Like Father, Like Son

Week 43: #52 Ancestors – Cause of Death By Eilene Lyon As Charlie Gusso was welcomed into the light of day, his father was expiring from his grievous wounds on a cold day in Milwaukee. That story is well-known family lore which I was able to confirm with church records (in German!). Less well-known family... 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 →

Tale of Two Adas

Week 37: #52 Ancestors – Closest to Your Birthday By Eilene Lyon In my last post in this series, I told you that my grandparents, Reatha Gusso and Everett Halse, were married on December 31, 1932.1 I squelched into existence on what would have been their 29th wedding anniversary, except that Everett had been gone... Continue Reading →

The Halse Work Ethic

Week 36: #52 Ancestors – Work By Eilene Lyon I got my work ethic from my dad. We kids were expected to do a variety of chores (wash dishes, dust, set the table, clean the bathroom) from a very early age. We were given a generous allowance, too, so we also learned to manage our... Continue Reading →

Youngest Son Goes to Sea

Week 32: #52 Ancestors -- Youngest By Eilene Lyon My parents' surnames illustrate an interesting dichotomy. The name “Smith” is among the ten most common surnames in America. “Halse,” on the other hand, is so uncommon that one source indicates fewer than 4000 people in the world share this last name.1 I believe this name... Continue Reading →

Murder in New Netherland

Week 31: #52 Ancestors – Oldest By Eilene Lyon I consider myself a family historian. Genealogy is a tool I use to construct my family stories. For this reason, my family tree does not wander back to the hinterlands of history. Most of the people I research date from the 18th century forward. In fact,... Continue Reading →

Fabric of Our Lives

Week 30: #52 Ancestors – Colorful By Eilene Lyon This is not really a story about an ancestor, just a bit of family history. My father was an Army officer for about 20 years, and one of his “overseas” assignments was a 3 ½ year stay in Guatemala. This was in the 1970s and I... Continue Reading →

Let’s Dance!

Week 29: #52 Ancestors – Music By Eilene Lyon Of all the family photos I’ve scanned in recent years, this is a favorite. In the middle sits my great-grandfather, Walter Gusso (1890 – 1980), flanked by his two younger brothers, Henry (with violin) and Bill (cornet). They also had a sister, Katie, but I don’t... Continue Reading →

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