All posts by Susan

Life is good.

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 ...