Moses Thompson Genealogy


Thompson Reunion - August 1, 2009

2009 Thompson Family Reunion @ Centre Furnace Mansion, State College PA

We're not waiting 20 years for the next one ~ we'll see you in 2012!

Here's what's we did in 2009:

Thompsons began gathering at the Centre Furnace Mansion around 11 am on Saturday, August 1, 2009. We all got reacquainted with each other while Harrison's Wine Grill and Catering servinged a light luncheon.
Docents from the Centre County Historical Society will gave tours of the house, then Penn State historian gave a presentation about Moses Thompson and his contribution to Centre County history.
There will be a short trip to the Boogersburg Schoolhouse, built by Moses for children living in Patton Township, and a tour of Penn State University for those interested.
Following that busy afternoon, we all went to dinner right next door to the Mansion at Damon's Grill.
Many people said goodbye from there, but some of us ventured nearby for a tour of the John I. Thompson Granary in Lemont given by Penn State historian Ron Smith.
On more event topped off the evening, as Moses's great-great-great gransdon John I. Thompson entertained with his singing and piano-playing at the American Alehouse.

If you're interested in even more family history in Centre County, be sure and visit the Boal Mansion and Museum; our cousin Christopher Lee will be happy to arrange a tour. (Moses' son John married Elizabeth Boal who owned the Boal property before selling it to her nephew Terry).


1989 Thompson Family Reunion

Thompson Reunion 1989
1989 Thompson Family Reunion @ Centre Furnace Mansion, State College PA

How the 2009 Reunion came about...

Dear Thompson Family Members:

As I look over the Moses Thompson Reunion photos of 1989, taken on the steps of Centre Furnace, I'm struck by the large numbers of young people who attended. It is a testament to the fact that so many of us are still out there somewhere, yet we haven't had a Thompson gathering in twenty years. So, where are all of you now? And, would you be interested in having another Thompson reunion this summer?

My brother, John Thompson, and I are currently trying to find as many of you as possible and provide a web communications medium. This will help us to quickly and successfully plan a reunion with valuable input from interested family members. Here at you find links to our email addresses, the Thompson family on Geni, and the Centre Furnace Mansion in State College, PA.

In addition, we've gathered names from our own close family network (John Irvin Thompson branch), the former address list that our dear cousin Janice Livingston put together over twenty years ago, and an active list of Thompsons who have already registered with the Centre County Historical Society located at Centre Furnace Mansion.

We realize that so many of our loved ones on the original reunion list have passed on, while other addresses changed years ago. Therefore, we ask your assistance in sending us as soon as possible, via email, the website, or post office, any other family members' names and addresses who should be included on our Moses Thompson network.

State College, Pennsylvania, home to Penn State University and the heritage of Moses Thompson and James Irvin, is a vibrant area during the summer, so we have narrowed down the reunion to August 1st, 2009, to minimize conflicts with other major community events. This will ensure that we have access to adequate catering, facilities, and hotel accommodations. We'd like to hear from you by January 31, 2009, so we can begin with a tentative number of attendees.

We hope that you will want to be a part of another memorable Moses Thompson reunion in Happy Valley. Please contact me, Mina Thompson Sommerville, so we can begin making plans for this summer!

For information please contact Mina Sommerville at

We also have an online Thompson Family Tree at

Ancestral Info:

  • Moses Thompson (the ironmaster) was born in Centre Co. PA at Plum Bottom Farm at Slab Cabin Creek on March 25, 1810, the third child of General John Thompson.  He died June 19, 1891, and is buried along with his wife, Mary Irvin, in the Spring Creek Presbyterian Cemetery in Lemont, PA.
  • His father, General John Thompson, was born in Mifflin Co. PA on February 14, 1783, the eldest child of Moses Thompson.  John moved with his father to Centre Co. in 1793.   In 1804 he married Elizabeth McFarlane, and in 1809 they moved to Slab Cabin Creek, where he built a log house which became Plum Bottom Farm.
  • The General's father, Moses Thompson the elder, was born in Cumberland Co. (now Franklin Co.) MD on October 27, 1754, the eighth child of William Thompson Sr.  William moved his family to Mifflin Co. PA in 1772.  Moses served in the Revolutionary War with Capt. Wilson of the Rangers in 1781.  He married Nancy Culbertson in 1782.
  • William Thompson Sr. was born about 1730 in Armagh, Northern Ireland, one of three known sons of Peter Thompson.  The family emigrated to Chester Co. (now Hone Co.) PA sometime around 1745, then moved to Cumberland Co. Md in 1746.  William married Mary Davidson, probably in 1745 or 1746, as they had their first child, William Jr., in 1746. They moved to Mifflin Co. PA in 1772, then to Centre Co. with his son John in 1793. He established a farm near Mingoville.  William died around 1812, and was buried on the farm.
  • Peter Thompson was born in Ireland sometime around 1675.  His father may have been Capt. William Thompson, who was born in Scotland in 1655.
  • The Thompsons were known to be part of Clan Campbell in Scotland. Family lore says that they housed William of Orange during one of his campaigns.
    This information was gleaned from
    "The History of Centre and Clinton Counties" by John Blair Linn (pub. 1883),
    "Our William Thompson" by May Williamson Thompson (pub. 1941),
    and genealogical research done by Mina Jane McGroarty Thompson from the 1960s through 1990s.

More historical info is available at the Centre County Historical Society site:
Thompson Family

Also see: John I. Thompson

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