Research Miracles

Week 11: #52 Ancestors – Luck By Eilene Lyon Given that next week’s theme is “Misfortune,” I take “Luck” to mean Good luck, not Bad luck. I can find innumerable bad luck or misfortune stories in my family history. Finding good luck stories is a real challenge. My ancestors had seriously hard lives. On the... Continue Reading →

Out-of-Mind, Out of Sight

By Eilene Lyon Often the most frustrating people on my family tree to find records for are the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or physically disabled people. This is true whether they were living in private homes or institutions. Most difficult to find are death records and burials. I’ve discovered that mental illness does tend to... Continue Reading →

A Resilient Woman

Week 10: #52Ancestors - Strong Woman By Eilene Lyon Abigail Gummersal Bedford, my 3rd-great-grandmother, endured many trials in her long life. Much of what is known about her comes from Quaker records, personal letters written during the California gold rush, and a couple brief biographies about her eldest son, William Zane Jenkins. She was born... Continue Reading →

The Fastest Dog on Bald Mountain

Smitty knew how to tell a tall tale. I find it interesting that when this story was written, it was set well into the future, rather than in the present or past.  I thought it might be a typo, but he mentions the “great city of Moscow,” which it certainly wasn’t in 1926. I’ve added... Continue Reading →


By Eilene Lyon I’d like to introduce you to my maternal grandfather, Laurence Martin Smith, aka Smitty. In his retirement years, he took to writing down some stories about his life (don’t we wish all our ancestors would do that?!). I’ll be sharing some of them with you over the coming months. The Fastest Dog... Continue Reading →

Down The Rabbit Hole

Week 8: #52Ancestors – Heirloom By Eilene Lyon I don’t come from families that generally pass down heirlooms. I suppose that might be for the best – I don’t like a lot of stuff (aka clutter) in my life. I do have a family quilt that I used as a bedspread for many years. Unfortunately,... Continue Reading →

Oktoberfest in my DNA

By Eilene Lyon DNA is not necessarily destiny. But recent studies have found genes that can, when combined with environmental and mental health factors, lead a person to have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I drink almost daily, but I do not have to drink; I just happen to really like it. It might be... Continue Reading →

Letting Love Go

Week 7: #52Ancestors – Valentine By Eilene Lyon I think it’s probably rare for anyone to have just one romantic interest in their lifetime. Many of us can probably relate a story about someone we’ve loved deeply, but the relationship did not work out for one reason or another. We rarely get a chance to... Continue Reading →

Less Than Proud

The Davis Family of North Carolina By Eilene Lyon Sometimes we need to acknowledge the deeds of our forefathers that we are less than proud of - in this case, slave-holding. My grandmother was born Clare Ransom Davis.  Her father was Sterling Price Davis.  His father was Melville Cox Davis, son of Hamilton Cunningham Davis... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