Monday, May 07, 2007

Twamley Family

I've often said to people who didn't know me growing up, that it would be fair to say the Waltons television show was a good comparison to my famiy and community. We weren't in the mountains, nor living through the great depression. But the sense of community, people knowing people, close families, and 'making do' rang a very familiar bell when watching that program.

One such family from my area are the Twamleys. To say they have an inspiring story is an understatement. Their lineage was Scot, passing through Prince Edward Island (as many other early settlers to our area did...) until they were inspired to move to St. Vincent. Like my own grandparents, they did whatever they had to, to make a living and make a home for themselves. I have several connections to the family, which is typical of anyone from my hometown, meaning that people are interconnected up there. I went to school with the Twamley kids. A cousin of mine, Margaret Balderston Diamond1, and her husband Levi, took one of the Twamley children in after their mother died - Back then, it was still pretty tough for a single parent to handle a job and a parcel of kids, and so many of the younger children had to go into foster care. And when they were no longer able to, my parents took over. Cindy was the youngest living Twamley and my age. It was a novel experience for me as I remember it to suddenly have a sister close to my age after only having two much older sisters prior to that. Due to multiple health problems in my family, Cindy wasn't able to stay with us long, but in the end, she did come back to our area and graduate with the rest of us, the class of 1977.

While some of the original Twamley family have moved on, there is still a strong presence of their descendents.

Trivia: My Grandpa Fitzpatrick worked for Cindy Twamley's Great Uncle Frank Twamley, as a thresher, in September 1918, when Grandpa registered with the local draft board...

1Margaret Diamond was quite a character. She had a very distinctive voice and demeanor. Feature-wise, you could compare her somewhat to the actress that played Grandma Walton. She was often seen in a dress with a full apron, same as my grandmother, who she was related to by the way. Yes, yes, ANOTHER Kittson county connection!