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.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

James Thomas Sloan

James Thomas Sloan was born August 9, 1873, to Fernly Alexander and Mary Elizabeth Thornton Sloan. He was a grandson of southern Kentucky Thornton pioneer, Allen Ellis Thornton and wife, Polly Ray Thornton. With his first wife, Victoria Aden (1876-1904), he had four children: Charles "Boss," Polly Jessie Kinnaird, Oma Arterburn, and Mayme Kinnaird. With his second, Victoria Mifflin (1872-1932) (pictured, below), he had three more children: Gladys Perdue Travelstead, Thurman Morris, and Lawrence. James died December 24, 1915.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gloria Dean Reagan Moore (1935-2003)

Gloria Dean Reagan (seated in chair in photograph) was born in Warren County, KY, to Thomas Odell and Pauline Thornton Reagan. She married William Odell Moore (b: 1933) and had two children: Bonita Kaye (b: 1956) and Mark. Bonita married James Allen Cooper (b: 1954) and had two daughters: Heather Kaye (b: 1977) and Allison Renee (b: 1979). Mark Moore had two sons: Barry Joe and Nick. Most of Dean's grandchildren now have their own growing families, some of whom are pictured below.

Lucy Frances Dison Rosdeutscher

Frances Dison married Howard Rosdeutscher (b: 1925), son of James and Lillie Perdue Rosdeutscher. They had two children: Sandra and James Howard.

Sandra Rosdeutscher married Rev. George Dean Darnell and had two children: Frances Elizabeth (b: 1974) and George Miles (b: 1979). She later married Donald Nall, pictured above.

Alma Estelle Sloan Dison

Alma Estelle Sloan was born in 1904, Simpson County, KY, to Allen W. and Lucy Meador Sloan. She was a granddaughter of Mary Elizabeth Thornton Sloan and a great-granddaughter of Allen Ellis and Polly Ray Thornton. In Sumner County, TN, on December 24, 1927, she married Rufus Dison (1902-1984), son of Will and Bertie Martin Dison. They had one daughter: Lucy Frances Dison. Estelle died on October 9, 1983.

Estelle, Rufus, and Frances Dison.

Lucy Frances Dison was born October 7, 1928; she died on June 19, 2006.

(Thank you to James Howard Rosdeutscher for submitting photographs of the Sloan, Dison, and Rosdeutscher families)

Children and Grandchildren of Mary Elizabeth Thornton Sloan

Edgar Hershel Sloan (1886-1962), son of Fernly Alexander and Mary Elizabeth Thornton Sloan, pictured with his wife, Nelle Johnson Sloan (1886-1983), daughter of Burrell and Mattie Roark Johnson, and Alma Sloan. Hershel and Nellie had three children: Marvin, Lila Sloan Smith, and Lorene Sloan Robey (1920-2002).

Lila Sloan Smith was born February 19, 1919, and married Joe. C. Smith. They had three daughters: Bonita Carol, Mary Jo, and Nancy.

In WWII Navy attire, Howard Rosdeutscher posed with David Sloan, son of Ben and Nannie Meador Sloan and grandson of Mary Elizabeth Thornton. David married Lena Brazzell.

Obituary: Jesse Benton Thornton (1885-1979)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Murder by Masseuse: A Thornton Family Scandal

On November 5, 1896 in Chicago, Ill., approximately one year after the death of Bert Thornton, his widow, Belle Keiser Thornton, was murdered by her lover, Swedish masseuse Carl Carlson. A jealous lover, Mr. Carlson had a reputation for a violent temper and was known to frequently abuse Mrs. Thornton; she intimated that she was too frightened to send him away.
On that Thursday, the couple had once again had a heated exchange. It was reported that Carl demanded money from Mrs. Thornton, but she refused to deplete her savings. Also, Mr. Carlson reported that he had found a letter from another man, which sent him into a jealous rage.
Whatever the reason, shortly after breakfast, Mrs. Thornton and Mr. Carlson had a terrible fight. Trying to escape him, she rushed from the room, only to get her arm caught between the door and jam. Mr. Carlson slammed his weight onto the door and used a chair to pin Belle in place. He then returned to bed. Upon hearing Thornton’s cries, the boarding house manager rushed upstairs and freed her.
Approximately an hour later, two shots were heard by other residents. A resident saw Mr. Carlson exiting the floor and asked what had happened. He said he didn’t know and departed. The resident and boarding manager forced their way into Mrs. Thornton’s room and discovered her body. She had been shot twice in the head. A physician was summoned, and she was pronounced dead.
Shortly after, the police arrested Mr. Carlson at the Turkish bathhouse where he had previously been employed. He had stashed the gun in a desk, but, otherwise, did not resist. Before trial, Carl Carlson committed suicide, bringing this tragic episode to a close.

( Bert Thornton was a descendant of Samuel and a member of the Logansport Thorntons. Belle Keiser was the daughter of Jacob Keiser, a former Indiana State Senator and Winamac, Indiana, postmaster.)