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Norris Family Heirloom Book Outline

Okie, dokie. Several cups of coffee later here it is finally. I tried to keep it as easy as possible. It's when you begin to move things around and taylor it to your own research and photographs that it'll come to life for your next Reunion.

The other IMPORTANT advice I must share is for you to have a definite plan for how you want to publish it. Black and White is less expensive but you'll always wish you had printed in color, trust me. Know how many copies you want and give serious thought to how you'll cover your costs. I hope it helps and inspires someone else to take on this monumental task. It's a lot of hard work but the end product is so fulfilling.


Book Cover Text:
The Children of Eliza & Buck Norris Norris: 2nd Edition
The Blood Ties That Unite Us
Norris Family Reunion
Dallas, Texas - July 18-20, 2008
"In honoring our past we honor the best in ourselves"

Page Graphic:
Soft screened photo in background of earliest known ancestors

Tribute Page:
Poem I wrote and read at '07 Funeral about 84 yr. old Cousin who was my Fellow Detective in the Research

Page Graphic:
Soft screened photo in background of her with small cameo photo of her Casket covered w/ red roses

Dedication Page (2 Items on Page):
1. Dedicated to someone who inspires you (Mine was my Mother and I told of my Birth)
2. Short letter to Entire Family. Expressed joy in finding them and sharing the research with them.

Page Graphics:
1. Photo of myself w/ Mom & another of my mom at age 12 with a childhood friend
2. Photo of Norris Family Crest


The Tree of Norris & Blood Ties (Section One)
Here Comes the Census Man! (Section Two)
When Johnny Came Marching Home (Section Three)
It Was the Best of Times & It Was the Worst of Times (Section Four)
The Sacrament of Marrage Shall Bind Them (Section Five)
Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust (Section Six)
To Be Young, Gifted & A Norris (Section Seven)
Captured Forever On Celluloid (Section Eight)
Sources & Credits (Section Nine)

2 Page Intro to Section: The Tree of Norris
1st Page is Titled "Surnames Origin & History" (Opportunity to Educate)
Took a full page to give a history of surnames, where they originate from, how and why. Easy to find one on the Internet. COPY/PASTE it.

2nd Page is Titled: "Origin & Meanings of Surnames"
Took a full page to give the meaning of each surname covered in book. In this book I covered 5 surnames mainly. Easy to find on the Internet. COPY/PASTE it.

Section ONE Title: The Tree of NORRIS & Blood Ties:
I took each SURNAME starting with NORRIS and then the 5 descending surnames and told of the earliest known Patriarch and Matriarch for each Surname. Full names, where they were born, which census I first found them in and important facts about them. For the descending bloodlines I also pointed out exactly where and how they first become a Blood Tie to the Norris', giving the marriage dates of those two people as a historical starting point for them to see the Family Tree visually in their minds.

Section TWO Title: Here Comes the Census Man!:

3 Page Intro to Section: Here Comes the Census Man! (Opportunity to Educate)
1st Page is Titled: Kinfolks Found in the US Census Reports. I explain the Census itself and which years I'd found relatives in, i.e. 1870 - 193 and why they don't see folks born after 1940. How and where I began first finding relatives. How info found there can differ from census to census. What must be assumed and what cannot be assumed. How to look for naming patterns, looking closely at neighbors with same surnames, when the first census was. Why it's important to find someone in 1880 and why you won't see them again until 1900, etc. A quick run down of how the census works and when it's done, etc.

2nd Page is Titled: Discovering the Treasure. I took all the column headings of the 1880 Census and described them. At bottom of page I tell them all information has been transcribed exactly how it was found in the census so they'll know why Aunt Patsy wasn't listed with her Mother in a certain census.

3rd Page is Titled: Geneaology's Greatest Loss: What Happened to the 1890 Federal Census. I show a picture of the 1890 Census Sheet and and wrapped the text around it explaining what happened to it. Easy to find on the Internet. COPY/PASTE it.

Section THREE TItle: Via the United States Census: 1870 - 1930:
This is where I began to COPY/PASTE all of the pages of Census Info already transcribed. Even placed small italic notes beneath those of great importance, i.e. The "M" in the surname is a typeo for the "N" in Norris.

Page Graphic:
When possible I placed small photos beside census transcription of a member of that household. For instance, next to the trascribed household of my GrGrGrandparents is a picture of GrGr Grandma Sallie. Everyone loves pictures! Also this is where I displayed many of the mystery photos sent to me from family members in the hopes of having them identified.

Section THREE Title: When Johnny Came Marching Home:

1 Page Intro to Section:
Page Intro is Titled: The Unknown Soldier. The Unknown Soldier is a poem written by Melvin B. Tolson. This poem was published in the Pittsburg Courier Newspaper abt. 1944. An older cousin in the family had saved the article all these years and thought it would be great in the book and sent me a photo copy of the poem. I retyped it into two columns to fill the entire page. The author holds special meaning for our family as Tolson taught school in Marshall, Texas at Wiley College. Many family members attended Wiley.

