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Andrew James Thomson (1825 - 1895)

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Andrew James Thomson
Born in Scarborough Township, Upper Canadamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Scarborough Township, York County, Canada Westmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Whitewater, Manitoba, Canadamap
Profile manager: Fred Nix private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 7 Jun 2013
This page has been accessed 494 times.



Andrew is born on January 29, 1825 in the Township of Scarborough, Upper Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) the son of Agnes Paterson (1800-1875) and James Andrew Thomson (1802-1884). It is thought he was baptised on April 11, 1825. His mother had been born in Scotland and come to Canada in 1820 with her parents. His father, “Springfield Jimmy” as he was commonly known, was born in Upper Canada and, by some accounts, was the first European born in Scarborough Township.

Andrew marries Eliza Bell (1825-1913) on October 7, 1847 in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Scarborough. Eliza was born on June 1, 1825. It is not known where she was born, although it was likely it was in Scarborough. There were several families with the surname Bell in the Township. Whoever her parents were, they were born in England according to the information that shows up in census records.

In the 1861 census records, the family is living in Scarborough with four children: Mary (10), Josephine (8), Agnes (6) and Hebor (3). It is not possible to read the occupation of Andrew on the census record but it does not appear to be “farmer.”

In the 1871 census, the family is living in McGillivray Township in the county of Middlesex. McGillivray is now part of the town of North Middlesex, which sits just to the northwest of the city of London, about 200 kilometres to the west of Scarborough. There are four children in the home: Sophia (19); Agnes (16); Leslie (13); William (5). The oldest (living) child, Mary, was married in 1869. Andrew’s occupation in the census record is shown as a lumber merchant.

The youngest son – the five year old William – has been adopted by Andrew and Eliza. Andrew’s younger brother, Thomas Thomson (1827-1909), lost his wife in 1867 and, presumably not being able to look after a one-year old baby, he asked to his older brother to adopt the baby.

At some point Andrew and Eliza move to Manitoba. The two oldest children did not accompany their parents: the oldest son died in 1856 and the oldest daughter, Mary, was married in 1869. Mary and her husband move to Manitoba at a later time. The best guess (from the obituary of one of the children) is that the family moves west sometime in 1880 or 1881. The population of Manitoba, not counting First Nations, was under 13,000 in 1870 when it joined the Canadian federation. In the next decade, 50,000 settlers moved into the province. Andrew and Eliza, plus children, were part of this movement. As the family moved west before the completion of the railway (1883 to Winnipeg), they would have travelled through the United States (Minneapolis) to reach Manitoba.

In the 1881 census records, Andrew and Eliza are living in Winnipeg with four children. Andrew is in the lumber business.

By the time of the 1891 census, Andrew and Eliza are farming in Whitewater, about 60-70 kilometres southwest of Brandon. In 1888, Andrew, Eliza and their son Heber all take land grants in the area just to the north of Whitewater Lake.

Andrew dies on April 24, 1895 in Whitewater, Manitoba. After Andrew’s death, Eliza moves to a farm in the Brandon area with one of her sons, Heber Leslie, and her unmarried daughter, Josephine. It is suspected this is the family farm (the one owned by Andrew James Thomson) or else the son, Heber, had established his own farm beside or close to his father’s. Eliza, at 81 years of age, is living with her son and daughter in the 1906 census records. Both the son, Heber, and the daughter, Josephine, are single. It is not clear what happens to Heber (he can’t be found after the 1906 census record) but Eliza and Josephine move into Winnipeg. In the 1911 census records, they are living with a sister of Eliza’s, a 76-year old Maria Garwood, at 697 Furby Street in Winnipeg (near the centre of Winnipeg, just off Notre Dame Avenue).

