Benjamin Thornbrough of Pennsylvania, Virginia

Benjamin Thornbrough Families

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Caution - a lot of our information on this particular family comes from the book "A Discourse on the Thornburg Family" by Charles C.Thornburg III. This is a great book where Mr. Thornburg surveyed many Thornbrough, Thornborough, Thornbury, Thornburg families for their family histories and then entered them, as submitted, in his book. He has added some of his own research in the form of comments but the family histories are essentially untouched. As anyone who has done serious genealogical research understands, family histories are great for hints about where to look for information but when they get back beyond the current generation there are many, many family stories that are simply myths and much incorrect information. A contribution to this is of course the many, many phony family histories created and sold in the late 1800�s. The nice thing about Mr. Thornburg�s book in leaving the histories intact as submitted is that one can see the inconsistencies given by different people with the same ancestry and have a basis to be cautious in their own research. We have tried to add some additional information from available records such as census, wills, etc. in an effort to sort out some of the inconsistencies but be aware that we too will have made errors.

Benjamin Thornbrough was the son of Thomas and Sarah Hamman Thornbrough of Ireland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. He is one of the few children of Thomas who is proven as he is named in Thomas's will written in Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania on the 20th day 7th month 1758. Thomas had returned to Pennsylvania after being driven out of Virginia during the French and Indian Wars. Benjamin Thornbrough was married at least three times and since there are few reliable dates about the children it is difficult to assign them to the three wives. We have made an effort to do this but with explanations as to why and what the problems are in doing it. A deed after Benjamin�s death splits property into twelve equal shares and since he was unmarried when he died we feel this means there were twelve living children at that time.

Benjamin and Charity Beeson Thornbrough

Benjamin Thornbrough married (1)Charity Beeson, daughter of Richard and Ann Brown Beeson (see Richard and Charity Grubb Beeson page linked at top of page). Benjamin and Charity were living in Frederick County, Virginia in 12/11/1755 and had probably married at Hopewell Meeting. Charity Thornbrough is mentioned in the will of Richard Beeson in 1748 so we know they married sometime before the will was written. Charity died about 1758 in Frederick County, Virginia.

The marriage of Benjamin and Charity Beeson probably occurred at Hopewell, but it is among the early records that are missing, as are the birth records of their children. That the children were birthright Quakers is indicated by their own marriage records at Hopewell and records at other Quaker Meetings. Since we do not have birth records for the three children attributed to Charity we do not know if that attribution is correct, nor do we know the birth order of the children. We have arranged them by date of their marriages, but that is not necessarily correct as usually women married at a much younger age than men.
Possible Children of Benjamin and Charity Beeson Thornbrough
Sarah Thornbrough born Frederick County, Va; married Nehemiah Ellis 8/10/1774 at Hopewell Monthly Meeting
Abraham Thornbrough born Frederick County, Va; married Albanah Dod 1/10/1776 at Hopewell MM
Charity Thornbrough born Frederick County, Va; married (1)Owen Long 4/5/1779 at Hopewell MM and (2)Unknown Hatfield

Benjamin and Mary Brooks Thornbrough

Benjamin Thornbrough married (2) Mary Brooks, daughter of Mathew and Elizabeth Warren Brooks on 10/22/1759 at Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Frederick County, Virginia. Mary died about 1773 in Berkeley County, Virginia (set off from Frederick County in 1772).
Possible Children of Benjamin and Mary Brooks Beeson
Judith Thornbrough, born 10/3/1760, Frederick Co, Va; married David Faulkner 10/3/1760 at Hopewell MM.
Benjamin Thornbrough, born about 1762, Frederick Co, Va; married Sarah Hayes about 1787 in future Tennessee
Elizabeth Thornbrough, born Frederick Co, Va; married Thomas Barrett 12/4/1783 at Hopewell MM
Phebe Thornbrough, born Frederick Co, Va; married Robert Eachus bef. 2/2/1789 Berkeley Co, Va
Amos Thornbrough, born Frederick Co, Va; married (1) unknown bef 9/28/1795 Berkeley Co, Va and (2) Lavinia Tucker 3/7/1803 in Jefferson Co, Tn
Thomas Thornbrough, born Frederick Co, Va m (1)Rebecca Mann and (2)Rebecca Stillwell probably Tn
Nehemiah Thornbrough, born Frederick Co, Va

