A Christmas Custom

By Eilene Lyon Sometimes I like to imagine the ways our pioneer ancestors did things differently than we do today. Of course, the list is long. One tradition I ran across in several county history books comes from the late 18th and early 19th century. Practiced at “free schools” in rural areas at Christmas, the... 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 →

Smiths vs. the Wilderness

Week41: #52 Ancestors - Context By Eilene Lyon Take a look at a Google Earth image or map of central Indiana today. It will be hard to imagine that two hundred years ago it looked like this: Tall trees covered the whole country with their wide-spreading branches, depending to the ground, and the shrubbery below... Continue Reading →

A Lush Life

Week 25: #52 Ancestors – Earliest By Eilene Lyon James Ransom and Elizabeth Anderson were among the earliest settlers in what would become Blackford County, Indiana, settling at what came to be called Trenton. They arrived in 1836 from Belmont County, Ohio, towing the first five of their twelve children, including a newborn.1 Blackford County... 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 →

No Pocahontas

Week 48: #52 Ancestors – Next to Last By Eilene Lyon Note: This post is more about the research process than storytelling. Yes, there really is a John Smith in my family tree. And, no, he isn’t that John Smith, of Jamestown and Pocahontas fame. Fortunately, I’ve been able to trace my mother’s paternal line... Continue Reading →

A Sad Situation

Week 46: #52 Ancestors – Random Fact By Eilene Lyon “Benjamin Hull Jones, a native of Ohio, became dissipated, and by accident shot away a large portion of his face.” I found that statement more random and shocking than anything I’ve come across in my decades of research. When I began examining the life of... Continue Reading →

The Ag Schedule Mysteries

Week 34: #52 Ancestors – Non-Population By Eilene Lyon The agricultural schedules for the 1850 U. S. Federal Census are of particular interest in researching my eastern Indiana families and their gold rush stories. They’ve also left me with a couple of mysteries. Perhaps you’ll have some insights that might help me solve them. For... 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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Eilene Lyon

Author, Speaker, Family Historian

bleuwater

thoughts about parenting and life from below the surface

Northwest Journals

tiny histories

Writing in Progress

... stories of significant others ...

Coach Carole Ramblings

Celtic, Mythical and More ...

In So Many Words

Creative writing inspired by life, love, laughter ... and a horse named Shakespeare

Forgotten Ancestors

Tracing The Faces

The Patchwork Genealogist

Uncovering Family Legacies One Stitch at a Time

Family Finds

Adventures in Genealogy

What's Going On @ ACGSI

Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana Blog

sue clancy

visual stories: fine art, artist books, illustrated gifts

Ask the Agent

Night Thoughts of a Literary Agent

Joy Neal Kidney

Family and local stories and history, favorite books

UNREMEMBERED

A History of the Famously Interesting and Mostly Forgotten

Gerry's Family History

Sharing stories from my family history

Rhyme Schemes and Daydreams

Things That Interest Me

Women Writing the West Blog

Writing about experiences of women and girls in the North American West.

Author J.v.L. Bell

Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

thedihedral.wordpress.com/

Climbing, Outdoors, Life!