New Obituary for Clara Lou – Day 4 Family History Writing Challenge


My grandparents, Archie and Clara Lou (Peters) Stewart, circa 1995-1996.

Day 4 of the #30DayFHWChallenge is to write an obituary for an ancestor. Be sure to include information about any surviving ancestors, the deceased’s occupation, and his age at death.

My grandma, Clara Lou Peters Stewart, died in September of 2002.  While my aunt, who is the gossip columnist for our local paper, wrote a fitting tribute to her and said thank you for those who helped with her battle against polycystic kidney disease,  I always felt my grandmother’s original obituary was quite lacking.  I know it’s hard to pack all the details of one’s life into a few short paragraphs and surely things do get omitted.  This would be my obituary from a grandchild’s perspective.

Dear Esther – Family History Writing Challenge Day 1


The Cincinati Equirer, 24 Jan 1914, Page 3

As part of the #30DayFHWChallenge, I am writing this letter to my second great-grandmother who was murdered in 1914 by her husband, William, before he shot himself as well.  I’ve written about Esther and William’s sad story before and the tragic ending of their two orphaned boys who would go on to kill themselves when they were adults as well.

In my quest to understand what happened that horrible day, I’ve gobbled up every bit of information I can find regarding William and Esther looking for clues and signs to explain why this had to happen. Most people would probably just shake their head at the tragedy and move on, but as a victim of abuse myself in the past, I wonder if she knew it was escalating to that point of no return.  This is my letter to her….

Cardinals and Candies

retro book and cherry berry

It’s been said that when you see a cardinal, it means that a loved one that has passed is visiting you.  Recently, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my grandparents Glenn Archer & Clara Lou Peters Stewart for some reason. We’re from Ohio where the cardinal is the state bird and though I’m not exactly sure what made them collect them, my grandparent’s house was filled to the brim with cardinal knickknacks. They even had a large one painted on their garage door.  Ever since buying our house two years ago here in New York, there has been a large family of cardinals in our backyard and every time I see one of them, I immediately think about my grandparents… but particularly her for some reason as of late.  

More Dark Stewart Deaths

Anna Stewart Barnes DCI have written before about the tragic trail of suicides in the Stewart side of my family HERE and again HERE.  I wasn’t prepared for the surprise I found on Ancestry this past month regarding a sister & brother of my third great grandfather William H. Stewart, who was the one who killed his wife and then shot himself in the out kitchen/ice storage of the Columbia Hotel in Caldwell, Ohio in 1914.

I was tying up a few loose leaves on my tree and stumbled upon yet another suicide – this time, the sister of William H. Stewart, named Anna May Barnes.  Anna was born in 1876 in Muskingum County, Ohio near Hopewell.