Mrs. Ona Wood, a Wood County family history researcher and historian, wrote a history of the county in the 1950’s through the story of some early pioneer families here. She is a descendant of Wood County pioneer Peter Gunstream among others.
We are beginning the serial printing of the book in installments for the Wood County Genealogical Society Bulletin starting in the March 2010 newsletter. Part one is the foreword to the book.
LIFE IN THE PINEY WOODS: A History through the story of some early settlers Of Wood County Texas
by Ona Wood
“A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendants.” – Lord McCauley
This book has been written in reverence and in profound respect to those people whose names appear upon its pages.
I have written of my own people , not because of selfish reasons, but because I know their joys and sorrows; their hardships and achievements.
My people, I think, are typical of most of the pioneers of any part of East Texas; they were not wealthy as wealth is valued in money; they had their good years and bad ones; they worked hard to keep – as they said – “body and soul together.”
I love and respect my people and give honor where honor lies; for what they were, I am.
The blood of our ancestry courses through the veins of their progenitors, and the ancestry was of many nationalities, English, French, Swede, Irish, Scotch, and probably pure American.
The same thst is true of my family holds true for their neighbors.
I like to walk along their paths, if not in reality, then in dreaming, and look for their tracks wherever they may wend, and stand along beside them into the dawn of a new era. Their tracks will never be obliterated, not by time or elements.
Their names have never been written into history books, and many of their names were never found in newspapers beyond the confines of their own county. They are not listed in the scrolls with the great, but they made history.
The pioneers seemed stern and severe, and so they were; but, beneath the veneer which the wilderness provoked, was to be found a compassionate spirit.
And, as most of them – your forefathers and mine – sleep in the age-old burying grounds, near and far, may we in humbleness, bless the day when they set foot on East Texas soil.