Compiled by Janet Thorne Foley (5), Hamilton, Scotland

As people’s first names are often the same from generation to generation, I have indicated in parentheses after the name which generation the person is - starting with 1 for Joshua and Mary Ann Thorne.  Pat, you and I are generation 5.  I have also indicated which ones had the “family hair”.  Most of the information comes from the family records held by Uncle Earl Thorne (3) before his death in 1982.  I presume they are now in the hands of his descendants.  Much of the information obtained from Uncle Earl was from primary sources...birth and death certificates, family Bible, etc. - backed up by his own personal recollections. 

The information in italics is from the biography of Kate Greenaway by Rodney Engen, published in Britain in 1981 by MacDonald Futura Publishers Limited, Paulton House, 8 Shepherdess Walk, London N1.  ISBN 354 04200 9.  Most of this information links up with the information I obtained from Uncle Earl, although some discrepancies do appear.  I had very little time to skim the book, as I was in Inverness at the time waiting for a bus to Hamilton, but I photocopied a few pages to take back with me.  I will do my best to obtain the book in due course.

Joshua Thorne (1) - Born July 7 or 14, 1818 lived in Loch’s Wharf, Edmonton, England was a wholesale clothier and artist (notebook of drawings with Pat Arnold (5)) married Mary Ann Jones (1) (who was Welsh and had the Thorne hair) on   27 September, 1840 at the Registry Office of John Wace, Hackney Road, in the Parish of Shoredich, London, England.

Joshua died of apoplexy in a carriage in London in 1855 (either 3 August or 17 October) at   the age of 38.  Buried in Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington.   Left his widow and 7 small children ( the youngest, Kate(2) only 6 months old) totally unprovided for.

Mary Ann Jones Thorne (1) (who was Welsh and had the hair) - born 22 September, 1816.  Her parents were Rebecca Potter, daughter of a wealthy Dagenham farmer and Nathaniel Jones, a Welsh-born butcher working in Shoredich. 

Her brothers and sisters were (according to Thorne family records):
    William Jones(1) - September 21, 1805
    John Jones(1) - February 1, 1809
    Sarah Jones(1) - February 6, 1811
    Elisabeth Jones(1) - January 1, 1815
    James Jones(1) - February 10, 1815
    Mary Ann Jones(1) - September 22, 1816

Note:  Kate Greenaway’s biographer Rodney Engen’s information differs slightly from the  information in the Thorne family records.  He does not mention William Jones, and does mention a Hannah Jones instead.  Some of the birth dates do not agree either.  In fact, he lists the marriage date of Rebecca and Nathaniel Jones as some time in 1806...which would make William Jones something of an embarrassment, if our information about his existence and birth date is correct!  These matters will need a bit more investigation.

Mr. Engen also mentions that Mary Ann’s two brothers were “disreputable”, and that after they both emigrated to Canada, one of them sent Mary Ann a letter asking her to arrange for his mistress and illegitimate daughter to be sent to him.  Big scandal, I imagine! 


Mr. Engen’s information also includes some insights into the character of some of Mary Ann Jones’ family and herself.  Her mother, Rebecca, was quite a character, and was known as a great storyteller.  She also was fond of  little proverbs and sayings.  One of these may have remained in our family since then.  I seem to remember my Dad, Walter “Bud” Thorne (4) saying a version of Rebecca’s little prayer “From witches and warlocks and longtail buzzards and things that run at the bottom of the hedge, Good Lord deliver us”.  Dad’s ran more like “From witches and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go boomp in the night, the Lord deliver us”.  Probably a long shot.  But it would be fun if this sort of thing had come down through the family from this far back.

Kate Greenaway (2), the children’s author and illustrator, was the daughter of Mary Ann’s sister Elizabeth (1).  Her father, John Greenaway, was an engraver by trade, and interestingly for Thorne family history, was Joshua Thorne’s (1) best friend.  This might explain Joshua’s interest in art...maybe he and John Greenaway met and became friends through something having to do with art.  This angle is certainly worth investigating


According to Rodney Engen’s biography of Kate, Joshua and Mary Ann, who were already engaged to be married themselves, were witnesses at the marriage of Elizabeth and John Greenaway on 10 May , 1840  in what is now Southwark Cathedral.

