The Mocks of Sonoma County

Week 9: #52 Ancestors – Multiples By Eilene Lyon “Mr. Weston – It seems to be concluded that late keeping apples are a desideratum for California cultivation, our long dry seasons prematurely ripening the varieties usually keeping well in northern latitudes. I have late keeping varieties, acclimated to southern latitudes…which you will please test as... Continue Reading →

The Overseer

Week 2: #52 Ancestors – Family Legend By Eilene Lyon My grandmother, Clare (Davis) Smith, left this typewritten note regarding her paternal ancestors. I want to learn more about the first one, but I’m going to address them all, beginning at the bottom. (Typos have been corrected.)“The Davis family moved from Missouri to Texas Ridge,... Continue Reading →

A Hepler Connection

Week 10: #52 Ancestors – Name’s the Same By Eilene Lyon The older I get, the less enamored I am with celebrity culture. The names I know mostly date to the last century; about today’s stars I'm clueless. But, I'm still amused when I discover famous cousins. For example, Bette Midler is supposedly a 10th... Continue Reading →

Jonathan Zane: Traitor?

Week 8: #52 Ancestors -- Power By Eilene Lyon “Revolutions, by their very nature, produce dilemmas of loyalty. Practically overnight men who previously had been considered good citizens find themselves suspected of treason while those who betray the existing order are hailed as heroes and patriots.”  Robert F. Oakes The two men huddled through a... Continue Reading →

In the Line of Duty

Week 52: #52 Ancestors – Resolution By Eilene Lyon Katie Davis, my first cousin 2x removed, grew up near Kendrick, Idaho. She was the second child of Charles A. Davis and Minnie Holcombe. Charles was the older brother of my great-grandfather, Sterling Price Davis. Katie and her sister, Sarah, were less than two years apart... Continue Reading →

That Is Mighty Cold

Week 51: #52 Ancestors – Winter By Eilene Lyon My grandfather, Laurence M. “Smitty” Smith left us with a small stack of typed memoirs written in brief spurts. The following passage opens a piece he titled “The Early Years.” “During the winter of 1921-22 the religious fanatics in California were predicting the end of the... Continue Reading →

A Visit to Cincinnati 1851 – Part 2

Part 1 By Eilene Lyon The canal packet Indiana – designed specifically to fit in the locks at Louisville – arrived from New Orleans on Tuesday the 11th, pulling into the public landing, a sloping embankment on the Ohio River, alongside a dozen other steamboats. Though scheduled to depart the next day, obtaining a suitable... Continue Reading →

A Visit to Cincinnati 1851 – Part 1

Week 50: #52 Ancestors – Witness to History By Eilene Lyon  Introduction: This two-part feature is an excerpt from my book about the California gold rush. The Blackford Mining Co. left a farming community in eastern Indiana to seek their fortunes in 1851. The ten men ranged in age from Peter Liestenfeltz, the youngest at... Continue Reading →

A Red Herring

Week 49: #52 Ancestors – Oops By Eilene Lyon Yes, even experienced researchers sometimes make mistakes! Here is one of my recent bloopers. The principal protagonists in my gold rush book are my 3rd great-grandparents, Henry Zane Jenkins and his wife Abigail Gummersall Bedford. I know quite a bit about Henry’s mother, Ann Widdifield Zane,... Continue Reading →

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