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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Thomson family come from? What is the Scottish Thomson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Thomson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Thomson family history?

The ancestors of the Thomson family lived among the Strathclyde people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. Their name is derived from the ancient personal name Thomas, meaning twin.

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The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Thomson has appeared as Thomson, Tomson, Tamson, Thomsoun, M'Comie and others.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where the first listings of the name were found in the early 1300s. They include: John Thomson, "a man of low birth, but approved valour", leader of the men of Carrick in Edward Bruce's war in Ireland in 1318 and Adam Thomson who was listed as Lord of Kylnekylle, Ayrshire c. 1370-80. Closing out that century was Johannes filius Thome who was elected bailie of Aberdeen in 1398.[1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Thomson research. Another 361 words(26 lines of text) covering the years 1318, 1370, 1461, 1547, 1668, 1700, 1619, 1676, 1799 and 1841 are included under the topic Early Thomson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 83 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Thomson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Thomson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 33 words(2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Thomson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Edward Thomson arrived on the "Mayflower" at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620
  • Morris Thomson settled in Virginia in 1626
  • John Thomson, who arrived in Maryland in 1634
  • Christopher Thomson settled in St. Christopher in 1635 along with Edward
  • James Thomson, who landed in New England in 1651-1652


Thomson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Eleanore Thomson, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Anne Thomson, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Dugald Thomson settled in New York in 1739, with his wife and four children
  • Dugald Thomson, who arrived in New York in 1739

Thomson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Daniel Thomson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803
  • Hugh Thomson, aged 36, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Jane Thomson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Charles Thomson, aged 55, arrived in Maryland in 1812
  • Janet Thomson, who arrived in America in 1822


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  • Virgil Thomson (1896-1989), American composer and critic
  • Elihu Thomson (1853-1937), engineer and inventor who was instrumental in the founding of major electrical companies in the United States, United Kingdom and France. American
  • James Alexander Thomson (1958-1895), American developmental biologist
  • Sir John Arthur Thomson (1861-1933), Scottish naturalist
  • Sir Charles Wyville Thomson (1830-1882), Scottish marine biologist
  • David Couper Thomson (1861-1954), Scottish newspaper proprietor
  • Robert William Thomson (1822-1873), Scottish engineer and inventor of the pneumatic tire
  • Thomas John Thomson (1877-1917), influential Canadian artist of the early 20th century
  • Charles Thomson (b. 1953), English artist, painter, poet, photographer
  • David Kenneth Roy Thomson (b. 1957), 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet, Canadian businessman chairman Thomson Reuters

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  • Thomson, A Family History by Kathryn Blevins.
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Thomson Clan Badge
Thomson Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Thomson
Comie, Commie, Comy, Coomie, Coomy, Gomie, Gomy, Goomie, Goomy, MacComie, MacCommie, Maccomy, MacCoomie, MacCoomy, MacGomie, MacGomy, MacGoomie, MacGoomy, MacOmie, MacOmmie, MacOmmy, MacOmy, McComie, McCommie, McComy, McCoomie, McCoomy, McGomie, McGomy, McGoomie, McGoomy, McOmie, McOmmie, McOmmy, McOmy, Omie, Ommie, Ommy, Tammson, Tamson, Thomsan, Thomsand, Thomsane, Thomsant, Thomsen, Thomsend, Thomsent, Thomsind, Thomsint, Thomson and more.

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  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)

Other References

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  4. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  10. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  11. ...

The Thomson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Thomson Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 2 May 2014 at 13:05.

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