Oliver is born on September 2, 1867 in Scarborough Township, Ontario, Canada. This is the first child of James George Thomson (1839-1917) and Agnes Glendinning (1840-1916) to be born in Canada. Canada came into existence on July 1, 1867 – Oliver’s three older siblings were born in Canada West. He is baptised in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendale, Scarborough in November 1867.
On his father’s side, Oliver is descended from two of the earliest Scotch families to settle in Scarborough – the Thomson’s who were the first European settlers in Scarborough in 1799 and the Paterson’s who settled in 1820 along what is now the east side of Kennedy Road between Finch and Sheppard Avenues in what is now Toronto. His Thomson ancestor was actually the brother of the first European settlers. On his mother’s side, the Glendinning’s were also Scots and also among the first settlers in Scarborough. The Glendinning’s are so inter-married with both the Thomson and the Paterson families that it is sometimes difficult to keep relationships straight.
In the 1871 census, Oliver is three-years old living with his family on the farm in Scarborough. The farm, Springfield Farm, is located in Lot 23, Concession 1 of Scarborough Township. The West Highland Creek runs through the middle of the farm. In today’s geography, this is on the north side of Lawrence Avenue, west of McCowan Road in Toronto. The original farm, which would be at 142 St. Andrew’s Road, now sits beside the Thomson Memorial Park. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendale, was built on the northern part of the farm.
At age 13, Oliver is still living with his family on the farm and he is in school in the 1881 census. And he is still there at age 23 in the 1891 census.
Oliver marries Bertha Florence SWALLOW (1874-1959) on July 11, 1893. Bertha was born in Ontario on September 28, 1874, the daughter of Charles Swallow (c1838-?) and Isabella Hall (c1840-?). Both parents were born in Upper Canada (Ontario); three of her grandparents were born in England. Bertha can be found in the 1881 census records as a seven-year old child living on the family farm in Scarborough. In the 1891 census, Bertha is now 17-years old and her father, Charles, may have quit farming as he is now shown as a carpenter.
In the 1901 census, Oliver and Bertha (surname spelt “Thompson”) are living in Toronto West. Oliver is a shipper making $500 a year. They have living with them a four-year old daughter, Eva, a sister-in-law, Jessie Swallow, and a cousin, Albert Hall.
In the 1911 census Oliver and Bertha – again, surname spelt “Thompson” -- are living at 209 Westmoreland, Toronto. This is west of the downtown area (between Ossington and Dufferin, south of Dupont). They have four children living with them: Eva (15), Myril (5), G (this is “James Glendinning”) (4), and an Alice (4). This fourth child is a puzzle. Although shown as a “daughter,” she was born in December 1906. James Glendinning was born in March 1907, so clearly they are not siblings. Oliver’s occupation is difficult to read but may be something like a meter reader for a gas company. He earns $750 a year.
In the 1921 census, Oliver and Bertha are living in the Parkdale area of Toronto and at least two children, Myril and James, are still at home. Parkdale is futher to the west than the 1911 address for the family. Oliver is now a shipper and a merchant.
Oliver dies on August 13, 1942 and he is buried in the cemetery of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendale. Bertha dies on June 2, 1959 and is buried with Oliver.
Olive and Bertha had three children:
 1968 Paterson family tree shows Oliver as the 4th child of James & Agnes; it shows his spouse, Bertha Swallow.; it shows 3 children, Eva, Myrel (sic) & James; it shows several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
 St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendale, Baptism Registery: Oliver born 2 Sept 1866, baptised Nov 1866.
 1871 census, Ontario, 45 East York, Scarborough, pg 48-49, household 180: James G. Thomson (31), farmer; Agnes (31); Eliza Jane (9); William (?) James (7); Andrew H. (5); Oliver (3); Agnes Ida (1). All members of the household were born in Ontario; their religion is “Presbyter” [Presbyterian], and they are “Scotch.” Eliza Jane is in school. The next household (#179) is James A. Thomson(69) & Agnes (70). These are the parents of James George Thomson.
