My Mother’s Mind

My mother’s love, her service and sacrifice, her canned peaches that were better than candy — all of these deserve their own essays. But today I’ve been thinking about her mind.

Elizabeth Babcock Rodeback and siblings
Mom and her seven siblings. She’s in the front row, second from the left.

She grew up in Lost River, a tight-knit farming community nestled in a valley just beyond Arco, Idaho. Her dad survived one of the grimmest episodes of World War I, before returning home to start a family and to raise sheep, cattle, and grain. Her mother served an LDS mission to the Southern States, but not before setting an example of sacrifice in pursuit of education.

So my tale begins with Grandma, since it must begin somewhere.

The Sides We Don’t See (or Commit an Act of Family History This Season)


Consider, for example, my first grade teacher, Miss Keller. (The name is changed to protect her, in case she’s more innocent than we thought at the time.) Miss Keller was mean. She yelled at us. She punished the whole class for the minor offenses of one or two students, which is as quick a way to pique a child’s sense of injustice as any. She also taught us to count in German.

Follow this link: The Sides We Don’t See (or Commit an Act of Family History This Season)

Nineteen Kinds of Death Records and Their Uses

Death certificates are filled with useful genealogical information, including, sometimes, things you may not have wanted to know. There are many other kinds of death records, of course, from obituaries to tombstone inscriptions. Each is useful in its way, and some are rich sources of clues for further research.

Follow this link: Nineteen Kinds of Death Records and Their Uses

After the Family Reunion

Communication, planning, and preparation always precede the family reunion, but there are a few things that are worth remembering after the reunion. These are things to do soon, not a year from now on the way out the door to the next reunion. These things vary with the person and the family, but they might include doing something about that good idea you had this year for next year.

Follow this link: After the Family Reunion