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 →

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 →

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