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My Thornton Line

My maternal grandfather, Roy Clinton Thornton, was born at Berwick, Polk County, Iowa on 6 June 1885.  He was the son of  Martin Luther Thornton and Rebecca "Anna" Jones. He was employed as a miner at the time of the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census, living in the same household as his parents and siblings.
At the age of 27, Roy or LeRoy, as some sources list him, married Anna May Rouse at Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa on 15 May 1912. Roy completed only six years of school. His occupation at the time of his marriage was listed as a coal miner. 
Roy and Anna had the following children :

Children of Roy Clinton Thornton and Anna Mae Rouse

  • William Martin Thornton b. 1 May 1913, d. 26 Nov 1957
  • Carl Roy Thornton+ b. 30 Jan 1915, d. 23 Sep 1990
  • Doris Lucille Thornton b. c 15 Nov 1916, d. 13 May 1918
  • Russell Claude Thornton+ b. 19 Aug 1918, d. 20 Feb 1958
  • Virgil Franklin Thornton b. 3 Jun 1920, d. 21 Oct 1962
  • Kenneth George Thornton+ b. 12 Dec 1922, d. 19 Apr 1988
  • Alta Neomi Thornton+ b. 21 Jul 1924, d. 26 Dec 2010
  • Gladys Irene Thornton+ b. 1 Jan 1927, d. 22 Nov 2014
  • Baby Thornton b. c Apr 1929, d. c Apr 1929
Roy Clinton Thornton and Anna Mae Rouse appeared on the 1920 Federal Census of Des Moines, Polk, Iowa, enumerated 8 January 1920. Their children WilliamCarl and Russell were listed as living with them. Roy Clinton Thornton and Anna Mae Rouse appeared on the 1925 State Census of Des Moines Ward 7, Polk, Iowa, enumerated 1 January 1925, as Leroy Thornton. Their children William, Carl, Russell, VirgilKennethAlta and Irvin were listed as living with them. Roy Clinton Thornton and Anna Mae Rouse appeared on the 1930 Federal Census of Lee Towonship, Des Moines, Polk, Iowa, enumerated 19 April 1930. Their children William, Carl, Russell, Virgil, Kenneth, Alta and Gladys were listed as living with them. Roy Clinton Thornton died on 25 January 1937 at Des Moines, Polk, Iowa, United States, at age 51. He was buried on 27 January 1937 at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Des Moines, Polk, Iowa, United States; Lot 33, Block E.,

Gets First Job In Five Years--Then Dies on Way to Work.
     Roy Thornton, 51, of 4118 Bowdoin St., started from his home Monday morning to go to work at his first job in five years.
     On his way to the job he suffered a heart attack. He died on his way to Broadlawns General hospital.
     The job Thornton was to have started was at the Wood Brothers Threshing Machine Co., near E. Fourteenth St. and Aurora Ave.
     During the time Mr. Thornton has been out of work, the family has been supported by three sons. Billy has a WPA job, Roy, Jr., is in a CCC camp at Centerville and Russell is in a CCC camp at Indianola.
     Besides these sons, Mr. Thornton is survived by his widow and four other children, Virgil, Kenneth, Alta and Gladys.
Funeral services were being arranged at Hamilton's funeral home.1


  1. [S815] Iowa, Polk, 1910 U.S. census,, Digital images, T624, Des Moines Ward 6, enumeration district (ED) 146, sheet 4A, p. 6598 (handwritten), dwelling 85
  2. [S823] Iowa, Polk County, 1900 U.S. census, FamilySearch, Digital images, T623, roll 454, Lee Township, enumeration district (ED) 0098, sheet 5A, p. 77A (stamped), 1191 (handwritten), dwelling 92, family 98, M. L. Thornton household, accessed 14 Jan 2018
  3. [S62] Compiler: Pioneer Sons & Daughters Genealogical Society, Polk County Iowa Marriages 1846-1866, Record Type: Polk County, Iowa Marriage Records.
  4. [S948] Iowa State Archives; Des Moines, Iowa; Volume 4, Operations, Inc, Digital Images of Marriage Certificates, Iowa, Marriage Records, 1923-1937," marriage certificate 27611 (1912), Roy Thornton-May Roush accessed 28 Jan 2017.
  5. [S36] Iowa. Des Moines, Des Moines Tribune, "Gets First Job in Five Years--Then Dies on Way to Work," 26 Jan 1937.
  6. [S65] Hamilton Funeral Home Record, Des Moines, Iowa.
  7. [S927] Iowa Department of Health, FamilySearch, Digital Images of Death Certificates, Iowa, Death Records, 1921-1940," death certificate 87-109 (1937), Roy Clinton Thornton, accessed 31 Mar 2017.
  8. [S66] Laurel Hill, Cemetery Records, Record Type: Cemetery records
  9. [S847] Iowa, Polk, 1895 state census, population schedule, citing p. 291, 1895, State Historical Society, Des Moines; FHL microfilm 1.022.098, Lee Township, p. 291, dwelling 1067, family 1088, line 4, Myrtin Thornton; (
  10. [S21] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "FamilySearch," database, FamilySearch, accessed 2 Apr 2017), entry for Roy Clinton Thornton, person ID L71Y-S2X.
  11. [S823] Iowa, Polk County, 1900 U.S. census, FamilySearch, Digital images, T623, roll T623-454, Lee Township, enumeration district (ED) 98, sheet 5, p. 77A (stamped), 1191 (handwritten), dwelling 94
  12. [S35] Iowa. Des Moines, U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Digital images, Roll: 1643081, Ancestry ( : accessed 19 Jan 2015)
  13. [S23] Iowa, Polk County, 1920 U.S. census, Ancestry, Digital images, T625, roll Polk County, Des Moines Ward 7, enumeration district (ED) 169, sheet 11, p. 213, dwelling 242
  14. [S34] Iowa, Polk County, 1925 State Census, population schedule, Des Moines, p. Polk County, line 69-77, Leroy Thornton; (
  15. [S24] Iowa, Polk County, 1930 U.S. census, Ancestry, Digital images, T626, roll 677, Des Moimes, enumeration district (ED) 0069, sheet 40A, p. 40, dwelling 541

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