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Robert G. Moore


`                                                              THE ALBERT THORNTON FAMILY



Updated strays etc Feb 2003  





about 1800 (1) in the U.S.A (1) likely Vermont. His son Chauncy stated in the 1880 census of Marion Township Sanilac County Mi. That his father  was born in Vermont.


Rachel Williams likely about 1822 likely Ontario perhaps West Zorra Township,

Oxford County Ontario tho son  Chauncey stated in the 1880 census of Marion Township Sanilac County Mi .that his mother was born in Conneticut


after 1861 census of West Zorra Township but before 1871 (ref #1 and 31)




* denotes Separate chapters for each child and their descendants


all children likely born in West Zorra


#2.1.1 * Priscilla Thornton born 1823, married Feburay 1842 in West Zorra Township to Peter Kerns,  5 children. She died 26 December 1901 at Woodstock Ont.  

#2.1.2 * Chauncy J. Thornton born about 1825, married June 1847 to Julia Ann Sawyer, 2 children He died February 1900 at Marion Township near Deckerville Sanilac County Michigan.  

#2.1.3 * Silas William Thornton born 1829. Married May 1852 to Caroline Moore, the daughter of James Moore and Rachel Holder. 9 children, He died 24 August 1903 at Harrisville Mich.

See the Caroline Amelia Moore Branch #2.5.9 of the MOORE FAMILY  

#2.1.4 * Lyman L. (Lawrence ?) Thornton born 10 July 1832  (Ref D.D.)

married first to Electra Spencer November 1855, 1 child

married secondly to Ann Ennest, November 1867, 8 children (at least)

 He died 26 April 1915 at Kalamzoo Mich  

#2.1.5 * Truman J. (James ?) Thornton born 11 March 1836. Married Susan Maria Moore about 1855-6 in West Zorra Township, the daughter of James Moore and Rachel Holder. (Sister of Caroline Moore who married Silas). 8 children He died 11 April 1911 at Au Sable Township Iosco County Mich.

 See the Susan Maria Moore Branch #2.5.11 of the MOORE FAMILY  

            It is not known when Albert Thornton came to Ontario but it is surmised that he was part of the wave of immigration from the United States in the early 1820's as the 1851 West Zorra Township census lists Priscilla, Chauncy and Silas as having been born in Ontario. (Ref 10)

            Apparently Albert was assessed in North Oxford Township in 1823-4 and in Zorra in 1826 (purple tid bit book of County of Oxford Local History Dept (further investigation is required as only Thornton listed by Oxford County OGS is for Abel Thornton at Lot 22

Concession 1 North Oxford for 1825.)

    When Albert's son Silas married for the second time on 7 Oct 1897 in Harrisville Mich., he gave his mother's maiden name as Rachel Williams and his father' name as Albert Thornton. (It is surmised she may have been a sister of Silas Williams an early Settler of Oxford County)

            Albert Thornton is listed in the 1828, First Regiment of Oxford County Militia in

Capt R Always Company. His age given as 28.It appears that this company was composed of residents of ZORRA Twp (Ref Men of Upper Canada, Militia Nominal Rolls 1828-9 Pub Ont Genealogical Society 1995 )

             In March 1837 Rachel Thornton, Albert's wife purchased 7 acres of the south part of Lot 5 Concession 5 West Zorra (Registered as # 3295). In August 1837 she purchased a further 17 1/4 acres of the same lot (Registered as #3744).  In October 1842 Albert along with his wife Rachel sold the

 24 1/4 acre parcel of Lot 5 Concession 5 West Zorra. (Registered as #5500).

            After 1842 Albert went to Blanshard Township in Perth County. The 1843-7 tax assessment Rolls of Blanshard Township show Albert as occupying Lots 3 and 4 (100 acres each) in the Concession "West Of the Mitchell Road".  In the book "Canada Company" (Ref #30), page 193

Albert is shown in Concession 13 (or West Of the Mitchell Road).

In 1843 he had 2 oxen, 3 milch cows and 6 horned cattle and was assessed for 20 pounds,

In 1844 he had 10 acres cleared on Lot 4

The population returns lists 5 males, 2 over 16 in 1843 and 3 over in 1844 and one female each year (Which would be consistent with his family above (Priscilla having married prior to the move to Blanshard and remained in West Zorra). The population return for 1845 list 4 males which would indicate that son Chauncey was elsewhere. Their religion was given as Closed Communion Baptist.

            There are no Thorntons listed in the 1851 Blanshard or Downie Township census.

