Hi, I’m Sue –
The Graphic Genealogist and Your Ancestor Detective.
Often found walking in nature, snuggling a grandchild or fervently sewing my latest masterpiece, my clients, friends and family all tell me I’m passionate about everything I do and my laugh has a way of instantly putting people at ease.
I’m a mom, a wife and a gramma and I find my energy in family. I discover my daily renewal in breathing in the outdoors—even on the wet, and especially, the snowy days.
My strong character grew deep roots as a child, when I started seeking answers that sprung from the longing inside me that echoed with the question, “Who am I?”.
My question was such a mystery, as I’m so much like my father, and he was adopted. My real question was, “Who are my biological grandparents?”. I knew DNA would answer this, but DNA was out of reach financially at the time so I settled on what I could know—my mothers family.
My quest started with mapping out the huge tree of her ancestors. My mother was the keeper of family heirlooms (The Cross/Brodie family bible, the hand-crafted baptism gowns, the photos of family). She passed the genealogical torch to me and I took up digitizing all her work and building from there.
As a visual person I needed to see this tree outside of the confines of a computer. I was dreaming of something bigger than a line chart. I wanted a bold picture that told the story of generations. This was the genesis of Family Ancestrees.
My DNA Story
Finally, DNA became affordable, so I tested myself, my siblings, my mom (who was excited with me to discover my dad’s ancestors) and several other family members who were willing. The science was growing and my understanding of what all the matches and numbers meant was growing too.
After 6 years of learning, I reached a genetic theory! August 31, 2018—I will never forget. The following years were about learning the diplomacy of connecting with family who had no idea I was out there.
Through the good grace of shared cousin matches, I made positive contact with a first cousin. Together, we turned to Facebook and created a community of cousins, distant, close, unknown previously and known. The pandemic afforded us the space to get to know each other.
In the Fall of 2021, I had the greatest pleasure in meeting my aunts, uncles and cousins face-to- face. I created a hardcover book of my dad’s short life and what was important to him. It has become a great keepsake for “new” family, and for his grandchildren and their children.
For over 10 years now, people on a quest to answer their own questions of family origins have been hiring me to take the legwork, and overwhelm out of genealogy and create visual treasures, commemorating their legacies.