This writer has for many years collected material for a history of the O’Rear family. It has been an enjoyable hobby. In recent years, the family reunions at Chattanooga, Tennessee, Attilla, Alabama, and Minden, Louisiana have been helpful due to the generous and industrious cooperation of all members of the family in filling out the family record forms, and furnishing data such as copies of Bible records and photos of the early generations. Several have suggested that I write the history as I how have it. Looking back over my research, it is apparent that a number of family historians in the past have accumulate much data but did not formulate a genealogy or history, and the majority of their research has been lost. Inasmuch as they worked several generations back, this is irreplaceable. To name a few, Alice O’Rear McFarlane about 1900, Beatrice O’Rear Treadway about 1900, Dr. Ernest Day Everett about 1925, my grandfather Judge E. C. O’Rear, with whom passed away many anecdotes of the family, Reverend Arthur T. O’Rear (Waynesborough, North Carolina) in the 1930’s. There are, of course, many others. To safeguard the information that your author has accumulated, the more important documents including family record forms, have been microfilmed on two rolls, and copies furnished to Marvin Kelly O’Rear, Lorraine O’Rear Barnard, Edith O’Rear Craig, the Kentucky Historical Society, and one copy filed with the Virginia Historical Society. Life being uncertain at best, should your author pass on before the completion of the history and the great accumulation of data find its way into the trash can, as has happened with others in the past, at least a nucleus will be available for future historians.
Your author has prepared this little volume which includes a sketch of the family before 1800, and various stories that might have some human interest, a little pathos, humor, and adventure, with a series of charts showing descent through the sixth generations, from which all today should be able to find their lines, with the hope that it may provide some incentive for members of the family to share additional family data with us.
It will be noted in this volume that your author is mostly acting in the role of editor and the sketches are insofar as possible in the words of the members of the family involved. It is hoped that the final history will be in much the same format. Therefore, the basic information furnished by members of the family today will be of the foremost importance. We particularly need more sketches and photographs of members of the family and places with which they are connected.
Meanwhile, this little volume is offered to the family with many apologies and many regrets for its failings and inadequacies.
Marvin Kelly O’Rear of Chattanooga, Tennessee, certainly is one of our most industrious and resourceful family historians today. He said: "Some may think that the O’Rear name is an odd or unusual one. However the family is as American as apple pie. Wear the name with pride because it has served its country well."
Edward Clay O’Rear II Stony Lonesome Woodford County, Kentucky March 20, 1977
It is to be clearly understood that the opinions of others quoted in this pamphlet are not necessarily those of the Author. E.C. O’R.