Category Archives: Thorward Family

An Unexpected, Yet Expected Turn

Yesterday, I was trying to catch up on my genealogy blog reading. The over 500 still unread blog posts in my Google Reader tells me I didn’t make much progress. You see, I have a few favorite blogs that I like to read through first. They’re the ones I’ve been reading the longest.

That’s when I came across Randy Seaver’s blog post, Tuesday’s Tip – Use the list of FREE Online Vital Records Databases on site. Of particular interest to me was the Vital Records section where the FREE links were. I jumped to New Jersey because New Jersey has been a big problem for me so far. (Note: I’m starting to think I’ve built New Jersey up in my mind as a big hassle. I now realize it might not be as bad as I make it out to be.)

That led me to the New Jersey State Archives website. They have a full list of databases that are searchable online! The unfortunate thing is it also led me to the biggest pet peeve I have.

Please, Please, Please. I’m begging all website developers out there. CHECK YOUR DESIGN IN ALL WEB BROWSERS. No it’s not fun to test in Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari but I do it anyway. Most times there are two categories where websites end up. In the works and doesn’t work category. Most times your design will work in Internet Explorer and not any other browser. Sometimes it will work in Chrome but not Internet Explorer. (Rarely though.) The thing is, it’s all the same code but unfortunately the browsers all process the code differently. I’ve had it all be a horrible jumble in Chrome because an errant SPACE in my .css file. So please, just check it. You want to make sure no matter what browser your visitor is using, they see your vision or even just the content.

Now back to the real reason for this post. You may or may not remember a few months back when I speculated maybe I had found George Thorward in the 1870 census but wasn’t quite sure? Well I didn’t ever get any farther on that. I’ve been searching on and off trying to find immigration records for George but just haven’t found them yet. I would love to head to the Caldwell Library and see what kind of books they have.

Here’s the 1870 census again for reference. Line 18 is my 3rd Great-Grandmother, Josephine Doremus and line 9 is the suspect, George Yohn.

Here is the record I found on the New Jersey State Archives website yesterday. I should have known this would just lead to more questions! In fact, I had even more after I tried explaining to my Dad last night, because he doesn’t ‘get’ the genealogy thing and so it helps me to bounce things off him. That’s when I know whether something is concrete or not.

So here are my questions. What’s with the Yohn? If they were married under the Yohn name, does this mean they legally changed it at some point in time? Their first child, Frank Thorward, was born in 1872. Was Frank born a Yohn? Was Thorward the original name but changed to Yohn at time of immigration? Or was Yohn the original name and he just wanted to change it? Aunt Lori told me George had a brother that also lived in Caldwell but they had a falling out and never spoke again. Is the brother a Yohn or a Thorward? Maybe this is why I didn’t have any evidence of a brother yet.

If you haven’t guessed yet, I didn’t catch up on my Google Reader blog posts.

Who are you George?

Mystery Monday: The Baby

Things I know about this photo:

  1. This photo is obviously someone from the Moore/Thorward side of my tree.
  2. This photo was taken at the studio of F.L. Huff in Newark, NJ
  3. This photo was taken in the late 1800s early 1900s

Things I think I know about this photo:

  1. I have no reason for believing that I’m right, but I think this could be Llewellyn.

Things I want to know about this photo:

  1. Is this in fact Llewellyn?
  2. When was this picture taken?

Next steps:

  1. I’m going to research more about F.L. Huff and how long exactly he was in business. I did a little searching around and found a pdf on early New Jersey photography1 This gives me reason to believe Huff could have been just starting up around 1869. He is listed in the 1870 US Census2 as being 27 and from New York. Hopefully if I learn more about his business I can narrow down who this baby could be.
  2. 1870 United States Census. Newark Ward 10, Essex, New Jersey. Page 362A. Dwelling 654, Family 959

Those Places Thursday: Park Avenue House

One of the places that I often think about is the house on Park Avenue. Anytime we have a family get together, this house always comes up. Everyone on my dad’s side of the family has memories of this house. Whether it be the layout of the house, the renovations done, or the way the porch was screened in during the winter. Unfortunately, I don’t have any memories of the house. So I soak up any information that people give to me about the house. Now I just have to remember to type it all up and keep it in my files for later.

Park Avenue house, October 2010.

We even drove by the house when we were in Caldwell in October for my cousin’s wedding. Though it looks different, I can recognize much of the original house just by looking at it. (Thanks to my sister for getting the picture!)

Park Avenue house.

Even when people contact me about the family tree, they ask me about this house. I don’t think people love this house because of it’s floor plan or windows. I think people loved the people who lived in this house.

Park Avenue house.

The more I research William and Llewellyn, the more I see that they were well loved by everyone around them. When I first started researching genealogy, I was just soaking up the facts and collecting dates. It’s different now. Now I’m learning about the people. I’m seeing the full scope of things. I’m learning why I am the way I am. Not only that, but I’m learning why my ancestors where the way they were.

July 1931, Park Avenue house.

I have a lot of pictures and documents that pertain to this house. Including all the documents from when William and Llewellyn bought the house. I’ll share those with you another day though.

Park Avenue house.

Would it be weird to knock on the door and ask to come in for a looksie?

Those Places Thursday is a blogging theme being used by GeneaBloggers, it was originally started by Cheryl Palmer at Heritage Happens!

Mystery Monday: Another Couple

Mystery Couple

What I know about this photograph:

  1. The couple is connected to the Thorward side of my family.
  2. They are the same couple from this Mystery Monday post.

What I want to know about this photograph:

  1. Everything else :p
  2. Who are they?
  3. How are they connected to the family?

Mystery Monday is a weekly series I do on Mondays. It is also a blogging theme used by other GeneaBloggers. Feel free to post about your own mysteries and maybe someone will be able to solve it someday!

Treasure Chest Thursday: 44 Years of Kodak

Note: I don’t mean to show a bias towards Kodak. It is strictly coincidence that I found this after my Tech Tuesday post. Except I don’t believe in coincidences, so it’s really one of those crazy freaky things that follows me around. Again, I am not being compensated by Kodak for this post.

I had photos on the brain yesterday. I was actually sorting through some of my scanned photos trying to decide if I was going to rescan the last batch at a higher DPI. That’s when I remembered this box in the spare room. It’s there with a suitcase full of sympathy cards that were sent to Llewellyn after William‘s death.

I remember opening this up before but I think I was too busy pouring over documents. I probably saw that these were negatives of some sort and decided to check later if they were negatives of pictures I already had. I should have been tipped off to the fact that these were kept separately.

So yesterday, I started going through the box. It was then I realized these were slides and not negatives. Or are they negatives that are mounted as slides? Is that the same thing. This shows you how much I know about these things. Obviously I need to do a bit more research.

On this box I noticed a name that I found on the back of a photo. Gladys Walker. I’m almost certain that Gladys Walker is a relation who lived in the Detroit area. This all feels more likely to me because I found Detroit written on the back of some photos and Ralph Leonard even spent a few years there. If there was family there, then Ralph’s brief time there is better explained.

It was when I stuck one of the slides into this that I realized I could possibly have more pictures than I thought.

I’ve got a lot of pictures. There is one big batch of a trip to Florida. So I’m thinking these slides could be from William and Llewellyn’s travels. My father says they traveled around a bit. Unfortunately, the light is broken in the viewer that I found in the box. I’m putting a new one on my Christmas wish list and I’m hoping that my slides will fit into a new one.

If that’s the case, I have a lot of slides to go through.

This box says Moore and 86 Park Avenue. So I’m now positive these slides are William and Llewellyn’s. The date of 1966 gives me a time frame that pretty much matches the photos I have of Llewellyn and William in Florida.

There’s a lot of Kodak in that box. I’ve used Kodak for 10 years myself. It was my first digital camera. It’s kind of comforting when I find these things in my family tree. I’ve grown up without a lot of family around me. So I never really felt a lot of connections to the past. Which is probably why I am a literal sponge when my grandma gave me that family tree. I remember distinctly being amazed that you could actually know your family back that far.

Now that I know my Dad’s side of the family, it’s amazing all the different things I find that link me to things. Just finding a box full of Kodak slides made me giddy. Like I had yet another connection to these people I’m learning were a lot like me. So that’s at least 44 years of Kodak history in our family, it’s kind of a nice feeling.

Thorward Boys

Oh gosh, I am sorry sorry for my absence this week! I wasn’t feeling well most of the week and time just flew by. I’m on the mend, so now it’s time to get back to work. I’m still trying to make sense of my Mays ancestors in my new clean family file. It’s going very sloooooooooow. Sorry for all the os. They were necessary! That’s really how slow it’s going! I haven’t even been able to add many of the Mays’ to the website yet, because of the problems I’m having finding and identifying them! Maybe if they weren’t all named the same thing!

So I’m posting a picture today from my Dad’s side of the family. Even though I have his family sorted and sourced in my family file, I’m still going through those pictures I have.

Thorward Boys

This is one of about a dozen tin-type photos I have. I think they are tin-type anyway. I’m no expert! I have probably looked at 1 million and 3 photos of Lewis Thorward in all my research. While I’m not a photograph analysis expert, I do consider myself a Lewis Thorward expert. If there is anyone out there who believes they are also a Lewis Thorward expert, please contact me, because I have a few questions I’d like answered!

In my expertise, I can definitively say that the little boy standing in the above photograph is Lewis Thorward. What brings me to this conclusion? Was it written on the back (remember it’s a tin-type folks)?

Lewis Thorward

I’m not being a braggart when I say, “I just know.” Is this a scientific method? Of course not. However, I’ve put in my Lewis hours. I’ve looked through a lot of photos of Lewis, Jennie and their children. So I’m pretty confident saying that the boys in the first picture are Lewis and his older brother Frank. Don’t be afraid of your own gut! It’s not something I’d base my entire research on, but I think I can trust it on a Lewis Thorward picture.

Paying Attention to your Surroundings

When I was a kid, my Mom used to hate taking us to the store. It was a guarantee that one of us would get caught in the excitement at whatever store we were at, and we’d lose track of her. More than once my Mom has told the story of my sister walking into columns at the store, despite numerous warnings of  “Amanda. Amanda. Watch out Amanda. AMANDA.” BAM. Of course I never did that… I did use to follow the wrong Mom around the store though… Okay so I did that last week.

Never has this handicap of ours become more apparent then it did today. I have a few hours to myself. So I decided to finally add some tombstone photos I took at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Caldwell to Find A Grave. First thing I noticed when reviewing the photos I’d added a few years back was that I missed a few! Somehow when I got all the Thorward photos from my very helpful Photo Volunteer, I forgot to add some of them! He left it to me, and look what happens!

Step 1: Admitting you have a problem

It was shortly after adding Frank Thorward and his wife to the site that I noticed something. Do you see in the sidebar where it says “Find all THORWARDs in”? Well, that’s something that I’m sure has been there all along, but this is the first time I’ve ever noticed it. Please try not to hold it against me, you’ve seen I have a handicap of sorts.

Since I was working on the Thorwards and it isn’t a common surname, I decided to click on New Jersey instead of a lower area.

Step 2: Recognize a Greater Power

Only 12 Thorwards came up and 11 of them were added by me in Prospect Hill Cemetery! That 12th name at the bottom looks familiar too!

Step 3: Examine Past Errors

It just so happens, this is Frank S Thorward’s son. In Mercer County, New Jersey where I probably wouldn’t have known to look for him. The only thing that keeps me from being completely angry at my own inattentiveness is the fact that this record was only added in July.

So please remember the lesson I’ve learned… Always pay attention to ALL features of a website. I only went through 3 steps here, but I’m sure as I learn and venture more I’ll come across more instances.

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