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 →

Alias Addison Porter – 3

By Eilene Lyon Please read Part 1 and Part 2 before proceeding. California After learning that Indiana Gov. Albert G. Porter had a black-sheep brother named Pinckney J. Porter, I got quite caught up in the idea that Pinckney was Addison W. Porter’s birth identity. Note that all Pinckney’s surviving siblings had names beginning with... Continue Reading →

Alias Addison Porter – 2

By Eilene Lyon Please read Part 1 before proceeding. The Second Clue After the Jefferson Zane/Zinn fiasco, I set the Addison W. Porter problem aside…until I began reading through some documents from my research trip to Idaho in June. Yep, another clue about Porter turned up. How random is that? Most of the research involved... Continue Reading →

Alias Addison Porter – 1

Week 33: #52 Ancestors – Comedy By Eilene Lyon This story isn’t funny-haha, but funny-peculiar. A comedy of errors, if you will. That does happen in genealogy research. Sometimes you have to come up with a hypothesis to guide you when you come to a brick wall. Then the path you take, based on your... Continue Reading →

First Ascent

Week 26: #52 Ancestors – Legend By Eilene Lyon A Man on the Move In researching my Jones relatives for the California gold rush book, I discovered a legendary figure who eventually married into the family. Elias Davidson Pierce was born in Harrison County, Virginia, in 1824. But upon reaching adulthood, he moved on and... Continue Reading →

Gold Country Tour

By Eilene Lyon After completing my archive research in California (Huntington Library, Bancroft Library, and the California Historical Society), it was time to do some gold rush sight-seeing. My first stop was the Wells Fargo branch on Montgomery in downtown San Francisco. This city owes its explosive growth directly to the gold rush. Wells Fargo... Continue Reading →

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