Do you remember sitting with your Grandfather and listening to stories about when he was a kid? How about the Great Grandmother no one seems to know much about? Or perhaps the Uncle that died in France in WWII?? Each of us has a special story about a loved one.
Suzanne Byrne is no different. In her relentless pursuit to unbury her family history she found how overwhelming it can be to discover lost stories. After digging & finding more links on her family tree, she soon realized that each family tree “leaf” was more than just a name & a date. They had a life; a passion; their own dreams of a well lived life – so they were much more than just a slot to fill on a lineage with a birth date and a death date. What are the stories between those dates???
Day after day Suzanne dug deeper and deeper into her past and uncovered story after story about Grandparents, Great, Great Uncles, Cousins and so on. She discovered that during the American Revolution her 5th Great Grandfather invited British soldiers to stay at his Long Island inn, The Peace and Plenty just so he could listen to their drunken conversations & pass information back to the local militia. The inn stayed in the family for 235 years (1680-1915) & still stands today.
After losing her father at the young age of 59 to Parkinson’s Disease, the family was left with boxes of old photos with no one to ask who they were or what their stories were. We are all so busy in life that we don’t take the time to ask the questions that can never be answered once a loved one is gone. What was Dad like in high school? Why didn’t he serve in Vietnam? Where was he when Kennedy was shot? What was his relationship with his father like?? What food would he refuse to eat??
This is when Suzanne knew that she wanted to help others document their stories before they were long forgotten, destined to be wished for by future generations.
With a passion for family, a love of history, and living in an area surrounded by military families, Leaf Stories came about. Suzanne began putting together the pieces to bless others with her passion to discover the stories behind each leaf of their family tree. With a focus on military service, Leaf Stories blesses many, knowing their memories will live on.
Suzanne earned her Bachelor of Arts from Mars Hill College in the mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina. She was a Social Worker & Hospice Counselor for a nursing and rehabilitation center. Working with Hospice patients, Suzanne was blessed to hear so many stories from the people she was caring for. Who knew this was the beginning of Leaf Stories.
Suzanne lives in the Northern Virginia area with her husband & four children.