All posts by Susan

Life is good.

Document and photo preservation

Preserving old documents and photos Documents, papers, photos and more I wrote about preserving photos and other old documents in IN A PREVIOUS POST. This one, however, takes a closer look at materials currently recommended. Take a look at Susan's article to read tips and tricks for preserving your documents. While it can be expensive ...

Family history: What’s in a (nick)name?

The significance of names in family history Considerations when naming children Have you considered your first, middle, and last names? Were you "named after" someone in the family? Perhaps you were given great aunt Grace's first name, or uncle James's middle name? Maybe you use a nickname or a derivative of a longer, traditional name? ...

Family history: Stories and setting the scene

Preserving family history through storytelling Fleshing out the story, using time and place Samuel Smith "travelled thousands of miles on foot and went emphatically 'everywhere' preaching the gospel." I'm not sure what comes to mind when you read that sentence, but for me, it provides a visual I wouldn't otherwise have. I knew my 4X ...

Family history: Using the spoken word

Storytelling and preserving family history Considering various methods While this blog is about creating ancestor profiles using your family's heirlooms and documentation, there are myriad ways to pass along family history. Take a look at how Susan reminds us that oral storytelling should not be forgotten as a means to preserve our history.   Can ...

Family history: Record using various methods

When writing is not your thing Think of your "go to" method to communicate When I began this blog, I was intently focused on the written form of ancestor stories. My goal is to teach my children about their past, and as a writer, making notes or creating a few short paragraphs is a piece ...

Clues and hunches to identify the unknown

The importance of clues and hunches Instinct and identifying unknowns We all seem to have a mystery photo, the people in which we cannot identify.  It is tempting to look at the obvious, accept the unknown and give up. Yet, there may be more to it than we realize; there may be help we hadn't ...

Obits and what they offer

What there is to learn from an obit There may be surprises My great, great grandfather was Alfred Josiah Smith. Let's pick apart the obit for his sister, Alice May Smith Lytle, presented in the following article. Looking at the information regarding the pallbearers, Susan makes a good point that not all of Alice's siblings were ...

Truth or fact: Honor guard or wounded soldier?

Separating truth from fact when reading old documents A matter of focusing on your goals When deciphering journals, diaries, or even census records, it's very important to keep in mind that someone's family story is their truth, which will be repeated as such. This does not mean it is factual. Perhaps a story or fact ...

Meeting an ancestor through a biographical sketch

Ways to learn about our ancestors Creating a biography In the following article, Susan creates a biographical sketch of Mary Smith Phelps, her husband's grandmother. Mary was someone that neither Susan nor her husband ever met. Incidentally, Mary was sister to my great, great grandfather Alfred Josiah Smith and aunt to our malevolent matriarch. By ...