Documenting the Thorntons of Rhode Island, 1600s-1700s, Part 8 – Benjamin Thornton Jr.

Benjamin Thornton Jr. was born c1710, likely in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, one of five sons and two daughters born to Benjamin Thornton and his unknown wife.

Benjamin married Elizabeth Herendean on 2 November 1738 in Providence County, Rhode Island – and there is actually an extant record of the marriage!

However, Benjamin, like some of his brothers, died at a relatively young age on 1 May 1761 in Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, as noted in the court record following his inventory on Page 209.

Glocester, RI Wills 1:207
Glocester, RI Wills 1:208-209

In the Name of God Amen the thirteenth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred & Sixty one I Benjamin Thornton of Glocester in the County of Providence yeoman Being at this Time week and Low as to Bodyly Health But of a Sound and Disposing mind and memory thanks be to God for the Same and therefore think it best to take this opportunity to Settal my worldy concern after having Recommanded my Soul to Go ad my body to a Decent Christian Burrial at the Discretion of my Executors here after named I order Give and Dispose of Such worldly Estate as God hath Blest me with in this Life in the following manner and order

Imprimis my will is that all my Just Debts be Satisfied and paid out of my Personal Estate in a Reasonable time after my Decease – – –

Itme my will is I hereby given and Dispose of so much of the use of my House hold Goods & Income of my Real Estate as Shall be sufficient to afford my wife Elisabeth a Comfortable maintanance During her Natural Life or So Long as she Remains my widow – – –

Item I Give and Bequeath all my Real Estate to be Equally Divided between my two Daughters namely Ruth & Elisabeth to them their heirs and assigns free and Clear forever Except so much of the Income or Rents and Profits there of as Shall be necessary for my wife as aforesaid but Said Place not to be Divided untell after my Said wife hath don with it and after her Decese my will is that what then Remains of my Personal Estate be Equally Divided Between my Said two Daughters Save olny that if one of them Should have done more for me or their mother then the other that then Such to be first Resonablely Paid for Such Service and I hereby nominate and appoint my Said wife Executrix and my Brother Stephen Pain Executor to the will Respecting my Personal Estate and the Said Stephen to have the full care of Leasing my Real Estate & he hereby is impowered to Divide the Same at the proper Time Hereby Disallowing all other wills and Bequeaths before by me made or mentioned Ratifying and Confirming this & no other to be my Last will and Testament in witness where of I the Said Benjamin Thornton have here unto Set my hand and Seal the Day and year above writen

Benjamin (X) Thornton Seal

Signed Sealed Published pronounced and Declared by the Said Benjamin Thornton as his Last will and Testament in the Presence of us the Subscribers

David Thornton
Alice (X) Thornton
Richard Steere


  1. Ruth, born c1741; married Zebedee Mitchell, 19 September 1762
  2. Elisabeth, born c1745; died after 1 May 1761; no further record

If Benjamin Jr. and Elizabeth had other children born to them, they apparently died before 1761. It isn’t apparent whether Ruth or Elisabeth were married by 1761, but my belief is that they were not. Ruth Thornton isn’t a common name in the family at the time so it is likely it is Benjamin’s daughter who married Zebedee Mitchell the following year.

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