William Thornton, brother of Hon. Matthew Thornton, was, with his brother James, one of the first settlers of Pelham, MA in 1740. As a surveyor, he assistedin laying out of that town. In 1744, he left Pelham and moved to Kingsfield (now Palmer) MA, where he had a farm on the east side of Dumplin Hill. Here his sons, William (1745), Matthew (1746) and James were probably born. In March 1748, William sold his farm at Palmer, and became the first settler of Dublin, NH, which town was granted in 1749 to Hon. Matthew Thornton and others. The farm in Dublin on which William Thornton settled was owned by Hon. Matthew Thornton, and was subsequently sold by him to Dea. Isaac Appleton. A small monument has been erected on this farm to mark the place of the first settlement of the town. Two children were born to William Thornton during his residence in Dublin: a daughter Molly (1749) said to have been the first while child born in that town; and a son, Thomas, born probably in 1751. William Thornton remained in Dublin until about 1753, when he left due to the Indians, and with his family, moved to Schenectady, NY where his son John was born in 1753.
William Thornton and his sons, Matthew and James, served in the border warfare, their names appearing on the muster roll of Capt. Daniel Campbell's company of Schenectady on May 12, 1767.
From a deed dated February 3, 1770, it appears that William Thornton was then of Curry's Brook (or Bush), near Princetown, Albany County, NY. He returned to New Hampshire, and after living in Londonderry in 1773 and 1774, he went to Thornton,NY, where he remained until his death in 1790.
I. William Thornton
William Thornton, born 1745, married Dolly Bagley of Candia, NH and resided at Thornton, NH. They had seven children, born between 1784 and 1799: 1. William; 2. John; 3. Polly; 4. Matthew; 5. Nathan; 6. Hannah; and 7. James.
William Thornton (b. 1784) was a selectman, tax collector and justice of the peace in Thornton, NH. His first wife was Mary Bagley, and they had eight children, born between 1806 and 1820: 1. Lucinda; 2. Cereno; 3. Milton; 4. Freeman; 5. Cynthia; 6. Lavina; 7. Washington; and 8. Lena. His second wife was Harriet Elliott, and they had nine children, born between 1824 and 1840: 1. William(4); 2. Martha; 3. Mary Esther; 4. Harriet; 5. Emeline; 6. William(5); 7. Hannah; 8. Edmund Elliott; and 9. Henry H.
William(5) Thornton (b. 1832) married Emma Keniston of Campton, NH, and their son, George K., is roadmaster of the Boston and Main Railroad at Salem, MA [as of 1905].
Edmund Elliott Thornton enlisted in Mound City, KS in 1861 in the U.S. Army as a 1st Lt.; was made Captain October 29, 1861; mustered out September 29, 1865, Co. G, 7th Kansas Regt.
Henry H. Thornton enlised in Co. H., 15th N.H. Regt. at Concord, NH, October 15, 1862; wounded at Fort Hudson May 27, 1863; discharged August 13, 1863.
John Thornton (son of William Thornton and Dolly Bagley) married Sarah Lunt and resided at Derby, VT. They had three children, born between 1821 and 1826. Their son John (b. 1823) moved to Standstead, Canada in 1840; he then moved to Barnston, PQ [Province of Quebec] from 1841-1855; then to Coaticook, where he resided until his death in 1888. He represented the County of Stanstead in the Quebec legislature for eight years. Descendents live in Barnston and other parts of Canada.
Matthew Thornton (son of William Thornton and Dolly Bagley) enlisted February 23, 1813 in Capt. Joseph Flanders' company (NH), and served 281 days. He married Esther Banker, and they had six children, whose descendants live in Michigan, Kansas and other western states.
Nathan Thornton (son of William Thornton and Dolly Bagley) married Olive Edgerly of Peeling (Woodstock), NH. He died in 1860.
James Thornton (son of William Thornton and Dolly Bagley) married Rachel True of Wentworth, NH. They had six children, whose descendants live in Hatley, Quebec, Canada.