 1881 census, Ontario, 135 East York, Scarborough, pg 1, household 3: James G. Thomson (41), farmer ; Agnes (40); Eliza Jane (19); William James (17); Andrew H. (15); Oliver (13); Agnes Ida (11). All family members were born in Ontario, their religion is shown as “Can Presb” [Canadian Presbyterian]; and their origin is shown as Scotland. The 3 youngest children are in school.
 1881 census, Ontario, 135 East York, Township of Scarboro, pg 11, household 54: Chas Swallow (43), farmer; Isabella (41); Charlott (19); Rachel (17); Harvey (11), in school; Bertha (7), in school; Jesse M (5). All members of the household were born in Ontario. The religion of the father is shown as “Bap”; the others are Methodists.
 1891 census, Ontario, 130 York East, Scarboro Township, 66, household 327: James G. Thomson (50). Father born Ontario, mother born Scotland, farmer; Agnes (49) [not too clear where parents were born but it appears to say father born Ireland, mother born Scotland? –if this is what is says, the have the countries reversed as James’s father was born in Scotland and his mother in Ireland] ; Oliver (23); Agnes (21) ; Allen (7). Everyone was born in Ontario. The religion is shown as “CPres” [Canadian Presbyterian]
 1891 census, Ontario, 130 York East, Scarboro, pg 33, household 168: Charles Swallow (52), father born Ontario, mother born England, carpenter; Isabella (50), both parents born England; Harvey (20), farmer; Bertha (17); Jessey (14). All members of the household were born in Ontario. The religion is shown as C. Presb [Canadian Presbyterian]
 Ian Glendinning’s web site -- http://www.glendinning.name/ancestry/glenfam/. . . date of wedding, Bertha’s middle name; 1921 census information.
 Bertha’s mother: the 1881 & 1891 census records only show her first name (Isabella). However various records at ancestory.ca show a Charles Swallow and an Isabella Hall who were married on June 12, 1860 in Pickering Township. An 1886 wedding record for a Charlotte Emma Swallow (Bertha’s sister) also identifies the mother as Isabella Hall.
 1901 census, Ontario, 118 Toronto West, pg 14, household 122: Oliver Thompson (sic) (32), born Sept 2, 1868; Bertha (27), born Sept 28, 1873; Eva (4), born May 4, 1896; Jessie Swallow (24), sister-in-law (ie, Bertha’s sister), born May 18, 1876; Albert Hall (34), cousin, born Nov 4, 1866. Everyone in the household is labelled English; their religion is shown as Presbyterian (except Albert Hall); Oliver’s occupation is a shipper earning $500/yr; and Jessie Swallow is a machine operator. (This record was found with the help of automatedgenealogy.com, transcriber Christie Williamson, Proof Reader Judy van der Veen.)
 1911 census, Ontario, 128 West Toronto , ward 6, pg 5-6, household 57,: Oliver Thompson (sic) (42) born Sept 1868; Bertha (37 or 38) born Sept 1873; Eva (15) born March 1896; Myril (5) born Oct 1905; G? (4) born March 1907; then there may be a 4th child in the household ?Alice (?4) born Dec 1906. The family lives at 209 Westmoreland. Household members are labelled “Scotch” and the religion is shown as Presbyterian. Oliver’s occupation is not legible but appears to be something like “Meter Reader” for “Gorg Gas. Co” He makes $750/yr
 St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Bendale, cemetery headstone: "THOMSON / In loving memory of / Myril M. Thomson / Oct. 23, 1905 - Feb. 16. 1940 / beloved daughter of / Oliver and Bertha THOMSON / Oliver Thomson Sept. 2. 1867 - Aug 13. 1942 / beloved husband of / Bertha SWALLOW Sept. 28, 1874 - June 2. 1959.”
Thank you to Katharine E for creating WikiTree profile Thomson-2058 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 biography was prepared by Fred Paterson Nix on Oct 22, 2014.
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