THORNBER FAMILIES IN BENTHAM, MELLING, HORNBY
AND THE FYLDE, WITH ORIGINS IN SLAIDBURN

Slaidburn 5

Red rose

 

I have done research on two Thornber families living in the Fylde District of Lancashire and in the area around Hornby and Melling in the 18th and 19th centuries. Information has been drawn from birth certificates, parish registers, census returns and wills as shown below.  These two family histories are written up as case studies in connection with the article on how to research your family tree.

When work commenced it appeared that there were two families, possibly related to the Slaidburn Thornbers because of the use of Giles as a Christian name. In November 2001 it was finally shown that the two families were both descend from Giles and Hannah Thornber who married at Melling in 1740. Their first son, William, was baptised in 1742 at Melling and John was baptised in 1745 at Hornby. The proof came from examining monumental inscriptions for St. Wilfrid's at Melling and baptism records for the church for the 1740s which have not been indexed by the IGI but which are available on microfiche at the Lancashire County Record Office.

In April 2010, I was contacted by Chris Spencer, who together with Reg Postlethwaite transcribed the Slaidburn Registers. Chris has also made an extensive study of the court rolls of the Manor of Slaidburn and found valuable genealogical information in them. There are records in the court rolls which show how the tenancy of farms and pieces of land could descend to a tenant's heirs, on the payment of a fee, usually called a fine. With this information and some from wills, Chris was able to link the Thornbers of Greenbank back to the Thornbers of Slaidburn. The registers of Slaidburn have a gap between 1600 and 1631 hence the importance of other sources at this time. The first five generations of the family are shown on a separate page as they are the antecedents of several branches of the Thornber family.

I commence the story with Giles Thornber and Hannah Wilson and then give separate accounts of their two sons John and William

In the church at Melling in June 2012 I found a list of the monuments in the churchyard with the Thornber family shown in plots 119 and 120 on the south side. The entries are shown below. The monuments themselves are now sadly all but illegible with the stones splitting as they weather and the top layer is likely to be lost in the next few years.

Plot 119: John Thornber. 4/8/1820; Ann Thornber, 1/8/1824; Giles Thornber, 5/1/1836.
Plot 120: Hannah Thornber, 19/8/1764; Giles Thornber 30/7/1775; Hannah Thornber 8/10/1778; William Thornber, 20/6/1812.

 

gravestone

UNDERNEATH
are interred the remains of
JOHN THORNBER of Bentham but
formerly of Greenbank (?) in this Parish
who died August the 4th 1820

 

2. The Family of Giles Thornber and his son
John Thornber who lived at Bentham, formerly Yorkshire.

1a. Information from the will of John Thornber

From the Lonsdale Acts books held at the Lancashire County Record Office, a will is known of John Thornber of Lower Bentham, yeoman, who died 4 August 1820. His widow was Ann and he had daughters Ann and Hannah and sons Giles and Christopher. Among others mentioned were two sons of Christopher, named as John and William, for whom baptism records exist for Bentham in 1804 and 1810.

1b. Monumental Inscriptions at Melling

At Lancashire County Record Office there is a book of monumental inscriptions for St. Wilfrid's at Melling. There are two Thornber graves adjacent at plots 119 and 120. From the first we find:

Underneath are interred the remains of John Thornber of Bentham but formerly of Greenbank in this parish who died 4 August 1820 aged 75 also Ann, his wife, who died 1 August 1824 aged 78 years also Giles their son who died 5 January 1836 aged 63 years.

This monument gives us a date of about 1745 for the birth of John Thornber and fits a baptism record for John as son of Giles and Hannah baptised 7 April 1745 at Hornby. Giles Thornber married Hannah Wilson at Melling on 30 November 1740. As there are very few Thornber records for these parishes they seem very likely to be the correct ones. The memorial also shows that John's son Giles was born about 1773.

The second inscription states:

To the memory of Hannah Thornber, wife of Giles Thornber of Greenbank in Botton who died 19 August 1764 aged 45 also the said Giles Thornber who died 30 July 1775 aged 64 also Hannah the wife of William Thornber of Greenbank who died 8 October 1788 aged 37, also William Thornber, late of Rossall Hall but formerly of Greenbank, who departed this life 20 June 1812 aged 70.

