One of my goals this year is to get my hands on John Edwards’ Civil War pension.  I have explained the problems I’ve been having here and here.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a reply from the VA today!!  They were quick, I have to say.  I thought that I was going to be waiting months upon months to even get a confirmation, but I was wrong.  I wrote to them right before Christmas, so that’s a pretty quick turnaround.

Unfortunately, they didn’t have the records I was searching for.  They are (of course) housed in another facility (within the VA).  Thankfully, they forwarded my request and hopefully the next office will be as prompt as they were.

Am I beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel?  Do his records actually exist??  Are they sitting on some back shelf in a musty, dark basement somewhere, untouched by human hands for the past 80 years?  Probably.

I just hope that the VA can unearth them for me so that I can finally read them!  After all of this time and frustration, there had better be something good in this thing!:)

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Week 1: Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?!

When I was a kid, we didn’t normally have a huge bash at New Year’s Eve like some people did.

Most of our family members lived within 2 hours of us, but not in the same town.  Besides, we had seen all of them at Christmas, so we usually rang in the new year with just us (my parents and 3 siblings). New Year’s was normally spent at home with football and food  – lots of chips and dip.

We would of course stay up until midnight and watch the ball drop on TV.   Not very exciting, but as a kid we always thought staying up that late was so cool.

As I got to be a teenager, I generally spent New Year’s with friends who lived nearby. We always made sure we were spending the night somewhere, because really – who wants to be on the road on New Year’s Eve with a bunch of crazy drivers?

Now that I’m married and have a family of my own, we can make our own traditions.  The kids like to drink sparkling cider from wine glasses at midnight – even though I have a feeling that they don’t really like the cider, they just like drinking out of grown-up glasses. :)

You would have thought that we would have at least had a huge celebration to ring in 2000, but we didn’t.  We were living in San Antonio at the time and had a 6 month-old baby.  We stayed at home and fell asleep soon after midnight. We’re boring, I know.

This year, we spent New Year’s Eve at Sea World in Orlando.  Definitely one that we will all remember.:)

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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 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.:)

  • Cheryl Cayemberg - January 6, 2011 - 9:49 am

    If anyone can, you can!ReplyCancel

  • Taige Thornton - May 19, 2013 - 4:20 pm

    I do not know how to respond on Facebook – so I am back at your site to thank you for your kind words about Darwin providing you with the incentive to write about your family history. If he has Facebook in heaven, I am sure he is smiling!

    I hope all is well with your family.

    Thank you,


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Aren’t these little guys adorable?

I “found” these when I scanned in some old negatives.  I had no idea who they were.  I passed them on to my mom, who passed them on to her older sister and she was thankfully able to identify them as their cousins – children of my grandpa’s sister Lou.

He has a mini me!  These two pictures are actually the same pic, I just couldn’t scan it all in at once.  And yes, I know that I AGAIN scanned it backwards.

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