One very useful tool for searching is local histories. Madison Indiana has a few. Unfortunately the only one I can find references to Levi Thompson in is The History of Madison County. It has some very nice biographies of prominent citizens but not many for died young civil war vets and their washer woman wives. Although he’s not left out entirely because Levi was a veteran of the civil war. Here is a snippet of the listing I found. It contains his rank and when he mustered in and out.
Levi Thompson just isn’t a big enough citizen. He really didn’t have much chance to make his mark. He appears to be a tenant farmer or farm laborer in 1850. He serves in the civil war, becomes lame because of an ulcerated ankle and probably dies before he’s 40. When he applies for his pension he brings two witnesses. Someone that looks like a William or Mf McTiernan and a man named Silvanus Free. For now, I can’t find the McTiernans but it appears that Sylvanus Free does eventually get on the map by investing in a glass company. It is the only mention of these people.
So what about other Thompsons? It’s unlikely that my Thompsons are totall alone in the world. There are many Thompsons in Madison Indiana and surrounding counties. So I’ve taken the liberty of copying some of the texts from these freely available books here. I found these books through the Indiana Genealogy Forum at genealogy.com in a posting about Genealogybooklinks.com.
This is from OCI readers so you’ll need to decipher a bit. Here is an excerpt on Howell D Thompson.
John L thompson is his father. His only surviving brother is Samuel
fU^ OWELL D. THOMPSON is one of the old-
Y]i] est attorneys-at-law in continuous practice
/^^’ in Madison County and first hung out
(^) his shingle in Anderson in 1862. He was
born at Bellefonte, Centre County, Pa., on the 6th
of May, 1822. His father was John L. Thompson,
a native 6t Huntingdon County, of the same state.
Howell, the grandfather, was a native of County
Antrim. Ireland, and was by occupation a linen
manufacturer. He came to America a single man
and located in Pennsylvania, where he married
and engaged in farming. Although a cripple, he
was a successful farmer and lived to the ripe age
of ninety-tliree j’ears.
Mr. Thompson ‘s father was an expert mechanic in
iron, making all iiinds of essential novelties, and his
wares became quite popular. He had a shop at
Stormstown. In 1829 he moved to Ohio, where
he engaged in farming in Clinton County. After
retiring from business, he came to Indiana and re-
sided with his children until lie died, at the age of
eighty-six 3’ears. He was an Elder in the-Presby-
terian Cliurch, and an active Democrat.
The mother of our subject was Sarah John, who
was born in Northampton Count}’, Pa. She died in
Ohio in 1837. There were nine children, eigiil of
whom reached their majorit}’, but at the time of
this writing but five survive: Samuel, a farmer of
Grant Count}’; Anna, who resides at Dells, Ore-
gon; Hannah, a resident of Grant County; Jane,
of Franklin County, Kan.; and Howell D., the
third oldest of tiie living. The latter spent his
first seven years in Pennsylvania and came west
with his parents in wagons in 1829, landing in
Clinton County, Ohio, after a trip of twenty-two
da,vs. The first house was made of rude logs.
Young Thompson helped to improve the farm, and….
Since that time Mr. Thompson lias continued the
practice of law alone. One of Mr. Thompson’s
earl}’ business combinations was with Asbury
Steele, of Marion, who was afterwards Colonel of
the Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteers. Early in
his career Mr. Thompson discovered the force of
the axiom, “Honesty is the best policy,” and has
always rigidly adhered to it. He has the ini[)licit
confidence of the people among whom he lives.
Mr. Thompson has always taken great pride in Ins
library and has probably the finest individual ….
The reason I like this clip is that it specifically mentions Pennsylvania and a member of the Steele family. There is a John L Thompson born around the time of Levi Thompson who marries a Rosanna Steele. They always come to the top of my searches in ancestry.com. Also Captain Steele was in charge of Levi’s company in the 34th Infantry.
