May I Introduce To You . . . Susan Well


Susan Well

I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Susan Well and her blog, S. Well Genealogy, described as, “ . . . This blog is devoted to educational posts about the two areas of genealogy I know best – land records and English research.”

How Susan Got Started in Genealogy

Susan grew up in Newfane, Niagara, New York. She has lived her adult life in western Massachusetts and now in the state of Florida.

Susan began “serious” genealogy in 1994, one year before her parents 50th wedding anniversary, “ . . . I was embroidering a family tree sampler as a gift for them and decided it was finally time to organize all the scraps of paper with ‘notes’ from conversations with them. Since then I have been totally addicted and am now teaching classes at a senior center and The Lifelong Learning Academy of Sarasota. I am the co-leader of the United Kingdom Special Interest Group of my genealogy society.

In some ways, I feel that I have always been a genealogist. My parents were interested in history and antiques, and they talked about how people in our small town were related to each other and to us. My parents were big fans of the newspaper obituaries at a fairly young age, but the life lesson was how the community was connected to us and vice versa.”

Susan’s Family and Her Blog

With the exception of Susan’s sister and one uncle, Susan’s family has little or no interest in genealogy or family history findings, “Even my niece and nephew, my only descendants. I am stating here and now that when I die, my English research and files should go to the Norfolk Family History Society, Norwich, NFK and the German material to the History Society of the North German Settlements of Western New York.

My sister and I divided our family in 1994. She is researching our grandmothers’ families and I the grandfathers’. She has been very busy with her DAR chapter to spend time on my blog and is in big trouble with me. (Who would have thought that we could join DAR? You never know where genealogy will take you).”

Susan’s Thoughts on Blogging

Susan’s blog title came out of an idea when she had started her own business. “When I began a real estate business, a lawyer friend of mine suggested I name it ‘Swell Appraisals’ a combination of my first initial and my married surname. We decided that she was the only lawyer or lender in my area with a significant sense of humor, so the idea was quickly abandoned.  I revived her idea again when naming the blog and hope that readers will pronounce it ‘swell genealogy’ even if I did throw in a ‘period’ to complicate things.”

Susan’s main concern about blogging was that she might run out of topics, “But that hasn’t been a problem – one idea seems to lead to another.”

What Susan Loves Most About Genealogy

“For me, it is definitely the thrill of the hunt. I love doing the research, and I love the high when I find something. A bonus is discovering that I have the perseverance to get through the lean times and to creatively attack the brick walls. The more I research, the more certain I am that I could not have been a Colonial or pioneer woman. Forget the hard work and frequent pregnancies, I am prone to motion sickness and would never have made it across the Atlantic in a sailing ship. My GGGgrandmother came from Hamburg in 1843 with husband and eight children in six weeks. She is admirable for the feat alone.”

Susan’s Time Capsule Message

“Genealogy will change your life positively, even though you may not think it will. I felt I came from a nice ordinary middle class family and I do . . . but I had not fully understood that members of nice middle class families fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War. They survived the Great Depression.  Finding people taking part in these great American dramas, really embedded in the nitty-gritty of family history, made me feel different.  I feel a part of a large American Family that is, in not so small ways, part of American history.”

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Please take a moment to visit Susan’s blog. Leave her a comment letting her know you stopped by. Welcome Susan, it’s great to have you here!

© 2011, copyright Gini Webb

Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology, while also researching her own German heritage, recently retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her now seven grandchildren!

Are you a genealogy blogger who would like to be interviewed for the “May I Introduce To You . . .” series? If so, contact Gini Webb via e-mail.

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