Welcome to our Thornton family

In this blog we attempt to create a visual history of a main southern Kentucky Thornton branch, descended from Scots-Irish Thorntons who may have arrived in Pennsylvania in the mid-1700s. If your goal is to check whether or not you or a family member are listed in our genealogy file, the first eight posts contain more than 1,500 names, listed generationally. Use the 'find' command to scroll through the material...Good luck.

Also, if you have photos, corrections, or inquiries, please feel free to contact us at thorntonsoky@gmail.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Erman Lula Thornton Chandler (1888-1985)

Erman Lula Thornton Chandler, daughter of William James and Jane Marshall Thornton, was born August 23, 1888, in Scottsville, Allen County, Kentucky. She was the granddaughter of William Thornton Jr., one of the first generation Thorntons in southern Kentucky who was born in 1827 in North Carolina, and Martha Jane Dinkins.  In 1907 Erman married Edward Boss Chandler (1880-1944) in Webster, Kentucky, and they had three children: 1) Esker Earl Chandler (1908-1939) married Anne E. Kercher and had Jeannette, Jerome, and Earl; 2) William Boyd Chandler (1910-1995) married Bessie McRoy; and 3) Edna Loraine Chandler (1912-1995) married George Ferris McGrew and had Robert McGrew, Betty McGrew Grimes, and Thelma McGrew Normile.  Erman passed away on September 9, 1985, in Florence, South Carolina.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Honorable Jesse Willard Thornton (Part II)

 Champion Boxer Joe Louis pictured below with Colonel William Bailey, the godfather of Diane Thornton Lewis.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Thornton Cousins: The Wagoners

The Southern Kentucky Thorntons' Wagoner cousins descended through the aunt of Mary Susan Cooper Thornton, wife of Jesse Benton.  Tabitha Josephine "Jocie" Cooper was born November 26, 1859, to Francis "Frank" Marion and Tabitha Sullivan Cooper.  In approximately 1873, she married David E. Wagoner (1842-1901) and had at least ten children.  In the picture above, Jocie Wagoner is in the front row, third from the right.  In the front row, we find her sons, left to right: Robert Lucian (1896-1976); Frank Herbert (1880-1936); Walter Edmond (1875-1956); Will Marshall (1878-1948), and Ervin Samuel (1884-1953).  In the second row, we have Ruthie T. (1899-1942); Laura Bell; Beulah Josephine (1892-1970), and Bessie.  Hershel Tharston Wagoner (1882-1955) is not pictured.  Jocie died December 5, 1943, in Allen County, Kentucky. 

Tabitha Josephine Cooper Wagoner.
Beulah Josephine Wagoner was born July 28, 1892, and died November 28, 1970, in Allen County, Kentucky.  On June 27, 1907, she married Ben Wilson Rippy (1890-1932) in Sumner County, Tennessee, and they had at least eight children: Noah Matthew (1909-2002); Lawrence Albert (1912-1954); Lela Mae (1914-2004); Minnie Bell (1915-1987); Cordell Elizabeth (1918-2005); Nellie; Delbert (1923-1968), and Robert Ray (1927-1995).

Photos from the Rippy family.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Odessa McClain Thornton Wilkerson (1892-1990)

Odessa McClain was born January 31, 1892, to John and Fannie Looney McClain in Missouri.  Prior to 1913, she married James Erwin Thornton, son of Allen "Tobe" and Sallie Miller Thornton.  Allen was the son of Robert Benton and Elizabeth Smith Thornton.  James and Odessa had three daughters: Ruth Esther, born January 5, 1913; Leona Mildred, January 6, 1914; and Elsie Lee, April 14, 1918. Prior to James's death just after World War I, the family lived in Big Hill, Osage, Oklahoma.  James died in 1920; afterwards, Odessa lived in the home of her sister-in-law, Gertrude Thornton Looney who married Odessa's uncle William Walter Looney.  Odessa met Stillman Atley Wilkerson (1887-1962), and the two married and moved to Perryton, Ochiltree County, Texas.  Odessa gave birth to a son: Stillman Jr.  Before her death in 1990 in Amarillo, Texas, she was married to Delmar Rutledge.

In the above photo, she is posed with her three daughters, approximately in 1920/21.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

J.C. Sloan (1913-1997)

Jay C. Sloan, grandson of Fernly Alexander and Mary Thornton Sloan, was born on January 17, 1913 in Simpson County, Kentucky, to Ben and Nannie Meador Sloan.  He married twice: first, to Eva Lois Roberts, daughter of John and Ella Stewart Roberts, and, secondly, to Eloise Shepherd.  J.C. died on October 24, 1997, in Avon Park, Florida.

Eva was born in 1914 in Simpson County, KY, and died in 1976.  J.C. and Eva had four children: Lloyd Dean (b. 1935), Barbara Elaine (b. 1937), Juandeline (b. 1939), and Eva Jean (b. 1940).

J.C. owned the Gulf Gas Station, Main Street, Franklin, Kentucky.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Porter Thornton's Grandchildren 2014

At the 2014 Thornton Family Reunion, twelve of Porter and Edna Gaddie Thornton's grandchildren posed on the steps of White's Chapel, Warren County, Ky.  Porter, son of Jesse Benton and Mary Susan Cooper Thornton, was born in 1908 and died in 1976.  In the mid 1970s, the family reunion was often held at his home.

Porter and Edna's fourteen grandchildren are Stephen Earl Thornton, Thomas David Thornton, Kathy Thornton Ramsey, Janet Thornton Abelein, Julie Thornton Carden, Michael Thornton, Timothy Alan Thornton (dec.), Roger Carroll Thornton (dec.), Kevin Martin Thornton, Tana Carol Watts Hancock, Sharon Watts Windham, Carmen Elise Thornton, Kenneth Matthew Thornton (not pictured), and Katie-Laine Thornton.

Frances Calvert Cline Thornton (1879 - 1950)

Frances Calvert, daughter of Samuel Burge and Martha Dowell Calvert, was born July 15, 1879.  She married James K. Cline in 1901.  After James's death in 1926, in the early 1930s, she married Thomas Benton Thornton, son of Robert Benton and Elizabeth Smith Thornton.  He had returned to Kentucky from Indiana, after the death of his wife Jeannette.  Thomas was born on December 15, 1862, and died on April 8, 1943.  Frances died on November 1, 1950.  Thomas and Fannie lived in New Roe, Allen County, Kentucky.

Fannie is pictured above with her first husband, James.