James is born in about 1865, likely in McGillivray Township, Middlesex County, Canada West (north and west of London). His two older siblings had been born in Scarborough Township (now a part of Toronto, Ontario) and there are baptism records for them in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Bendale, Scarborough. The fact that there is no baptism record for James at St. Andrews suggests the family had moved to McGillivray prior to 1865. The land making up McGillivray had been conveyed to the British Crown in 1825. The Canada Company was formed in London, England in 1824 with the purpose of purchasing crown land in Upper Canada and then selling it to settlers. (Upper Canada becomes Canada West in 1841 which, in turn, becomes Ontario in 1867.) One of the directors was Simon McGillivary, and this is where the township derived its name.
James is the son of Robert William Thomson (1835-1877) and Helen Jane (or Jane Helen) Tindill (1840-1919). His father was born in Scarborough, descended from the brother of the first settler in the township. Both of his paternal grandparents were among the earliest Scotish settlers in Scarborough. His mother was born in England and had come to Canada West with her family in 1850.
James is in the 1871 census records, as a six year old, living with his family in McGillivray Township. His father dies in 1877 and his mother leaves the farm to move into the village of Parkhill (West Williams Township, about on the border with McGillivray). James is in Parkhill with his mother and five siblings in the 1881 census. He is now 16-years old and he is a blacksmith.
Sometime after 1881 his mother and some of his brothers and sisters move to Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is not known if James went with his family to Winnipeg or whether he stayed behind in Ontario as some of his siblings did. Whatever happened, in 1886 he leaves for the United States. And, in December 1889, he marries Ida Gossman LAUTERWASSER (1870-1944) in California. Not too much is known about Ida other than that her father, Christian Lauterwasser, was born in Germany in about 1828 and her mother, Elizabeth, was born in Pennsylvania in about 1837. She herself was born in California in about 1870.
Ida is in the US 1880 census, living in San Francisco with her parents and eight siblings. She is 10-years old, the third oldests of the nine children. All of her siblings except one were born in California. The oldest was born in Pennslyvania suggesting that the family moved west in about 1860-1861.
In the US 1900 census, the James and Ida are living in Oakland City – Peralta Precinct. While the precise location of this area is not known, presumably it is near the current Peralta Blvd which, if true, puts it just to the west of the Interstate 580 (MacArthur Freeway). This is a couple of kilometres straight west of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. They have a nine-year old daughter, Stella. (Stella is also the name of one of Ida’s sisters.) The family is still in Oakland in the 1910 census and their daughter, “Estella,” is now 19 years old.
Stella Theodore Thomson marries Winfield A. Benner in the summer of 1910. The newly weds appear to move in with James and Ida – at least they are living with them in the 1920 census. This 1920 census record shows James and Ida living in Berkley (a bit north of where they lived in 1900) and, in addition to their daughter and son-in-law, they have a six-year old grandson living with them.
James dies sometime prior to 1930 as Ida is shown as a widow in the 1930 census records. She is still living in Oakland in the 1930 census record. And she is still there in the 1940 census, living by herself at 764 61st Street – about a kilometre south of the Unversity of California, Berkley. She dies in 1944. It is not known where either James or Ida are buried.
James and Ida had one child:
 1968 Paterson family tree shows James as the 3rd child of Robert Thomson & Helen Tindall [Tindill]; it shows his spouse as Ida Lanterwasser [correct spelling is “Lauterwasser”]; it shows one child, Stella; and it shows 2 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
 1871 census, Ontario, Middlesex North, 8, McGillivray, e, pg 16, household 58. Robert Thompson (sic) (36) farmer; Ellen (30) born in England; Elizabeth (10); Agnes (8); James (6); Esther (4). The family is “Scotch” and “Presbyterian.”
 "United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M6P8-LR3 : accessed 09 Nov 2014), Ida Lanterwasser in household of Christian Lanterwasser, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States; citing sheet 88D, NARA microfilm publication T9, NARA microfilm publication T9, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1254077. The record shows Ida Lantewasser [Lauterwasser] at 10 yrs old in San Francisco living with her family. She is in school and was born in abt 1870 in California. Her father, Christian Lanterwasser, was born in Germany; her mother, Elizabeth, in Pennsylvania. These are her siblings: Emma (14), Clara (12), Henry (7), Charles (5), Stella (3), Frederick (19), Elizabeth (20) & Carrier (17). All the siblings except Elizabeth were born in California. Elizabeth was born in Pennsylvania which indicates the family moved to California sometime between 1860 & 1861.
