Linden Tree Leaves

Genealogy and Ancestry Explorations


Adelene Saunders (Milam) aka “Nona”


This is a photo of my grandmother, Adelene Saunders Milam, as I most remember her. We called her Nona but she was also known as “Bobbie” during her youth. Not a shy and retiring woman at all 🙂

As a child, I spent some summers with her and my paternal grandparents in New Mexico and loved all the stories she would tell us of her childhood and youth during the Dust Bowl and Depression. I’m not sure if it was her idea or my mother’s, but she started writing these stories down for us and mailing them to our home in California. She put a lot of work into them, often attaching photos or newspaper articles she’d obviously taken from her own scrapbooks. Most of the stories are in her favorite blue ballpoint pen ink and there are little notes added alongside photos, etc. She was always a big record keeper so she would often note who took a photo.

My family now has a priceless treasure trove of stories, in Nona’s own hand, to read and re-read, pass on to our extended family and children and enjoy.

I now have a project to scan and transcribe all these stories with a goal of making them into a book for our family. I also plan to donate a copy to the historical societies of the places mentioned in them (mostly Northern Texas). They are more than just a personal treasure to hold close and jealously guard. I also plan to post transcriptions of them on this blog. They are truly fascinating and are great personal glimpses into a time in history that was tough and is now gone.

While my husband’s ancestor, Klaas van der Linden, was the spark to really get me working on genealogy in a focused way, Nona was the person who laid all the groundwork for my interest and her stories gave me the curiosity about the names and lives behind the dates in records.

Thank you, Nona, for taking all  the time and care to give us these lasting glimpses into your life.