Robert Thornburgh

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Robert Thornburgh

Birthplace: Methrop, Cartmel, Lancashire, England
Death: after 1717
Cootehill, Cavan, Leinster, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Thornburg of Methrop and Elizabeth Thornburg
Husband of Sarah Thornburgh
Father of Walter Thornburgh; Judith Miller; Thomas Amos Thornburgh, Sr. and Edward Thornburgh
Brother of Edward Thornburg and Richard Thornburgh

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About Robert Thornburgh

Robert Thornburgh was the son of Charles Thornburgh and Elizabeth Leyburne. He was born in c.1661 in Lancashire, England and died in Cootehill, County Caven, Ireland. He married Sarah Jackson on 1686 in Cootehill, County Cavan, Ireland. He emigrated to Ireland to avoid persecution for his Quaker faith. Cootehill in County Cavan was a Quaker stronghold. His date of death is not known but was probably after 1717, when his children left for the New World.

There are many variations in spelling for Thornburgh, including Thornbrough, Thornsburg, Thornberry and Thornsbury. There were possibly as many as seventeen Thornburgh families at this time, all cousins of some degree, tracing their lineage back to Ketel de Culwen with certainty, and possibly back further to Ivo de Taillebois.

The children of Robert and Sarah Thornburgh are all believed to have emigrated to America. There is no proof of an exact date, but Edward was given a certificate from the Society of Friends in Lurgan in 1717. Records exist in America for Edward and Thomas, but not for Judith or Walter.

The journey was expensive, dangerous, and hard on the young families. The crossing lasted between nine and twelve weeks and fresh food and water was not available. The rations on board the ship usually consisted of hardtack (hard dry biscuit), salted beef (6000 mg of salt/day) and 1 gallon of beer per person each day. Parents Robert and Sarah did not travel with them but Robert may have made a significant contribution towards payment of passage for the travelers. Also, they may not have been able to afford the cost of passage. One record shows Robert short on funds and later imprisoned in Ireland for non-payment of tithes.

Children of Robert Thornburgh and Sarah Jackson are:

  • Judith Thornburgh, b. 1687 in Cootehhill, married Alexander Miller
  • Walter Thornburgh, b. 1688 in Cootehill, emigrated to America
  • Thomas Amos Thornburgh, Sr., b. 1690 in Cootehill, died 1758 in Pennsylvania. He married Mary Haman or Hamman.
  • Edward Thornburgh, b. 1691 in Cootehill, cied 1734 in Pennsylvania. He married Jean Brookbank.

Blue Guide Ireland states that the Thornburg name goes back to 1066 when Eldred, grandson of Ivo de Taibo chose the name and Eldred's first son, Rowland Thornborough, was the first person to bear that name. This source also relates that Eldred, first baron of Kendall, married Edgitha, who was grand-daughter to Kind Ethelred II, 978-1016.

Thornburgs in England

Selside Hall Pedigree of Thornburgs in England

  • * Name Birth Spouse
  • 1. Ivo de Taillebois 1036 (Gondreda, Lucy)
  • 2. Eldred de Culwen 1055 (Adigitha)
  • 3. Ketel de Culwen 1074 (Christiana de Taillebois)
  • 4. Orm de Workington 1080 (Gunilda Dunbar)
  • 5. Robert Ormson 1122 (Christiana De Meynwarin)
  • 6. Walter de Thornburgh 1185 (Emma)
  • 7. Nicholas de Thornburgh 1220
  • 8. Roland de Thornburgh 1240 (Alice de Lascelles)
  • 9. William de Thornburgh 1260 (Elena de Culwen)
  • 10. Roland de Thornburgh 1275 (Alice L. Engleys)
  • 11. William de Thoroboughe 1290 (Miss Croker)
  • 12. William de Thornburgh 1310 (Anne Maleverer)
  • 13. John de Thornburgh 1330 (Elizabeth Pierpont)
  • 14. William de Thornburgh 1350 (Catherine Hilton)
  • 15. Thomas de Thornburgh 1370 (Jane Dalton)
  • 16. Henry de Thornburgh 1390 (Elizabeth Booth)
  • 17. William de Thornburgh 1410 (Eleanor Musgrave)
  • 18. William de Thornburgh 1450 (Elizabeth Broughton)
  • 19. Roland Thornburgh 1480 (Margaret Middleton)
  • 20. William Thornburgh 1510 (Thomasina Bellingham)
  • 21. William Thornburgh 1547 (Etheldred Caros)
  • 22. Roland Thornburgh 1582 (Jane Dalton)
  • 23. William Thornburgh 1599 (Catherine Langtree)
  • 24. Charles Thornburgh 1645 (Elizabeth Leyburg)
  • 25. Robert Thornborough 1661 (Sarah Jackson)

Note: Birth dates are approximate.

In summary, the above pedigree suggests that our Thornburghs were of European origin, first coming to England from France during the Norman Conquest in 1066. Following the conquest, a Norman bloodline united through marriage with the native Saxons and the Thornburgh lines were born. Normans are said to descend from Vikings (Norse) and Saxons descend from Germans. During the 11th through 16th Centuries Thornburghs lived in what is now Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cumbria, England. Thornburgs in England married with prominent families in the region and allied with the Barony of Lancaster. However, beginning in generation 25 (17th Century), Thornburgs migrated first to Ireland and then to America over a period lasting four generations (25th – 28th) before settling in Randolph County, Indiana.

There can be found two dual lines of Thornburgs from England. Ketel de Taillebois (generation 3) may have married a 1st or 2nd cousin. Elena de Culwen is reported to descend from Eldred de Culwen and her marriage to William around the year 1300 forms the second dual line.

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Robert Thornburgh's Timeline

Methrop, Cartmel, Lancashire, England
Age 27
Cootehill, Cavan, Ireland
Age 28
Cootehill, Co. Cavan, Ireland
Age 29
Cootehill, Co. Cavan, Ireland
Age 30
Cootehill, Co. Caven, Ireland
Age 56
Cootehill, Cavan, Leinster, Ireland