Thornton theories

When I started on this journey I knew little about my Thornton line except that my maternal granny, Margaret Jane Henderson, was given the same Christian names as her mother Margaret Jane Thornton. I have subsequently tracked down another 6 generations of Thorntons back to 7th great grandfather Henry Thornton, born in the late 1600s. They lived in and around Hartburn, Northumberland.My Thornton tree part 1My Thornton tree part 2I have confirmed from the baptism of Robert Thornton, born 1703, that his father was a Henry Thornton. If I am correct in my theory that Henry married Jane Read, then this is going to open up some interesting lines going back from Henry and Jane to Civil War times and beyond. I still have some more digging to do to prove that this theory about Henry and Jane is correct before I add the new finds to my tree and publish them here.


My most complete quarter

The quarter of my tree that has proven easiest to follow through on paper trail is from my maternal grandmother, Margaret Jane Henderson (1899-1982), born in Amble. Perhaps this is because she was the one who knew most about her own ancestors so she gave me lots of good clues when I had to prepare a family tree at school when I was eleven.

In the composite picture of my 4 grandparents on the right hand panel of the blog she is at the bottom left.

Here is a snippet showing the first few generations. It is the only section of my tree where I can get to 4th great grandparents with no gaps, and as you can see from the little black arrows I can go even further on 9 lines.

My Henderson tree

If any of these couples belong to you to then please drop me a line as that means we are cousins.

End of line ancestors – more updates

Added brief profiles for the following end of line ancestors:

  • Thomas Thornton – 5th great – probably born before 1750, possibly Hartburn
  • Jane Nichol – 4th great – probably born before 1771
  • Hannah Hunter – 5th great – born about 1740, maybe Elsdon
  • William Thompson – 5th great – born about 1738, maybe Elsdon
  • Isabel Hedley – 5th great – probably born before 1748, maybe Elsdon
  • Andrew Oliver – 5th great (tentative) – probably born before 1759, maybe Hartburn
  • Alice Carr – 4th great – probably born before 1791, maybe Wallsend area

Maternal Margarets and Marys

I have now added three more generations to my direct maternal line. Got stuck for a couple of years at Margaret Watson as the name was so common, but have now pinned her down. So far my maternal line is confined to Northumberland, but I expect it may cross the border to Scotland or hop over to Ireland if I can get further back. This is what I have at present, taking me back 8 generations to 6th great grandmother Margaret Brewhouse.
  • Margaret Jane Webb, 1921 -1999, born Radcliffe, Northumberland
  • Margaret Jane Henderson, 1899 – 1982, born Amble, Northumberland
  • Margaret Jane Thornton, 1871 – 1912, born Choppington, Northumberland
  • Mary Oliver, 1842 – 1911, born Netherton, Bedlington, Northumberland
  • Margaret Watson, 1818 – 1895, born Ulgham, Northumberland
  • Mary Hutchinson, 1791 – ?, born Felton, Northumberland
  • Mary Brown, 1769 – ?, born Felton, Northumberland
  • Margaret Brewhouse, bef 1747, probably somewhere around Felton, Northumberland, but could be from further North or from Scotland.
As you can see, my ancient grannies did not have much imagination in choosing Christian names for their girls. Thankful that my Mam decided to break the mould and I did not end up as the fourth in a row of Margaret Janes.

Family history through the alphabet – F is for Fecund Forebears

F is for Fecund Forebears

My tree has many branches because large numbers of offspring appear to have been the norm among the mining, fishing and farming families of North-East England and Scotland. Three of my grandparents are from large families. Grandmother Ellenor Turner was the seventh child of ten. Grandmother Margaret Jane Henderson was the third child of seven. Grandfather George Crackett was the eighth child of ten. (Shown in the banner of my blog).

Taking it back one generation further the big families include: Cracket 8, Parkinson 5, Carr 5, Henderson 7, Thornton 11. Similar trends can be seen in the earlier generations too with most of the couples having somewhere between 5 and 10 children.

F is for findmypast

F is also for findmypast which is one of the resources I find most useful for my genealogy research. I find their transcriptions among the most reliable, although Cracket has on occasion been twisted to Crackel. So far I have just used the UK site, but expect I am soon going to have to take a look at both Ireland and Australia. I have not managed to figure out yet whether having a subscription for one country gives any discount opportunities for the other countries.

If you would like to know more about this alphabet challenge take a look at Family History through the Alphabet.

May modus operandi

Most of my genealogy research so far has been structured according what grabs my interest on a particular day and what mood I am in. The Easter break was the first time I tried to set myself some more structured plans. Although I did not manage everything on the list it did help me to not wander too far off track, so I am going to do the same for May. Focus areas this month (unless of course I get sidetracked onto something much more fun to follow up) are:

  • Register all of the Murray, Winning and Lemcke information that I have been working on with my Aberdeenshire cousin and follow up other interesting leads he feeds to me. Will probably take the whole month doing a few each day to get up to date.
  • 1st week: Tie together in my tree on Ancestry the families of my 2x great grandfather William Cracket and his siblings Adam, David, Margaret, Mark and Jane
  • 2nd week: Sift through the Oliver and Thornton notes I made at Woodhorn at Easter
  • 3rd week: Bang my head against that Webb brick wall again. Maybe some day it might crumble when I look at it from a different angle
  • 4th week: Feel I am on a roll with my Halls of Elsdon so I might see where Gabriel & Hannah take me next
  • 5th week: See what is behind Ancestry’s shaking leaves on my Carr line

Calendar events early April

My ancestral calendar includes these events in the first two weeks of April:

  • Apr 1: 102 years since the death of Anna Elvina Winning née Lemcke who died in Aberdeen aged 39 on 1 April 1910. Anna Elvina Lemcke was my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. Her death record shows cause of death as uncertain.
  • Apr 4: 153 years since the death of Margery Thornton née Hall who died aged 55 at Barrington Colliery in Northumberland on 4 April 1859. Margery died of apoplexy after suffering gastritis for 2 weeks.
  • Apr 7: 70 years since the death of my uncle Sydney Crackett who died at Beverley Base Hospital in Yorkshire aged 24 on 7 April 1942. Syd was a dispatch rider in WWII and was killed in a motor cycle accident.