Jean, thank you so much for helping out. If nothing else, it fills in some for my Grandmother, Sadie Owens Thompson's, lineage.
I have come across this Thompson line in my research, taken notes on it, and have been considering a link. The Thompsons all over the US sure had a thing about William, John and Thomas as names. I am so grateful that my Grandmother Sadie, broke the chain with some rather unusual names.
You have caused me to rethink Nathan and Penelope and I will revisit my notes on them and dig more. My GGGrandfather William was 61 in an 1850 Census. That put him born approx. 1789. He quite possibly could have died around the time of that letter, which would have put him around 66.
And, you are right about my Grandfather, Thomas Drayton. I had written his DOD down wrong in this link. It is 2/24/1919. The family story is he died from the Flu epidemic that hit the area at that time.
One of the things clouding my research is a cousin told one of my brothers that our Thompson line was started in Currituck by two brothers who shipwrecked off the coast at Aydlette, waded ashore, and stayed. This sounds rather fanciful to me and would make it impossible to verify and make further links...were it true. And if so...no one seems to know what year that might have taken place. So far, as far back as William, the census records show everyone born in NC as of 1789.
Just out of curiosity, do you know someone named John Laird? He sent me a somewhat cryptic message to contact him via his e-mail regarding this post, rather than address it here, stating he has some research on the Thompson line.
Thanks again Jean, Cathy