Where’s George?

Week 21: #52 Ancestors – At the Cemetery By Eilene Lyon Many of my farming ancestors led stable, quiet lives that can be hard to document. But some relatives had a flamboyant existence. One of these was my 2nd great-granduncle, George Albert Cutting, brother of my ancestor Arthur N. Cutting. George’s travels spanned the continent,... Continue Reading →

The Slide Years: Christmas Tree

By Eilene Lyon The Slide Years is a series in which I select an image my dad took from 1957-1982 with Kodachrome slide film, then I write a stream-of-consciousness essay – a sort of mini-memoir. When we arrived in Guatemala in January 1974, Christmas was the furthest thing from our minds. But as the holiday... Continue Reading →

Learning Archaic Script

Week 46: #52 Ancestors – Different Language By Eilene Lyon Guten Morgen, meine Freunde. Das ist die Muttersprache meiner Vorfahren. Because of my extensive Germanic ancestry, and my interest in that part of Europe, I’ve been studying the language using the free Duolingo app on my iPhone. I think it’s an effective program, depending on... Continue Reading →

Misperception

Week 45: #52 Ancestors - Bearded By Eilene Lyon I don't recall when I first saw some version of the image above of my grandfather, Everett Halse, but as a child, it stuck in my mind that he was a bearded man. This, despite the fact that every other photo of Grandpa showed him clean-shaven.... Continue Reading →

Death By Diphtheria

Week 44: #52 Ancestors – Scary Stuff By Eilene Lyon Confronting our own mortality is one of the scariest things we ever do. My research into the 19th-century lives of my ancestors and kin has revealed many awful ways to die. I’ve previously discussed milk sickness and tuberculosis. A few recent coincidences led me to... Continue Reading →

The Other Son

Week 43: #52 Ancestors – Quite the Character By Eilene Lyon It can be difficult to find personal anecdotes about people who lived even just three generations back. I’ve found quite a bit about my great-grandfather, Guy Halse, but very little for his one sibling. Hillard LeRoy Halse was also born in Winneshiek County, Iowa,... Continue Reading →

The Successful Farmer

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Proud By Eilene Lyon The prompt brought this photo to mind almost immediately, though it seems an odd choice. No one looks particularly happy in this image of the Halse family taken about 1912 in Codington County, South Dakota. Back row: Inez, Everett (my grandfather), Hazel, Howard, LloydFront row: Mabel,... Continue Reading →

Cold Harbor Comrades

Week 41: #52 Ancestors – Newest By Eilene Lyon “Cousin Orin Rhodes was shot through the head the first battle he ever was in. George Rhodes is in hospital. No more news this time.” – George L. Carey, June 26, 1864 My newest cousin contact, thanks to this blog, sent me on a research quest... Continue Reading →

The Cutting School

Week 37: #52 Ancestors – Back to School By Eilene Lyon Today, schools are frequently named for presidents, famous politicians or war heroes (more often than not men). Back in frontier days, naming a school was often a prosaic affair – if you built a schoolhouse on your property, it generally became known after you.... Continue Reading →

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