Less Than Proud

The Davis Family of North Carolina By Eilene Lyon Sometimes we need to acknowledge the deeds of our forefathers that we are less than proud of - in this case, slave-holding. My grandmother was born Clare Ransom Davis.  Her father was Sterling Price Davis.  His father was Melville Cox Davis, son of Hamilton Cunningham Davis... Continue Reading →

Gold Rush Entertainment

By Eilene Lyon A popular form of entertainment in the California gold rush was the bear and bull fight.  We’ve come a long way from wanting to watch such carnage for sport – or have we?  As recently as 2013, a bill was introduced in Congress to punish people for attending animal fights. In this... Continue Reading →

Desperately Seeking…Descendants

As genealogists generally do, I have put together a family tree detailing my ancestors.  As a historian, though, I am diligently looking for descendants, hoping they may have pieces of a puzzle: a story, a photograph, an artifact. Perhaps YOU are one of the people I am looking for. If your ancestors lived in east-central... Continue Reading →

An Invitation to Heidelsheim

Week 4: #52Ancestors Challenge - 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... 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 →

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 →

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