NYSTLAWR-L ArchivesArchiver > NYSTLAWR > 2011-01 > 1295810063
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Subject: [NYSTLAWR] Father of Josiah Thornton (1775-1858)
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:14:23 -0000
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I have come across a letter fro Clarance I Brown to Amasa P Thornton that indicates Josiah's father was Noah son of Col Josiah and not Stephen Josiah son of Col Josiah.
July 2, 1906
Mr. Amasa Thornton
Although I have not written to you since Aug. 27, 1904, I have been on the look out for data concerning the Thornton family. Last summer I was at Salem, Mass. This past month I examined the Foster R.I. town records. The result was I came across data which "revolutionizes" your line and which I fear may disturb your "revolutionary" claims. However you will be interested.
In my notes sent you Oct 25, 1902, I said in regard to Stephen5 [Col. Josiah 4 Ensign Josiah3 John2 John1] who m. in 1770, Oct 21, in Cranston, R.I, Mary Salisbury, that the Peck Genealogy (1868) p. 146 leads us to infer that said Stephen Thornton was dead in 1782 at the latest: hence Joab, b. 1785, Jan 25th was not his son. This you tried to overlook by the supposition that Stephen did not die until 1785. He no doubt died in the war. The census of 1774 names a Stephen of Cranston, whose family comprised 1 male & 1 female over 16 years and 1 male and 1 female under 16 years (probably himself and wife and a son & dau),
Possibly Nathan Thornton of Cranston, who according to death records "died June 3, 1858, ae 85, son of Stephen", and whose gravestone in Cranston indicates that he was b. 1772, Oct 19, was of the same Stephen line. Whether Stephen alos has another son Josiah is not known to me now.
From the Cranston records we learn that
Josiah Thornton was b. 1775, Oct. 22
Mary Thornton was b. 1777, Oct. 25
Stephen Thornton was b. 1781, May 1
Joab Thornton was b. 1785 Jan 25,
and that Joab was bound out to learn farming of Amos Williams "of Glocester". These children were in fact all bound out which would make one suspect that they were brothers & sister. Such was the case. They were the younger children of Noah Thornton5 [Col. Josiah 4 Ensign Josiah3 John2 John1] who loved in Johnston, R.I.
The marriage records of Foster, R.I. Book 1:15 state that Sarah Thornton, dau of Noah, deceased on Nov 29, 1792 Wanton Greene, son of William Esq. This record supplements the will of Elizabeth Hawkins, an abstract of which follows.
Will of Elizabeth Hawkins, widow of Foster R.I. dated 1817, July 5, proved 1817, Oct 18 is in Foster wills 3:338-340: for record of probate see pp 331, 341.
Nathaniel Horton Jr gave bonds (p332). The will says she was of Foster, a widow of advanced age, and mentions
Daughter Sally Greene, wife of Wanton Greene
Daughter Polly Greene, wife of Brenton Greene
Daughter Susannah Sparkes, wife of Amos Sparkes
Daughter Elizabeth [? Warren ?] so lately called now Elizabeth wife of Dexter Hearndell
Daughter Phebe Horton, wife of Nathaniel Jr
Son Joab Thornton late of Glocester
Son Josiah Thornton
Son Stephen Thornton
Son Zeba Thornton
Son-in-law, Nathaniel Horton Jr. Executor.
By the way, I noticed the name Zeba also appears in the list you sent me of the children of Josiah b. 1775 d. 1858.
This probate account fails to mention a Nathan as a son of Noah, where your family traditions state that your Josiah b. 1775 had a brother Nathan. Probably it should be "cousin" instead of brother.
Having the above additional data, I am interested to hear your verdict concerning the whole matter.
I hope to find out more concerning the Hawkins part.
A verbatim copy of the will is enclosed, which please return.
C. I. Brown
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