I am in midst of working on several Thompson families in Lennox and Addington County and Frontenac County. Anyone who has worked on genealogy for a long time realizes that the farther back you go, the fewer records there are available. People who do serious genealogy also realize that without a paper trail, you cannot decisively attach anyone to ancestors, even if you speculate they are "yours".
In order to prove your ancestry, you work backwards from yourself and rely on birth records, death records, marriage records and census information, to provide a "trail" backwards. In order for any family tree to be credible, there must be proof of the connections from one generation back to the next.
So here's my dilemma- I have a whole file on Thompson families who descend from a John Thompson born about 1822-1829 time frame who was married to Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, born about 1829-1831 in Ireland. They lived at Sheffield, Ontario in 1851 and 1861, by 1871 were at Kennebec, and by 1881 at Barrie in Frontenac County (Barrie at one time considered to be part of Addington County). John Thompson died in 1885 at Barrie (May 10th), and so did Elizabeth (April 16th). Death info for John states he was born at Fredericksburgh; this information would have been given by a living family member at that time.
I see people posting online that this John was actually "William John Thompson" born 1819 at Williamstown, Glengarry County, son of David Thompson the explorer and his wife Charlotte Small. Not once in any records for his children, or census records, have I seen John Thompson of Barrie referred to as "William". Does someone have an old family bible somewhere that can positively identify this man?
Some of the online family trees state that John Thompson of Barrie actually went to Northumberland County and died there between 1900 and 1905. Again, what would be the proof for this? Usually a man who has lived in one area his whole life doesn't leave and go elsewhere to die, unless he went to stay with a son or daughter after his wife died. John and Elizabeth had 12 children that I have found, and so far I find none of them in Northumberland County.
I have tried contacting the people who have "original family trees" to see what the paper documents are that tie the two men together- (1819 William and 1822 John), and have also tried to contact people who have worked on the David and Charlotte Thompson families but so far no one has offered the documents that link the two men. I am stumped. Is there an old family bible, old journals, land records, that type of thing?
The history and background of the David and Charlotte Thompson family is truly amazing. I have started putting together their genealogy using census records, and any BMD records I can find, hoping to make some connections with living Thompson descendents. There are some references to David's family in a couple of places online that I can see, based on recollections of descendents who lived in the USA in the early 1900's. So far any children of David and Charlotte's, (whose deaths I have found documented) have died in Peterborough County, Ontario, or in Montreal, Quebec or in the USA.
If anyone has documentation for these families, please post here or contact me directly. I do have most of the BMD info for John and Elizabeth's children, and have them on census's up to 1921 in Canada. Elizabeth Kirkpatrick also went by the given name Isabelle.