Page Graphic:
Soft screened photo of a Buffalo Soldier in Uniform. Found on the Internet.

1st Page is Titled: The Descendants of Eliza & Buck Norris Go To War. Took a short paragraph to explain term "When Johnny Came Marching Home" and told there were far more soldiers in our family but they'd only see a few photos of them in uniform. I also ask them to send me more photos of family members in uniform serving their country. In this section is where I placed all of the transcribed info from WWI & WWII Draft Registration Cards of family members.

Page Graphic:
I used all of the photos of family members in unforms starting with the older ones first and moved to the future.

Section FOUR Title: It Was the Best of Times & It Was the Worst of Times:
I wanted to give a historical timeline of us in this country, especially for the younger generation, from slavery to present day.

Page Headings in this Section are numbered below:
1. From Slavery To Reconstruction. Great descriptions and info found on Internet for the States that your research takes place in. COPY/PASTE it.

Page Graphic: A Poster of a Slave Sale

2. Slavery in Texas. Great descriptions and info found on Internet for the States that your research takes place in. COPY/PASTE it.

Page Graphic: A picture of a former slave in Texas sitting on a front porch holding a horn that was used to call the slaves in from the fields at the end of the day.

3. The Door Of No Return at Elmina Castle, Ghana, Africa.

Page Graphics: Pictures of the slaveholding castle in Elmina sent to me by my boyfriend's cousin who visited there in 2007 and others I found on the Internet.

4. The Weeping Time, 1857 (We have ancestors from GA) Great info found on Internet. COPY/PASTE it.

Page Graphics: A drawing of the sale (found on Internet) and also another Notice for the sale of slaves. I also found an article on the Internet showing where in 2008 a Marker was placed to commerate those slaves sold from the Butler Plantation, hence The Weeping Time to show that healing can come.

There is also another full page of smaller pictures depicting Colored/Whites ONLY signs from different parts of the South.

5. The Senator From Illinois

I felt it was very significant to point out that Obama was running for President and had won the Democratic nod in the same year as our Family Reunion and that he was the first African American to get this far. His success is the entire races' success.

Page Graphic:
I used 3 photos. The first is the cover of TIME magazine with Obama on the cover, the second is one with Michelle hugging Obama at a huge rally with CHANGE banners everywhere (showing the love between them, and the third photo is of Obama pressed all around by hundreds of people eager to touch him.

6. Buck Norris Registers To Vote

Bless Vicky Daviss! She sent me a photo copy from microfische of where my Great Great Great Grandfather registered to vote on July 13, 1867 in Harrison County, Marshall, Texas. I talk about how Buck knew then that voting would be important to him and his children and their futures.

Section FIVE Title: "And the Sacrament of Marriage Shall Bind Them":

2 Page Intro to Section:
1st Page Intro is Titled: In and Out of Time. "In and Out of Time" is a beautiful poem written by Maya Angelou about love between a man and a woman.

Page Graphic:
Soft screened photo in background of a ceremonial wedding broom in front of a window with sunlight streaming in.

2nd Page Intro is Titled: The Sacrament of Marriage Shall Bind Them. I trascribed the traditional marriage vows and beneath them I tell about marriages in slavery time, when and how they occured. How spouses somtimes lived on separate plantations. Also explained about Negro Cohabitation Records, how slave marriages were viewed at the end of slavery.

Page Graphic:
Photo of a North Carolina Record of Negroe Cohabitation. Found on Internet.

This entire section is dedicated to members in the family that have been married longer than 40 years. I wanted to inspire family members newly married and show them that marriage was sacred and that we have to WORK at them for them to LAST. Inspire them so to speak. I'd sent out a mailing to family members asking for their wedding photos and the secrets to their long unions. Each couple received an entire page dedicated to them. The page heading was the number of years they'd been married, the brides maiden name, the groom's full name, their wedding date and the city/state and then beneath that was the wedding date of the earliest known ancestor that that family member descended from. For instance, the 1st marriage heading was:

Lucy Moody & Raymond Collier
Married June 29, 1939 in St. Louis, Missouri
Raymond Collier is the son of Alberta Walker and Elie COLLIER
& The Great Grandson of Millie NORRIS & Asberry COLLIER married April 8, 1888

The other text on their page would be the story of how they met perhaps and what has made their marriage last so long. Some of the stories will make you cry but they all inspire you to really treasure your union and work on it.

Page Graphics:
Each page had a wedding photo, a picture of the couple when they were young.

