of the



David Thomson and Mary Glendenning

Edited by

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Preface to the First Edition, 1958

    For many years it has been my fondest dream to compile a book of the David Thomson Descendants, and as the saying goes “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

    The descendants are scattered all over the North American Continent, and it has been impossible to contact every one, so this list is far from complete, and there may even be errors in the names and dates.
Even though I have done all the writing, typing and talking, much of the credit goes to my husband Hughbert MacPherson, who has willingly driven several hundred miles, and sat patiently in the car for hours at a time, while I interviewed the people for names and dates.

    Many, many hours have been spent on this project, but every minute has been a pleasure, and so all good things must come to an end.

Ethel MacPherson,
February, 1958.  Brooklin, Ontario, Canada.
Ethel Muriel MacPherson (née Thomson) is mentioned under the descendants of
James D. Thomson  and Andrew Thomson

Preface to the Reprint Editon, 2002

    The Thomson Genealogy was copied in January 2002 using Scansoft’s optical character recognition programme “TextBridge Pro 9.0” and Microsoft’s “Word 2000”.  These pages were set up using "Netscape Composer".

    I am not a Thomson descendant.  Lionel and Shirley Thomson (mentioned under the descendants of Richard Thomson) are my mother’s cousins.  Lionel and Shirley’s mother, Irene Furse, was a sister of my grandmother, Margueretta Furse.  The original 1958 book was loaned to me by Lionel Thomson’s wife Mary Helen Thomson (née McGarry).

    I have learned a great deal about using optical character recognition programmes by copying this book, and I hope that the result helps Thomson descendants trace their ancestry.

Robert James Sewell
January 2002 St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Click to contact Robert Sewell

Click for Robert Sewell's Genealogy


    We owe a great deal to our forefathers, who were the Pioneers of this land. It was their courage, prudence and toil that laid the foundation for our present homes.

    It is good for us to compare the life of to-day with that of our great-grandparents’ day. Our paved roads are sudh a contrast to the “blazed” path through the wilderness.

    It was on such an Indian Trail that David Thomson, with his wife, Mary and their four little children, wended their way in 1796 to Scarborough Township.

    After cutting the trees and clearing the land, a log Cabin was erected, with a large fireplace in it.
As the years passed, even with all their hardships, seven more children were born to them, now making a family of eleven children. A cow was kept, and corn grown, so their main food was milk and cornmeal mush.

    Mary, wife of David Thomson, was the first white woman to settle in this township, and for seven months did not see another white woman. The Indian women became very friendly as they seemed to understand her loneliness, as David was working in Muddy York and would be away all week.

    A few years later Mary was known to all as the “Mother of Scarborough.”

    David Thomson, his wife, Mary Glendenning and their four eldest children were born in Westerkirk, Dumfries, Scotland.

    David was a staunch Presbyterian, a Free Mason, a Conservative, and a stone mason by trade.
He took up crown land, and later donated land for a church yard, where a frame church was built in 1831, known as the Church of Scotland, which was later replaced by a brick Presbyterian Church on another site, in the church-yard of which the Thomsons were buried. It is known now as St. Andrew’s Cemetery.

    A Monument has been erected in this cemetery to their memory with the original headstones embedded in concrete, of David, his wife, Mary and their daughter, Helen.

Thomson's Cemetery Memorial at St. Andrew's, Scarborough.
1796 - 1921

To their honor who redeemed
this Township from the wilderness.

Erected to the memory of
David Thomson and wife Mary Glendenning
by the descendants of David, Andrew, Archibald Thomson and Walter Glendenning,
the Pioneer Settlers of Scarborough.

May the memory
of their immortal courage
inspire us in the difficult paths of life.

Scarborough Memorial

Scarborough Memorial

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian congregation established in 1818 built a frame church in 1831 in the grounds which lie behind this monument. Within these church grounds are buried many of the pioneer families of Scarborough.

INDIAN TRAIL, on left side.
West of this point passed an Indian Trail leading to prehistoric Indian villages of which traces have been found. This was the Trail by which David Thomson, the first white settler in Scarborough, came to the site upon which he built his home in 1796.

The Thomson Settlement, the first in Scarborough, consisting of early mills and homesteads centered around this point. The library, fostered by the Thomsons and used by the Mechanics Institute from 1878 was housed in its present building in 1896.