Benjamin and Sarah Hutton Thornbrough

Benjamin Thornbrough married (3) Sarah Hutton 10/5/1774 at Middle Creek in Berkeley County, Virginia.
Possible Children of Benjamin and Sarah Hutton Thornbrough
Isaac Thornbrough born Berkeley County, Virginia
Joel Thornbrough, born Frederick Co, Va (abt 1777); married Dinah Pendry

Virginia Records for Benjamin Thornbrough

Berkeley County, Virginia (now part of West Virginia) was set off from Frederick County, Virginia, in 1772 so it is probable that Benjamin did not move but rather that the counties changed around him. He was dismissed on 7/1/1782 from Hopewell Monthly Meeting for disunity (which probably meant nonattendance at meeting). There is sufficient evidence of his participation in the Revolutionary War (rendering patriotic service) to qualify descendants for DAR membership. The DAR records give his birthdate as 1735 which does not hold up well with the marriage before 1748. The DAR index gives his death date as 1/22/1795 which is also incorrect, but early DAR memberships were not checked carefully, hence the incorrect dates .)

Benjamin Thornbrough died sometime before January 22, 1795 when the appraisal of his personal estate was filed in Berkeley County, Virginia (currently West Virginia - Will Book 2, pages 280-81.) As quoted in A Discourse on the Thornburgs: "An acount of the appraisement of the personal Estate of Benjamin Thornbrough, deceased, broughte before us [Berkeley County Court]: total not shown. Edward Beeson, James Mendenhall, Isaac Farr, recorded 22 June 1793." This date was probably an error in reading the old handwriting as a cousin has seen the original record and it is 22 January 1795. In any event we know Benjamin died sometime before January 1795.

There was a deed filed [Berkeley County] indicating Benjamin had separated from Sarah by 1786: Deed Book 7, p 66, 8 May 1786 "Between Benjamin Thornburgh and Sarah his wife of one part and Joseph Mitchell of Berkeley Co. Va. of other part. Whereas a separation hath taken place between the said Benjamin Thornburgh and the said Sarah his wife, they having mutually agreed for her separate maintenance, a certain portion of a tract of land is conveyed for her maintenance, this tract containing 51 1/4 acres, except one acre on which stands the Meeting House, etc." The estate inventory and the deed mentioned are included in the book by Charles Thornbrough III, A Discourse on the Thornburgs of England, Ireland, and America. We believe the total of 12 children listed above is probably correct as his estate was divided into 12 parts according to another deed. As we discuss each of the children below we will indicate what proof we have for them as being children of Benjamin and one of his three wives.

More on the possible children of Benjamin Thornbrough

Sarah and Nehemiah Ellis Family

Sarah Thornbrough, daughter of Benjamin, married Nehemiah Ellis, son of Mordecai and Mary (deceased) Ellis at Hopewell Monthly Meeting on 8/10/1774. Benjamin was not married at the time, Mary Brooks Thornbrough being deceased, and his marriage to Sarah Hutton not taking place until two months later. We have, however, placed Sarah as a daughter of Benjamin and Charity Beeson Thornbrough as Sarah Ellis named a daughter Charity. She did also name a daughter Mary so that is not necessarily definitive, but if she was daughter of Mary she would have been not more than 15 years old, quite young for a Quaker girl to marry. Therefore, we stand by our placement of her as daughter of Benjamin and Charity Beeson Thornbrough.

The birth records of the children of Sarah and Nehemiah Ellis are not found at Hopewell but their names are documented in a removal certificate for the family on 1/7/1793 at Hopewell: Nehemiah and Sarah [Ellis] and children Jehu, Mary, and Charity, granted certificate to Westfield Monthly Meeting [Tennessee]. The certificate was received at Westfield on 1/17/1793. Westfield was at the time receiving certificates for the Holston River area in Tennessee that later came under the jurisdiction of Lost Creek Monthly Meeting when it was established on 5/20/1797. There is an additional child, Robert Ellis, born 9/25/1794, recorded at NewHope Monthly Meeting in Greene County, Tennessee; NewHope was also making records of those living at Lost Creek. The family is named as charter members of Lost Creek Monthly Meeting when it was formed in 1797.

