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Walter Alley and Related Families of The Tennessee Valley: A Collection of Genealogies, begins with the earliest known ancestors of this lineage, Walter Alley and his wife, Jane Gilliland. It identifies their known descendants and related families - many are identified with the Tennessee Valley. There are fourteen parts in the book with each representing the lineage of an ancestor or related family. Those families are: Alley, Arendt, Brown, Cox, Dame, Gilliland, Hawk, Jones, Kelly, McMahan, Oyler, Ridley, Schoolfield, and Wilson. Most of these parts are expanded to include many other lines, i.e., Bennett, Crawford, Davis, Gay, Goble, Graham, Greene, Grider, Gunter, Jennings, Loyd, Martin, Pettus, Rankin, Russell, Shepherd, Smith, and Wimberly. Connections between parts and various families are shown by cross-references. Collecting and organizing this vast amount of information occurred over a period of thirty-five years. It represents the efforts of many family historians who shared their carefully preserved memorabilia with the author to assure memories of their families would never fade.
All contributors are identified, some within the text while others are shown in endnotes. More than sixty-five hundred indexed names were accumulated as a result of the combined efforts of everyone involved. Hopefully, the expanded Foreword and Introdution sections will enhance the readability of this review. The Foreword defines and describes the book's organization and presentation. The Introduction attempts to create an awareness in the reader of conditions immigrants faced in their country of orgin as well as those they encountered immediately upon arrival and settlement in America. Memories of families diminish with each passing generation. The focus of this review is to preserve those cherished thoughts by connecting our present families with those of the past and bridge the gap between us, our forefathers, and future generations; hopefully, this endeavor provides that venue.