Robert and Susanna Davis Thornbrough of Pennsylvania

Robert & Susanna Davis Thornbrough Family

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Robert Thornbrough was the son of Edward & Jean Thornbrough of Armaugh, Ireland, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Susanna Davis was the daughter of John & Mary Davis of Thornbury, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her sister Charity Davis married Thomas Thornbrough, brother of Robert on the same date at Birmingham Monthly Meeting.

We have heard from Charlie White who has worked with Jane Beekman on the White family and on the Robert Thornbury family. Jane found the estate papers of Robert Thornbury in Chester County, Pennsylvania. We are very grateful to them for permission to post the estate papers which give us several of the children for Robert and Susanna that have not to date been published in any Thornbrough genealogy. (Information from estate papers below.) Charlie and Jane also had credible information on additional children for Robert and Jane. We originally had only the name of Robert, Jr. from a Thornbrough genealogy.

Robert Thornbrough
born about 1704 Armaugh, Ireland
died bef 8/3/1745 Chester Co, Pa
Susanna Davis
born unknown
died after 1761
Married: 10/11/1729 at Birmingham Meeting House in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Robert's brother Thomas married Susanna's sister Charity on the same day and the same people signed both wedding certificates

Children: (born Chester County, Pennsylvania):
Robert Thornbrough born about 1730, married Ruth Unknown abt 1755, died 1759
Alice Thornbrough born about 1733, married 18 Nov 1751 at Old Swedes to William Leggett
Susanna Thornbrough born about March 1738, married 5 Nov 1753 at Old Swedes to William White
Thomas Thornbrough born about January 1739
Hannah Thornbrough born about 1741
John Thornbrough born about 1743
Mary Thornbrough born about 1744/45

Chester County, Pennsylvania Records

John Davis, father of Susanna and Charity Davis wrote his will on March 3, 1719, and was deceased by the time of the marriage. His will mentions wife Mary, sons Daniel, Isaac, Abraham, John, and daughters Mary, Hannah, Susanna, and Charitie. Susanna's mother, Mary Davis, signed the wedding certificate as did brothers John, Abraham, and Daniel Davis. Robert Thornburg's brothers, Walter & Edward Thornburg, signed as did his sister, Elizabeth Thornburg. . We have copies of both Susanna’s and Charity’s certificates if anyone is interested in a copy.

Robert Thornbrough is first listed as a taxpayer in Chester County in 1725 and it is presumed he became age 21 at that time. It is curious that both he and his brother died about the same time and at about the age of 40. We know nothing further of Robert's life. Jane Beekman did find his estate papers in Chester County. He died intestate and Susannah Thornbury qualified as administrator and posted bond of 400 pounds with sureties Thomas Thornbrough and Benjamin Hawley. An inventory of the estate was made on 23 July 1745 by Michael Morgan and Benjamin Hawley. The bond and inventory were filed on 3 August 1745. Susanna signed with an "S".

Estate Papers of Robert Thornbrough - Chester County, Pennsylvania

(Information from Jane Beekman and Charles White) In the Estate papers of Robert Thornbury, widow Susanna made claim for maintenance of all children who were under 8 years of age, at 6 pounds per year. Mary was born "after the desease of her father" and was claimed for 8 years, hence that period evidently was the benchmark--perhaps a child could be bound out at age 8, and no longer had to be supported at home. Claims for the other children: Susanna= 0.75 year; Thomas 1.5 years; Hannah 4 years plus an additional claim for 2 of those years "whilst she was lame"; John 6 years. Birth dates were computed from these spans, given that the inventory of the estate was made on 23 July 1745, by Michael Morgan and Benjamin Hawley. Sussanah "S" Thornbury qualified as administrator and posted bond of 400 pounds with sureties Thomas Thornbrough and Benjm. Hawley. This was done and the inventory filed 3 Aug 1745. Robert and Alice or Alsie are presumed to be children of Robert and Susanna Davis Thornbury; they were too old to be treated in mother Susanna Thornbury’s claim for maintenance. Their proximity, relative marriage ages, and Robert II’s estate papers led me to include them here. Other Thornbury records fail to include them as members of other families. There may be at least one other child missing from this group, given the age estimates.

More on Susanna Thornbrough

Jane Beekman also found a land grant for Susanna Thornbury, widow, for 219 acres on 9 April 1751 in West Bradford Township. The land is mentioned in a mortgage recorded 9 January 1755 by William Pyle of West Bradford. The land description includes "bounded of Widow Thornbrough..." T. Woodward was one of the witnesses to the mortgage.

