Joseph and Elizabeth White Thornbrough

Joseph & Elizabeth White Thornbrough

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Joseph Thornbrough was son of Walter and Margaret Thornbrough of Armagh, Ireland, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Frederick County, Virginia, and Rowan (later Guilford County), North Carolina.

Elizabeth's surname is White. A Discourse on the Thornburgs has her name as Elizabeth Torrington, married out of unity on 2/26/1774. The date is definitely an error and the surname seems to be also. We do not find Torringtons in the area, nor do we find this marriage record. We do find a record for Elizabeth White marrying Joseph Thornbrough on 2/12/1774 in Guilford County in a civil ceremony. We feel the Torrington name may be a confusion for Elizabeth Thornbrough who married a Farrington at New Garden Monthly Meeting in 1765.

Elizabeth White was the daughter of William and Susannah Thornbrough White and granddaughter of Robert and Susanna Davis Thornbrough. She is named in William White's will as Elizabeth Thornbury. Robert Thornbrough was brother of Walter Thornbrough, hence Joseph and Elizabeth were cousins. Cousin marriages were not at all uncommon in this time period. For location of White families in Guilford County see the Guilford County Landowners map and list.
Joseph Thornbrough
born ? Chester Co, Pa
died bef 1826, Wayne Co, In
Elizabeth White
born ? Chester Co, Pa
died after 1820, Wayne Co In
Married: 2/12/1774 Guilford County, North Carolina. Joseph was dismissed on 2/26/1774 at New Garden Monthly Meeting for his marriage out of unity. He made peace with the Quakers and the children of Joseph and Elizabeth are properly recorded at Springfield Monthly Meeting except for their youngest son. We have followed our convention of a consistent spelling for the name as we have done throughout the site. The family records at Springfield are as Thornbrugh and Thornborough.

Mary Thornbrough born 9/30/1774, Guilford Co, NC; married Samuel Brown
Susannah Thornbrough born 1/7/1775, Guilford Co, NC; married unknown Brown
William Thornbrough born 11/26/1777, Guilford Co, NC
Margaret Thornbrough born 8/5/1779, Guilford Co, NC, married Benjamin Weeks
Jane Thornbrough born 9/30/1781, Guilford Co, NC
Elizabeth Thornbrough born 10/22/1783, Guilford Co, NC; married unknown Dinkins
Hannah Thornbrough born 8/24/1785, Guilford Co, NC
Walter Thornbrough born 10/17/1787, Guilford Co, NC
Lydia Thornbrough born 5/17/1789, Guilford Co, NC
Joseph Thornbrough born 3/30/1791, Guilford Co, NC
Sarah Thornbrough born 5/24/1793, Guilford Co, NC; married William White
Richard Thornbrough born probably 1795 NC, m(1)Unknown and (2)Clarissa Thomas

North Carolina Records

Joseph Thornbrough's marriage out of unity tells us that Elizabeth White was not a Quaker. Deep River Monthly Meeting contains records documenting how Joseph and Elizabeth made their peace with the Quakers. On 3/4/1782, at Deep River, Joseph was given a paper of recommendation, directed to New Garden Monthly Meeting, to assist him in regaining his right of membership. In that time period, receiving such a paper meant that Joseph had properly acknowledged his fault in writing and requested the paper. Unfortunately, the details of New Garden's consideration of his request are not found in Hinshaw's Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, however we know his petition was successful as on 6/29/1782, Joseph was granted a certificate to Deep River Monthly Meeting from New Garden, which he turned in at Deep River on 8/5/1782. Elizabeth and daughters applied for Quaker membership at Deep River and were received into membership on 2/3/1783. The family was now a proper Quaker family. When Springfield Monthly Meeting was formed in 1790 from Deep River, the Joseph and Elizabeth Thornbrough family were charter members. The children are listed in full at Springfield, except their youngest son Richard (more below on Richard).

On 12/3/1803 the family requested certificates to Mt. Pleasant Monthly Meeting in Grayson County, Virginia. The certificates only mention Joseph and family and Elizabeth and family so we do not know if Richard was born before the move or not. The certificates were received at Mt. Pleasant on 1/25/1804. Unfortunately the men's certificate is not recorded so we do not know for sure what sons were included. Elizabeth is listed with daughters Margaret, Jane, Elizabeth, Hannah, Lydia, and Sarah.

