Kerry Szymanski

Member for
3 years 8 months 23 days
Find a Grave ID
49782268

Bio

December of 1997 marks a historic time with my family. My great uncle, Jewell Lionel Smith had passed. We never knew what he kept to himself until family members discovered his research and family memorabilia at his estate. Letters, photos, census, certificates, land deeds, school records, newspaper articles, just so much was found. My aunt, Iris Jean Smith May, took the time and patients to go through and organize most of the research. She wanted to preserve our family history.
I learned of my great aunt, Agnes Black Sico, who also researched our family line. She and her husband, Michael Sico, researched more through word of mouth. She searched out distant cousins, she would literally find their address and just knock on their doors, "saying we're family." Aunt Agnes chatted with me about my family lines at a family reunion. She told me stories of "how things were" when she grew up. She invited me to her house to show me pictures. She wanted me to learn more about our family.
So in 1999, when I was 27 years old, I caught the genealogy bug. There were only a few family members with home computers then, I was one of them. Aunt Agnes asked me to "capture the family line on the computer."
I ran out and bought Family Tree Maker 6.0 for Windows. The program was very basic. It came with a few family finder index searches CDs and a guidebook. I was excited to get started. I hit every online website there was at the time. Genealogy.com was a big help. I connected to so many distant family members through email. I was Kerry Ann Wheeler then. We traded information online and through snail mail. I received so many family pictures, charts, and research in the mail. For years I kept just adding to the family line. I would share my finding with my Aunt Agnes, we'd spend hours discussing family members and her verifying if the information was correct from what she "recalled."
At the age of 89, in 2004, my Aunt Agnes passed. My father's sister, Iris Jean Smith May took time again to organize through Aunt Agnes' family research.
During 2005, the research I kept on my home computer was somehow "lost" when I was going through my divorce. I decided to take a step away from genealogy then.
In 2021, on one of my trips to visit my Aunt Iris, we were discussing the family tree again. She started pulling her research together in her living room. I couldn't believe how much she had. It was amazing to look at items that were over a hundred years old. I caught the genealogy bug again. She had collected more family memorabilia when her mother, my grandmother, Kelma Eugene Black Morley had passed in 2015.
My Aunt Iris has gathered so much research, she asked me to help digitalize and organize everything together. I asked her how much research on the family did she want? She told me "everything."

Our family research has many lines:
John Melville Smith (1800-1872), his wife, Mary Ann Wilson Smith (1803-1897)
James Miskimen (1801-1880), his wife, Rachel Ferree Miskimen (1811-1849)
Benjamin Strother Ashby (1817-1896) and his wife, Elizabeth Harris Ashby (1821-1892)
William R Ransford (1837-19300 and his wife, Cynthia Ann Dilley Ransford (1834-1864)
Joseph Onesimus Black (1792-1861) and his wife, Mary Ann Haun Black (1794-1817)
George Washington Sally (1807-1888) and his wife, Alley Brown Sally (1798-1855)
John Henry Stover (1802-1865) and his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Ward Stover (1809-1857)
Isaac Hairie Brown (1806-1892) and his wife, Mary Mooney Brown (1805-1892)
William Lewis Campbell (1827-1909) and wife, Rebecca Jane McFarland Campbell (1828-1855)

Contributor: Kerry Szymanski # 49782268

December of 1997 marks a historic time with my family. My great uncle, Jewell Lionel Smith had passed. We never knew what he kept to himself until family members discovered his research and family memorabilia at his estate. Letters, photos, census, certificates, land deeds, school records, newspaper articles, just so much was found. My aunt, Iris Jean Smith May, took the time and patients to go through and organize most of the research. She wanted to preserve our family history.
I learned of my great aunt, Agnes Black Sico, who also researched our family line. She and her husband, Michael Sico, researched more through word of mouth. She searched out distant cousins, she would literally find their address and just knock on their doors, "saying we're family." Aunt Agnes chatted with me about my family lines at a family reunion. She told me stories of "how things were" when she grew up. She invited me to her house to show me pictures. She wanted me to learn more about our family.
So in 1999, when I was 27 years old, I caught the genealogy bug. There were only a few family members with home computers then, I was one of them. Aunt Agnes asked me to "capture the family line on the computer."
I ran out and bought Family Tree Maker 6.0 for Windows. The program was very basic. It came with a few family finder index searches CDs and a guidebook. I was excited to get started. I hit every online website there was at the time. Genealogy.com was a big help. I connected to so many distant family members through email. I was Kerry Ann Wheeler then. We traded information online and through snail mail. I received so many family pictures, charts, and research in the mail. For years I kept just adding to the family line. I would share my finding with my Aunt Agnes, we'd spend hours discussing family members and her verifying if the information was correct from what she "recalled."
At the age of 89, in 2004, my Aunt Agnes passed. My father's sister, Iris Jean Smith May took time again to organize through Aunt Agnes' family research.
During 2005, the research I kept on my home computer was somehow "lost" when I was going through my divorce. I decided to take a step away from genealogy then.
In 2021, on one of my trips to visit my Aunt Iris, we were discussing the family tree again. She started pulling her research together in her living room. I couldn't believe how much she had. It was amazing to look at items that were over a hundred years old. I caught the genealogy bug again. She had collected more family memorabilia when her mother, my grandmother, Kelma Eugene Black Morley had passed in 2015.
My Aunt Iris has gathered so much research, she asked me to help digitalize and organize everything together. I asked her how much research on the family did she want? She told me "everything."

Our family research has many lines:
John Melville Smith (1800-1872), his wife, Mary Ann Wilson Smith (1803-1897)
James Miskimen (1801-1880), his wife, Rachel Ferree Miskimen (1811-1849)
Benjamin Strother Ashby (1817-1896) and his wife, Elizabeth Harris Ashby (1821-1892)
William R Ransford (1837-19300 and his wife, Cynthia Ann Dilley Ransford (1834-1864)
Joseph Onesimus Black (1792-1861) and his wife, Mary Ann Haun Black (1794-1817)
George Washington Sally (1807-1888) and his wife, Alley Brown Sally (1798-1855)
John Henry Stover (1802-1865) and his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Ward Stover (1809-1857)
Isaac Hairie Brown (1806-1892) and his wife, Mary Mooney Brown (1805-1892)
William Lewis Campbell (1827-1909) and wife, Rebecca Jane McFarland Campbell (1828-1855)

Contributor: Kerry Szymanski # 49782268

Search memorial contributions by Kerry Szymanski

Contributions

Advertisement