Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameJoshua Thornton , 5G Uncle
Death12 Sep 1795, Oglethorpe Co GA
FatherJohn Fitzhugh Thornton (1718-1787)
ChildrenNancy Anne (1792-1855)
Notes for Joshua Thornton
The following was written by historian John Bennett Boddie:1031

Joshua Thornton, son of John and Agatha Thornton, owned land in Wilkes Co., Ga. and is shown there in the tax-list of 1793 (Blair "Early Tax Digests of Georgia"). He married Elizabeth, daughter of Frederick Williams of Wilkes Co., who died there in 1793 and of whose will Joshua Thornton was an executor (Davidson, Vol. I, p. 68; Vol. II, p. 310). Joshua Thornton's first appearance in Wilkes Co. was on Jan. 30, 1790, when he made a deed to Oman Whatley (perhaps his brother-in-law, husband of his sister, India Whatley), the deed being witnessed by his brother, Samuel Thornton (Davidson, Vol. II, p.99).

His will was signed on 13 August 1795 recorded in Oglethorpe Co GA Will Book A, page 13, on 12 September 1795.1033 He mentioned his wife Elizabeth and three daughters, Nancy, Polly and Sally. The wording of the will makes it sound as though the three daughters named were still living at home with their mother. He specifically says that one of the bequests, a slave named Sylvia and her increase, be equally divided between my three daughters, Nancy, Polly and Sally when Sally shall become sixteen years old.” He also willed that “it is my desire that my children with their property be continued on the same plantation with their mother and be decently clothed and educated with the profit arising from the crops made thereon.” There is no mention of sons. Joshua named his wife Elizabeth and friends Douglas Walton and Benjamin Baldwin as executers.

A descendant has fokund evidence of the three daughters after Joshua’s death,1034 some details are reproduced below:

Jasper Co., GA superior court records (1809-1922)
[Note: Unlike most case records, this index lists defendant first, plaintiff second]

Williams, Avington, Benjamin Baldwin and Douglas Watson vs. Cary W. Pope, Nancy Pope, John Duke, Polly Duke, David Ray and Sally Ray

Although the surname Thornton does not appear here, from comparing these names against Joshua Thornton’s will, it appears his three daughters sued the executors of his estate (and their stepfather), probably for the land and slaves held by their mother (who had probably recently died). The index does not list the year of the case, but based on other family records (listed below), it must have started between July 1809 and August 1811 in Randolph Co., GA (renamed Jasper County in Dec. 1812).

Below are other records pertaining to Joshua Thornton's family following his death:

Elizabeth Williams and Avington Williams
Oglethorpe Co., GA marriages: 23 Oct 1797. Avington Williams and Elizabeth Thornton

I believe this Elizabeth was Joshua Thornton’s widow. Avington Williams and Elizabeth might have been cousins, but the details on Avington's family are unclear. Elizabeth probably had additional children with Avington, but I haven't been able to document any of them. Based on the lawsuit record above, Elizabeth probably died sometime between 1809 and 1811 in Randolph (Jasper) Co., GA.

Nancy Thornton and Cary W. Pope
Randolph (Jasper) Co., GA marriages: 20 Jul 1809. Cary W. Pope and Nancy Thornton.

Cary Whitaker Pope was the son of John Pope and Ann Whitaker of Granville Co., NC. By 1820, Cary and Nancy had moved from Georgia to Wayne Co., TN, where they lived the remainder of their lives. They named one of their children Lemuel Joshua Pope.

Sally Thornton and David Ray

I cannot locate a marriage record for Sally’s first marriage to David Ray, but in addition to appearing in the lawsuit mentioned above, in July 1811 David listed Sally and their son in his will:

Will of David Rea, Greene Co., GA p.11-13; Signed 16 Jul 1811; probated 2 Sep 1811.

To my beloved wife Salley P. Rea, a Negro woman Hannah and her increase, house hold furniture,cattle, etc.
To son Andrew Thornton Rea a Negro man Jeffery.
Excrs: Samuel Brooks and Samuel Hogg. Also Samuel Brook to be guardian to my son Andrew Thornton Rea.
Wit: Henry English, V. Harralson, James Armstrong.

Sally Thornton and Alexander Walden, Jr.
Oglethorpe Co., GA marriages: 2 Jul 1812. Alexander Waldon and Sally Wray.

Alexander Walden Jr. was the son of Alexander Walden and Sarah Sparks. Alexander and Sally are listed in Clarke Co., GA in the 1820 census, and in June 1821 in Walton Co., GA, Alexander appears in a probate record (listed below) for John Duke, husband of Sally’s sister Polly. Alexander is listed in Coweta Co., GA in the 1830 census, and then I cannot locate him again until the 1850 census, where he and Sarah P. were listed in Talladega Co., AL. Alexander and Sally named a daughter Lucinda Emmalee Walden, and after the death of Sally’s oldest son, Andrew Thornton Ray, in 1840, she named her youngest son Andrew Ray Walden.

Polly Thornton and John Duke

Although I cannot locate the marriage record, Polly married John Duke sometime before the lawsuit mentioned above. While there were several Dukes living nearby, I cannot determine how John connects to any of them. John and Polly moved to Walton Co., GA by 1819, but I cannot conclusively locate John in the 1820 census. John Duke died the following year, and Polly and her brother-in-law are listed in this newspaper entry:
Issue of June 26, 1821, Georgia Journal:

Georgia, Walton County. Whereas Mary Duke and Alexander Walden, made application to me for letters of administration on the estate of John Duke, late of said county, deceased.
Last Modified 16 Aug 2021Created 15 Jun 2022 using Reunion for Macintosh
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