Archives for THORNTON / STRAWSER

Interesting Tidbits

Ernest gets arrested

On November 25, 1940, my grandfather Ernest Monroe Thornton was arrested after firing 3 shots at James Rucker during a fist fight at West Park Cafe at 1111 Federal St. (3 blocks from his apartment) North Side, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The “cafe” was a rough place with gambling, drinking and repeated code violations. Read more in the updated chapter PDF:
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Ernest and Helen Thornton

Ernest Monroe Thornton was born in 1902 in Radford, Virginia. At a young age his father drowned and his mother died of pneumonia. Around the age of 20 he moved to Pittsburgh for a better life. Helen Lucille Strawser was born in Preston County, West Virginia. They met and married and started a family. Ernest worked as a watch repair and maker and the family appeared to be doing well in North Side, Pittsburgh, PA.…
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Are we related?

We’re All Connected

It turns out that my half siblings and a close friend and his mother and my mother are all distant cousins, at least by marriage. It wasn’t some deep dark secret the family had kept hidden. I only just stumbled on it. Sometimes I think that instead of a tree, my family works better as a spirograph or vines that twist and tangle onto themselves as they grow in all directions. READ:
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Thorntons and Their Kin Folk by Maudie Hodge

This is a scan of a copy of a copy of Maudie Hodge's "Thornton Book" that she compiled in 1983. Copies were distributed to numerous Thorntons. I learned of it and finally was able to scan Mark Francis' copy. I hope to someday find more of the original photos since the photocopy quality is poor. I was also warned that not all of the info is 100% correct, which is not unusual for a large…
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DNA

George Wade Thornton

George Wade Thornton was my great grandfather Nonie’s brother. Wade (as he was called for most of life) was a little more nebulous than some of the other ;His father’s obituary in 1941 mentioned Wade living in Marion, West Virginia and I didn’t think anything of it - until I examined the 1940 census. I was startled to see he was listed as an inmate at Southwestern Mental Hospital. I was able to obtain Wade’s…
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Graham-Thornton Cemetery

In 2016 I visited the graves of my great great grandparents GJ Thornton and Maggie Boothe. They are buried in the Graham-Thornton Cemetery near Snowville in Pulaski County, ; The Graham-Thornton Cemetery has 32 identified burials between 1912 to 1979 spanning 4 generations of Grahams and ;All but one buried here are directly related to both the Thorntons and Grahams by blood or marriage. The Thorntons descend from GJ Thornton and Maggie Boothe. The Grahams…
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Rhoda Elizabeth Roop

Another sad story. Rhoda was admitted to Southwestern Mental Hospital in Marion, Virginia after she tried to kill herself. Southwestern was the same place Rhoda's sister's daughter Daisy's husband George Wade Thornton ended up (they were there at the same time for a while).  Download Rhoda's PDF Chapter 
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Historical Sketch of Snowville, Virginia by WR Hundley

I discovered this original typed manuscript in the Radford, VA library. It is a delightful memoir of a lost time and place by a former resident of Snowville in the Appalachian mountains of southwest Virginia written in 1931. My ancestors lived there during this time. Cousin Mark Francis gave me a nice tour of the Snowville area a few weeks ago (2016), and even though the town is only a few buildings now, the area…
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Interesting Tidbits

Mr. Goad sent his photo to Bessie Sutphin

Around 1910, a young man dressed up in his best suit and bowler hat and had his photo taken. He sent it to Miss Bessie Sutphin in East Radford, ; The back had a message scrawled and signed by a D. Goad: “Please don't leave home when you see my photo haha. I have tried every day to get these and just got them yesterday. Will ans soon from your D. Goad” 110 years later…
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Newsletter

The Climb from Salt Lick by Nancy L. Abrams

The Climb from Salt Lick: A Memoir of Appalachia In the mid-1970s, Nancy L. Abrams, a young photojournalist from the Midwest, plunges into life as a small-town journalist in West Virginia. She befriends the hippies on the commune one mountaintop over, rents a cabin in beautiful Salt Lick Valley, and falls in love with a local boy, wrestling to balance the demands of a job and a personal life. She learns how to survive in…
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