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 →

Uncle Jim’s Letters

Week 48: #52 Ancestors – Gratitude By Eilene Lyon Even in this very trying year, there are many things to be grateful for. First, I appreciate those of you who read this blog – I know my subjects don’t have broad appeal. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I’m extremely grateful... Continue Reading →

The Rise and Fall of Trenton

Week 38: #52 Ancestors – On the Map By Eilene Lyon I confess to being a bit of a map geek. I even minored in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) when I attended Fort Lewis College in 2004-7. Maps are excellent for visualizing the context of events in our family history. They can help us understand... Continue Reading →

A Twin For James

Week 28: #52 Ancestors – Multiple By Eilene Lyon [Note: the image above bears no relation to the story below, but it fits the theme of “Multiple”😁 Young violet-green swallows peer from their nest cavity the day before they fledged. E. Lyon 2020] This story is somewhat incomplete, because the discovery is quite fresh. It... Continue Reading →

Wrong-Way Emily – Part 2

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Adventure By Eilene Lyon Part 1 Emily Sets Sail The steerage passengers on the Emily "... were divided into messes of ten men each and had 6 pints of water including our tea and coffey … ½ pound of bread ½ pound of flour whitch we made into what we call... 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 →

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 →

Preacher Man

Week 17: #52 Ancestors – At Worship By Eilene Lyon I have photographs of all my 2nd great-grandparents except one – Robert Ransom – a serious disappointment. He looms large in my family history. I did meet him once, in a dream. A figment of my imagination, of course. He had the stern countenance I... Continue Reading →

Meanwhile, On the Homefront

Week 42: #52 Ancestors – Conflict By Eilene Lyon To Engage, or Not? The  Civil War was undoubtedly this country’s most destructive conflict, in terms of damage to American lives and property. Not to mention the permanent scars on the collective psyche of the nation. Far from the battlefields, discord raged in communities across the... Continue Reading →

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