All posts by karenlee

Her tongue was as sharp as her pencil. Stop by and meet our Malevolent Matriarch!

Cousin corner

HI! I'M GLAD YOU'RE HERE. I created this space just for YOU. I've been thinking about creating a gathering place to connect, share, and learn our history together. I've met several of you online, and, while email is fine, it creates a multiple sharing issue. I'm hoping to switch from regular email sharing (with potentially ...

Photos for profiling

My grandmother Lalla was quite photogenic. She was a fashionista in her day, and I never tire of looking at her through the stages of her life. My children will never know her, and while that makes me sad, there are ways to remedy this dilemma. Looking at our collection of photos, it baffles me ...

Hard-to-find information

A cousin recently sent me an obit for the sister of my great, great grandfather. The sister's name was Ida Smith Seeber; her brother, my direct ancestor, was Alfred Josiah "Si" Smith. This is exactly the type of documentation I am looking for, the type I want to share here. Here's why. Si was the ...

Heirlooms: Using to profile ancestors

One of our favorite antiques sits in the corner of our dining room. It can't be used for its original purpose, and we want to prevent its ruin. I often showcase my small quilts and fan them over the top. This one is destined for the corner, but not all heirlooms need to collect dust. ...

Bertha Servatius Geier Keane

Nine years before Bertha was born, the parents who raised her lived in Franklin county, Kansas on a large farm. William, her father, was born in Germany, and Cordelia, Bertha's mother, was born in Pennsylvania. William's brothers Peter and Anton farmed nearby. When trying to learn about Bertha, we discovered she was adopted. I wrote ...

Why “The Malevolent Matriarch?”

GREAT GRANDMA'S TONGUE WAS AS SHARP AS HER PENCIL. Afraid of no one, she let loose in hundreds of letters to daughter Bertha, sometimes twice a day. Her stern "disposition" intimidates (yet I adore that photo on the right. Notice her posture, her confidence. The hat and coat add to the "don't mess with me" ...