Adventures in Genealogy
Or "Rednecks, Crazy Aunt Sharon and Old Stories"
by Uncle Hiram
I don't know if I have ever mentioned it but I've got some really crazy relatives. Until I started doing genealogy I used to avoid the family reunion like The Plague. It was the same thing every year, a bunch of old folks sittin around talking about the "Good Old Days" until crazy Aunt Sharon started sanging Hank Williams' songs. You aint lived until you have heard a 90 year old woman with no teeth sing "Your Cheatin Heart".
Looking back I wish I would have paid a bit more attention to those stories, not Aunt Sharon's sanging. I can remember them telling about how Granpa used to spend all day plowing the fields behind two mules and everynight preaching fire and brimstone revivals all over East Texas.
I can remember how all the Aunts would pinch my cheeks and say don't he look just like Granpa Lee, (who I never met). I can remember the cousins coming in from Oklahoma, it was a two day trip. I remember there were sometimes over 75 people at these reunions, most of whom I have lost track of. The sad part is I don't remember the names of these folks and most of the old folks are gone now.
I think the funniest thang I ever heard happening at one of these reunions was the year Uncle Gene fell asleep driving home from the reunion. It seems for years he had been buying moonshine from one of my cousins (Cousin Tyrel's Dad, Jimmy Fred). He would sneak it home by putting it in the windshield wiper fluid tank. This year Uncle Gene fell asleep and Aunt Sharon (yes the one with the Hank Williams Compulsion) did the driving. She said that was the best Wiper fluid she ever used, it took off the bug guts with only one swipe. Uncle Gene was so mad he almost turned the car around and drove the 300 miles back to East Texas.
The Long and short of it is go to those family reunions, even if you don't want too. Listen to (and record if they will allow it) those stories the old timers tell. They are a wealth of information that will be gone before you know it. Take a camera and snap photos of all the cousins, aunts, uncles and in-laws. Make notes of who was in each shot so you can put them in your database with the right name. Get their addresses, phone numbers and give them a family sheet to fill out. Some of them won't fill them out, some of them will wanna know why you want the information, and some of them will think you are working for the American Communist Party or the United Nations but just smile and shake your head. (Every family has a few nuts.)
I know you may not believe this but you will enjoy yourself and you know you really wanna hear Aunt Sharon's version of Kaw-Liga.
Time for the Site of the Month Awards.
Home Page of the Month for July 2001
Blue Jackets, Members of the Shawnee Tribe
Misc. Site of the Month for July 2001
The International Black Sheep Society
County Site of the Month for July 2001
Brooklyn Information Page
- Adios and Keep Smiling!
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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)
International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists