I am searching for information on John H. (Merriam)Thornton born 23 Nov 1784. Information in "A History of Scioto County, Ohio" states that "John H. Thorntion was a native of Flusning N.Y. and his family name was Merriam. His family was of some importance and he was appointed a naval cadet and sent to Annapolis. He was guilty of some infraction of discipline there, and to escape arrest and punishment he ran away into Virginia, and was concealed by a gentleman named Thornton, whose name he assumed."
This is the only indication I have that his birth name is Merriam not Thornton. Does anyone have knowledge of this sequence of events from Merriam family legand and know who his parents are?