A journey from 1891-Post 3

Installment number three

A true gem.

A few weeks ago my mother handed me an autograph book. It originated on my father’s maternal side, the Smith family, who lived in Stevens Point, Wisconsin at the time of these writings. The book belonged to the Reverend Charles Smith and his wife Maria Polly Bixby Smith (below). Their oldest son, Josiah, was my great, great grandfather, the son through whom the book was passed to me.

The earliest signature was in 1891, the final in 1913, with signatures written in only six years during that period. With over 50 signatures and many the Smith cousins will want to see, I decided it was worth making into a short series. Enjoy!

Sharing the treasure

An heirloom with cherubs

Did anyone catch what’s different? The photo above is NOT our Smith autograph book (and good eye to those who did!).

The book in the top photo belongs to another family. For each signature inside our Smith book, I wanted to show you something new aside from the signature itself. We recognize most of the people who signed; for some, however, we know little if anything about them or how they are connected. Today’s entry is one such person.

There are many variations of these books. To prevent the repetition of seeing the same book in these posts, I’ll mix it up and post photos of completely different books. Some covers are adorned with birds, animals, and fruit, and many others display various versions of cherubs, just like ours. To see previous photos of our book and the first signatures, click HERE and HERE.


A close up of a cherub on the cover of our Smith autograph book

Today’s entry:

Grandma Smith

Side by Side

May we stand at the same little door

When “All’s done”

The ways they are many

The end it is over.

Your friend

Mrs. F. W. Schneider

Fond du Lac March 4 1903 

mrs f w schneider

Please share

Cousins and family

Should any of you have information about Mrs. F. W. Schneider, please share. We’d love to know how she was connected to our Smith family.

Thank you.

Photo credit for the book above: Store-the gatherings antique vintage.net

  1. I had no idea there were autograph books back in the 19th century! Somehow it seemed like a “modern” thing to do. I have two of them from when I was 12-13 years old, and my mother has one somewhere also. Seeing this one makes me imagine what my descendants will think 100 years from now if they find my mother’s and my autograph books. There are some very silly poems in ours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amy, it’s pretty amazing. Mom has one that dates farther back than this one; I guess I’ll need to add that one, too. I’m amazed this one book made it so far, through years of handling and miles of travel. I wonder if these poems written were in their heads, as in, this is how they thought, or if they copied from books. I asked this to another genealogy buff, whose answer was that much of these poems and sayings could have been memorized. Thoughts?


  2. I am delighted I have found your blog – this was beyond amazing, from the photo’s to the verse, loved the post ~ Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sharon! I guess being the daughter of pack rats has come in handy–mom and dad accumulated mindblowing documentation–that, and my love of family history. 🙂 It’s been a real joy to piece it together. Thanks for your support. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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