Tale of Two Adas

Week 37: #52 Ancestors – Closest to Your Birthday By Eilene Lyon In my last post in this series, I told you that my grandparents, Reatha Gusso and Everett Halse, were married on December 31, 1932.1 I squelched into existence on what would have been their 29th wedding anniversary, except that Everett had been gone... Continue Reading →

Youngest Son Goes to Sea

Week 32: #52 Ancestors -- Youngest By Eilene Lyon My parents' surnames illustrate an interesting dichotomy. The name “Smith” is among the ten most common surnames in America. “Halse,” on the other hand, is so uncommon that one source indicates fewer than 4000 people in the world share this last name.1 I believe this name... Continue Reading →

Our Trip to Oregon

Week 28: #52 Ancestors – Travel By Eilene Lyon In 1942, my grandparents, Reatha and Everett Halse, made the decision to leave Florence, South Dakota, and head west. Everett’s younger brother, Alvin Halse, was already living in Corvallis, Oregon, and had a job waiting for Everett. That summer, they packed up their worldly possessions and... Continue Reading →

Extending the Family

By Eilene Lyon The “Greats” Getting to know extended family can be challenging. In my case, geographic separation was a serious obstacle to spending time with even closest kin (grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins). Until recently, it was a rare occasion that I ever met any of the “greats”: great-grandparents, great-uncles, and great-aunts. Nor did... Continue Reading →

Four Generations of Halse Homesteads

Week 13: #52Ancestors – The Old Homestead By Eilene Lyon This is the story of four homesteads for four generations of Halses (my maiden name), going back to my immigrant ancestors, my 3rd great-grandparents. First Generation Robert H. Halse and Eliza Jane Drake immigrated in 1850 and eventually settled in Winneshiek County, Iowa. Samuel Drake,... Continue Reading →

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