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THOMPSON William and Sarah J. Thompson

Some families are small in number and might not leave a large imprint on their community but they add to the fabric nevertheless. This Thompson family is an example of that.

Only a few documents testify to their lives in Canada but this couple is buried at the Westmeath Union Cemetery.

Thompson stone at Westmeath Union Cemetery

William Thompson came from Northern Ireland and Sarah was an immigrant from Glasgow, Scotland. There is no marriage documentation in Canada for them. They probably were married before coming. Sarah’s maiden family name has not been found.

Records first show the family living in Westmeath Township in 1871. 1871 Westmeath Census Thompson Household. When they arrived is unknown or where they moved from.

The 1881 Westmeath Census Thompson Household shows William and Sarah both aged 50 with a young girl with initials M.A. shown as a daughter and a 17 yr.old lad – a farmer’s son who perhaps was working in the household as a hired man. Unfortunately, the M.A. was found on no other documents. Her birth in 1864 cannot be found and if she died before the next census, no death certificate is found either.

But the 1891 Westmeath Census Thompson Household might explain the M.A. Perhaps the earlier 1871 census-taker misheard the word “Emma” as the initials “M.A.” The girl’s ages would match.

Another later document helps explain why no birth certificate was found for an Emma Thompson. On her marriage registration, she is listed as adopted by the Thompsons.  The adoption would have taken place sometime between the 1871 and 1881 Census years.  In those years adoption was often quietly arranged with no official documentation.

1893 Marriage Emma Thompson-McCagherty  Emma Thompson (about 1873 – 1958) married William McCagherty (1869 – 1952) also from Westmeath, the son of Patrick and Anne McCagherty. See McCAGHERTY entry.  The couple would later move to Ottawa.

Emma and William  had 7 children, all born in Westmeath:

  1. Pearl McCagherty (1893-
  2. Emma Isabel McCagherty (1896-
  3. Muriel Mildren McCagherty (1899
  4. Anna Elizabeth McCagherty (1900-1901) –  this baby daughter is buried in the Thompson plot at Westmeath Union Cemetery.
  5. Jessie May McCaugherty (1902-
  6. William Thompson McCaugherty (1905-
  7. Robert Patrick McCaugherty (1907-

Both Sarah J. (1830-1907) and William Thompson (1829-1922) lived into old age. 1907 DEATH CertificateSarah Thompson. William lived his last years with their daughter Emma in Ottawa and his son-in-law reported his death.   1922 Death Certificate William Thompson

Sarah Thompson Death Notice. The Cobden Sun July 1907.

1922 Death Notice, Ottawa Journal, Wm. Thompson casket sent by train to Westmeath for burial.