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 →

Laundry Soap

Week 24: #52 Ancestors – Dear Diary By Eilene Lyon So far I’ve only come across one true diary in the family, which I wrote about last year in Reatha Gusso, 1932. For an entire year, my grandmother kept a daily journal without missing a day. To our knowledge, it’s the only one she ever... Continue Reading →

The Musician

By Eilene Lyon A Photo Restored and Colorized Recently Val Erde made a wonderful offer to do free digital colorization for eight people who use vintage photographs in their blogs. I quickly volunteered, and was so lucky she selected one of my images. I first posted this photo of the Gusso brothers last July in... Continue Reading →

Saddled With The South

Week 23: #52 Ancestors – Namesake By Eilene Lyon My great-grandfather was the fourth child born to Melville Cox Davis and Sarah Rebecca Livengood in Elmwood, Saline County, Missouri, on December 15, 1867. A few months earlier, Sterling Price, former governor of Missouri and Confederate General, had passed away. Because the Davises were from North... Continue Reading →

Gold Country Tour

By Eilene Lyon After completing my archive research in California (Huntington Library, Bancroft Library, and the California Historical Society), it was time to do some gold rush sight-seeing. My first stop was the Wells Fargo branch on Montgomery in downtown San Francisco. This city owes its explosive growth directly to the gold rush. Wells Fargo... Continue Reading →

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WE CHOOSE TO IGNORE SUFFERING WHEN OUR FEAR EXCEEDS OUR MERCY

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