View Full Version : Germany niewied --Wilhelm Thorn

22-03-2015, 5:13 PM
Looking for information on Wilhelm Thorn and Family---he changed his name to William
He was born may 1780 in Neuwied, and died there in 1843, and also buried in the Neuwied Cemetery.
He did military training in England and was in the 29th Light Dragoons. He had an extensive military career, wrote 2 books, and also did surveying and map making.
His father was Johann Philipp Thorn, a master tailor b1733 d1798.
His mother Anna Catharina Singmeister of Heddesdorf. who was Johann's 2nd wife. He was the youngest of 5 brothers and 1 sister.
He is supposed to have married Johanna Maris Giese of Wiesbaden in 1815.When he retired was very much into Neuwied local affairs and very involved in the Lutheran church.
I am very interested in finding out about his family specifically his sister who I believe married my 4th great grandfather.

Thanks very much

22-03-2015, 9:44 PM
The only thing that springs to mind is that you try Geneanet, a website dedicated to European genealogy. You can post in English or French (other languages, too?) There are also family trees, but always treat any online tree with great caution. You can find the website if you convert this to an internet address: en.geneanet dot org.

Hope you have some luck.


22-03-2015, 10:12 PM
Hello Elaine
I found this site about researching German Ancestors which looks very helpful despite it being primarily from the viewpoint of Americans of German descent.

Do you know his sister's name, birth date etc? Your 4th great grandfather's name, birthplace and date? Maybe we could take a look to see what, if anything, is to be found,:smile5:


Edited to Add: Did you get your info re William from here?
Thorn, William [formerly Wilhelm] (1780-1843), army officer and cartographer
Robert Hamilton Vetch and Francis Herbert
in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

22-03-2015, 10:52 PM
Thank you both Owl and Christina.
Yes, I did get the info from the Oxford Dictionary, although I have been looking for info on Wilhelm/William for some time. My 4th great grandfather was John Francis Smet who I have posted about before. I have searched many places to try and find who his wife was. John Francis was military doctor and spent many years in India. It was there that his only daughter Louisa Thorn Smet was born in 1815. When he left India in 1822 he was widowed. I am thinking that his wife probably came out there, they were married there and possibly she died as a result of childbirth. being that Louisa's second name is Thorn and also that William was mentioned as a trustee in Louisa's marriage consul leads me to think that I am on the right track. there is also a nephew in John Francis's will with the last name Thorn---a lot of coincidences seem to be popping up. Searching for info in India has not really produced to many results either. So I am posting on the hope that I can find that missing connection.
However I am coming to England next month and am going to go to the British Library and see if they have anything on them.
Once again thank you.


10-01-2016, 3:09 PM
Hello from Germany,

there has been a book written about the cemetery where Thorn was buried. This is the ISBN: 978-3-86424-206-9 Alter Friedhof Neuwied. Gies or Giese is a name still frequent in the area. Perhaps the book's author or the archives in Neuwied can help. I have seen the gravestone of Wilhelm Thorn. It is still there, but badly damaged, the writing on it is not legible.

Hope this helps.

Girl from Rhine

10-01-2016, 4:44 PM
The Anglo-German Family History Society is a self-help group of/for people researching a family line that has emigrated to the UK from German-speaking parts of Europe: http://www.agfhs.org/site/.

Have just been clicking round the site and am impressed with the resources and thoroughness of this Society.

Perhaps you will be able to find something there about the German ancestors of your Thorn family?