At the end of the section I took an entire page and gave all the wedding dates for ancestors married as early as 1872 - 1896.

Section SIX Title: "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust:

Page Graphic:
Full page photo of Sign at family graveyard, Taylor Cemetery in Marshall, Texas

2nd Page Titlted: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. This is a 1-page history of the three known family Caretakers of Taylor Cemetery

Page Graphic:
Four pictures of headstones at Taylor Cemetery.

3rd Page Titled: Family Master Cemetery Directory

This is a list of Cemeteries where family members are buried for all five bloodlines. I believe we should never forget where family is buried. With each book I add to this list.

Page Graphic:
Soft screened photo in the background of a Bleeding Heart floral arrangement at the funeral of a 96 yr. old cousin buried in July, 2007.

The next 10 or 12 pages have full sized photos of Death Certificates of family members. I'd found so many so I had to limit myself to those that were either a Patriarch/Matriarch or one that would provoke further research because they really opened new avenues for research. Beneath each I pointed out the mistakes in them such as wrong birth years, missing first names for mothers or fathers and provided them. Showing the amazing resemblances in the causes of death to begin a Medical History for each bloodline, etc.

Next Title Page in this Section: The Power to Reunite Our Family & It's Tapestry. On this page I told of how a woman found me through rootsweb to ask if I had a Rosie Norris in my family. After many emails/phone calls four months later we discovered that her Rosie Norris turned out to be our Rosie Norris. Our Rosie had married her Father and was listed in his Social Security Records. It tells how she joined us at our 2006 Reunion in Dallas and was introduced to an Aunt and Uncle for the first time in her life on her father's side. Also how she may even be related to us a second/third time through another of our lines: LACY/COATS. I was even able to provide her with a picture of her father. She'd only had one her entire life.

Page Graphic:
3 Photos: 1st is of her father, Otis Anthony as a young soldier found in our family, 2nd photo is the one she treasured all her life of herself as a little girl of about 5 or 6 yrs. old with her father and the 3rd picture is a copy of his Application for Social Security with our Rosie listed as his wife.

Following this page are numerous copies of Obituaries of family members. The cover and the inside is shown for each giving each two pages. Loads of history here for everyone as well as their own copy of that Obituary. Some of the Obituaries are very old indeed. I also made sure to include all those who had passed since the last Reunion in 2006.

This section is ended with a two-age Memorial to a 96 yr. old Cousin who died in July, 2007, Leroy LACY who also served as a Fellow Detective in my research. The photos here are amazing!

Section SEVEN Title: "To Be Young, Gifted & A Norris:

Page Graphic:
Full page photo soft screened as a background of a Drawing done by a family Artist, my brother, of five women with their arms interlocked.

In this section I highlight special accomplishments and occupations that seem to run in the family such as Teachers and Nurses, we've got tons of 'em.

1st Page Titled: From the Slave House to the White House. We have a family member who was voted the Best Principal for the state of Arkansas by the President for 2003. He sent me a transcription of his entire weekend in Washington, D.C. along with a photo copy of a letter sent him from President Bush as well as a great photo of himself in the Governor's Mansion in Arkansas of himself and his family with Bill & Hillary Clinton and Miss America, Debbie Thomas.

Page Graphic:
Picture of Booklet for National Distinguished Principals, Blk/White photo of cousin w/ book in hand in a library, picture of the congratulatory letter received from President w/ Bush's photo and the picture of family with the Clintons and Miss America. ALL Blk/White photos.

2nd Page Titled: Finding A Living Descendant At Long Last. It tells of how I finally made the connection with this living descendant, the Great Grandson of Mary Norris, born in 1864 who just happened to live in Arkansas now and have had the honor to be picked as an Honoree for this prestigous award.

Page Graphic:
3 photos: 1st is Cousin's photo as seen in the Program published by the Whitehouse for the Banquet, 2nd photo is of his three grown children on the day of his eldest daughter's wedding and the 3rd photo is him and his wife coming down the aisle on the daughter's wedding day.

3rd page Titled: "The Children of Eliza & Buck: A Tapestry of Talent & Public Service".

The next part of the section is six (6) pages with a Hall of Fame theme that gives a short bio and a picture of family members who are Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Firemen, Probation Officers, Paramedics, Actors, a Mental Health Advocate, a Baseball World Series Ring Holder, his daughter a WNBA Championship '07 winner, Broadway Performer, Songwriter and two family business owners as a showcase. The 1st business is one of the oldest african american owned businesses in St. Louis, Missouri, has spanned 3 generations and survived quite successfully for 59 years. The second is a restaurant in Dallas that has been in the family for almost 20 years and recently expanded to include a second restaurant.

