Thursday, January 29, 2015

52 Ancestors: Closest to My Birthday~ Auntie Kate

 The prompt this week for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition is to write about the ancestor who is closest to your birthday.
    My genealogy software, Legacy Family Tree, has a great search tool. After entering a search for anyone born in August, I discovered that my Great Grand Aunt, Kathryn Louise Baker Ryan (1898-1987), was born on August 5, the closest to my August 3 birthday.

Kathryn "Kate" Baker Ryan (1898-1987)
©Cheri Hudson Passey
  "Auntie Kate", as I called her, was the daughter of Arthur Wellington Baker (1857-1940) and Martha Victoria (Bradford) Baker (1862-1946). She was born and lived most of her life in Sumter County, South Carolina.
 As a child I remember going to the home she and her two sisters shared. One of those sisters was my Great Grandmother, Emma Ruth (Baker) Early (1901-1993). All were widows.

Three of the Baker sisters
L-Ella Fair (Baker) Wells (1889-1971)
M-Emma Ruth (Baker) Early (1901-1993)
R-Kate Louise (Baker) Ryan ( 1898-1987)
©Cheri Hudson Passey

  My memories of Auntie Kate was that she was a great cook. I especially remember her creamed corn. No one could make it quite like her. She had a poodle named "Jacques. He could do several tricks and was even potty trained! Think about that one for a minute... I won't give details but he just needed someone to flush for him.

Kate and "Jacques"
Early 1980's

   Auntie Kate was one of the first people I spoke to in 1979 about genealogy. She had spent many years researching the Baker family. Her work had been placed into a book and she gave me a copy of it. I was hooked!

   Kate married James "Jimmy" Patrick Ryan (1893-1950) on 27 Sept. 1921 in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1922 Jimmy was honorably discharged from the Navy and they moved to live by Kate's family in Sumter County, South Carolina. They adopted their daughter, Ellen Anne Ryan (1934-1988) in 1936. 

Kate and Jimmy Ryan
©Cheri Hudson Passey

Both are buried in the Sumter City Cemetery in Sumter, South Carolina.

 Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our people.


  1. I envy you being able to write about someone you actually knew. That Auntie Kate had an interest in genealogy as well makes this story even better.

    1. I was so happy that it turned out to be Auntie Kate! She was a fun lady. I wish I had known more about interviewing people back then. She remembered so much even at her advanced age. Thanks so much for reading my post!