M1221 Thomas(1714/15-1756) & Elizabeth (Thornton)

MeriRep: Keith Vanstone

Book Project: Not assigned.

Metrics: One spouse, 28,571 descendants and in-laws.

Biographical Sketch:

Thomas Meriwether, b. 1714/15 (fourth generation) was a large landowner and prominent in local politics in Virginia, being one of the Justices of Louisa County, and he numbered among his friends Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson; Col. Robert Lewis who married Jane Meriwether; and Dr. Thomas Walker, who married his cousin Nicholas Meriwether's widow: Mildred Thornton, and who was also the sister of his wife Elizabeth Thornton.

Elizabeth Thornton was descended from one of the old families of England whose ancestry was well established in 1363. On her mother's side Elizabeth Thornton had ancestors who were among the most ancient in Europe. This was the Taliaferro family of Tuscany, Italy, one of whose members is said to have migrated to Normandy in the year 868, and whose descendant—a Taliaferro—was "among those present" when William the Conqueror successfully invaded Saxon England on Christmas Day, 1066. The mother of Elizabeth and Mildred Thornton (both of whom married a Meriwether) was Mary Taliaferro who married Francis Thornton, Sr. The name Taliaferro has been subject to great abuse in its pronunciation by historians, members of the family who bear the name, and by the general public. The original pronunciation was "Tal-ya'-ferro," but it is today generally pronounced as "Tolliver," but at least its orthography is still Taliaferro. It seems a shame that a really beautiful gem like Tal-ya'-ferro should be rendered as Tolliver. O tempora! O mores! It is my hope that the gentle lecture here will induce those using this musical nomenclature, at least as to spelling, to pronounce it as it so justly deserves to be.

Copyright 2020