Mary Katherine Link – Miss Kate – was Lois Link’s aunt. Lois was my maternal grandmother. I inherited grandmother’s archive and one of the items in that collection is a beautiful, but crumbling, autograph book that belonged to Miss Kate. It became one of my first digitizing projects – and one of my favorites. Many of the pages were loose and could be scanned while others had to be photographed. Once the digitizing was complete I decided to reconstruct it as a little booklet which could be shared. I added a short biography written by a cousin who knew Miss Kate and the only photograph I could find. Using Lulu.com, I ordered several print copies which were sent to a couple of elderly Link cousins. I also posted it on Scribd where others could find and download a digital copy if they were interested.
When I first found this beautiful gem in grandmother’s things, Mary Katherine Link was little more than an entry in my genealogy database with a few vital records. My research discovered that not only did she spend her life teaching, but she also was a surrogate mother to my grandmother and her siblings after their mother died. Grandmother was only 5 when her mother died so Miss Kate was obviously a great influence in her life. It also explains why this little autograph book was one of Lois’s treasured keepsakes. And, by looking at the entries in the book, Miss Kate had many admirers.