Susanna Thornbrough married second to Thomas Liggitt before filing a final account for the estate of Robert Thornbury in 1761. We did not find an estate record for Thomas or Susanna Liggitt in Chester County under any spelling.

More on the Children of Robert and Susanna Davis Thornbrough

Robert and Ruth Thornbrough

Robert Thornbrough is assumed to be the eldest child, born first after their marriage in 1729. His marriage date is estimated based on average marriage dates for males in that time period and the fact that he had two children by his death in 1759. Some World Family Tree records have his wife as Ruth Gorman and his marriage as 1755 at Old Swedes Church. We have found no proof of this so have left her surname as unknown. Robert’s will was written 4 November 1759 in West Bradford, Chester County, and was proven 21 November 1759. Given his young age and the short time to probate it is assumed he probably died of an accident or what he knew was a fatal disease. The summary of his will is "Robert Thornborough of West Bradford. Nov. 4, 1759. Prove Date 21 Nov 1759. To mother Susanna Thornborough 1/3 of real and personal estate. To wife Ruth 1/3 of estate. To children Susanna and Ruth 1/3 of estate. Executor: William Liggett." This is the best evidence we have that Robert and Alice were the eldest children of Robert and Susanna. The executor named by Robert was the husband of his presumed sister Alice, married in 1751.

Alice Thornbrough Leggitt/Liggett

Alice supposedly married William Leggitt at Old Swede’s Church on the Delaware 18 Nov 1751. A birthdate of about 1733 seems reasonable although it could vary either way. The fact that William Liggett was named as executor of her brother Robert’s estate in 1759 is the best evidence that Alice was a daughter of Robert and Susanna. We did not find a will or estate for William in Chester County records. We did not find any land records for William in Chester County. There is a William Legit in East Nottingham Township in 1790 consisting of two males and three females but no way to know if it is this family.

Susanna Thornbrough White

Charlie White tells us that William and Susanna Thornbury White eventually migrated to Rowan County (later Guilford portion), North Carolina. Susanna White is first noted at the wedding of Elizabeth Mendenhall to Edward Thornbury at New Garden Meeting, Rowan County, on 5th of 4th month 1769. There is a William White listed on the Guilford County landowners list for 1778 but we do not know if it is the same one, as Charlie White finds the first land transaction for him in Randolph County in 1782. William White was listed on the Randolph County Tax List for 1779 which indicates it may have been a different William White further north in Guilford County. Charlie is preparing a very extensive biography of William and Susannah White. William White's will (29th of 3rd month 1806 in Guilford County) lists children: Thomas, Joseph, John, William, James, Joel, Isaac, Susanna Sanders, Elizabeth Thornbury, Hannah Walker, Mary Carney, Alice Gosset, and Sarah Walker.

Elizabeth White, daughter of William and Susanna Thornbury White, married Joseph Thornbrough, son of Walter and Margaret Thornbrough. Walter was brother of Robert Thornbrough, thus Elizabeth and Joseph were cousins.

There is another Thornbrough connection. Wellmet Thornbrough, daughter of Joseph and Rebecca Mills Thornbrough married Robert Patton 17 July 1804 in Jefferson County Tennessee. Their son, Thomas Cunningham Patton married Susan Carney, daughter of Arthur and Mary White Carney, on 30 July 1831. Mary Carney is mentioned as daughter in William White's will above.

Hannah Thornbrough

This Hannah Thornbrough adds a bit to the mystery of the ancestry of my ancestor, Hannah Thornbrough Woodward. Her parentage has not been proven and the likely candidates are either Walter Thornbrough or Walter’s uncle, Thomas Thornbrough. Both were in Virginia at the start of the French and Indian War. Walter went to North Carolina and Thomas went back to Pennsylvania. Hannah went back to Pennsylvania as well where she married Abraham Woodward. This one could be another candidate for her parent but there is some problem with the birthdate. Hannah Thornbrough Woodward gave her birthdate as 11th month 20th day 1738 in Quaker records later in North Carolina. This totally does not mesh with the birthdates of these Thornbrough children as extrapolated from Robert’s estate information. Since the information on the children was given by Susanna Davis Thornbrough we have to assume they were fairly accurate. Hannah Thornbrough Woodward did name her first daughter Susanna which adds to the mystery.