Sallie Thompson

The facts:

  • Born 1818.
  • Died 1903
  • Children (from 1880 Census):
    • Emma
    • John
    • Betsy M
  • Lived in the Pee Dee Community of Montgomery County, North Carolina

Yesterday as we gathered at my grandfather’s, there had been talk of visiting one of the local cemeteries we all remembered from our childhood.  One aunt suggested we visit another.  One none of us were familiar with.  So, the girls piled in the vehicle for a short road trip and then a short trip through the woods.

The Thompson Cemetery is now in the middle of the woods.  Trees felled, laying over graves and markers. Markers broken and some illegible.

Sallie Thompson lies pretty much in the middle.  She was my great-great-great grandfather’s mistress and evidently fathered four children with him and another three with a different man.  Seven illegitimate children.

In 1850, I find a Sally Thompson, age 31, living with Patrick and Elizabeth (ages 53 and 54) along with Martin (11), Sydney W (6), and Margaret J (1).  I have no idea if those three children belong to Patrick and Elizabeth or if they are the first of Sally’s illegitimate children.  Ages indicate she could be their daughter and the three children their grandchildren.

According to the 1880 Census, Sallie, age 61, was head of house.  Living with her was Emma (26), John (24), and Betsy M (21). Sallie’s occupation was keeping house.  Neither John nor Betsy could read or write.

I had not done much research on her, but found the story interesting.  I asked my grandfather if it was widely known.  He grinned in his usual way and said that the only thing he ever heard was that if someone misbehaved or ‘cut a fit’ someone would threaten to to send them to live with the other family.

I wonder how my grandfather and his siblings felt to know they had half-siblings.  These siblings were likely just through the woods.  Were they friends?  Or did they snub one another?  How were these seven children treated?

Was Sallie the sister to Martha, mother of Elizabeth?  According to Findagrave.com, both Martha and Elizabeth both are buried at the Thompson Cemetery.  Elizabeth was the illegitimate child of Martha and perhaps Collin McRae.  Elizabeth married Absalom Strother. However, this is another story for another day.

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