II. Matthew Thornton
Capt. Matthew Thornton was the second child of William Thornton. He was born on December 6, 1746, probably at Palmer, MA, where his father then lived. Matthew was probably with his father when William became the first settler of Dublin, NH, about 1748 and then moved with him to Schenectady, NY in 1853.
The names of William "Thorneton" and of James and Matthew Thornton appear on the muster roll of Capt. Daniel Campbell's company of Schenectady on May 12, 1853.
Matthew Thornton (b. 1746) was married on March 30, 1768 to Mary Crawford and their first child, Dorcas, was born on March 12, 1770 and was baptized at Schenectady, NY on June 12, 1770.
In 1772, Matthew returned to New Hampshire and settled in the town of Thornton. Three more children were born to Matthew in New Hampshire: Joseph (May 9, 1772); Catherine (1773) and Leah (March 9, 1774).
Matthew was elected a delegate from the town of Thornton to the Third Provincial Congress of New Hampshire, which met at Exeter on April 25, 1775. He was also returned as a delegate from the towns of Thornton and Holderness to the Fourth Provincial Congress, which met at Exeter on May 17, 1775. On June 23, 1775, he was recommended by David Hobart and others of Plymouth to the Committee of Safety as a fit person to enlist a company.
On July 4, 1775, he was added to the committee for bringing a plan for regulating the militia. On July 6, 1775, he was recommended as a lieutenant of a company which Capt. James Osgood was authorized to enlist. He enlisted a company, the roll of which set forth in Vol. 17, St. Papers p. 14. See also Vol. 14 St. Papers p. 166. This company of 43 men formed the major part of Capt. James Osgood's company, of which Capt. Matthew Thornton was 1st Lt. He served in that capacity under Col. Timothy Bedell in the expedition against Canada.
In a letter dated August 7, 1775, by Matthew Thornton, chairman of the Committee of Safety, to Col. Bedell, in which Capt. Thornton is mentioned as the bearer thereof, it is said that he also bears a letter from Gen. Sullivan, and is requested to take Capt. Thornton with him to Gen. Schuyler at Crown Point, and endeavor to get the three companies (including Gen. Osgood's) into Continental Service. The three companies marched from Haverhill, NH about September 8, 1775, and on November 22, 1775, captured Fort St. John, and took 600 prisoners and munitions of war. Matthew Thornton's term of enlistment having expired, he was discharged December 21, 1775. On February 3, 1776, the Committee of Safety gave directions to pay off Lt.[sic]Thornton's company, and on February 10, 1776, it ordered the Treasurer to pay Capt. Matthew Thornton his wages and rations, 18L 19s 2d [sic].
On April 4, 1776, Matthew's daughter Jane Livermore was born at Thornton, NH.
On June 30, 1776, he was appointed by the Provincial Congress on committee to take from the custody of Col. John Fenton, who was declared to be an enemy of his country, the files and records of the Court of Common Pleas in the County of Grafton.
Matthew's sixth child, Mary, was born in Thornton in 1777.
On September 30, 1777, Col. John Hurd, writing to the committee of Safety from Haverhill, MA, advises them of his being present at Plymouth when Capt. Matthew Thornton was arrested as a traitor. In his letter, he says that at the battle of Bennington (August 16, 1777), Col. Charles Johnston informed him that Capt. Matthew Thornton was captured with the Hessians, inside the breastworks. Thornton claimed at this examination that he had been over to Otter Creek to see his land, and had been captured by the Hessians, who made him go with their army to assist in driving wagons, but that he did not bear arms, and that when he was captured, he was taken with the waggoners. Col. Hurd adds that Col. Johnston assured him that when Thornton was captured, there was not a wagon near him. (He did not claim to have been with the wagons.) The result of the examination was adverse to Thornton, and he was sent to Exeter and confined to the jail in that place.
On November 7, 1778, the New Hampshire Legislature voted that Mr. Thornton, brother to Matthew Thornton, Jr., now in the prison at Exeter, be admitted to visit his said brother in prison, the prison keeper [to accompany him]. It does not appear which brother this was, but it was probably William, who lived at Thornton, NH.
