Wife of Declaration Signer Dr. Matthew Thornton
Hannah Jack was born in 1742, daughter of Andrew and Mary Morrison Jack of Chester, New Hampshire. Her family had emigrated from Londonderry, Ireland, but they were originally Scottish. Matthew Thornton was born in 1714 in Northern Ireland, and was brought to this country at the age of three years by his parents, James and Elizabeth Jenkins Thornton. Their family is said to have been among the 120 families who in five small ships, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 17, 1718, and in the fall of that year went to Maine. When their ship landed in Maine in mid-winter, the passengers had no place to live, so they remained aboard ship.
The Thornton family settled first outside Brunswick, Maine, on a plot of land overlooking Maquoit Bay. In 1720, Brunswick was an outpost on the frontline that stood between the aspirations and momentum of three major cultures, each of which was seeking its own territory. This triangle of struggle consisted of:
The English in Boston and Falmouth to the West
The Native American peoples to the North and in the interior
The French of Acadia, Nova Scotia and the St. Lawrence to the East