On the Farm

Family Tales from Gail

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme this week is on the farm.

I only have three ancestors that farmed and I have already written about all three.  However in previous posts I wrote more about their lives and very little about their farms. Today, I will focus on John Desens my 2nd great grandfather’s farm.  John owned a farm near Greenwood, Clark, Wisconsin.[1]  A few years ago I made a trip to the court house in Neillsville, Clark, Wisconsin to research John. At that time I did not have paper proof that he was my 2nd great-grandfather and that was the purpose of the trip.  I was searching for his probate file, land records, and the criminal file for the neighbor who killed himI didn’t get everything I wanted that day, but I was able to search the Grantor and Grantee books.  I knew his…

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Picnic in the Rift Valley

A Bushsnob in Africa

For months Paul mentioned the idea of going for a picnic to the Rift Valley. He claimed that along the Narok road there were a number of large acacias that would offer the necessary shade while we could not only enjoy watching game but also looking across this vast depression presided by the Longonot and Suswa volcanoes.

Rift valley from Kinangop The Great Rift Valley seen from the Kinangop area.

rift longonot 2 Mout Longonot.

Eventually we were convinced and one Sunday morning we gathered at Paul’s house to travel to the chosen picnic area. Apart from Paul and us other participants were Timothy and his fiancée Jill and a few other friends that filled Paul’s long-wheel base Land Rover. We were not only humans in it as Timothy (the egg cleaner of my earlier post! [1]) decided to take along his red setter called Bitch despite our advice to the contrary!

So, we took the rather…

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The Taste of Death

Yellingrosa Weblog

Everyting I carried
I bore alone.
© Yelling Rosa
29/9 -18

A Bird or a Stump © Yelling Rosa 2011 A Bird or a Stump © Yelling Rosa 2011

Over the Heads of Scientists

It goes over the heads of scientists
That the straight line will return
To the starting point and too much light
Into the black holes makes an explosion.
It’s too much for them to speak about
The vast nature of the creation
And they’re minimizing it
Into the one point.
© Yelling Rosa
23/9 -18

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Voyage to California (11) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.


Spent considerable part of the day watching the trains of mules as they arrived with the view of securing my own baggage as soon as possible. Toward evening it arrived in good order, very much to my satisfaction. Took a bath in the Bay in the evening and I walked about the city. The view of the Bay walls was very fine. Water was very smooth, green islands rose abruptly from its surface. The coast was lined, in places, with palm trees, and wild ducks and pelicans were flying about in large numbers…

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My Ancestors (19) Louis Guion, Equyer, – 1654 – 1725

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

(1Louis Guion); (2) Isaac Guion; (3)John Guion; (4) Elijah Guion, Sr.; (5) Elijah Guion, Jr.;  (6) Alfred Beck Guion; (7) Alfred Duryee Guion; (8) Alfred Peabody Guion; (9) Judith Anne Guion

Louis and Thomasse Guion might have gone on to America had she not been with child. Some members of her family went immediately, establishing the Narragansett colony at Frenchtown, Rhode Island. Louis and Thomasse stayed in England. Within weeks, perhaps days, of arriving in Bristol, Thomasse gave birth to twins! We know this because on June 4, 1686, Louis traveled to London to receive a dispensation from the Royal Bounty. He declared himself as being married with two children. [Royal Bounty Record number 89010] The children were named Isaac and Suzanne.

Louis supported his wife and two babies by working as a blacksmith (forgeron) in Bristol, a trade that had a ready market since people in the…

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Postcard Memories



I said postcards could stir memories of long ago.  This card is from a dear friend I had when I was a student at Berkeley in the turbulent ’60’s.  A friend who went back to when I was growing up in Belmont Mass.  In Berkeley she was like a grandmother to me.  A lively grandmother with whom I had lunch occasionally on the terrace.  From Berkeley I went to Kenya to do the research work for my PhD thesis.  What a surprise to receive this postcard from my lively grandmother traveling the world.  I think she must have been in her 80’s – as I am now.