From this we see that Giles was born about 1712 and Hannah about 1719. As described later, the William mentioned on this inscription is also son of Giles and was baptised at Melling in 1742

 

1c. Parish Records Relating to Christopher Thornber

Christopher is a very uncommon name among the Thornber families in Lancashire and West Yorkshire in the 18th and early 19th centuries so records for the name stand out. Christopher Thornber married Margaret Garnett at Tatham in Lancashire on 26 November 1803. The following children were baptised at Bentham, just across the former county boundary from Tatham

John son of Christopher & Margaret Thornber, of Bentham, born 7 Sept, bapt. 21 Oct 1804.
Mary dau. of Christopher & Margaret Thornber of Lower Bentham, born 4 Apr, bapt. 8 June 1806
William son of Christopher & Margaret Thornber born 24 Oct, bapt. 2 Dec 1810
Giles son of Christopher & Margaret Thornber, chandler of Lower Bentham bapt. 11 Apr 1813
Eleanor Lorimer dau. of Christopher & Margaret Thornber, chandler, Lower Bentham, bapt. 3 Sept 1815.

Parish records cast further light on John Thornber. There is a record that John Thornber of Melling, husbandman, married Ann Langstroth by licence on 14 July 1770 at Tatham, in the presence of Wm. Edmonson and Wm Thornber at Tatham. This is an appropriate date for the marriage and we know from his will that John was married to Ann.

1d. Information from the will of Giles Thornber

A second will at the Lancashire County Record Office adds to this story. It is the will of Giles Thornber of Digham, Bispham, Gentleman, proved on 1 February 1837 at Richmond (WRW/A). The will was made on 24 September 1835 and comprises five sheets about the size of modern A3 paper. From it we learn that Giles' wife was Priscilla. Among the items left were grates, boilers, ovens, shelves, cisterns and troughs which related to the trade of tallow chandler. After the death of Priscilla these were to go to his nephew Giles Thornber. Giles (the testator) appears not to have had surviving children as he leaves property to his two nephews, Giles and John Thornber, the sons of his brother Christopher. There is a remarkable section in the will that gives considerable insight into the affairs of the family:

"Whereas my father, John Thornber, late of Bentham, deceased, whose will was made 25 June 1814 directed that his executors should place out at interest in my hands £250 and pay and apply the interest to my brother Christopher Thornber during his life and after his death to pay the sum to my nephew John Thornber, the eldest son of my brother Christopher..."

Giles the testator made arrangements for his nephew Giles to take over the responsibility of making these payments to his father, Christopher. It appears Christopher was not to be allowed to lay his hands on the capital. Giles had goods and chattel indicating the life of a gentleman including plate, linen and china. He had extensive property interests. Houses and land are listed in Bentham, Greenbank in the Parish of Melling, Fairerth in Tatham, Lower Bentham, Poulton and Digham. It included a public house called Banthorn in Bispham and a pew in the church at Bentham. Giles died on 6 January 1836 and the will was proved on 1 February 1837. Executors were Arthur Cort of Lowgill, Tatham and William Butcher of Little Bispham. Witnesses were D M Redmayne, Richd. Willis and Rich. Rossall Pye.

The following additional information has been found so far on John and Giles the two nephews of Giles Thornber. Some certificates were identified by looking in the General Registration Index for events in the Settle and Fylde Registration Districts, which were not very numerous in this period for Thornber families.

1e. Marriage of John Thornber, born 1804.

John Thornber of full age, widower, a solicitor, of Wray, son of Christopher Thornber, yeoman, married Ellen Altham (maiden name Thornton) of full age, widow, of Burton in Lonsdale, daughter of Laurence Thornton, yeoman, at the parish church of Thornton in Lonsdale, Yorkshire on 7 February 1846. (marriage certificate).  John's first marriage has not yet been traced and there may be children from that marriage. Note that by 1846 Christopher Thornber was described as a yeoman.

John appears in the 1851 census aged 46, an annuitant, born in Bentham, with his wife Ellen, also 46, born in Burton in Lonsdale. (HO/107/2277, district 488/1 Bentham, Burton in Lonsdale, parish of Thornton in Lonsdale, folio 32, p.20, Enumeration Schedule 86, on LDS Film 0087462. Information from Beth Merryweather in New Zealand.)

