Col. Francis Thornton, Sr.

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Col. Francis Thornton, Sr.

Birthplace: Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia, Colonial America
Death: before October 07, 1726
St. Paul's Parish, King George County, Virginia, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Saint Paul's Parish, King George County, Virginia, British Colonial America
Immediate Family:

Son of Lt Gen. William Thornton, IV and Elizabeth Thornton
Husband of Alice Thornton; Jane Thornton and Anne Thornton
Father of Elizabeth Gibson; Margaret Strother; William Thornton, Sr.; Col. Francis Thornton, Jr.; Martha Catlett and 4 others
Brother of Ann Thornton; William Thornton "the younger"; Rowland Thornton, Sr; Prudence Thornton and Esther Thornton
Half brother of Matilda Willis; Luther T. Thornton, Sr.; Edward Thornton and Henry Thornton

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. Francis Thornton, Sr.

Francis Thornton

  • Birth: 5 NOV 1651 in Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia
  • Parents: William Thornton, Elizabeth Rowland
  • Married: Alice Savage; Jane, widow of John Harvey; Anne, widow of John Riding
  • Death: 7 OCT 1726 in St. Paul's Parish, King George County, Virginia - Probate

THORNTON, FRANCIS [MAJOR] (1651-1726) of Richmond, Stafford and King George counties, married (1) 13 April l674, Alice Savage, daughter of Captain Anthony Savage (16??-1695) of Richmond County; she was the mother of all his children. He married (2) circa 1701, Jane Harvey, widow of John Harvey of Stafford County, and (3) circa 1709, Ann ? who survived him and proved his will in King George County, Virginia, in October 1726

refs: Rappahannock County DB#6, p. 64; King George County COB#l, p. 330, 349 and DB#l, p. 453; Stafford County Book "Z", p. 55; Westmoreland County W&D#3, p.439; 12T65; 19T170-173; 20T114-119; Bible record of Major Francis Thornton (1651-1726) in Virginia Historical Society

Francis was a Colonel of the Virginia Militia, and a member of the House of Burgesses from Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Virginia records note that the elder William and his three sons were active in the purchase and sale of land, the Church of England, the High Church. However, by their own request, they were removed as Vestrymen, publically avowing thwir disbelief in the doctrines of Transsubstantiation. They were Justices, members of the Burgess, and honored with various offices of public trust.



  • There are two primary documents that provide an accurate list of Francis Thornton's 8 offspring, his personal Bible record and his will. They were:
  • Elizabeth (Thornton) Conway Gibson, Margaret (Thornton) Strother, Sarah (Thornton) Taliaferro, William Thornton, Francis Thornton 2nd, Rowland Thornton, Anthony Thornton and Ann Thornton.


