The following was compiled by historian John Bennett Boddie:676
John Thornton, second son of Roger and Isabel Thornton, was born in Richmond Co., Va. June 25, 1718, and died in Franklin Co., N. C. in 1787. He was Capt. Sugars Jones' Company of Granville Co., N. C. Militia Oct. 8, 1754, along with his brothers Henry and Roger (N. C. Colonial and State Records, Vol. 22, p. 376), and deeded land in Granville Co. in 1762 (Granville Co. D. B. "F", p. 157). He lived in Bute Co. (later Warren and Franklin Cos.), after Bute was organized from Granville in 1764, and appears in deeds as grantor there in 1768 and 1770 (Warren Co. D. B. 2, p. 160; D. B. 3, p. 42). The 1770 deed shows that his first wife was named Agatha and she relinquished her dower in the land sold by her husband, John Thornton, in Aug., 1770 (Bute Co. Court Minutes, Aug., 1770, p. 141). Since John and Agatha Thornton had a son named Yancey Thornton, it seems likely that Agatha's maiden name was Yancey, and that she was a sister of James Yancey of Granville Co.) N. C., who had a son named Thornton Yancey. This James Yancey died in 1779. His will, dated Dec. 20, 1777 and probated at the November Court, 1779, mentions his sons Bartlett, Philip, Thomas and Thornton Yancey, daughter Jenny Sanders and son-in-law Jesse Sanders, granddaughter Nancy Baynes, and makes his sons Philip and Lewis Yancey executors.
John Thornton's second wife was named Elizabeth, as shown by his will. She seems to have been the mother only of the two youngest children, Wiley and Burwell Thornton.
John Thornton's will, dated Oct. 5, 1787 and probated at the December Court, 1787 (Franklin Co. Wills, Inventories, etc. at Raleigh, Book 1, p. 22), leaves to his wife, Elizabeth, property which after her death is to go to the two youngest sons Wilie and Burrell; leaves bequests to the daughter Agga Thornton and two sons, Joshua and Yancey Thornton; and leaves the balance of the estate to be equally divided between his wife and "all my children", William Thornton, India Whatley, Samuel Thornton, Winifred Gant, Solomon Thornton, Joshua Thornton, Agga Thornton, Yancey Thornton, Wilie Thornton and Burrell Thornton; wife Elizabeth, Charles Gant, and Samuel Thorn-, exrs. All John Thornton's sons seem to have moved soon after his death to Georgia, and there are numerous references to them in Davidson's "Early Records of Georgia, Wilkes Co.", which will be cited below. The will of John Thornton seems to name the children from eldest to youngest. The daughter Winifred was apparently the wife of Charles Gant, who was one of the executors of the will. The daughter, Agga or Agatha, in correspondence years ago with Mrs. Ethel Peebles Buell of Tulsa, Okla., was stated by Mrs. Buell to have been born in 1766 and to have been her ancestress. Nothing further is known of Burwell Thornton, one of the young sons by the second marriage.
WILL OF JOHN THORNTON
WILLS 1787-l929 FRANKLIN COUNTY, N. C. BOOK A, Page 22
In the name of God Amen.
I JOHN THORNTON of the County of Franklin of State of N. Carolina. I do make and order that my last Will be
I leave to my wife ELIZABETH THORNTON ... and ... of my plantation whereon I now live during her natural life, and I Give to my two youngest sons, Willie and Burwell
I give to my daughter Aggie Thornton Item I give to my son Joshua Thornton Item I give to my son Yancy Thornton and one feather bed and of his choice of all my horses. I also give him the other half of all my lands in the State and in the State of Georgia including the part that my wife is to have the use of for her lifetime and after her death to go to my sons Joshua & Yancy Thornton to be equally divided between them.
It is my will and desire that all the rest of my estate be sold and afterall debts being paid, to be equally divided between my WIFE & ALL MY CHILDREN: William Thornton, *JUDAH WHATLEY, Samuel Thornton. Winifred Gant, Solomon Thornton, Joshua Thornton, Aggie Thornton, Yancy Thornton, Willie Thornton, and Burwell Thornton.
Lastly, I nominate & appoint my wife Elizabeth, Charles Gant, & Samuel Thornton, Executors of my last Will &Testament ...
Witnessed on the 5th Day of Oct. 1787
his Susanne P. Hill ]JOHN x THORNTON (SEAL)
Thomas Hill mark Joshua Perry
Franklin County Nov. 22, 1790
Written Oct. 5, 1787 Recorded Nov. 22, 1790
Will Book of Franklin Co. NC, 1785-97, Will book A, p. 10 re: Sale of estate of John Thornton dec'd mentions, among other buyers, Sam'l Thornton, Mrs. Thornton, Joshua Thornton, Charles Gant, & Aggo(?) Thornton.http://heathcock.org/genealogy/ps04/ps04_421.html