Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

When did the Thompson Family Arrive in Utah?

Centerville Ward Chapel, Davis County, Utah (1879). Centerville Canyon behind.
Only the center part is original. There have been several additions over the years.
Strolling the streets of Centerville, Utah today, it was nagging me that I still haven't solved the problem of where in town the Thompson Family lived for a few years in the 1860s when my 2nd Great Grandmother, Annie Thompson, was born April 3, 1863. She died as a young mother in 1890, leaving my Great Grandfather at age seven. He died in 1963 and I knew him well, so there is some responsibility here.

Hitting the internet when I got home, I checked out the listing of historical sites for Centerville to see if there is a record of a pioneer home built by a Thompson Family. I'm suspicious there was not. They were hard-working but not with much financial means in life and they likely boarded or shared space with another family in their brief time here. Or because they were here for a few short years, any home would not have been long remembered as belonging to them.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Death in Echo Canyon

A Mormon Pioneer Wagon Train in Echo Canyon on a day without the rain but otherwise still seemingly miserable.
Likely after 1861 because of the telegraph poles.
No wonder Echo Canyon has always haunted me!

Early in my blogging life, I became friends with a great Mormon historian, Ardis Parshall. You can find her work at Keepapitchinin.org. She kindly corrected me when I told her that my family had a story that my 2nd Great Grandfather, Daniel Bartholemew Roman, had come across the plains in 1855 with a handcart at the age of four. You see, the handcart companies didn't start until 1856.

And I just discovered where that handcart story might have come from.

Daniel came from Piedmont, Italy with his widower father, David Charles Roman. Daniel's deceased mother was Jeanne Malan, of one of the first families to join the LDS Church in Italy. Daniel's father David, remarried in Utah to a widow who came with the Ellsworth Handcart Company in 1856, Suzanne Robert Rochon. She became widowed when her husband, Jean Michel Rochon, died in Echo Canyon on the 22nd of September, 1856, four days short of the Salt Lake Valley. An account of his tragic, though nameless, death is in the journal of William Butler, an Irishman, and Captain of the Second Hundred in the Ellsworth Company:
Upon arriving at Echo, Utah I became very sick and was forced to lie on the ground due to the pain in my stomach. After praying and resting a short time, I was able to continue on. As the company had gone on down the canyon, I was forced to travel alone, there being a terrible rainstorm raging and I was unable to see except when the lighting would flash. While traveling alone, I overtook an Italian and his little girl with their handcart. They also had been left behind to die. This man died before morning. I buried him the best I could, not having a shovel. I then traveled on, taking the little girl and her cart with me. During that day we overtook another man and his daughter by the name of Clark. They also had been left by the main company. I said to myself later, “Had it not been for Mr. Clark and his assistance I could not have continued on.” We overtook the main company the following day. Here we camped to bury our dead. Our provisions almost exhausted, we all cut down to one cup of flour a day.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Brown's Iris Gardens, Kirkland, Washington

Family History can get real strange. I planted irises this Spring. It kept reminding me of a relative/friend of my Mom's that I remember from growing up on Finn Hill. We were far away from family, but mom found one, a descendant of Daniel Wood and she shared some copies of Wood Family history that I still have.

Her name was Alta Brown. And remembering that she and her husband ran Brown's Iris Gardens, a rather beautiful place up there when Finn Hill was not all houses, I thought I would try to find her on Family Search to see how we were actually related. It was a frustrating search as I ultimately found that her name was Hazel Alta McCarty Brown (1909-2003), so she was very contemporary with my grandparents.

I remembered that they sold irises. The internet informed me that they hybridized irises. Her husband, Rex, registered 93 varieties. Alta registered a whopping 267 varieties!

A few of the varieties developed at Brown's Iris Gardens

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Daniel Wood - Rescuer of Immigrants


Way to go, Grandpa Wood!

I did not not know this until today. It pays to keep checking back on the LDS Church History Library website, Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, because they keep updating with additional information and sources. Daniel Wood 1800-1892), my 3rd-Great-Grandfather and Davis County Pioneer, is now listed as a "Rescuer" of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies in the early winter of 1856! He appears on a list of teamsters for the rescue in the records of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Co.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

If You're in Ogden on Memorial Day . . .


For myself and my kids, I wanted to post about some of the ancestor graves in the Ogden Cemetery. I went two years ago with some of my dad's cousins and met a few more there. As I had remembered correctly (though my wife still made me check the cemetery plot map online before we drove around), our Vaughans, and coincidentally, our Wheelwrights are on 10th Street, just to the East of the entrance on Ninth. For the big Thomas and Isabella Vaughan monument turn right down Tenth to the Vaughan marker on the left or East. You will see several other of Thomas and Isabella's family including the Burnetts who did a lot of family history.


The large marker for Thomas (1850-1894) and Isabella (1858-1919)
My Great Grandfather, George Robert Vaughn, born in England (1886-1951)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sarah, a Choctaw: Mother of Nations

My latest and last missionary son emailed me some family history work that he was doing for me to check over. It is on the Hartsfield line, ancestors of Carters, to Easterlings, then Petersons (my maternal line). They were Southerners with a family tradition that Sarah, married to Rueben Hartsfield in about 1783, was a Choctaw Indian.

Sabra Ann Carter
The best evidence we have is that Sarah's granddaughter, Sabra Ann Carter (1840-1921), looks like she could be the granddaughter of a Native American.

She appears to have the jet-black hair, high cheek bones, and long, straight nose that could indicate Choctaw ancestry.

This is entirely plausible as the Hartsfields (also "Hartfield"), along with the Easterlings and Carters, ended up in Choctaw Mississippi country. The Choctaw were a large language/cultural group but not united under any particular affiliation until President Jackson ordered removal to Oklahoma. Then there were two distinct groups, the Oklahoma Choctaw and the Mississippi Choctaw, the latter not federally recognized as a Tribe until 1945!

From Access Genealogy the Choctaw were noted:

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Grandma Peterson and Meadow Gold (and Billboards)



Went to Dick's Market to buy mayonnaise and came out with a lot of other stuff. I did exercise restraint because I wandered close to the bakery but bought no donuts.

My treat was Meadow Gold Ice Cream which was on sale 2/$5 so I got French Vanilla (fancier than regular and a necessary staple of life - Vanilla is a flavor - not the bland absence of such). Along with that I got Rocky Road which has real miniature marshmallows.