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. George Thorward Obituary]. 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. A Fagan Genealogy] 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.

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