Family Fiction -- yours, mine and ours: If you have lived a life similar to mine, you were regaled with stories of ancestors who were certain things or did certain things that defined familial greatness or not-so-greatness. These stories I love to refer to as "Family Fiction." I have yet to come across a family that doesn't have some sort of story that they have lovingly (or not -- depending on the fiction) passed on to the following generation. Now -- many times there are threads of truth woven roundabout these tales. They can give you gentle clues where to look next. Here is an example of one of mine.
The photo above and to the right, is a photo of my 3x Great-Grandparents' (see the Mamma and Daddie written on the photo) Oklahoma home. For as long as I could remember, I had been told the story of how my great-great-great grandparents had participated in the great Oklahoma Territory land rush. This was a photo of of that property and house. Well, when I hit a brick wall in researching this part of the family I remembered the story and decided to see if there were any records to support it. The answer is yes and no as to the story. My 3xgreat grandparents did obtain property through the Oklahoma Territory land offering -- but not the one we've seen portrayed in film. The part they participated in happened after the cinematic one. They obtained their land through a lottery system. Rather risk another round of total pandomenium, a lottery system was put into place for those wishing to obtain property. This one was much safer, less gun-play and trampling than the previous one. There are land records available to those who may have had ancestors who participated -- start with the Oklahoma Historical Society website located at www.okhistory.org. The point here being -- when you get stumped trying to find the next step -- try writing down all those stories you have been told and see where they can take you. I know you will be quite surprised!