ABT 1602 - Kings Lynn, Norfolkshire, England
BEF 27 APR 1640 - Lynnhaven Parish, Lower Norfolk, VA

Adam Thorowgood

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Adam Thorowgood came to Virginia from England in 1621 as an indentured servant and went on to become a Burgess.

Adam Thorowgood was born about 1602 in Kings Lynn, Norfolkshire, England. He was the seventh son of the Rector of Grimston, Rev. William Thorowgood, and baptized at St. Botolph's Church on July 14, 1604. The Thorowgood name is sometimes variously spelled; Thoroughgood, Thorrogood and Thorogood. Some theorize that Adam signed up to be an indentured servant because he did not stand to inherit much, having so many older siblings. Others guess that he may have been motivated for a life of adventure upon hearing stories about John Rolfe, Henry Spelman and Temperance Flowerdew, all nearby neighbors in Norfolk, England. Whatever his mindset, Adam came to Virginia in 1621 on a ship named "Charles." In the 1623/24 Census he was recorded at Elizabeth City as a servant of Edward Waters.

In 1626, Adam was referred to as "Captain Adam Thorogood, Gentleman of Kiquotan," when he purchased 150 acres on the north side of Hampton Roads. The period of Adam's indenture must have ended and he may have purchased that land with his earnings. He returned to England soon after and married Sarah Offley in Blackfriars, London on July 18th, 1627 at St. Anne's Church. Adam and Sarah returned to Virginia and began their family. They eventually had three daughters and one son. Adam quickly rose to prominence in the colony and held many high offices. On March 7th, 1629 he was appointed Commissioner of the Court of Elizabeth City and served as the Burgess of Elizabeth City from 1629 to 1632. Adam was a member of the first court for Lower Norfolk County May 15, 1637, a vestryman of Lynnhaven Parish and the first church in Lynnhaven Parish was built on his land at Church Point in 1639.

Adam was granted thousands of acres land after returning to Virginia. The largest patent he received was for 5,350 in 1637 for paying for the transport of 105 colonists between 1628 and 1634. At the time it was the largest land grant in Virginia. Included in those 105 names was Augustine Warner, second great-grandfather of George Washington. The bounds of this patent were described:

Lying northly upon Chesopean bay, to begin at the first Creek of that river, running to a broad creek that shooteth behind a long point of land westly. into the maine land, southly up the river to a little island shooting into Chesopean River, east upon the same, this land lying upon the west side & if in case these bounds or neck of land doe not include the said. 5350 acres then he shall measure upon the said first creek soe farr as the remainder of his said acres shall extend."

Adam helped settle Elizabeth City, Lower Norfolk and Princess Anne counties. Today this area is know as the City of Virginia Beach. He is credited with naming many areas including Norfolk and the Lynnhaven River after familiar places from his home in England. Since 1957 The Thoroughgood House as operated as a museum on land originally owned by Adam. The brick home was built about 1719 by his great-grandson, Argoll Thoroughgood, and is one of the oldest homes in Virginia still standing. The home that Adam actually lived in was most likely a wood structure that is thought to have burned about 1650. The home was large enough to serve as a church and courthouse until those buildings were completed.

Adam died young, probably from some illness. He wrote a will on February 17th, 1640 and it was probated on April 27th, 1640.

After bequeathing his soul to God and his body to be buried in the parish church of Lynnhaven, near his children, he gives 1000 lbs tobacco to that church for the purchase of some necessary and decent ornament, the the following legacies: To his beloved brother, Mr Edward Windham (perhaps the brother of his sister-in-law), one cow, calfe and one goat; brother Rober Hayes, one goat; the three chirldren of Robert Hayes, one goat each; godson Adam Keeling, one goat; Jean Wheeler, a goat and shoat, to wife, a mare and foal, one of the best cows in the pen, half a dozen goats, four sows, and part of the plantation at Lynnhaven, for life, "all which I give her as a memorial of my Love - not any ways intending to cut her off from equal share in my estate with my children;" to son Adam, all rest of houses and lands in Virginia. All remainder of horses, cows, goats, sheep, hogs, servants, crop and other estate, to be equally divided between wife Sarah, and children, Adam, Ann, Sarah, and Elizabeth. Wife ececutrix, and friend Capt Thomas Willoughbie and Mr Henry Seawell, here in Virginia, and brother Sir John Thorowgood, of Kinsington, near London, and Mr Alexander Harris, "My wifes's uncle," living on Tower Hill (London), overseers of the Will.