1f. Giles Thornber, a yeoman and then a gentleman of Digham, Bispham

Giles Thornber of full age, bachelor, gentleman, of Digham House in the parish of Bispham, son of Christopher Thornber, tallow chandler, married Rachel Ann Toulmin, of full age, spinster, of Grove Hill in Bentham, the daughter of James Toulmin, gentleman, on 10 April 1838 at Parish Church of Bentham (marriage certificate).

The following children have been identified so far in the GRO births index. The first child was born at Grove Hill, High Bentham, the residence given for the mother at the marriage the previous year.

Giles Garnett Thornber, born 16 January 1839, at Grove Hill, High Bentham. Father Giles Thornber, yeoman.
Eleanor Rachel Thornber
, born 9 February 1840 at Digham, Bispham. Father Giles Thornber, yeoman. Baptised Bispham on 5 March 1840.
Giles Toulmin Thornber, born 17 April 1850 at Digham, Bispham. Father Giles Thornber, yeoman. Name entered after registration was Giles Edward Toulmin Thornber.

In the 1851 Census, Giles was aged 38, (consistent with birth in 1813) a landed proprietor, born in Bentham, living at Digham House in Bispham with Norbreck. His wife, Rachel Ann, was 39 and born in Darlington. There were five children of whom the eldest four were said to be born in Bentham and the youngest in Bispham. These children were Eleanor Rachel, aged 11 and known to be born in Bispham; Charlotte Elizabeth, aged 9; Lucy, aged 8; Frederick William James, aged 4 and Giles Edward Toulmin Thornber, aged 11 months. (Census Reference HO 107/2269 folio 409 page 10). Giles Garnett Thornber, died in infancy, in the first quarter of 1839.

Examination of the GRO births index failed to uncover a record for Charlotte Elizabeth but there is one for a Lucy in Settle, the district covering Bentham, in June quarter of 1843 and similarly one for Frederick William James in Settle in the December quarter of 1846.

Giles Thornber of Digham House, Bispham, died 25 July 1876 and probate granted at Liverpool to Rachel Ann Thornber, widow, sole executor, of Birkdale, Southport on 11 July 1860.   He made his will on 24 April 1871 and we know that while Giles had formerly lived in Bispham he moved to Southport. The will gives no other genealogical information.

From details of the probate of her will of 13 March 1883, we know that Rachel Ann Thornber died 2 January 1885 at Virginia Street, Southport and probate was granted on 14 October 1885 to Charlotte Elizabeth and Fanny Thornber, both spinsters. The will mentions three daughters, Charlotte Elizabeth, Fanny, Lucy Cort the wife of William Cort. MD of Blackburn, and Rachel Ann's son Frederick William. It may be that daughter Eleanor Rachel did not survive. This enabled the family to be found in the 1881 census. This confirms that Rachel Ann Thornber was born in Darlington and shows that Fanny was born about 1852. The census appears to be in error on the third name of Giles.

1881 Census at 25 Virginia St. North Meols, Lancashire. PRO Ref RG11 Piece 3752 Folio 32 Page 15

Rachel Ann Thornber, Widow, 69 Darlington, Durham, Head of household, Annuitant
Charlotte E. Thornber, U 38 Bentham, Yorks, daughter of head of household
Giles E. J. Thornber M 30 Bispham, Lancashire, Son, Civil Engineer
Fanny Thornber U 28 Bispham, Lancashire, Daughter
Elizabeth Taylor, U 50 Ingleton, Yorks, Domestic Servant.

1.g   Evidence from a Deed

Thornbers at Botton.

I am grateful to Pat Johnson who runs a project transcribing Family Deeds for the following information


Customary Deed dated 10 December 1754 and the parties are John WALKER of Greenbank in Botton within the Manor of Hornby, Lancashire yeoman and Jiles (sic) THORNBER of Greenbank in Botton in the Manor of Hornby, yeoman.
In the Deed Jiles Thornber is buying two messuages or dwellinghouses with the barns stables and turf houses belonging thereto and several parcels of land for the sum of £600. The names of the parcels of land are Midward Field, the Brow, Overfield, Rushdale, Thorndale, Farrside, Corn Greens, Outgreens, Dodge Hole, the Holme, Witteras and wood ground containing in the whole by common estimation forty eight acres. All the land is situate at Greenbank in Botton and also comes with the right and benefit of parts of the moor or pasture ground Greenbank Moor.

This information shows that this family were very relatively prosperous by the middle of the 18th century.

The following family tree has been constructed from the information obtained to date. Since this information has been on the web I have been contacted by Jane Cort in Norfolk, a descendent of Lucy Thornber and William Cort and she has provided me with additional information concerning Rachel Ann Toulmin and William Cort. Additional information has come from George Toulmin, Trevor Williams and Benny Alcorn as shown in the footnotes. Benny Alcorn has given me a detailed account of Frederick William James Thornber who emigrated to Australia in 1874.

Georgina Harvey reports that John Thornber, born in Bentham in 1804 (generation 4 below and son of Christopher) was her 4x great grandfather.  She provided details of a third marriage to Ann from the 1861 and 1871 census returns and the parish register of Burton-in-Lonsdale. Georgina has more details than I show on the family of Margaret Thornber and James Marshall.

Abbreviations

BC      Birth Certificate
MC     Marriage Certificate
DC      Death Certificate
C51    Census of 1851
C81    Census of 1881
MI      Monumental Inscription

Footnote 1. Rachel Ann Toulmin

Jane Cort, a descendent of Lucy Thornber and William Cort has provided me with the following information on Rachel Ann Toulmin who was known from the census to be born in Darlington and whose father was known to be James Toulmin from her marriage certificate. She was christened Rachel Ann Toulmin on 31 July 1811 at Haughton Le Skerne, Darlington, the daughter of James Toulmin. James married Ellen Parker on 24 July 1796 at Bentham. Jane has also gathered information on three of Rachel Ann Toulmin's siblings all christened at Haughton-le-Skerne, Darlington: Edward Parker Toulmin, christened 27th April 1805; Eleanor Toulmin, 29th June 1808; Harrison Toulmin, 30 August 1810.

George H Toulmin has contacted me with information that Rachel Ann Toulmin also had three older siblings:

William Toulmin bapt. 3 Sep 1797, Bentham (as "Towman"); born 5 May 1797, died 1811 at Haughton-le-Skerne, of scarlet fever.
Margaret Toulmin bapt. 1 Sep 1799, Bentham (as "Towman"); born 19 July 1799, died 1873 Lytham; married at Darlington, 1826, to William Walker. Elizabeth Toulmin bapt. 28 Mar 1802 Bentham (as "Tolman"); born 19 Feb 1802; m. ?? Pickergill but died 1824, presumably leaving no issue.

There were also younger brothers and sisters as follows, born and baptised at Haughton-le-Skerne.

Edward Parker Toulmin, born 28 Nov 1804.
Eleanor Toulmin, born 30 July 1808.
Harrison Toulmin, born 30 July 1810.
Rachel Ann Toulmin, born 8 Nov 1811.
Sarah Isabel Toulmin, born 16 Nov 1813, died 19 Feb 1817.
James Parker Toulmin, born 21 Apr 1816, died 12 Feb 1820.
Charles Parker Toulmin, born 31 May 1819, died 14 Jan 1901, had issue.
Sarah Jane Toulmin, born 14 June 1823, bapt. 17 Aug 1823, married Robert Farrer Thompson.
Robert Parker Toulmin, born 17 Jun 1826 or possibly 1825, died about 1870.

George Toulmin's information on the family comes from Digby Walker of Cheshire, great grandson of William Walker and Margaret Toulmin. According to Digby Walker, Rachel Ann Toulmin was born 8 Nov 1811 but not baptised until 14 May 1826 when her family had moved back to Bentham. Clearly there is an inconsistency of date and place for the baptism but in the 1881 census, Rachel Ann, as head of household, stated that she was born in Darlington and from her age at the time she must have been born in 1811 or 1812.  James Toulmin's ancestry can be traced back 6 generations to a Richard Toulmin (Towlmyne), husbandman, of Boton Holmes in the parish of Bolton-le-Sands, who d. 1607 (leaving a will). The family were "husbandmen" or "yeomen" down to James's grandfather Robert, who was a weaver.  James became owner of a flax mill at Lower Bentham, while his cousins stuck to hand-loom weaving until the trade collapsed and they became "hands" on power looms or the like.

I have also been contacted by Trevor Williams in Melbourne whose wife is descended from Eleanor Toulmin. Eleanor married James Morris, a Chemist and Druggist of Bolton, circa 1830. Three of her children emigrated to the goldfields in Victoria, Australia in 1852. They were James Toulmin Morris, Edward Parker Morris and Charles Morris.