Eliza dies on November 24, 1913. It is almost certain she is buried in the Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

Andrew and Eliza had five children:

  • James William Thomson 1848-1856
  • Mary Thomson 1850-1932 + (1869) Joseph Stinson Hagerman 1849-1940
  • Josephine Thomson 1853-1923
  • Agnes Bell Thomson 1855-1883 + George Shoults 1859-1911
  • Heber Leslie Thomson 1858-?

In addition, they had one adopted son:

  • William George Thomson 1866-1947 + (1890) Jane (Jennie) Guthrie 1867-1944


[1] The 1968 Paterson family tree shows Andrew Thomson as the 1st child of Agnes Paterson & James Thomson. It shows 5 children: James, Mary, Josephine, Heber & Agnes. The notes of Barbara Paterson (1927-2009) indicate there was a 6th child, Elmita but it is now thought that Elmita was the daughter of another Thomson family

[2] Scarborough Birth Register (poor photocopy of transcript): Andrew born 29 January 1825

[3] "Ontario, District Marriage Registers, 1801-1858," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 30 November 2016), Andrew Thomson and Elizabeth Bell, 07 Oct 1847; citing Home Township, Algoma, Ontario, Canada, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,030,052. This record contains a page listing marriages conducted by the Rev James George, Presbyterian minister of Scarborough from 8th Jan 1847 to the 9 [?] Oct 1847. The last marriage listed on this document is between Andrew Thomson & Elizabeth Bell. It occurred on [difficult to read] 7 Oct 1847 in Scarbourgh Township.. The witnesses were Thomas Thomson and James [?] Nichols. Rev. James George was the minister at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Scarborough (the place being named Bendale later) from 1833 to 1853 (this is how the name of the church where Andrew & Elizabeth Bell were married is known).

[4] Katherine E created the profile for Andrew James Thomson on WikiTree by importing a GEDCOM file (Andrew.thomson.ged) and this provided: (1) a probable year of marriage (1848), (2) birth/death years for James, (3) middle name for James & (4) middle name for Hebor. However, this source had the birth year for William as 1876 (it is 1866). This is also the source the baptism date for Andrew probably being on April 11, 1825 in Scarborough.

[5] Marjorie J Paterson scrapbooks (housed in the Cedarbrae branch of the Toronto Public Library): this has a list of the children of Agnes (Paterson) Thomson and beside the first child shown (looks like “Andrew P” & Eliza Bell) there is a note that reads: in the lumber business in Parkhill; later moved to the northwest”

[6] St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendale, headstone: “James Wm., son of Andrew J. & Eliza Thomson, who died on Jan. 19, 1856 AE 7 y’rs & 1 month. [illegible 8 line verse] [row 27.6] Note that 7 yrs & 1 month would put William’s birth in about Dec., 1847.

[7] 1861 census, Township of Scarborough, County of York, Canada West, pg ?, lines 14-19: Andrew J. Thompson (sic) (36) , occupation not legible, born U. Canada, Ch of Scotland; Eliza (36), born U. Canada; Mary (10); Josephine (8); Agnes (6); Hebor Leslie (3). The family lives in a 1-story frame house.

[8] 1871 census, Ontario, North Middlesex, McGillivray, family #156, pg 43-44: Andrew Thompson (sic) (46), lumber merchant; Eliza (45); Sophia (19); Agnes (16); Leslie (13); William (5). The family’s religion is shown as Presbyterian. All family members were born in Ontario. All family members are labelled “Scotch,” except Eliz who is English.

[9] 1881 census, Manitoba, Selkirk, 183, Winnipeg (C) Division 3, pg 62-63 household 262. A. Thompson (sic) (55) (?) lumberman, Eliza (55), Josephine (26), Angus (24), William (15), born Ont; H??er (23) Household members (including Eliza) are labeled “Scotch.”

