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Susan Baker Farmer

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Susan Baker Farmer on Twitter
Susan Baker Farmer on Twitter






Beautiful Downtown East Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains

Tell us a bit about your genealogy/family history journey

Lets see, I stared at around 14 in 1967-ish. It may have been a weekly reader article. Daddy’s parents were visiting. I drew out a pedigree chart with a purple felt tip pen on a sheet of onionskin paper, and started asking questions.

There were 24 in my generation, so I made lists (actually more like a Suzi-fide version of a Henry report to keep track of who was kin to who!

I had no mentor, so Ive probably made every mistake in the book. I’ve stepped away at various times, but I always come back.

Favorite food or beverage

Pepsi. Food? Just one? Grilled shrimp and a nice filet.

Surnames of interest

Me: Baker, Lambert, Gentry; Riggs, Damron, McPeek, Carico; Kilgore, Stallard, Beverly, Maynard/ Mainard, Austin, Layne, Horne … it gets *complex* from there back. Can you say Endogamy? Sure you can!

Aunts/ Uncles_ Cousins: Countiss, Cantrell, Collins, Gibson, Murphy, Meade, Sturgill, Stidham, Mullins, Mathis, Roberts, Poole, Lee, (and just to make things difficult), Domby and Yakubowski (Polish Catholic) and Sturman and Sterman (Russian Jew).

Hubby: Farmer, Childers, Wright, Minton; Haskins, Henderson, Dail, Wilson, Russell, Hobgood, Vance, Owens, Baker (no relation to mine), Graham, and Rousseau.

The DIL: Mitchell, Jones, Sharp, Moriarty, France, Pavlicek, Krogman, Kramer, Tucker, Miles, Rigney, Fitchgibbons, Smith, Cogdan, Hogan, Duncan, Gordon, Hutchens, Wood, Jackson, Miller, Floyd, Gowen, Tate, and Wileman

My cousin’s birth Family: Hargrove, Herrington, Kirkland, Conner, Ferrell, Ward, Broward, Hardee

And whoever strikes my Fancy. In my tree, most everybody is kin to everybody else, so ….

If you could meet one person from your family tree that died before you were born, who would it be and why?

Well … that could be William Addington. Born 1750 in London. Allegedly the son of Dr. Anthony Addington and Mary Hiley. Anthony was George Iii personal physician. William was George Washington’s Commisary Officer. He was also committed to the VA state Lunatick Asylum under Court Order, but those records are gone now … and the courthouse did NOT burn. I smell political machinations.

Or it would be Dorothy Gordon. Born ~1807 in NC. Rumor has it that she (or maybe her mother) was kidnapped by an English Sea Captain, he left her with a Madam in NOLA to raise until she was old enough, at which point he married her. Family tradition has her associated with 2 men before she married David Gentry (and I want to ask him who Susanna Smallwood was anyway!) …a Mr. Ragsdale and a Mr. Burdine.

And I want to ask Eliza Baker if she and her sister were … um … in business (lots of kids. 2 single women), and why didn’t she marry Robert Kilgore!

And for hubby’s family. I want to ask William Russell who his first wife was! At some point after the 1860 census, he marries (a Hutson maybe), they have 2 children, she dies, and he remarries … all before the 1870 census!

Genealogy pet peeve

City directories .. yeah, they have their uses, but … Lol. People who (apparently) don’t know how old they are. And folks who leave no trace behind.

Favorite place where you’ve traveled

The UK. Business Trip in 1981. Wanna go back. Need to go to the V&A!. Wanna go back to NYC to spend more time at the Met (hopefully in the downstairs textiles study collection), and the Museum of Natural History 

From a genealogy/family history research perspective, what would you have done differently?

I would have liked to have known what I was doing as a teenager. I didn’t really start collecting documentation until 81 or 82. Silly me! In the beginning, I only collected names; the genealogical equivalent of a Botanical “hay bailer!”. At some point between 1970 and 1980, I started adding in names and dates. Daddy is the 4th direct line Richard Baker in 6 generations …. Richard son of Dee son of Richard son of Eliza dau of Richard (b. 1797) son of Richard son of Robert . 

When chemo put me flat on my back. I had my phone. Everything was still in storage (waaaaay long story there. Feel free to message or email ( . I ain’t shy, and I have no shame!! Lolol and I had an An cestry membership. So, I made a fairly fresh start. And I collected *records* and documentation. A couple or 3 years ago — from FB — I learned about the Proof Standard and Report writing. I still do about 80% of my Genealogy on my phone.

What are you currently working on and what’s next?

Hmmm. Helping my cousin find their birth mother. Based on DNA, I’m fairly certain who maternal grandparents are. I **think** I found Mom, but I’m not sure.

And finding William Russell’s 1st wift … and 2 or 3 of hubby’s dead ends 
And I have a half-1C. I have reached out to her, but I get that can be distressing news. So I wait to hear from her. If I can get cousins to test, it will be easy to figure out who her dad was. But, I’m not approaching them until and unless I hear from her. She last logged into Ancestry “3 to 11 months ago,” so … 

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