Virginia and Indiana Records

On 4/27/1811 Joseph and Elizabeth Thornbrough and daughters were granted a certificate from Mt. Pleasant to White Water Monthly Meeting in Wayne County, Indiana. Whitewater Monthly Meeting records the receipt of certificates on 11/30/1811 for Joseph Thornbrough and sons Joseph and Richard, and for Elizabeth and daughters Margaret and Sarah. Other children, not still Quakers, may have accompanied them. This was the first mention of a son Richard. On 7/29/1815 Joseph and Richard made amends for attending a marriage contrary to discipline. This may well have been for one of the non Quaker daughters.

Joseph Thornbrough is last found in the 1820 census record in Wayne County. One male and one female over 45 so Elizabeth was still alive at that time as well.

There is a Rootsweb World Connect Project data base "little2001" that quotes Wayne County Court Records stating that on the 2nd day of August 1827, Letters of Administration on the estate of Joseph Thornbrough, deceased were granted to William Thornbrough..." There is also listed in Wayne County Probate Book A, page 128, February Term 1826, "partial settlement of estate of Joseph Thornbrough by William White and William Thornbrough." At this point we are not prepared to say whether this might be Joseph Thornbrough, Sr. or Joseph Thornbrough, Jr. The actual court records need to be obtained.

More on the Children of Joseph and Elizabeth White Thornbrough

Mary Thornbrough Brown

On 12/5/1795 daughter Mary Thornbrough was dismissed as Mary Brown, from Springfield Monthly Meeting, for her marriage out of unity (to a nonQuaker). There is a fine Web Site which documents the marriage of Mary Thornbrough to Samuel Brown on 1/13/1795, and continues with their descendants.

Samuel and Mary Brown evidently accompanied Joseph and Elizabeth Thornbrough to Grayson County, Virginia, as according to A Discourse on the Thornburgs a son of their daughter Hannah Brown Mossman was born in Grayson County in 1825. This family is of particular interest to us, as a descendant of Samuel and Mary Thornbrough Brown was instrumental in obtaining a Civil War pension in Iowa in 1890 for a relative of Nadine Holder and Jill Martin, descendants of Abraham and Hannah Thornbrough Woodward! Samuel and Mary Thornbrough Brown's daughter Hannah Brown Mossman lived briefly in Mercer County, Illinois, as did Woodward descendants related to Nadine and Jill. This family is documented further on Jill and Nadine's Mercer County Mossman Web page. For a photo and brief history of Hannah Brown Mossman see another Mossman Web Site. We also have Lydia Brown born 8/3/1799 and John Brown born 5/18/1801 as children of Samuel and Mary.

Susannah Thornbrough Brown

On 12/1/1799 daughter Susannah Thornbrough was also dismissed for marriage out of unity to a Brown, at Springfield Monthly Meeting. Because Brown is a common name and we do not know their path of migration we have not located descendants. Susannah Brown is not found in the 1850 census and may have been deceased.

William Thornbrough

Son William Thornbrough was dismissed on 11/5/1796, and again on 12/1/1798 from Springfield Monthly Meeting. No reason was given, which usually meant nonattendance at meeting. Because of this dismissal we currently have no further information on William. We do not find him in the 1850 census. In 1820 there are two William Thornbroughs but neither is living near father Joseph. However see note above under Indiana records on the probate of Joseph Thornbrough which mentions William Thornbrough.

Elizabeth Thornbrough Dinkins

On 9/29/1804, daughter Elizabeth Thornbrough was dismissed at Mt. Pleasant, for marriage out of unity to one Dinkins. We have not located them in census records.

Hannah and Lydia Thornbrough

On 10/26/1805, daughter Hannah Thornbrough was dismissed at Mt. Pleasant, and on 12/30/1809, daughter Lydia Thornbrough was dismissed at Mt. Pleasant, both probably for nonattendance at meeting. They may have accompanied their parents to Wayne County, Indiana. There is more than one marriage for a Hannah and for a Lydia in Wayne County so we have not followed them further.

Sarah Thornbrough White

On 8/26/1815 Sarah Thornbrough was dismissed for attendance at a marriage contrary to discipline at Whitewater Monthly Meeting as were her father and brother Richard. Sarah Thornbrough had married on 8/10/1815 to William White in a civil ceremony in Wayne County, so did not restore her membership. William White is a common name so it is almost impossible to follow this family before the 1850 census when names of all family members were first recorded in the census.

We have used information from the LDS Ancestral File and then have attempted to verify it in census records. Children given in the ancestral file include: Elizabeth White, born 1/1/1816 Henry Co, In; Mary White, born 1817, In; Charity White, born 1821, In; Richard White, born 1824, In; Joseph White, born 1826, In; Belinda White, born 1830; Martha Ann White, born 1833.

