Adam Thoroughgood and Thoroughgood House

The Adam Thoroughgood House, located at 1636 Parish Road, has a rich history as one of the oldest surviving colonial homes in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was built circa 1719, by the great-grandson of Adam Thoroughgood. Thoroughgood was born into a prominent family in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England, July of 1604. With a longing for adventure, he paid for his voyage to the Virginia Colony through indentured servitude. He was only 17 years old.

He completed his servitude in just five years and purchased 150 acres. By 1635, he granted the same opportunity he had in exchange for land to the 105 indentured servants he sponsored. Thoroughgood returned to England and married Sarah Offley. By 1636, Captain Adam Thoroughgood had acquired approximately 5,350 acres of land near the Lynnhaven River. He led an extraordinary life. As a leader in the community, he was a member of the House of Burgesses at Jamestown, Governor’s Council, Justice of Court in Lower County of New Norfolk, and contributed to the establishment of Princess Anne County. Adam Thoroughgood suffered an illness and passed away at age 36 in 1640. He was buried at the First Church at Church Point on his own land along the banks of the Lynnhaven River. His grave is somewhere under the Lynnhaven River due to changing river boundaries.

The Thoroughgood House is an example of Virginia’s pre-Georgian architecture giving its visitors a glimpse of the lifestyle of early colonial gentry. It is a great example of informal houses of the early 18th century. The home is furnished to reflect the time period. The Thoroughgood House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. In 1966, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and in 1969, in the Virginia Landmark Register. It has served as a museum since April 1957 and in 2003 was acquired by the city of Virginia Beach. Through a 2004 grant from the National Park Service, a $150,000 award from the prestigious Save America’s Treasures program was matched by the city, to pay for a long-awaited restoration.