Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Book of Me, Written By You - Prompt 7: Grandparents

The Book of Me, Written By You
Prompt 7: Grandparents

"The Book of Me, Written By You" is a GeneaBloggers project created by Julie Goucher of the Anglers Rest blog.

The concept: A series of blogging and writing prompts that help family historians capture their own memories and write about themselves.

Prompt 7: Grandparents
What were their names?

Maternal: Paul H. and Dorothy C. (Sorensen) Kinnick
Paternal: William E. and Ella R. (Preston Ballard) Smith

Where were they from? [All spent their married years in Iowa, by the way]

  • Paul Kinnick's paternal line is American back into the 1600s. His maternal grandfather was born in Wales.
  • Dorothy Sorenson was born in Denmark.
  • William E. Smith was born in the USA within 20 years of his father immigrating from Alcase, France, and his mother from Sweden.
  • Ella Preston's lines all go back into early colonial America.

Were they related? - No, not even close - American melting pot! ;-)


This is how I remember Paul and Dorothy Kinnick, my maternal grandparents. I have lots of photos of them, just go to my labels and put in their first names to see a few of them. This was their little house in Bayard, Iowa - during the 1950s and 1960s, I suppose.

Not the greatest photo, but about the only one I have of them as adults, together (probably 1921-22). He worked hard on his farm and his machine shop - he was know far and wide as a water locator and driller. The machine shop on "the homeplace" is another whole story of its own! ;-) In the family, they were always Mom and "Pop."

This is Bill Smith, whom I was named after, about a year before he died, in 1938.

What did they do?

  • Paul Kinnick was a bank cashier, primarily
  • William Smith was a farmer as well as a well driller

Did you know them?

I grew up with my maternal grandparents, yes; all three of our daughters knew them as well, into adolescence. He lived to 75, she to 95.
My paternal grandfather died (at age 70) a few months after I was born; his wife had died about 25 years earlier. He did not remarry.

My additional comments:
I was fortunate to know and be close to both a grandfather and a grandmother. They were each loving and caring in their own way. It is sad not to have known the other set; but I realize many folks go through life knowing none. I'm happy, as are my children.

Families are Forever!


  1. I love you doing these prompts...I am learning alot!! I was so lucky knowing my paternal great grandparents and maternal great grandmother...both maternal/paternal sets of grandparents...for as long as i did...!!!

    1. Thank you! Julie will appreciate that! Your were lucky, as were we! Nice comment! ;-)

  2. quite interesting! I'm so glad to see you preserving your family history this way and encouraging others.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Very encouraging! ;-)