A Slow Death

By Eilene Lyon A 19th Century Scourge In my gold rush research, I’ve come across a couple cases of milk sickness – a deadly disease that was common in the 19th century throughout the Ohio River Valley states. I made the erroneous assumption that this was some bacterial illness that was neutralized by pasteurization. Rather,... 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 →

Paying Respect

By Eilene Lyon As with my other genealogy trips, when I went to Blackford and Jay counties in Indiana last year, I visited several cemeteries to pay respects to my ancestors and other relatives. For me, that means more than just placing some flowers, saying a silent thanks (or maybe out loud, talking to myself... Continue Reading →

The Agony of Not Knowing

Week 22: #52 Ancestors – So Far Away By Eilene Lyon We take for granted our ability to stay in touch with loved ones far away. We no longer have to pay long distance charges and we can talk as long as we like. There are even video-phone options. Back in the day when calls... 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 →

Probate Gold Mine

Week 9: #52 Ancestors – Where There’s a Will By Eilene Lyon This week’s title should really be “Where There Isn’t a Will.” That’s because sometimes a probate case, when a person dies intestate, can tell you more about that person than a will ever could. When I started writing the California gold rush story... Continue Reading →

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