A Virginia Goldminer Part 2

I’m sharing more of the letter my 16-year-old second great-grandfather, Orlando Shrum, received from his 27-year-old brother David in 1858. David left Indiana in 1855 and traveled to California to mine for gold. You can read the first part of the letter HERE. I don’t know what “great difficulties” David is referring to that Orlando has to contend with, although it could be the death of their mother, Lucy Kern Shrum, when Orlando was only 2 years old. In 1858 the family still lived in Shenandoah County, Virginia and their father was a Stonemason. The older sons had moved to Indiana…

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A Virginia Goldminer Part 1

When I read we had a gold miner in the family, I thought it couldn’t possibly true. We aren’t exactly the adventurous type in this family. I don’t even like amusement park rides anymore because they make me woozy. But there he was, David Shrum, staring back at me from a book my grandmother had about the Shrum family. He was said to be a legendary figure in the family. From this book,  came a transcription of a letter David had written home to his brother Orlando (my 2nd great grandfather) in Virginia. David owned a claim in Omega, Navada…

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Yellow Fever in Virginia – Family Legend or Truth?

To anyone other than a genealogist, getting excited when you learn about a tragedy in your family history is kind of morbid. But I wouldn’t say the word “excited” is exactly the right term. Interested. Fascinated. Connected. In July of 1870,  my third great grandfather, Orlando Shrum,  was a successful young brickmason in Halbert Township of Martin County, Indiana.  His 27 year old wife, Martha Horsey Shrum, was just a few weeks pregnant with their second son, Frederick. Their  first born son, Mark, had just turned one year old a few weeks earlier. Mark was my great-grandfather Less than four…

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It Is The Little Things In Life

A few weeks ago, we moved my older sister out of the apartment she and Mom shared for the past 3 years. Mom died this past December.  Robin didn’t really need that second bedroom, and the rent was higher than she could really afford. So,we helped her get settled down the road in a one bedroom apartment. In 2015, Robin quit her job in Virginia and came back home to Connecticut to move in with Mom. Mom had been living in Florida, but her health was declining and we kids convinced her to come back to New England to be…

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