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Other Publications by Dawn and Morris Thurston

Joseph and Mary Parrett: Making a Life in 19th Century Iowa                      

By Dawn Thurston    (Forthcoming) 
Joseph Parrett was only twenty when he returned from the Civil War, discharged early from Company F of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry with severe dysentery. Mary Ornduff, whose family lived on an adjacent farm, had just turned sixteen. All of the young men just older than she were off fighting for the Union cause. Within 18 months the two would marry, and together they would eventually raise 11 children. Joseph served several terms on the local school board and managed to run a large farm, despite the intestinal ailments that plagued him for the remainder of his life. The story of Joseph and Mary Parrett, Dawn’s great-great grandparents, captures the grit and courage of the kind of people who formed the backbone of America’s heartland in the mid-nineteenth century.   


Tora Thurston: The History of a Norwegian Pioneer

By Morris Ashcroft Thurston
 In 1838 a nineteen-year-old youth named Thore Torstensen took passage on the Emelie, bound for New York Harbor, one of the first immigrant ships to sail from Norway.  Thore, whose name was changed to Tora Thurston when he arrived in America, thus joined the vanguard of what was to become a massive Scandinavian migration in the decades to come.  Not long after his arrival in the Norwegian colony at Fox River, Illinois, he joined a new American religion, Mormonism, and then fled west with the pioneers after the murders of its leaders Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

This book is a culmination of ten years of research and writing by my husband, Tora’s great-great-grandson. It is over 400 pages of fascinating history, not only of Tora, but of his three wives (a Yankee, a Dane and a Swede), and his nineteen children. It has numerous photos and other illustrations, custom-drawn color maps, indices and pedigree charts taking Tora’s lineage back to the 1600s and beyond.  It was awarded the Dallas Genealogical Society’s best biography award.  Click here for a fuller description of this book, along with information on how to obtain it.


Long Trail Winding: The Personal History of Morris Alma Thurston

Edited by Morris Ashcroft Thurston
In 1996 Morris Alma Thurston, then 85 years old, delivered 150 handwritten pages of a memoir he had been working on to his son, Morrie (my husband), and asked for help in getting it to the next level.  Happy to oblige, Morrie worked with his father for severa
l years, honing and organizing the existing text, drawing out additional stories and background material, assembling photos and illustrations, and preparing the book for publication. The result is a masterpiece of storytelling by a member of “the Greatest Generation,” whose life spanned most of the twentieth century.  It also serves as an outstanding example of how an ordinary person, with no special claim to fame and average writing skills, can create a fascinating life story people will really want to read.  Click here for a fuller description of this book, along with information on how to obtain it.



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