Dear Family…

Week 50: #52 Ancestors – Lines By Eilene Lyon My favorite lines in genealogy are the ones inscribed by hand on paper—family letters. I didn’t always save the letters I received, but I do have a nice representative sampling from many ancestors and relatives. I’ll begin with my immediate family and my ancestors, then I’ll... Continue Reading →

A Visit to Cincinnati 1851 – Part 2

Part 1 By Eilene Lyon The canal packet Indiana – designed specifically to fit in the locks at Louisville – arrived from New Orleans on Tuesday the 11th, pulling into the public landing, a sloping embankment on the Ohio River, alongside a dozen other steamboats. Though scheduled to depart the next day, obtaining a suitable... Continue Reading →

A Visit to Cincinnati 1851 – Part 1

Week 50: #52 Ancestors – Witness to History By Eilene Lyon  Introduction: This two-part feature is an excerpt from my book about the California gold rush. The Blackford Mining Co. left a farming community in eastern Indiana to seek their fortunes in 1851. The ten men ranged in age from Peter Liestenfeltz, the youngest at... Continue Reading →

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 →

Philadelphia Firestorms

Week 33: #52 Ancestors – Troublemaker By Eilene Lyon Henry Z. Jenkins rose before dawn one morning in June 1827 in his single room in north Philadelphia’s Penn Township. His workday normally began at sunrise and ended at sundown – just like that of every other journeyman in the city. The master tradesmen dictated the... 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 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 →

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