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From Knights to the Moon

Updated December 10, 2001

About Our Family Research

I got started doing research on my family tree in 1980. I didn't even know my paternal grandfather's name. I ended up going to Austin, Texas, where they have a great system of keeping track of deaths within the state. I wish every state did that.

I found the death certificates of my grandfather and back six generations. I then went to Livingston, Texas, which is north of Houston, where I found a graveyard with six generations of ancestors waiting for me. It was nice to see all the headstones of people who had come before me.

I found information there that lead me to Morton, Mississippi which is east of Jackson, where I found a relative who had a family Bible from my ancestor born in 1799. It contained the names of his children and other information. Unfortunately, it did not contain the names of his parents or grandparents. Because of this I and other family members are stuck at his father. No one knows for sure who his father was. We only know he lived in North Carolina and owned property there. I have found wills that contain all the right names for my family but they don't show the relationships between the people. Please don't make the same mistake for your grandchildren. Please make everything is clear for your descendents.

I call this site "From Knights to the Moon" because the first Lawrence (according to some sources) was Sir Robert Lawrence, a close friend and fighting companion of the English King, Richard the Lion Hearted. Both of them fought in the Thirteenth Crusade in the Holy Land at the Battle of Acre.

The "Moon" part of the title comes from me. I was fortunate enough to be on the launch team for the Apollo Program to put a man on the moon. I actually worked in Firing Room Number 1 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and pushed buttons to make the rocket take off. Without me (or someone else who worked with me) the rocket would not have launched.

I felt like someone who worked on Christopher Columbus' ships might have felt when he watched the ships leave for the "New World"! He couldn't go with the ships but he had a small part to do with an historical event. I couldn't go to the moon but I surely helped Neil Armstrong and the other astronauts get there.

Family Trees (viewing trees requires 4.0 or later browser)
  • Wayne Lawrence Family Tree (78 KB)
    Traces my roots back 7 generations on my direct paternal side. Other sides go back 13 generations.
Family Photos
  • Wayne taking a bath. (167 KB)
    This is me taking a bath at about age six months.
  • Wayne dressed to go to High School Graduation. (60 KB)
    After the graduation, I went to the Senior Prom. My age was seventeen at the time.
  • Wayne with brothers and cousins. (135 KB)
    Looking from left to right with brothers in back and cousins in front - Richard Harold Lawrnece, age 11; Ronald William Lawrence, age 13; G. Andrew Lawrence, age 15; Wayne Edward Lawrence, age 17. Cousins: John W. Hrubes; Branch Andrew Hrubes holding Charlene; Darryl Hrubes.
  • 1959 - My mother and brothers. (167 KB)
    Looking left to right - Ronald, Shirley, Andrew, Richard, Wayne.
  • 1960 - My mother and brothers. (113 KB)
    Looking left to right - Ronald, Andrew, Shirley, Richard, Wayne.
  • 1960 - My brothers and me with Aunt Florence. (178 KB)
    Left to right - Wayne, Richard, Andrew, Aunt Florence Lawrence, Ronald. Aunt Florence is my grandfather's sister. She was 76 , had all of her teeth and her hair had just started turning gray. She used an outhouse and drank water from her own well. She aslo took care of her garden which was about five acres. I wish I was that healthy now at 57.
  • 1995 - My mother. (53 KB)
    My mother, Shirley May Miller Lawrence.
  • 1998 - my oldest son. (168 KB)
    Michael Todhunter Lawrence, age 28 at the time.
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