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, December 2, 2012

Class-book Photo: The Hensons

Jesse Willard Henson's children: In the third row, left to right, Larry, Ophelia, Jerry Galen, and Terry.  The first picture in the fourth row is Katherine

Jesse Willard Henson (1917 - 1981)

Jesse Willard Henson was born July 16, 1917 in Simpson County, KY, to Lee B. and Ophelia Ruth Wright Henson.  Ophelia was the daughter of Charlie Wilson and Lassie Wright, daughter of Cassandra Thornton of the Allen and Polly Ray Thornton branch.  In 1925, Ophelia Henson passed away, when Jesse was eight years old and his younger sister, Eris, was three.  Raised in Simpson County, he married Mary Sue Spears, daughter of Denver and Nellie Middleton Spears, and raised his family on the rolling farmland of southern Kentucky.  Jesse and his wife had several children: Jerry Galen, Larry Willard, Ophelia, Terry Marlin, and Katherine.  Jesse passed away in February 1981, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
In the above picture, Jesse is with his father, Lee Henson.
The Henson family:  Top row, left to right, William Ranburger, Mary Sue Spears Henson, Jesse Willard Henson, Diane McCoy Henson, Terry Marlin Henson, Larry Willard Henson; Second row, left to right, Katherine Henson Toney, Ophelia Ranburger, with Teresa Dyer in lap, Lee Henson, Jane Lightfoot Henson, with Bonnie Henson Monroe in lap, Lorie Fisher Henson, and Sherry Henson Edmunds.
Ophelia, daughter of Jesse Willard, poses with Xavier Henson-Stevens, son of Stefanie Henson-Stevens and Timothy Stevens.
40th Wedding Anniversary: Larry, Ophelia, Willard, Sue, Terry, and Katherine

Fall Family Member Obituaries

Bradley Thomas Threlkel:

Mr. Bradley Thomas Threlkel, 21, of Woodburn, died Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, at his residence.

He was a native of Simpson County. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Merile B. O’Bryan; and an aunt, Sue Threlkel.  

Survivors include his father, Henry Thomas Threlkel and his companion, Lisa Rue, of Franklin; his mother, Fern O’Bryan Mercer and her husband, Joe, of Woodburn; a brother, Zackary Threlkel of Franklin; paternal grandparents, Henry B. and Lois Threlkel of Morgantown; maternal grandmother, Dorothy O’Bryan of Franklin; a nephew, Zayden Bryan Threlkel of Franklin; aunts and uncles, Janice Morgan of Indianapolis, Ron and Barbara Threlkel of Plano, Betty and Jimmy Vance of Franklin, James and Anita Minton of Morgantown, Merile and Carol O’Bryan of Franklin, Roy and Barbara O’Bryan of Franklin and Leo O’Bryan of Nashville; and five cousins. 

Cloyd Copas:

Cloyd Copas, 84, of Bowling Green, died Wednesday afternoon at his residence.

Survivors include his wife Carene of 66 years; and two sons, Allan and Rodney (Debbie) and their families.

Glenn Daniel:

Glenn Daniel, 74, of Bowling Green, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday at the VA Hospital in Nashville.

The Warren County native was born March 30, 1938, and was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Eva Thornton Daniel; two sons, Brad and Brent Daniel; his brother, Gary Daniel; and two brothers-in-law, Louie White and Eugene Rippy.

Glenn was a member of White’s Chapel United Methodist Church, a 1956 graduate of Alvaton High School, a U. S. Army veteran and served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was member of American Legion Post 23 and a former post commander. He was a van driver for disabled veterans, loved hunting and fishing and never met a stranger. He loved his wife, children, sisters and especially his grandchildren.

Glenn is survived by his wife, JoAnna Daniel; a son, Chris Daniel (Vicki) of Bowling Green; a daughter, Kim Bouchey (David) of Bowling Green; three stepsons, Doug Cline (Cathy) of Glasgow, and Chris Cline (Mary) and Adam Cline, both of Bowling Green; a stepdaughter, Nicki Cline of Bowling Green; two sisters, Evelyn White and Lucille Rippy, both of Bowling Green; a sister-in-law, Jeannie Reneau (Jimmy) of Bowling Green; three grandchildren, Jana Sublett, Jonathan Daniel and Bradley Bouchey; four stepgrandchildren, Randy and Andy Cline, Ashley Grisham and Charles Simmons; a special mother-in-law, Ocie Sexton of Edmonton; and several nieces and nephews.

(Bowling Green Park City Daily News, 2012)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Temporary Hiatus

Greetings from Africa,

Terribly sorry for not updating the blog as regularly; however, I recently moved to Africa and have been adjusting to my new home.  As soon as my internet is up and running, I will be posting as usual.

