Adam Thoroughgood and His House

On this page, we plan to give the history of Adam Thoroughgood, a distinguished ancestor to most Tarvins in America. However, before we were able to begin this project, current events interceded. We will update this report as events unfold.

Janet Cummings, a Thoroughgood descendant, is running a WordPress blogsite about Adam Thoroughgood, as a case study of 17th century life in colonial Virginia. You can follow her writings at

The Association for the Preservation of the Adam Thoroughgood House has been orginized to promote preservation of the house. Their web site is at (Currently unavailable.)

8 July 2007 - Thoroughgood House in the news again. Researcher and Thoroughgood descendant Paul Treanor is interviewed in the Virginia Beach Virginian Pilot newspaper and gives his opinion of the recent re-dating of the house following several scientific studies. You can read the article on the Pilot's website or a PDF version from our site.

1 Oct 2003 - Negotiations having concluded, the city of Norfolk formally transferred ownership of the Adam Thoroughgood House to the city of Virginia Beach. A ceremony was held with a ceremonial key passing from Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim to Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf. Thoroughgood descendant Paul Treanor attended the ceremony and was pictured with both mayors in the doorway of the house.

16 May 2003 - The Virginia Beach City Council approved its budget plan for the next fiscal year which apparently includes a donation to the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, which is expected to result in the City of Norfolk signing over title to the Thoroughgood House to the City of Virginia Beach. The budget also included funds to renovate and preserve this oldest of North America's brick houses. Details of this complicated transaction are still being worked out, but it appears the House is now safe in caring hands.

The following is the contents of an email message sent to the Tarvin Mailing list 27 Apr 2003.

Having long since passed out of the family, the Thoroughgood House has been preserved in recent years and is a prominent tourist attraction for the city that was formed around it in the past 50 years, Virginia Beach, Virginia. However, it is actually owned by the nearby City of Norfolk, which no longer has interest in maintaining the house. The current state of affairs is summarized in a recent editorial in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper. (See box at right.)

Thoroughgood House, Virginia Beach
Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Library web site.

According to that editorial and other recent articles, the Virginia Beach City Council will soon decide whether to acquire the house from Norfolk and continue to support it. A number of private citizens have pledged financial support for the house under Virginia Beach ownership and a foundation is being formed to help the city repair and restore the house. If the city declines to acquire it, the house will likely be shut up and left to the ravages of nature.

I appeal to Tarvins and other Thoroughgood descendants to contact the Virginia Beach City Council and express your support for their purchase of the Thoroughgood House. You may email the council at or write the City Council at 2401 Courthouse Drive, City Hall, Building #1, Municipal Center, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. Individual council members' email addresses and phone numbers are at

Your action may tip the scales in favor of preserving this important piece of Tarvin -- and American -- heritage.

Recent articles pertaining to this issue:

May 14, 2003 - New Item: Va. Beach employees getting higher pay raises (Report on budget approval.)
May 13, 2003 - News item: Beach council to vote on budget today
May 8, 2003 - Editorial: Beach gift to Chrysler a coup for local history
May 7, 2003 - News Item: Historic house among projects added by Beach to budget plan
May 6, 2003 - News Item: Beach nearing agreement to buy Thoroughgood House
April 18, 2003 - Editorial: Politics victimizes Thoroughgood House

Links to sites about Adam Thoroughgood and his house:
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Last Updated: 31 Jan 2023 21:26 UTC

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