David Thornton was born January 1, 1796, in Delaware. He made is way to Kentucky, and on June 3, 1823, married Charlotte Railey, born March 29, 1805, daughter of Charles Railey and Mary Mayo. Charlotte’s parents were born in Virginia, her grandfather, John Railey, a colonel in the Revolutionary War.
David and Charlotte had eleven children – half died before reaching adulthood.
One daughter was named Pocohontas – I’ve never encountered this name before other than the original! She was generally called ‘Hontas”, and is listed both ways in different census.
In the 1850 Census of Woodford County are listed David Thornton, 54, manufacturer, born in Delaware. Charlotte, his wife, 43; James T., 16; Pocohontas, 12; Edwin Kavanaugh, 9; Woodford R., 6; and Charles R., 2. Daughters Eleanor, who married David Porter (and moved to Missouri), and Elizabeth, who married Ulysses Turner, had homes of their own at this time.
In the 1860 census David is listed as 64, president of a bank. Charlotte, 55; Pocohontas, 23; Woodford R., 16. Three children with the last name Thornton are also living with the family. they are listed with personal estate. I feel like these are children of one of David’s brothers. They are Agnes T., 17, $3,000; David, 15, $2,000; and Lizzie B., 14, $3,500. Son Edwin is living with his sister Elizabeth and her husband Ulysses Turner, who is a lawyer – Edwin is listed as a clerk – in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. Interesting fact – Ritchey’s father was a lawyer in Independence, Missouri, for a time! Listed with five children, the two youngest were born in Missouri, the older children in Kentucky – and one is named Hontas after her aunt! Within a few years the Turner family returns to Woodford County, since they are listed in the 1870 census for that county.
In 1870 David, 70, is still president of a bank, Charlotte is 60, and daughter Pocohontas, 30, still lives with her parents.
After David’s death in 1873, Pocohontas married Edwin Craig. They lived with her mother in the 1880 census. Charlotte died in 1882. She was buried beside her husband David.
By 1900 Pocohontas’ husband had died; she is living with a Jeanette Thornton – a probable relation. Four widows live together. In addition to the two previously mentioned are Jeanette’s daughter, Sallie Bailey, and a Mary Oliver.
Pocohontas Thornton Craig died in 1901. The last child of David and Charlotte Thornton to pass away was daughter Eleanor, who lived in Missouri. I found the following excerpt in Genealogies of Kentucky Families from The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society:
‘Charlotte Railey, 6th of Charles Railey and Mary Mayo, was born in Woodford County, in 1805, and married David Thornton in 1823. David Thornton was a banker at Versailles, Kentucky, for many years and served Woodford County in both branches of the Kentucky Legislature. Their eldest daughter, Eleanor Thornton, married David I. Porter, of Versailles, Kentucky, in 1841. She is still living at the advanced age of eighty-six years, with her daughter, Mar. Daniel cooper, at Sedalia, Missouri, and although quite old her mind is wonderfully clear and much of the data concerning the Randolph’s, Mayo’s and Railey’s was furnished by her as she received it from her grandparents and others of the old Railey’s in person. All of her Kentucky relatives remember her as a woman of many lovable traits of character. Her descendants are in Missouri, Texas and California. Elizabeth Thornton was the second of David Thornton and Charlotte Railey. She married Ulysses turner, a lawyer of Versailles, Kentucky, in 1849. the most of their descendants live at Versailles, Kentucky. their daughter, Mary Logan Turner, married William O. Davis, an attorney of Versailles, Kentucky. Hontas Thornton, fourth of David Thornton and Charlotte Railey, married Edwin S. Craig, an attorney, at Versailles, Kentucky.
‘Edwin Kavanaugh Thornton and Woodford Railey Thornton, sons of David and Charlotte Thornton, were for many years bankers at Kansas City, Missouri, where their sons are now connected with banking institutions.’
Another family, telling a bit of their story, and photos of their final resting places. In the first picture the Thornton stone says ‘Our Children’ on one side – on the other three sides are D. Thornton, Turner and Davis. There are other family members also buried in Versailles Cemetery in Woodford County, Kentucky.