During April 2017 I will be blogging about my Courtship Memories from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Zebulon

(Note:  I have now completed all of my Family Tree from A to Z posts, including the days that I missed last week from letters S, T, U, and V.  Feel free to scroll down and catch up on what you may have missed).


Zebulon Collings, as noted previously in C is for Collins or Collings, or Collyns was born 1706 in Pennsylvania to Sir Anthony Andrew Collings and Lady Jane Lancelot Collings of Cornwall, England. 

Zebulon married Mary Johnstone on October 30, 1746 in New Jersey.  No photos available from back in 1706, and the only source listed for Zebulon on the familysearch.com website is an index of New Jersey marriage records from 1678 to 1985.  

And there you have it . . . my family tree from A to Z . . . or at least a portion of it.    

Hopefully someday I can have it verified and accurate, and perhaps meet and converse with these family members in the world to come?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y is for Young

I've had to go back quite a way to find a "Y" name on my family tree:

According to the information on my family tree at familysearch.org,

My paternal great, great, great, great, great, great (6th) grandmother, Janet Young was christened on the March 21, 1726  in Sprouston, Roxburg, Scotland. 

She married James Atchison on January 9, 1754 in the same location, and they were the parents of two children:  Margaret Atchison and Jean Atchison.   Margaret was my 5th great grandmother.  This family line eventually moved from Scotland to Wales, and then to the United States through the Gibby line.  (See G is for Gibby).

The Young line continues on back to 1631 through Janet's father John Young, grandfather John Young, and great grandfather William Young.
location of Roxburghshire in Scotland  Source: Wikipedia

Do you have any Youngs on your family tree?  (we might be cousins!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X is for X-tra

(Note: Due to my Dear Mother's recent death and funeral, I have fallen behind in this year's A to Z Challenge.  Please check back in the coming week for the missing posts S, T, U, and V.)


X-tra, X-tra, Read all about it!

Have you ever wondered how you can discover your own family tree and what you can do to help others find theirs?   By getting involved with Indexing at Familysearch.org

Indexing makes records searchable online.  Everyone deserves to be remembered and you could help make this possible.  No special skills or time commitments are required, but you and I can help people from all around the world find and trace their ancestry for free.  Click on the following link to find short video that tells what indexing is and how it works:
Familysearch.org Indexing

Try it out and then come back and let me know how you liked it!

Monday, April 27, 2015

W is for Wagstaff, Willie, and William

(Note: Due to my Dear Mother's recent death and funeral, I have fallen behind in this year's A to Z Challenge.  Please check back in the coming week for the missing posts S, T, U, and V.)


John Wagstaff  (photo source:  familysearch)

W is for Wagstaff, one of my main family lines, that has been researched back to 1490 in Bedfordshire,  England.  John Wagstaff, my great, great grandfather who was born in 1861,  is the ancestor on this line who emigrated from England to the United States in 1862, sailing from Liverpool England to New York City on the ship "William Tapscott" , then later continuing on to Salt Lake City, Utah.



W is also for Willie, another main family line that has been researched back to 1557 in Otterford, Somerset, England.  My great great grandfather, James Gray Willie was the Willie ancestor who who emigrated from Somerset England to New York City, where he married and then continued on to Nauvoo, Illinois, and Salt Lake City, Utah.  He later returned to England as a missionary for his church, and on the return trip home was asked to lead a group of pioneers traveling by handcart across the United States to Utah.  Due to circumstances beyond their control, they left late in the season and were trapped by early snows in Wyoming, many perishing before reaching their destination, but most were miraculously rescued and made it to their destination.  The movie 17 Miracles  is one source that documents this story.

W is for William, a good solid name that appears countless times on my family tree.  There is in fact a stretch of five continuous generations of William Wagstaffs in Bedfordshire between the years of 1693 and 1579.   There is a William Willie in born in Devonshire, England in 1763, who married and died in Somerset.  There are many other Williams in the other branches of my family tree.  Someday I need to take the time to count them all!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Valentine and VERIFY

I have  possibly two individuals on my family tree with the name of Valentine:  Mary Valentine on the Odell/Pettit lines and David Valentine Kennett or Kinnett on the Collins line.  I have proof of neither of these connections, only charts that show that someone has at some point in time believed that these people are my ancestors.

