Yoknapatawpha’s First Families
This is one of at least four family trees that Faulkner himself drew, created while he was writing Go Down, Moses. Faulkner scholars have published dozens more, seeking to capture and clarify Faulkner's ongoing preoccupation with inter-textual and intra-familial relationships. The goal of our genealogies here is to represent the people and patterns in Faulkner's major families more dynamically and interactively, thanks to the capabilities of electronic technology.
By "first families," we mean the ones that recur in at least four texts and over at least three generations. In addition to the major white families in the Yoknapatawpha fictions, our list includes three non-white families that have not been diagrammed previously. For more on both Faulkner's families and our display, use the "About" link above. But to get started exploring any of the families, as they morph over the course of Faulkner's career, select any of the ones on the list at left.
(For more on the McCaslin chart above, see the exhibit of Manuscripts &c. at the Go Down, Moses page. In the mid-1950s, probably as part of the composition of The Town, Faulkner tried diagramming the relationships among the various members of the Snopes family; his genealogical charts ended up on the back of a page in that novel's typescript. While writing his last novel, The Reivers, Faulkner drew two more, expanded versions of the McCaslin family; you can see them here. You can also see all of Faulkner's genealogical charts displayed together.)
The following resources all include genealogical charts of one or more of Faulkner's major white families. We have consulted them all, and are grateful for the help they have provided.
Brooks, Cleanth. William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963.
Fargnoli, A. Nicholas, and Michael Golay. William Faulkner A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts on File, 2002.
Ford, Margaret Patricia, and Suzanne Kincaid. Who's Who in Faulkner. n.p: Louisiana State University Press, 1963.
Kinney, Arthur F., ed. Critical Essays on William Faulkner: The McCaslin Family. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1990.
Kirk, Robert, with Marvin Klotz. Faulkner's People: A Complete Guide and Index to Characters in the Fiction of William Faulkner. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1963.
Padgett, John. William Faulkner on the Web. http://cypress.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/faulkner.html
Tuck, Dorothy. Apollo Handbook of Faulkner. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1964.
Volpe, Edmond L. A Reader's Guide to William Faulkner. New York: Farrar, Strauss, 1964.