This is a work of fiction based on the lives of an Irish immigrant and his children.
Michael Haley came to America in 1847. He married above his station, had a life of adventure, hard work, and tragedy, then died young--leaving his children orphaned.
The deftly written novel uses newspaper articles, court documents, correspondence, and maps to create a sense of place and time; then pulls supporting characters from the census reports into the story.
The result is an amazing family saga, imagining what might have happened in the lives of two generations of the Haley family in the deep south in centuries past.
William Thomas became interested in genealogy in 2015. He had several source documents for Michael Haley and his children, but they only led to dead ends and left many unanswered questions. When he came across the letter that Monroe Smith sent to Ruby Haley Lott in 1958, William was compelled to write something to fill in the gaps of the amazing story.
After graduating from Ole Miss in 1987 and then the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in 1991, Dr. Thomas completed a career in the U. S. Air Force as an Internal Medicine Physician, Flight Surgeon and Commander.
He is married to Paula Ann Haley, a great-granddaughter of Robert Lee Haley. They live in Georgia and have two sons.
This is his first novel.