The Other Son

Week 43: #52 Ancestors – Quite the Character By Eilene Lyon It can be difficult to find personal anecdotes about people who lived even just three generations back. I’ve found quite a bit about my great-grandfather, Guy Halse, but very little for his one sibling. Hillard LeRoy Halse was also born in Winneshiek County, Iowa,... Continue Reading →

The Successful Farmer

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Proud By Eilene Lyon The prompt brought this photo to mind almost immediately, though it seems an odd choice. No one looks particularly happy in this image of the Halse family taken about 1912 in Codington County, South Dakota. Back row: Inez, Everett (my grandfather), Hazel, Howard, LloydFront row: Mabel,... 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 →

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 →

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 →

Justice for Mrs. Loftus

Week 29: #52 Ancestors – Newsworthy By Eilene Lyon Newspaper articles feature prominently in my family history research, as I’ve amply demonstrated on this blog. There were the outrageous tales of Dr. William C. Ransom and Adoph Dills. The peek into the railroad career of Arthur L. Ransom. The sad ends of Clifford Cutting, postman;... Continue Reading →

Game Night

Week 27: #52 Ancestors – Solo By Eilene Lyon If the saying goes… “The family that plays together, stays together”…well, that didn’t exactly work out for us. However, I do have fond memories of our family game nights. We had a number of the standard board games, including Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, etc. There were dice... Continue Reading →

Erasing History

By Eilene Lyon “There are those who wrap themselves in flags and blow the tinny trumpet of patriotism as a means of fooling the people.” -- George Galloway I recently saw this meme posted on Facebook and felt it brought up issues regarding history that this blog ought to address. Taken at face value, I... Continue Reading →

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