It had been about a week and a half since I last reviewed my matches at Ancestry DNA. To my great surprise, I had over a dozen new matches to review. (Well some were not easily reviewable because of the lack of a tree at Ancestry or because the tree was private. I have to confess that my tree is not yet linked and is private as I just started it when I got the results and saw how useful it was. However, I refuse to make mine live until I can have a fully documented one. I've got about 5 generations in there at the moment, but I'm taking the time to make sure that my own RootsMagic software is up to date. I'm manually entering the tree at Ancestry. Sometimes I have to add a generation or two back so that I can match the data to everyone in the family. Although I like the ability to link the record to everyone in that record. I'm also discovering errors in other people's research where they've linked a wrong record to someone. I ignore those. I'm also largely ignoring the matching member trees. I'm not adding the trees so that my tree is taken over by work I haven't conducted, but I am sometimes reviewing them to see what types of documentation they have. So far, I've uncovered nothing I didn't already have, but then I'm working on the generations closest to me.
Of the dozen or so new matches I discovered, I was able to identify he common ancestor (or in one case the ancestral line) on three.
On the first new match, Ancestry predicted that we would be 4th to 6th cousins. I found our common ancestor was Gabriel Fowlkes (the Immigrant) who was born about 1696 probably in Denbighshire, Wales. We appear to be 7th cousins twice removed. So much for the 4th to 6th range. I didn't spot any other possible match. I'm descended through Gabriel's son Col. Gabriel Fowlkes; the other person is descended through his son Joseph A. This is my paternal grandmother's father's line.
On the second match, Ancestry predicted 4th to 6th cousins. This was more accurate as I found that we were double fourth cousins once removed. It's one of my Amish lines off my mother's father's side. Common ancestors are Christian Lantz & Maria Hertzler and Jacob Yoder & Mary Keim. I'm descended through Levi Lantz, son of Christian & Maria and Barbara Yoder, daughter of Jacob Yoder & Mary Keim. These two married. The match was descended from Christian & Maria's son Jonathan and Jacob & Mary's daughter Anna. By the way Levi and Jonathan were apparently very close to one another as they both moved from Ohio to McLean County, Illinois together.
The third match is one that Ancestry predicts to be 4th to 6th cousins as well. The problem is a brick wall that is shared by many of us on this Thornton line. My earliest proven ancestor is Richard Thornton b. abt 1790 in SC; married Agnes Barnum 16 May 1817 in Franklin Co., GA; d. 2 Nov 1862 probably in Fayette County, AL. It could have been Winston or even Walker because he lived so near the county lines, but his home was in Fayette. Birth date is based on census. The marriage and death dates (and even the maiden name) come from the mother's pension file that Agnes filed when her son Martin died fighting for the 1st Alabama Cavalry USA in Nashville. The other person is from a line that Y-DNA has proven to be a match for our line in the South Carolina E group. Years ago when I first began researching the family history, Dad had made a comment that he thought there was a line of Thorntons that had gone to South Mississippi to which we were related. Well, apparently the one who went there was William Stallworth Thornton (b. 8 Jan 1792 in Abbeville, SC; d. 2 Nov 1878, Heidelberg, Jasper Co., MS) who married Elizabeth Walker. This person identifies the father of William as Eli Thornton (b. 1752 Orange Co., NC; d. 1819 Edgefield Co., SC) who married Mary Davison. The father of Eli is identified as Thomas Thornton (b. 1709 Isle of Wight Co., VA; d. 20 Apr 1762 Perquimans Co., NC). [By the way, Perquimans County is probably erroneous as the place of death based on other research I've seen which is better documented.] One of our DNA matches also took the family back to Thomas and Martha, although his book identified Thomas as Jr., Thomas' wife as Martha Unknown, and his mother as Martha Boykin. The author of the book, Kenneth William Thornton, had told me that he believed his earliest generations were probably erroneous. There was a series of three articles published in 2008 in North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal which was entitled "Descendants of Matthew Strickland" written by Forrest D. King, CG. In the second installment, published in the August 2008 issue (vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 219-252), there is a section on "Daughter of Thomas Boykin and their Strickland Husbands." In this section, Forrest identifies the Thomas Boykin who married Martha as the Jr. with his father being the Sr. with an unknown wife. The article does show strong ties between the Thornton, Boykin, and Strickland families. I have had autosomal DNA matches with persons showing all three surnames in their pedigrees. So what does this mean? It means that there is hope in resolving the Thornton brick wall. I'm going to begin trees for our various DNA matches, especially the ones going to this one and to another match I had earlier through a Jamima Thornton, daughter of William Thornton who married Mary Lula Woolsey, whose father was said to Abraham Thornton who married Elizabeth Martin, who is identified as the son to Thomas and Martha by the researcher whose autosomal DNA matched. There's one other person over on 23 and Me with a tree that matches the Thornton line. I've got some Boykin surname matches that I probably need to pursue as well, but I can do that as I get these lines back to the Boykins in my own research. I think it's time for the Thornton brick wall to come crashing down! Hopefully these DNA match discoveries can do it.