Welcome to the Thorsby Family Website!!

Birth 2 JUL 1820 • Austerfield, Yorkshire, England Death 22 OCT 1900 • Vienna, Genesee, Michigan, United States

Thomas Thorsby, was born July 2, 1820 in Heathfield, Yorkshire, England to William Thorsby and Mary Dickinson. In 1845 he left England and immigrated to the United States. I found information from the Pine Run Cemetary in Vienna Twp, Mi where Thomas is buried, indicating that he came from Northshire, England.

He married Margaret Cornford and had several children, Hannah Elizabeth, Reva, George Edward, Edgar and Henry. Hannah, known as Elizabeth, was born on July 26, 1849 in Ontario New York. She married Josiah Conquest II. The Conquest family maintains a web forum at conquest/.

Thomas served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He enlisted on August 9, 1862 as part of the 123rd Illinois Unit. He enlisted with the rank of Private and was later promoted to Corporal. He was mustered out June 28, 1865.

I have found some records regarding Thomas's service in the Federal Army during the Civil War. This can be found at: and also at:


1820-Thomas born Yorkshire, England -Married Margaret Cornford (born 1828)

1828- Charles Born (brother to Thomas)

1845-immigrated to US

1849-Hannah Elizabeth born in Ontario, NY

1856-George Edward born in Montrose, MI

1858-David Washington born

1861-Edgar born

1862-Enlisted in Federal Army-123rd

1865-Mustered Out

1867-Henry born

1869-Hannah E. married in Clio, MI

1884-Reva born in Montrose


Today, April 13, 2005, I found some interesting information regarding Thomas. I was checking the 1860 Federal census and found a THOMAS THURSBY-male 40 years, born 1820, England with the following household:


Margaret Thursby-female age 32 born in 1827, England

Hannah E. Thursby- female age 11, born in 1848 New York

Charles Thursby- male age 8 born in 1851 New York

George Thursby- male age 5, born 1854 Michigan

Daina Thursby- male age 3, born 1856 Michigan

at this time they lived in South Okaw, Coles, IL. Which of course is the regiment that Thomas served with in the Civil War. However, I had never heard of a son named Daina.


I have received some emails from Dan Thorsby, he lives in Washington and has done research on the Thorsby family. Dan writes:


Some of the information that I've collected may clear up a couple of things concerning Thomas Thorsby -


He emigrated to America in 1844 and married Margaret Cornford the following year. They came to Michigan in 1853 along with some members of Margaret's family and became one of the original landowners in Birch Run Township. At the time of their arrival in Michigan they had 2 children that had previosly been born in New York, Hannah (1849) and Charles (1852). While they were in Birch Run, 2 more sons were born (George - 1856, and David - 1858), and then they moved on to Illinois, near Mattoon. I've always suspected that they pulled out of Michigan after a killer frost struck the area in August 1858, but have not been able to ascertain that.


Things are a little foggy for me during the next few years, but we know that a 5th child (Edgar) was born in 1861, though I'm still looking for documentation to confirm when and where, and that their oldest son, Charles, died sometime after 1860.


While they were living in Illinois he enlisted in the 123rd Illinois Infantry. I've gotten a copy of his pension file from the National Archives which indicates that he was injured during the civil war (a non-combat injury) and was unable to work at his former capacity, which may be the reason that they returned to the Birch Run area after the war. It is also possible that his family returned to Birch Run without him while he was off during the war. Their 6th and last child (Henry) was born there in 1866.

One of the more interesting developments that I saw concerns Charles Thorsby - the "mystery child" of Thomas & Margaret Thorsby.

Charles was born in New York in 1852, the second child of Thomas Thorsby (1820-1900) and Margaret (Cornford) Thorsby (1828-1888). I had originally learned of his existence about 20 years ago when I saw his name listed on the 1860 federal census for Coles County Illinois, along with his parents and 3 other siblings who had been born at that time. His name had not been included in the rather extensive genealogy work that had been written by Howard Cornford and Margaret Savage in 1977. I'm not sure if you've seen this work, but it is great and lists the descendants of Thomas Cornford (b-1762) and his wife Margaret (Patterson). Their grandaughter, Margaret Cornford (b-1828) is our great-great-grandmother. Anyway, since I knew nothing more of this Charles Thorsby, I assumed that he must have died as a boy or young man.

As I went through through my notes, I saw that there was also a Charles Thorsby listed in the 1880 federal census living in Walker County Alabama. This Charles was 27 years old and was born in New York, and both of his parents had been born in England, which is pretty strong evidence that this is the same Charles Thorsby as found in the earlier 1860 census. Furthermore, the record shows him to be married to Jennie (Brown), who had been born in Michigan about 1855, and that they had 2 children at the time (George O - age 4, and Martha A - age 2), both born in Michigan. I found a couple of other records implying that they later had at least 2 other daughters - Tena, who married Clarence Potter in Barry County Michigan in 1897, and Lena, who married Vernon Myers in Roscommon County Michigan in 1902.

I am intrigued as to why they moved to Alabama, which must have been rather unfreindly towards "yankees" during the reconstruction period. I lived in a small North Carolina town from 1993 to 1997 and was amazed to find that the civil war was still being steamed over after 130 years. It must have been a little more so when everything was still fresh in people's minds.

Anyway, I think Charles and his family must have eventually moved north again not only because daughters Tena and Lena were both married in Michigan, but also because son George can be found in Michigan (near Clio) in 1910 with his wife Mary. Charles must have died fairly young (in his forties) because his wife Jenny remarried to Louis Gregor in Chicago on July 14, 1898. Further evidence that Charles had died lies in the Civil War pension file of his father Thomas F Thorsby. There is a document in this file, written in 1898, listing Thomas' living children. It shows all of Charles' five siblings (Elizabeth, George, David, Edgar, and Henry), but does not list Charles himself.

Their son (and oldest child), George Orten Thorsby (1876-1950) and His wife Mary B. (1886-1951) lived in the Detroit area, and are buried there. They had at least 1 child, Hazel G, who was born about 1908, but I've found a few other names of people who may have been their children - haven't had time to dig into that.

There was also a Roy Thorsby, born 10/24/1896, who died in Illinois in 1975. I'm not certain of his connection, but the fact that was living in Alabama during World War 1 at least indicates a possibility that he may be closely related.


I hope you find this interesting - Dan

Thomas T. Thorsby
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