It was also interesting to read in the biography that Kate did not like her Aunt Thorne (Mary Ann) and found her “a most disagreeable person”.  She applied the same description to her cousin Marion Thorne (2) whom she described as being exactly like her disagreeable aunt.  Not a wonderful start to our family tree, but while it might be true enough, it is also worth noting that according to the biography, Kate Greenaway was considered to be a rather “odd” child, who seemed to be subject to many strange fits and notions.  Her mother, Elizabeth, was also very strict and religious.  Possibly the two sisters were simply not very much alike.  I would prefer to think that, than to believe that our noble family tree is topped by a crowd of disreputable, disagreeable, odd religious fanatics!

Mary Ann (1) came to Goderich, Canada from London in 1856, with some of her children.  Daughter Kate (2) died in March of that year and is buried in London, so I assume that Mary Ann came to Canada after that date, as she would probably have been unable to pay for the passage money back to England just to bury her daughter.  According to Rodney Engen, her daughter Marion (2) remained behind in the house of John and Elizabeth Greenaway for a while.

Mary Ann (1) may have joined one of her brothers in Canada when she first arrived.  She later  married George Harris (1) on 26 August, 1862 in Canada.  She died as “Grandma Harris” on October 6, 1897.

Children of Joshua (1) and Mary Ann (Jones) (1) Thorne (not in chronological order by age):

Walter Thorne I (2 -hair)- born in London (leap year) February 29, 1848.  Moved to Godrich, Canada in 1856.  Moved to Alpena, Michigan in 1866.   He became a US citizen in Alpena on January 27, 1873.  He started building the “family home” at 525 Lockwood Street in Alpena about 1873 (before he was married) according to Uncle Earl (3).  Joshua married Tillie Borland (2) on November 17, 1874 at the First Congregational Church in Alpena.  He moved to the Bitter Root Valley in Montana in 1910, and on to Seattle Washington in 1902.  He died in Hamilton Montana on September 1, 1936.  His wife Tillie died October 14, 1925 at the age of 68 - don’t know for sure where. 

There was an indication in Uncle Earl’s (3 - hair) papers that when Walter Thorne I (2 - hair) was 9 years old he had been in an “orphan working school” in 1857.  That was probably in Canada.  According to Uncle Earl, his dad Walter Thorne I followed the lumbering trade for 50 years as a saw filer.  Could be what took him out west. 

Tillie (Matilda) Borland Thorne (2) was born in Ottawa, Canada.  Her father was John Borland (1), as indicated in a letter in Uncle Earl’s possession, which was from Ottawa and dated April 18, 1891.  Tillie had a sister named Maggie F Borland (2) who married Charles A Lee on March 7, 1863.  Maggie and Charles had 5 children and they lived in Saginaw, Michigan.  Tillie also had a brother named Alex, who, according to Uncle Earl, had a fight (!) with Walter I, left town, and was never heard from again!  Don’t know any more details of this little tidbit, unfortunately.

Walter and Tillie had 4 children:  Walter E Thorne II (3 - hair), Laurenze Jackson Thorne (3 -hair), Eular Joshua Thorne (3-didn’t have the hair) and Earl Wellington Thorne (“Uncle Earl”) (3 -hair).

Marion Thorne Richmond Masters (2) was born on July 8, 1841 in London.  According to the Kate Greenaway biography, she was left behind in England when her mother moved to Canada after the death of her father.  She lodged with her aunt and uncle, John and Elizabeth Greenaway, and trained with her uncle as an engraver’s assistant.  As part of her training, she attended evening classes in the Finsbury School of Art off William Street, which is off the present Claremont Square in London.  Her cousin Kate Greenaway (who apparently was not fond of her cousin Marion) used to accompany her to her classes.  While Kate continued on at the school, Marion soon lost interest and left .  She was married to a Mr Richmond while in England.  She later married Charles Masters (2) in Alpena, and is buried there.  Marion and Charles Masters had 3 daughters:  Mrs. M. McIntyre (3), Mrs. John Woods (3) and Mrs. Sidney McDonald (3).