Here is an excerpt on George D. Thompson from Madison County. I like it because he was born in Virginia in 1830 but was in Indiana by 1832. One of Levi’s Census records says he was born in Indiana so it’s worth a shot.
EORGE D. THOMPSON, a prominent citi-
lil ^— , zen of Madison County, and Trustee of
^V^J Lafayette Township, is the owner of eighty
acres located on section 34, and is recognized as
one of the most progressive men of his community.
He was born in the southeastern portion of Vir-
ginia, February 8, 18.30, and is a sou of William
A. and Mary (Burger) Thompson. Three of his
brothers were valiant soldiers. Thomas, who en-
listed during the Mexican War, died of measles at
Vera Cruz, Mexico; David and John fought for
tlie Union during the late war.
In 1832, our subject was brought by his parents
to Indiana and spent his childhood days in Henry
Count}’. In 1841 he accompanied the family to
Madison County, where tor several years he re-
sided in Fall Creek Township, removing thence to
Anderson Township, adjoining the present site of
the city of Anderson. They removed to Lafay-
ette Township in 1853, and subsequently located
in Richland Township, whei-e the mother died in
1863. The father survived her for a long time,
passing away in Vigo County, Ind., in June, 1885.
Next is an excerpt from a person named Spann, although much of the text is devoted to David Thompson:
With reference to the maternal grandfather of
our subject, David Thompson by name, we note
the following: His father, Robert Thompson
was of Scotch parentage and settled in the Colony
of Virginia prior to the American Revolution.
He was born in Amherst County, Va., vSeptember
12, 1771, and during General Wayne’s expedi-
tions against the Indians of the northwest he dis-
tinguished himself as a l)rave soldier, and was
rewarded by a letter of grateful commendation
from the captain of the company in which he
served. This document we deem worthy of pub-
lication. It is in the following words:
“The bearer hereof, David Thompson, has served
as Corporal in my com])any of riflemen in the
army of the United States, from which he has
obtained an honorable discharge. But in justice
to the said Corpoial, foi- many services he has
rendered the pulilic, I consider it my duty and am
fully warranted to say that his conduct ha>
uniformly met with my approbation, as well as
that of all other officers who had an opportunity
to know him.
“Corporal Thompson was employed in recon-
noitering the Indian country and paths leading
to and from their several towns and villages, as
well as being constantly in advance of the army
during the campaign. While thus engaged, he
assisted in taking seven Indian prisoners — all
warriors except one^frora their towns and vil-
lages, in order to gain information for our army.
In accomplishing this great object, several skir-
mishes ensued, in which he behaved in a brave
and soldier-like manner, and when the garrison of
Ft. Recovery, which I had the honor to com-
mand, was attacked and surrounded by nearly
two thousand savages, this Corporal Thompson
made an escape through them, with intelligence to
the Commander-in-Chief, who was twenty-four
miles distant from the place. For this service, I
now beg leave to return him my sincere thanks,
and hope that all good people who are friends to
their country may receive and treat with respect
the said David Thompson, .i reward which he
“Certified under my hand and seal at Staunton,
in the state of Virginia, the 29111 day of October,
“Captain in the Tenth Legion.”
At the expiration of his period of service,
David Thompson was honorably discharged by
Maj.-Gen. Anthony Wayne, Commander-in-Chief
of the Legion of the United States. After
the treat}’ of Greenville, August 8, 1795, when
the troops were disbanded, he settled in what is
now West Virginia, and there formed the acquaint-
ance of Mary Swope, whom he soon afterward
married. She was born September 21, 1775, in the
old fort in Monroe County, Ind. In 1817 he
removed with his wife and ten children to Butler
County, Ohio, and in 1823 to Henry County Ind.
About 1842 they settled in Salem Township.
Delaware County, where both Mr. Thonijison and
his wife died.
All this is from the portrait and biographical record of madison and
Hamilton counties indiana:
What I may want to pursue later is not whether these fine gentlemen are directly related to me, but whether they are collaterally related to me. Second cousins several times removed.