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Sunday, October 12, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #40 Edgar Richard Thompson, Son of Mattie Hairston

The solid lines indicate that the connection to the family is documented while
the dotted lines indicate that direct evidence has not yet been found to
make the connection. Click on the family tree to see a larger image.

Edgar Richard Thompson
Mattie Elizabeth Proctor

No Story Too Small
I searched for two years before I found Nadine, the daughter of Edgar Richard Thompson. She was my first link to the descendants of Martha Elizabeth "Mattie" Hairston Chisum Thompson. 

In the 1990s, the "new" and limited Internet, purchased CDs, a family bible, and my father's collection of family documents and photos were my sources for genealogical research.

My father's Bryan family Bible, preserved by four generations, contained photos, obituaries, and much more. More questions than answers were generated as I browsed through the bible. Who was Rex Gresham? His obituary was tucked carefully between pages in the bible. Dad said that Rex was a cousin, but didn't know how they were related. The same was said about Floyd Thompson - his name was on the back of a photo.

From my collection of Family Tree Maker CDs, I was eventually able to determine that Martha Elizabeth Hairston first married a Chisum and later a Thompson. Her daughter, Stella Chisum, married a Gresham.  Finding descendants was much harder.

Thompson was too common and Chisum had many different spellings so my search focused on finding Gresham descendants.

Mattie, Nadine, and Edd
After months of looking for Greshams, I found the Rootsweb Surname List and wrote to 23 Gresham researchers who had connections in Texas. My best response came from a woman who wrote a Gresham newsletter. She knew someone in Stephenville, Texas who researched Greshams. He called me the next day and told me that he was only related to the Greshams by marriage, but that one of his neighbors was a descendant of the Thompson family. I had found Nadine.

Nadine was happy to learn that her grandmother's maiden name was Hairston. She wrote, Grandmother lived with us. I remember when she died. I was 5. We loved her. We was so poor back then. Daddy had a hard time for her funeral.

Nadine's father, Edgar Richard Thompson was born November 9, 1896 to Mattie Hairston and her husband, John A. Thompson. John A. died in 1899, leaving Mattie to raise their five children. "Edd" lived with his mother and worked by farming her land until at least 1920. In the early 1920s, he married Mattie Elizabeth Proctor. They resided in Erath County until their deaths. Edd and Mattie are buried in West End Cemetery in Stephenville. 

Other posts about Edgar Richard Thompson's family:


© 2014


Family photographs from the collection of Nadine Thompson Waugh. Accessed September 2001. Used with permission. 

"Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records." Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2014. <>.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Erath, Texas; Roll: 1631; Page: 36A; Enumeration District: 0064; FHL microfilm: 1241631.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Erath, Texas; Roll: T624_1550; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0020; FHL microfilm: 1375563.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Morgan Mill, Erath, Texas; Roll: T625_1801; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 17; Image: 453.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 1, Erath, Texas; Roll: 2326; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0006; Image: 187.0; FHL microfilm: 2342060.

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