I need help on the William Thornton who resided in Orange County, Virginia as of 1782 (with a household of seven (7) whites and no blacks).
I have gleaned the following.
1. Source: Boddie, John Bennett, Historical Southern Families, Vol. XII, "Thornton of Virginia," With Related Families Ransdell, Cox, Atwell, Alford, Williams, Curtis, & Obert, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland.
William4 Thornton of Orange Co., probably identical with William, b. 1728, son of James and Ann Thornton, but possibly a son of Luke and Millicent Thornton, first appears as an independent tithable in 1755 and had 7 whites in his family in 1782. On Mar. 22, 1781 he was excused from paying taxes (Minute Book 2, p. 150), and in accordance with this, in 1782 he appears with personal property, but no tithables. After 1782 he disappears from the tithables of Orange Co., and may have died. The tithables show only one son of William Thornton, namely, James Thornton, who appears for the first time as an independent tithable in 1788. To distinguish him from his uncle and cousin, James Thornton, Sr. and Jr., in 1788 he is called "James Thornton, Son", in 1789 "James Thornton son of William", in 1790 "James Thornton Weev (Weaver?)".
1st Question: Did William Thornton appear in the 1782 tax list twice, or were there two men, both named William Thornton, both having households of 7 whites? There was a William on the list of Catlett Conway and a William on the list of Andrew Shepherd, both from October 1782. Did the enumerators simply list this William twice?
2. Source: Orange County, Virginia Deed Book 19, Page 51.
There is a Deed (for land, I presume???) from a William Thornton, either dated or recorded (???) September 22, 1787, transferring the asset (whatever it was) to "Bill & Bartoni". [Not my transcription, so not positive of the spelling of the name of the transferees.]
2nd Question: Was the William Thornton of the 1787 deed the same as the William Thornton of the 1782 tax list? Who was/were this "Bill & Bartoni"? I am wondering if this was one of those merchants and/or tobacco factors (either in Virginia or possibly in England?) who extended credit to planters, and when the planter defaulted, the creditor took the property securing the credit, sometimes by voluntary deed of the debtor. Is that the situation here? Does anyone know anything about an entity by some name even similar to "Bill & Bartoni"?
3. Sources: (A) Latter Day Saints databases (www.familysearch.org; including Ancestral Files, IGIs and Pedigree files) show only the birth of a William in 1728 in North Farnham Parish of Richmond County, Virginia to parents James and Anne, as extracted from parish records). No one has listed a wife or any children. (B) Thornton Genforum: no one has posted any firm information (or even theories) about this William that I can find. (C) World Connect (www.rootsweb.com) has a few submissions on this William, but none listing any wife or children. (D) Global Tree (www.gencircles.com) has only one submission on this William, but with no wife or children listed. (E) A google search for "William Thornton" paired with "Orange County Virginia" produces numerous hits but none (that I can find) concening this William's wife and children.
3rd Question: Does anyone have any information about his family?
Boddie has identified a James Thornton as William's only son. A James Thornton, likely born 1760-1770, married, ca. 1790, a Sarah Bailey Hawkins, daughter of the late Moses Hawkins (son of Benjamin and Sarah (Willis) Hawkins) and of his wife, Susannah Strother (daughter of William and Sarah (Bailey) (widow of William Pannill or Pannell) Strother). This James and Sarah moved to Woodford County, Kentucky, where I believe this James Thornton appeared in the 1820 census for Mortonsville (and apparently Sarah Bailey (Hawkins) Thornton's maternal grandfather, William Strother, also moved to Woodford County).
4th Question: Can anyone say if James Thornton, son of William, was the same James Thornton who married Sarah Bailey Hawkins?
THEORY: William Thornton, with a household of 7 in 1782, MIGHT have had himself, his wife (if still alive), his son James (under 16 at the time, but at least 16 and titheable by 1788 tax list) and then four others. Because Boddie suggests that there were no other sons, then the other four were more likely than not daughters. They could have been born anytime from about 1748 (when William would have been 20) until 1778 (depending on when William's wife was born). If any such daughters were still single and living at home in 1782, the chances are fairly good that they were under age 22, so born after 1760. I am exploring the possibility that one of these daughters might have been named Dorothy, and might have been born about 1771. This Dorothy Thornton married (about 1789) Elijah Thompson, from neighboring Louisa County (but who had Brockman, and possibly Thompson, relatives in Orange). Elijah and Dorothy moved to Kentucky by about 1790.
The name "Dorothy" does not seem to have been favored among any Thornton families that I have reviewed, so I wonder if it might have come from Mrs. William Thornton's side of the family??
If anyone can offer me any guidance, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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