Adventures in Genealogy Adventures in Genealogy

What To Include

Or "Rednecks, Details and Family History"

by Uncle Hiram


Probably one of the hardest things to do is to decide what to put into your family history and what to exclude. Yes, there are things that you dont want to include but lets discuss the stuff to put in first.

First, The hard facts. Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce, Children, these are all vital facts. They can tell you the who and what about the individual but not much else. Example:

   Name: Eunice Francis Moore
   Born: May 23rd 1916
   Married: Zonia Mayola Moore Jan 30 1934
   Children: E Louise Moore
      L Vivian Moore
      (and 7 More)
   Died: July 4th 1994

These are the cold hard facts about Mr. Moore but they really dont tell us anything about him. So lets add some "Softer" facts like Titles, Geographic locations, occupations, organizations, etc.....Example:

   Name: Reverand Eunice Francis Moore
   Born: May 23rd 1916 on a small farm near Cooper, Delta County Texas.
   Married: Zonia Mayola Moore in Cooper Texas
   Children: He fathered nine kids. Seven of whom lived. He also adopted two children.
   Occupation: He spent the majority of his life as a farmer. After being ordained as a Minister he moved to Grand Praire, Texas and went to work at the Goodyear Rubber Factory. He retired after 20 years and moved back to East Texas.
   Organizations: He was a 32nd Degree Mason, A life long Democrat and recieved a full Masonic Funeral.

As you can see the addition of certain "Soft" facts you can make the person much more human. We learn a bit more about the individual but get more of a "Feel" for the person. If your ultimate goal is a family tree you would stop here but if you are working on a family history you add more "Soft" facts, family stories, nicknames, personal memories and other items of interest. The final example I give you is how the Bio of my Grandfather appears in my files.

Reverand E F "Boots" Moore was born on a small farm near Cooper in Delta County Texas. He was the middle son of a dirt poor farmer that had turned to bootlegging during Probition to supplement his income. Boots grew up helping his father farm the land and "running the shine". He met, wooed and married a striking young girl named Zonie Moore. Boots and Zonie started their new life in the depths of the depression. They lost their first two babies to early deaths. Rather than turn bitter they adopted two children. Later they were blessed with seven children that lived. In the mid 1950's Boots was saved and received the call to become a Preacher. The Reverand E F Moore gave up the farm and moved to Grand Prairie Texas in order to preach at a small church. For twenty years he worked at the Goodyear Rubber Factory during the day and built and preached in churches all over Dallas and Tarrent Counties at night. In 1979 he retired from Goodyear and moved to Grand Saline Texas and became the minister of a small church in Van Texas.

In his declining years he supplemented his income by cutting firewood (A chord a day). He was a Big Man, over 6 ft tall but as gentle as a lamb, always singing and laughing. He passed away during the 4th of July weekend in 1994. He received a full Masonic Funeral. To this day many of us still picture him sitting at the head of the table at his favorite restaraunt "Casey's Catfish" in Canton, Laughing, Smiling and cutting up.

Next time we will discuss what NOT to put in your family history and why.

- Adios and Keep Smiling!

Return to the Adventures in Genealogy home page.

About the Author
"I am not rich or famous so I don't have a pre-prepared Bio written by some high paid ghost rider. So I will just give Yall the relevant facts."

- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)

Additional Information
  • Finding Living Relatives
  • Personalized E-mail... A Genealogy Necessity
  • Immigrant Ancestry Research
  • What's New in Genealogy ... Today!
    click to view original photo