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 →

St. Anthony’s Fire

Week 22: #52 Ancestors – At the Cemetery By Eilene Lyon There is a cemetery in New Orleans that I have not seen, and probably never will. Why? Because there are no grave markers, and the buried remains are merely a bony tangle in the delta silt. Still, it is hallowed ground. This is the... Continue Reading →

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 →

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