Thomas Thornton Sr. & Sarah Johnston


Thornton Family in Guilford County, NC

Thomas and Sarah's families/parents came to Guilford County, NC from the Eastern counties of North Carolina, and/or Virginia.

Thomas Thornton Sr. and Sarah Johnston

Thomas Thornton, the son of Joseph A. Thornton and Nancy Ann Smith, was born on Thursday, March 15th, 1792 in the recently formed Deep River Friends community in Guilford County, NC. He died on Wednesday, April 4, 1866 in Deep River, NC and was buried in the Deep River Friends Cemetery there.

Sarah Johnston, the daughter of Gideon Johnston Jr. and Mary Baker "Polly" de Graffenreid, was born on Saturday, April 27th, 1799 in the same community. Her date of death is unknown, but she was also buried in Deep River Friends Cemetery. The older headstones in the cemetery are almost illegible, and in the early days the practice of the Friends community was to bury their loved ones with only an unmarked headstone to show the location of the grave - to avoid any possibility of pride or conceit about who their ancestors were, or what they accomplished. - except for the family's memories that were passed on as stories.

The family of Thomas Thornton Sr. and Sarah Johnston

Thomas Thornton and Sarah Johnston were married on Tuesday, November 19th , 1816 in the Deep River Meeting House in Guilford County, NC. They had the following children:

  1. Henry Thornton (1818 - ?)
  2. Joshua Thornton (1819 - ?)
  3. Willis P. Thornton (1822 - 1824)
  4. Thomas Thornton Jr. (1824 - ?)
  5. Bartlett Y. Thornton (1827 - ?)
  6. Elias Smith Thornton (1829 - 1895)
  7. Joseph Alson Thornton (1832 - ?)
  8. Shubal C. Thornton (1834 - ?)
  9. Sally Ann Thornton (1837 - ?)
  10. Alfred W. Thornton (1840 - 1919)
  11. Keziah D. Thornton (1842 - ?)

Marriage bonds of Thomas Thornton Sr. and Sarah Johnston

Below is a transcript of the marriage bonds of Thomas Thornton and Sarah Johnston - copy received from the North Carolina State Archives.


_____Guilford______ COUNTY,

Know all Men by these Presents, That we ______Thomas Thornton _____________
Henry M. C. Wilson
are heldand firmly bound unto William Miller________ Esquire, Governor, &c, or his Successors in Office, in the full sum of Five Hundred Pounds, current Money, to be paid to the said Governor, his Successors or Assigns, for the which Payment well and truly to be made and done, we bind ourselves, our Heirs, Executors and Administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our Seals, and dated this __19___ day of ___November______ Anno Domini __1816__.

THE Condition of the above Obligation is such, that whereas the above bounden __Thomas Thornton____ hath made application for a Licence for Marriage to be celebrated between him and ___ Sarah Johnston___of the County aforesaid : Now, in Case it shall not appear hereafter, that there is any lawful Cause or Impediment to obstruct the said Marriage, then the above obligation to be void; otherwise to remain in full Force and Virtue.

Signed, sealed and delivered Thomas Thornton SEAL
in the presence of

J. Harrison Cole * Henry M. C. Wilson SEAL


* J. Harrison Cole's name is uncertain due to illegibility of his handwriting]