Friday, September 6, 2013

Explanation of a rather confusing family tree (with a visual aid)

Above is the "visual aid" I created when my children were small to explain our complex "family tree."  The two women in the center are sisters.  On the left is Louisa Nell Hays and on the right is Charlene Rebecca Hays Hawkins.  On the far right, the gentleman, is Billy James Hawkins.  Billy Hawkins was the husband of Charlene.  On the far left , the gentleman is William Thomas Dobbs, III.  "Billy Tom" was Lou's boy friend.

When she was but 16 years old, Lou and Billy Tom conceived a child (me).  During her pregnancy Lou left Auburn, Alabama and went to live with her father in Guntersville, Alabama (her parents were divorced).  After the delivery, she returned to live with her mother and finish high school.  The child (me) was raised by Lou's older sister and her husband (Billy and Charlene Hawkins).  Billy and Charlene lived in Albertville, Alabama. (They would subsequently live in Hammond, Louisiana and then Oneonta, Alabama.)

As a child, I knew I was adopted, but I did not know who my biological parents were until I was 30 years old.  I "grew up" knowing Lou as "Aunt Lou."  I have no memory of Billy Tom.  He died when I was very young.

Billy Hawkins died a number of years ago and a few years later Charlene died.  This last week I buried Lou.  All four pictured above are buried within a few miles of each other.  Billy Tom on Sand Mountain, Billy and Charlene Hawkins down in the valley in Oneonta, Alabama.  Lou is buried on Brindlee Mountain in Arab, Alabama.

Billy and Charlene adopted a baby girl in 1972.  They named her Rebecca.  Rebecca was killed in a car accident when she was 16 years old.  Rebecca is buried in Oneonta, Alabama.  Billy and Charlene were buried next to her.