Last Page Activity: Feb 13, 2016 
William THORNE

Birth:    not later than 1617 in England

Death:   between 1657 & 1664  Jamaica, Long Island, New York


Spouse:   Susannah BOOTH

Birth:   abt 1617   England

Death:  not earlier than 1675.

Marriage:   before 1636 (most certainly in England?). Susannah married a 2nd time, between 1657 &1669, to William Hallet of Flushing who was born in Dorset, England in 1616 she was his 2nd wife.  


William (ca1639-~1699)

John (born1640-1643)-1709

Joseph (born 1642-1646)-1727

Susannah (Lockerson) Born ca 1645.

Samuel (born 1648-1655)


Further information for William Thorne:


A superb web site for further exploration on the Thorn/Thorne family is that of John Coutant Thorn at:



  • 1638 William Thorne may have arrived  from England on the ship "Confidence".                                                                                                             


  • [ Note: The Rev. John Youngs of Southold, Norfolk County, England came to Salem, Massachusetts in 1637. In 1640 the famous minister led a group, largely from his own county in England and adjacent Suffolk to eastern Long Island, and founded "a new Southold,". Among his colonists was Ensign John Booth, who left many descendents in Southold, England. William Thorne may have married into this family as his wife's maiden name was Booth.]


  • 1638 May 2, William Thorne became a Freeman of Massachusetts (Shareholder in the Massachusetts Bay Colony) and in that same year he received an allotment of "30 acres and tenn" in a general distribution of lands in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts.


  • 1641 June 29, William served on a jury in Salem, the county seat, 5 miles from Lynn. However, a few months later (Sept. 7,1641) he was convicted in Boston, together with several prominent citizens of the colony, of giving assistance to escaped prisoners. (Note: the circumstances of the case and the court records make for fascinating reading as they shed light on the religious and political beliefs of William Thorne.) He was convicted "for consealing, hideing, & Suppling" and was fined 6 2/3 Pound Sterling.

    William was a follower of Rev. Roger Williams, former minister of a church in Salem, who had been banished from Massachusetts for unorthodox views on infant baptism and civil government. (Others associated with Williams held even more extreme opinions and were likewise banished.) Thorne, as a devotee, turned professed Anabaptist (Christians who believe in delaying baptism until the candidate confesses his or her faith in Christ.), would not wear any arms, and denied "all magistracy among Christians".
  • 1643 February 28. Records of the Essex County Court held at Salem.
            "Divers (followers) of Lynn Gone to Long Iland & Some not warned: Goodman Thorne & Michaell Milner.
             William Thorne for refusing to Watch in the military watch being Lawfully Comanded. Gone to Long Iland"                                                                               (
    'Goodman',at the time, was a title suitable to a ordinary Freeman of no social pretensions and "not warned" may have meant Thorne, sensing forthcoming interrogation by the local magistrates, took the opportunity to make a hasty departure from Lynn before being served with a summons to appear. [Note: refusal to bear arms was not at the time the mark of a pacifist or Quaker, for such persons had not yet appeared in Massachusetts, rather, it was probably an expression of William's personal believes in Rev. Williams et al.])


  • 1643 Departed from Lynn, Massachusetts, to the just founded colony of Gravesend, New Netherlands (Long Island, New York)... the move most likely an impromptu move along with others who were followers of Lady Deborah Moody  - "a strong-willed and determined woman who made no secret of her non-conformist views" and one who promoted religious tolerance.   


  • 1643 William Thorne's family was one of the original families to establish Gravesend and as such received  a "planters' lot" a farm of some forty acres. 


  • 1643  Successfully escaped the Indian War then raging many of their friends who came from Massachusetts, at the about the same time, were not so lucky.


  • 1645  On October 10, a patent (or charter) to land east of Flushing Creek on Long Island was granted to 18 English families, including William Thorne's. On this land the patentees founded the town of Flushing.


  • 1646 Living in Flushing, Long Island.


  • 1648 On April 27, Thorne appointed magistrate of Flushing, along with John Townsend and John Hicks. 


  • 1656 On March 21, a charter was granted to the town of Jamaica adjoining Flushing to the south. A list of 24 persons each received a house lot of 6 acres William Thorne, among them. On July 1,1657, the town included him in assigning meadow lands, indicating that he was at least a prospective resident, however, both William Thorne and his son William Thorne, Jr., were accounted residence of Flushing late in 1657.


  • 1657 July records suggest  that William Thorne was a proprietor of Jamaica and perhaps resided there and records make note of his marriage to "Sussannah Thorne" .


  • 1657 December 27.  The people of Flushing drew up a remonstrance to Governor Stuyvesant again his ban on harboring Quakers. William Thorne signed the   Remonstrance of Flushing (precursor to the Bill of Rights). at that meeting. In all thirty persons signed the Remonstrance; the third, following Feake (the Sheriff) and William Noble (one of the Magistrates), was William Thorne whose labored "Thorne" in Elizabethan script, prefixed by "William", is his only known signature. His son, William Thorne Jr., signed next with his mark. [After reading the Remonstrance of Flushing, you may be encouraged to read the Aftermath of the Remonstrance.]


  • Like many other signers of the Remonstrance, William Thorne appears never to have been a Quaker, for his name is not found in the records of the Society of Friends. The suggestion that he was buried in the cemetery of the Flushing Meeting House is without foundation. The date of his death is unknown, but on May 12, 1664, the principal English residents among the Dutch on Long Island were offered citizenship by the Connecticut Assembly, a change of allegiance which never took place. The only Thorne on the Assembly's list is John Thorne of Flushing, without doubt the second son of William Thorne. In the probable absence from Long Island of the eldest son, William, who is known to have been in New York City in 1663, John Thorne seems to have been considered the head of the Long Island Family. It is therefore to be supposed that William Thorne died, not later than 1664.




Through the years Thorne showed he was a man of strong political and religious convictions ~ one who believed in religious tolerance. William Thorne is considered to be the progenitor of the Thorn/e Family in North America.