Welcome to the family!

My name is Lori Lyons.

I am the daughter of an English-Cajun man and an Irish-German woman. Their parents -- all born in Louisiana -- were a mixture of Cajun, English,French, Irish and German. Half of them were born in the big city of New Orleans, the other half down the bayou in Houma.

Here in Louisiana, we call people like me a Heinz 57.

For 57 varieties. Or a gumbo... maybe a spicy jambalaya.

I belong to the 31st generation of Lyons descended from Roger de Leonne, the first known of our esteemed line.

I belong to the 12th generation of Lyon/Lyons in America, descended from William Lyon, "The Immigrant", who came to Massachusetts from Harrow, England in 1635. I'm also a great granddaughter several times removed of the Pilgrims who crossed over the pond on the Mayflower.

And I belong to the 5th generation of Lyons in Louisiana, descended from Joseph Lucius Cincinatus Pitt Lyon, who came south from Illinois in 1849.

Some trees point to be being the 15th great-granddaughter of King Ferdinand I and Queen Isabella II of Spain. And the 20th cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II.

I have been putting together my family tree since the early 1990s. It was my grandmother who did all the work. The granddaughter of three different Louisiana plantation owners, she spent much of her free time chasing down relatives.

I would walk into her house and find her slumped over her dining room table, surrounded by books and scraps of paper. Sometimes she was asleep. I found quite a few papers with her pen mark scribbling off the page as she dozed off. I can only imagine what she might have accomplished if she had the Internet.

When she died in 1988, my mother asked me to go through Grannie's papers to see what was there. I spent a weekend hunched over my own dining room table -- and dozed off a few times myself. And I was hooked.

I think we have a fascinating story -- Knights, queens, kings, orphaned children placed on ships to the new world, soldiers, Patriots, plantations, Civil War rebels.

And yes, slave-owners.

I just recently discovered that I am a Mayflower descendant -- the Holy Grail for American genealogists, My ancestors survived the Indian massacre at Jamestown.

I spent my life as a journalist -- a storyteller. It's up to me to tell this one.

Like all good recipes, this will be a work in progress. Feel free to add your own ingredients -- give a little, take a little. And don't be afraid to let me know if you find a mistake. Genealogy is not an exact science.

So come on in. Sit a spell and take a look around. You might be related -- an ingredient in our family gumbo.

If so, welcome to the family!

Lori Lyons
email: thelyonsdin@gmail.com

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Just in case anyone was wondering, here is my latest DNA update. No surprises. The Lyons are Scotish/English and all my Cajun peeps are French. I honestly have no idea where the Native American comes from.