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, November 8, 2007

Distant Cousins: Honorable Samuel W. Thornton and Family

Hon. Samuel Thornton, son of Abner and Esther Strain Thornton, was born in 1832 (apr.)(d. before 1910). He married Sarah Larimer, daughter of Thomas Larimer and Mary Bryson. Serving during the Civil War, in Co. C, 8th Regiment Iowa Infantry, Union Army, Samuel was taken prisoner at Shiloh, paroled, and then shot in the thigh at Memphis, after which he was hospitalized until the end of the war. Returning to Washington County, Iowa, he served as city tax collector, assessor, marshal, and one term as Deputy Sheriff. He took the 1870 Census of the county. In the mid-to-late 1870s, he moved to Buffalo County, Nebraska, where he became a prominent farmer, having excellent luck with growing a variety of grasses. In 1886 he represented the area as Representative to the Nebraska State Legislature. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic; Thornton Township was named in his honor.

Samuel and Sarah had eight children: Eva J, William, Charles A, Mary Etta, Harry L, Mabel C, Kate D, and Lillie B. Eva J Thornton married John Swenson and had no issue. John Swenson was a prominent farmer and businessman in Buffalo County, Nebraska, who also served two terms as superintendent of schools. He founded the town of Sartoria, opening a post office on Jan. 16, 1880, and serving as the first postmaster. The town is now a ghost town.

William Thornton was a prominent businessman, serving as President and board member of Union Valley Telephone Company. He married Fanny Borders, daughter of Gary Borders and Louisa Harlan. His son, Samuel C Thornton, served in World War I, a member of the 245th Ambulance Company, 12th Division. William’s grandson, Jay H Thornton, son of Harry and Olive Turley Thornton, served in World War II, winning several medals: Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, and European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. Jay owned Thornton Sheet Metal until 1983.

Samuel Thornton’s daughters, Mary Etta and Mabel C, married Thomas Rush Lionberger and Albert S Lionberger respectively. Prominent descendents include Mary Etta’s son, Ralph Thornton Lionberger, a noted educator and high school principal, and Mary Etta’s grandson, Colonel Hugh Wayne Randel, a flight surgeon who served in Vietnam as head of Air Force medical personnel.

Military Thorntons: The Civil War

Henry Harrison Thornton
Capt. Levi Calvin McKee Thornton
William Frank Thornton (possibly, both Union and Confederate forces)
James Johnson Thornton
Johnson Houk, son of Jane Thornton
William MaGhee Thornton
John Harvey Thornton
Hon. Samuel W. Thornton
Capt. Ethan E. Thornton
Samuel Watson Thornton
John Montgomery Thornton
Abner Scott Thornton
Henderson Crawford Thornton

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tombstones: Stevenson Cemetery, Simpson County, KY

Robert F Thornton, younger brother to my gg grandfather, John H, and family were buried in the Stevenson Cemetery, just north of Franklin, KY.

Eli Thornton died in an automobile accident, leaving his wife to manage an estate that was sued by the three injured occupants of his car. Most of his possessions had to be sold at auction to cover debt.

Lillie Frances Thornton had five children, many of whom were raised in Alabama. They were Robert, Waymon (named after Jane Kirby's father), and Bettie Qualls, as well as Willie and Nettie Goad. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren still reside primarily in Alabama.

Charles and Sadie Thornton raised six boys: Raleigh Franklin, Michael Frederick, Hank Carson, Marvin Davis, Charles Eddie, and Bobby Morris.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Distant Cousins: Levi Calvin McKee Thornton Family

A Captain during the Civil War, in 66th Illinois Infantry, Union Army, Levi Thornton (b. Dec. 15, 1825, d. Mar. 9, 1907) returned to Illinois and married Anna Maria Cox (b. Jan 5, 1841, d. Jan. 14, 1918). They had three children: Mary Thornton (b. abt. 1873, d. Feb. 2, 1935), who married William Thomas Kirkpatrick and had no issue; Herbert A. Thornton (b. abt. 1878), who died before 1920 in a railway accident; and Anna Leland Thornton (b. July 19, 1876, d. July 24, 1960).

Anna Thornton married Neil Genis Grubb who later became a prominent building contractor in Oklahoma. They had three children: Maurice Thornton Grubb, Mary Elinor Grubb, and Cornelius Howard Grubb, who later inverted his name to Howard Cornelius. Maurice became prominent in the oil and gas industry. He married Gladys Shipton. His daughter, Jacqueline, and her descendants married into other oil and gas families: Ankenmans, Cannons, and Underwoods. Of note, Jacqueline's daughter, Maurie Ankenman, married Eugene Philip Cannon Jr., a Houston businessman who served as President of the Houston Zoo.

Mary Elinor Grubb married Bradford Jennings Williams, a prominent judge in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He left a rather mixed legacy by dismissing lawsuits against insurers by African-Americans whose businesses and homes were burned by an angry white mob during the Tulsa Race Riots. Mary and Bradford’s son and grandson would become lawyers too and carry on the family name. Bradford Jennings Williams IV was recently born in New York City, where his father is a V.P. at Goldman Sachs and head of the North American Institutional Distribution for Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Strategies, a $15-billion investment fund for ultra-high-net-worth investors. In 1999 Bradford Jennings III received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Owen School of Management, Vanderbilt University. Mary and Bradford’s daughter, Anna Leland Williams, married John Bryant Bender, a renowned scholar of 18th-Century studies at Stanford University. He is director of the Stanford Humanities Center.

Howard Cornelius Grubb married Julia Mier. They had a daughter, Julia Leland Grubb (“Lili”), who married Erik C Anderson. Erik C Anderson II was born in 1969, Newton, IA. Howard took after his father and became a prominent contractor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He developed large-scale subdivision projects, including Lortondale, in which he matched modern design with affordable, community friendly living.

Levi Calvin McKee Thornton, son of Levi Thornton (s/o James and Jennet Montgomery Thornton) and Sarah Thornton (d/0 Theophilus and Sallie Miller Thornton).