Although Albert is not listed in the 1851 West Zorra Township census, his sons Chauncy and Silas were and were living near Peter Karn (West 1/2 of Lot 4 Concession 5)  There is no 1851 North Oxford Township Census so we do not know if he was across the line! However by 1861 Albert is again listed in the West Zorra census, age 61  married, born U. S. A., religion Baptist and living with him, is Rachel, age 28 female. (likely an error for 68, This would be consistent with the 1871 census in which Rachel's age was given as 77) {1861 census was age on next birthday as of 14 January 1861 and in 1871 census was age as of 2 April 1871} (I RGM have not found any reference to a daughter Rachel in the family)

            In the census, the family is shown as one male, one female and married. They were living in a log house. Living in a separate log house next to Albert was his son Truman, Truman's wife

Susan (Moore) and Truman's children Lyman and Albert. It appears from their position in the census that they were living in the area of Lot 4 or 5 in Concession 5, Zorra although no land ownership records have been found for Albert after the sale in 1842. Thus one would surmise that both Albert and Truman were living on Peter Karn's land.

            Neither Albert or Truman are shown in the 1861 West Zorra Township agricultural census although Peter Karn is shown as owning 100 acres of Lot 4 Concession 5 with 30 acres of it under cultivation.

            Rachel is shown living with the family of Peter Karn (her son-in law) in the West Zorra 1871 census as age 77 (that is born about 1794) and a widow.  Thus if the age is correct she would be about 6 years older than Albert. Her religion is given as regular Baptist

            It is not known when or where either Rachel or Albert died, but it appears that Albert died between 1861 and 1871 and Rachel after 1871, but before 1881 as she has not been found in the 1881 census.

            Perhaps they were in Sanilac County with one of their sons but no death records for them have been found in Michigan. If she was buried in her son-in-law Peter Karn's plot in the Woodstock Baptist Cemetery, her name is not on a Grave stone)

            {The only Rachel Thornton listed in the Sanilac County death records died 13 March 1913 age 83 years, 6 months and 7 days, was born in England and was the daughter of Robert Maynard and Hannah Green.


Feb 2003

 There were a number of other Thornton families living in West Zorra at the same time as Albert, including the families of Bleeker Thornton, Remember Thornton, Calvin Thornton and Able Thornton.

but till now (Feb 2003) no relationship between Albert and any of them has been established although all seem to have come from the United States  


            It is believed (Feb 2003) that the  Able Thornton born about 1827 (age 25 in 1851 West Zorra census)(age next birthday as of  January 1852) is not a member of the Albert Thornton Family as no positive info has been found to prove he was a member of the Albert Thornton family. It appears that he was not in Blanshard Township in 1843 with Albert. The naming pattern of his (Able's) children does not follow the naming pattern of the 4 sons of Albert. It is possible was this "Able" was a brother of Arial Thornton and thus a son of Calvin Thornton and Betsy Aldrich

(see after.)  

"Able" was married by Rev. George Turner of the Episcopal Methodist Church in West Zorra  11 April 1848 to Jean Larson Witnesses were William Turner and Ira Carrol (Ref Brock District Marriage Register)

The family were listed in the 1851 West Zorra census as Able Thornton age 25, labourer, Jean 22, Wallace age 3  

            In the 1860 census of Forester Township, Sanilac County household #875

 Post Office Cherry Creek, is listed an "Abel" Thornton age 33, Laborer, born Canada, Jane age 28 born England, Mahala (female) age 11 born Canada (attends school), Christopher age 8 born Canada, attends school   

            In 1870 census of Minden Township Sanilac county is listed  "Abel" Thornton age 42 born Canada West, June age 44 housewife Willard age 21 born Canada West, Christopher age 19 born Canada West  

            In the 1876 Sanilac County atlas An "A." Thornton owned 80 acres of Section #7 of Forester Township  

            Deaths from the Richmondville fire on 5 September 1881

Richmondville fire Forester Township Sanilac County death records Page #107 #150,151 and 152 death by fire on 5 September 1881

Abel Thornton age 53 white married farmer Residence Forester Township (#150)

Margaret Thornton, female housewife, married age 50 born in Ontario (#152)

Christopher Thornton age 22 son of Abel and Margaret (#151)  

A "Jane N. Thornton" is listed as age 25 Residence Forester Circut

30 July 1861 of Port Huron district Methodist Church Records


Mary Lou Bacon of Grand Blanc Mich. reports that Margaret Able's (1881 fire) Maiden name was Perrine    Whether the above Abel Thorntons are one and the same is not known and assistance is required

Sanilac County Death Records page 46 #6717-8

119 Oct 1914 Baby Thornton Female white Infant o days Stillborn Forester Twp, Willard Thornton and Gertrude McTaggart           



    On 17 July 1829 an" Able Thornton" sold the North West 1/4 (50 acres) to Cornelius Ennest (Registered as #1484). His relationship to Albert is unknown. Could he have been a brother ?

The relationship of the others to Albert is unknown, other than most came from the U. S.  

