in 52 Weeks
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. 
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.  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.  It is a descendant of this couple who marries into my Osborn line after the American Revolution in Essex County, NJ.
Peter Willcocks built a sawmill about 1736 on Blue Brook which is now part of a state historic site called “Deserted Villiage.” 
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.  He also was among the signers of the “Flushing Remonstrance” advocating for freedom of religion.  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)
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
- Osborne family tree, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/13493206/family?cfpid=-60123689
- Elizabeth Badgley, Find a Grave Memorial, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/71181479/elizabeth-badgley
- Anthony Badgley, Find a Grave Memorial,
- 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
- 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.
- Deserted Village State Park, https://ucnj.org/parks-recreation/deserted-village/
- Heritage Consulting. Millennium File [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2003. Accessed: 15 Feb 2020
- Edmund West, compiler. Family Data Collection – Individual Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Accessed: 15 Feb 2020
- William Thorne, Find a Grave Memorial,
- The Flushing Remonstrance, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flushing_Remonstrance
- John Thorne, Find a Grave Memorial,
- Mary Thorne, Find a Grave Memorial,
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.
While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 4: I’d Like to Meet…
Richard E. Byrd, my sixth cousin, 3 times removed, was a famous aviator, in 1929 he flew to the South Pole. His story inspired me when I was young.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 8: Family Photo
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one in particular I found very informative.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.