 1881 census, Ontario, North Middlesex, Parkhill village, pg 37-38, household 174: Mrs Ellen Thompson (sic)( 40), born England, widow; Elizabeth M. (20), [occupation appears to be “servant”]; Agnes P. (18); James A. (16), blacksmith; George H (12), in school; Esther A. (14), in school; David C. (7), in school; Thomas Hamilton (22), painter, Ch of Eng, Irish All the children were born in Ontario and they are all labelled “Scotch.” The Thompson [Thomson] family’s religion is C. Presb [Canadian Presbyterian].
 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec 9, 1889, pg 6 (paraphrase): “Mr. & Mrs C.L. Lauterwasser, 925 Capp Street, wedding of their daughter, Ida Lauterwasser, to James Thomson late of Canada. Their new home is 622 First Street”
 "United States Census, 1900," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M9PS-GV4 : accessed 05 Nov 2014), James A Thompson, Peralta Precinct Oakland city Ward 1, Alameda, California, United States; citing sheet 5B, family 113, NARA microfilm publication T623, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 1240081. The record shows James A. Thompson (sic) (37) living in Oakland, California. It gives his birth date as July 1863 [it was probably 1865] in Canada and it shows his father born in Scotland [he was born in Upper Canada] and his mother born in England. The record indicates that he has been married 10 yrs and that he immigrated in 1886. It shows his wife as Ida G. Thompson (29) who was born in May 1871 in California. Her father was born in Germany and her mother was born in Pennsylvania. The couple has one daughter, Stella (9) who was born in California in May 1891.
 "United States Census, 1910," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MV2C-2R7 : accessed 08 Nov 2014), Jas A Thomson, Berkely, Alameda, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 61, sheet 4B, family 197, NARA microfilm publication T624, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 1374085. The record shows Jas A Thomson (45), born in abt 1865 in Canada. He immigrated in 1890. His father was born in Canada; his mother in England. His wife is Ida Thomson who was born in abt 1872 in California. Her father was born in Germany; her mother in Pennsylvania. They have a daughter, Estella, who is 19 and who was born in California.
 http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SFC191008220.127.116.11# San Francisco Call, Volume 108, Number 73, 12 August 1910 “Miss Stella Theodora Thomson has chosen Aug 25 for the date of her marriage to Winfield Benner. It will be in a Methodist Church. The bride elect is the daughter of Mr & Mrs J. A. Thomson of Berkley. Benner is connected in business in Oakland.”
 "United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MH3D-4Y2 : accessed 08 Nov 2014), James A Thomson, Berkeley, Alameda, California, United States; citing sheet 5B, family 170, NARA microfilm publication T625, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 1820092. The record shows a James A. Thomson (55) in Berkley who was born in abt 1865 in Canada. He owns his own house. He immigrated in 1888. His father was born in Scotland [Canada]; his mother in England. His wife is Ida G. Thomson (48) who was born in California. They have living with them their married daughter, Stella B. Burner (29), their son-in-law Winfield A. Burner (34) and a grandson James E. Burner (6). [the surname is actually Benner] Winifield was born in 1886 in California; his father was born in Maine; his mother was born in Missouri.
 "United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XCX3-QWP : accessed 08 Nov 2014), Ida G Thomson, Oakland, Alameda, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0041, sheet 3A, family 29, NARA microfilm publication T626, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.; FHL microfilm 2339837. The record shows an Ida G. Thomson (58) living in Oakland. She is a widow and was born in abt 1872 in California. Both her parents were born in Germany [it is likely her mother was born in USA].
 USA 1940 census: Mrs Ida G. Thomson (69) is a widow living in Oakland, California. This record shows that she had 8 yrs of schooling. She lives at 764 61st Street and she rents the house. (If this address is the same as today, this puts the house abt 1 km south of the University of California, Berkley.
 Oakland Tribune, Oct 22, 1933, pg 36. Mrs Ida G. Thomson returned from New York via the Panama Canal.
 California, Death Index, 1940-1997: Ida Gossman Thomson (Ida Gossman Lauterwasser) died in 1944 in Alameda.
Thank you to Katharine E for creating WikiTree profile Thomson-2130 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 in Nov. 2014
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