Alphonse Thornton was my great-grandfather.  I never met him, because he died when my father was still a small boy.  Here is his obituary, as posted in a local Sioux City, IA newspaper on 27 Apr 1959 :

Alphonse J. Thornton
Funeral services for Alphonse J. Thornton, 68, 712 W. Fifth street, who died Saturday night after suffering a heart attack at the Hollywood theater where he was a doorman, will be at 10:30 am. Tuesday at St.  Boniface Catholic church.  Rev. Ralph Scherrer will officiate.  Burial will be in Calvary cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Harry Robinson, Albert Mullen, Elmer Watkins, Eugene Thompson, Howard Hanneman and Richard Evens.
The rosary will be recited at 8 o’clock tonight at the Larkin funeral home.
Mr. Thornton was dead on arrival at a hospital to which he was taken by a fire department inhalator squad.
He was born September 4, 1889, at Hubbard, Neb.  He came to Sioux City in 1908.  He married Mary Robinson November 24, 1915, in Sioux City.  They moved to Westfield, Ia., returning to Sioux City in 1938.
He was employed by Swift & Co. for 12 years, retiring 4 years ago.
Survivors include the widow; four sons, Bonnie and Charles of Rock Island, Ill., A.J. Jr., of Sioux City and James of Silver Springs, Md.; two daughters, Miss Darlene Thornton of Sioux City and Miss Jean Thornton of San Francisco; 12 grandchildren; two brothers, Clarence of Sioux City and Edward of Des Moines and two sisters, Mrs. Marie McHale of Portland, Ore., and Mrs. Irene Bowen of Thurman, Ia.

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Since I’m glued to the computer this afternoon, scanning in tons of old photos and documents, I thought that I might as well multitask and join in the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings.:)

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Make a list of Genealogy-oriented people or things that you are thankful for.  Any number — 1, 10, 100, whatever.

2)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook comment or Note.

What am I thankful for?

  1. All of the wonderful old photos my mother gave me – which I’m currently scanning.
  2. My subscription to and the seemingly endless amount of records they are constantly adding.  I find something new every time I look!
  3. My wonderful husband who puts up with spending our vacation in cemeteries and courthouses across the country.
  4. Great genes.:)
  5. Being able to attend the Atlanta Family History Expo last weekend.
  6. That next year’s NGS conference is only 2 hours from my house!
  7. That I started my genealogical journey early in life.  I was only 23 when I began 11 years ago.
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My good friend, Cherie Cayemberg, has just recently started her new genealogy blog – entitled Have You Seen My Roots? I encourage you to head over there and welcome her to the geneablogging community.

Cherie and I have known each other for quite some time now – longer than I’d like to admit.:)  We served in the military together and she was later a Drill Sergeant with my husband.  She is a wonderful mom and a very talented genealogist.  She is on the road to becoming a professional.  I am excited about following her through her journey, so that I can learn from her.  I’m waiting for her to blaze the trail for me.:)

Here is the “about me” blurb from her blog:

After years of talking about becoming a professional genealogist, my loving husband told me to just do it. So instead of talking about it, I’m currently journeying down the path to accreditation (or at least that’s the goal). There are many things that will be thrown in my way, from PTA and Cub Scout meetings, mommy-ing, and (naturally) the challenge of actually preparing for and passing the accreditation! This is my journey. Presented honestly, and hopefully, without offending…”

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When I started my research, I began with what I knew and worked back like most people.

It’s exciting to find each new generation though – often more exciting than filling in the blanks on some of the more recent ones.

As I have been filling out my DAR paperwork, I have realized that there are a lot of things that I “skipped” concerning my grandparents and great-grandparents.  The memories of my aunts and uncles are helpful, but they are not proof of my grandparents’ birth or marriage dates.

I have been busy remedying my early mistakes by ordering a slew of birth, death, and marriage certificates.

As I was reading the most recent issue of Family Tree Magazine, I was happy to have found the website of the Washington Digital Archives listed as one of the best state websites. I didn’t even know the website existed.

And I was even happier to have found a copy of my grandparents’ marriage certificate, scanned in, just waiting for me to find it.:)

Theirs wasn’t the only one either.  I was able to find the certificates for both of my grandmother’s sisters, too.

The birth and death records were also helpful, but there were not scanned images of them – for obvious reasons.

So, I have found yet another great resource to add to my genealogy “toolbox”.  My bookmark list is getting pretty long!!

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