The Thorn Family of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio
Benjamin Thorn (Abt. 1776 - Bef. 18 August 1841) The birthdate and birthplace of Benjamin is unknown. His birthplace may have been Maryland, as according to the "Fathers Place of Birth" entry in the 1880 Federal Census, Union District, Tyler County, West Virginia, record for Benjamin's son Bennet.
However, no primary records regarding Benjamin Thorn before 1799 when he marries in Monongalia County, Virginia (Now West Virginia) have been found.
There were residents in the Deckers Creek Settlement in Augusta County, Virginia with the surname Thorn (Peter, Henry, Tobias, Michael and Lazarus) as early as 1758, however no records indicate a connection between those families and Benjamin Thorn.
To make research on this line even more difficult, there is another Benjamin Thorn family living in the same general area. Benjamin B. (Burch?) Thorn was born Abt. 1780 in Virgina, and married Eleanor Magruder, January 22, 1803 in Faquier Co., VA. He moved into the area around Laurel Ridge in about 1810. No relationship between these men and their families has been documented.
What we do know is that he married June 02, 1799 in Monongalia County, Virginia, Sarah Sayre daughter of David and Hannah (Frazier) Sayre. His name appears in the marriage record as Benjamin Thornton.
Monongalia County Land records show several transactions between the years of 1801 and 1833 for Benjamin and Sarah Thorn.
Benjamin and Sarah Thorn sold 125 acres for $500 on Booths Creek to Henry Corothers in March 1807, which was part of the land patented to William Bohannon & John Downard in 1799.
The Land Office Patents and Grants at the The Library of Virginia, Digital Collections Database has a record dated 2 July 1821 showing that Benjamin Thorn, Monongalia County, was granted 7 acres of land on the bank of the Monongahela River, above the mouth of Indian Creek. [Grant 70, p. 223.]
In 1803, Benjamin Thorn erected the first mill in the Clinton District, and later he sold his interest to Jeffs. In 1834 and 1838 there is mention of wool carding taking place at "Thorn's Mill," either one half or one mile below Morgantown.
In June 24 (1817), the county court established Benjamin Thorn's ferry, across the Monongahela River from the mouth of Indian Creek to the mouth of White Day Creek. Rates fixed were: man or horse, six and one-fourth cents; cattle, six and one-fourth cents; hogs or sheep, each one and one-fourth cents.
The last we hear of Benjamin is from the old series deed book, Vol 17 page 192, in which a transaction on June 20, 1842 appears to be the sale of property owned by Benjamin Thorn and signed off by his wife and married children after his death. The deed names his wife and his children:
We do not have a date of death or burial place for Benjamin, his wife Sarah went to Meigs County, Ohio to live with her son, Alexander. She died there and her tombstone at Fairview Cemetery No.1 reads: SARAH: WIFE OF BENJAMIN: DIED: 1/21/1864.
Bennett Thorn (1804-1894) was born March 26, 1804 in Monongalia Co., VA , and died January 26, 1894 in Tyler Co., WV . He married 1st Rebecca Henry Abt. 1825. He married 2nd Sarah McGuinty May 24, 1834 in Monongalia Co., WV , daughter of John McGinty.
Ulysses Thorn (1829-1880) was born 1829 in Monongalia Co., VA , and died June 05, 1880 in Tyler Co. WV. He married Catherine Weekley May 15, 1851 in Tyler Co., WV
Hugh Thorn (1853-1908) was born October 02, 1853 in Tyler Co., WV , and died March 06, 1908 in Toronto, Jefferson Co., OH . He married Margaret Jane Shriver February 28, 1880 in Tyler Co., WV, daughter of Christopher and Susannah (Lemley) Shriver.
Anna Katherine Thorn (1887-1958) daughter of Hugh
and Margaret Jane (Shriver) Thorn, married 1st December 03, 1903 in Steubenville,
Jefferson County, Ohio, William Edward Smurthwaite (1883-1941), son of
William E. and Kathryn (Robertson) Smurthwaite, Anna and William were
divorced in 1919, and she married 2nd David "Di" Walters (1893-1957)
and moved to Trumbull Co., Ohio.
Acknowledgements to Thorn researchers who have contributed information:
Peter M. Bates, Penelope Circone, Lois Parry, Elden Rine, Ralph Sayre, Barbara Sternberg, Diane Stewart, J. David Thorn, Lisa Thorn, Sanford Thorn.
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