Which brings me to one of the most important words when working on your family tree:

VERIFY

Yes, the importance of verifying your information cannot be stressed enough.  This is the work of our generation.    Find as many documents and sources for information on each ancestor and family member as you can.  Start with journals, bibles, letters, and other documents.  Verify the information you find with vital records, church and parish records, census records, birth and death certificates, obituaries, wills, land records and deeds, military records, marriage records.  The possibilities are many and varied, and will vary greatly depending on the location where your family and ancestors lived, and the time period.  Many records have been lost over the years, which is very unfortunate, but whenever you do find information, make photo copies wherever possible.  Document where the records were found, cite bibliographies, locations etc.

V is for the magic word in genealogy and family history.  V is for Verify.

Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Unknown

At some point, our knowledge of each family line comes to an end, and the members of the tree beyond that point are unknown.  That is the challenge of researching your family tree, to extend the known members of your family beyond the bounds now found.  Each new generation has further to search and further to go, but also more resources available to them.  My grandmothers did their research , relying on the memories of their own parents and grandparents, and reading bibles and journals, and then writing letters to distant relatives or keepers of church and civic records to ask for their help in the quest.  Today we have the blessing of the internet, where we can almost instantaneously communicate information with others, and an incomprehensible amount of information available at our fingertips.  The question is, how much of this information is accurate?  That is the challenge of searching out the unknown.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for Taylpr

There are not too many "T" names on my family tree.

The  Taylor line first shows up in 1750 in Morristown, Morris County, New Jersey, near where my dear husband and I lived when our older children were small.   Mary Polly Taylor married Phineas Reeves, another ancestor on the Bird line.  This Taylor line ends in 1696 in Chesterfield, Burlington, New Jersey.

There is also a Tarry line and a Turnbull line, but I don't have much information on either of these.

Sorry for the scarcity of information on the "T"'s of my family tree. Perhaps that is a place to do more research?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Smith and Storton



My great grandfather, Albert Smith was born August 28, 1854 in Harlestone, Northamptonshire, England to George Smith and Mary Wadsworth Smith.  Albert's father George died at the age of 35 of an accidental gunshot, leaving Mary a widow with six children.  Albert was not quite eight years old at the time of his father's death, so soon left formal schooling aside and went to work for Mr. Cooper, the village butcher, becoming his apprentice and learning the trade which he followed for the rest of his life.  His business took him frequently to the Estate and Manor house of the Earl of Spencer where he met



Mary Ann Storton, who was in charge of the linen and household goods of the Manor house.  Their friendship grew into romance, and the couple were married on May 19, 1879 in the Harlestone Parish Church of St Albert the Great.  The marriage was actually a double wedding as Albert's younger sister, Alice Smith, was married the very same day to Thomas Manning Jr, Mary Ann's stepbrother.  The brides wore matching dresses of blue taffeta.  Mary Ann's dress is still in possession of  our family today.

Albert Smith and Mary Ann Storton wedding photo

Mary Ann and Albert lived in Harlestone for nearly three years.  Their first two children, George Storton Smith and Edith Mary Smith were born there.  Mary Ann wrote "We heard the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Autumn of the year following our marriage."  She said that the teachings of the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had a familiar sound, and she had no doubt that it was the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The young couple entertained the missionaries, supplying food and clothing for the Elders Joseph S. Tingey and Joseph Orton.  Albert was baptized a member of the church on February 22, 1881, and Mary Ann was baptized a year later on July 21, 1882.  When their friends learned that they had joined the "Mormons"  many turned against them, and the young couple soon decided to leave their beautiful Harlestone and emigrate to Utah in the United States, leaving their home and family behind.  They sold most of their possessions to help finance their trip, only taking a few precious items such as Mary Ann's sewing machine and a few pieces of their fine China.  They left Liverpool in September of 1822 on the ship Wyoming, arriving in  New York, and then traveled by train to Utah.

Albert found work as a butcher, and eventually opened his own Meat Market.  They purchased a farm where they grew fruit trees and vegetables, and but later traded this for a different home as the work was too strenuous for Albert's health. would not allow him to closer to the Market.  They raised a family of fourteen children, five of which died in childhood, but provided good educations for all who lived to adulthood, encouraging them to advance as far as they could, and teaching them to work in the store as they were able.
In 1910 Albert accepted the call to serve as a missionary in his native England, where he was able to visit with and teach his relatives and former friends and neighbors.  Mary Ann and their daughter, Julia were able to travel to England also to meet Albert at the conclusion of his assignment in 1912, visit with the relatives, and travel home to Utah together.  Though their lives were not easy, Mary Ann and Albert stayed true to their beliefs and values and leave a wonderful legacy for their many posterity.  Here are two of my favorite photos of Albert Smith and Mary Ann Storton Smith:

Mary Ann and Albert back in Harlestone, England, the land of their heritage, in 1912.