I have been contacted by Graham Pratten who has details of Rachel Ann Toulmin's ancestry on his website.

Footnote 2, William Cort.

Jane Cort has informed me that in a Blackburn Trade Directory of 1891, her great grandfather appears as William Giles Cort, LRCP, MRCS of 7/9 Princess Street, Blackburn. He was also described as medical officer and public vaccinator for the 2nd District of the Blackburn Union and surgeon 2nd LRV.

I have found Wm. G. Cort, Princess Street, Blackburn; MRCS, England 1847 in the London and Provincial Medical Directory of 1858.

Jane has identified William Cort and his family in the 1881 census at 9 Princess Street in Blackburn. (FHL Film 1342004, PRO Ref RG11 Piece 4191, Folio 111, Page 24). William Giles Cort was 52 and born in Blackburn. Lucy his wife was said to be 34 and born in Bentham, Yorkshire. They had seven children at home ranging in age from 2 to 16. An eighth, Philip Norman Cort is known to have been born in 1883. Interesting names include Harry Thornber Cort, named after his mother, and Hugh Toulmin Cort named after his grandmother.

Footnote 3.

There is another record of Hannah, daughter of John and Ann Thornber of Lyth Bank baptised at Tatham Fells on 5 April 1767. This is before the marriage of John Thornber to Ann Langstroth in July 1770. If the child had been illegitimate it would have normally been named after the mother. It could be that John had a wife before Ann Langstroth, also named Ann and this daughter was from the first marriage. If so, the child must have died in infancy as he called his first daughter with Ann Langstroth Hannah too. Another possibility is that there is another couple called John and Ann.

 

2. The family of William Thornber of Rossall Hall, Poulton 

The first piece of information on this family comes from the will of William Thornber of Rossal Hall, Poulton in the Fylde, gentleman, who died 29 June 1812. His will was made 15 November 1805 and proved 8 October 1812. (WRW/A). William left all his estate at Greenbank to his son Giles Thornber for the duration of his life and afterwards to his grandson, William Thornber, who must have been under 21 at the time. If William died before the age of 21 or without lawful issue then the estate went entirely to Giles to dispose of as he wished. Giles Thornber was the executor and the witnesses were Bold Fleetwood Hesketh, Francis Hesketh and Anna-Maria Hesketh. Effects under £450. This William Thornber could be the son of John and Margaret baptised at Bentham on 25 January 1752. Note that Greenbank in the parish of Melling was mentioned in the will of Giles Thornber of Digham, Bispham, Gentleman, proved on 1 February 1837 as described in the family at the top of this page.

There is a monumental inscription at St. Wilfrid's, Melling which provides a significant clue:

To the memory of Hannah Thornber, wife of Giles Thornber of Greenbank in Botton who died 19 August 1764 aged 45 also the said Giles Thornber who died 30 July 1775 aged 64 also Hannah the wife of William Thornber of Greenbank who died 8 October 1788 aged 37, also William Thornber, late of Rossall Hall but formerly of Greenbank, who departed this life 20 June 1812 aged 70.

Although the monument does not state it specifically there must be a presumption that Giles and Hannah were the parents of William Thornber who must have been born about 1742. Note that in the case of the first family shown on this page we begin with John son of Giles and Hannah baptised at Hornby in 1745. The baptism of William has now been found at nearby Melling.

William Thornber, son of Giles Thornber and Hannah his wife of Botton, on 30 January 1742/3 at Melling. Thus William and John were brothers.

Gyles son of William and Hannah Thornber of Botton was baptised on 3 January 1776 at Hornby.

The following children were baptised at St. Chads, Poulton-le-Fylde. The registers for this church have not been indexed by the IGI but a transcript of the baptisms from 1677 to 1841 is available at the Lancashire County Record at Preston and the baptisms have been searched.

William son of Giles Thornber, gentleman, and his wife Elizabeth of Poulton, born 2nd, bapt. 4 Dec 1803.
Richard son of Giles Thornber, gentleman, and his wife Elizabeth of Poulton, born 13, bapt. 22 March 1805
Mary dau. of Giles Thornber, gentleman, and his wife Elizabeth of Poulton, born 23 Sept. bapt. 1 Nov 1806.
John son of Giles Thornber, gentleman, and his wife Betty of Poulton, born 17 June and bapt. 24 June 1809
Paul Harrison son of Giles Thornber, gentleman, and his wife Elizabeth of Poulton, bapt. 7 Dec 1814.

