Family Reunion Forum
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:
Dedication Page (2 Items on Page):
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Tree of Norris & Blood Ties (Section One)
2 Page Intro to Section: The Tree of Norris
2nd Page is Titled: "Origin & Meanings of Surnames"
Section ONE Title: The Tree of NORRIS & Blood Ties:
Section TWO Title: Here Comes the Census Man!:
3 Page Intro to Section: Here Comes the Census Man! (Opportunity to Educate)
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:
Section THREE Title: When Johnny Came Marching Home:
1 Page Intro to Section:
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.
Section FOUR Title: It Was the Best of Times & It Was the Worst of Times:
Page Headings in this Section are numbered below:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
2nd Page Titlted: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. This is a 1-page history of the three known family Caretakers of 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 Afrigeneas.com (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?
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).
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
Section NINE Title: Sources & Credits:
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