Nehemiah Ellis was appointed Assistant Clerk at Lost Creek Monthly Meeting on 6/20/1801. Abraham Woodward, the subject of this web site, was Clerk of the meeting, so Nehemiah became his assistant. On 4/30/1804 Nehemiah was left at liberty to move to Ohio from Lost Creek but the move may not have taken place for some time as Sarah did not receive a certificate until 6/27/1812 to go to Fairfield MM in Ohio with her daughter Mary. Of course Nehemiah may have gone ahead to prepare a home as Ohio was a howling wilderness at that early date.

Sarah Thornbrough Ellis died 8/20/1818 and is buried at Clear Creek Monthly Meeting in Clinton County, Ohio. Nehemiah Ellis died 7/31/1822 and is also buried at Clear Creek.

Daughter Charity Ellis married Micajah Nordyke 4/4/1798 at Lost Creek Monthly Meeting in Jefferson County, Tennessee, but their children are recorded at Clear Creek Monthly Meeting in Ohio. The children were: Phebe (8/9/1798); Sarah (12/2/1800); Isaac (7/18/1802); Mary (11/27/1804); Ellis (7/7/1807); Henry (5/16/1809); Samuel (3/16/1811); Jesse (6/21/1813); David (7/27/1815); Asa (10/25/1817); Lewis (12/18/1820); Hannah (11/2/1823). Charity died 6/5/1854 and is buried at East Fork. There is much more about the family at Clear Creek Monthly Meeting.

Son Jehu Ellis married Phebe Nordyke (sister of Micajah Nordyke) 8/1/1798 at Lost Creek Monthly Meeting. They had children Mordecai (11/14/1799), Hiram (3/1/1802), and Beulah (4/12/1804) there and received a certificate to Miami Monthly Meeting in Ohio on 4/26/1806. Son Nehemiah's birth was not recorded at Lost Creek but his date was 3/2/1806 so they traveled with a new baby. Mary Ellis was born in Ohio on 3/20/1808 and Sarah Ellis was born 6/8/1810. Phebe's death is recorded 7/23/1821 at Fairfield Monthly Meeting in Ohio.

Son Robert Ellis married Susannah Lewis on 11/20/1817 at Clear Creek MM in Ohio. She died 7/27/1818, probably in childbirth. There is a very complete record of Robert and family at Newberry Monthly Meeting in Ohio: 2/12/1819 Robert [Ellis], son of Nehemiah and Sarah, Clinton Co, Ohio, born 9/25/1794; maried in Newbury Meeting House, Anna Moon, daughter Jonathan and Mary Hockett Moon, Clinton Co, O, born 6/18/1796. Children listed are: Susannah (7/6/1820); Sarah (12/26/1821); James M. (11/26/1823); Dorcas (9/1/1825); Jonathan (7/8/1827); Seth (1/3/1830); Jehu (3/22/1833); Lydia Ann (10/7/1835); Nancy Jane (8/14/1839). There is a notation at Newberry that the family went to Indiana in 1851.

Daughter Mary Ellis married Benjamin Hiatt, son of Joseph and Hannah Hiatt, on 6/15/1818 at Clear Creek Monthly Meeting in Ohio. Benjamin had been granted a certificate from Fall Creek on 5/23/1818 to go to Clear Creek to marry. Mary Ellis Hiatt was then granted a certificate to Fall Creek which was received there on 9/19/1818. We have nothing further on them as there is nothing further in the Quaker records and we do not find them in the census. There is another Benjamin and Mary Worley Hiatt that is found in many records but they were slightly older and not to be confused with this couple.

Abraham and Albanah Dod Thornbrough Family

Abraham Thornbrough, son of Benjamin, married Albanah Dod, daughter of Edward and Mary Dod, born 8/24/1757. Their marriage date was 1/10/1776 at Middle Creek, Berkeley County, Virginia. Because age 26 was often the marriage age for young men, as they could be well established by then, we have assumed that he was son of Benjamin and Charity Beeson Thornbrough. Abraham Thornbrough was dismissed for disunity on 5/1/1780 at Hopewell (nonattendance). They apparently did not rejoin the Quakers as there are no further Quaker records.

