Thanks to Geneabloggers for the topic suggestions. I’ve been at a bit of a loss lately as to what to write about–too many and too little things!
So let’s dive right in. You may think Thompson is an often common surname to attack in my first Surname Saturday, and you’re probably right. But I could’ve chosen my Smiths!
My Thompsons (Robert, below, and siblings) came to Canada around the turn of the century, that being 1900, not 2000. They had come from Reading, Berkshire, England. For those of us on this side of the pond, that’s prounced “Redding”. This caused me some issues for a few years as we had only oral history, that grandma’s father had come from “Redding” England. I looked and looked for a Redding or something similar. Finally finding Reading I asked if that was perhaps it…no one could confirm or deny. Then, somehow (perhaps a BBC TV program?), I heard the English pronounciation of Reading (Redding) and my mystery was solved! But I digress here.
Some of that generation (born 1860s through 1870s) were also born in Dover, Kent, England.
Their father (Thomas, and his siblings) had been born in Devizes, Wiltshire, England which is where their mother was born and raised. I have noticed it is not uncommon for marriages to occur in the parish or place where the bride resides, and for the new couple to reside nearby at least for a while.
Thomas’ father (Peter) was born in Wargrave, Berkshire, England. So we’re back in Berkshire. This is also where Peter’s father (another Thomas) was born. We’re back to 1766 now. (note: These last two generations are courtesy of a cousin’s work, Heather, in Australia. Thanks Heather!). My impression is that people were generally less mobile prior to the 19th century (1800s), so I would venture that my Thompson family lived in the Berkshire County area for some time prior to this. However, there is more research waiting to be done to prove or disprove that! And being that later generations included travelling cheapermongers (goods sellers), cheesemongers (cheese sellers) and bacon factors, it is also possible this family has not settled down in place for more than one generation over the past 500 years. Hmmmm…no wonder I myself move every 3 to 5 years!