Emily Dickinson’s intriguing regard–“looking oppositely”–gives this website its title and its stance. Her lyricism encourages me as I turn around, searching behind me for imprints left by others.
Confident in my own suspicions, I focus the angle of my search differently than others have directed me. In looking past the insufficient genealogies and the misrouted family stories in which the lives of women have not been well remembered, or in some cases even remembered at all, I’ve come to find the deeply buried roots of the women who support my family’s tree.
Girls, sisters, cousins who bore no children, aunts who never married, mothers and grandmothers who over time have in my reckoning, all too quickly disappeared.
The following pages are an attempt to trace the lives of these women and to give them back their place. A place in which the greatest part is their own to play, and share or not with others.
Gretchen Elsner-Sommer, nee Gretsch