Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Gertruida's Cousin

With scheduled consultant duties at the Family History Library and no patrons, I checked in to FamilySearch to see what it had for me. There was a birth record belonging to a possible ancestor. It was in Amsterdam and I thought, "Well, I'm not that good with Dutch records or the language so I'm not so sure if I can confirm this as a good source."

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Grandma Cotter Calls to Me

We're heading to Edinburgh on our next Mormon Heritage Association tour of Scotland and Wales in a few weeks. My wife and I are going a week early as a celebration of my retirement. I had planned to travel down to Durham for some Vaughan family visits, but something besides just the longer drive nagged me to stay in Scotland.

We were going to rush through some of my wife's ancestral villages in Scotland just the other side of the Firth of Forth and then swing up through the Highlands just to say we've been. But now, I've planned for a few more days in the Lowlands. Grandma Cotter has been prompting me.

The Mitochondrial DNA is passed from Mother to children unchanged and can be traced on the maternal line back for a very long string of generations. My results show that my mother's mothers' mothers come from Scotland. And Elizabeth Cotter (1787-1860) is along that line.

She was on my FamilySearch Family Tree and married to Thomas Fletcher, who we believe to have been in Lord Nelson's decisive naval Battle of Trafalgar. But with the MtDNA, she is the one who was clearly a Scot.

FamilySearch was all messed up for her. My Ancestry.com research had a lot of good information and I still went to some original sources to dig out her birthday of 29 November 1787. She was born in Carriden Parish, now Bo'ness when it was in Linlithgowshire also called West Lothian. That's a lot of confusion right there!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

My Father-in-Law in the Millennial Star

This blog is intended for my ancestors who are not Vaughns/Vaughans or closely connected thereto. But as I've been married to his daughter for 38 years, I think I can stretch to post my findings of my father-in-law in the Millennial Star, the British publication for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1840 to 1970. It had a good run.

The main problem is that as I am not a direct descendant, it will do no good for me to post this on FamilySearch memories. Maybe I can get his daughter to do it in 3rd-hour family study tomorrow.

While out of order, the first one here is a classic:

This is the Cornerstone laying for the London Temple from the Millenial Star of June 1957.
But back to Elder Kimball's arrival in the British Mission:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gertruida's House

My eldest son, A-2, is in Amsterdam for work. That's Nike-Europe HQ. On video talk with his family Sunday night, we talked about him going to the Netherlands. My Granddaughters thought he was going to "Neverland."

I remembered late last night that I had told him I would send the info on where my 2nd-Great-Grandmother, Gertruida ter Bruggen was born in 1859. I had it plotted on Google Maps from the Dutch census information. I awoke this morning to his email with pics from his visit there!

Gertruida is the one who bore a striking resemblance to my second daughter, A-4. There is that surprising connection and the fact that I knew her daughter, my Great Grandmother, Maria Mourina Roman Wheelwright (1883-1972). Her middle name, Mourina, is from her Dutch family. When I was very young, she would lovingly tease me with two, porcelain kissing dolls, a little Dutch boy and girl. She would hold the Dutch boy and say it was me and in her other hand, the Dutch girl was my girlfriend. Those were sweet hands.

My son took these pictures this morning at 282 Bloemstraat, 1016 LK, Amsterdam:

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Lord Nelson's Biscuit

Daniel Maclise: The Death of Nelson
Mural in Parliament, Westminster, London
There are times when I wished I had £3,000.00 to buy a biscuit.

Recently, an interesting lot came up for sale at Sotheby's and was then auctioned off again. It included what is believed to be the world's oldest hardtack biscuit. And not just any biscuit, but one belonging to an Able Seaman who fought with Admiral Nelson at Trafalgar.

And it gets better. The Able Seaman was my ancestor, the father of Mormon Pioneers!

The biscuit gets the news, but it is the other items that are of more importance.

That's one, huge biscuit, by the way!

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.