Copy of Mary Thomson’s Will

    In the name of God, Amen, I, Mary Thomson, widow of the late David Thomson, Senior, of the Township of Scarborough in the Home district and Province of Canada, being mindful of the uncertainty of human life and in full possession of all my faculties do on Wednesday, the twenty-fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord, Eighteen Hundred and Forty-Four, make, publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner following —

    First I give and bequeath to each of my sons, James Thomson, Andrew Thomson, Richard Thomson, Archibald Thomson, David Thomson, William Thomson, and John Thomson, the sum of Twenty Two pounds Lawful Currency of the aforesaid Province —

    Secondly, I give and bequeath to each of my daughters, Isabella Thomson, wife of Peter Little, Jennet Thomson, wife of Andrew Johnston, Mary Thomson, wife of John Walton, the sum of Twenty-Two pounds Lawful Currency of the aforesaid Province —

    Thirdly, I give and bequeath to my Grandson, David Thomson, the eldest son of my eldest son, James Thomson, the sum of Twenty-pounds Lawful Currency of the aforesaid Province, likewise the clock on the south side of the house and one cow at present grazing at Richard Thomson’s, likewise two sheep to be selected from my flock of sheep by my Executors, and his Grandfather’s desk and chest —

    Fourthly, I give and bequeath to my Grand-daughters VIZ., Mary Little, and Mary Thomson, daughters of my son, James Thomson, the sum of Five pounds each Lawful money of the aforesaid Province —

    Fifthly, I further give and bequeath to my daughter, Jennet Thomson, wife of Andrew Johnston, my daughter Helen’s Feather Bed, Bedstead and Curtains, along with four pairs of Blankets, two Pillows and one Quilt made out of a cloak and shawl —

    Sixthly, I furthermore give and bequeath to my daughter, Isabella Thomson, wife of Peter Little, a single feather bed, an old feather bed and two pillows along with three pairs of blankets and
two chairs —

    Seventhly, furthermore I give and bequeath to my daughter, Mary Thomson, wife of John Walton, a feather bed and Bolster along with three blankets —

    Eighthly, furthermore I give and bequeath to my son, James Thomson, Helen’s clock and his Father’s Family Bible, a bedstead and two chairs and red table.

    Ninthly, I give and bequeath to my son, Andrew Thomson the large kitchen table, two chairs and
two sheep —

    Tenthly, I give and bequeath to my son, Richard Thomson, a feather bed, one blanket and
sugar kettle —

    Eleventhly, I give and bequeath to my son, Archibald Thomson, the corner cupboard, two blankets and one chair —

    Twelfthly, I give and bequeath to my son, David Thomson, one red painted table upstairs, one pair of blankets and two chairs —

    Thirteenthly, I give and bequeath to my son, William Thomson, my large chair, two blankets, Helen’s sofa and all belonging to it —

    Fourteenthly, I give and bequeath to my son, John Thomson, the large press in the corner of the house, two blankets and two feather pillows —

    Fifteenthly, I furthermore give and bequeath to my son, David Thomson, the bedstead in the kitchen along with the curtains —

    Sixteenthly, I furthermore give and bequeath to my grand-daughter, Mary Thomson, daughter of my son, James Thomson, one sheep, one quilt and one blanket —

    Seventeenthly, all the rest and residue of my Personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever of what nature kind and quality so ever the same may be after the payment of my debts, Legacies and Funeral expenses. I will and direct to be divided equally among my sons and daughters —

    Lastly, I nominate, Constitute and appoint the Reverend James George, Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, in the Township of Scarborough, in the Home District and Province of Canada, George Scott and Robert Hamilton, of the Township District and Province aforesaid, Yeomen, Executors of this my last Will and Testament, Signed, Sealed, Published and delivered by the said Testatrix as and for her last and in the presense of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto:

John Muir

William Elliot

Mary X Thomson

Plan of Original Thomson Settlement in Scarborough Township
Plan of Thomson Settlement
1 — Log Cabin, built for David and Mary Thomson, 1796.
2 — Frame House, built 1815 for David and Mary Thomson.
3 — School House, 1840 - 1870.
4 — Library, 1878-1896, before it was moved to this site it was used for a Manse.
5 — Sexton’s House, 1875. (still standing).
6 — Monument in Cemetery, erected 1921 to the memory of 
              David Thomson and his wife Mary Glendenninig, by their descendants.
7 — First Frame Church of Scotland, built 1831, in the church yard
              given by David Thomson.
8 — Scarborough Memorial, unveiled November 23, 1957.
9 — The present brick Presbyterian Church, built 1849.
10 — Present brick Manse, built 1853, remodelled 1896.
11 — Spring used by the Indians.
12 — First road (corduroy) through Scarborough to Markham.
13 —  Highland Creek.
14— Canadian Northern Railroad, 1910-1925, Toronto to Ottawa.
15 — Church Yard, given by David Thomson to the Church of Scotland.
16 — Wooded Valley.
17 — Thomson’s Road to his mill pond and water driven saw mill, 1813.
18 — David Thomson’s Farm, S ½  Lot 24. 1796.
19 — Andrew Thomson’s Farm (brother of David), S ½  Lot 23, Con. 1.
20 — Line Fence between David and Andrew Thomson.

1760 — 1834
1767 — 1847

1.   David Thomson. Born 1760, Died 1834.
            married Mary Glendenning. B-1767. D-Nov. 8, 1847. 
Their 11 children.
2.     James D.AndrewIsabellaRichardArchibald — 


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