A Widow Perseveres*

Week 27: #52 Ancestors – Independent Perhaps it’s a bit perverse to write about the granddaughter of a Loyalist for this prompt, but I greatly admire my 3rd-great-grandmother, Mary Paulina Rowley Cutting. Widowed by the age of 41, Mary never remarried. Though she certainly had assistance at times, she clearly was an independent woman. Mary... Continue Reading →

First Ascent

Week 26: #52 Ancestors – Legend By Eilene Lyon A Man on the Move In researching my Jones relatives for the California gold rush book, I discovered a legendary figure who eventually married into the family. Elias Davidson Pierce was born in Harrison County, Virginia, in 1824. But upon reaching adulthood, he moved on and... Continue Reading →

A Lush Life

Week 25: #52 Ancestors – Earliest By Eilene Lyon James Ransom and Elizabeth Anderson were among the earliest settlers in what would become Blackford County, Indiana, settling at what came to be called Trenton. They arrived in 1836 from Belmont County, Ohio, towing the first five of their twelve children, including a newborn.1 Blackford County... Continue Reading →

Laundry Soap

Week 24: #52 Ancestors – Dear Diary By Eilene Lyon So far I’ve only come across one true diary in the family, which I wrote about last year in Reatha Gusso, 1932. For an entire year, my grandmother kept a daily journal without missing a day. To our knowledge, it’s the only one she ever... Continue Reading →

Saddled With The South

Week 23: #52 Ancestors – Namesake By Eilene Lyon My great-grandfather was the fourth child born to Melville Cox Davis and Sarah Rebecca Livengood in Elmwood, Saline County, Missouri, on December 15, 1867. A few months earlier, Sterling Price, former governor of Missouri and Confederate General, had passed away. Because the Davises were from North... Continue Reading →

St. Anthony’s Fire

Week 22: #52 Ancestors – At the Cemetery By Eilene Lyon There is a cemetery in New Orleans that I have not seen, and probably never will. Why? Because there are no grave markers, and the buried remains are merely a bony tangle in the delta silt. Still, it is hallowed ground. This is the... Continue Reading →

“Local Marine Alive, Well”

Week 21: #52 Ancestors – Military By Eilene Lyon This time of year, I like to feature someone on my family tree who perished during service to their country. They are invariably young men who never had a chance at a normal adult life. I hope I run out of these stories before too long.... Continue Reading →

The Botanist

Week 20: #52 Ancestors – Nature By Eilene Lyon You’ve met my great-grandmother, Clara Ransom Davis in several earlier posts. Clara moved to Idaho as a teen and attended Moscow High School, becoming a teacher at 16, while still in school herself. She attended the University of Idaho, and graduated with the third class in... Continue Reading →

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 →

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