The following was written by John Arthur Thorne (1938) in January 2003:
Born in Dorset? Or Weston? Middle name Benjamin? This is possibly Benjamin, since there was a major elder at the Cathedral then, Squire Benjamin Thorne.
Most recently, for example, I had a multi-month correspondence with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Librarian/ records keeper. Together we made considerable progress in tracing our Thorn/e family roots there in the 1840's. I've documented your third great grandfather's marriage (Robert Thorn to Mary McPartlan) in St. James Anglican Cathedral by a Rev. Sanson in May, 1843; and his burial there in Jan., 1855 after his tragic death (murder) in Niagara, Ontario. I'm now trying to determine Robert's linkage with two of the St. James elders, Squire Benjamin and Colonel Moses Thorne. A suburb of Toronto, Thornhill, is apparently named for that illustrious segment of the family. Did they come directly from England? Or, were they part of the (mostly Quaker) Thorn/e migration from New York (to open up Ontario) after the American Revolution. In 1810, 80% of Ontario's population had been born in the US. They were primarily Loyalists who supported King George, and were rewarded with 100 acres each in Ontario after fleeing the Colonies. (A third of the colonies were patriots; a third loyalists; and the other third was whatever they had to be at the time, depending which group was occupying their villages). I believe most of our Thorn/e lineage were Loyalists. Our first American ancestor (William Thorne) came to Flushing, N.Y. with a group of Quakers in the 1630's. He married Sarah Booth (probably a John Wilkes Booth predecessor). We Thorn/e's all supposedly link back to that William and Sarah. William and his son (also William) both signed the Flushing Remonstrance (the colonies original bill of rights) demanding religious freedoms from New Yorks' Governor Styvesant (sp?). Apparently the Puritans there were a dominanting/ suppressing group!
Wasn't able to get past the Dec., 1855 "incident" with Robert and Mary Thorn (resulting in Robert's death) until last month, when I was scrolling through volumes at the local genealogy library, and came across "Reid's Marriage Notices." Among the old Ontario papers scripted there is a weekly called "The Church, 1837-1849," published in Toronto. From its June 9, 1843 edition: "On13th ult., Robert Thorn to Mary McPartlan, both of this city. (Rev. A. Sanson.)" 13th ult. means the marriage took place May 13, 1843 in Toronto. We now know Mary's Irish surname; plus when, where (and by whom) they were married.
Have since confirmed thru the Ontario Genealogical Society that Rev. A. Sanson was Anglican. (Next step is to find the actual church records, which should provide insight on our next earlier generation, etc.etc.)
I both believe Robert Thorn/e died Dec. 21, 1855 & was brought back (mid-January, 1856) to the Church where he was married 12 years before (St. James Anglican Cathedral); then removed to the village of Weston for final interment April, 1856. St. James was the most outstanding cathedral in Ontario at that time, seating over 3000 people. As such, I believe our Robert Thorn/e was somehow related to the distinguished Thorne family there (Squire Benjamin and Colonel Amos et al). In fact, Colonel Amos went to England to procure the organ for the Cathedral.
Sandra Thorne Borgon (1942) writes:
After Robert's death there were four little kids and they were very poor, living in a dirt floor hovel. (In New York at Christmas time -- around Niagra Falls. Can you imagine how cold it was!)
Robert's parents & grandparents:
This was posted on a Thorne message board, the dates for Robert Thorne are about right to be our Robert. The author, Julie, wrote "Christened January 14, 1827 in Stoke Wake, Dorset England and died January 28, 1856 in York County, Ontario, Canada." Since Robert's death was in late 1855, it is possible they returned the body back to York County (Toronto) for burial.
John Thorne is confident this is our Robert, and we have added Julie's information to the tree (Robert B.'s parents & grandparents).
John Arthur Thorne writes:
I worked with the Anglican Toronto Diocese archivist over several months last year searching all the parishes birth /baptism/ death/marriage, etc. records looking for our next link. A lot of Thorn/e's; but hard to make a connection. Felt I hit the proverbial genealogy wall! I consider this connection my most important quest over the past 20 years chasing the family bones. I need to know if we're linked directly to the early (William Thorne) Quakers who came to New York (Flushing area) in the 1630s, and being Loyalists, migrated to Ontario after the American Revolution; or, did our branch come directly from England. Eureka!! A recent posting on the Thorn/e genweb site, from a lady's family bible, mentioned one family member (Robert Thorne) christened in Dorset, England (Jan.14, 1827); died Jan. 28, 1856 in York County (Toronto). A brother, Thomas, was born in Weston, Ontario in 1830. Their parents were Robert (yes, another one) and Anna Smart Thorne, who apparently emigrated from Dorset, England (to Weston) in the late 1820s. Some minor discrepancies, but I'm fairly confident this is our direct European link. Early history of the Thorne name show it to have originated in the Devon and Dorset (neighboring) counties on the southwestern coast of England. I expect to visit the Toronto/Weston area this summer for some serious research (grave digging). Also, an Ireland trek has made our "short list" schedule, so we should be chasing the Mullins, Egans and McPartlans bones in the next year or so. Stay tuned!
Burried at "CHRIST CHURCH ANGLICAN CEMETERY, 2300 FINCH AVENUE WEST, WESTON, ONTARIO M9M 2C6 "
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