19th Century Career Advice

By Eilene Lyon Illustration for “The Author,” one of 88 mid-19th century careers described in the two-volume Popular Technology or Professions and Trades by Edward Hazen, A.M. If you’re looking for a detailed understanding of what it took to a butcher, a baker, or a candle-stick maker, Hazen’s books are just what you need.  You... Continue Reading →

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Famous Family

Week 33: #52 Ancestors - Family Legend By Eilene Lyon There’s a spark in all of us that yearns to be remembered after we’re gone. Those with children are assured of being remembered for a generation or three, perhaps. After that, some sort of legacy or notoriety is probably required. For those of us without... Continue Reading →

Alpine Treasure

By Eilene Lyon The gold we were seeking was not mineral or animal, but plant. Draba graminea (grass-like draba; Rocky Mountain Whitlow Grass) Near the end of July, I went on a Colorado Native Plant Society field trip to Black Bear Pass in the San Juan Mountains. We were fortunate to have in our group... Continue Reading →

The Rolling Ghost

By Eilene Lyon This evening I went out for happy hour with Ms. Pearlywhites. She recently got back from her annual visit to the family farm in upstate New York. It was time to catch up on what we’ve been doing with our summer, the lamentable state of our vegetable gardens, and where we should... Continue Reading →

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 →

“The Picturesque West”

By Eilene Lyon I stopped into the Friends of the Library book shop earlier this week. Check out this book I was so delighted to find – for the grand price of $4.00! As many of you are aware, I am working on a non-fiction book set during the California gold rush. This stout hardcover... Continue Reading →

Murder in New Netherland

Week 31: #52 Ancestors – Oldest By Eilene Lyon I consider myself a family historian. Genealogy is a tool I use to construct my family stories. For this reason, my family tree does not wander back to the hinterlands of history. Most of the people I research date from the 18th century forward. In fact,... Continue Reading →

Kauai Refuge

By Eilene Lyon A Bountiful Gift Around 2010, I picked up the book Waking Up In Eden by Lucinda Fleeson and learned for the first time about the Allerton Gardens on the island of Kauai. I never really expected to see the place myself, but a great deal showed up on Travelzoo and away we... Continue Reading →

Even When It’s Over, It Ain’t Over

By Eilene Lyon The problem with starting a feud is – how do you ever end it? We’ve all heard of the long-running Hatfield-McCoy dispute. While theirs might be notable for its longevity, feuds are hardly uncommon. Not all are deadly serious, but every one is toxic. Here are two historic feuds I’ve come across... Continue Reading →

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“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Teaching children values and giving them the opportunity to excel are essential to good parenting. However, I feel I must also provide my children (and myself) insight into the ones who came before us: our ancestors whose lives and stories have shaped us into who we are. This is my journey; these are their stories…

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A History of the Famously Interesting and Mostly Forgotten

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Early modern historian. Loves gender, women's, social & royal histories. Ventures elswhere when interest is piqued. Blog may cover above themes or something a little more random. Find me on Twitter @ruthrblair

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