As I began taking a new look at my seriously-lacking-documentation Thornton line, I also took another trip through the Wilkinson family. None of the details in this post are added in my actual family tree because Israel Thornton’s wife Joanna appears as Joanna (Wilkinson?) and totally unproven.
Unlike the almost complete lack of primary sources for the Thornton family, there are many more such records available for the Wilkinson clan. I am hoping that another descendant might have the source of the clue that Joanna Thornton was born a Wilkinson and cement these two lines together.
Information on this family was found in Genealogy of Wilkinson and Kindred Families, by M.M. Wilkinson, published in 1949. It is unsourced.
Lawrence Wilkinson, the immigrant ancestor of this family, was born in Durham County, England. Lawrence was a lieutenant in the army of the unfortunate King Charles I, who was beheaded. As a result of his allegiance to the king, Lawrence lost his lands when he surrendered in 1644. By 1646, Lawrence appears in the records in Providence, Rhode Island.
Lawrence Wilkinson married Susannah Smith, daughter of Christopher Smith and his wife, Alice. Whether Lawrence and Susannah married in England or the colonies is unknown, but her parents also emigrated to the colonies. Lawrence died on 9 August 1692. He has a probate record listed in official Rhode Island records, but I have not been able to locate information that might be found in it.
Children (whose death dates are found in RI vital records):
Samuel, died 27 August 1727; married a Wickenden by 1672. Some say she is Hannah.
John, born c1654; died 10 April 1708, Providence, Rhode Island; married Deborah Whipple, 16 April 1689, Providence, Rhode Island.
Josias, died 10 August 1692, Providence, Rhode Island; married Hannah Tyler. She married (2) Joseph Tucker
My line would continue through Lawrence’s son, John, who married Deborah Whipple, 16 April 1689, Providence, Rhode Island. Deborah was the daughter of Eleazer Whipple and Alice Angell of Providence. She is thought to have been born c1670 and died c1748. Dates listed for this family have been verified in Rhode Island vital records.
John, born c1693; died 25 September 1756; married Rebecca Scott, 20 March 1718, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island
Marcy, born c1697; married John Scott, 12 March 1718, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island
?Sarah who married a David Hogg, but I find no records for them
?Freelove who married a Mial Phillips, but I find no records for them
?Daniel – There is a marriage for one Daniel Wilkinson to an Abigail Inman, 22 September 1740, Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island. However, if this is Daniel is the son of John and Deborah (Whipple) Wilkinson, he married very late in life or this is a second or third marriage. The other possibility is that someone has attributed this marriage to him, but this is a younger Daniel from the next generation.
?Jeremiah – There is a Jeremiah Wilkinson who married Patience Hide on 3 July 1735. As with Daniel, this is a very late marriage for someone born in the 1690s unless it is a second marriage or there is a next-generation Jeremiah.
Continuing on with my (alleged) line:
John Wilkinson married Rebecca Scott, 20 March 1718, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island.
Children (All births are found in the Smithfield, Rhode Island vital records):
Amey, born 23 January 1719. Amey reportedly married a Bucklin and may be the Amey Bucklin who then married Elijah Wing, 22 February 1770 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, but that is a BIG maybe!
Anne, born 19 May 1721; died 7 September 1722
John, born 20 March 1721; he may be the man who married Ruth Angell, 12 November 1743, Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island
Sarah, born 27 June 1727; she may be the woman who married Amos Arnold, 23 February 1745/46, Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island
Susannah, born 20 September 1729; she may be the woman who married Daniel Marsh, 29 December 1754, Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island
Ruth, born 5 March 1731; no further record
Joanna, born 12 September 1732 – reportedly married Israel Thornton
Ahab, born 16 December 1734; married Abigail Scott, 1 June 1755, Cumberland, Providence, Rhode Island
From here, we are back to Joanna Wilkinson who perhaps married Israel Thornton! If Israel’s wife can indeed be proven to be this Joanna Wilkinson, there are further documented records back to Richard Scott, an original proprietor of Providence, in addition to the early Jenckes and Ballard families in Providence that would add quite a few twigs to my family tree. If only!
Calling all Wilkinson descendants! Can you add any further documentation to the little I have located?
3 thoughts on “Lawrence Wilkinson & Family, Early in Rhode Island”
Joann is listed in John Wilkinson’s will from Will Book 1810-1816 Wilkes Co. GA
as his Aunt
But why didn’t he refer to her in the will as Joanna Thornton, her married name. Especially in this time period? Granted, in Scottish records they usually refer to the woman’s maiden name, but rarely in English records, it seems to me. Was her maiden name different, so not “our” Joanna?
I have also been surprised by how often a name that I think is “unique” is actually quite common.
I’m interested because I have a link to the Thornton’s through my New Brunswick line.
I’ve come across more than a handful of wills in which the father didn’t bother to give his married daughter’s surname. It’s not super common, but it’s not unheard of either.