Eular Thorne (2) was born on October 16, 1850 in London and came to Alpena, Michigan in 1866.  He married Mary Woods (2).  They lived in Long Rapids near Alpena.  Eular died on January 14, 1957 at the age of 106.  Eular and Mary had 4 sons:  Robert Thorne (3), Jackson Thorne (3), Milo Thorne (3), and Wilson Thorne (3).

Nellie (Aunt Polly) Maude Thorne Borthwick (2 -hair) was born on November 5, 1853 in London.  She married Jackson Borthwick(2) and they lived in Duluth, Minnesota.  Aunt Polly and Jackson had 2 daughters:  Bess Steise(3 -hair) who lived in Hamburg New York  and taught in Buffalo New York, and Louise (Mrs Fred) Saint(3).

Emily Thorne Wesson Wagoner (2) was born on August 4, 1843 and married William Wesson (2) about 1860 in Alpena.  She was later married to Henry Wagoner (2) in Alpena.  She died in Alpena.  Emily and William Wesson had two children:  Ernest Wesson (3) and Florence Wesson (3).

Kepler Thorne (2) was born September 20, 1845 in London.  He died on June 21, 1861, and was buried in Goderich, Canada.  A certificate exists among Uncle Earl’s papers which is dated June 22, 1861, number 31 and is written to Mary Thorne (1) for $2.00.  It is the certificate for the plot in Maitland Cemetery in Goderich where Kepler is buried.  The plot is Lot 1612162, Section 5.  (Note here from Janet Thorne (5) who is compiling this history: While reading through Uncle Earl’s papers, I came across two conflicting birthdates for Kepler Thorne (2) on differing documents.  I assumed an error had been made, and chose the birthdate which listed him along with his siblings as correct, rather than the other which came from a more obscure source and listed him as having been born on a wholly different date several years earlier.  However, since moving to Scotland, I’ve discovered that it was common for Victorians to name a second child after a first who died.  So it’s possible that there were two Kepler Thornes in the same family, the first one dying as a baby or very young child and the second one—named after him—born on September 20, 1845, and living long enough to make the move to Goderich Canada)

Kate Thorne (2) was born in London on July 14, 1855.  She was the “baby” of the family and died (in England according to Uncle Earl) on March 20, 1856 shortly after the death of her father, Joshua (1) and before her mother, Mary Ann Jones Thorne, moved to Canada.  She is buried in City of London and Tower Hamlets cemetery, death certificate number 9533, South Grove Bow Road.  There is, apparently, no headstone.

Children of Walter Thorne (2) and Tillie Borland Thorne (2) (in chronological order by age):

Walter E Thorne II (3 -hair)- born in Alpena Michigan on February 20, 1877.  He married Elsie Blanchard (3) on July 17, 1900.  He operated a men’s clothing store (presumably with a partner) Masters and Thorne, and later on he changed to Thorne and Mills Men’s Store at 102-104 South Second Avenue in Alpena.  He retired 17 years before his death on November 13, 1950.  He was a Spanish American War veteran, and a keen hunter and outdoorsman.  His death in 1950 was of a heart attack which happened just prior to the start of the deer hunting season out at the Leroy Hunting Club camp in Lachine, where he was a founding member.

note:  The following information on Elsie Blanchard Thorne which is in italics came from a history of the Blanchard family compiled by Elsie’s niece Gertrude, otherwise known as Sister Marie Dolores, IHM.  She is the daughter of Elsie’s sister Mary (Mame) Blanchard Reinke.

Elsie Blanchard Thorne (3) was the youngest daughter of Jeremiah Blanchard (2) and Sophia Rousseau Blanchard (2).  It is thought that Sophia (2) came from Canada and lived in Detroit where she was married to Jeremiah (2) in 1857.  They moved to Alpena Michigan in 1867.  They had 7 children, Joseph (3), Mary (3), Libbie (3), Louis (3), William (3) , John (3), and little Elsie (3).

