The son of an Irish farmer (who changed the spelling of the name from Thompson to Thomson), James Thomson showed mathematical talent from an early age. Wishing to become a minister of the presbyterian church, he entered Glasgow University, where he studied for several sessions, supporting himself by teaching. He graduated with an M.A. in 1812, and in 1814 he was appointed headmaster of the school of arithmetic, bookkeeping, and geography in the newly established Academical Institution, Belfast.
Thomson married Margaret Gardner in 1817 and she bore him seven children. In 1829 the honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by the University of Glasgow, Margaret died in 1830 and James went to Glasgow in 1832 after being offered the Chair of Mathematics at Glasgow University. He held this post till his death in a cholera epidemic in 1849.
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James is 27 degrees from Walter Morrison, 33 degrees from Alison Wilkins and 16 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.