This Thursday, I want to express my gratitude to Darwin Edward Thornton (1920-2002). He was my first cousin, twice removed – twice. His mother was my great-grandmother’s sister. His father was my great-grandfather’s brother. Robertson sisters married Thornton brothers and made the family doubly related.
I never met Darwin – actually I never even spoke to him or his family. I was given a copy of a copy of a copy of his genealogy research by my aunt though, and I am very thankful for that. He did a ton of great research in the years before Ancestry.com and online databases. Not only did he do a lot of research, but he also put it into a narrative format which makes it so easy and enjoyable to read. I was very excited to receive the copy of his work early on in my family history quest. Even though I can find most of the names and dates on my own now online, what is invaluable in his work is the stories. It’s not just names and dates, but memories and pictures.
So, if Darwin’s family is out there in Internet-land and finds this, I just want them to know that his work is appreciated! It has inspired me to do the same sort of writing for other lines of my family. I hope that some day I am able to write my own family history books for my descendants to read.