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William Thorowgoodabt 1560 -- 19 MAY 1625avatar
Anne Edwards1558 -- 1609avatar
Robert Offley18 JUN 1561 -- 16 MAY 1625avatar
Anne Osborne25 MAR 1570 -- 14 JAN 1654avatar


Adam Thorowgood

Birth15 JUL 1604
Flag of Virginia
Deathabt 1640
Aged: 35.5 years
Adam Thoroughgood arrived in Virginia in 1621 on board the ship "Charles". He received large grants of land, including one tract whose patent states "the grant is made to Adam Thorogood at the especial recommendation of him from their Lordships and others of his Majesty's most Honorable Privy Council." In 1635 he received a patent for six hundred acres for having transported twelve people to the colony. However, as an 18 year old immigrant, he was listed as a 'servant' in the muster of Edward Waters. (But he was also referred to as a 'Gentleman'. He was more of an aide to Waters than a servant.)

Adam survived the 'starving time' and the Indian wars that decimated the population of Jamestown Colony. In an effort to escape further calamity, he moved south to the area now known as Norfolk. Here he establishe a home, built a church and lived out his rather short life, with distinction.

He served in the militia with the rank of captain and represented Elizabeth City in the House of Burgesses in 1629, 1631, and 1632. He was a member of the monthly court in Elizabeth City in 1632 and was later President of the Court of Lower Norfolk. In 1637 he was a member of the Virginia Council of State. he is considered a significant figure in the early history of Virginia.

He named the city of Norfolk after his native county in England, and the river and parish Lynnhaven also bear witness to his origin.

Alice Norris Parran, Register of Maryland's Heraldic Families (Colonial Dames: 1935)
William Welsh Harrison, Harrison Waples and Allied Families (Philadelph ia, Pa.: n.p. 1 pp. 132-133.

Adventurers of Purse and Person, Page: pp. 607-622..


Regarding: Lynnhaven Parish in Princess Anne county, VA. "The name Lynnhaven, associated with the parish from its beginning, is traditionally credited to Adam Thorowgood, an early magistrate and vestryman, who settled here in the year 1634, when this entire territory was set off, under the name Elizabeth City, as one of the eight original shires into which the Virginia colony was divided at that time. Thorowgood came to these shores from Lynn in Norfolk county, England, and is said to have named for his early home both Lynnhaven river, called Chesapeake River in the earliest land grants, and New Norfolk county, which was formed in 1636 out of Elizabeth City east of Hampton Roads."

"Colonial Families of the United States " (Rhoades), page 76,vol. 7.
" Adam Thoroughgood, 'builder of the oldest Colonial home in America [the house still stands, but is no longer credited to this early Adam, but rather to his grandson]; Commander of a Royal Troop; member of the King's Council; First Judge of lower Norfolk, Va.; b. 1602;d. 1641; came to Virginia 1621; he was the son of William and Ann (Edwards) Thoroughgood, who was the brother of Sir John and Sir Edward Thoroughgood, of Gunston, England. He m. Sarah Offley, dau. of Robert Offley, merchant of Gracestreet, London, England, and his wife, Ann Osborne, dau. of Sir Edward Osborne, Knight, Lord Mayor of London, 1583,whose wife was Ann Hewitt, dau. of William Hewitt, Lord Mayor of London, 1559.

Sarah Offley

Birth16 APR 1609
Aged: 48.3 years
"Sarah Offley married... 1) Capt. Adam Thoroughgood
2) Capt. John Gookin
3) Col. Francis Yeardley

When she died she claimed all three husbands. Her epitaph reads
"Here lieth ye body of Capt. John Gookin and also ye body of Mrs
Sarah Yeardley, who was wife to Capt Adam Thoroughgood first, Capt
John Gookin and Col Francis Yeardley who deceased Aug 1657
(Research):Sarah Offley: Ancestress of all Tarvins

