A Letter from Henry

Week 40: #52 Ancestors - Oldest By Eilene Lyon I believe the oldest document in my possession is this letter written by Henry Z. and Abigail Jenkins, dated October 19, 1855. The entire letter runs to over 1500 words, so I won't give a full transcript here - your eyes would be glazing over long... Continue Reading →

The Rise and Fall of Trenton

Week 38: #52 Ancestors – On the Map By Eilene Lyon I confess to being a bit of a map geek. I even minored in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) when I attended Fort Lewis College in 2004-7. Maps are excellent for visualizing the context of events in our family history. They can help us understand... Continue Reading →

Saving Grace

Week 18: #52 Ancestors – Where There’s a Will By Eilene Lyon William Zane Jenkins barely knew what hit him. Suddenly blind, deaf and numb, in a dark hole deep in the bowels of Mother Earth, his life took on new meaning. He’d always been a taciturn, pessimistic, Eeyore of a man. For some reason,... Continue Reading →

Back to the FANs

Week 1: #52 Ancestors - Fresh Start By Eilene Lyon To genealogists, the FAN acronym stands for Friends, Associates, Neighbors - people we should be researching alongside our ancestors to provide context and clues to family connections. My knee surgery rehab time on the exercise bike prompted me to start watching some Legacy Family Tree... Continue Reading →

Good Intentions

Week 46: #52 Ancestors – Poor Man By Eilene Lyon He had to be desperate – it was such an insane thing to do at his age. Traveling to California and mining gold was for the young and strong, not for 49-year-old family men. But Henry Zane Jenkins made that difficult choice: to leave his... Continue Reading →

Wrong-Way Emily – Part 3

Week 43: #52 Ancestors – Transportation By Eilene Lyon Part 1 and Part 2 Stranded Robert and William Ransom had meager funds. There was no way for them to send a message to their family at home, or to Henry Jenkins in California, to let them know of their predicament. Families in Indiana and elsewhere... Continue Reading →

Wrong-Way Emily – Part 2

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Adventure By Eilene Lyon Part 1 Emily Sets Sail The steerage passengers on the Emily "... were divided into messes of ten men each and had 6 pints of water including our tea and coffey … ½ pound of bread ½ pound of flour whitch we made into what we call... Continue Reading →

Wrong-Way Emily – Part 1

Week 39: #52 Ancestors – Map It Out By Eilene Lyon Note: This three-part series is adapted from my California gold rush book. Sources will be listed at the end of Part 3. Background The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in January 1848 set off the largest mass migration to a single destination up... Continue Reading →

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 →

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