“The Picturesque West”

By Eilene Lyon I stopped into the Friends of the Library book shop earlier this week. Check out this book I was so delighted to find – for the grand price of $4.00! As many of you are aware, I am working on a non-fiction book set during the California gold rush. This stout hardcover... Continue Reading →

A Lovable Louse

Week 26: #52 Ancestors – Black Sheep By Eilene Lyon A Model Citizen If there’s a blacker sheep on my family tree than William Clark Ransom, I’ve not come across him/her. William Clark Ransom (1828 – 1917) was born into humble circumstances in Ohio, and grew up on a modest farm in eastern Indiana. He... Continue Reading →

Crossing Wyoming

By Eilene Lyon We’re rolling westward on Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming, on our way to do breeding bird surveys along a proposed transmission line route. The rising sun is adding fire to the stratus clouds hanging low in the sky. Our Ford Super Duty truck passes plains and low hills draped in sagebrush and... Continue Reading →

The Agony of Not Knowing

Week 22: #52 Ancestors – So Far Away By Eilene Lyon We take for granted our ability to stay in touch with loved ones far away. We no longer have to pay long distance charges and we can talk as long as we like. There are even video-phone options. Back in the day when calls... Continue Reading →

Research Miracles

Week 11: #52 Ancestors – Luck By Eilene Lyon Given that next week’s theme is “Misfortune,” I take “Luck” to mean Good luck, not Bad luck. I can find innumerable bad luck or misfortune stories in my family history. Finding good luck stories is a real challenge. My ancestors had seriously hard lives. On the... Continue Reading →

A Resilient Woman

Week 10: #52Ancestors - Strong Woman By Eilene Lyon Abigail Gummersal Bedford, my 3rd-great-grandmother, endured many trials in her long life. Much of what is known about her comes from Quaker records, personal letters written during the California gold rush, and a couple brief biographies about her eldest son, William Zane Jenkins. She was born... Continue Reading →

Probate Gold Mine

Week 9: #52 Ancestors – Where There’s a Will By Eilene Lyon This week’s title should really be “Where There Isn’t a Will.” That’s because sometimes a probate case, when a person dies intestate, can tell you more about that person than a will ever could. When I started writing the California gold rush story... Continue Reading →

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“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Teaching children values and giving them the opportunity to excel are essential to good parenting. However, I feel I must also provide my children (and myself) insight into the ones who came before us: our ancestors whose lives and stories have shaped us into who we are. This is my journey; these are their stories…

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Early modern historian. Loves gender, women's, social & royal histories. Ventures elswhere when interest is piqued. Blog may cover above themes or something a little more random. Find me on Twitter @ruthrblair

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