Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Closs Thompson & Daniel Boone

I recently completed the application for my great grandson, Jackson Ryan Lewis, to join The Children of the American Revolution. I decided to use our ancestor, Closs Thompson, Jr for the revolutionary ancestor for this. Mainly because I thought any little boy would be fascinated with knowing his ancestor and Daniel Boone were close friends.

Enclosed is the marriage bond of Closs Thompson, Sr and Jane Jones Lee. It was signed by the famous Daniel Boone, indicating that he and Closs were close friends. You chose someone very close to you to sign a marriage bond –plus the bond was a promise to pay money if a problem was found that would make the marriage illegal. Signing a marriage bond was not taken lightly in 1759. It was one of the few records that survive to this day. This one was in Rowan County, North Carolina.

In checking a book I am reading about Daniel Boone, I find that 5 days prior to signing this marriage bond, Daniel Boone had bought 640 acres of land in Rowan County North Carolina from his father, Squire Boone. That puts him exactly in the right time at the right place for this marriage bond. Daniel Boone had a hard time trying to conform to the life of a farmer, as expected of any “normal” husband and father in the 1760’s. His heart was continually drawn to the wild frontier of Kentucky. I can see that he tried very hard to conform, but just couldn’t overcome what his strongest desire was – being a frontiersman, scout, and explorer.

His wife, Rebecca Bryan must have loved him very much because she waited at home as he satisfied his wanderlust. Finally he moved his family to Kentucky and the rest is history. I have always been fascinated by Daniel Boone and his fellow frontiersman, Simon Kenton. Our Closs Thompson, Sr also moved his family to Kentucky, and I suspect it was in a group led by Daniel Boone, although there is no proof of that.

About Closs Thompson, Jr.

I knew that Closs Thompson, Jr. served at the Battle of King's Mountain. I searched for years to find proof of his service that would be acceptable to DAR. Another person submitted the affidavit of his mother, and that seemed to satisfy the requirement. His mother [Jane Jones Thompson] made the statement when she was swearing to the service of her son-in-law, Bethuel Riggs. She said, ".. I had a son, Closs Thompson, who served under said Riggs as a private in his company for a long time and was at the Battle of King’s Mountain and served on scouting parties against the Tories." Also, Bethuel Riggs and Closs Thompson received land in Franklin County Georgia, and it MAY be for Revolutionary service for the State of North Carolina. I have yet to investigate this.

Closs Thompson, Jr. was born in 1762 on the 3rd Creek of the South Radkin River in Rowan County North Carolina. He was the son of Closs Thompson, Sr and Jane Jones. Daniel Boone was the bondsman for his parents marriage bond. Yes, the elder Closs and Daniel Boone were friends and neighbors in Rowan County North Carolina. Later, his father, Closs, Sr. moved the family to Wilkes County North Carolina and this is where he married his first cousin, Rebecca Wilson. Rebecca’s mother and Closs’s mother were sisters. Rebecca was born in 1767 in Salisbury, Rowan County North Carolina. She was the daughter of James Wilson and Mary Jones.

Closs was an adventurer, as were many young men of his generation. There were so many exciting things to discover and places to explore, and of course, the American Revolution was the greatest adventure of them all. He and his family have been the center of attraction for quite a few researchers. Among them are Craig Hart of Uniontown, Kansas, Jane Gray Buchanan of Oak Ridge Tennessee and Elder Wilson Thompson (Closs Jr.’s son) last of Wabash County Indiana. It was the work of these three people that gave me a great deal of information about Closs Thompson.The life that Closs and Rebecca lived is like a chapter from a novel.

Elder Wilson Thompson says, "After the Independence of the United States was achieved, my father and his next brother Lawrence, left their native state, North Carolina, and spent one year (perhaps A. D. 1786) as pioneers in the dense forests of Kentucky, among the wild beasts and savage Indians. I have often sat spellbound while hearing my father relate the many dangers and hairbreadth escapes of his border life, and those of the Revolution. After spending about one year in Kentucky, he returned to North Carolina and married Rebecca Wilson, and shortly after, again moved to Kentucky. So, in the fall of 1787, he, and all his father’s family [Closs, Sr.], and all my mother’s family [James Wilson] also, came to dwell in the forests of what the Indians called "the bloody land", where my parents passed through many of those thrilling alarms and trying privations incident to border warfare and to settling of Kentucky in particular."

On 2 Nov 1790, Closs was recommended for the rank of Ensign in the Madison County Kentucky Militia. This action was still done by the State of Virginia, since Kentucky was not a State yet. This shows that Closs Thompson, Jr. was always a man to step forward to protect and defend his Country and his community.

So, dear reader, when you hear of the stories of Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton, be assured we had ancestors that were in the middle of the story of early Kentucky. They weren’t necessarily thinking about history at the time, they simply were seeking a better life and better land. The quest for land drove the Thompsons from North Carolina to Kentucky to Missouri Territory to Indiana. Franklin County Indiana was the last home of Closs and Rebecca. Closs died in October 1817 and Rebecca died in 1822. This couple did all of the things expected of them. They took care of their elderly parents, stayed close to their children, provided a strong religious example, and kept searching for the "perfect" place in a time that was filled with danger and challenge. They are among my very favorite ancestors!
12 Jan 2011 Addendum!! I have been contacted by another descendant that brought to my attention that the signature on Closs Thompson's marriage bond was Thomas Jones -- not Francis Jones. This is a brother of Jane Jones Lee Thompson. I stand corrected. I wish I knew for sure who her father was, oh well, we can't have everything can we?


Jerald Thompson said...

I was very isterested in Ms Patricia Johnson's article about Closs Thompson and Daniel Boone.

Was the name George Thompson, born 1810 in kentucky or Missouri territory, ever mentioned. He married Elcy Greenstreet in 1833 in Franklin County Missouri.

Jerald Thompson

GenPatty said...

There is no mention of a George Thompson in Closs' family or of any of his children's families.