6 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2021 8:05 AM by John Throssell

    How did Thomas Throssell arrive in the US?

    John Throssell Wayfarer

      I cannot find the entry point or any information regarding Thomas Throssell's entry into the US. I have tried Canada Borders, West coast NY entry etc though I may have missed something, jumped ship? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


      Thomas Throssell b 1835 probable, England 1854 arrives in Dallas, Oregon aged 19, herded sheep from the east of US so the story goes though it is a mystery how he arrived in the US. Joined Oregon Mounted Volunteers, Company B, military retired wounded  dates? Pony Express between Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City Utah (770 miles) Stages rode and dates? 1867 Dec 12 married Mary Letitia Burston by Rev Condon in Cascade Rocks, Hood River, Oregon


      Mary Letitia Burston 1848 April 23 born near Hillsboro, Washington County, Oregon

      Parents Alex Burston & Janet Tate married 1832 June 28 St Johns Parish, La Pas, Manitoba, Canada

      Grandparents Magnus Burston & Indian from Red River Settlement, Rupert Land, Manitoba, 

      Canada, Indian wife probably Algonquin Cree. Magnus b 1752 April 25 S. Ronaldsay, Orkney Scotland

      1917 Mary Burston died age 68.

      1870 Census Oregon, Wasco, Hood River, Thomas age 36, Mary L Age 22, Hannah J Age 1 Farmer, value of real estate 500, value personal estate 670

      1871 shortly before August, left Wyeth, bound for Dayton. Harry’s birth en route at Walla Walla

      1879 Treasurer of Patron’s Flouring Mill Company, incorporated 1879 Jan 25 Marengo, Columbia- County, Washington State

      1880 Census NY, Agent for Patron’s Flour Mill east Marengo, gives birthplace as NY? Age 44?

      1882 Thomas original officer of a farming Grange in Pataha, Garfield County, Washington state when first organised on 25 of January 1882. For Grange see: 1882 What is a Grange.pdf 

      1889 Thomas arrives at Roy Prairie, (Nisqually Plain) with family, Mary given title to uncle Miles Burston’s homestead on Roy Prairie on the understanding Miles is looked after until death. As well as a Farmer, Thomas set up shop in Roy as carpenter, shoe maker and cabinet maker

      1896 Thomas Elected Justice of the Peace, remained in office until his death

      1897 Sept 9 Naturalization of Thomas. Pierce County, Washington State.

      1902 March 25 died, buried at King Hill Pioneer Cemetery, Fort Lewis, Pierce County, Washington. accidental death, broken neck by fall from haystack aged 67

      1917 Jan 6 Pierce County electorate bonded themselves for $2M to purchase and donate 70k acres of Nisqually Plain, Mary’s homestead is sold for requisition by the army to build Camp Lewis, now Fort Lewis Army Base.

        • Re: How did Thomas Throssell arrive in the US?
          Carey Stumm Adventurer

          Thank you for posting your question on History Hub. You certainly have done quite a bit of research already!


          In searching for Thomas Throssell I do see in the 1880 census that his family is listed but he is not and it’s stated that he was born in New York. If this seems to be a mistake you might try to search the passenger arrival lists.


          The National Archives has the Customs Passenger Lists from 1820-1897 for various ports listed here. We also have a list of our immigration resources here. One of the easiest ways to find your ancestor in the passenger lists is to use some of the online indexes although it could be that there was a misspelling of his name on entry which can make searching very difficult.


          Most of the indexes are available on Ancestry. Ancestry does require a subscription, but many public libraries offer free access with your library card. There are some free online indexes for the different ports. For example, if he arrived in New York, you can search the Castle Garden Index.


          Family Search has the 1820-1897 passenger lists available online for free. Not all of the records on there have been indexed though and may require some browsing.


          The National Archives also has some additional resources related to immigration for this time period:

          Access to Archival Databases (AAD)

          • Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Russians to the United States, documenting the period 1834 - 1897
          • Records for Passengers Who Arrived at the Port of New York During the Irish Famine, documenting the period 1/12/1846 - 12/31/1851
          • Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Germans to the United States, documenting the period 1850 - 1897
          • Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Italians to the United States, documenting the period 1855 - 1900

          Created by the Center for Immigration Research at the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, these listings of primarily Russian, Irish, German, and Italian immigrants who came to New York during certain periods in the mid to late 1800s are searchable through NARA's online catalog Access to Archival Databases (AAD).

          In the AAD main page, under Browse by Category, under Genealogy/Personal History, select Passenger Lists.

          There is also a wonderful page of international resources made available by a genealogy group here.


          We hope this information is helpful. Good luck with your research!

          • Re: How did Thomas Throssell arrive in the US?
            Susannah Brooks Pioneer

            If the information on this card is at all accurate, then the most logical port of arrival would be New Orleans, LA or a smaller Gulf port.

            • Re: How did Thomas Throssell arrive in the US?
              John Throssell Wayfarer

              Dear Carey, Susanna and Timothy,

              My apology for not getting back to you sooner to thank you for your kind help,


              Your general advise Carey will be invaluable for further research on other US immigrants.


              Susannah, the spirodex card gives a date clue, I can only think that the date coincidence of Thomas given on your card means I now have, beyond reasonable doubt, Thomas’s family

              The only thing I lack here is exactly how you found the source, such as Timothy’s


              Please share your source for quotation.


              Timothy, again beyond reasonable doubt, you have found proof of Thomas’s entry to the US and it lends some credence to his herding sheep from the east. I will be following that up, any ideas as to which markets those flocking sheep left from and went to? Thomas had a part of a year in which to traverse the US so probably didn’t walk the sheep all the way! Perhaps he just turned up on the same day.


              The card index shows Council Bluffs as La, I take it to be Louisiana, there appears to be a Council Bluffs City, Pottawattamie County, Iowa on google maps but nothing in Louisiana. Although the qwerty keyboard was not devised until 1870 in Wisconsin, the index card must have been typed several years thereafter. I wonder if the qwerty keyboard I & L positions caused a typo? Council Bluffs was renamed Kanesville in 1848 it reverted back in 1853 supporting the theory that the index card’s information was typed at a much later date, from previous records or from memory not fresh. Unless a historic Council Bluffs was in La., I favour Council Bluffs Iowa as being where Thomas passed through, it being a stopping off place for west bound gold seekers, the golden fleece perhaps! Louisiana state archives make no mention of a Council Bluffs. As an aside Richard his son  was a member of the Wanamaker Expedition with Dixon’s Crew as a photographer which stopped off at Council Bluffs, I guess to council with the indigenous first nation of that area


              So, we have shown where the forbearers of a famous Indian Photographer came from, a Richard Throssell. Wow, we have joined the circle. Thank you all, I can move on to my next mystery; Michael Throssell the policeman in Perth 1850-55, how he died so young and no record of his passing!


              Here’s the part that I believe now fits atop Thomas’ history above

              Benjamin Throssell

              1823 June 22 married Hannah Rawling by Banns at Saint Andrews Church, Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire by John Pratt Officiating Wesleyan Minister in the presence of Samuel Hart & Susanna Dobson. Hannah aka Rawlings b


              Family resided in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, England, United Kingdom


              1824 Jul 10 b William 1824 Jul 13 chr Wesleyan Methodist

              1825 Sep 13 b William 1825 Nov 22 chr ditto

              1829 Nov 10 b Joseph Throssel 1830 Jan 21 ditto

              1831 Sep 12 b Benjamin 1831 Nov 29 chr ditto

              1832 Dec 25 b Thomas 1833 Jan 20 chr ditto

              1835 Jan 15 b James 1835 Feb 22 chr ditto