  • Col Francis Thornton, Sr
  • Birth: Nov. 5, 1652 Gloucester County, Virginia, USA
  • Death: May 10, 1726 Stafford County, Virginia, USA
  • Son of Wm. Thornton who came to VA cir. 1650 from England. Francis was born approx 2 yrs. later in Petsworth Parish, Gloucester Co. lst married Alice SAVAGE daughter of Capt. Anthony SAVAGE Esq. III "The Immigrant" and his wife Alice (Stafford) Savage on Apr l3, 1674 in Gloucester Co., VA. His 2nd wife was Jane, the widow of John Harvey of Stafford. Father of Francis Thornton Jr., William Thornton, Margaret Thornton (Strother)and possibly others.He served as a Col. of the VA Militia.He was a member of the House of Burgesses from Spotsylvania Co., VA. He moved to Stafford Co., VA prior to 1700. He made his home at Cod's Creek, Stafford Co., VA. where he died.
  • Family links:
  • Spouses:
  • Jane Elliot Thornton (1651 - 1709)
  • Alice Stafford Savage Thornton (1653 - 1695)*
  • Children:
    • Elizabeth Thornton Gibson (1675 - 1733)*
    • Margaret Thornton Strother (1678 - 1727)*
    • William Thornton (1680 - 1743)*
    • Sarah Thornton Taliaferro (1680 - 1757)*
    • Francis Thornton (1682 - 1739)*
    • Francis Thornton (1683 - 1737)*
    • Rowland Thornton (1685 - 1742)*
    • Ann Thornton (1689 - ____)*
    • Anthony Thornton (1691 - 1757)*
  • Burial: Unknown
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 54478842
  • From: _____________________
  • Alice SAVAGE
  • Died: BEF 1701
  • Father: Anthony SAVAGE
  • Mother: Alice STAFFORD
  • Married: Francis THORNTON 13 Apr 1674
  • Children:
    • 1. Margaret THORNTON
    • 2. Elizabeth THORNTON
  • From: SAVAGE4 __________________________
  • William Thornton (1620 - 1708) was a prominent planter and Colonist in 17th century Virginia. He was one of approximately thirty early Virginia colonists to progenerate descendants that through intermarriage would establish themselves as a political and social ‘aristocracy’ in America. Among his most notable descendants are U.S. Presidents James Madison and Zachary Taylor.
  • William Thornton arrived in Virginia before 1646.[1] Historical accounts and family tradition indicate he was from Yorkshire and descendants from the 17th century onward bore the arms of a powerful Yorkshire Thornton family that intermarried with other powerful landholding families of Aldborough, Bulmer, Foljambe, Plumpton, Norton, Reresby, Savage, Scrope, Stanley, Stapleton and Westby.[2] Thornton settled in Petsworth Parish of Gloucester County, Virginia and quickly pursued in the acquisition of land. The first recorded document he appears on in Virginia was in May 11, 1646, when he was recorded in York county court to ‘oblige himself’ to care for the cattle of John Liptrot until the Liptrot came of age.[3][4] Thornton appeared some twenty years later on February 16, 1666 in Gloucester County court records having patented 164 acres within Petsworth Parish “adjoining the land where he lived, and that of Mr. Richard Barnard." [5] In September 1673, he appointed James Kay to oversee 2,000 acres of land in Richmond County, Virginia.[6] On July 16, 1675 he gave his sons Francis and Rowland Thornton his 2,000 acres of land he acquired in Richmond County.[7] He served on the vestry of Petsworth Parish from 1677 to 1700.[8] Thornton was last recorded in Stafford County, Virginia in 1708 where his son Francis had removed to sometime before 1700.
  • He married at least once to Elizabeth, whose surname is believed to be Rowland by some genealogists. He is known to be definitively the father of at least three sons William (1649–1727), Francis (1651–1726) and Rowland (? – 1701). His son William was the father of 16 known children and his son Francis was the father of 7 known children many of whom have descendants.[9] .... etc.
  • From: _________________________________


Another source shows his father as William Thornto and mother Ann Savage.


  1. Alice Savage in the Virginia, U.S., Marriages of the Northern Neck of Virginia, U.S., 1649-1800 < AncestrySharing > Name: Alice Savage Marriage Date: 13 Apr 1674 Spouse Name: Francis Thornton Location: Virginia, United States. Bride was a daughter of Capt. Anthony Savage of the Upper Precincts of SP, RC (d. 1695); Francis Harvey mar 2) Jane Harvey, c. 1701 & 3) Ann [Riding], c. 1709; he d. in KGC in 1726;
  2. Old King William homes and families : an account of some of the old homesteads and families of King William County, Virginia, f [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Clarke, Peyton Neale,. Old King William homes and families : an account of some of the old homesteads and families of King William County, Virginia, from its earliest settlement. Louisville: J.P. Morton and Co., 1897. 
  3. The William and Mary Quarterly, Volume 20 (Google eBook) Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Earl Gregg Swem, Richard Lee Morton. Institute of Early American History and Culture., 1912 - Virginia. Page 270.
  4. Stanard, W. G. “The Thornton Family.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 4, no. 2, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1895, pp. 89–93,
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Col. Francis Thornton, Sr.'s Timeline

November 5, 1651
Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia, Colonial America
January 3, 1674
Petsworth Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia, British Colonial America
April 2, 1678
King George County, Virginia, British Colonial America
December 17, 1680
Virginia, United States
January 4, 1682
Stafford County, Virginia
August 1, 1685
of "Crowes", King George County, Virginia, Colonial America
Hanover County, Virginia, Colonial America
March 22, 1689
Gloucester County, Province of Virginia, Colonial America
December 17, 1690
Gloucester Courthouse, Gloucester County, Virginia, United States