On a positive note, the blog has now had 8,302 page views, which is a very impressive statistic for a family blog.  Some of the other notable statistics were:

Most popular searches:
Thorntons of Southern Kentucky
Tiffany Ruffalo
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Gloria Dean Moore
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Zachary Bryan Threlkel

Top Countries for Page Views:
United States
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Maude Gertrude Thornton (1887 - 1951)

Maude Gertrude Thornton was born January 14, 1887, to William Virgil and Maggie Campbell Thornton (see William Virgil Thornton entry).  She was the granddaughter of James Allen Thornton and great-granddaughter of Robert Benton Thornton, pioneering Thornton brothers who arrived in southern Kentucky in 1849.  On May 18, 1907 in Sumner County, Tennessee, Maude married Dock Jones, son of Sydney Jefferson and Margaret Thornton Jones.  They had eight children: Clarence Noel, Lucian E., Carl, Howard Burnice, Albert Franklin, Alvin Leon, Harry C. and Marvin.  Maude Jones died on January 23, 1951, in Nashville, Tennessee.  In the above photograph, courtesy of the Jones family genealogy, Maude is pictured with her daughter-in-law, Tenito Crouch Jones.
Clarence Noel Jones was born March 27, 1917.  He married Tenito Crouch (pictured above with Maude).  In the above photo, Clarence is in Burma (current, Myanmar) in 1943, during World War II.  After returning from war, Tenito and Clarence raised their family in southern Kentucky.  They had five children: Clarence, Jennifer, James, Howard, and Michael.  Clarence died on January 1, 1978.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Addie Laura Thornton Shinn (1884 - 1978)

 Addie Laura Thornton was born November 21, 1884, in southern Kentucky to Allen M. "Tobe" and Sallie Miller Thornton. In the mid-1890s, Allen and family headed westward to Missouri and, then, Oklahoma, where Addie met and married John J. Shinn, son of John and Elizabeth Autry Shinn. They had five children: Agnes Frances Shinn Kelley, John J. Shinn, Lee Roy Shinn, Raymond James Shinn, and Betty Faye Shinn Trimm (all, except Betty, pictured below). After spending several decades in Oklahoma, John and Addie moved to Sutter, California, where Addie died on December 19, 1978.
The Shinns at John and Addie's Golden Wedding Anniversary (circa mid-1950s).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Allen "Tobe" and Sallie Miller Thornton Family

Above, we have Allen M. "Tobe" Thornton who married Sally J. Miller on Dec. 4, 1879, at a dual wedding with his sister Margaret (married Sydney Jeff Jones).  Allen was the son of Robert Benton and Elizabeth Smith Thornton.  In the mid 1890s, Allen and family headed west, first moving to Butler, Missouri, and then to Indian Territory, Creek Nation (present day, Oklahoma).  Sally passed away in 1907.  Allen died in 1939 and was buried at Odd Fellow Cemetery, Ponca City, Oklahoma.
Allen and Sally with children: Maggie, born July 1881, married William Thornton Darr; Addie Laura, born November 21, 1884, married John J. Shinn; Gertrude, born 1887, married 1)William Walter Looney and 2) James Murphy; James Ervin, born 1889, married Odessa McClain; Robert Earl (see entry), born 1894; Betty Lela, born 1899, married Harry W. Rairden, a member of the Osage Nation.
 Gertrude Thornton Looney Murphy.
James Ervin Thornton in military (WWI) uniform and his draft registration card (below), showing his birthplace as Bowling Green, KY.  James married Odessa McClain on April 18, 1911, in Oklahoma.  They had three daughters: Ruth, Mildred, and Elsie L. Thornton.  Sadly, James died shortly after the war, and Odessa married Stillman A. Wilkerson.  The family moved off to Texas where the three Thornton girls were later joined by their half-brother: Stillman A. Wilkerson Jr.  Stillman and Odessa met when Stillman was a roomer in the boarding house of her sister-in-law, Gertrude Thornton Looney (see above).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wedding Certificate: John H. and Lizzie Kitchens Thornton

Dual Wedding in Sumner County: December 4, 1879

Northern Tennessee has long been the place for southern Kentucky Thorntons to head for quick, simple marriage ceremonies.  On December 4, 1879, Allen M. Thornton and his older sister, Margaret, took their respective partners to Sumner County to obtain licenses.  Afterwards, Allen headed westwards to Oklahoma, while Margaret Thornton Jones remained in southern Warren County, KY.  My 2nd great-grandfather would take his bride-to-be to Sumner County in 1880; my mother and father would marry next door in Robertson County, TN, in 1970.

Death Certificate: Elizabeth Smith Thornton

Perhaps the oldest member of the Thornton family to have ever lived in southern Kentucky, Elizabeth Smith Thornton (Oct. 1814 - Sept. 11, 1916) died in Simpson County, KY, just shy of her 102 birthday.  Her children often told tales that she was part Cherokee and would brush her teeth with ashes in the traditional manner.  Her birth location was unclear even to her children who reported her as having been born in Tennessee, North Carolina, or Virginia.  She married Robert Benton Thornton in 1840 and had ten children: William Frank, Margaret Jones, Polly Thornton (mother of Maggie Campbell Thornton), Elizabeth, Nancy, James Allen, John H. (my 2nd great-grandfather), Allen M., Thomas Benton, and Robert Franklin.

Death Certificate: Thomas Benton Thornton

Thomas Benton Thornton was born on December 15, 1862, to Robert Benton and Elizabeth Smith Thornton.  Between 1910 and 1920, Thomas departed southern Kentucky for Benton County, Indiana, where he worked on the railroad.  In his later years, he moved to Allen County, KY, where he married his second wife, the widow Fannie Calvert Cline.  His first wife was Jeanetta Watkins.  Thomas died on April 8, 1943, Allen County, Kentucky.  No issue.

Death Certicate: Margaret Thornton Jones