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Oklahoma Family Tree Stories

This beautiful sculpture of three redbud trees with gold and silver leaves by artist Robin Starke is located just outside the Eleanor & John Kirkpatrick Research Center in the Oklahoma History Center. Each leaf of the "Oklahoma Family Tree" memorializes an Oklahoma family with the family surname, first name(s), and the town or county where they lived. In addition, a short family history will be preserved in the digital family history book at the base of the tree. This is a great way for your family to make history and benefit future generations at the same time. To find out how to honor your own family with a leaf visit the Oklahoma Family Tree Project page.

Farzaneh Family

Brothers Mohammad and Jalal Farzaneh moved to Oklahoma in 1978 to attend school. They received their Bachelor's degrees in 1981 and Master's of Architecture degrees from the OU College of Architecture in 1984.

In their search for gainful employment, the brothers borrowed money from a local bank to purchase a convenience store. With the bank president's encouragement, they changed direction and went into the homebuilding profession. Mohammad and Jalal subsequently helped their brother, Amir, move to Oklahoma. He became an immigration lawyer. The brothers then helped their parents and remaining brothers relocate to Oklahoma.

Mohammed's and Jalal's business grew to become the largest builder of single-family homes in the state. By late 2010 the Farzanehs had constructed more than 6,000 homes in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton. To promote a better understanding of Iranian-Americans in Oklahoma, the brothers endowed an Iranian Study Chair at the OU College of International Studies. Mohammed and Jalal have continued to serve on numerous boards of directors.

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