Giles Thornber married Elizabeth Harrison at Poulton Le Fylde on 22 February 1803.

The Census of 1851 shows Giles with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Mary at Breck Street in Poulton-le-Fylde.  There were also three female servants in the household. (PRO HO 107/2269 folio 574 page 2.)  The census shows that Giles was born in Melling near Lancaster and this must have been about 1775. Melling lies near Hornby, Tatham and Low Bentham. Giles' baptism has been located in the register for Hornby on 3 January 1776, son of William and Hannah of Botton.

Giles Thornber, head, M, 75, born Melling, landed proprieter and Justice of the Peace.
Elizabeth Thornber, M, 73, wife, born Walton
Mary Thornber, U, 44, daughter, born Poulton-le-Fylde.

Giles made a will on 15 August 1857 and died 21 April 1860. The will was proved at Lancaster on 11 July 1860 by the oaths of his daughter Mary and his son Paul Harrison Thornber the executors.  In the will he mentioned two grandchildren, Margaret Thornber, the daughter of his son William, and Mary Thornber, the daughter of his late son John Thornber. So from this will we know that Giles had three sons and a daughter who survived. Census evidence shows they were born in Poulton and baptism records have now been located in the register of Poulton-le-Fylde. The evidence collected on these children is shown below:

1.  William Thornber, clergyman, and historian of Blackpool

William Thornber was born on 2 December 1803 at Poulton. He is found in the 1851 census living at Church Street, Layton with Warburn in Blackpool. He was then 43, a clergyman and was born in Poulton. His wife, Alice, was 56 and born in Blackpool. There were two children, Margaret Ann, aged 17, and Giles Harrison Thornber, aged 14 a scholar, both born in Blackpool. An entry has been found in Boyd's Marriage Index showing the marriage in 1831 of William Thornber to Alice Banks at Bispham in Lancashire but the full entry shows the event was 13 December 1831.

William Thornber wrote the History of Blackpool and its Neighbourhood in 1837. He also contributed articles to the Transaction of the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire on the early history of Lancashire. From the information in the Transactions he is known to have been a BA from Trinity College, Oxford and was the first Thornber I have encountered to attend university or enter the Anglican ministry.  I have a printed sheet with the folowing information about him supplied by a correspondent but the source of the information is not known at the moment. The key features are as follows, showing that William was a brother of John, Mary, and Paul Harrison Thornber as mentioned above.

William Thornber was born on 5 December 1803, the son of Giles Thornber of Breck Road, Poulton, by his wife Elizabeth nee Harrison. He first attended Baines' Free School after which his attended Giggleswick Grammar School, said to be in the region of his forefathers. He was said to be of athletic build, six feet tall and full of energy. His interests in archaeology and history were stimulated by his travels in the Giggleswick and Craven areas. William's father was a man of means and a County Magistrate from 1834. William completed his education at Trinity College, Oxford, where he gained a BA.

Giles Thornber had a daughter and three younger sons in the legal profession including Paul Harrison Thornber who was also an antiquarian. Giles was a leading member of the committee concerned in the building of St. John's Church, Blackpool.

After his ordination, William Thornber went to Blackpool in the spring of 1828 to assist the Rev. G. L. Foxton, at St. John's, which was then a Chapel of Ease under Bispham. It had been built in 1821. William pursued his interests in Fylde History and Geology and in 1829 was inducted as 3rd Curate incumbent on Foxton's resignation.

From this account it appears that William had three younger brothers and this fits with the known Richard, John and Paul Harrison Thornber now found in the Poulton-le-Fylde baptism registers.

I have not yet consulted the registers for Blackpool but those for St. John's start in 1821. The Vital Records Index shows two records for the baptism of Margaret Ann, daughter of William and Alice Thornber. One is on 14 September 1833 and the other on 21 April 1834. The latter date is matched by that on a record in the Bishops' transcripts for Bispham. In addition Giles Harrison Thornber, son of William and Alice wa baptised at Bispham on 16 June 1836.

