Samuel Thornton, brother of Hon. Matthew Thornton, lived at Campton, N. H. and later at Hatley and Stanstead, Quebec, Canada. He is said to have married twice and had 22 children, eleven by each wife. By the second wife he had the following children: 1. Samuel b. 1775 2. Reuben 3. Sarah 4. Abram 5. Catherine 6. Dorcas b. 1779 7. Eleanor 8. William 9. Sumner 10. Hannah 11. ?
Samuel 2, married (1802) Catherine Baker, of Campton, N.H. She is said to have been related to Lord Chatham of England. Their children, born between 1805 and 1819, were: 1. David. 2. Hannah. 3. William. 4. Chester. 5. Sally. 6. Matthew 7. Samuel. 8. John
doubtsSamuel 2, when 17 years of age, went to London, England. He adopted a system of coking which gave him great success among the iron masters near London. He returned to America and settled in Wheelock, Vt.
records and facts
putting it together
So who does this sound like: lived at Campton and later Hatley,Quebec? It sounds like the bio for Samuel 1. Samuel 2 was in the 1825 census for Hatley, after that he is next found in the 1840 census for Wheelock, Vermont. He was then 65 years old. This can hardly be described as "he returned from London and settled in Wheelock". I think that Adams took the info he had on Samuel 2 and mistakenly applied it to Samuel 1.
William married Dorcas Little by 1744, together they had six children that lived to adulthood. Dorcas died in 1763 when the family lived in New York. William left NY and returned to New Hampshire in 1774. He was in Thornton, NH by 1775. He married for a second time, either in NY or NH to a woman named Elinor. William died in 1790. At the time of his death he left three children under the age of 7: Abram, Sarah and Catherine. His will was finally probated in 1798 and Elinor, who had already remarried, received her dower land. This second wife and second set of children are completely left out of the Adams manuscript. Could William be the man with two wives and 22 children?
If William was not the father of Samuel and Dorcas, how did they get to Thornton, where did they live, who did they live with? Their sister Catherine Thornton, who never married, also lived in Thornton. She is in the 1830 census and later lives with Dorcas' family. To my mind, given the total lack of info on Samuel speaks more to the possibility that he died young without children than the idea that he ran off to Quebec during the American Revolution.
What do you think?
UPDATE: I HAVE FOUND PROOF THAT SAMUEL WAS THE SON OF WILLIAM please see this link for the story.