As you search for your ancestors, take notice of some of the names of the slave holders listed below. Look for each one in the 1870 Census. Then check to see if any of your ancestors were living near any of them during that period.
POSSIBLE THORNTON SLAVE OWNERS:
Newman Thornton, 6 slaves, Merriwether County, GA
Mark Thornton, 4 slaves, Merriwether County, GA
Beverly A. Thornton, 1 slave, Muscogee County, GA
Dozier Thornton, 55 slaves, Muscogee County, GA
E. G. Thornton, 1 slave, Muscogee County, GA
Green Thornton, 17 slaves, Muscogee County, GA
Isaac Thornton, 4 slaves, Muscogee, GA
Nat M. Thornton, 39 slaves, Muscogee County, GA
Reuben Thornton, 17 slaves, Talbot County, GA
H. Thornton, 1 slave, Troup County, GA
THORNTON, T. P., 116 slaves, Troup, GA
**NOTE: There was a Jno. Thornton and Sarah Story homesteading in Harris Co., GA in 3/24/1840
source: History of Harris County, Georgia, 1827-1961 by Louise Calhoun Barfield
Slaves were considered property and slave owners were required to pay taxes, yes, even on their slaves. Some even had their slaves insured. Once you narrow it down to the “most likely” slave holder, you'll need to review the tax digest records, deeds, wills, etc. of that/those slave owners.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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