Sunday, September 25, 2016

Samuel Thornton of Abbeville, South Carolina; Who Was He? Was he the brother of Matthew Thornton of Londonderry, NH?

If the Thornton Project at FamilyTreeDNA is an accurate  reflection of the Thornton men who immigrated to North America then there are two large groups of  related descendants. The largest by far are the Virginia descendants of William and Luke Thornton. The next largest group seems to be the Thorntons of Rhode Island. Many of the other Thorntons have no match; my father's YDNA has one match.

My father was a descendant of the Thorntons who immigrated from the North of Ireland to New England in about 1720. They first established themselves in Maine, but were forced out by the Native Americans. They moved on to Worcester, Mass before settling in New Hampshire. His ancestors were James Thornton and his son William who died in Thornton, NH in 1790. The YDNA match was from a man who descended from Samuel Thornton who died in 1797 in Abbeville, South Carolina. So who was Samuel Thornton of Abbeville?

the simonton family of conestoga manor
Theophilus Simonton, believed to have immigrated from Ireland, purchased land in what was called the Conestoga Manor in Lancaster County, PA. Sometime around 1754 brothers William and Robert Simonton, sons of Theophilus, bought land in what was then Anson County, North Carolina. [1] Samuel Thornton purchased his land grant on 7 May 1757. He was married to Theophilus' daughter Mary Simonton. There is no record of their marriage so we cannot be sure where this marriage took place, in Pennsylvania or in North Carolina.

The map above shows the location of the Samuel Thornton land. It's interesting to note that his closest neighbors were Wassons. The Thornton family of Londonderry had close family ties with a Wasson family as well.

who was samuel?
Some folks claim that Samuel was the brother of Matthew Thornton who signed the Declaration of Independence. Another thought is that he was the son of Robert Thornton of West Bradford, Chester, PA. Robert did have a son named Samuel. He also had a daughter Hannah Thornton Freeman who is said have immigrated with her husband John to Cane Creek, North Carolina. Thornton/Freeman families were Quakers and they belonged to the first Quaker church in North Carolina. I do not think that Samuel of Abbeville is the Samuel son of Robert in this family for two reasons. First Samuel Thornton of Abbeville was a Presbyterian and was one of the founders of the Forth Creek Church in Anson/Rowan/Irdell County North Carolina. The other problem is that Samuel Thornton was still on the tax rolls for West Bradford, Chester, PA in 1789.

was samuel the brother of matthew?
If Samuel was the brother of both Matthew Thornton and my ancestor William Thornton, then the common ancestor between my father and the matching YDNA kit would have to be their father James Thornton. James would be my father's fourth great grandfather. Below is the chart showing the probability of our common ancestor.

I am only a novice when it comes to deciphering DNA results, but to me it seems that our common ancestor is more likely further up the chain. What we need is more Thornton descendants to take a DNA test to solidify the results. With only two tests it's simply not possible to tell. So, that being said, Hey all you Thornton males, get tested!

related story: The Mysterious Samuel Thornton

[1] North Carolina, Land Grant Files, 1693-1960, database with images, Ancestry ( : accessed 25 September 2016), Anson County, Robert Simonton, 20 February 1754.

Friday, September 16, 2016

John Partridge of Navestock, Essex; not the ancestor of John Partridge of Medfield or William Partridge of Salisbury

Many people believe that John Partridge who immigrated from England and lived in Medfield, Massachusetts was the son of John and Jane (Hogg) Partridge of Navestock, Essex, England. This is not correct. The origins of John of Medfield and his siblings is unknown.

The idea that these were the same men comes from the Visitation of Essex which had the family tree of Bartholomew Partridge and includes his son John who married Jane Hogg. [1] The visitation shows that Captain John Partridge had four children: John (age 14 in 1634), William, Jane and Margaret.

There is a marriage recorded in the parish of St. Gregory by St. Paul in London. [2] Jane Hogg and John Partridge were married on 11 May 1619. This is quite likely the marriage of John. In the visitation John and Jane Partridge are said to have four living children: John, William, Jane and Margaret. In the Navestock parish register there are baptismal records that would correspond to Jane and William. [3] There is also a burial record for William Partridge son of John on 12 September 1636.

On 1 Oct 1652 John Partridge of Navestock wrote his will. He made his son John and his wife Jane his executors. He left bequeaths to his daughter Margaret, married to Unknown Hudson and to the children of his daughter Jane, who had married John Lake, it would seem that she was dead. The will was probated in 1663 by his wife Jane. [4]

Jane wrote her will in 1666. She named her Lake grandchildren, Thomas and Jane, her Hudson (Hutchin) grandson Robert. He daughter Margaret Hudson, her daughter Ann Partridge (wife of her son John) and her Partridge grandson John. [5] The bulk of the estate went to Ann Partridge, as her grandson John was still under the age of 21.

In the church of St. Thomas the Apostle in Navestock, Essex is a memorial stone for several men named John Partridge. The stone reads: John Partridge, Gentleman died 24 March 1653 age 34. John Partridge the son died 18 December 1671 age 23. These are the son and grandson of Jane Hogg Partridge. Another stone is for John Partridge Gentleman heir to John Partridge Citizen and Cutler of London who died 25 October 1683. These are the son and grandson of Gabriel Partridge who was the brother of John Partridge of Navestock.

Clearly the children of John and Jane Hogg Partridge are not the Partridge siblings who settled in Medfield Massachusetts.


[1] Walter Charles Metcalf, The Visitations of Essex by Hawley, 1552; Hervey, 1558; Cooke, 1570; Raven, 1612; and Owen and Lilly, 1634. To which are Added Miscellaneous Essex Pedigrees from Various Harleian Manuscripts: And an Appendix Containing Berry's Essex Pedigrees, Part 1, (London: Mitchell and Hughes, 1878) 465, digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 14 September 2016).

[2] "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 December 2014), John Partridge and Jane Hogge, 11 May 1619; citing Saint Gregory By Saint Paul, London,England, reference ; FHL microfilm 375,028.

[3] Navestock Parish Register, St. Thomas the Apostle, database, FreeReg2 ( : accessed 15 September 2016) Jane Partrech baptized 24 Oct 1622, daughter of John Partrech.

[4]"London, England, Wills and Probate, 1507-1858," digital images, ( : accessed 16 September 2016) John Partridge, Essex, 1663, citing London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section, Clerkenwell, London, England; Reference Number: DCP/K/C/06/MS 25628/3; Will Number: 14.

[5] "London, England, Wills and Probate, 1507-1858," digital images, ( accessed 16 September 2016) Jane Partridge, Essex, 1666, citing London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section, Clerkenwell, London, England; Reference Number: DCP/K/C/06/MS 25628/7; Will Number: 19.

Have a great day!