Sunday, February 10, 2019

Descendants of William Thornton (1713-1790) and his two wives Dorcas Little Thornton and Eleanor Unknown Thornton

This is a work in progress if you have any information to share please contact me. Thanks!
William Thornton m. first Dorcas Little and had:
 1. James 1744-1815
 2. William 1745-1814
 3. Matthew  1746-1824
 4. Thomas 1751-1819
 5. John  1753-1819
 6. Mary 1755

with Eleanor:
 7. Samuel  1775-1866
 8. Dorcas  1779-1857
 9. Eleanor  1784-1825 no descendants
10. Abraham  1785 unable to trace
11. Catherine  1787-1860 - no descendants
12. Sarah  1789 unable to trace

1. James Thornton, son of William and Dorcas Thornton, born 1744 in Pelham, Massachusetts, married Antje Schermerhorn in Schenectady, New York a few years before the American Revolution. He recorded his children and their births in a bible, a page of which use used as evidence in his widow's pension application. The couple had 13 children, two were a set of twins. I have tried to trace the children, some with more success than others. [the source for this info is his bible page, found on Fold3]

 1. Dorcas Thornton Wright bp. 2 June  1770 [1]
 2. Abraham S. Thornton b. 1772
 3. Catherine b. 1773
 4. Samuel b. 1776
 5. William 1778-1779 - no descendants
 6. Margaret 1778-1778 - no descendants
 7. Elizabeth b. 1780
 8. Matthew b. 1782-22 Sept 1863
 9. William b. 1783-died young - no descendants
10. Mary b. 1784
11. James b. 1790
12. William b. 1792
13. Margaret b. 1795


1. Dorcas married Edmund Wright b. 1773-1794 [2] Schenectady. The couple moved to Philadelphia
    2. James Thornton Wright b. 1794 Schenectady [3]
    2. Antje Thornton Wright b. 1796 [4]
    2. Fisher Wright b. 1798 Schenectady [5]

I could not trace this family any further.

1. Abraham S. Thornton b. 12 January 1772 m. Margaret Peek b. 1775 [6] on 9 October 1796. He is likely the Abram Thornton enumerated on the 1800 census as living in Schenectady Ward 1, with a woman and two young male children. [7] and in 1810 living in Ward 3. [8] In 1830 he was enumerated in Rotterdam, just south of the town of Schenectady.  [9] Four children have been traced, they were baptized in the Church of the Woestina, Glenville, Schenectady County, NY.

    2. James (Jacobus) Thornton b. 1797 Schenectady [10] m. Barbary Cornell. James died before the 1860 census, Barbary is is the city directory as a widow in 1864. James and Barbary had at least four children:
        3. Catherine Maria bp. 1 December 1818, supposedly married John Kane [11]{citation needed}
        3. James bp. 29 February 1822 not traced
        3. Abraham bp. 17 July 1824  this may the man who went by 'Alvin' Thornton
        3. Elizabeth Wasson bp. 1 June 1825

    2.  Aarent/Aaron Thornton b. 17 December, baptized in Schenectady. [12] m. Annatje (Nancy) Van Sice who died in 1826, leaving one child Abraham b. 1824. Aaron then married Harriet Lansing on 11 Dec 1827. {citation needed} [13]
         3. Abraham b. 1824 this is probably the man who married Margaret Van Dyck
Two Abrahams born 1824-who is who? Both men, born the same year lived, married and started families in Schenectady. Can we tell who their parents were? Neither are found in a census living with a parent so we have only circumstantial evidence to connect them. 

Abraham Thornton b. 1824 married Mary Page. 


    2. Rebecca Ann Thornton, bp. 10 Oct 1802 [14] m. John B. Van Zandt, [15]{citation need} lived in Seneca Falls, died 1898.

    2.   Abraham Schermerhorn Thornton b. 5 Dec 1804 [16] m. Ann Jane Corker around 1827 in New Jersey. The family lived for a few years in Connecticut. [17]Abraham was a painter by trade; he lived in the city of Albany. He died at age 59 of pneumonia in a Civil War hospital near Washington D.C. Jane had his body removed to Albany. According to his war records he was born in Schenectady.  He joined in October 1862. He had blue eyes, brown hair, was light-skinned at stood 5'10" tall. Records confirm he was a painter. [18] His children are all listed in various census from 1850 to 1865.

