A Secret Mission

Week 50: #52 Ancestors – Naughty By Laurence M. Smith (May 7, 1985) At times there are unusual experiences involved in being an Electrical Engineer. It was the time of World War II. I had just transferred from Portland to Spokane, Washington, to work on the design of the Spokane Army Air Field. It was... Continue Reading →

Horse Power

Week 49: #52 Ancestors – Winter By Eilene Lyon Well into the 20th century, my ancestors relied on horse power. The real thing. Here are a few images from the “archives.” This photo shows Chet Painter (a Halse cousin) on the Guy Halse farm in Dexter Township, Codington County, South Dakota. Though it’s cold enough... Continue Reading →

No Pocahontas

Week 48: #52 Ancestors – Next to Last By Eilene Lyon Note: This post is more about the research process than storytelling. Yes, there really is a John Smith in my family tree. And, no, he isn’t that John Smith, of Jamestown and Pocahontas fame. Fortunately, I’ve been able to trace my mother’s paternal line... Continue Reading →

Genea-liday

Week 47: #52 Ancestors – Thankful By Eilene Lyon This week’s theme is about what we are thankful for in our genealogy research. Since genealogy is all about people, I want to express my gratitude to the innumerable people who have made this such a rich and rewarding avocation. First, I’m thankful for all my... Continue Reading →

A Sad Situation

Week 46: #52 Ancestors – Random Fact By Eilene Lyon “Benjamin Hull Jones, a native of Ohio, became dissipated, and by accident shot away a large portion of his face.” I found that statement more random and shocking than anything I’ve come across in my decades of research. When I began examining the life of... Continue Reading →

Slave-owner to Socialist

Week 45: #52 Ancestors – Bearded By Eilene Lyon The Slave Years My 2nd great-grandfather, Melville Cox Davis, was the oldest of five children born to Dr. Hamilton Cunningham Davis and Christina Mock. Hamilton married Christina in their home state, North Carolina, and shortly afterward moved to Lafayette County, Missouri, along with their parents and... Continue Reading →

Hallowe’en

Week 44: #52 Ancestors - Frightening By Eilene Lyon My grandfather, Laurence M. Smith, was apparently a bit of a prankster, so it's no surprise he enjoyed Hallowe'en. My mother told me a story about how her dad gave her a noisemaker made from a spool and told her to run it along the window... Continue Reading →

Play Ball! (or Not)

Week 41: #52 Ancestors – Sports By Eilene Lyon South Dakota Winter entertainment in 1930s South Dakota was somewhat limited. There were movies and dances. And basketball. My grandparents, Reatha Gusso (15) and Everett Halse (30), were dating in January and February 1932 and watching basketball games was one of the acceptable activities. Reatha mentions... Continue Reading →

A Family Legacy

Week 40: #52 Ancestors – Ten By Eilene Lyon My great-grandfather, Sterling P. Davis, was one of ten children born to Sarah Rebecca (Livengood) Davis. Though many women gave birth to ten (or more) children back in those days, not so many can say they brought them all to a healthy adulthood. Perhaps the fact... Continue Reading →

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