That feeling you get when you finally see a picture of an ancestor you’ve been working on for years and years (around 14) is absolutely priceless.  Putting a face to the name you’ve been researching is so rewarding.  It makes that ancestor so much more real (at least in my opinion).  I can immediately relate to them more.  I am more interested in learning their story.

I have a distant cousin who sent me these pictures this past month.  I am so thankful and am looking forward to sharing them with the rest of my family.

These pictures are of James Patrick Thornton (1824-1887), my 3rd great-grandfather.  He came to the U.S. (first to Illinois and then Nebraska) from Ireland.

These photos were scanned from an album in my cousin’s possession.  The album has a stamp that says “Patent June 6, 1882″ in it.

  • Marian Wood - April 17, 2013 - 10:12 am

    Hi Jen, Happy to see you posting again! I miss reading about your ancestors and adventures. Take care! – From Marian @ your twin blog namesakeReplyCancel

    • Jenn - April 17, 2013 - 12:17 pm

      Thanks Marian! I started my own photography business a couple of months ago, so I’ve been swamped. :)ReplyCancel

  • Mariann Regan - April 21, 2013 - 6:04 pm

    What an amazing face — I think it shows a lot of strength. And those eyes look so penetrating. Maybe it is their intelligence, or maybe it is their light color. I would want to make sure this person was my friend.ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - April 22, 2013 - 8:38 am

    Mariann – I agree! He has very nice eyes. :)ReplyCancel

  • Ann H. Emory - May 4, 2014 - 8:15 pm

    When I encountered your site and the photo of James P. Thornton, I was shocked, as I have the same photo. I would love to get in touch with you and your cousin who has the photo album. I have other Thornton photos that I’m happy to share as well. Hope to here from you. My email is
    Thanks, Ann

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Life has been crazy.  I’ve started my own photography business and continue to homeschool my kids.  I feel like I rarely have time to spend on genealogy and that makes me sad.

There is one advantage to taking a long break from doing research though.  Records are always being added online and when you haven’t looked for a while, it feels like you’ve hit the jackpot.

Here is one of the things I found this week – the naturalization petition of my step-grandmother, Margaret Rose Barnard Ogden Sanchez.

  • Trevor Ogden-Sanchez - March 10, 2013 - 6:28 am

    This is weird because my Mom told me she never received American citizenship but that she had a permanent residency card. HmmmmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Thornton Woods - April 12, 2013 - 5:56 am

    This is a petition for naturalization. She may not have completed it.ReplyCancel

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It’s time again to shop through the Sears & Roebuck catalogs.  This time it’s 1907…

As always, I’ll start with the fashions.

The hats, my goodness the hats!“Because I love you” – the complete lover’s guide.I love this desk telephone.This cracks me up.  The smallest kinematograph in the world. “A positive sensation.  By looking through the small eye-piece a perfect picture may be seen.  Ask your friends to keep turning to see additional pictures and as soon as small knob is turned a small spray of water is released and shot into the operator’s eye.:)All the Go – Roosevelt Bears!!Motion Picture Machines and Stereopticons.  Look at all of the beautiful things you could see.I think it’s interesting that Sears had a “profit sharing program” where you could earn free items.I just love how easy they make using these washing machines look.  Yeah, right!!Very interesting napkin holders.I thought it was interesting to see what types of magazines were offered in 1907.This poor woman is absolutely buried in books.:)The Davis Automatic Morris Chairs – “designed for those who like massiveness and simplicity…”Jewelry tools.I am so glad that I will never need a foot warmer.  Brrr.You could even get club foot shoes in the catalog.  Such selection.Holy water founts.And look at the boy’s football uniform…Join me next time when we shop through 1908.

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It’s that time again! Time to shop through the Sears & Roebuck Catalog.  This time, we’ll be shopping through 1906.

Let’s start with fashion…..

Don’t you just love these bathing suits?  I can’t even imagine trying to swim in that dress.

I just love the huge hats.

There were many different types of dolls available.  Here are a few of them: The “Exceptional Large Size Dolls for the Money” cracks me up.  A Buster Brown doll.  The “Unbreakable Leather Doll” {baby’s friend!} and even an infant talking doll.  I wonder what it sounded like.

These rings are kind of creepy looking…

An automobile MackIntosh – I guess cars were becoming popular and one needed a special coat to ride in one.:)I just love this watch, engraved with  your name on it.The new and improved Universal Keyboard!!You really can buy anything at Sears.  Including a cork extension for short legs.Or even an artificial leg – at half price!

I bet that these were a real hit.  A scarf pin that lights up!!Electric insoles for bad circulation and cold feet.Who doesn’t love hot chocolate?  How about a whole “chocolate set”??I’ve seen lockets for necklaces, but this one is on a bracelet.Fun for the kids!  A Mohawk Indian Wigwam.  “Every boy likes to play Indian”.  “Remember, a happy boy makes a happy home. You can make your boy happy by putting him in possession of a wigwam of his own”In every catalog edition, there always seems to be one or two pages that have a bit of color added.  This time it is tan shoes.  For some reason, these remind me of wicked witch shoes.There is also a page on different rug patterns in color.

Not so sure if I’d like to try this electric liniment.  Apparently, it is called that, “because the application produces a feeling similar to the feeling produced by a mild charge of electricity.”  Yikes!I love the many varieties of bookshelves available.  I’d never seen a corner bookshelf before and the revolving ones are so cool!!There were obviously so many different societies during this time period.  Look at all of the different society charms.I always love looking at the different cures that are offered.  Blood builder.  Mexican Headache Cure.  Peruvian Wine of Cocoa.And lastly, you could even order imported palm plants.

  • Susan Donaldson - January 5, 2013 - 3:46 pm

    I love these old illustrations. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Debi Levy Austen - January 5, 2013 - 11:27 pm

    Yay – Shopping Through the Ages is Back! Not only do I love looking at all of this stuff, it’s especially fun to see what things cost back then. I’ve been transcribing letters from my grandmother to my grandfather the 1917ish time period and I love reading about going out for a ride in the “machine” (AKA car). She talked a lot about the weather as they, apparently, had to plan their drives around the weather. She could have used the MackIntosh. I also find buying an artificial leg through a catalog very interesting.ReplyCancel

  • Climbing My Family Tree - January 6, 2013 - 4:46 pm

    Yes, it would have been strange having to dress for/plan around the weather to do something simple as hopping in the car. We are so spoiled. :) I wonder why the world “machine” went out of style in describing a car. In Russian, the word for car is “mashina”. :) You are so lucky that you have those letters. I really need to find the relatives that may have ended up with letters in my family!!ReplyCancel

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