“Can You Read Me Now?”

By Eilene Lyon Reading handwritten documents is a critical part of genealogical and historical research.  The debate about teaching children to write cursive is ongoing.  The question for me is, “Can you read cursive writing without learning how to do it yourself?” I believe the answer is “Yes.” I quit writing cursive as soon as... Continue Reading →

National Parks 2013 – 2017 – Part 3

By Eilene Lyon It’s been a couple weeks since my last post about National Parks and other public lands.  As I mentioned before, I highly encourage you to learn more about the history of these places and the threats they face by clicking on the links below. Let’s start with Glacier National Park (feature photo... Continue Reading →

The Kindness of Strangers

By Eilene Lyon I keep this rather unremarkable photograph as a reminder of the kindnesses of strangers to an adventurous college graduate making a solo cross-country trip. June 15, 1985: I left Columbus, Ohio, in this 1972 Pontiac Ventura, pulling a lightweight boat trailer.  My boyfriend had built a box on it to haul my... Continue Reading →

An Invitation to Heidelsheim

Week 4: #52Ancestors - Invitation to Dinner By Eilene Lyon “Which of your ancestors would you like to invite to dinner?” asked Amy Johnson Crow.  I’d like to turn that around and be the one invited to dinner by my ancestors.  Specifically, the Springers in Heidelsheim, Germany, in 1853. That would be the year before... Continue Reading →

Payday Lending 1850s-Style

By Eilene Lyon Ridiculously expensive loans are certainly not a modern phenomenon.  They probably began with the invention of the monetary concept.  I’ll give you two clams today; you’ll give me three clams tomorrow. Farmers in the early- to mid-19th century were loath to borrow money, especially from banks.  They’d been burned by the federal... Continue Reading →

What’s Wrong with Transplanting?

By Eilene Lyon First, this post is not about putting vegetables in your garden, though I’ll point out that there are many reasons you shouldn’t put non-native ornamentals in your yard.  The problems we have here in the western U. S. with tamarisk and Russian olive are an illustration of what can go wrong. Rather,... Continue Reading →

Roadside Genealogy

By Eilene Lyon While touring Decorah, Iowa, I was pleased to see that the town managed to name a one-block-long street after my ancestor, William Painter.  Considering he donated half the land the town is built on, it’s the least they could do. Taking a road trip to discover family history is really much more... Continue Reading →

Oasis

By Eilene Lyon When you think "oasis," perhaps it conjures an image that starts out as a rippling, liquid mirage on the horizon surrounded by dunes of hot, red sand.  As you get closer, it resolves itself into a cluster of palm trees surrounding a cool, blue pool of crystalline water.  You dismount from your... Continue Reading →

Remembering Little Rock

By Eilene Lyon Integration Comes to Little Rock Just over 60 years ago, Little Rock Central High became the setting for the first real test of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education.  My aunt was in high school when she made the move from Portland to Little Rock.  She... Continue Reading →

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Princes, Paupers, Pilgrims & Pioneers: Our Predecessors & Me

“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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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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