2.  Richard Thornber

Little is known of Richard beyond his birth on 13 March 1805. He is mentioned on the grave at Poulton as Richard Thornber, son of Giles and Elizabeth of Poulton died 13 August 1830 aged 25. Among Lancashire wills proved at Richmond is that of Richard Thornber who died 15 (?) August 1830. It was made on 27 August 1829 and mentions only his wife Ann. Poulton le Fylde registers record the baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of Richard and Anne on 18 June 1830. She died aged 10 months. Richard Thornber married Ann Butcher at Poulton Le Fylde on 25 January 1829.

3. Mary Thornber

Mary was born on 23 September 1806. She appears in the census of 1851 aged 44, with her parents, and in the 1881 census, aged 74, with her brother Paul Harrison Thornber. She never married.

4.  John Thornber.

John Thornber was born 17 June 1809 in Poulton. From the birth certificates of his children we known that his wife was Ann formerly Fraser. They had the following children registered between 1837 and 1851 in the Poulton area.

Mary Elizabeth Thornber, born at 7 am on 13 Aug 1845 at Poulton.
Hugh Thornber, born 3 am on 3 October 1847 at Poulton
Richard Tennant Thornber, born 29 May 1850 at Sheaf Street, Poulton. Name entered later, Richard Harrison.
John Fraser Poynder Thornber, born 12.30 am 16 September 1851 at Sheaf Street, Poulton.

The 1851 census shows John at Sheaf Street in Poulton-le-Fylde, aged 40, a fund holder and land owner. He was born in Poulton. Also at home on the night of the census were children Mary, aged 5, a scholar; Hugh aged 3; and Giles Remington Thornber aged 2. John's wife was missing from the census but we know she had a further child, John Fraser Poynder in September. The household had three female servants. (Census HO 107/2269 folio 584, page 23)

5. Paul Harrison Thornber

Paul Harrison Thornber was baptised on 7 December 1814. He has not been found in the 1851 census so far but he was identified in the 1881 census with his sister, Mary.

1881 Census at Breck Street, Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, PRO Ref RG11 Piece 4255 Folio 54 Page 27

Paul H. Thornber, U, 66, Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, Head Occ: Retired Solicitor & Land Owner
Mary Thornber U 74 Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, Sister Occ: Land Owner
Margaret Miller U 43 Inglewhite, Lancashire, Cook (Domestic Serv)
Mary Webster U 19 Pilling, Lancashire, Housemaid (Domestic Serv)

From probate information we know that Paul Harrison Thornber, of Poulton le Fylde, gentleman, died on 5 September 1883. His will of 31 August 1883 was proved on 15 October 1883 by the oaths of Hugh Fraser Thornber of 28 Downshire Hill, Hampstead in Middlesex, Gent, and Rev. Richard Thornber of 37 Downshire Hill, Clerk, the nephews, two of the Executors.

In his will of 31 August 1883, Paul Harrison Thornber described Hugh Fraser Thornber, Giles Remington Thornber, John Fraser Poynder Thornber and Richard Thornber and Mary Elizabeth as his nephews and niece, the children of his late brother John Thornber. He also mentioned his sister Mary Thornber.

6. Monumental Inscriptions 

Poor people were often buried in graves with no headstone but well to do families like the Thornbers of Poulton-le-Fylde give us a wealth of detail on their monuments at St. Chad's starting out with the Harrison connection with the Thornbers.

Plot 77N:

Cuthbert son of William and Mary Harrison, died 16 June 1784, aged 8 months
Also William his father, died February 1788, aged 40 years
Mary wife of William Harrison, died 1 May 1803 aged 40 years
Paul Harrison, gentleman, died July 1787, aged 41 years
Agnes his wife, died August 1800, aged 52
Paul Harrison Thornber, grandson of the above William Harrison and youngest son of Giles Thornber, J.P. died 5 September 1883, aged 68.
Mary only daughter of the said Giles Thornber, died 27 November 1885, aged 79.

Plot 80N:

Elizabeth Thornber, beloved wife of Giles Thornber, Esq., of Poulton and daughter of the late William Harrison, gent. who died 14 April 1851 aged 73.
Also of the said Giles, for 25 years magistrate for this county who died 21 April 1860 aged 84.

