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Slaves of the Thornton Family of Caroline County
  • unlrobert June 2015
    I am researching my 3rd great-grandparents. They were slaves to the Thornton family of Caroline County Virginia in the late 1700's. JUPITER (DOB 1780) and KIZZY, aka as Kizziah or KISSIAH (DOB 1767) were transported to Kentucky with Anthony Thornton in 1807. Anthony passed in 1828 and bequeathed them to his daughter, Lucy Dixon Thornton. Jupiter passed in 1848 in Kentucky but Kizzy survived slavery and lived to be 112. She passed in 1880 in Ohio. Lucy Thornton kept a record of her slaves and her account gave me this information concerning my ancestors. I appreciate any help or direction.

    Thank You
    Robert Claxton Day
  • unlrobert August 2015
    Still seeking help or direction in my research of my ancestors, Kizzy and Jupiter. Do the names Francis Thornton, Ormesby Plantation, Rappahannock County, "Northumberland House", Northumberland County, Stafford County mean anything to someone? Need another hand, please, in my quest to find that African who looked through that "DOORWAY of NO RETURN."

    Most appreciative.

  • unlkilby December 2015
    Francis Thornton, Jr. (1714-1748) was an early landowner in Rappahannock (formerly Culpeper, formerly Orange) County. The F.T. Valley in the southern part of the county is named for him, as is the F.T. Baptist Church, founded 1778. In the historical book about that church, there were many "Persons of Color" listed on the membership roster. None owned by Thorntons are named Jupiter or Kizzy. There is one entry of possible interest: "Kizia - Wm. Brown - Bapt. 18 April 1824". That conflicts with your info of going to Kentucky in 1807. There were other Francis Thorntons, but the one that received a land grant from Lord Fairfax in Rappahannock County about 1740 originated down the Rappahannock River in the low-land regions of the Northern Neck. It was thought that his Rappahannock home could have been a "summer" home, meaning he kept a home down river. He built the mansion "Montpelier" in the F.T. Valley for his son William. Francis could have brought slaves with him upon resettling. Will books and inventory lists in Culpeper County may have clues to his or his descendant's slaves.
  • unlrobert January 2016
    I am most appreciative of your research and input to my inquiry!!!!
    Thank You
  • unlmelissa August 2016
    Hello! My name is Melissa Hipolit, and I am a reporter for WTVR in Richmond, Virginia. I am doing a story about this database, and I would like to talk to someone who is using it to do research. Do you mind sending me an email or giving me a call? My email address is:, and my phone number is (804) 396-0306. Thank you very much. Melissa
  • unlgrayson September 2016
    Hello Robert! I believe that the Thornton branch you are looking for stems from Anthony Thornton (Sr.), who founded Ormesby Plantation, in Caroline County, VA.. Anthony (Sr.) was a son of Francis Thornton and Alice Savage. Anthony Sr. was married to Winifred Presley, daughter of Peter Presley of Northumberland House. Winifred Presley inherited Northumberland House, and the estate was passed on to Presley Thornton (brother of Anthony Jr.) after Anthony Sr. died. The Francis (who built Montpelier), who "unlkilby" mentions in his post above, is a nephew to Anthony (Sr.). Lucy Dixon Thornton was a daughter of Anthony Thornton III and Mary Rootes, so a great granddaughter of Anthony Sr.. The parents of Anthony III Thornton were Anthony Thornton Jr. and Sarah Taliaferro. The "Winston family" that is mentioned by Lucy D. Thornton, in her account (I found it online at was also related to the Thorntons by a few marriages. Reuban Thornton, first cousin of Lucy was married to Maria Winston, who was a sister of Horatio Gates Winston, who had also moved out to Kentucky during the period that Anthony Thornton did.

    I hope there's something in there that will help. Good luck!
  • unlcaroleh September 2016
    Hello, My name is Carole and this is my first post. For years I've been searching through early Thornton-Taliaferro marriages in Virginia that involved both a Sarah and a Francis. Now, thanks to Unknown No Longer I've found the couple I needed to bring coherence to our slave family journey from Virginia through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and on to Bradley County Arkansas in the mid-1800s. They are Sarah Taliaferro, the daughter of Francis Taliaferro of Epsom who married Anthony Thornton II, of Ormesby. Thank you for inspiring this discovery!
  • unlcaroleh September 2016
    A Love of History Brings Neighbors Together:
    Up here in the scenic mountains of my new Tennessee home, one of my neighbors shared a page from her Sunday newspaper. It had a lovely photo of Zsun-nee Miller-Matema, posing at Mount Vernon, the plantation home of President George Washington, in Alexandria, Virginia. She's a descendant of Caroline Branham, one of George Washington's slaves who worked as Martha Washington's personal maid. Written in bold print across the top of the page were the words: Historic recognition: George Washington's family tree is biracial. I thought the article was respectfully presented and well written. The part that impressed me most though was the closing statement by Ms. Miller-Matema which read: "We're all so much a part of each other. It just makes no sense any more to be a house divided."
  • unlrobert October 2016
    Have not been on unl for a while. Want to thank all who have posted information for me. I am still available. Best of luck to all my brothers and sisters as we continue on this road of our slave family journey.
  • unlbeverlyb September 2017
    I am researching some of the family surnames listed here. I am a descendant of Dr. Philip Lewis Lightfoot of Caroline County, VA and Greene County, AL. and a slave named Nancy Sanders. Philip's brother in law was James Innes Thornton. They moved from Caroline County to Eutaw and Boligee, Alabama. The Lightfoot family also married into the Taliaferro, Warner, and Lewis family.

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