Who I am and Why I do what I do...
Hello! My name is Suzette Bromley, formerly Sue Paciorek. I grew up in Port Huron and am very glad to have moved back recently. My fascination with genealogy started when I was about 10 years old. I remember pestering my mother and my grandmother, 'Who are we? Where did we come from?' My grandmother said we were Heinz 57, a little bit of this and that, all mixed together. The more I discover in my research, the more I know she was right. When I was about fourteen, my mother and her siblings received lovely family tree albums with a Norman Rockwell picture on the cover for Christmas. My mother's cousin created a family tree and gave each of them a copy. I was hooked. I dreamed of the day the album would be filled with information, newspaper clippings and photographs. That was also when I discovered my grandfather's great-grandfather died in my hometown in 1898. That led to my first trip to the St. Clair County Clerk's office, the first of many.
My father's family has not been as easy to trace since I don't have an older cousin or aunt laying out the groundwork. My father's recollection of when his grandparents died in Detroit was off by a decade. This led to many requests sent by me to the State of Michigan for three-year searches. All came back, 'no such record.' Thankfully, I discovered the Internet and helpful genealogy volunteers. Someone took the time and looked up these names in the index in Lansing. Bingo! That's all it took and I was the proud owner of two death records that I had been searching for for years. All that frustration was gone in an instant. I realized just what a useful tool indexes are. So, I approached the county library and asked if I could post the County Death Index online. There was concern about infringing on peoples' privacy as well as concern over legalities with the county clerk's office. I was able to convince them that I was merely making the public records that were open to local researchers available to distant researchers. A project was born.
I started my website around December 1999. Before I even had the death index complete, I was approached about posting the 1894 State Census for St. Clair County. What a wonderful endeavor considering the loss of the 1890 federal census. It's taken over three years of typing for me, but that project is now complete. While working on the census, I also posted the early Marriage Records. As I typed the marriages, I wondered, 'Where was Tappan? Where was Newport?' These questions led to my attempt to collect Old Town names. The site has grown as I have discovered more about St. Clair County and in my attempt to assist researchers tracking their ancestors in my hometown. The latest projects are a transcription of the Andreas book (excluding the Biographies which are already posted by Angie Wesch) and the Local Newspaper Index created by Marge Owens. These are a wonderful collection of local names giving dates of newspaper listing and tells the focus of the article such as general news, marriage, death, etc.
Thank you for visiting my website and taking the time to read this. If you need assistance with local research, you may contact me.