Where we've come from ...
History of the Association
by Porter A. Lyon
A group of descendents of Richard Lyon of Fairfield, CT, living in the vicinity of Erie, PA, decided during their 1948 family reunion to appoint a committee to draft preliminary plans toward organizing a family association. The following year a constitution was adopted and six council members elected. By the close of the year, a cabinet of officers was elected with Howard Clark Lyon of Greenville, PA as President. Most of the early members were from Northwest PA and Western NY.
Florence Lyon, sister of Howard, was the first Editor of The Lyon's Tale which was published on an annual basis up to 1964. The first issues consisted of 8 pages. Since then it has expanded considerably and is currently published four times a year.
A constitution for the association was adopted and was published in the 1957 issue of The Lyon's Tale. According to the constitution, the name originally was "The Lyon(s) Families Association"; however, Amendment I-Article I changed the name to "The Lyon(s) Families Association of America."
Olen Lyon was elected President of the association in 1964 and under his guidance the Lyon logo was instituted, along with membership cards and the Direct Lyon Lineage sheets which were used for many years for prospective members to submit their family data.
During Clifford Ray Lyon's presidency (1972-1974) the association began census reading on a large scale and under Bob Goldsborough (1974-1977) the association instituted the Ancestor Table, the Census Form, and a Query section in the newsletter. Bob also guided publication of Volume IV of The Lyon Memorial.
Charles Lyon served as president from 1979 to 1984 and during that time the association republished the original Volume II of The Lyon Memorial which included over 200 pages of new material which had been submitted by members.
During Mildred Brook's term from 1986-1990, she started the "President's page" in the newsletter and added pages at the end where members could create "memorials" to deceased family members. It was during those years that a national reunion of the association was proposed and in 1990 the first national reunion of the association was held in 1990 at Kansas City, MO hosted by Ted and Eleanor Lyons. Gerald D. Lyon was elected president and it was decided to hold a national reunion every three years.
The second reunion was held in Raleigh/Sanford, NC in 1993 and was hosted by Roger Lyons and family. George E. Lyon was elected president and during his term from 1993 to 2003 the association republished copies of The Lyon's Tale covering the years from 1951 to 1986, republished Volume I and Volume II of The Lyon Memorial, and compiled the association genealogy records into a computer database. The third reunion was held in Bethesda, MD/Washington, DC in 1996 and was hosted by Porter and Dianne Lyon. At that reunion the association decided to investigate the possibility of having a web site. Shortly thereafter, Bruce Lyon hosted the first website for the association. A fourth reunion was proposed for 1999 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the association, but was cancelled due to a poor response from the members.
In 2005 John M. (Mike) Lyon was elected President of the association. One of his goals was to bring the association into the "digital age." A "digital" membership class was created whereby the member receives The Lyon's Tale by e-mail at a membership rate which is currently one-third the cost of receiving a paper copy by postal mail. In 2006, Mike copied all of the newsletters from 1951 through 2005 and put them in a format so they can be stored, along with an index on compact disks or on digital video disks and made available to members. In 2008 Mike redesigned the web site to incorporate the many new features which were not available at the time of the original web page design.
2010 saw the kick-off of the LFA DNA project, adding adding Diana Gale Matthiesen as our project administrator.
Lyon(s) Families Association Presidents
1951 - 1964 Howard C. Lyon
1964 - 1972
1972 - 1974 Clifford R. Lyon
1974 - 1977
1977 - 1978 vacant
1979 - 1984
1984 - 1986 vacant
1986 - 1990 Mildred
1990 - 1993 Gerald D. Lyon
1993 - 2003
George E. Lyon
2003 - 2004 vacant
2005 - 2014
Lyon(s) Families Association