simple format with lots of wow!
july 14, 2013
Many hours of procrastination goes into beginning a family history. The writer forms a plan to present the book. Thinking about the format and method for presenting pagination, indexes and the table of contents and whether to write it in Word or buy new software developed for book writing further stalls the act of the actual writing process. What if the book had none of these but was packed with information and footnotes to the sources? Well, I just finished reading such a book and I completely forgive the lack of professional format due to the volume of information contained within the pages of the family history. It is a family history written by Bob Dunfield for his family.
Ten Generations of Bob Tooms Dunfield’s Family by Bob Tooms Dunfield covers his ten generations in an easy and friendly book of 400 plus pages loaded with footnotes. Family pictures, most labeled with their names, sprinkle the pages throughout the book. A close friend took his handwritten notes and typed them in Arial with 14-point type. Each paragraph is double-spaced and indented. The larger type makes for easy reading for old eyes as well as for the young grandchildren. The documentation is from court records, census, academic records, cemetery and funeral records, tombstones, pension and military records The first chapter begins with him and works its way back to through the ten generations. He explains why he included his bloodline as well as his stepfather’s line. Bob was born Robert Tooms De Priest Jr. in Methodist Hospital in Dallas. His parents divorced nine months later. He was three when his mother married again to the love of her life. After graduating from Frisco High School Bob asked his stepfather to adopt him before he went enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. His name changed legally then to Bob Tooms Dunfield. Since his stepfather was a major figure in his life, Bob decided to honor that relationship by including Mr. Dunfield’s family history. Bob covers in this book his Native American Ancestry. He goes back to Chief White Owl Raven Moytoy of Tellico and Anawaya Nancy Moytoy, Elizabeth Smith and Tame Doe. He also documents his ancestry from the 1600s in American back to France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland and England.
He documented about 30 Revolutionary War soldiers and patriots, several founders of Virginia, Manikin Town French Huguenots from Virginia and New Kent County, William De Priest Southerland who was killed at the Alamo, ties to Pocahontas and European royalty, tax assessment listings and dozens of Confederate records gathered from the National Archives. The many family stores are interesting to read because of the ease with which he writes.
He had completed and published two additional books and was working on a fourth before I could consult with him on this review. The second book, My Maternal, Paternal, and Court Ordered Grandfathers who served and who assisted the patriots during the Revolutionary War, picks up five additional Revolutionary War soldiers and patriots for a total at present of thirty-five. The third book, Seven Scottish Kings in My Pedigree, goes back to Robert I (Bruce) King of Scotland. Currently, Bob Dunfield is working on a book with his documented Confederate soldiers.
There is a copy of his first book, Ten Generations of Bob Tooms Dunfield’s Family, is in the library but currently at the bindery.
Family historians should consider documenting their family history for family and friends. Do not forget to place a copy in your local library. Consider giving a copy to the counties where the ancestors lived.
Sometimes less can be more.
IRELAND’S RECORDS NOW ONLINE: Ireland’s General Registry Office (GRO) records are now online at www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/, the website dedicated to helping you search for family history records for past generations. The website has a complete listing of records available to you for online searches.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.