Grandma Johnson Saves a Life

Week 19: #52 Ancestors – Nurture By Eilene Lyon An Abandoned Boy I can’t tell you much about bachelor South Dakota farmer Clarence Halse’s long life. But I can tell you this – it got off to a rough start. Clarence’s parents were Robert J. Halse (youngest son of Robert H. Halse) and Alsina Neville.... Continue Reading →

Drake Family Chronicles: Part 3

Week 16: #52 Ancestors - Out of Place By Eilene Lyon The Iowa Delegation Samuel Drake, Jr. clearly saw land as the key to achieving the American dream. The patents he purchased in Highland Township, Winneshiek County, totaled 320 acres.1 The rolling, forested terrain had likely never been cultivated. The government had forced the Native... Continue Reading →

The Death of Clifford Cutting, Postman

By Eilene Lyon If you've read my previous posts about Clifford Cutting (A Postal Crime and Postal Crime Postscript), you might be interested in the following article. I'm deeply indebted to my cousin, Nancy, who is like a dog with a bone. She obtained a record from the funeral home. She also contacted librarians, getting... Continue Reading →

Unintended Consequences

Week 15: #52 Ancestors – DNA By Eilene Lyon Well into my second year of doing Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks prompts, I’ve struck on one that really has me stymied. The “DNA” prompt just doesn’t bring any particular ancestor or relative to mind. Should I write about medical issues? Perhaps the... Continue Reading →

Drake Family Chronicles: Part 2

Week 14: #52 Ancestors – Brick Wall By Eilene Lyon The Drakes in Ireland Samuel Drake, Sr. and Eliza J. were born in Northern Ireland around 1790. Though I have not found a record giving Eliza’s maiden name, Sorby turns up as a middle name repeatedly with her children and grandchildren, making this the prime... Continue Reading →

Drake Family Chronicles

Week 14: #52 Ancestors – Brick Wall By Eilene Lyon Background For this project, I decided to write about my 4th great-grandparents, Samuel and Eliza Drake of Killyleagh, County Down, Northern Ireland. It turned mammoth, so I’ve split it into three parts. I long ago determined that these are the parents of Eliza Jane Halse... Continue Reading →

Postal Crime Postscript

By Eilene Lyon A couple weeks ago I shared the criminal case against Clifford G. Cutting, postal carrier. My inquiry to the National Archives (NARA) in Seattle and procurement of a death certificate are completed. You may be interested in what I’ve found – though I’m afraid it’s not what I’d hoped for. NARA did... Continue Reading →

Stranger Than Fiction

Week 13: #52 Ancestors – In the Paper By Eilene Lyon You know I don't shy away from even the most salacious aspects of my ancestors' lives. Let's face it, not all people in the past were admirable characters - and some of them left descendants. Someday, I swear, I'm going to find a Nobel... Continue Reading →

A Baker’s Dozen

Week 12: #52 Ancestors – 12 By Eilene Lyon The year 1961 was tragic for my grandmother, Reatha (Gusso) Halse. She lost her husband, her mother, and her father-in-law. Then I, her first granddaughter, screamed in under the wire on December 31. How’s that for timing? A little grace note at the end of a... Continue Reading →

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