Page Graphics:
Pictures of person themselves, there are two photo copies of newspaper articles: one for the Collier business in MO and the 2nd is of Mental Health Advocate), and there is also a 1953 pic of a good customer to MO business and a pic of one of the founders of MO business with his '48 Cadillac (smile).

Section EIGHT Title: "Captured Forever On Celluloid"

This is the final section in the book so this is the place where I wanted to show the majority of my pictures. The NORRIS Patriarch and Matriarch are the two that all the other 5 bloodlines descend from that were invited to the 2008 Reunion. All 5 lines descend from the 8 children of Eliza & Buck Norris so I made a section head page for each descendent and showed a main center photo of them (when available) and surrounded it with pictures of their descendants. Each Ancestors probably had from 6 to 8 pages of photos after the main page.

Final Salute Pages to Heirloom Book (Page headsings not incl. in Table of Contents):

1st Page Titled: "Norris Girls Gathered Together"

On this page are 8 pictures of descendants of Norris (ALL women) together in groups having a good time. 1 is my GrGrandma with one of her sisters and a Niece all dressed up for a good time taken in the early 20's, there's another of 3 descendants taken in the 60's on some land that once belonged to the Blocker Plantation in Marshall .. they own it now; one is of 8 descendants together in the pulpit area of an old and very large church started by their father in St. Louis ... all of them are 1st cousins, another is of four descendants dressed in their church dresses from the 50's, another is of five sisters taken probably in the 80's and they are in the 50 - 70 age group, etc. and at the center of the bottom of the page is the transcription for one of my favorite poems by Nikki Giovanni titled "Super Woman". I wanted this page to show that the women in our family have always been best friends with one another throughout time.

2nd Page: Is a full page photo of my Gr Gr Grandfather, born in 1859 SC with a small circlet photo of his wife on his breast, my Gr Gr Grandma born in 1867, TX.

3rd Page: Is a full page photo of GrGr Grandpa's brother, born 1863, TX with a small cirlet photo of his wife in the lower corner, born abt. 1900, TX.

4th Page: Is a full page sepia photo of GrGr Grandpa's baby sister, born in 1870 TX with the birth & death dates of her husband printed in the lower left corner (there is no photo of him ... yet)

5th Page Titled: "In Heartfelt Appreciation".

I take two pages to explain to family that millions of people are on the Internet looking for ancestors and descendants. How most of these are wonderful people. I tell how research is not only done by one person but that each is supported by a community of like-minded people looking for their history and how they're all journeying down the same road together. I showcase 3 of these like-minded people and the friendship between us who have helped me tremendously with my research and thank them profusely for their help with my research. Two of them have done so since the beginning in 2005: Dawn Owings and Vicky Daviss and the third, Terrence Davis, who I just met about 6 months ago. Also that I met them all on (smile). To keep it short, I asked each of the three to give me the BRIEFEST possible reply to the same 5 questions for the book and I also asked them to send me one picture of an ancestor with special meaning to them for my readers. Below are the 5 questions:

1. What family lines you are researching and in what State are they?
2. How long have ya been looking for dead kinfolks?
3. What is the ultimate goal of your research?
4. How has the Geneaology research changed and/or affected your life?
5. Very briefly, tell of your biggest find?

Page Graphics:
Photo of contributor and their ancestor sits to the left of their responses to the 5 questions above.

7th Page Titled: "Why I Look For Ancestors & Descendants".

Is a brief paragraph telling about my joy in the research, finding ancestors and the living descendants. I tell how it's transformed my life and how much I love them all and thank them for sharing their memories, their photographs and their lives with me. My hopes of leaving the history to them as my legacy to the family. I call this page "my page" and I did one in the first book in 2006. My hope is that the books will survive time and perhaps 100 years from now a descendant will pick up one that's been loved and treasured over the years and have a real head-start on their own research. I'll want them to have a small idea of who I was and why I did it (smile).

Page Graphics:
There are 8 photos of me on the page at different stages of my life from age 8 to 48.

8th Page: Is a full sized copy of my favorite photo of my Grandmother Louise and biggest Champion and it's a soft screen with a poem I wrote for her titled "I Remember Weezy!" (There is a copy of her picture, Louise Miller, in Precious Photos here on Afrigeneas as well as her mother, Gr Grandmother Sadie Miller)

9th Page: Is a full sized photo of myself and my boyfriend who mastered the the printing and binding of the book as a gift to me. In the lower right hand corner I give thanks to his support in my research and the printing of the Heirloom Books

Page Grahpic:
There are two additional photos on this page, they are small soft screened circlets against a background of the black of myself aged about 7 and Dwayne about age 6 in the lower left hand corner.

Section NINE Title: Sources & Credits:
This is where I gave credit to each family member who contributed photos for the book as well as all of the Internet sites I used as a reference for information, book references, poems and historical information used in the book. I also give credit to the importance of Oral Family History.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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