When I first started to dig into my father’s side of the family, my first stop was my Grandfather. He’s a wealth of knowledge! Not only does he have a great memory, but he also had a wealth of documents and photos in his Columbus, Ohio basement! It took me a few years, but I finally got him to dig them out and let me pour through them… Okay, so I waited until I had not only my older brother, but also my father to do the grunt work.
What is so great about my father’s family is that while everyone had a small idea of who was who, no one really had any historical knowledge of the family. So I was starting with a blank slate! That may sound daunting to many, but to me that was a blessing! My Grandmother on my mother’s side gave me a copy of her family tree and starting with that actually left me very frustrated! Trying to verify that information is a task I’m still working on! So Grandpa Moore’s basement of goodies was a great starting point! He even found his birth certificate. 😉
The first thing that really started to get me involved in my Dad’s side of the family is that they picked a town, and they stayed there! These guys may have been immigrants, but they were by no means nomads. So Caldwell, New Jersey is a great place that I can go to, where I know there is probably a million different things that I can find. One of the things that immediately make me think of the Thorward family is the Thorward Meat Market. This was one of the first things my Grandpa Moore shared with me.
The market was originally opened in 1856 my Frank Dobbins. He then sold it to George H Vanderhoof (a maybe relative of mine). Mr. Vanderhoof then sold it to my ancestor George Thorward and his partner Mr. Van Duyne. The market operated as Thorward and Van Duyne’s Market for many years. Among many other great things, it also owned the first telephone in Caldwell! Here are some pictures I have of the market then and now to share with you.
Lewis Thorward is the second man from the left.
This photo is from Dec 2007. It was taken for me by John, a Find-a-Grave volunteer, who went above and beyond for me! He was just as excited to help me as I was to receive his help!
This photo is from Dec 2009. Brent Thorward took it when he recently visited Caldwell. He discovered all kinds of Thorward information at the local library. I’m so jealous! I need to go there for a longer visit next time!
Excuse me while I cry that I didn’t inherit that beautiful piece of architecture!
Last but not least, I have two newspaper clippings that were among Grandpa Moore’s treasures. Sadly they were just clippings so I don’t know the date or paper they are from!