Minnesota Pills

Week 47: #52 Ancestors – Soldier By Eilene Lyon When I recently watched portions of the film “They Shall Not Grow Old,” I was struck by how the young men (many just boys of 15 and 16), were eager to volunteer to serve in World War I. Even after all the horrors they experienced, the... Continue Reading →

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 →

Preacher Man

Week 17: #52 Ancestors – At Worship By Eilene Lyon I have photographs of all my 2nd great-grandparents except one – Robert Ransom – a serious disappointment. He looms large in my family history. I did meet him once, in a dream. A figment of my imagination, of course. He had the stern countenance I... Continue Reading →

Slave-owner to Socialist

Week 45: #52 Ancestors – Bearded By Eilene Lyon The Slave Years My 2nd great-grandfather, Melville Cox Davis, was the oldest of five children born to Dr. Hamilton Cunningham Davis and Christina Mock. Hamilton married Christina in their home state, North Carolina, and shortly afterward moved to Lafayette County, Missouri, along with their parents and... Continue Reading →

Meanwhile, On the Homefront

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Conflict By Eilene Lyon To Engage, or Not? The  Civil War was undoubtedly this country’s most destructive conflict, in terms of damage to American lives and property. Not to mention the permanent scars on the collective psyche of the nation. Far from the battlefields, discord raged in communities across the... Continue Reading →

A Family Legacy

Week 40: #52 Ancestors – Ten By Eilene Lyon My great-grandfather, Sterling P. Davis, was one of ten children born to Sarah Rebecca (Livengood) Davis. Though many women gave birth to ten (or more) children back in those days, not so many can say they brought them all to a healthy adulthood. Perhaps the fact... Continue Reading →

Absurdities #3

Given that the Confederacy was antithetical to the entire notion of the United States of America -- they went to war against the U.S., remember? -- how can anyone in their right mind fly both flags on one pole at the same time? This is patently ludicrous. Which side are they on? It can't be... 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 →

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