by Katie (Stevens) Schumm
Greetings, family and visitors. I am the architect of this site, borrowing from the research, preservation, and memories of several family members, living and dead. On my father's side, I come from a line of Stevenses and Tomeses, and was born with the surname Stevens. We mostly come from England, Scotland, and Ireland originally. More recent generations have been rooted in London, Ontario and Michigan.
I am hardly the first amateur genealogist in the family. When sifting through family genealogy records just a few years back, I found a carbon of a letter written to the editor of an Ontario newspaper, composed by my great-grandmother, Eleanor Tomes, in the 1950s. In the letter, she chided the editor for not knowing and printing our family's Mayflower lineage in a Thanksgiving-themed "local color" article. How dare he! Through her dignified outrage, one could not help but understand how proud she was of her family history.
My grandfather, Robert Stevens, was also a dilligent family history steward who thoughtfully clipped and saved stacks of newspaper articles in his office file drawers. At a time before Internet research was available, my grandfather hand-typed family trees and kept notes on legal pads. He wrote letters to distant family members and sent away for historical record books, sometimes waiting months or years to receive a response. For his patience and dedication, I am very grateful.
As part of the most recent generation to take up the mantle of family historians, I, along with my sister, uncles, and cousins, am able to build upon the history of a loving family with a legacy of learning, sharing, and forward-thinking, thanks largely to those who have come before us.
The purpose of this genealogy project is to assemble family facts, stories, and images in one place, so they may be enjoyed and shared by other family members near and distant. I have, at my access, so many rich images and intriguing stories, that it felt wrong to hoard them all. These images and stories don't belong in a storage bin and stuffed in binders. They should be out there for everyone to enjoy.
Beyond the historical archive you will find here, I am also proud to try and tell the stories behind these photos, names, and collection of dates, and have done so as faithfully and reverently as possible--though, in our case, the reverence part can be a little difficult when describing some of the characters from our family tree.
So, please, family members of mine, enjoy what is published here. Our family has had sea captains, explorers, teachers, politicians, entrepreneurs, war-time nurses, and even a few scoundrels. Take the time to read the family stories, download a few pictures to print or share, and get to known the amazing people you came from!