Matthew Dunaway News March 2018 · 205-705-3590

March 2018

200 YEARS IN ALABAMA A Tradition of Family

When we think of March, the first holiday that comes to mind is St. Patrick’s Day, and March also happens to be Irish-American Heritage Month. Despite my red hair, the research I’ve done suggests my family came over from England, not Ireland, before the Revolutionary War. However, wherever you can trace your family origins, there’s something valuable about remembering your heritage. When someone asks me where my family is from, I have one simple answer: Alabama.

owners, but instead rural white folk who lead a modest agricultural lifestyle until after World War II. During the war, my grandfather on my dad’s side moved into the industrial field to work in factories. His skill as an electrician kept him off the battlefield during that time. Meanwhile, my maternal grandfather left the farm in favor of the mines when coal was discovered in the area where he lived post-WWII. My siblings and I were the first generation on our mother’s side to attend college, and only the second generation to pursue higher education on my dad’s side. My family has called Alabama home for close to 200 years. When I was a kid, my dad often said I would grow up and move away, but I’m still here. I was accepted to schools out of state, but in the end I decided to attend Auburn University and the University of Alabama School of Law. I would go on to marry an Alabama girl and start my family in the same state that generations of my ancestors have called home. My plan wasn’t to stay in Alabama, but I’m happy my life kept me here. We don’t make the headlines here in Birmingham, but it’s a good place to live and raise a family. I’ve enjoyed a peaceful, happy life where my kids can grow up and my wife and I can raise them to be valued members of society. For two centuries,

When someone asks me where my family is from, I have one simple answer: Alabama.

my family has been part of the local community, building the culture and traditions we see around us today, and that’s important to me. The Dunaway family doesn’t have any famous people in our line of ancestors, but we do have a heritage of people who came to Alabama, worked hard, and raised their families. This is a tradition my wife and I are carrying on, and I see that as something to be proud of.

Both my dad’s side of the family and my mom’s migrated to Alabama in 1820, and they have called the state home ever since. If you want to know what the lives of my ancestors were like, just read “Poor, But Proud: Alabama’s Poor Whites” by the historian Wayne Flynt. There are a lot of things I don’t agree with Flynt on, but the research he did to write his book does happen to reflect the life of my family. They weren’t wealthy plantation

–Matt Dunaway

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