One Good Turn…

Week 47: #52 Ancestors – Good Deeds By Eilene Lyon I’ve done a couple of posts highlighting people on my tree who have demonstrated extraordinary generosity: William Painter and Inger Boe Johnson. Undoubtedly many others have done similar acts of kindness, but those deeds have vanished in the mists of time. So I will take... Continue Reading →

A Letter from Henry

Week 40: #52 Ancestors - Oldest By Eilene Lyon I believe the oldest document in my possession is this letter written by Henry Z. and Abigail Jenkins, dated October 19, 1855. The entire letter runs to over 1500 words, so I won't give a full transcript here - your eyes would be glazing over long... Continue Reading →

The Interior West

By Eilene Lyon RVing has taken off this year, more rapidly than Covid-19 infections. It’s a relatively safe way to travel, because you take your lodging and kitchen with you, minimizing the need to spend time indoors in potentially dangerous places. The Putterer, Sterling, and I packed ourselves into our new (used) Ford van and... Continue Reading →

Hyphens Matter

By Eilene Lyon Just in case you don't think hyphens are really necessary. I thought, "Gee, that man must have an enormous appetite!"   Feature image: Guadalupe Island great white shark (Wikimedia Commons)

Saving Grace

Week 18: #52 Ancestors – Where There’s a Will By Eilene Lyon William Zane Jenkins barely knew what hit him. Suddenly blind, deaf and numb, in a dark hole deep in the bowels of Mother Earth, his life took on new meaning. He’d always been a taciturn, pessimistic, Eeyore of a man. For some reason,... Continue Reading →

Good Intentions

Week 46: #52 Ancestors – Poor Man By Eilene Lyon He had to be desperate – it was such an insane thing to do at his age. Traveling to California and mining gold was for the young and strong, not for 49-year-old family men. But Henry Zane Jenkins made that difficult choice: to leave his... Continue Reading →

Wrong-Way Emily – Part 3

Week 43: #52 Ancestors – Transportation By Eilene Lyon Part 1 and Part 2 Stranded Robert and William Ransom had meager funds. There was no way for them to send a message to their family at home, or to Henry Jenkins in California, to let them know of their predicament. Families in Indiana and elsewhere... Continue Reading →

Wrong-Way Emily – Part 2

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Adventure By Eilene Lyon Part 1 Emily Sets Sail The steerage passengers on the Emily "... were divided into messes of ten men each and had 6 pints of water including our tea and coffey … ½ pound of bread ½ pound of flour whitch we made into what we call... Continue Reading →

Wrong-Way Emily – Part 1

Week 39: #52 Ancestors – Map It Out By Eilene Lyon Note: This three-part series is adapted from my California gold rush book. Sources will be listed at the end of Part 3. Background The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in January 1848 set off the largest mass migration to a single destination up... Continue Reading →

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