After a period in jail, Matthew was indicted in September, 1779 for traitorously levying war and conspiring to levy war against the state of New Hampshire and the U.S. in Bennington on August 16, 1777. He pleaded not guilty, was tried and was found not guilty. He was released in 1779 and subsequently relocated to St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, where he settled at Ledge. Two more children, twins Matthew and Elizabeth, were born to him. Capt. Matthew Thornton died in 1824 and is buried at Ledge, New Brunswick.
Dorcas Thornton [daughter of Capt. Matthew] married a Kennedy and died in 1838 without issue.
Joseph Thornton [son of Capt. Matthew] married Lydia Bailey of Calais, ME, and had seven children: 1. William; 2. Sarah; 3. Joseph; 4. Samuel; 5. Nathaniel; 6. Eli; and 7. Abiel. Descendants are to be found in Maine.
Catherine Thornton [daughter of Capt. Matthew] married Abiel Sprague of Sprague Falls, Baileyvillle, ME. They had eight children: 1. Moses; 2. John; 3. Eli; 4. Jane; 5. Hannah; 6. Leah; 7. Sarah; and 8. Rachel.
Jane Livermore Thornton [daughter of Capt. Matthew] married Capt. Eli Sprague of Machias, ME. They resided at Sprague Falls, Baileyville, Me, and had twelve children: 1. Matthew Thornton; 2. Elizabeth Thornton; 3. Peris; 4. Joseph Thornton; 5. John H.; 6. Sophronia P.; 7. Rebecca C.; 8. Catherine Young; 9. Ezra; 10. Eleazer; 11. Ethan Allen; and 12. Mary J.
Mary Thornton [daughter of Capt. Matthew] is said to have married a Frost.
Matthew Thornton [son of Capt. Matthew] is said to have married Sarah Pomeroy of Pomeroy Ridge, New Brunswick. Their children were: 1. Matthew; 2. Mary E.; 3. Benjamin; 4. Hannah; 5. Dorcas A.; 6. Almira J.; 7. Edward; 8. William; 9. Katherine; 10. James; and 11. Priscilla A.
III. James Thornton
James Thornton (b. about 1747) was probably born at Palmer, MA; went with his father's family to Dublin, NH about 1748; and moved with them to Schenectady, NY in 1763. The muster roll of Capt. Daniel Campbell's company of Schenectady, May 12, 1767, gives the names of James Thornton, and of his father and brother, Matthew. James also served in the Revolutionary War, in the 2d Reg., Albany County.
Pearsons' "Genealogies of the First Settlers of Schenectady" gives the following record, which probably refers to James Thornton (b. 1747): James Thornton m. Antje Schermerhorn. Children: 1. Mary (b. September 9, 1785); 2. William (b. Feb 17, 1793); 3. Margarieta (b. April 14, 1795). There are probably descendents from this line in Schenectady, NY, but they have not been traced.
IV. Molly Thornton
Molly Thornton, daughter of William Thornton [brother of Hon. Matthew], born in Dublin, NH about 1749. Descendants, if any, have not been traced.
V. Thomas Thornton
Thomas(1) Thornton, son of William Thornton, b. 1751, probably in Dublin, NH. Moved to Schenectady with his father in 1753. Schoolteacher. Served in the Revolutionary War 2d Reg. Albany County. He married Elizabeth Richardson, sister of Paris Richardson (an aide to Gen. Washington). Their children were: 1. William; 2. Euretta; 3. Elizabeth; 4. John; 5. Thomas(2); 6. Charles Wallace; and 8. George.
William Thornton married Eunice Stevens. Children: 1. Asa; 2. Thomas W.; 3. Matilda; and 4. Elizabeth.
Thomas(2) married Keziah Ward in 1816. They resided in Duanesburgh and Albany, NY. Children: 1. Euretta; 2. Elizabeth; 3. Hester; 4. William; 5. Stephen E.; 6. Matilda; 7. Mary; 8. Marshus; 9. Thomas W.; and 10. Lucinda.
