My grandmother, Reta Winona Ormsby Cochran (or Nonie as I called her), passed away in May 2018 and was the last of the WWII generation in our family, and who Tom Brokaw wrote a book about called The Greatest Generation.  In this generation, my grandfather's brother, Patrick Francis Cochran, had studied and documented much of the family history and I had gathered some of this with casual interest during visits to his house in the late 1990s (he passed away in 2010).  With Nonie's death, I once again became interested in the family history and started breathing life back into the files, talking to family, and google research...this site is the result of that!

1979 Christmas

Honestly, not much of this is true research from me...more just curating what others have hunted down and documented.  These stories are interesting and beautiful...stories of redemption, family and business failures, a first bikini, Knights and servants of the King, indentured servants, KKK ralleys, Indian massacres, Louisiana politicians opposed to Long, preachers, teachers, busted drug rings, fights that involved face biting, football players, four star mothers, plantations with slaves, blind dates, and service in military (WWII, WWI, Civil, Revolutionary, 1812, French & Indian, etc.).  Famous people are also part of the stories with the likes of Mark Twain, Sir Walter Raleigh, William Penn, Daniel Boone, Anthony Ashley, John Smith, and James Fennimore Cooper showing up.  Our family came from England, Germany, Wales, Ireland, etc. and colonized in Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and pioneered to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas.  This project has even led me to a greater knowledge of my own parents that has opened up a new understanding and appreciation.  And most of all, I have reflected on what legacy I want to leave for my kids and future generations.  I am the smiling 6 year old kid with stylish pants in the center of the above picture...that there is a pretty good start to legacy.  I love this family...Enjoy!

wheatley bachman cochran ormsby calloway


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