Archive for Hazel’s Family Stories

Thornton Farmstead: Home of the Iowa State Fair

I’ve never attended the Iowa State Fair. I gain weight just reading the 2019 Food On A Stick menu! But I did visit the fairgrounds a number of years ago on a genealogy research trip with my dad. Why? Because the land formerly belonged to my 2nd great-grandfather, Calvin Thornton. Prior to that, it belonged to his pioneer father-in-law, John Harris, who left it to his daughter, Araminta. (So, it was really hers…and, well, who knows who it “belonged” to before they came to settle in the area, right? But I digress…)

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Playing Detective: Grandma’s Birth Certificate

AHA! I was RIGHT!

Right about what, you ask?

Right about where my Grandma Hankins was born (Villa Mae Lawrence Hankins 1904-1986).

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Thornton Family Resemblances Revisited

2019 (left) Archie Raymond Thornton Jr. and (right) Michael Ray Thornton

I once wrote an article for APPO (Association of Professional Photo Organizers) called Who Do You Think You Look Like? The Mystery of Family Resemblances. It featured a small selection of photos from both sides of my family.

This time, in honor of Father’s Day, I’ve gathered photos from six consecutive generations of Thornton fathers and sons. I only recently found the oldest two photos — Calvin and Nathan — in the course of my never-ending genealogy research. Once again, I find the similarities between all of these men striking, don’t you?

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Mom’s Boxes Part 8: The Gangster Hideout

The “farmhouse” after being painted white, pillars added, and lower windows remodeled into new front doors.

READERS: This is the sort of story I intend to write more of over the next few years to share with my family. It’s also the sort of story I encourage you to write about your own family! It doesn’t have to be fancy, with links to articles and such. Just capture the memories for future generations.

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What’s a photo without the story?

Who is this saucy young woman? Don’t know? Don’t care?

She looks like fun, though, doesn’t she?

What if you found this photo in a bin at Goodwill? For sale on eBay?

Would you buy it? Would you feel vaguely sad that somebody got rid of it, and move on?

What if you found her in your parents’ stuff and didn’t know who she was?

Would you keep, or toss? Would you try to find the story behind the photo?

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Mom’s Boxes # 7: Sharing family history with my family

Family website

Shhh! Don’t tell my family, but I’ve finally figured out what I’m giving them all for Christmas.

“What?” you ask…with bated breath…

Why, The Gift of an Organized Family Tree, of course!

“But wait…you’re an organizer, and a genealogist. Haven’t you already shared your family history with your family?”

Well…yes and no…

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Mom’s Boxes Part 5: The Old Man of the Mountains

George D. Hankins

READERS: This is the sort of story I intend to write more of over the next few years to share with my family. It’s also the sort of story I encourage you to write about your own family! It doesn’t have to be fancy, with footnotes and such. Just capture the memories for future generations.

This is a different kind of New Mexico family history in that no one in my family was born in New Mexico! My mom, her parents and two sisters, and my three brothers were all born in Indiana. My dad and I were both born in California. But most of us came to call Albuquerque home.

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The mystery of family resemblances: Who you think you look like?

I’ve long been intrigued by family resemblances. I also love the genealogy TV show, Who Do You Think You Are?, which inspired my blog title.

I wrote this post for APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers), and I’m sharing it here so you can enjoy it too!

Click here to read the rest of the story and to view my family photos.

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Mom’s Boxes Part 4: Grandma’s Lawn Chairs

I wrote this blog post for APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers), but it’s essentially Mom’s Boxes Part 4, since I found most of the photos in mom’s boxes.

Photos keep memories alive. And they tell the story of a family over time. They show how it grew and how it changed. Some people have the forethought to mark the passage of time by taking photos of their kids each year wearing the same outfit (oversized at the outset), or standing next to a fixed object. And sometimes everyday objects in a family’s life seem to inadvertently bear witness to these changes for us.

Click here to read the rest of the story, and to view my family photos.

[Tweet “What special stories have you discovered in your family’s photos?]

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Thornton Family History Lost & Found

My grandpa, dad, and brother

My grandpa, dad, and brother.

Have you ever lost part of your family history and found it again? Do you still have unsolved mysteries that intrigue you?

In Puzzling Out Your Family History I talked about the joys and challenges of doing one’s own genealogy research. In The Gift of an Organized Family Tree I describe one of the several types of projects I can do for you. My Family History Research Services web page includes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), the first of which is, “What the heck does genealogy have to do with organizing?” In Gifts I Got from Mom, I shared more of my story. And in the Mom’s Boxes series, I share more of hers.

And here’s how it all began…..

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