On 27 August 1834 an Abel Thornto made his will and is found in “Wills of Oxford County”

rthe same Abel?  


 Arial Thornton born 17 June 1823 (wife Catherine Vanatter) who died 22 July 1902 in Lexington Township Sanilac County was the son of Calvin Thornton and Betsy Aldrich.  

(On 3 November 1829 a "Ariel Aldrick" purchased the West 1/2 of Lot 9 Concession 4  Zorra from the Canada Company (page 228 the Canada Company By Thelma Coleman and published 1978 by Cumming Publishers of Stratford Ontario) (maybe Betsy's Father)  

Ariel died Lexington Village, Sanilac Cty. 22 Feb 1902 of heart disease, age 73_8_5,  However his gravestone in Downing Cemetery at Deckerville, Sanilac Cty. shows birth as 17 June 1822.(check G/S Cemetery) His obit states he was born 17 June 1828.

 Arial was buried Section E Downing Cemetery at Deckerville Sanilac County. NO other markers in plot verse  "As a husband devoted/As a father affectionate/ as a friend ever kind and true"  

Catherine Vanatter,was the daughter of and was born late 1831 or early 1832 married (1) Ariel Thornton on 18 September 1853 in Zorra by Rev. George Turner of Methodist Episcopal Church. Witnesses James Vanatter and John S. Wood.  

 Ariel and Catherine went to Michigan in 1859 where they settled near Deckerville in Marian Township. He moved to Lexington Village in 1900.(obit via Mary Lou Bacon)  

1880 census lists Ariel Thornton Marion Twp page 175C Farmer 52 born Canada

both parents born Vermont wife Catharine 51 born Canada, children Almon 23,  Augustus 16,

George Henry 13, Betsy 11  

Catherine married (2) Roderick M. Rice on 28 Sept 1907 age 81 at Lexington Sanilac County Mich, her age given as 75.  

Her children by Ariel Thornton: _

(his obit states there were 5 children

(3 were dead in 1902 when Ariel died, Almond+ 2 others)  

#1 Almond Thornton born 1857 in Oxford Co. Ont. Died Sanilac County on

 23 December 1891. He had 3 wives Addie Alexander, Ellen ? and

 Samantha E. Beach (daughter of Hiram of Henry and Clarissa)  

 #2 Jane Thornton born 1859 Canada West likely Zorra She was likely Mrs. Eliza Parliament of West Branch   County   Mich. in 1902  

ref Bonnie Kelding Bonnie Thornton Kelding lives Lake Orion Oakland Cty MI in Jan 2001  other daughter lives in Sanilac Cty

#3 Augustus Thornton born 9 August 1863 in Marian Twp(Deckerville).

He was of Big Rock (near Atlanta) Montmorency Co in 1902 and lived on Thornton Road. He married Gertrude Verbeck, They were buried Perry Mount Park Cemetery, Pontiac Mi  

June/98 via M.L.Bacon

Montmorency Co Marriage Records Volume 1 1881-1974

LAS-965,77 Page 2 #25 Feb 21 1889 Augustus Thornton 23, white resident of Atlanta born Sanilac County farmer son of Real Thornton and Catherine Vanatter married Gertie Verbeck 16 white of Briley Mich born Cleo Mich unk parents married 4 Nov 1889 at Big Rock by Peter Boner J.P. witnesses Bort Verbeck, of Atlanta and Eva Heory, of Atlanta.  


 3a Daughter Edith Shirley Thornton died 10 Feb 1901 at 25 days old at Onaway Mich.

3b Son Russell Alger Thornton (Aka "Gus")born Big Rock  Gus had at least two daughters

one Alice Thornton marr Koop she died 1998 lived Nevada(?)

Gus had cousin Claude Thornton still living Jan 2001  

#4 George Thornton born 1866 in Marian Twp. He was of Pelston, Emment 1902  

#5 Betsey Ellen born 4 Mar 1870 in Marian Twp Sanilac Co., MI

married George Sickels 2 Dec 1883 (looks strange _ a child bride !!)

She lived in Deckerville in 1902

Daughter Bertha E. Sickles age 21 of West Deckerville married 6 May 1914 to John Joss age 33 of W. Deckerville son of Alex Joss and Jane White  

#6 Alice born 14 Feb 1872 born in Marion Twp. no mention in 1902  


It appears that this Calvin was married to Phoebe Aldrich and they were the parents of Lucy Thornton who married David Fuller and Silas Thornton  

David Aldrich of Tigard Oregon Nov 2002 advises that Calvin's parents were Elizabeth Rogers and Steven Thornton.  I'm trying to find a link to Calvin myself through his wife Betsey Aldrich.

(Was Calvin married to different Aldrichs? sisters?)  