[10] Western Land Grants:

[11] 1891 census, Manitoba, Selkirk, 9, Whitewater, pg 17, household 97. A.J. Thomson (66), farmer, father born Ontario, mother Scotland; Eliz (65), parents born England; Josephine (??) (35); H.L. (30)

[12] 1901 census, Manitoba, 6 Brandon, Winchester pg 5, pg 5, household #58: Heber L. Thompson (sic) (42) “head” born Apr 30, 1858; Josephine (47) – sister born Jun 4 1853; Eliza (75), mother, born Jun 1 1825. Heber and Josephine are labeled “Scotch” and Eliz is labeled English. Heber is a farmer.

[13] Ian Glendinning’s web site is the source of information when/where Andrew J. Thomson died.

[14] 1906 census, Manitoba, Souris, pg 6, household 45: Heber L. Thompson (sic) (47); Josephine (50), sister; Eliza (81), mother. They live at Section 32, Township 4. Range 22.. They have 14 milk cows, 3 horses and 2 other cattle. They were all born in Ontario. There is also a 25-yr old servant living in the household. The Section, Township, Range information indicates that they live on the north side of the CPR railway tracks near a place on the railway identified as “Westa??”. This is just west of Regent. Ballpark, this is 5-8 km north of Whitewater Lake (so maybe 20-30km S of Brandon). Their post office would probably be in Deloraine.

[15] 1911 census, Manitoba, Winnipeg, pg 10, household #88, Marie Garwood (76), head; [first name difficult to read but appears to be “E??a”] Thompson (86), sister, born June 1825; Josephine Thompson (54), niece, born June 1857. All 3 members of the family are labelled “Scotch.” All 3 women were born in Ontario and their religion is Presbyterian. This census record could not have been found without the help of Lynne Wingate at

[16] Barbara Paterson 1927-2009: her notes are the source for the date of the death of Eliza Bell (Nov 24, 1913).

[17] Eliza Bell’s burial site: while positive identification cannot be made, (memorial #111333185) shows Eliza Thomson buried in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg. The memorial gives a death date of Nov 26, 1913. This is likely the burial date for the Eliza Bell who died on Nov 24, 1913.

[18] Ian Glendinning (email May 2017) discouvered that William George Thomson was an adopted son. This helped clear up some confusion about the children of Thomas Thomson (1827-1909) as the 1968 Paterson family tree shows two children both named William. There were, indeed, two children named William but one was adopted by the older brother. Ian Glendinning discouvered this when he located a copy of Andrew James Thomson’s will on A schedule in the will lists the assets of Andrew J. Thomson: a farm in Section 32, Township 4, Range 22 west of the 1st meridian consisting of 320 acres. It is valued at $1,280. In addition he owned 180 acres in Section 30, Township 4, range 22 west of the 1st meridian valued at $640. In terms of livestock, he owned 1 mare, 1 yearling, 1 2-yr old chestnut mare, 2 milk cows, 2 spring calves, and 1 yearling calf. He also owned various equipment and had, at his death, about 2,500 bushels of wheat and 700 bushels of oats. (He also had some debts.) He names his wife, Eliza, as the sole executor of his will. Although the writing is difficult to interpret, it appears that he leaves his estate to Eliza with instructions that, apon Eliza’s death, the estate be divided equally among his children: Mary Hagerman, Josephine Thomson and Heber Leslie Thomson. There are then some lines that have not quite been interpreted and the will continues: “I give and bequeath to my adopted son William George Thomson the sum of one hundred dollars to be paid to him within one year after the death of my said wife . . .”


11 Apr 1825

User ID

ID: 1BB636534DBBB144B800732A38A7EED54E42

Data Changed

29 Dec 2004

Prior to import, this record was last changed 00:00:00 29 Dec 2004.




Thank you to Katharine E for creating WikiTree profile Thomson-2020 through the import of andrew thomson.ged on Jun 7, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Katharine and others.

The current (Nov 4, 2013) biography was prepared by Fred Paterson Nix, with up-dates as of August 2014 and more up-dates in March 2017 and, with the help of Ian Glendinning, even more updates in May 2017.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Andrew by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Andrew:

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