Alias Addison Porter – 3

By Eilene Lyon Please read Part 1 and Part 2 before proceeding. California After learning that Indiana Gov. Albert G. Porter had a black-sheep brother named Pinckney J. Porter, I got quite caught up in the idea that Pinckney was Addison W. Porter’s birth identity. Note that all Pinckney’s surviving siblings had names beginning with... Continue Reading →

Alias Addison Porter – 1

Week 33: #52 Ancestors – Comedy By Eilene Lyon This story isn’t funny-haha, but funny-peculiar. A comedy of errors, if you will. That does happen in genealogy research. Sometimes you have to come up with a hypothesis to guide you when you come to a brick wall. Then the path you take, based on your... 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 →

Gold Country Tour

By Eilene Lyon After completing my archive research in California (Huntington Library, Bancroft Library, and the California Historical Society), it was time to do some gold rush sight-seeing. My first stop was the Wells Fargo branch on Montgomery in downtown San Francisco. This city owes its explosive growth directly to the gold rush. Wells Fargo... Continue Reading →

The Huntington

Week 5: #52 Ancestors – At the Library By Eilene Lyon Before she died, my great-grandmother, Clara Ransom Davis, made a priceless (at least to me) donation to the Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Why she chose the Huntington -- not the Bancroft Library at UC-Berkeley, the California Historical Society, or the... Continue Reading →

I Want Answers, Dammit!

Week 4: #52 Ancestors – I’d like to meet… By Eilene Lyon First off, my 4th-great-grandmother would probably not be pleased with that title – she was a deeply religious woman, after all. But I do know she had a sense of humor, which I’ll share with you later. Ann Widdifield Zane was born in... Continue Reading →

A Photographic Mystery

Week 52: #52 Ancestors – Resolution By Eilene Lyon I suspect this is a problem with no resolution to be found. But I decided to pitch it on the blog in hopes that someone, somewhere, has the key. Ten men left Trenton, Indiana, on March 10, 1851 to seek their fortunes in California. Only nine... Continue Reading →

Solving a 166-Year-Old Crime (revised)

By Eilene Lyon Introduction I posted the original version of this story on September 13, 2018. Briefly, it involves the 1851 – 1852 partnership between Elias D. Pierce, William S. Good, and Paris S. Pfouts in Siskiyou County, California. Pierce suggested that William Good took off with the company’s assets worth $40,000. I didn’t believe... Continue Reading →

The 15-lb Nugget

Week 38: #52 Ancestors – Unusual Source By Eilene Lyon I’ve written quite a few posts about unusual sources, because I’m always pursuing juicy leads, like a dogged investigative reporter on the trail of the latest Trump scandal. I’ve listed some of these at the end. Please check them out! For this week’s prompt, I... Continue Reading →

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