Fort Walla Walla

By Eilene Lyon Old Fort Walla Walla After the Lewis and Clark expedition, fur traders began traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Canadian North West Co. established a fort at the mouth of the Walla Walla River, on the Columbia, and called it Fort Nez Perces (present-day Wallula). When the company merged with Hudson’s Bay... Continue Reading →

Don’t Wait ‘Til Too Late

Week 28: #52 Ancestors - Reunion By Eilene Lyon Probably the most common type of reunion, apart from big holidays, is the funeral of a friend or family member. It's the basic premise behind countless movies, too. Why do we wait? It's not like people are going to die at some convenient time for everyone... Continue Reading →

A Widow Perseveres

Week 27: #52 Ancestors – Independent Perhaps it’s a bit perverse to write about the granddaughter of a Loyalist for this prompt, but I greatly admire my 3rd-great-grandmother, Mary Paulina Rowley Cutting. Widowed by the age of 41, Mary never remarried. Though she certainly had assistance at times, she clearly was an independent woman. Mary... Continue Reading →

Place-Name Problem

By Eilene Lyon If you're a historian or genealogist working with original stories, you may have encountered this problem. The writer mentions a geographic place name, and try as you might, you can't find it on a map -- anywhere. This happened to me yesterday. I'm reconciling various accounts of events leading up to the... Continue Reading →

First Ascent

Week 26: #52 Ancestors – Legend By Eilene Lyon A Man on the Move In researching my Jones relatives for the California gold rush book, I discovered a legendary figure who eventually married into the family. Elias Davidson Pierce was born in Harrison County, Virginia, in 1824. But upon reaching adulthood, he moved on and... Continue Reading →

The Davis Homestead

By Eilene Lyon Genealogy is about discovery: discovering your ancestors, discovering history, discovering your cultural identity, discovering new family. Anticipating a uniting of the Davis clan in Latah County, Idaho, in late June, I undertook a special project. Though almost everyone gathering in Moscow was in some way connected to Melville C. and Sarah R.... Continue Reading →

A Lush Life

Week 25: #52 Ancestors – Earliest By Eilene Lyon James Ransom and Elizabeth Anderson were among the earliest settlers in what would become Blackford County, Indiana, settling at what came to be called Trenton. They arrived in 1836 from Belmont County, Ohio, towing the first five of their twelve children, including a newborn.1 Blackford County... Continue Reading →

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Joy Neal Kidney

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A History of the Famously Interesting and Mostly Forgotten

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One Woman's Quest

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Opening Doors in Brick Walls

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell