52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 7:
Favorite Discovery

Favorite Discovery

I have made many interesting finds in my ancestry that I could consider a favorite discovery. Finding a connection to a famous historical figure or to a historical event is always fun. Breaking through a genealogical brick wall is very satisfying. Also, I enjoy finding familial connections to friends. I think, for now at least, my favorite discovery is finding the common ancestors shared by my parents. Don’t be alarmed, the common ancestors are 10 generations removed. [1]

Common Ancestor

In a previous blog, Same Name, I wrote about being on the look-out for surnames in common with friends. I also watch for surnames in common on either side of my family tree, that’s maternal and paternal sides. A few years ago while researching a particular line on my maternal side I recognized the surname Thorne as also appearing on my paternal side.

My paternal grandmother’s Osborn lineage is fairly well researched and I have mostly been adding sources to the known ancestors. These Osborn’s have deep roots in Union and Essex Counties in New Jersey. This is where I find the children of Elizabeth Thorne living by 1720. Elizabeth Thorne was born in Queens, New York in 1673 and married a man named Anthony Badgley in 1692. [2, 3] Elizabeth dies in 1710 and Anthony in 1715. It is around the time of Anthony’s death that their daughter Phoebe Badgley marries a man named Peter Willcocks in Flushing, Queens, NY. [4] The couple, along with two of the Badgley brothers, and possibly others from the community, emigrate to the area now known as New Providence, NJ about the year 1720. [5] It is a descendant of this couple who marries into my Osborn line after the American Revolution in Essex County, NJ.

These are many of the surnames in my family tree

Peter Willcocks built a sawmill about 1736 on Blue Brook which is now part of a state historic site called “Deserted Villiage.” [6]

The Deserted Village of Peter Willcockse

I discovered Mary Thorne, 1669-1714, on my maternal line while researching ancestors named Woolsey. I had traced these Woolsey’s from Virginia during the American Revolution to Flushing, Queens, NY before 1700. Since I knew my paternal line had ancestors in Queens before 1700 I thought there was a possibility they at least lived in vicinity of one and other. I quickly found that my 7th great grandfather, Richard Woolsey, 1697-1777, married a woman named Sarah Fowler, 1698-1782, whose parents were William Fowler and Mary Thorne. [7, 8] Could this Mary Thorne be related to my paternal ancestor Elizabeth Thorne? Yes!

The Thorne family of Queens and Long Island are fairly well documented. William Thorne, 1616-1664, was one of the original settlers of Flushing, Gravesend and Jamaica, NY. [9] He also was among the signers of the “Flushing Remonstrance” advocating for freedom of religion. [10] William’s son John, 1643-1709, and his wife Mary Pearsall, 1643-1689, were the parents of Mary AND Elizabeth Thorne. [11, 12] Making John and Mary Thorne my 9th great-grandparents on both my paternal AND maternal lines. I am my own 10th cousin, definitely a favorite discovery!

Common Ancestors: John Thorne (1643-1709) and Mary Pearsall (1643-1689)
9th great-grandparents

  1. Elizabeth Thorne (1673-1710)
  2. Phoebe Badgley (1698-1776)
  3. Sarah Willcocks (1722-1774)
  4. David Allen Sr. (1743-1823)
  5. Jemima Allen (1767-1822)
  6. Sarah Sally Cole (1791-1874)
  7. William Darby Osborn (1810-1895)
  8. David Osborne (1847-1942)
  9. Pearl Osborne (1893-1972)
  10. My Father
  1. Mary Thorne (1669-1714)
  2. Sarah Fowler (1698-1833)
  3. Thomas Woolsey (1716-1794)
  4. Thomas Woolsey (1760-1797)
  5. Phoebe Woolsey (1797-1891)
  6. Rachel Hubbs (1821-1900)
  7. James Dyer (1845-1915)
  8. John Dyer (1867-1923)
  9. Major Dyer (1901-1973)
  10. My mother

 Me – I am my own 10th cousin

I believe most everyone who has ancestors in pre-Revolution America likely has a common ancestor with one and other. It’s just a matter of finding the paper trail to prove it.

The Old Quaker Meeting House has been used by Flushing Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends as a house of worship for over 300 years. Built in 1694 by John Bowne, the Old Quaker Meeting House is the oldest house of worship in New York State.

Quaker Meeting House of Flushing, NY



    1. Osborne family tree, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/13493206/family?cfpid=-60123689
    2. Elizabeth Badgley, Find a Grave Memorial,   https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/71181479/elizabeth-badgley
    3. Anthony Badgley, Find a Grave Memorial,
    4. New York City, Compiled Marriage Index, 1600s-1800s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Genealogical Research Library. Accessed: 15 Feb 2020
    5. Family records, or, Genealogies of the first settlers of Passaic Valley (and vicinity) above Chatham : with their ancestors and descendants as far as can now be ascertained. Littell, John, Feltville, N.J.: Stationers’ Hall Press : D. Felt, 1851, Ch. Peter Willcockse, page 481.
    6. Deserted Village State Park, https://ucnj.org/parks-recreation/deserted-village/
    7. Heritage Consulting. Millennium File [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2003. Accessed: 15 Feb 2020
    8. Edmund West, compiler. Family Data Collection – Individual Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Accessed: 15 Feb 2020
    9. William Thorne, Find a Grave Memorial,

    10. The Flushing Remonstrance, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flushing_Remonstrance
    11. John Thorne, Find a Grave Memorial,
    12. Mary Thorne, Find a Grave Memorial,
Remember Me and I Will Live