The Schoolma’am

Week 35: #52 Ancestors – Back to School By Eilene Lyon The ancestor that I most closely associate with schools is Clara Pearl Ransom. Education was the driving force in her life – her own and that of others. Her early life was marked by tragedy, but when she moved to Moscow, Idaho, it was... Continue Reading →

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Youngest Son Goes to Sea

Week 32: #52 Ancestors -- Youngest By Eilene Lyon My parents' surnames illustrate an interesting dichotomy. The name “Smith” is among the ten most common surnames in America. “Halse,” on the other hand, is so uncommon that one source indicates fewer than 4000 people in the world share this last name.1 I believe this name... Continue Reading →

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Desperately Seeking…Descendants

As genealogists generally do, I have put together a family tree detailing my ancestors.  As a historian, though, I am diligently looking for descendants, hoping they may have pieces of a puzzle: a story, a photograph, an artifact. Perhaps YOU are one of the people I am looking for. If your ancestors lived in east-central... Continue Reading →

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The Asian Affair

Week 5: #52 Ancestors – So Far Away By Eilene Lyon According to Google, it is 9,079 miles [14,611 km] from Richmond, Virginia, to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam. That’s how far my dad was from home in 1966. The Second Indochina War, what we call the Vietnam War in the U.S., began in... Continue Reading →

Biking to Vienna – Part 1

By Eilene Lyon On our last morning in Salzburg, we went to pick up our biking gear for a six-day ride to Vienna. That’s when we learned we hadn’t received our vouchers and itinerary from the desk clerk. We had very little time to peruse the materials, drop off our suitcases to be transported to... Continue Reading →

Buried in Colorado

Week 4: #52 Ancestors – Close to Home By Eilene Lyon I’ve lived in Colorado for the past 35 years, but not because of any family connection to this state. When I really started digging into my family tree on Ancestry a decade ago, I discovered that some relatives also ended up here in the... Continue Reading →

The Slide Years: The Porch

By Eilene Lyon The Slide Years is a series in which I select an image my dad took from 1957-1982 with Kodachrome slide film, then I write a stream-of-consciousness essay – a sort of mini-memoir. I found this picture in the earliest batch of Dad’s slides from 1957. This is his family’s cat from that... Continue Reading →

Koch’s Disease

By Eilene Lyon -- March 24, 2020 It felled Egyptian Pharaohs and Greek warriors. It’s likely been around for 9,000 years or more. An estimate is that one in seven people who ever lived prior to 1800 succumbed to the disease, caused by a bacteria. Is this one of those plagues that have been eradicated... Continue Reading →

Old York Road

Week 3: #52 Ancestors – Long Line By Eilene Lyon Two branches with the surname Jenkins converge on my tree at my 4th great-grandmother, Ann Widdifield Zane. She married David Jenkins, presumed from Wales, but not a Quaker like Ann. Next to nothing is known of his life or family, so this is a rather... Continue Reading →

Jenkins Cousins

Week 2: #52 Ancestors – Favorite Photo By Eilene Lyon Last fall, one of my second cousins discovered she had a trove of family photos and heirlooms tucked away. The pictures likely had not been seen in decades. Most of them are of the Ransom and Jenkins families. I chose this particular image that shows... Continue Reading →

Salzburg Scenes

By Eilene Lyon Our Austrian trip began with a flight into Munich, Germany. At the airport, we bought first-class train tickets to Salzburg. A track delay caused us to miss our connection at the München Ost station. No problem, I thought, I’ll check the schedule and we’ll hop on the next train to Salzburg. Fifteen... Continue Reading →

Back to the FANs

Week 1: #52 Ancestors - Fresh Start By Eilene Lyon To genealogists, the FAN acronym stands for Friends, Associates, Neighbors - people we should be researching alongside our ancestors to provide context and clues to family connections. My knee surgery rehab time on the exercise bike prompted me to start watching some Legacy Family Tree... Continue Reading →

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