The Thorn Family - Kay's Family History and Genealogy

Kay's Family History and Genealogy

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.

Michael Thorn, testifying in Fairfield Co. Ohio, in 1802, said he was brought over the Allegheny Mountains into now Monongalia County when he was one year old. Michael was then fourty five; so he was brought over the Alleghenies in 1758. He mentioned half brothers, Tobias, Henry, Lazarus, and his father Peter Thorn, and said his mother became a widow in 1758, when a falling tree killed his father, and that she married John Stradler (Statler), of Stradler's Fort fame. (See Augusta County, Virginia Court Records. In these records Peter Thorn's death, by a falling tree, is mentioned, also the marriage of his widow to John Stradler.) - Now and Long Ago, a History of Marion Co., WV, Glenn D. Lough, 1969.

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:

Sarah Thorn
Thomas Summers
Rebeckah Summers
Rachel Henry
Bennet Thorn
Alexander Thorn
Malinda Thorn
Henry Keller, Sarah Keller

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.

Children of Benjamin and Sarah (Sayre) Thorn are:
Alexander, Sarah, Hannah, Rebecca, Rachel and Bennett

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.

Children of Bennett and Rebecca Henty are:
Hannah, Evaline and Ulysses .
Children of Bennett and Sarah (McGuinty) Thorn are:
Henry, Hugh, John, Bennet, Lydia and Mary.

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

Children of Ulysses and Catherine (Weekley) Thorn are:
Henry, Hugh , John, Bennet, Lydia and Mary.

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.

Children of Hugh and Margaret Jane (Shriver) Thorn are:
Sanford, Iva Myrtle, Tempie Ethel, Anna Katherine , Orville C. and Floyd Loraine.

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.
Please see The Smurthwaite Family page for their family and descendants.


  1. 1850 Federal Census, Tyler Co. VA.
  2. 1860 Federal Census, Sistersville, Tyler Co., VA.
  3. 1880 Federal Census, Union District, Tyler Co., VA (Benjamin Thorn's place of birth based on fathers place of birth in this 1880 census record for Benjamin's son: "Thorn, Bennett, WM, 76, Farmer, Place of birth: WV, Fathers place of birth: MD, Mothers place of birth: WV")
  4. WVGenWeb - Monongalia County, Monongalia County Marriages 1794 thru 1800 , (, "Electronic." (Thornton, Benjamin, Sayre, Sarah, 2 June 1799)
  5. Old series deed books: Volume 4: pages 203-204, Vol 17 page 192.
  6. The Library of Virginia, Digital Collections Database,, Land Office Patents and Grants ~ Thomson ~ CARD 46of 94;
  7. Core, Earl L., The Monongalia Story, A Bicentennial History, (McClain Printing Company, Parsons, West Virginia:1979), II. Pioneers, Page 437.
  8. Fairview Cemetery I, Letart Township, Meigs Co., OH, (Available at USGenWeb Archives: Compiled by: Maria Leamond & Amanda Curtis on: 10/29/1999, , "Electronic," THORN: SARAH: WIFE OF BENJAMIN: DIED: 1/21/1864.
  9. Thorn, Sanford; Rine Elden, Thorn Descendants , (Abt. 1920).
  10. Cercone, Penelope
  11. Thorn, J. David
  12. Sayre, Ralph
  13. Sayre, Grant; Cole, Hazel E.; Sayre, Ralph, Genealogical Outline of Sayre and allied families, (Buckhannon, WV, 1985).
  14. Anderson, Hilda Moore, Tyler Co. WV, Death Records 1853-1899 , (Compiled 1984)
  15. Dille, Thomas Ray, Index to Marriage Bonds, Monongalia County, WV, 1796-1850 .
  16. Atkinson, Mary Davis, Tyler Co., Virginia, now West Virginia, Marriages, 1815-1852
  17. Mullett, Elisabeth Estlack, Tyler County, West Virginia Marriage Records 1852-1890 From Register 2 , (Compiled 1981).
  18. "Thorn, Hugh H., Obituary," Steubenville Weekly Gazette, 13-Mar-1908.
  19. State of West Virginia, County of Tyler - Birth Records
  20. Toronto Union Cemetery, Toronto, Jefferson Co., OH.
  21. Social Security Death Index , (Ancestry Web Pages: http:\\, "Electronic"

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.

Useful Links for researching this line:

This page was last updated on: , Copyright© 1998-2013
by Kay Starr Schaney