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.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Distant Cousins: Henry Clay Thornton (Part II)

Anna Blair Thornton was born May 25, 1904, and married Dr. Winston Franklin Harrison. They would make their home in Coral Gables, Florida, and have three children. Penelope Harrison served as an Episcopal nun in Colorado Springs, Colorado; her sister, Wynne Harrison, married Judge Norman Palmero and is a community activist, business owner, and Republican Party loyalist in Colorado Springs. Winston and Anna also had a son: Blair Thornton Harrison.

After attending the Royal Military College, Ontario, James Worth Thornton (b: Sept. 19, 1906; d: Feb. 6, 1983) earned a reputation as both a “shabby genteel” international playboy (reportedly, an outstanding polo player) and also as a conventional spouse. While working in a firm in Frankfurt, Germany, he married Helene-Marthe (Elena) Mumm von Zchwarzenstein, a Russian-French-German aristocrat and member of the famed Mumm family who had made a fortune in the champagne business. Members of her family had served as Russian and German diplomats, ladies-in-waiting to the Czarina, and one as mayor of Frankfurt, Germany. James served as a captain in the Army Air Forces during World War II. After having a son, Henry Hermann Mumm Thornton, in Germany, they moved to Montreal and then to New York City, where Elena served as an assistant editor at Town and Country. It was as an editor that she began to work with famed critic and essayist Edmund Wilson: the two would become so close that they would run away to Reno, Nevada, divorce their respective spouses, and get married (1946). In several of his books, Edmund Wilson records events about Henry H. M. Thornton and family.

James Thornton joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1950. After retiring in 1958, he would re-marry too,wedding Martha Florence Armstrong, granddaughter of the 1st Baronet Armstrong. They moved frequently, living in New York City, Spain, Bermuda, Florida, and Virginia.

Henry H. M. Thornton (b: 1932) wed Rita Daphne Sellar and had three children: Sandra Christine, Elena Martha, and Nina Rosalie. Henry was in banking and was mentioned frequently in his step-father’s journal, including references to money and marriage problems. Henry also has a half-sister: Helen Miranda Wilson, a well respected artist. Elena Martha Thornton married Michael Case Kissel, a musician and producer in New York City. Michael Kissel’s father was a prominent sculptor and his grandfather an innovator in the movie business. Michael is a direct descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt and the Thorn, Dallett, and Case families. Elena is an environmental attorney.

Dr. Sandra Christine Thornton married Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island. Senator Whitehouse descended from a long line of diplomats: his father served as Ambassador to Thailand and Laos. Dr. Thornton-Whitehouse is an oceanographer with a Ph. D. from the University of Rhode Island. She consults for the Rhode Island Legislature and chaired Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council. Nina Rosalie Thornton wed Joseph Michael McMann, and they live in Martha’s Vineyard.

No comments: