This section briefly describes each Thorpe lineage participating in the
Project. Please contact me if you have additional questions about
these lineages. We are adding new participants monthly and
expected the number of Thorpe lineages who are part of this DNA
Project to increase dramatically over time.
THOMAS THORPE (1631) OF WOODBRIDGE, NEW
Thomas Thorpe is the progenitor of the Thorpe clan of
Woodbridge, New Jersey, though his earliest appearances are in
Massachusetts and Long Island, New York. He was born about 1631,
and is said by early historians to be from Ipswich,
Massachusetts. Yet no research up to this date has revealed his
birthplace or parentage. There has been speculation that Thomas
is the son of John and Alice (Chandler) Thorp of the Plymouth Colony,
but no evidence of this connection has ever been found.
Thomas married Rebecca Milward (abt 1640) on March 27, 1656 in Boston,
Massachusetts. He was a soldier in King Phillips war and was in
Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, in 1677. While all the
children of Thomas and Rebecca Thorpe were born in Long Island, this
family relocated to Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey sometime
after 1675. Thomas is considered one of the earliest settlers in
the Woodbridge area, where he inherited a large amount of land from his
father-in-law, Daniel Pierce. Thomas was very active in the
Woodbridge community, serving as Constable (1690), Grand Juror (1692),
and Deputy of the General Assembly (1693-4). Thomas Thorpe died
about 1693 and his will was was proved December 24, 1694.
Thomas and Rebecca Thorpe had the following children: Thomas
(1657-1689), William (1659), Daniel (1661), Zebulon (1663), George
(1665), Joseph (1667), Benjamin (1669), Ann (1671). While Zebulon
Thorpe relocated to Yarmouth, Massachusetts, most of these children and
their descendants remained in Woodbridge or the general vicinity for
In the late 1700's, some of the descendants of Thomas Thorpe, including
Reuben Thorpe (1755) and his brothers, relocated to Fayette
County, Pennsylvania. Reuben owned land in Perry County, Ohio,
where some of his children later settled (most using the surname
"Tharp"), while others remained in Fayette County (using the surname
"Thorpe"). Reuben's brother, Benjamin Thorpe (abt 1759),
removed briefly to Fayette County, Pennsylvania, but later settled in
nearby Greene County, Pennsylvania, where some of his descendants
remain to this day.
(While I am very familiar with this history as it is my husband's
lineage, I am indebted to a number of researchers for their assistance
in researching this line, including Tami Gaugler and Jo Anne
Stahl. I also referred extensively to Thorpe family compilations
by Naomi Tharp Spinner and Thomas R. Tharp Sr.)
THOMAS THARP (1640) OF MARYLAND:
Thomas Tharp was born about 1640, probably in
England. Researchers don't know exactly when Thomas first
emigrated to America, though he first appears in the records of
Maryland in 1674 purchasing land in Kent County, Maryland. Some
suspect that his land was located on Quaker Neck, which is part of
Langford Bay and bounded what is now called Langford Creek.
Although Thomas himself was not a Quaker, many of his later descendants
lived among Quaker families in Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina and
Indiana, and several of the men married Quakers. Thomas was
married twice, first to an unknown woman about 1659, and again in 1681
to Elizabeth "unknown."
Thomas's will, which was written on November 10, 1685 and proved
November 21, 1686, leaves his entire estate to his son, William.
The will indicates as well that Thomas and Elizabeth had two other
children, Elizabeth and Thomas Jr., though they are each left only "one
shilling." There was another daughter, Mary Tharp, who along with
Thomas Jr., are believe to be children of Thomas's first wife, whose
name is unknown at this point.
Although researchers are still searching for direct proof that Thomas's
son William is the William Tharp who married Jane Austin in Talbot
County, Maryland in 1709, he is clearly the right age and the land
William owned in Queen's Anne County, Maryland (near Hillsboro) is only
a few miles from Quaker Neck. From this William on the Tharp
lineage is reasonably well established.
William Tharp died about 1748 and his sons began to move 12 miles east
to Kent County, Delware. William's descendants include two
Governor's of Delaware: William Tharp (born 1803) and Willliam Tharp
Watson (born 1844). Other descendants relocated to Guilford and
Rowan Counties, North Carolina, in the late1700's, while still others
settled further west, particularly in parts of Ohio.
(Information on this line was gathered from the book "Descendants of
Thomas Tharp," by R. L. Tharp, revised by Robert Tharp, 2003.)
ZEBULON THARP (EARLY 1700'S) OF VIRGINIA:
Zebulon Tharp and his wife, Jane, of early Frederick
County, Virginia, first settled just outside present-day Stephens City,
Virginia. They arrived at Crooked Run and Stephens Run, perhaps,
from the migration path out of Middlesex County, New Jersey. Once
Zebulon and Jane settled in this flat watershed just east of the
Appalachian Mountains, Lord Fairfax of Virginia granted 438 acres to
the couple on March 2, 1756, and another 420 acres on October 21,
Zebulon's will of October 1, 1775, recorded in Frederick County,
Virginia, lists six sons. The first son, Andrew, received 120 acres for
his natural life, passing at his death to Andrew's daughter, Elizabeth
Tharp. Sons Isaac, Joshua, and John were also granted 120 acres
and sons Benjamin and Zebulon Jr. each received the sum of one
dollar. Andrew, who was living in Hardy County, Virginia, at the
time, sold his 120 acres in Frederick County on October
7, 1789. Researchers have proven that Andrew is the father of
John Tharp of Horn Camp Run though land records and original family
By 1773, Andrew had already left his parent's land and moved over
the Appalachians into Hardy County, Virginia. His warrant to
survey 400 acres of l
and at Dutch Hollow (now Sauerkraut Run),
lying between Big Ridge and Pine Ridge, was recorded on the 25th day of
November 1773, Warrant No. 331. Later, Andrew sold all but 62
acres to Henry Moor (survey recorded June 30, 1790). These 62
acres were later sold by Andrew's son John, in order to resolve a
"friendly family dispute" between John and his siblings: Mary
(Elizabeth) Tharp Prather, Ann Tharp Hanson, and minor children of
deceased brother Andrew Jr. Later, John and his wife Elizabeth
relocated just northwest at the Hampshire/Hardy County line at Horn
Camp Run, near present day Kirby, West Virginia. John's son
Solomon Tharp is buried there, while another son, Isaac, married in
1822 and removed to Licking County, Ohio, were many descendants of this
line continue to live.
(Submitted December 2003 by Bradford H. Tharp, from the line of
Zebulon, Andrew, John, Isaac, Joseph, George, Everett, Howard, Brad.)
JOHN HENRY THARP (1830) OF NEW JERSEY:
John Henry Tharp was born about 1830, according to family
history and the date on his tombstone. While his birthplace is
unknown, he makes his
first appearance in the records of 1850 Federal census, Somerset
County, New Jersey. According to family tradition, when John Henry was
in his teens, he completed his blacksmith training with Andrew Bay, and
stayed with the Bay family, after which he operated his own blacksmith
shop in the Schooley Mountains, New Jersey (just outside Roxbury).
By 1855, John Henry had moved west to Canton, Fulton
County, Illinois, where he met and married Deborah Whitman Saunders
(1835, New York). After their marriage, census, land and probate
records clearly trace the family through Illinois and into Kansas. The
couple started their family in Fulton County, Illinois, where two of
their children were buried in the Blackaby-Saunders Cemetery near their
maternal grandparents. By 1880, John Henry purchased a farm in
Cowley County, Kansas, where they raised their six children and lived
out their lives. Most of the children of John Henry Tharp lived
in Kansas and Oklahoma, where many descendants of this lineage continue
to reside to this day.
There has been speculation that John Henry Tharp may be the son of
Jesse Tharp (1801) and Mary Ann Hadden of Jefferson Twp., Morris
County, New Jersey. In the 1840 census for Washington, Morris
County, New Jersey, Jesse and Mary Ann are listed with one male child
under 10 years of age. Furthermore, Jesse Tharp mentions a "John H.
Tharp" in his will, dated August 28, 1858 and proved November 22,
1858. After Jesse Tharp's death, Mary Ann remarried Andrew Bay
(b. 1795, Maryland) and relocated to Roxbury, Morris County, NJ.
However, the possible connection between Jesse Tharp and John Henry
Tharp remains unclear. Many researchers are actively investigating this
lineage, focusing on the few Thorp(e)/Tharp(e) households found in the
1830 New Jersey census for possible leads to John Henry's family.
(Information on this line was obtained from researcher and descendant
Henry Tharp, as well as Larry Tharp's compilation
on the John Henry Tharp family).
BENJAMIN THARP (1773) OF VIRGINIA:
Although this lineage became established early on in the
state of Virginia, the history of Benjamin Tharp begins further north,
in either New
Jersey or Pennsylvania. Researchers estimate that Benjamin was
born between 1765-1770. He married Elizabeth Maxson in the late
Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, New Jersey, though others researching this
line believe the couple may have been married in Pennsylvania.
There was been speculation for years that Benjamin is a descendant of
Thomas Thorpe (1631) of Woodbridge; however, Benjamin's parentage has
never been conclusively established.
Benjamin and Elizabeth Tharp were one of ten families of the
New Jersey, Seventh Day Baptist Church, to migrate to Virginia in
1789. After first settling in Monongalia County, Virginia,
by 1791, Benjamin had purchased 200 acres of land on Ten
Mile Creek, in Harrison County, Virginia. He continued to
purchase land in Harrison County, Virginia until his early death at 31
years of age. He was one of
the first trustees of New Salem, Virginia, which was established as a
town in 1794 (now Salem, West Virginia). Benjamin's occupation
was shipbuilding and carpentry.
Benjamin and Elizabeth had the following children: Susanna (abt 1790),
Experience (1790), Hezekiah D (1792), Hannah (1797), Bethia (1798),
Nancy (1800), Timothy (1802). After the early death of their
parents (Benjamin in 1804 and Elizabeth in 1811), five of the children
were indentured to friends and family to raise. Hezekiah and his
wife Huldah Cox, built the first mill in Lewis County (formerly
Harrison), Virginia, but later relocated to Iowa, where many of there
descendants continue to reside. Nancy Tharp and her husband,
Wilford Drummond, also moved to Monroe County, Iowa. Many other
descendants, however, remained in Harrison & Lewis Counties,
Virginia, and Richie County, West Virginia.
(Information on this line was obtained from Joan D. Tharp's family
compilation on the Thorpe lineage, particularly Benjamin's line, as
well as from researcher/descendant Jim Lawson.)
SOLOMON THARP (abt 1750) OF
Solomon Tharp was born around 1750. Although his birthplace has
been listed as Woodbridge, NJ, there is no evidence that Solomon was
born there, and this birthplace was previously assigned based on the
incorrect assumption that he was a descendant of the Woodbridge
Thorpes. In fact, very little is know about the early life of
this man. Solomon Tharp lived from 1842 until his death in 1849
in Cass County, Michigan. He traveled to Michigan with his son,
Levi, with whom he had been living with in 1840 in Logan County, Ohio.
Solomon Tharp was buried in Cass County, Michigan, though the actual
cemetery no longer exists. While some of the graves were moved to
the Reames-Norton Cemetery, there is no evidence that Solomon is buried
there. Regardless, a DAR plaque has been erected there in his
honor. It acknowledges Solomon Tharp's participation in the
Revolutionary War in 1777-1778 at Valley Forge, and states that he
fought for his countryman's liberty at "Brandywine, Germantown,
Monmouth, Springfield and Yorktown."
The best clue to the early history of Solomon Tharp can be found in his
marriage to Hannah Tate, who was born on March 15, 1753 in Murderkill
Hundred, Kent County, Delaware. Interestingly, this is exactly
the same area that many direct descendants of Thomas Tharp (1640) of
Maryland settled, making it highly likely that Solomon himself was from
this area as well. Solomon Tharp and Hannah Tate were married
June (or possibly July) 16, 1774. In the Kennett Monthly Meeting,
Chester County, Pennsylvania, it was noted that Hannah Tate had been
excommunicated from the Quaker Church on July 14, 1774, for marrying
Solomon, who was a Baptist.
Solomon and Hannah Tharp moved several times during their lives, first
to the Shenandoah area of Virginia, then through the Valley of Virginia
into North Carolina. About 1799, they moved to Bedford County,
Virginia, and then on to Champaign County, Ohio, settling at Kings
Creek in Wayne Township sometime before 1811. Solomon &
Hannah's children were born during their travels, eventually settling
in diverse places themselves: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa.
(Information on this lineage was obtained from Stanley
Heginbotham & Scott Coltrain)
THOMAS THORP (abt 1818) OF ONTARIO, CANADA
Thomas Thorp of Goderich Township, Huron, Ontario, Canada, married Jane
(born "Jean") Hutchinson of Tuckersmith Township, Huron County, at the
home of Hugh Hutchinson, Tuckersmith Township, on March 29, 1844.
The Hutchinson family emigrated from Tranent, East Lothian,
Scotland. The 1850 census for Tuckersmith Township shows the
Thomas Thorp family living on lot 25, concession 2, 100 acres, as a
family five, including one native of England, one native of Scotland
and three Canadian British. When plotting the ages listed for
Thomas on the 1848 and 1850 census records, it becomes apparent that
Thomas was born between 1818 and 1820, in England, place of birth
unknown. Land records for Tuckersmith Township show Hugh
Hutchison sold lot 25, concession 2, to Jean Hutchison, wife of Thomas
Thorp, on June 19, 1844.
Thomas Thorp died in 1852, intestate, and his wife, Jean Hutchison,
died the year before, in 1851. The Surrogate Court of the
combined counties of Huron and Bruce, Ontario, Canada, granted "Letter
of Guardianship, dated 22 April 1862," to Jonathan Carter, husband of
Mary Ann Hutchinson, for the four children of Thomas and Jean
Thorp. The oldest child, Thomas H. Thorp, emigrated to Dickinson
County, Kansas, USA, in 1875. The next child, Hannah Thorp,
married James Alexander, and moved to Sanilac County, Michigan, USA,
about 1886. The third child, John Thorp, lived and farmed lot 25,
bought the farm from his three siblings in 1877. He later
emigrated at an unknown date to Sanilac County, Michigan. It
appears John never married, as no records recording such an event have
ever been found. John Thorp and some of the Alexander family are
buried in Sanilac County. The fourth child, Jane Thorp, born
November 10, 1851, married Alexander Broadfoot on June 10, in Clinton,
Huron, Ontario. They emigrated to Dickinson County, Kansas, USA,
about 1870, and later moved to Cass County, Iowa, in 1887, where they
Unexpectedly, this lineage is a match to the line of Thomas Thorpe of
Woodbridge, New Jersey, and other branches related to Woodbridge
(Information on this lineage was obtained from Michael D. Funston)
WILLIAM THORP (abt 1605) OF NEW HAVEN,
William Thorp was born in England about 1605. His place of birth
is unknown, but he most certainly lived in the London area at the time
of his removal to the New World. He arrived in Boston,
Massachusetts, on June 26, 1637, on the ship the Hector out of London. He
followed the Reverend John Davenport, one of the organizers of the
voyage, to Connecticut. He was part of a group which established
a new colony at Quinnipiac, just west of the Connecticut River.
In June of 1639, the free planters of Quinnipiac met in a barn
and formed a Constitution. The new settlement was named "New
Haven" in 1640. William is listed as a town lot holder in the
William was married twice. His first marriage, to Elizabeth,
produced at least four children: Nathaniel, Elizabeth, Samuel, John and
(probably) Eleazer. Little else is known about his first wife,
aside from the fact that she died in October of 1660. William married
his second wife, the widow Margaret Pigg, in 1662. They had no
children. William died in 1679.
For two generations, the family base remained in Connecticut.
Nathaniel and Samuel removed to Wallingford. John removed to
Fairfield. Elizabeth is last known to have lived in New Haven and
Eleazer in the area of North Haven. Over succeeding generations,
most of the family dispersed, first into western Connecticut and
Massachusetts, then into western New York, Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario,
Canada. There are, however, descendants of this lineage still
living in the North Haven, Bristol, and Fairfield areas of Connecticut,
as well as the Montgomery and Russell areas of Massachusetts.
(Information on this lineage was obtained from Gary Thorpe)
JOHN JACOB THORP (1776) OF NEW
John Jacob Thorp/Tharp was born February 18, 1776, in New
Jersey, and died March 23, 1859, in Noblesville, Hamilton County,
Indiana. He married Mary Benham on November 27, 1796, in Morris
County, New Jersey, daughter of Vinson Benham and Mary Babbitt.
Mary was born October 25, 1776, in New Jersey, and died February 11,
1865, in Noblesville, Indiana. John Jacob Thorp's father was
James Thorp, born 1745 in Bridge Town, New Jersey.
Before 1800, John Jacob and Mary Thorp, along with Mary's parents,
moved from New Jersey to upstate New York (1800 Greene Co. Census and
1810 Cayuga Co. Census), and then to southwestern Ohio (1820 Clermont
Co. Census) . In 1826, they finally settled on a farm near
Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana. John and Mary had at least
nine children who survived to adulthood: Phoebe (b. 1798), Charlotte
(b. 1800), James (b. 1802), Anna (b. 1804), Vinson (b. 1806)), Thomas
Jefferson (b. 1809), Martha (b. 1812), Mary (b. 1815), and Hannah (b.
In New York and Ohio, the family name is listed as "Thorp," while in
Indiana, the family consistently appears in the census as "Tharp."
Researchers have long suspected that this lineage represents a branch
of the Woodbridge Thorpes, descendants of Thomas Thorpe (abt.
1631). DNA testing has now confirmed this link.
(Information on this lineages was provided by Lynette Norr. Her
source on James Thorp was Phyllis Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
from a Family Bible in the possession of Fay Bolander in Castleton,
Indiana, in the 1970s. Fay was a descendant of the Irwin family,
one of whom married a Thorp descendant of John Jacob Thorp. See
also Notes by Ellen Coffman, p. 34. In Charles Gardiner's notes
of the Thorpes in "Early New Jersey Families 1600-1900," information on
John Jacob Tharp (19 Feb 1776, m. Mary Benham) was supplied by a Mrs.
M.B. Schmuck. This family tree shows Daniel Thorpe (1661) having
a son John Thorpe, who married Rebecca Harrison, then Prudence
Harrison. Their son, James (5 Mar 1745, Bridgetown, or Lower
Rahway, NJ) married Martha Walton. Children include: Hannah,
Phoebe, Ann, John Jacob, Mark Walton, and Silas.)
JOHN THARP (ABT 1720) OF RAHWAY,
John Thorp was born around 1720. He married Margaret Frezier
(probably originally "Frazier" or "Frazee"). Little is know about
the couple. They had the following children: Peter Thorp (11 June
1759, Morris County, New Jersey), John Thorp, James Thorp, Cornelius
Thorp, Jesse Thorp. At some point, many descendants took the name
"Tharp" rather than "Thorp."
Some sources indicate that James Thorp (1745, father of John Jacob
Thorp discussed above) may be the brother of Peter Thorp.
Other sources list John Thorp as born in 1751 in Somerset, New
Jersey. Those sources also list brothers James and Peter, as well
as a third brother that is not listed above - Oliver Perry Thorp.
John apparently enlisted in the Continental Army at Morristown, N.J. on
February 16, 1776. He married Hannah Hurin, daughter of Seth and
Mary Hurin. Given that one of Peter Thorp's children has the
middle name "Hurin," there may have been a mix-up by genealogists
between these branches of Thorps.
Peter Thorp married Jemima Turnere, daughter of Edmund Turnere and
Hannah Brouwer, on 16 Aug 1785, in Ulster, New Jersey. Peter
& Jemima's children were John Thorp, Edmund Hurin Thorp, Mary
Catherine Thorp, Infant Thorp, Cornelius Drake Thorpe, Eliza Thorp,
Henry Cutter Thorp, William M. Thorp, Martha Thorp, Harriet
DNA results indicate that this branch of Thorps are also descendants of
Thomas Thorpe of Woodbridge, New Jersey.
(Information on this branch of Thorps provided by Thomas Thorpe and
Bernice Roman. They relied on many other sources, including
information gleened from descendants Mrs. Schmuch and Mrs. Everett