was the son of a Scotch Presbyterian minis-
­ter. The mother of William Thompson was in her maidenhood
Miss Belle Moore, likewise a native of Ireland, and of Scotch
Presbyterian stock. Reared in his native land, William Thomp-
­son came to the United States as a young man and in Ohio was
united in marriage to Polly Hogle, who·was born and reared on
the banks of the Walhonding river in Ohio. She was born of
American parentage. To Mr. and Mrs. William Thompson
came three sons, the brothers of our subject being: John Quigley,
who was assistant attorney general of the United States and died
in 1913, while serving his country in that capacity; and James
Sites, a farmer living near Bancroft, South Dakota. There were
also four daughters in the family: Eva and Fannie, residents of
Kirkville; and Mrs. Harriet Simpson and Mrs .. Bertha Thomp-
son, who are residents of Canton, Kansas.

In die- public schools of his native. county George W. M.
Thompson pursued his education .. · His early experiences were
those which usually fall to the lot of the farm lad, and in early
manhood he took up· the occupation··of farming, which he fol-
1owed for some time. Later, however, he turned his attention to
merchandising, establishing a store in Kirkville, of which he is
still the proprietor. He carries a large and well selected line of

I had better luck locating the biography. It is from volume II of the History of Wapello County, Iowa published in 1914 by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. A digital copy of the book and thus the biography, can be found on The remainder of the biography is on page 572.

Hopefully, by sharing these documents I will help descendants of this other William Thompson with their research. To that end, I am adding a note about the will record to the profile for Mary B. Hogle (Polly Thompson). I also have added source information for the biography to the profile for George W. Thompson.