Sophie Blanchard (2) died when Elsie (3) was still a baby.  As her father was unable to properly care for a baby, she was taken into the home of her mother Sophie’s sister Delphine (Mrs Fred) Huot (2), who is known in the family as “Aunt Doll”.  Elsie (3) was raised as a cousin to her own brothers and sisters...which complicates the family records no end!  Later on, the daughter of her brother Joseph (3) who was also named Elsie (4) - (and called “Little Elsie” by the family for obvious reasons) - was taken in by the Huots to raise ... complicating things even more!


Elsie Blanchard Thorne (3) died of complications from diabetes on August 18 1931.
Walter II and Elsie had 4 children:  Beryl (4), Miriam (4), Dora (4-hair) and Walter Jeremiah (“Bud”) (4-hair).

Laurenze Jackson Thorne (3-hair) was born on July 31, 1879 in Alpena.  Laurenze left Alpena and moved to Wisconsin.  He married Mary Robbins (3) who was born July 6 1879 in Ishpeming Michigan, and who went to Becoda, Wisconsin as a young woman.  Laurenze and Mary were married in Chehalis, Wisconsin on May 28, 1903.  They moved to Hamilton Montana in the summer of 1909, where Laurenze worked for Ravalli County Mercantile, and later for Valley Mercantile and Town Grocery.  Laurenze died in Hamilton on May 22, 1952, and was buried in Riverview Cemetery on May 24. 

Mary Robbins Thorne was preceded in death by her parents and her twin sister, Mrs George F Sachs (Martha).  Mary Robbins Thorne died in Grayling Michigan on April 9, 1971 or 1972.  She is buried with her husband in Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton Montana.

Laurenze and Mary Robbins Thorne never had any children.
Eular Joshua Thorne (3) was born on February 19, 1882 in Alpena Michigan.  He died as a baby on May 23, 1882.

Earl Wellington Thorne (3 - hair) was born in Alpena on July 18, 1895.  He married Margaret H Much (3) on December 9 1918.  Some time either before or after his marriage, he moved to Seattle where they lived and had 3 children.  They divorced in January 1934.  He then married Hazel Zook (3) on February 15, 1934.

“Uncle Earl” was a buyer for Birds Eye frozen foods for much of his career, which took him up and down the West Coast from California to Washington.  He enjoyed traveling, and after his retirement, he and Hazel bought a silver Airstream trailer, sold their home in Seattle, and spent most of their time either traveling around visiting the country and their far-flung relatives, or in places like Phoenix Arizona for the winters.

After Hazel’s death of cancer, Earl bought a permanent mobile home in Seattle, where he lived until his death in 1983.  I visited him there in the summer of 1982, where he showed me great hospitality for a week or so, and I was able to collect the information which forms the bulk of the older data in this Thorne family history.  He said that the family Bible and other data would be passed to either his son Earle Jr. or his son Gareth after his death, so I presume one of them now has it.

My memories of Uncle Earl are fond ones.  His occasional visits with Hazel to Alpena during my childhood were a lot of fun for me.  He was quite a joker, and Aunt Hazel was very kind and good fun.  My visit to him in 1982 was subdued by his sadness over the loss of Hazel, and mine over the loss of my Dad (“Bud” (4) Thorne) the previous summer.  However, I was very grateful to him for spending all the time going over his records and explaining so much to me.

Earl and his first wife Margaret had 3 children:  Earle W Jr. (4), Gareth David (4-hair) and Barbara Eileen (4). 

The record I got from Jan seems to be truncated in the middle of the next paragraph so I have stopped the record here.  I hope to get the complete record from her sometime in the next short while and upload it then.  I also hope to clarify some confusing things in the text.  However, it is always touch and go to coordinate with someone who now lives in Glasgow, Scotland and is intent on writing creative things of her own.  She only wishes she had thought of writing about a young orphan in an English boarding school. 


The one note that I would insert in this record is that the “Thorne hair” is very tightly curled, almost afro-like.  My aunt Kay Huston (Coombs) whose sister Marie was married to the younger Eular, Robert's son and the elder Eular's grandson, did not know that there was such a phenomenon.

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