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Sources:

  • Dorman, John F. Adventurers of Purse and Person : Virginia 1607-1624/5: Volume Three Families R-Z. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co, 2007. Print. Pg. 326.
  • Miles Files, Eastern Shore Public Library, http://espl-genealogy.org
  • Virginia. Colonial Land Office. Patents, 1623-1774.
  • www.colonial-settlers-md-va.us
  • Genealogies of Virginia Families From The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Volume V. Indexed by Thomas L. Hollowak. 1981. Volume I Adams-Chiles. Page 483
  • Colonial Dames of America. Chapter I, Baltimore, and Grafton Press. Ancestral Records And Portraits: a Compilation From the Archives of Chapter I, the Colonial Dames of America. New York: The Grafton Press, 1910.
  • thorowgoodworld.wordpress.com
  • Wikipedia contributors. "Adam Thoroughgood House." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 Nov. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2019.
  • Wikipedia contributors. "Adam Thoroughgood." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 Aug. 2018. Web. 30 Jan. 2019.

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Curabitur mattis purus ornare augue finibus, sed tempus ex eleifend. Maecenas vitae volutpat diam. Curabitur sollicitudin porttitor nisi. Nulla rutrum facilisis quam, sed bibendum magna consectetur sit amet. Fusce nulla turpis, efficitur eu tempus eu, accumsan malesuada sem. Morbi vestibulum libero et metus porttitor, vel ultrices lorem facilisis. Donec maximus ultrices ex ac tincidunt. Praesent vel enim laoreet, pharetra massa feugiat, iaculis neque. Nunc volutpat, nibh a laoreet venenatis, sem augue sodales nunc, eu commodo quam nisi vitae nunc. Nullam tristique placerat quam quis ornare.

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Curabitur mattis purus ornare augue finibus, sed tempus ex eleifend. Maecenas vitae volutpat diam. Curabitur sollicitudin porttitor nisi. Nulla rutrum facilisis quam, sed bibendum magna consectetur sit amet. Fusce nulla turpis, efficitur eu tempus eu, accumsan malesuada sem. Morbi vestibulum libero et metus porttitor, vel ultrices lorem facilisis. Donec maximus ultrices ex ac tincidunt. Praesent vel enim laoreet, pharetra massa feugiat, iaculis neque. Nunc volutpat, nibh a laoreet venenatis, sem augue sodales nunc, eu commodo quam nisi vitae nunc. Nullam tristique placerat quam quis ornare.

Future 3:

Curabitur mattis purus ornare augue finibus, sed tempus ex eleifend. Maecenas vitae volutpat diam. Curabitur sollicitudin porttitor nisi. Nulla rutrum facilisis quam, sed bibendum magna consectetur sit amet. Fusce nulla turpis, efficitur eu tempus eu, accumsan malesuada sem. Morbi vestibulum libero et metus porttitor, vel ultrices lorem facilisis. Donec maximus ultrices ex ac tincidunt. Praesent vel enim laoreet, pharetra massa feugiat, iaculis neque. Nunc volutpat, nibh a laoreet venenatis, sem augue sodales nunc, eu commodo quam nisi vitae nunc. Nullam tristique placerat quam quis ornare.

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Siblings:

  • Sir Edward Thorowgood
    • 1584-
  • Sir John Thorowgood
    • 1586-
  • Frances Thorowgood
    • 1590-
  • Thomas Thorowgood
    • 1594-
  • Edmund Thorowgood
    • 1596-
  • William Thorowgood
    • 1598-
  • Mordant Thorowgood
    • 1600-1630

Last Updated: 2/15/2020