I have been the lucky recipient of many old photographs from all branches of my family and have
long wanted to share these exceptional photographs with others in the family. After researching my
family history for many years, I wanted to get some parts of my research into a book format. I realized
that I would have to limit this effort to only a few family lines in order for the project to be manageable.
I decided to start with my mother’s family and in discussing this idea with my immediate family
everyone seemed to think that my mother should be the focus of the book. I think this is because although
she has been dead for 16 years, every time two or more members of the family are together
someone recalls a memory of something that “Mom” or “Granny Baker” said or did. All agree that she
was “a character”.
I had interviewed my mother several times over the years, not with publishing in mind, but just to
get more information about her life and the lives of her ancestors. I had the transcripts of those interviews
as well as many leters that she had writen from childhood and on throughout her life so there
was lots of material. So it was that I decided to start with writing about my mother’s life and then continued
with sections about her parents and grandparents and their descendants.
I owe a special thank you to my sister, Harryete Baker Underwood for her support throughout this
project, her encouragement and contributions to the material used and for her generous help with the
expense of geting it ready for publishing.
I would like to express my thanks and deep appreciation to my co-author Peggy Rossi. Her professionalism
and expertise have been indispensable in helping me to organize and draw all these sources
of information together. She made sense of my often very sketchy source citations and also found
sources to support information for which I had no citations recorded at all.
Thanks to all the people who have shared their family history information with me over the years—
both close relatives and very distant cousins. Thanks to my nieces and nephews who have helped me
with information on the descendants.
Virginia Baker Smith