Monday, April 22, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: S is for Sudie Belle

This is Day 19 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Sudie Belle Life Shiflett.  She married into my family, but Sudie Belle’s story is a classic!

She was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, July 1885 to Margaret Johnson and the first of four husbands, Jacob Life. 

By 1901, Sudie’s mother Margaret Johnson Life Hott Ford was once again a free woman, and she married my first cousin three times removed, Sylvester “Sell” Shiflett of McGaheysville, Virginia.  So Sudie became his step-daughter. 

The next year, 1902, Sudie married her step-father's brother, James William “Will” Shiflett, also my first cousin three times removed.

Now Sudie was sister-in-law to her step-father as well as wife to her step-uncle.  Her mother was also her sister-in-law. 

Sell and Will Shiflett families
Photo courtesy of Erika Shiflett
Seated:  Ruth Ford, Sell Shiflett, Will Shiflett
Standing: Roy Thomas Shiflett (Sell and Margaret's son), Margaret Shiflett,
Clarence Ford, Sudie Belle Shiflett, 2 other daughters of Margaret
(possibly Blanche Hott and Mable Hott)

By now, you should be singing that ol’ favorite genealogy hymn, “I’m My Own Grandpa.”

Slip on over to the A to Z April Challenge for more Scintillating Selections.

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Fantastic. A friend of mine's sister has just become engaged to her husband's brother. So her sister will also be her sister-in-law and then her brother-in-law will become her brother-in-law again. Can you have a 'double brother-in-law?' It's complicated.

    1. A double brother-in-law? Sure, I'm sure it's allowed.

  2. You made me laugh.
    Happy A to Z!

  3. You made all that up!!! On second thought, after listening to "I'm My Own Grandpa", Sudie's line of kin is perfectly plausible. What a DNA nightmare! Great photo and video!

    My Letter 'S'...Our Middle Name Is Sue
    Sue CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

    1. Yeah, and in a program like Family Tree, you aren't given all the possible relationship options!

  4. What a story!

    Have a great Monday. ☺

  5. We're so proud and I love I'm my own Grandpa! Clay and I used to sing it all the time!