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 →

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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