All posts by Susan

Life is good.

The Women Who Created Our World–Part 2

The Smith Family Women Building character The women in the Smith family were outstanding in the courage with which they faced life.  They relied heavily on faith, honesty, love, and each other.  In PART 1 of this post, we talked about Sylvia Bixby and her daughter, Maria Bixby Smith. Maria had six daughters who survived to ...

The Women Who Created Our World, Part 1

A woman is like a tea bag — you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.   ~ Eleanor Roosevelt Credit where credit is due A legacy to be proud of In the end, I think we don’t give enough credit to the women who made us who we are, not ...

A journey from 1891-Post 4

Signature number four A fly on the wall My mom has two, gold trunks in her apartment, and both are filled with genealogical treasures. In late August, she found something in the bottom of the smaller trunk. It was an autograph book once belonging to my great, great, great grandparents Charles and Maria Smith. To ...

Storytelling: Interpretations

Adding the dramatic effect When I read novels these days, I notice that the authors are writing their stories almost as if they are describing how they want it to look in a movie.  With this in mind, I began to think about the “special effects” that could accompany some of the older letters I ...

The Art of Successful Letter Writing

A Letter from an Ancestor By Susan Phelps “In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people’s lives.”   ~ Anatole Broyard On May 9, 1887, the Reverend Charles Smith sat down in his home in Plover, Wisconsin, to write a ...

Storytelling: Painting a main character

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.”  ~ Sue Monk Kidd Storytelling is an important part of family history.  Passing down stories about our lives and the lives of our ancestors makes history real.  Characters make stories come to life.  ...

Family history: Storytelling with a theme or topic

Choosing a subject or topic to tell a story Day-to-day aspects of life 100 years ago or more When trying to capture what life was like 100+ years ago, it is difficult to know a person's personality or character from a photo. While photos may not reveal an ancestor's personality, we can come away with ...

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