Writing a Family History: Episode 213 <<

Taylor's Story: A Revolutionary Past

Taylor McDonald had always heard bits and pieces of his family history at family gatherings, but it wasn't until his grandfather, grandmother, and father all died in the late 1960s and early 1970s that he realized how little he really knew. Their deaths were the impetus for his decision to learn more about his roots.

He knew that his grandparents had lived in Northern Mexico and worked as ranchers and farmers in the early 1900s, around the same time as the Mexican Revolution. He also recalled tantalizing tidbits about the family having some sort of connection to Pancho Villa, but the details were hazy.

By interviewing the remaining older relatives, Taylor was able to learn more. He decided to write a family history to preserve this information for future generations. Researching the Mexican Revolution for background for his book, Taylor managed to find some books and theses with helpful topics. In the bibliography of one thesis, he was stunned to see tape-recorded interviews with his own grandparents as one of the sources. What a find!

From the taped interviews, he was able to hear his grandmother describe in her own words their unplanned, but pleasant, "run-in" with Pancho Villa. After his soldiers had intercepted them on the road, he hosted them at his camp, serving them a chicken dinner and arranging for his band to entertain them. The next morning, he sent them home with a guard.


Taylor took all this information and included it in a published family history, which all his family members now hold dear. He can rest assured that the revolutionary past of the Taylor family will never again be forgotten.