Beautiful and high-spririted, Sarah Offley Thorowgood also had a backbone of steel and an indomitable will. She was the envy of every woman in the colony and a match for any man. She was {as} ambitious, capable, proud and self-righteous as other members of her family and her husband Adam Thorowgood. Other than the Indian Princess Pocahontas, she was the most interesting and colorful woman in Virginia until her death in 1657.
Sarah was eighteen when she came to America in 1628. (note if 18 in 1628 and died in 1657 means she was 48 when she died) During her first 12 years in her new country, she had children in rapid succession. Elizabeth was born in 1628, Anne in 1630, and by 1639 she had also given birth to Sarah and Adam Jr., and at least two children who had died.The eldest was only ten or eleven at the time of Adam's early death. During Adam's lifetime, Sarah remained in the background busily caring for her children, shouldering household responsibilities, and helping her husband establish a huge plantation in the wilderness. Adam undoubtedly recognized his wife's strength and capabilities because his will entrusted her with the guardianship of their children and their inheritances, which was a lot of property for a young woman living in a semi -wilderness with four small children to manage alone.
However, Sarah had learned a lot from her husband about managing property and protecting the rights and good name of her family. She left as long a trail of court cases as he did. Even though Adam's bequests to her in his will seemed most generous, she was not satisfied and requested the court reserve a lot more household items for her use. The requests reveal how well Sarah's bedchamber was furnished, and the silver in her cupboard. We know she set her table with a tablecloth, napkins, knives, forks, and spoons. At that time forks were a novelty even in England, Sarah's mention of silver spoons is doubtless the first reference in America to silver as a wedding present. Any kind of silver was a rarity, both because of its price, and the fact that there was a law against the importation to America. The two overseers of Adam's estate, knew Sarah well, and were reluctant to tangle with her in any administration of the will, so she had gained command. She also firmly established her loyalty to her dead husband. at some time later the family changed the spelling of their name to Thoroughgood.
Sarah was not a woman to stay unmarried long. Within a year, she married John Gookin, a son of a wealthy landowner from Newport News. John Gookin was immediately popular, becoming captain in the militia, then a colonel, a vestryman and a justice. After their marriage, he moved inot Sarah's house, and the couple had one child, Mary. It was a happy marriage, but a short one. Within two years on 2 November 1643, John Gookin died. Sarah was again alone with 5 young children to bring up, but her spirit was not diminished. Since 1640, the court had been attempting to get an accurate accounting from Sarah, of the cattle left to his children by Adam Thorowgood. T6he Commissioners of Lower Norfolk County, who were obviously afraid of Sarah, asked her politely but unsuccessfully on ten different occasions to render an account of the cattle of the children. finally they sent the under sheriff to levy a fine of 500 lbs of tobacco on her. She responded with a letter in which she flatly refused to pay a fine or to appear in court, and insisted that it was unheard of for a mother to be asked to account for the property of her own children. The following year, the next sheriff lacked the nerve to press the matter further, and before anyone else dared face up to her, Francis Yeardley had married her and upon his promise to render the account, the court, with relief, repealed the 500 lb fine. Francis Yeardley was a leader of the Cromwellian party in Virginia. he lived in Northhampton County, then Lower Norfolk county, where he received a 590 acre grant, was Justice in 1651 and 1652, and a Burgess in 1653.
Sarah undoubtedly had a fine wardrobe, probably including clothes made of fine broadcloth, silk and woolens. She would have had her choice of materials traded by her brother John Offley. She loved expensive jewelry and apparently had a good bit of it. Her will directed that her best "diamond necklace and jewel" should be sent to England and be sold. She also acquired valuable fine jewelry from Mrs. Susanna Mosely, whose family had fallen on hard times and had great need for cattle. Mrs. Mosely explained in a letter, that she had rather Mrs. Yeardley would wear them than "any other gentlewoman in the country."
The original home built by Adam and Sarah by 1635 and called "The Mansion" and "The Manor House Plantation" was willed to Sarah during her lifetime. She lived there with each of her subsequent husbands, until it burned about 1650. She built another house nearby, also called "The Manor House Plantation" where she lived until her death. Col. Yeardley died in 1655. Sarah Died in August 1657 after a full and adventurous life. Her will left no doubt that of her three husbands, she loved John Gookin best. By her last will and testament,Mistress Yeardley late deceased, did order that her best diamond necklace and jewel be sent to England to purchase six diamond rings and two black tombstones to be sent to Virginia the next shipping. The tombstones were for herself and John Gookin, and she ordered that she be buried beside him; however, she claimed all three husbands on her tombstone."
ChildrenFirst NameBirth DtDeath DtBirth PlaceSpouses


30 OCT 16301704  VA, Charles City Co Gerard Fowke 


16351 FEB 1685  VA, Virginia Beach, Lynn Haven Frances Yeardley 


16351670  VA John Michael 
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