Epidemics and my family

As I write this, our world is in the middle of a global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. It is a scary time. And weird. New phrases like “self-isolating” and “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” are common in our vocabulary from now until who knows when. My work …

A Virginia Goldminer – The Sad End

David Shrum left Virginia in 1855 to mine gold in Grass Valley, California. In September 1858 he wrote back home to his brother, Orlando, who is my second great-grandfather. Sadly, David was crushed in a mining accident in 1861 and died several days later.  I’ve been sharing David’s letter to …

A Virginia Goldminer Part 3

While my second great-grandfather, Orlando Shrum, was a young man living in Shenandoah County, Virginia with his parents and siblings in September of 1858, he received a letter from his older brother David, who lived in Grass Valley, California. David had set out a few years earlier to find his …

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 …