        3. Edward A. Thornton 1828-1862, born in Norwalk, Connecticut, [19], he had blue eyes, brown hair, light complexion and was about 5'7" worked as a cigar maker, enlisted in the 177th NY on 8 October 1862, died 11 December 1862. - no descendants. [20]

        3. George Egbert Thornton 1829-1898, born in Connecticut, m. Margaret Gaynor, in 1855 NY census in Schenectady a cigar maker, after that he seems to have moved to Colorado 1860-1870 census, cigar and cigarette retailer and then to Utah, 1880 census Brickmaker. (both 1870-1880 census say he was born in Connecticut). Possibly the George E. Thornton buried in Denver 1898. Had children:
                  4. John M. b. 1853
                  4. Mary Jane b. 1855
                  4. George E. Junior b. 1860 possibly moved to South Dakota and Wyoming
                  4. Charles b. 1869 possibly the Charley Thornton son of George d. 1903 in SLC, Utah
                  4. Margaret b. 1872 m. John Phillip Lawson Salt Lake City (DAR application)

        3. Joseph E. Thornton 1832, m. in 1865 to Sarah Unknown, one daughter Maria, worked as a printer cannot find after 1866 directory. Is he the Joseph and Sarah Thornton in New York working as a compositor(type setter) in 1870?

        3. Charles H. Thornton 1837-1905 enlisted 18 October 1862, 177th, mustered out. m. Mary J. Murphy and had four daughters, Jennie, Mary, Sophie Thornton Allen and Charlotte Thornton Haller. Charles d. 28 Jan 1905. His wife d. 25 November 1919.

        3. Sophia J. Thornton Sibley Kane 1840-1911, m. Charles H. Sibley, Charles enlisted 7 Oct 1862, KIA 21 June 1863, in Louisiana. They had one child Jane A. born 1860. Sophia m. John Kane, she died 15 April 1911 from burns covering her entire body. She is buried in her mother's burial plot.

        3. Francis L. Thornton 1845-1918 also joined the 177th, mustered out 1863. d. 6 April 1918, acute indigestion, probably a heart attack; he is buried in his mother's burial plot.

        3. Mary b. 1847

1. Catherine b. 13 November 1773 m. Samuel Wright b. 1770, found in the 1820 census in Duanesburg

1. Samuel  b. 1776 m. Engeltje Peek 8 July 1798 lived in Glenville Schenectady in the 1820 census

1. Matthew b. 1781 d. 22 Sept 1863 m. Anne Buyce  who d. 1879, Matthew was buried but his grave was moved in 1930 from Denton's Corner to section L.
     2. Abram b. 1822, m. Lovinia had three daughters, all died in 1864 of Scarlet Fever

          3. Harriet Ann
          3. Mary Jane
          3. L?


[1] U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records from Selected States, 1660-1926
[2] Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Schenectady Baptisms, Vol 4, Book 44
[3] Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Schenectady Baptisms, Vol 4, Book 44
[4] Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Schenectady Baptisms, Vol 4, Book 44
[5] Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Schenectady Baptisms, Vol 4, Book 44
[6] Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Schenectady Marriages, Vol 5, Book 45
[7] United States Census, 1800," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 February 2019), Abraham Thornton, Schenectady Ward 1, Albany, New York, United States; citing p. 4, NARA microfilm publication M32, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 22; FHL microfilm 193,710.
[8]"United States Census, 1810," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 February 2019), Abraham Thornton, Schenectady Ward 3, Schenectady, New York, United States; citing p. 959, NARA microfilm publication M252 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 37; FHL microfilm 181,391.
[9] 1830; Census Place: Rotterdam, Schenectady, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 116; Page: 246; Family History Library Film: 0017176
[10] Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Schenectady Baptisms, Vol 4, Book 44
[11] citation needed
[12]Holland Society of New York; New York, New York; Schenectady Baptisms, Vol 4, Book 44
[13] citation needed
[14] Church of the Woestina need proper citation
[15] [citation needed]
[16] Church of the Woestina
[17] 1830; Census Place: Darien, Fairfield, Connecticut; Series: M19; Roll: 6; Page: 332; Family History Library Film: 0002799
[18] New York Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts found on Fold3
[19] New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900 found on Fold3
[20] New York, Registers of Officers and Enlisted Men Mustered into Federal Service, 1861-1865, found on

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