Below: Genealogical chart in pencil showing the McCaslin-Edmonds-Beauchamp connections. Faulkner Foundation Collection, Accession #6074 to 6074-d, Small Special Collections, University of Virginia Library: Chart 1 p. (1 R, 0 V) on 1 l.

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.)