A "Calvin Thornton" was in West Zorra and was assessed for land in 1817. This Calvin may have been a brother of an "Able" Thornton who also had a son Calvin Thornton who married Elizabeth Ennest in Zorra about 1834 (see Calvin #2)  

(From Caroline Moore file)        After Caroline Moore Thornton death, Silas remarried to Lucy Thornton Fuller at West Harrisville on 7 October 1897. Lucy was the daughter of Calvin Thornton and Phoebe Aldrich. Lucy gave her age as 66 and her place of residence as Sanilac County. Silas gave his age as 68.(Born 1829). Witnesses were Maude M. Genge (#, Silas' daughter and Effie Dell Genge (perhaps Della's


From my Ennest family file  

             #2.1.5 ELIZABETH ENNEST  


Cornelius Ennest and Sylvia Tracy


 7 July 1819 New York State  (Sanilac County Death Records Ref #14)


  Calvin Thornton  (Ref #12) likely about 1839 probably Zorra although no record has been yet found (Not found London District Marriage Records or Brock District marriage Records ) Donna Davis now of Naples Fl formerly of Deckerville Sanilac. says he was a son of Able Thornton (He was not of the Family of Albert Thornton or Remember Thornton). Calvin's age (next birthday) in 1851-2 census was given as 45 so he was born about 1807 and in Canada.


as a widow in Marion Twp Sanilac 12 July 1888 age 69 yrs 0 mo and 5 days  (Ref #14) Buried ?

            CHILDREN ( Ref #12) Artametia Thornton born about 1840 (female)  

     .2 * Almond Thornton born about 1842  

     .3 Aldire Thornton born about 1847   (missing in 1861 census)  

     .4 John Thornton born about 1848  

     .5 Leora Thornton born about 1850  

     .6 Lydia Thornton born about 1852  

     .7 William Henry Thornton born about 1857  

     .8 Agnes Thornton born about 1860  

 In 1851-2 census Calvin was listed as a farmer and lived near if not, on Lot 4 to 6 Concession 5 West Zorra . He had sold 50 acres of land (South West 1/4) in Lot 4 Concession 5 in March 1846 to James Carroll, having acquired title from Edward Dolsen to whom he had sold it in 1840.  (check Lot 4 Con 5 West Zorra to see when Calvin Thornton purchased the land originally)

He is not shown as a property owner on the Tremaines map of 1857. This was the same area that the Albert Thornton family lived, the relationship between the two families if any has not yet been ascertained however Cornelius Ennest had purchased 50 acres of Lot 4 Concession 6 from Able Thornton in 1829 and one might wonder if Able were the father of Calvin (D.D. says he was).

He was not listed in the directory of 1857-8 of the County of Oxford, thus it is doubtful if he owned land.

He is listed in the 1861 Census of North Oxford Township (see Ref #22).

His age was not given, his occupation was given as labourer so it is doubtful if he owned land in North Oxford (he was not listed in the agricultural census of North Oxford.) (His wife Elizabeth's age was listed as 36 while it was closer to 42). The family was Baptist.

Son Almond married in Sanilac in 1868 so it is likely the family was there prior to that.  


From my Ennest File



Elizabeth Ennest #1.1.5 and Calvin Thornton (Ref #12)


1842 in West Zorra Township Oxford County Ontario (Ref #12)


Ellen Sprigg (Sprague) at Minden Sanilac County on 4 October 1868

she gave her age as 20, residence as Minden and her Birthplace as Canada West his age given as 26 (Book 2 page 10 # 148 of Sanilac County Marriage Records. Witnesses were Able Thornton and Catherine Smith (Her parents might have been Emanuel and Mary Sprigg (Sprague) of the Beachville area of Oxford County)


# Hannah Thornton born April 1870 in Marian Township Sanilac County. The family is shown in Marion Township census of 1870 (Ref #16)



Donna Davis of Naples Fl and formerly of Deckerville Sanilac County Mi. advises Dec/98 that a Ruth Ann Thornton born 2 March 1797 died 27 July 1855 at Bedford Mich. She was a daughter of Michael Thornton and Thankfull Jewell  She married Silas Nichols  


Oliver Thornton married Sarah Strong in Oxford (Twp) Oxford County on 25 February 1833

married by Peter Teeple (JP) witness George Karn  Jonathan Thornton

Ref London District Marriage Records Volume 2  


John Thornton Married 21 November 1847 to Mary Stockdale of Dereham by George Turner Methodist Episcopal witness Robert Wiseman and Henry Hagle Brock District marriage records

(I RGM have a file on Hagle family)  


Robert Thornton married Melinda Eakins both of Blenheim Twp on 31 May 1840 by W.H Landon Baptist of Woodstock witnesses James Topping and William Burtch

Brock District ,marriage records