All posts by Susan

Life is good.

Storytelling: A Ballad

The Ballad of Richard Bard (The Poetry may be poor, but the story is amazing.) I have found over the years in my genealogical searches that there are ancestors of whom I have become particularly fond.   One couple, whom I admire greatly, both makes me laugh and makes me feel horrified by what they endured—Richard ...

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.  ...