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 →

Jerking Lightning

By Eilene Lyon Since I seem to be on a roll with the Ransom family, I thought I’d follow up with a bit about one of Robert Ransom’s sons. He and Emma had four surviving sons: James Henry, William Randolph, Arthur Lemmon, and Albert Frederick (“Fred”). The first two were named for fathers and brothers.... Continue Reading →

Paying Respect

By Eilene Lyon As with my other genealogy trips, when I went to Blackford and Jay counties in Indiana last year, I visited several cemeteries to pay respects to my ancestors and other relatives. For me, that means more than just placing some flowers, saying a silent thanks (or maybe out loud, talking to myself... Continue Reading →

Where It Ends: Independence

Week 27: #52 Ancestors – Independence By Eilene Lyon In my story about Emma Jenkins, I detailed some of the events leading to the downfall of my great-great-grandfather, Robert Ransom. The more I discover about the Ransom family, the more I find a humongous, convoluted soap opera. I'm not sure if these people were crazy,... Continue Reading →

Extending the Family

By Eilene Lyon The “Greats” Getting to know extended family can be challenging. In my case, geographic separation was a serious obstacle to spending time with even closest kin (grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins). Until recently, it was a rare occasion that I ever met any of the “greats”: great-grandparents, great-uncles, and great-aunts. Nor did... Continue Reading →

A Lovable Louse

Week 26: #52 Ancestors – Black Sheep By Eilene Lyon A Model Citizen If there’s a blacker sheep on my family tree than William Clark Ransom, I’ve not come across him/her. William Clark Ransom (1828 – 1917) was born into humble circumstances in Ohio, and grew up on a modest farm in eastern Indiana. He... Continue Reading →

Is He or Isn’t He?

Week 25: #52 Ancestors – Same Name By Eilene Lyon One of the most problematic lines on my tree is the Orme family. My 3rd-great-grandmother was Christiana Orme, married to Martin R. Smith. Her parents were Nicholas Davis Orme and Penelope Permellee Pell. The Orme, Smith, and Pell families all have ties to Lewis County,... Continue Reading →

Stepping up to Fatherhood

Week 24: #52 Ancestors – Father’s Day By Eilene Lyon Many men are both step-fathers and fathers, but only a portion of them do it in that order. One of those was Thomas Alexander Reams, my great-great-grandfather. He was the father of Mary Lila (Reams) Smith. This is the tale of the Reams family: Sprague,... Continue Reading →

Celestial Blackmail?

Week 23: #52 Ancestors – Going to the Chapel By Eilene Lyon There’s no question that Great-grandma Clara was a staunch supporter of the Methodist Church. Her father (God rest his soul) had been a lay preacher in the faith, after all. She was abstemious, and thought everyone else should be, too. (I do hope... Continue Reading →

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