My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

JAMES THOMSON, son of Archibald Thomson, was born in Franklin county, Pa., in December, 1790. His grandfather, Alexander Thomson, of Glasgow, Scotland, came to this country with his family in 1771, and settled in the Cumberland valley in the neighborhood of Chambersburg, Pa., where many of his descendants still reside. The subject of this sketch came west in 1812, at the age of twenty-two, and settled in Pittsburgh, where he continued to reside during the remainder of his life. He married Elizabeth Watson, a native of Pittsburgh, daughter of William Watson. From 1812 until 1825 he carried on the watchmaking and jewelry business on Market street. He soon after entered into partnership with Samuel Stackhouse in the business of engine-building, which they carried on on Short street, under the name of Stackhouse & Thomson, until the dissolution of the firm in 1839 or 1840. In 1840 he was elected mayor of Pittsburgh, which office he filled during the year 1841, the official term being limited to one year.

After the expiration of his term of office he entered into partnership with Joseph Tomlinson, and for some time they carried on the business of engine-building on property adjoining the old Pittsburgh Gasworks, now occupied by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad company, where they built several iron steamships for the United States. They afterward moved their shops to Duquesne way, in the Fourth ward, Pittsburgh, where they carried on the manufacture of railroad freight-cars for some time. After the dissolution of the firm of Tomlinson & Co. he was, in 1853, elected engineer of the Pittsburgh Gas company, which position he held until 1871, when failing health compelled him to resign. The company, however, continued him as consulting engineer until the spring of 1875. He died in August, 1876, in the eighty-sixth year of his age, respected and esteemed by his fellow-citizens.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.