Wilson L. Hammock and Margaret Eliza Garrett's daughter, Margaret "Laverne"
Hammock Tornow, was born on September 20, 1955 in Brooksville, Hernando
County, Florida. Touting herself as a "sixth generation Florida Cracker
with four generations rooted in Hernando County", Laverne attended Hernando
High School in Brooksville, but graduated from McDowell High School in Erie,
Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduation she enlisted in the United States Air Force where
on October 12, 1974 at Lackland Air Force Base in San
Antonio, Texas she married Stanley William Tornow of Walnut, Bureau County,
Illinois. At this time, Laverne and her husband reside in rural Hernando County, and her mother lives nearby.
A love for history and early American culture is what Laverne believes
created her interest in genealogy. "Reading about the things your ancestors
owned and having a working knowledge of life in that time period can really bring your family
history to life right before your eyes. It really is true what they say
about forgetting the past; 'Those who choose to forget their past are doomed
to repeat its mistakes.'"
Besides what she does for genealogy, Laverne has done a lot to spread her
knowledge and love of history, happiness, and laughter. For ten years, she
worked as a booking agent for the International All Star Circus and The
Great American Circus in Sarasota, Florida. Also for a ten-year period,
Laverne and her husband traveled the East Coast as a First Person Living
History Interpreter and Historical Costumer.
Since the Tornow's Living History travels have ceased, Laverne has delved
wholeheartedly into volunteerism. She is the Membership Director and
a founding member of the Hernando High School Alumni Association, FLGenWeb
County Coordinator for Citrus, Orange, Pasco and Pinellas counties, Coordinator
for Citrus, Pasco and Hernando Counties and the Topic Sites; Food and Recipes,
Domestic Arts for the American Local History Network(www.alhn.org)and
Webmaster for several web sites just to name a few of her endeavors.
When asked why she does so much, Laverne cheerfully replies, "I am working
in my small corner of the world to keep information of a genealogical and
historical nature available and free to everyone. As George Bernard Shaw
once said, 'Those who can, do; those who can't teach.' I do a bit of both."
You can visit Laverne's personal genealogy site, Sparkman Family Research