Plot 81N

Richard Thornber son of Giles & Elizabeth of Poulton died 13 August 1830 aged 25 years
Elizabeth, infant daughter of the above and Ann his wife, died 21 March 1831, aged 10 months.
John Thornber of Poulton, gentleman, son of the above Giles & Elizabeth Thornber, died 25 March 1857, aged 48.
Richard Harrison Thornber infant son of the above John & Anne his wife, died 10 September 1850 aged 3 months.
Giles Remington Thornber, 2nd son of the above John & Annie who died in San Francisco 23 November 1898.
Annie Thornber, widow of John Thornber, Esq., died 14 February 1906, interred at Old Charlton, Kent.

In "The History of Poulton-le-Fylde by Henry Fishwick, FSA, published as Volume 8, new series, by the Chetham Society in 1885 there is mention of a monument in the church as follows.

In memory of Giles Thornber, Esq., for many years an inhabitant and acting county magistrate in this town, beloved, honoured and revered he departed this life April 21 1860 in the 85th year of his age. Also Elizabeth his wife the daughter of William Harrison, Gentll, formerly of this place. She died April 24 1851 in the 74th year of her age.

The following family tree has been constructed from the information obtained to date.

7. Students at Oxford University

Alumni Oxoniensis, 1715 to 1886 by John Foster was published in Oxford in the 1890s. I consulted it in search of details on William Thornber and found two other entries of interest.

William Thornber, only son of ? Thornber of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, arm., Trinity, matriculated 23 June 1824 aged 19, BA 1828. (Previously identified)

Hugh Fraser Thornber, first son of John Thornber of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, D.Med. Queen's Coll. matriculated 16 May 1867, aged 19, BA 1871, MA 1874, see Rugby School register. (This person was already known and can be indentified.)

Rev. Richard Thornber, fourth son of John Thornber of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, gent. Keble College, matriculated 28 January 1873, aged 20, BA 1877, MA 1882, see Rugby School register. (Not identified previously but would appear to be a younger brother of Hugh Fraser Thornber, born about 1853.)

Abbreviations

BC      Birth Certificate
C51    Census of 1851
C81    Census of 1881
MC     Marriage Certificate
MI      Monumental Inscription

 

Poulton le Fylde baptisms examined as an unindexed typescript at Lancashire County Record Office from 1677 to 1841.

In 1873 there was a survey of land ownership in England, published in 1875. It showed by county, each owner with the number of acres of land and the gross rental value. Four of the five Thornbers who held land in Lancashire were in the Fylde group of families shown above.

Name Residence Acreage Gross Rental
Ann Thornber Poulton 22 £74
Giles Thornber Bispham 56 £203
Mary Thornber Poulton 1 £2
Paul H Thornber Poulton 91 £228
William Poulton 119 £120

 

Footnote 1:  Thornbers at Botton.

I am grateful to Pat Johnson who runs a project transcribing Family Deeds for the following information


Customary Deed dated 10 December 1754 and the parties are John WALKER of Greenbank in Botton within the Manor of Hornby, Lancashire yeoman and Jiles (sic) THORNBER of Greenbank in Botton in the Manor of Hornby, yeoman.
In the Deed Jiles Thornber is buying two messuages or dwellinghouses with the barns stables and turf houses belonging thereto and several parcels of land for the sum of £600 (in 1754!). The names of the parcels of land are Midward Field, the Brow, Overfield, Rushdale, Thorndale, Farrside, Corn Greens, Outgreens, Dodge Hole, the Holme, Witteras and wood ground containing in the whole by common estimation forty eight acres. All the land is situate at Greenbank in Botton and also comes with the right and benefit of parts of the moor or pasture ground Greenbank Moor.

Note that the Botton is mentioned in the following records at Hornby, Melling and Tatham Felles

Marriage of John Thornber of Botton to Margaret Dixon of Whittington at Melliing on 10 August 1743,
Baptism of Hannah the daughter of John Thornber of Greenbank in Botton at Tatham Fells, on 10 February 1771
Baptism of William son of Giles and Hannah Thornber of Botton at Melling on 30 January 1742.
Baptism of Giles son of John Thornber of Greenbank in Botton at Tatham Fells, Good Shepherd on 3 January 1773.
Baptism of Ann daughter of John Thornber of Greenbank in Botton at Tatham Fells, Good Shepherd on 5 Jun 1774
Baptism of Gyles son of William and Hannah Thornber of Botton at Hornby on 3 June 1776.

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