The Rise and Fall of Trenton

Week 38: #52 Ancestors – On the Map By Eilene Lyon I confess to being a bit of a map geek. I even minored in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) when I attended Fort Lewis College in 2004-7. Maps are excellent for visualizing the context of events in our family history. They can help us understand... Continue Reading →

The Cutting School

Week 37: #52 Ancestors – Back to School By Eilene Lyon Today, schools are frequently named for presidents, famous politicians or war heroes (more often than not men). Back in frontier days, naming a school was often a prosaic affair – if you built a schoolhouse on your property, it generally became known after you.... Continue Reading →

The March of Progress

By Eilene Lyon My husband texted me this photo yesterday with no explanation. I studied the image carefully. That view in the background – I knew it well. It was the foreground I found distressing. “Is that my old house?” I texted back. It’s been 20 years since I sold the place, but this…it breaks... Continue Reading →

The Engineer

Week 36: #52 Ancestors – Labor By Eilene Lyon My grandfather, Laurence M. Smith, has made many appearances on this blog. I’ve shared a couple stories he wrote about his work in A Short Load and A Secret Mission. Laurence was a 1931 graduate of the University of Idaho with a degree in electrical engineering.... Continue Reading →

How We Vanish

Week 35: #52 Ancestors – Unforgettable By Eilene Lyon This week’s prompt really stopped me in my tracks. Unforgettable? If there’s anything I’ve learned from all my years of genealogy research is that family history is eminently forgettable. So many fascinating stories have been rescued from oblivion by sheer determination on my part (and yes,... Continue Reading →

And Ona Makes Three

Week 34: #52 Ancestors – Chosen Family By Eilene LyonI have not come across many adoptions in my family research. I’ve previously written about Ada Coffey, a relative on one branch of my family, who was adopted by my 2nd great-grandparents, Dick and Lucy Halse, from a different branch.This story is from the Ransom family... Continue Reading →

Philadelphia Firestorms

Week 33: #52 Ancestors – Troublemaker By Eilene Lyon Henry Z. Jenkins rose before dawn one morning in June 1827 in his single room in north Philadelphia’s Penn Township. His workday normally began at sunrise and ended at sundown – just like that of every other journeyman in the city. The master tradesmen dictated the... Continue Reading →

Absurdities #9

By Eilene Lyon The other day I dropped by the local college campus to review a book in their research library. As I headed back to my car, I encountered a mule deer buck in velvet, blithely using a rear hoof to scratch his ear, like a dog, as he idly chewed some leaves he'd... Continue Reading →

Big On Talent

Week 32: #52 Ancestors – Small By Eilene Lyon The first thing the prompt brought to mind is this photograph I received at a family reunion last year. It isn’t the only image of Elmer Jens Davis, but it is particularly striking. He’s the short man standing in front on the right. Behind him is... Continue Reading →

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