It Was Ugly!

Week 20: #52 Ancestors – Textile By Eilene Lyon I did a bad thing. I’m still ashamed. My grandmother, Clare (Davis) Smith, said she had an heirloom to pass on to me, if I would promise to keep and preserve it. I broke that promise. Partly because of a misunderstanding about the nature of this... Continue Reading →

Contours of a Life

Week 16: #52 Ancestors – Negatives By Eilene Lyon Negative space is an art term referring to the space around an object, or “air space.” Especially when working in watercolor, the artist focuses on filling in the darker places between lighter-colored features. It is a different way of seeing the world. Sometimes we have to... Continue Reading →

In the Name of …

Week 10: #52 Ancestors – Worship By Eilene Lyon There’s no question that my ancestry is steeped in Christian culture. Though there is some hint of Ashkenazi Jewish DNA from the wayback, my heritage is very much white Protestant European. For myself, I choose “none of the above” with regard to deities. I confess that... Continue Reading →

Grandpa and the Aviator

Week 3: #52 Ancestors – Favorite Photo By Eilene Lyon This hand-tinted family photograph has been hanging on my wall for years, but I had never researched it. The man on the left is my great-great-grandfather, Thomas A. Reams (1833–1922). My grandfather, Laurence M. Smith, said that his Grandpa Reams had the opportunity to fly... Continue Reading →

The Missing Sister

Week 2: #52 Ancestors – Favorite Find By Eilene Lyon All the genealogical information passed down to me about my Anderson ancestors gave the impression that my 3rd great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Anderson) Ransom, was the oldest child in her family. There was also some confusion about the identity of her mother, and I still haven’t tracked... Continue Reading →

Only Bricks Remain

Week 1: #52 Ancestors – Foundations By Eilene Lyon This week’s theme brought to mind a 3rd great-granduncle, Isaac T. Bedford, who had a career as a bricklayer in 19th-century Philadelphia. Isaac’s parents were my 4th great-grandparents, Thomas and Jane (Thomson) Bedford. The parents belonged to the Society of Friends, but it wasn’t until after... Continue Reading →

A German Sojourn

Week 52: #52 Ancestors – Future By Eilene Lyon My grandiose future plan regarding genealogy (we’re talking years from now) is an extended stay in Germany, perhaps six months. Many branches of my family hail from the Germanic regions of Europe. The Putterer also has a large German contingent in his tree. You can see... Continue Reading →

Dear Family…

Week 50: #52 Ancestors – Lines By Eilene Lyon My favorite lines in genealogy are the ones inscribed by hand on paper—family letters. I didn’t always save the letters I received, but I do have a nice representative sampling from many ancestors and relatives. I’ll begin with my immediate family and my ancestors, then I’ll... Continue Reading →

Lila’s Quilt

Week 49: #52 Ancestors – Homemade By Eilene Lyon Recently my Aunt B emailed me to say she had “discovered” an old family quilt in her closet. It came down through my Smith ancestors and appears to have been made by my great-grandmother, Mary Lila (Reams) Smith. This crazy quilt is embroidered with the names... Continue Reading →

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