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History of Thomas Watson

This website is about my great grandparents, Thomas Watson and Frances Close. About who their ancestors and their decendents are.

Thomas Watson was born August 20, 1838 in Stonehouse Lanarkshire, Scotland to John and Mary (Wilson) Watson. He had other siblings born in Scotland also. Jane, born about 1836. Georgina Halida, born July 28, 1841, John Watson, born January 8, 1842, James born July 25, 1848.

About 1850 Thomas Watson with his parents and siblings came to the United States to the state of Iowa. They lived in Iowa for about five years and then moved to Canada about 1855. They traveled to Detroit, Michigan, and from Detroit they traveled to Kincardine, Bruce County, Ontario Canada by ferry with their wagons and belongings. From Kincardine they traveled over to Arran township, Bruce County, Ontario, Canada and started a homestead. John Watson (Thomas's father) homestead two one hundred acre plots, which is still being farmed today. Thomas settled on one-one hundred acre plot, adjoining his fathers. From 1855 to 1861 Thomas cleard the land and made improvements on his land, including a two story frame house that he built. During this time he met Frances Close, who lived two farms down from his farm. I have been told by the family members in Canada, that Thomas would walk the creek that was behind his property, that ran past the Close farm, and he would see Frances.

Frances Close was born August 17, 1841 in Dromore, County Down, Ireland to Andrew and Frances (Glen) Close. She had other siblings that were born in Ireland too. Ann born 1836, Mary born 1837, Andrew born June 1838, Robert born June 1842, John born 1843, and Elizabeth born 1844.

In the mid 1850's they left Ireland and moved the United States and then later on moved up to Canada in Arran township, Bruce County, Ontario, Canada. They settled two farms down from the Watson's about 1857.

We will talk about the other siblings to Thomas and Frances later on, in other links.

Thomas Watson married Frances Close in Owen Sound, Grey County, Ontario, Canada on May 15, 1861. He sold his homestead place and moved to another location in Bruce County, and took up farming again.

While in Canada he heard about the war going on between the States, and he joined the Union Army in Farmersville, New York. He joined for one year as a replacement on March 17, 1865 at the age of 26. He was assigned to Company I, 96th Regiment, New York Infantry. He was asigned to a hospital in Danville, Virginia as a nurse, giving aid to the wounded men that came into the hospital there. On December 20, 1865, he deserted from the Army and went back to Canada and his family.

As to where in Canada, is yet to be learned. According to his children's obitaries, they all state they were born near Toronto. That takes in a large area. Some stories that have been passed down through the family state that they lived near a lake and near a tribe of Indians.

Thomas and Frances Watson had several children born while living in Canada. Ellen born July 1860, John Calvin born November 2, 1861, James born October 20, 1864, A set of twins born 1865, but died. Andrew born January 1, 1868, Frances born October 21, 1869, Annie born September 17, 1872, Another set of twins born 1873, but they died also. Mary E. (my grandmother) born May 3, 1874. A set of triplets were born, June 1875, two of them died in 1875, the third died in 1878.

Sometime in 1877, Thomas left his home in Canada and moved to the United States and homesteaded in Smith County, Kansas. He moved on his homestead claim in November 1877 with his family. He first built a sod house 20 feet by 30 feet for his family to live in. He built a granary and corn crib, dug two wells and fenced in 30 acres. He homesteaded 160 acres. Thomas and Frances had three more children born to them on the homestead in Smith County. Jennie born November 18, 1880, Thomas Lewis born October 6, 1883 and Bertha born October 6, 1884.

He lived in Smith County, Kansas several years, moving to different farms during his stay. Then he moved down to Odessa township in Jewell County, Kansas, where he farmed and lived rest of his natural life.

Thomas Watson died, May 29, 1921 in Odessa township, Jewell County, Kansas and is buried in the Odessa cemetery. His wife Frances (Close) Watson died March 26, 1924 in Odessa township, Jewell County, Kansas and is buried beside her husband in Odessa cemetery. Several other family members are also buried in this cemetery.

Here are some of my favorite websites:

Thomas Watson's Sister, Georgina's family(http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~danb1/Georgina%20.html)

Genealogy of Thomas Watson and Frances Close (http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/b/r/u/Daniel-W-Brumbaugh/)
Dan's Dynamic Digs (http://www.geocities.com/splasher_50/index.html)
Lynching of My Great Aunt (http://www.geocities.com/splasher_50/aunt.html)
The Truth Connection (http://www.thetruthconnection.com/)

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