Tag Archives: Thorward

Surname Saturday: Thorward


The first Thorward I have on record is George Thorward (b. 1852 d.1940). He was born in 1852 in Obberstetten, Germany 1. I have conflicting dates for his immigration. In the 1900 United States Federal Census, his year of immigration is listed as 1867. In the 1910 US Census, it is listed as 1860. I have searched for his point of entry into the country, but so far I haven’t found it. My first choice was New York, but now I’m unsure if it was. I’m going to try Philadelphia next. I think I found him in 1870 living next door to his future wife, Josephine Doremus. The only problem is he’s listed as George John. The name of Thorward wasn’t even mentioned. He is however a cigar maker’s apprentice, which fits in perfectly with my George, who was in the cigar business for 50 years. George married Josephine in 1872 and they had three children (Frank, Lewis, Dora).

The great thing about researching the Thorwards is that they pretty much stayed in Caldwell, New Jersey for the next few generations. George and Josephine’s oldest child, Frank Springsted Thorward, married Katherine Lindsley and they had two sons, Raymond and Robert. The youngest of George’s children was their only daughter, Dora Thorward. She married Leslie Jacob Plume and they had one daughter, Vivian, who married into the Westervelt family. The Westervelts and the Plumes had a long history in Essex County, New Jersey. Rumor has it that the Plumes are distantly related to Stephen Crane and Robert Treat Paine. 2 I haven’t proved this yet as I’m still verifying my Grandmother’s version of her family tree.

My great-great Grandfather, and George and Josephine’s middle child,  Lewis Thorward also stayed in Caldwell for most of his life. He briefly lived in Hudson County and worked on the railroad. When he came back to Caldwell, he became a partner in the Thorward and Van Duyne’s Market. Lewis married Jennie Viola Love in 1898 and had two children, Llewellyn Josephine Thorward (my great grandmother) and George William Thorward.

You can see what photos I have uploaded so far in the Thorward Family Album at the main website but here are a few of my favorites.

Things I Wonder About the Thorwards

  • Where is the rest of George’s family? He seems to have kept his family pretty close. He made a few visits back to Germany in the 1890’s, maybe to visit parents?

What are my next steps?

  • Like the Moores I want to collect the birth, marriage, and death records for the other children in the main families. New Jersey is a bit difficult to get records for, so I think those are an in-person thing to be less of a hassle.
  • I need to track down when and where George entered the country for the first time. I’m hoping this will give me a better idea of which part of Germany he is from.
  • This isn’t a Thorward step exactly, but I would like to delve deeper into the connected families. This seems to be a very big immigrant side of my family and I’m interested to see all the places they came from.

Surname Saturday is a daily blogging theme from GeneaBloggers.

Did I find him?

Today is a glorious day. We’re having a girls day. In our pajamas, watching movies (Avatar right now), and I’m doing genealogy on my laptop. I couldn’t ask for a better day. Except of course if I might have finally found George Thorward in 1870.

George is the first known Thorward I have in America. He lived in Caldwell, New Jersey until he died in 1940. I have him in censuses from 1880 through 1930. One bone of contention I’ve always had is that I can’t find him in 1870, even though in all the censuses he puts his arrival sometime in the 1860s. In his obituary it states that he was born in Obberstetten, Germany. Unfortunately, that is my only hint for where George comes from. Even worse is that there is more than one Oberstetten in Germany. So I’m going to need a better clue.

His obituary is actually a really good source. It gives his age, when he celebrated his wedding anniversary, the church he was a member of, and about when he entered the country. It also verifies the census information of him being a cigar maker/manufacturer his whole career. All good hints.

I always thought I was stalled with George. I didn’t hold out much hope on getting much further until I learned more about the great divide of researching in other countries. That is until I was re-entering his wife’s 1870 census information. She was only 15 but she was living in the household of Samuel Bond as a domestic servant. It makes sense for me, since her father died in 1862 (Civil War maybe?). Today I noticed something on the census page I’d never noticed before.

As you can see, Josephine is there on line 18. What I noticed is actually on line 9. George John/Yohn. He is age 18 (it fits perfectly with my George Thorward). His occupation is listed as a cigar maker’s apprentice. The family George is living with is another Bond family. What really caught my eye is the birth place of Wurtemburg.  I can’t find much, but I do know there is an Oberstetten in Wurtemburg, Germany.

Is this my George?

It can’t be a coincidence that Josephine is living with a cigar manufacturer and George would later become a cigar maker. All these things just keep adding up, but I still can’t find where George entered the country. I do feel as if I’ve found him in 1870 now though.

Tombstone Tuesday: Thorwards

Today I’m choosing to highlight the first known Thorward and his wife. I know that George Thorward immigrated to America very early in his life. There is a family legend that his brother also came over, but that they never spoke. I’ve never found any evidence of another Thorward, but that doesn’t mean one or both of the boys didn’t change their name.

George and Josephine Doremus

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging theme from GeneaBloggers.  To participate in Tombstone Tuesday simply create a post which includes an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors and it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

Part 2: I love this lady

The more I research my Great Grandmother, the sadder I get that I didn’t get to meet her. Everyday her personality and character unlocks itself a bit more. This is Part 2 to yesterday’s find. If you haven’t seen that post, maybe you should take a peek at just the basics.

We’ll start off with where we started yesterday, except we’ll look at the dark colored book instead of the paper.

Turns out that my Great Grandparents were so perfect for each other because of their meticulous record keeping!

On first look, it’s impossible not to start calculating the names and relations. Mr & Mrs Joseph Schroeder would have been Llewellyn’s sister-in-law and her husband.

Mr & Mrs William Moore would be the Uncle of William (Llewellyn’s husband for the new readers). If you excuse me, I’ve just found out that William was living in Belleville, New Jersey and not Brooklyn. That would explain why I can’t find his family in the 1930 census. I’ve got to go check that out…

Oh boy, this page is a doozy! The Loves, Leonards, Wambaugh’s are all Llewellyn’s Aunts and Uncles through her mother, Jennie Love.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the best part of this find is the addresses listed for each person. Some of these people I couldn’t find for whatever reason. There are so many hidden family members in this book, I can already tell.

Oh look, it’s the extra Loves from yesterday! With these addresses, I’m going to research these guys backwards and see how they fit into the Love tree! So much progress in one Sunday afternoon, I could get used to this!

Tombstone Tuesday: Kindess

This Tombstone Tuesday I’m going to share a tombstone picture and a story of kindness.

As I often complain about, I live in Maryland while many of my roots are in other states. Due to limited means, I can’t really travel. So getting to cemeteries where my relatives actually are is very difficult. That’s why I love the Find a Grave website so much. They have Photo Volunteers on there. I am now one of them, but I haven’t been fast enough to fulfill a request yet! Anyway, I sent out a photo request for some tombstones that I had been to before in my Dad’s hometown, but didn’t have a camera at the time. What I got in return for one photo request was an amazing experience.

I didn’t know at the time how abundant our family was in that cemetery. I was just looking to get my Dad’s grandparents. I knew it would be awhile before I’d see New Jersey again. (I was right by the way. This was in December of 2007 and I still haven’t been there.) So I filled out the Request a Photo form, and I waited. It wasn’t very long before someone “claimed” my request. The hardest part of anything to me is the waiting. Whether it be for records by mail, photo requests, or in the line at Wal-Mart. I hate waiting. It was such a surprise when my request was filled so quickly. The request was filled by John. We actually emailed back and forth for a bit before he could get out to the cemetery. He had run by really quick to check the lay of the land but didn’t have his camera. He went to the office and got all the information from the stones for me to tide me over. It was such a kind gesture. He even saw that William L Moore was buried in a Thorward plot and when he caught sight of yet another Thorward plot, he noted down the names to check later. That’s when he found moore-mays.org and saw that they were all indeed my family.

Then the pictures started coming in…

William and Llewellyn Moore (My Great-Grandparents)

Jennie Love (Llewellyn’s mother)

Lewis Thorward (Llewellyn’s father)

He took pictures of everything in William’s plot.

Then when he’d done that he took pictures of all the other names he’d found on my website. I can’t even picture them all here. They include Thorward, Lindsley, and Bush family plots. To this day I still remember John and how nice he was to take these pictures for me. Even though we weren’t related he’d found a great sense of history through my family ties to Caldwell, New Jersey. Even getting excited to see the old building the Meat Market was housed in. In his own words, “I’ve driven past this building a hundred times. Never really noticed it until last week.” I don’t know if John still visits this site, but I hope he knows how much I appreciated all the help he gave me.

This is why I love genealogy and the people who make it possible.

Wordless Wednesday: George Thorward

The transcription on this photo is George Thorward – 1st car -1905

Wordless Wednesday is a daily blogging theme I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Wordless Wednesday simply create a post with the main focus being a photograph or image. Some people also include attribute information as to the source of the image (date, location, owner, etc.). Some have begun doing a “Not So Wordless Wednesday” with the main focus still being an image but there is a backstory to the image.

Treasure Chest Thursday and My Favorite Things

Today’s blog can double for a GeneaBlogger topic and a My Favorite Things post! The “treasure” I’ll tell you about is my Great Grandmother Llewellyn’s journal. I’ve tried transcribing to the site a few times but nothing that has stuck. I’ll get that worked out soon.

As you can see the journal is quite old. It’s dated 1923, and I think she used it to cover a three year period.

It’s not exactly in the greatest shape on the outside but it’s definitely in great condition otherwise!

Every month has little birthday reminders at the beginning. Not only family birthdays but also friends. There is even a list of visited places written on one of the pages. What a diverse list it was too! I’m guessing that list would be the places I see in the many pictures I have of her traveling. My Aunt Lori says it’s most likely she was traveling with the church. I definitely concur with that!

In honor of Easter coming up, I turned to Easter. As you can see, she drew a line and added further down the page. Some pages have three sections. This is why I think the journal was used for a three year period. Not to mention the only way it makes sense is if you read it like they are separate years.

After reading Llewellyn’s journal and feeling closer to her, I couldn’t help but start my own. One day I hope my great-grandchildren will be able to get a glimpse of my life from my journal. I hope they treasure it as much as I treasure Llewellyn’s.

Treasure Chest Thursday is a Daily Blogging Topic that I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Treasure Chest Thursday simply create a post with the main focus being a family treasure, an heirloom or even an every-day item important to your family.

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