The Ancestral File gives Elizabeth White as married to Darius Berger on 3/16/1837 in Kosciusko Co, Indiana but the marriage is not listed in Indiana marriage records. There is no census record for them in 1850 but there is one in 1852 in Iowa, Warren County, Union Township, for Darius Burger. When time permits we will attempt to find this record.

Mary White's marriage to Daniel Weiss is recorded in 9/6/1838 in Kosciuko County, Indiana and they are found in the 1850 census there: Daniel Weiss, 38, born Gy; Mary, 33, In; Elizabeth, 10; Jacob, 8; Mary, 6; Catharine; 4; Sarah J., 2; William, 1. With them is Richard White, 26, laborer, born In, and Martha White, 17, born In, apparently the brother and sister of Mary White Weiss. Charity White's marriage to Daniel Shoup is recorded on 6/6/1839 in Kosciusko Co, In and they are found there in 1850: Daniel Shoup, 39, no occupation; Charity, 29, In; Lillian(?), 7, In; and Caroline, 4, In. Also found in 1850 in Kosciuko County is Joseph R. White, 23, farmer, born In; Rebecca, 19, born Oh. No marriage record is found for them.

Sarah White, age 60, born Virginia is found with the Daniel Shoup family in 1850. The age is not quite right and the birthplace is definitely wrong but this is probably Sarah Thornbrough White although the Ancestral File indicates she died in 1847. The Thornbroughs did live briefly in Virginia but it was after Sarah's birth; she probably was old enough to remember Virginia and assumed it was her birthplace. Robin Bryson has information on the Weiss family on World Tree including an obituary for Mary White Weiss. Robin includes an additional child, Ida Luella Weiss, born 1863.

Margaret Thornbrough Weeks

On 2/29/1816 Margaret Thornbrough daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth of Wayne County, Indian Territory, married Benjamin Weeks, son of William and Susanna Weeks, deceased of Miami County, Ohio. The marriage took place at Spring Meeting but was recorded at Whitewater MM in Indiana. Benjamin and Margaret however lived out their lives in Miami County, Ohio.

Benjamin Weeks had previously been married to Abigail Coppock at Bush River MM in South Carolina. It is here we learn that Benjamin Weeks was grandson of Benjamin Heaton and thus his mother was Susanna Heaton Weeks. Benjamin and Abigail had children recorded in a transfer certificate when Bush River Meeting Quakers were transferred in membership to New Garden Monthly Meeting in North Carolina. The children listed were Susanna, Mary, Hannah, Clary, Abigail and Caron Happock [Coppock?]. A Weeks genealogy on indicates that Abigail had another daughter, Elizabeth, late in 1809. Benjamin and family were granted a certificate to West Branch Meeting in Ohio on 2/27/1814. Since Abigail isn't mentioned it is assumed she was deceased but perhaps the woman's certificate is simply missing in the records.

Margaret Thornbrough was 37 years old when she first married and became stepmother to seven girls. They are found in 1820 in Miami County, Ohio: Benjamin Wecks[sic] 1 male over 45, 1 female under 10, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 15-26 and one female over 45. The two older daughters were married. They were near Coppock relatives of Benjamin which probably explains their remaining in Ohio while the rest of the Thornbrough family moved on to Indiana. They are still there in 1830 in Union Township: Benjamin Wicks[sic] 1 male 60-70, 1 female 15-20, and 1 female 50-60. So Margaret apparently never had any children. They are not found in 1840 in either Ohio or Indiana so apparently both Benjamin and Margaret died between 1830 and 1840 (although one or both could have been living with one of the children.) They are definitely not found in 1850.

Richard Thornbrough

Richard Thornbrough was living next to father Joseph Thornbrough in 1820 in Wayne County, Indiana: 1 male 16-26 and 1 female 16-26. Both Joseph and sons Joseph and Richard were received on certificate from Mt. Pleasant Monthly Meeting on 11/30/1811 at Whitewater Monthly Meeting in Indiana. Richard would have been too young to have married in North Carolina. We will recheck the Whitewater Meeting records for a marriage for Richard.

Richard married again to Clarissa Thomas in Shelby County, Indiana on 2/18/1844. They are found in Hendricks County Indiana in the 1850 census: #597 Richard Thornbrough, 55, farmer, born NC; Clarissa, 47, SC; Hannah, 17, In; William, 12, In; Martha Jane, 10, In; Mary Esther, 7, In; John N., 5, In. Only John would have been a child of Clarissa's. Richard's first wife probably died at the birth of Mary Esther. Again we will recheck Whitewater MM records for more information. Sometimes step children are noted with the family surname in the 1850 census records and some of the other children may have been Clarissa's by a previous marriage.