The Thomson family

[ Tom Thomson's parents, John and Margaret (Mathewson) Thomson ]

Tom Thomson's parents, John and Margaret (Mathewson) Thomson, Unknown, Library and Archives Canada/Bibliotheque et Archives Canada, C-027122

T.J. “Tom” Harkness: Thomas “Tom” J. Harkness was the husband of Tom Thomson’s eldest sister, Elizabeth. T. J. was appointed by the Thomson family to look after the affairs of Tom’s estate. T. J. lived in Annan, Ontario, just east of Owen Sound.

T.J. Harkness, Letter to R.H. Flavelle, July 23, 1917
T.J. Harkness, Letter to J.S. Fraser, September 12, 1917

George Thomson: George Thomson was Tom Thomson’s eldest brother. After studying at Canada Business College in Chatham, Ontario, George and a cousin co-founded a business college in Seattle, Washington (USA). Seattle is also where George earned a law degree. In 1906, he moved to New York to study art, then to New Haven, Connecticut. In 1916, he married Jean Telford, a woman from Leith, Ontario. The newlyweds were visiting George’s parents in Owen Sound when news of Tom’s death arrived. In later years, George would relocate back to Owen Sound, where he would live out the rest of his days.

George Thomson, Letter to J.S. Fraser, December 25, 1917
Expenses paid by Geo Thomson incurred upon death of T.J. Thomson, July 21, 1917
George Thomson, Letter to Blodwen Davies, December 29, 1930
George Thomson, Letter to Blodwen Davies, June 8, 1931

John and Margaret Thomson: Tom Thomson’s parents, John and Margaret Thomson, moved their family from Claremont, Ontario, northeast of Toronto, to Leith, east of Owen Sound in 1877, just after Tom’s birth. The Thomson family settled on large farm near Georgian Bay. Within a few years, their children began to leave home, eventually settling in areas as far away as Seattle and Saskatchewan. In 1902, John and Margaret moved into Owen Sound, where they were living at the time of their son's death.

Louise [Thomson] Henry and Margaret [Thomson] Tweedale: Louise and Margaret were both sisters of Tom Thomson. Louise was older, being born in 1873, and Margaret younger, being born in 1884.

Minnie Henry, Letter to Blodwen Davies, February 2, 1931
Louise Henry, Letter to Blodwen Davies, March 11, 1931
Margaret Tweedale, Interviews with Mrs. Margaret [Thomson] Tweedale, September 6, 1973
Elva Henry, Interview with Elva Henry, November 15, 1973