Lorena Ann Amanda “Lora” O’NEAL Rivers was my Connection to Ireland

I have O’Neal ancestors who came from Ireland. My second great grandmother, Lorena Ann Amanda “Lora” (is what they called her), was the mother of my great grandfather, Thomas Dewitt RIVERS, Sr., who was the father of my grandfather, Thomas Dewitt RIVERS, Jr., the father of my own father, James Calvin (“Jim”, “Jimbo”, “Jimmy”) RIVERS.

Lora’s grandfather and grandmother, Thomas Miles O’NEAL, immigrated from Ireland to the colonies in the 1700s.

Lorena Ann Amanda “Lora” O’NEAL – Obituary – Charleston Evening Post, 14 Jan 1926

Lorena Ann Amanda "Lora" O'NEAL - Obituary - Charleston Evening Post, 14 Jan 1926
Lorena Ann Amanda “Lora” O’NEAL – Obituary – Charleston Evening Post, 14 Jan 1926

Funeral Held at Rutledge Ave. Baptist Church

Mrs. D. O. Rivers of Bonneau, died Wednesday night at Baker Sanitorium. Mrs. Rivers was born in Pierson, Ga., April 21, 1875. She was a daughter of Rev. Thomas P. O’Neal. She was married to Rev. D. O. Rivers, of Lake City, Fla., Aug. 6, 1893. She was a devoted member of the Baptist church from her girlhood, her father and hus-band being ministers of the same faith. Her husband, Rev. D. O. Rivers, has recently been pastor of the Baptist church of Bonneau. Be-sides her husband she leaves two sons, T. D. Rivers of Esmont, Va. and F. W. Rivers, of Charleston. The funeral was conducted in the Rutledge Avenue Baptist church Thursday at 1.0 p. m. by Rev. J. E. Bailey. Interment was at the Magnolia cemetery.

Military Historian Profile: Jonathan Gawne, Militaria Magazine, Author, Collector

Finding Your Father's War

Finding Your Father’s War : A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II US Army, by Jonathan Gawne (Casement: 2006)

Military Historian, Collector, and Author Jonathan Gawne has written books and an extensive amount of articles and has consulted on many, many projects on the subject of World War II. This book, Finding Your Father’s War : A Practical Guide to Researching and Understanding Service in the World War II Us Army” (Casemate: 2006), promises to be an excellent resource for family history researchers, military historians, or history enthusiasts who have an interest in learning more about an individual’s military history.

Understand that Gawne is much more than a military collector and enthusiast, as illustrated by a brilliant interview on military-trader.com by Andrew L. Turner. He is a scholar who has done his research thoroughly and has clearly gone beyond the level of the war movie fan-turned-re-enactor, doing extensive reading, studying still and moving images, interviewing veterans, and talking with other historians and collectors. Check out his work on the “Ghost Army of the E.T.O.” project. He’s written his own book on that subject, “Ghosts of the ETO…”. He has a website promoting “Finding Your Father’s War” and an archive saluting the 8th Division. Gawne has also written “Spearheading D-Day : American Special Units in Normandy”.

If interested in contacting Jonathan Gawne through social media you might try his Facebook page. Also, check out his works on the Militaria Magazine website.

Buy This Book on Amazon!


Who Are The Parents of Ollie Virginia “Ollie” Richards, My Great Grandmother? – Part 1

Yesterday, I received a message from a cousin of mine who I had been waiting to hear back from for such a long time I had almost forgotten about what she had to say. Brenda Pinti reached out to me in the end of January 2013 to tell me that she knew my maternal grandmother, my mother, as well as my great grandmother, the mother of my maternal grandmother. I replied back to her message, indicating my eagerness to learn anything she could pass on to me about our family, but I didn’t hear back from her right away. In fact, two-and-a-half years went by before I finally heard back from her.

I was very excited when I read this message from Brenda, as I was very close with my maternal grandmother. Grandma Lois Marjorie PALSON Romanac, who I called “Grannymom” when I was very little,

J.P. Rivers and Lois Romanac

The author and his grandmother, Lois Romanac, Fall 1986

was such a gentle and loving person with a kind of prankish sense of humor. It wasn’t an ill-intentioned prankishness or malevolence. She just got a kick out of hiding things from my mother, like her cigarettes or her lighter, and giving no clue that she knew exactly where they were. She loved to keep secrets.

She loved to let me know that she knew a secret that she wasn’t going to tell me.


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