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Harriet (Miner) Thornton


Harriet (Miner) Thornton was born in 1829 in Mauch Chunk, Carbon County, PA, the daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth Miner III.

On May 19, 1849, at the age of 19 or 20, she married William S. Thornton (1825-1882), also a resident of Mauch Chunk. News of the union was published in the Carbon County Gazette, which noted that Rev. Henry Sutton had performed the ceremony.

They had three known children -- Alice A. Sherwood, Sarah Amelia "Millie" Thornton and William M. Thornton. 

The newlyweds first lived in Mauch Chunk, where William worked as a machinist, as shown in the federal census enumeration of 1850. He continued in this line of industrial specialty for decades. In 1850, the Thorntons were next-door neighbors to Harriet's sister and brother in law, Leah and Reuben Schall.


Carbon County Gazette, May 31, 1849

In 1860, living in Mauch Chunk, William was marked as working as a "blacksmith," and in 1870 as a "boiler maker." 

During the 1870s, the Thorntons moved with their married daughter Alice Sherwood and family to Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County. When the census again was taken in 1880, William, marked as suffering from "inflou rheumatism," held the occupation of clerk. 

William passed away at the age of 57 in 1882. Details are not known. He was laid to rest in Oak Lawn Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre.

Harriet survived her husband by 13 years. She died in Wilkes-Barre on Oct. 18, 1895, at the age of 68. (Link to grave information.) 


~ Daughter Alice A. (Thornton) Sherwood ~

Alice A. Thornton (1854-1920) was born on Sept. 23, 1850 (or 1851 or in September 1854) in Mauch Chunk. As a young woman, age 18, she made a living as a milliner. 

She married Charles W. "Isaac" Sherwood (1849-1917), a native of East Lemon, Wyoming County, PA, in about 1877. He was the son of Jowell and Elizabeth (Fowler) Sherwood.

Their three known daughters were Lulu Foulkes Strong, Harriet "Hattie" Israel and Evelyn T. Sherwood. 

After marriage, the Sherwoods established their home in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, PA, where Charles found employment as a machinist. Alice's parents also moved there, living in the Sherwood home on Lincoln Street.


Bird's-eye view of Wilkes-Barre, looking toward East Market Street


In 1900, when the federal census was taken, the Sherwoods made their home at 205 Kidder Street in Wilkes-Barre. That year, Charles continued his occupation as a machinist, and Alice's unmarried sister Millie lived under their roof. 

In 1910, Charles worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad as a machinist. 

Charles endured heart disease and when contracting pneumonia in October 1917, his health declined rapidly. He passed away in Wilkes-Barre on Dec. 18, 1917, at the age of 68.

Alice outlived her husband by three years. Stricken with liver cancer, she died on Jan. 27, 1920, in Wilkes-Barre, at the age of 69. They rest for eternity in the Sherwood plot in Oak Lawn Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre.

Daughter Lulu Henrietta Sherwood (1878-1945) was born on March 4 or 5, 1878 (or 1879) in Wilkes-Barre. She worked as music teacher in her young adulthood. She may have married at age 16, as suggested by one government record. At the age of 23, on Aug. 21, 1902, Lulu married 22-year-old William John Foulkes (1880-1922), a native of Wilkes-Barre, and the son of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Hughes) Foulkes. Rev. C.H. Mutschler performed the ceremony. William was an insurance agent. They had four known daughters, Alice S. Foulkes, Ruth T. Foulkes, Helen Foulkes and Grace Foulkes. When the federal census was taken in 1910, the Foulkeses made their home on Kidder Street in Wilkes-Barre, with William working as house carpenter. Between 1910 and 1916, they relocated to Baltimore, MD, where William accepted a job as a construction engineer for an electrical company. In the summer of 1922, while driving with Lulu and the girls to visit his parents, William contracted a case of pneumonia. He did not survive the illness, and died on Aug. 7, 1922, at the age of 42. In about 1928, the 30-year-old Lulu married again, to 28-year-old Frederick Monroe Straughn (sometimes misspelled "Strong"), a native of North Carolina. They had no children, and established a home on Massachusetts Avenue in Baltimore, MD, where Monroe worked as a waiter in a restaurant. He died on Dec. 14, 1933. Lulu lived as a widow in Baltimore and passed away on July 26, 1945, at the age of 67. She was interred in the Parkwood Cemetery in Baltimore.

  • Granddaughter Alice S. Foulkes (1903-1925) was born on March 18, 1903 in Wilkes-Barre, and was named for her maternal grandmother. She may have never married. She died at the age of 22, in Parkville, Baltimore County, MD, on June 27, 1925. She rests in Parkwood Cemetery and Mausoleum in Baltimore (Laurel 550).
  • Granddaughter Ruth T. Foules (1909- ? ) was born in 1909 in Wilkes-Barre. 
  • Granddaughter Helen Foulkes (1916- ? ) was born in 1916 in Baltimore. 
  • Granddaughter Grace Foulkes (1919- ? ) was born in 1919 in Baltimore.

Daughter Harriet E. "Hattie" Sherwood (1884-1961) was born in August 1884. She married Eli Israel (1889-1934), who had emigrated to the United States from England in 1890, and whose parents were of Russian Yiddish heritage. Hattie, who was five years younger than her husband, made a practice of fudging her age on census and perhaps other official records where her age needed to be disclosed. They had two known children -- Mildred Israel and Paul Israel. Eli was an office clerk in Wilkes-Barre circa 1920, the year the census was taken, showing that Hattie's widowed mother and unmarried aunt Millie were in their household. By 1930, they moved to a new home on Academy Street in Wilkes-Barre, with Eli now working as a retail merchant. Eli was an inventor, and among his creations in the 1920s were a wheel chock used to brace motor vehicles parked on steep roads; small metallic containers for coal miners to hold carbide and matches; and a lamp holder to be mounted on coal miners' hardhats. Eli died in Wilkes-Barre on March 15, 1934, at the age of 45. His remains were laid to rest in the Jewish cemetery in Wilkes-Barre. Hattie outlived her husband by 27 years. She died on Nov. 17, 1961, at the age of 77. She is buried under a large upright marker inscribed "Israel - Zorzi" in the Oak Lawn Cemetery. 

  • Grandson Paul Israel (1919-1974) was born on June 25, 1919 in Harveys Lake, Luzerne County, PA. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. He died July 24, 1974.
  • Granddaughter Mildred Israel (1918- ? ) was born in 1918. 

Daughter Evelyn T. Sherwood (1892-1973) was born on Oct. 10 or 30, 1892, in Wilkes-Barre. Her first husband was J.A. Early ( ? - ? ). They later divorced. She wed again, to Joseph Francis Zorzi (1891-1973), the son of Lawrence and Louise Zorzi, who emigrated to the United States from Italy the year their son was born. Evelyn and Joseph had at least one son, Lawrence S. Zorzi, II. In 1920, prior to marriage, 27-year-old Joseph was employed in Wilkes-Barre as a clerk in a "wholesale house." Joseph passed away on July 15, 1973, and Evelyn died later that year, in December 1973. They are interred in the Oak Lawn Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre, in a plot with her sister Harriet Israel. 

  • Grandson Lawrence S. Zorzi, II (1928-1973) was born in 1891 in Wilkes-Barre. He died in 1973, and rests beside his parents in Oak Lawn Cemetery.


~ Son William M. Thornton ~

Son William M. Thornton (1856- ? ) was born in 1857. Nothing more is known, and he may have died young, during the decade of the 1860s.


~ Daughter Amelia S. "Millie" Thornton ~

Daughter Amelia S. "Millie" Thornton (1866-1935) was born in December 1866 in Mauch Chunk, Carbon County, PA. 

She never married, but spent many years living in Wilkes-Barre with her sister and brother in law, Alice and Charles Sherwood, and with her niece and husband, Harriet and Eli Israel. She was a member of the Calvary Episcopal Church of Wilkes-Barre, and at her death, the Wilkes-Barre Record stated that she "was widely known through the city."

In 1900, at the age of 33, Millie was employed as a clerk in an insurance office. Continuing in this work, in 1910 she was a bookkeeper in an insurance business. 

By 1920, Millie moved into the dwelling of her niece and husband, Harriet and Eli Israel, on Carrie Avenue in Wilkes-Barre, now working as a clerk in a department store. She had no occupation in 1930, at the age of 64, so may have retired by that time. 

She died in Wilkes-Barre on Dec. 14, 1935 (or 1936), at age 70. The cause of death was heart trouble. She was interred in the Oak Lawn Cemetery.


Copyright 2012 Mark A. Miner