We believe that Abraham and Albanah had a son Edward, probably born about 1778, and named for Albanah's father Edward. We have been in contact some years ago with a descendant of Edward who tells us Edward had a son Abraham Thornbrough, born about 3/1812 in Ohio; married Harriet Boner; and died 10/16/1883 in Warrick County, Indiana. We found this family in Warrick County in 1850 and 1860 and the family came from Pennsylvania though Abraham was born in Ohio. A possibility of course although nothing in the names of the children suggest any connection to Abraham and Albanah. In April 2010 we had correspondence with a descendant of Abraham's son Edward. He has quite a bit of information on this family and has never found anything about any of the family moving to Indiana or any knowledge of a son Abraham which also casts doubt on the information above.

Our correspondent references the will of Abraham Thornburg on file in Washington County, Pennsylvania, Will Book 4, filed 28 February 1831. Abraham left all his property to his wife Abbenak (probably a misreading for Albanah?). The property was then to go to children, Benjamin, Edward, and Mary. Our correspondent is descended from child Edward who was born about 1778. Edward is younger brother of child Benjamin who was born about 1776. In 1830 we find Abraham and Albanah in East Bethlehem Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania: Abraham Thornburg 1 male 80-90, 1 male 15-20, and 1 female 70-80. Next to them is one Mary Bishop, 1 female 50-60 and 1 female 5-10. We SPECULATE that Mary Bishop may have been the daughter Mary mentioned in Abraham's will. On the other side of her is Mahlon Thornburg, a son of Benjamin Thornburg, Abraham's son. Benjamin is in the same township, some distance away: Benjamin Thornburg 1 male 50-60, 1 male 10-15, and 1 female 50-60. This Benjamin had a son Benjamin who is found in the 1860 census in East Bethlehem, Washington County, Pa: 145 Benjamin Thornburg, 42, laborer, born Pa; Elizabeth, 39, born Pa; Leroy, 21; Hannah, 18; Rachel, 16; James, 14; John, 12; Mary, 9; Aaron, 7; Ray? 4; all born Pa. The last child is probably Rylo Harvey according to our correspondent. Next door is grandfather #146 Benjamin, 85, laborer, born Pa. Son Benjamin, born 1818, died in 1860 while living with daughter Rachel.

Our correspondent tells us that Edward, son of Abraham and Albanah, married Susannah Hedges, daughter of Absolom Hedges in about 1800. They had five children: Benjamin, Edward, Absolom, Elizabeth and Eleanor. Our correspondent is descended from son Benjamin who was born in 1802.

Charity Thornbrough Long Hatfield

Charity Thornbrough married Owen Long on 4/5/1779 at Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Berkeley County, Virginia. Charity may have been daughter of Charity Beeson Thornbrough and named for her mother who may have died in childbirth with her. She would then have been about 21 years old at her marriage. There is also a possibility that she was a daughter of Mary Brooks Thornbrough, named in honor of the first wife, which was often done. We do not find children listed for this marriage but many Hopewell records are missing. We do know that Charity Long was dismissed 6/2/1785 for a marriage to an unknown Hatfield. We have nothing further on Charity.

Judith Thornbrough Faulkner

Judith Thornbrough was born 10/3/1760 in Berkeley County, Virginia. She married David Faulkner on 3/4/1778 at Hopewell Monthly Meeting, Berkeley County, Virginia. Judith and David's birth and death dates are recorded at Center Monthly Meeting in Clinton County, Ohio. Therefore we know that Judith was oldest child of Mary Brooks Thornbrough. We know the names of several of the children of Judith and David as they are named on a certificate to Westland Monthly Meeting on 6/26/1800: Jesse, Phebe, Thomas, Mary, Judith, and Solomon. Daughter Martha was not named as she was already married. Judith died 4/23/1843 in Clinton County, Ohio. David died 1/30/1821.

Daughter Martha Faulkner married William Walker on 3/5/1800 at a schoolhouse near Joseph Hackney's under the indulgence of Hopewell Monthly Meeting. William and Martha were charter members of Miami Monthly Meeting in Warren County, Ohio when it opened 10/13/1803, and of Centre MM in Clinton County, Ohio when it was set off from Miami on 2/7/1807. Their children are documented at Caesar's Creek Monthly Meeting: Mordecai 1/13/1801; Azel 11/21/1802; David F., 12 20, 1804; Phebe F, 4/21/1807; Eli, 10/22/1809; Asa, 7/6/1812; John Simpson 8/13/1815; Lewis, 8/11/1819; Rachel, 11/9/1821. Marriage records of some of the children are continued in Quaker records.

