Raised in a small island town in Southeast Alaska, Saundra Middleton was lured away to Seattle, Washington after high school, curious about big city life. There she found a suburb built by her ancestor Peter Kirk. Living in Kirkland, she discovered some of the rich history surrounding his immigration, launching a broader interest in genealogy. After several years, she returned to the Far North, longing for its open places. While raising her own family and working as an industrial baker, Saundra achieved her degree in English from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She dabbled in journalism publishing dozens of articles in Alaska Business Monthly, Alaska Magazine, and other publications. Combining her writing and genealogy interests, Saundra was recognized for her short story "Of Donkeys, Mules, & Plains Ponies" in a 2015 contest sponsored by the Kent Family History Society in England. Feeding her insatiable curiosity, Saundra crossed the continent and big waters to walk in Peter Kirk's footsteps and learn more about his English history. Locked in a Derbyshire county archive vault studying ancient parchments and parish records, she found a family steeped in antiquity extending back to the foresters who protected the King’s royal forests of the 14th century. More recent records told the centuries-old saga of the Kirk family ironworks, which rode the wave of expansion during the Industrial Revolution, through the Victorian era, and into the 20th century.
Saundra Middleton continues to write, finding fodder in her globetrotting adventures, backpacking treks into the wilds, and daily life.