Looking for William Ross "W.R." Thompson bn abt 1879, spouse Lona (Martin) Thompson.

+3 votes

I've created a profile for WR born about 1879, but I have found absolute zero on him anywhere I have searched. His name is in my grandmother's family bible, along with her mother's (Lona Martin Thompson) but no additional information on WR there either.

To add some clarity, I am looking for his parentage. I have the file on Family Search, Geni, and several others and cannot locate a mother or father for WR. I have records on his wife and all of his children, including my Grandmother.

Thanks in advance for any help locating a parent or both parents for William Ross Thompson.

WikiTree profile: William Thompson
in Genealogy Help by Lisa Heenan G2G Crew (470 points)
edited by Lisa Heenan
Nothing on the parents but some more info.


Per the 1900 census, he was born May 1882 in South Carolina and married 'Lonie' in 1898-99. He was employed as a weaver in a cotton mill and living with Lonie and Ola in Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

That would be the likely place to look for birth records along with the local newspaper if his family was prominent enough.

In 1920, Lona is widowed. So we can surmise he likely died before 1921.


This may be him, dead 22 Dec 1917 in Charleston, South Carolina. Might need a GenealogyBank member to view it. I would look at the Charleston or Spartanburg papers for the next several days.


This may be his grandfather. On WikiTree he is:


with son, William Ross Thompson, Jr.


so your W R might be a 3rd but there are no sources to link anyone up.

 The best bet is research this family group and see if William pops up in an obit. The 1890 Census is unfortunately lost so no hope there. The elder William Ross may have left a will (died 1893). There are at least three generations of this family in Spartanburg and a cemetery with their name, the county historial society may have info on them.
The WR Thompsons (Thompson-37903/Thompson-37902) buried in Spartanburg are not, unfortunately, the ones I am looking for. The spouses and children aren't a match given known birthdates of my grandmother and her siblings and marriage to Lona Martin Thompson.

I appreciate all the help so please keep it up!!!

3 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
Hopefully the following (Ancestry Sharable Links) will be helpful for you to get what you're looking for.

Spouses South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1968:

Child's South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1968:

Child's South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1968:

Good Luck! :-)

~Brian Kerr
by Anonymous Kerr G2G6 Pilot (311k points)
selected by Anonymous Kerr
0 votes
United States Census, 1910  : Dallas, Gaston, North Carolina
: Will Thompson        Head    Male      28   South Carolina Married 11 years
: ''Tannie Thompson''  Wife   Female  29   South Carolina  (Lannie)  5 children/5 living
: Ala Thompson         Dau       Female 10   South Carolina
: Edna Thompson     Dau        Female   8   South Carolina
: Paul Thompson       Son        Male       6   South Carolina
: Agness Thompson  Dau       Female   3   South Carolina
: Girtrude ThompsonDau      Female    0  North Carolina

In 1920 Census Lona is listed as widowed

Source: "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZVM-K4D : accessed 12 October 2020), Ola Thompson in household of Lana Thompson, Marion, McDowell, North Carolina, United States; citing ED 123, sheet 6B, line 58, family 97, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1309; FHL microfilm 1,821,309.

United States Census, 1920  Marion, McDowell, North Carolina
:  Lana Thompson            Head   Female   39  South Carolina
: Agness G Thompson     Dau     Female   19  North Carolina
: Ola Thompson               Dau      Female   19  South Carolina
: Gertrude Thompson     Dau      Female   10  North Carolina
: Hazel Thompson            Dau     Female    8   North Carolina
: Blanch Thompson          Dau     Female    0   North Carolina
: Melvin Thompson  Grandson   Male        1   North Carolina
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (769k points)
+1 vote
There is a William Ross Thompson died 15 March 1950 in Dallas TX,  born 17 May 1882 in South Carolina. Says he was a retired textile mill worker. Informant was a Betty Putnam. Unfortunately parents are listed as "unknown". I found Lona in a 1930 Cleveland North Carolina census living with children Blanche and Agnes but no Ola. She is listed as married but is head of household and her husband is not there. Strange that Lona died in SC just 4 days before William. Were they divorced or separated?
by Richard Lindblom G2G6 Mach 1 (15.1k points)
Richard, he was never in Texas and passed away long before 1950 as told to me by my grandmother, his daughter.
The reason I mentioned this WR Thompson is because there is a 1947 Dallas City directory listing for WR and Lena Thompson on Lipsitz Street. He was a foreman in a textile plant. The same WR Thompson's 1942 Draft Registration card (with same street address) also mentions the textile connection and the fact that he was born in Spartanburg SC 27 May 1882. There are several family trees on Ancestry.com for this same WR Thompson which list Ola, Blanche, Agnes as his children. I don't always place a lot of stock on Ancestry family trees because many are not accurate. Just thought there were enough coincidences to justify further investigation. Seems like your grandmother would have remembered if her parents had lived in Texas though. And this still doesn't address the problem of WR's parents.
That's definitely very interesting! I'm really stumped that I can't find anything about his parents.
Looks like the WR Thompson in Texas isn't your ggrandfather. I found the 1940 census and wife Lena was much younger than him and born in Tennessee. Unless he re-married, it doesn't fit.  Oh well, it was worth checking. If you can find a marriage record for WR and Lona,  that may have their parents names listed.
It has to be the same guy. Same birthplace, same birth month, same middle name, same profession. Clearly he had one family up until around 1920 when Blanche was born and another afterwards. He may have run off and broke all contact and this was how the family dealt with the situation.

c. 1928: He marries Lena Campbell, derived from 1930 Census.

8 Aug 1929: Betty Thompson is born to W R and Lena. He is employed by Texas Textiles Mills and the family is living in Dallas.


In 1930 and as of Apr 1935, they are living in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

1935-36: moves back to Dallas, per death cert.

1940: living in Dallas. By this point, Lena was also employed as a weaver with W R as foreman.


14 Mar 1950: died in Dallas. married, presumably still to Lena...

Betty married a Putnam before W R's death in 1950. She was the infromant, Mrs. Betty j Putnam. Betty would go on to marry Robert Allen Hay in 1964. Lena was living with the couple in Iowa City, Iowa.


So the bad news is ggrandpa may have been a rolling stone, the good news is if Betty had children they may have some answers and DNA to share.

Unless a gravestone pops up with appropriate dates in the Spartanburg area, this is the most likely scenario.
and here is the burial in Grove HIll Memorial Park, Dallas.


which gives his birthdate as 27 May 1882.

which leads to Lena rejoining her spouse after 34 years apart.


oops, bad editing.

one other little note, Florence Campbell 'housekeeper', born in Tennessee, on the 1940 census is most likely Lena's sister.
Ron,  I think you're onto something. Lona is listed as widowed in the 1920 census and married in the 1930 census and head of household in both listings. Perhaps her way of dealing with the husband leaving for a younger woman. Kids may have been told that dad died. Ola would have been old enough to realize that wasn't the case but the younger children may have accepted it. Or at least they were so upset with him leaving that the lie perpetuated to future generations. Makes sense, as I can't imagine two William Ross Thompsons being born in Spartanburg in May 1882.

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