Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have a new project for the year and it is a time sucker, but I love every minute of it. During my junior year of high school I had a team of two teachers, Webb and Pardue, who taught American History and Literature with a bit of Architecture and Art thrown it. It was really a great class and wish I had paid attention a bit more to get more out of it, but alas..... Anyway, our main project for the year was a genealogy project using primary resources--censuses, legal documents, interviews, etc. We could chose to go side ways and do cousins or go backwards in regular family tree fashion. I chose to go backwards. This project included biographies of all known relatives, pedigree charts, and any pertinent documentation.

For our wedding present to our parents, we presented them with a large fan shaped family tree each featuring their family. Then we had one with our families combined featured at our wedding reception and now hangs in our guest bedroom. Stephen drew out the diagram and I wrote in all the names and wedding dates.

I was extremely blessed in that both of my grandmothers were very interested in genealogy and had already done a ton of research and knew some lines back into the 1600's. Gran has almost got us related to Pocahontas. Since Gran, my maternal grandmother, has passed away, I was given the honor of keeping all her records and pictures. The first weekend, I took home a suitcase and two expandable files full. The following weekend back in Shreveport, I took home another suitcase and 3 large boxes full. It's a little overwhelming.

I have decided to start with pictures. They are easier and more fun to work with and it helps you put a name with a face once you begin writing about them. I began scanning all the pictures into the computer on Friday in every spare moment and finished last night about 11:00.

In looking at the material I have, it seems to break down easily into two parts. My great-grandfather and great-grand mother on my grandmother's side (Paul Marvin Brown, Jr. and Willie Eleanor Cavett Brown) both come from very strong families and there is much information and documentation on these relatives. So, I am setting out to at least do a picture Blurb book with pertinent dates for all the living relatives. The first half will be the past--from Paul and Willie backwards (their parents and more). The second half will be the future--from Paul and Willie forwards.

I'm really excited about the possibilities of this project and hope that in a few years I can follow up with a second volume with more written detail of each relative.
Colored pic. from 1976. Yep, that's me, the 2 year old. Black and white above is my great grandmother's siblings. That house still stands today in Shreveport on Olive street just off of Highland.

P.S.-- I thought I'd throw in another fun picture--Nixon with my great-grandparents. Funny thing is that Stephen has a pic with his grandmother shaking his hand too!


geneabloggers said...

What a great post on genealogy and the photos are wonderful!

I've passed your post on to our other genealogy bloggers - they love seeing folks discover or re-discover their family history!

Candace Chaney said...

Barbara is going to love this. She's all into genealogy, too.

And I love the Nixon picture. What was the occasion? You know, Cowen studios are still around. Funny.