Son Jesse Faulkner, born 4/24/1785 and wife Hannah Sheppard, born 10/6/1781 have children listed at Center MM in Ohio: Susannah (12/20/1806); Judith (3/29/1808 d. 11/16/1812); Lydia (7/9/1810); David (9/25/1811); Joel (3/1/1813 d. 9/12/1814); Phebe (12/26/1814); Mary (8/26/1816). They had been reported at Hopewell on 4/7/1806 as married contrary to discipline and moved to Miami in Ohio. They evidently made their peace with the Quakers since their children are listed at Center MM. The family were received on certificate at Miami MM on 9/3/1814: Jesse and wife Hannah and children Susannah, Lydia, David and Joel Wright.

See also Janet Ariciu's Web Site.

Benjamin and Sarah Hayes Thornbrough

Benjamin Thornbrough was dismissed on 7/2/1781 at Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Virginia for disunity. At some point in time he moved to future Tennessee as he was married to Sarah Hayes in 1787 in the State of Franklin, Tennessee according to a �Discourse on the Thornburg Family. � They were actually married in Greene County, North Carolina but in the minds of residents it was the State of Franklin organized in 1784 by the settlers and a petition made to join the Union (ignored by Congress). They actually lived in the area of New Market in future Jefferson County, Tennessee. The children of Benjamin and Sarah included Ai Thornbrough (b 10/7/1793); John (b 9/10/1795); Nimrod; Samuel (b abt 1799); Polly (Mary); Nancy: and Kitty.

Sarah Hayes Thornbrough was living with son Samuel Thornburgh and his wife Sarah Moody in Jefferson County, Tennessee in 1850: 1231 Samuel Thornburgh, 51, farmer, born Tn; Sarah, 41, Tn; Benjamin C., 20, student; Lowry (male), 18, Tn; Rachel, 15, Tn; Ellen, 8, Tn; Samuel, 3, Tn; Sarah Thornburgh, 85, born Virginia. Samuel�s last will and testament was written 9th of April 1881 and is included in the �Discourse on the Thornburg Family.� He names wife Sarah; daughter Rachel Campbell; grandsons Thomas and Samuel (sons of Benjamin Calloway Thornburgh); son Samuel P. Thornburgh; daughter Ethel Mount; daughter Emily Caldwell.

Elizabeth Thornbrough Barrett

Elizabeth Thornbrough is confirmed as daughter of Benjamin and Mary in her marriage record on 12/4/1783 at Hopewell MM in Berkely County, Virginia, to Thomas Barrett, son of Benjamin and Elenor Barrett. They had children: Richard Barrett (9/1/1784); Amos Barrett (9/14/1786); Mary (birth not listed at Hopewell). Mary is confirmed as daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth in her marriage to James George 4/13/1825 at Hopewell MM but there is nothing further on their family.

Joel and Dinah Pendry Thornbrough

Joel Thornbrough was dismissed 8/5/1782 at Hopewell Monthly Meeting for disunity. His marriage appears to be listed in Jefferson County civil marriages as licensed on 7/5/1802 to Dinah Perdy. This was actually Dinah Pendry, a Quaker girl who was granted a certificate to Lost Creek Monthly Meeting from Springfield Monthly Meeting (North Carolina) on 11/2/1799. Dinah remained tenaciously a Quaker and on 4/23/1803 condemned her marriage contrary to discipline at Lost Creek MM. On 6/30/1804 she was granted a certificate to Miami Monthly Meeting in Ohio which was received there 6/13/1805. Center Monthly Meeting was set up 2/7/1807 in Clinton County, Ohio. Here Dinah was finally successful in returning Joel to the Quaker fold (there is some information he may have been a Baptist preacher). On 12/20/1817 Joel and children Jane, Thomas, Judith, Jemimah, Nancy, Betsy and Joel were received by request at Center MM. Dinah�s certificate from Miami Monthly Meeting was presented at Center on 2/21/1818. Joel and Dinah then had addition children recorded as Quakers at Center: Eli P. (8/19/1819); James A. (10/9/1822); William (11/19/1824) and Josiah (7/28/1828). Dinah, wife of Joel, died 5/17/1850, age 68 yr 4 mo and is buried at New Hope. Joel died 5/3/1861, age 84 yr 1 mo 21 dy and is buried at New Hope. If this record is transcribed correctly [Center Meeting, Hinshaw] it would make Joel born 3rd month 1777 and he would have then been son of Benjamin and Sarah Hutton. Marriages of their children are recorded at Center Monthly Meeting. Son Thomas is likely the Thomas Thornburg found in Greene County in 1850, next to Clinton County.