[These next generations appear to be children of Thomas(2) but the manuscript is unclear.]
Euretta Thornton married Henry Mix of Albany, NY. She was noted as a philanthropist during the Civil War.
Elizabeth Thornton married Benjamin Snyder of Bethlehem, NY. They had seven children.
Hester Thornton married Edmund J> Lord of Albany, NY, and had five children.
William Thornton married Margaret Ferguson of Brooklyn, and resided in Valparaiso, Ind. They had two children.
Stephen E. Thornton married Katharine Varley of Albany, NY. They had five children.
Lucinda Thornton married Nelson H. Salisbury of Albany, NY. They had two children.
Charles Wallace Thornton [son of Thomas(1)] married Almira Gaige, and lived near Altamont, NY. They had seven children, born between 1823 and 1843: 1. George; 2. Lydia; 3. Maria L.; 4. Thereon; 5. Euretta; 6. Charles W.; and 7. Amanda.
V. John Thornton
John Thornton, son of William Thornton, was born at Schenectady, NY in 1753. He served with distinction in the Revolutionary War. He was 1st Lt. in Capt. Thomas Wasson's company (5th) in the 2d Reg., Schenectady division. His brothers, James and Thomas, served in the same regiment. Captain (and later Major) John Thornton served with Col. Willett along the Mohawk Valley, and as a major, he commanded the escort to General Washington and Governor Clinton from Fort Plain to Cherry Valley and Otsego Lake and back during the summer of 1763.
On January 25, 1786, Major Thornton purchased a farm of 100 acres at Curry's Bush (or Brook) in the town of Princetown, Albany County, NY, which farm had been owned by Daniel Clyde in 1771.
Major Thornton married Ann (Adelia) Clyde, daughter of Col. Samuel Clyde. Ann was born October 25, 1764; her ancestry is detailed under the Agnes Thornton Wasson branch. Their children were: 1. John Clyde (b. July 28, 1793); 2. John Clyde (b. November 24, 1795); 3. Adelia (b. August 28, 1797); 4. William Anderson (b. August 29, 1802); and 5. Catherine Agnes (b. October 31, 1806).
Major Thornton sold his farm at Princetown on August 29, 1799, and probably moved from there to Albany, NY, where his son William A. was born. Major Thornton died on March 22, 1819, and was buried at Schenectady, NY; his wife died October 14, 1841.
William Anderson Thornton (b. 1802, Albany, NY) graduated twelfth in his class at West Point on July 1, 1835; he was commissioned a Brevet 2nd LT, 1st Artillery; entered the U.S. Army Engineer Corps.; served in the Seminole Indian War in Florida; trasnferred to ordnance department; and was stationed at Governors' Island; Watertown Arsenal, MA, and Watervliet Arsenal, NY. He achieved the rank of brigadier general. He married Helen Smith in 1833 and their children, born between 1834 and 1851, were: 1. Anna Clyde; 2. Helena de Witt; 3. Adelia; 4. William A.; 5. Catherine Clyde; 6. George de Witt; 7. Elenora; 8. Howard; 9. Julia; and 10. John. Brig. Gen. W.A. Thornton died at his post on Governors' Island, NY on April 6, 1866.
Elenore Thornton married in 1867, John Hugh Walsh of Newburgh, NY; residence "Thorntonhurst", Great Barrington, MA. Their children, born between 1874 and 1889, were: 1. Ellen Beekman; 2. William Thornton; 3. Elizabeth de Witt; 4. Howard Thornton; 5. John Hugh; 6. George Radcliffe; and 7. Nora Clyde.
Ellen Beekman Walsh married in 1903 Gurdon W. Gordon; residence: Springfield, MA [as of 1905].
Howard Thornton, sone of William Anderson Thornton, is a lawyer at Newburgh, NY. Former member of the assembly of the State of New York [as of 1905].