Phebe Thornbrough Eaches

Phebe Thornbrough married sometime before 2/2/1789 to Robert Eaches in Berkeley County, Virginia as she was dismissed on that date at Hopewell MM as having married contrary to discipline. On 12/6/1790 Phebe condemned her going out in marriage and was reinstated at Hopewell.

Robert Eachus was appointed guardian of Isaac Thornburg in 1796. Isaac was son of Benjamin and Sarah Hutton and this appointment was no doubt made as a part of the settlement of the estate of Benjamin Thornrough.

On 4/4/1791 Mary, daughter of Phebe was received by request at Hopewell MM. On 2/9/1798 Phebe and daughter Mary were granted certificate to New Hope Monthly Meeting in Ohio. Robert was not a Quaker at the time so he is not mentioned. On 5/7/1808 Betsy, John, Julian and David F., children of Phebe Eaches were received by request at Center Monthly Meeting in Clinton County, Ohio. On 9/16/1820 Robert Eaches was received by request. On 3/24/1829 Robert Eaches died age 67 yr 4 mo 1 dy and is buried at Center MM in Clinton County. On 9/21/1842 Phebe Eaches died age 74 yr 8 mo 26 dy and is buried at Center MM. This firmly places her as daughter of Benjamin and Mary Brooks. There is more on the children at Center MM. We did not find Isaac Thornbrough there so either he was not a Quaker or he did not accompany them to Ohio.

Amos Thornbrough

Amos Thornbrough was dismissed at Hopewell Monthly Meeting in Berkeley County, Virginia when he was reported on 9/28/1795 as married contrary to discipline. We do not know the name of his wife but she apparently died as on 3/7/1803 Amos Thornbrough and Lavinia Tucker were licensed to marry in Jefferson County, Tennessee. Because Amos did not follow the Quaker religion we were unable to locate any further information on him. He supposedly went to Greene County, Ohio in 1807 (next to Clinton County). We do not find him in the 1810 census in Ohio but the only Amos Thornbrough in the country was in Washington County, Indiana in 1820. This would be a reasonable migration pattern and Amos is 45 years plus in the 1820 census so is the right age. He is still there in 1830 next to a probable son Asa Thornbrough. This might certainly be an area to research further.

Thomas Thornbrough

There is a Thomas Thornbrough line included in the Discourse on the Thornburgs book. It gives Thomas Thornburgh born 1761 in Tennessee which is not credible. A Family Information site on (not one of our favorite sources!) gives him born 1766 in Berkeley County, Virginia. This is considerably more credible except that Berkeley was not formed until 1772 so it would have been Frederick County, Virginia. The Discourse book line gives Thomas as married (1) Rebecca Mann with two children Rebecca and Cynthy and (2) Rebecca Stillwell with children: Rachael, John (Jonathan), Thomas, Asabel, William S, Uriah, and Eli. This seems fairly credible as Thomas, age 45 plus, is found in 1820 in Beaver Creek Township, Greene County, Ohio, with sons John, Asabel, and Uriah nearby. Greene County, Ohio was next door to Clinton County, Ohio, where many of Benjamin�s children are found. In 1830 Uriah is found in Guernsey County, Ohio but Thomas is not with him, nor is Thomas found anywhere else. If Thomas was still alive in 1830 (he would have been 64 so probably was) he would likely have been living with a daughter but we do not know their married names.

Seeking More Information

We would appreciate any comments or additional documented information on this family. Email Web Master Nadine on the About Us Page. In turn we will do lookups in the Discourse on the Thornburgs book as best we can (it is not indexed.)