Albert with four of his grandchildren in the high Uinta Mountains of Utah.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R is for Richards


Nancy Eliza Richards (see N is for Nancy), is my dear husband's great great grandmother.  Nancy was the daughter of Franklin Dewey Richards, an Apostle of the LDS Church, and his wife, Susan Sanford Pierson Richards.   Nancy's  early years were spent in Salt Lake City, close to many family and relatives, but before 1864 the family moved to the new settlement of Wanship in northeastern Utah.  Nancy and her younger brothers Albert Damon Richards and William Pierson Richards  helped glean in the fields there so the family could have food and clothing.   Their mother Susan taught them at home, and they labored early and late to obtain the comforts and necessities of life.  Nancy learned to cook, sew, knit, tat, and crochet, all necessary skills to help provide for the family.  Nancy's mother died three months before Nancy's marriage to Marion Frazier.  They later bought nearly 400 acres of land in the nearby area of Oakley where they were among the early settlers of this small town. That first winter, Nancy was the only white woman in the area.  It was very lonesome for her.  Her father occasionally was  able to come and visit with them, and meetings were usually held so the other settlers could hear the Apostle speak.  Marion and Nancy raised a large family of 10 children, and many grandchildren.  They were prominent in the community and the church.   She lost much of her eyesight in her later years, but continued to keep a nice home and produced much lace with her tatting, which was often given away to others.  She died of pneumonia on October 18, 1935.

Franklin Dewey Richards (source)

Franklin Dewey Richards, my dear husband's great, great, great grandfather, was born April 2, 1821 at Richmond, Berkshire, Massachusetts to Phinehas and Wealthy Dewey Richards.  He and his family were introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by his cousins Joseph Young and Brigham Young.  His parents were devout and respected Congregationalists and trained their children to believe in God.  Franklin's views on religion and the scriptures were different than most of those he associated with, and he turned down the opportunity to be educated for the ministry in a leading New England College.   In 1836 Franklin's father Phinehas and his brothers Willard, Levi, and George all traveled to Kirtland, Ohio to learn more about this new faith.  When they returned in 1836, Franklin was ready to join the church, and was baptized by his father Phinehas.  That same year he traveled to Missouri and then to Quincy, Illinois where he met the prophet, Joseph Smith.   Franklin was a faithful follower and leader in the church for the remainder of his life, serving many missions throughout the world, to Indiana, Michigan, Europe, England, and Scotland.  In 1848 he traveled with the Latter Day Saints to Utah, where he was ordained an Apostle of the Lord in 1849.  He served as a member of the legislature, was a regent at the University of Deseret, was commissioned as a Brigadier General of the Nauvoo Legion and served as such for about 13 years.  He served as President of the Weber Stake and as Probate Judge and County Judge for Weber County for 14 years. He served as Church Historian and Church Recorder.   He was the first president of the Utah Genealogical Society and served in that position until his death.  In 1898 Franklin D Richards was sustained as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He died December 9, 1999, and was buried in Ogden, Utah.   The town of Franklin, Idaho was named after him.  A more detailed history of his life can be found Familysearch.org.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Quicksall and for Quilt from my Family Tree

(Note added April 30, 2015:  a week after posting this post on our family tree quilt, I came across the name Quicksall on the Bird line of my family tree.  I had seen this information before, but had forgotten that I had a family line for the letter Q!  William  Quicksall was christened  October 23, 1670 in Drawnfield, Derby, England, son of Henry Quicksall.  William died in 1760 in Chesterfield, Burlington County, New Jersey, and his granddaughter Sarah married John Taylor who was an ancestor on my Bird line.)

Have you ever seen, or even better yet, made a Family Tree Quilt?   I've seen some gorgeous ones on line such as these embroidered ones below:



However my favorite family tree quilt was made almost 16 years ago by my sister and her mother-in-law for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  It isn't actually in a tree shape.  The center square is a copy of my parent's wedding photo.  Above and below are photos of each of my siblings, myself, and our spouses at or near the time of our own marriages.  The outer edge are photos of each of the 31 grandchildren.  I'm not an expert photographer, so this image from my phone is quite blurred, but you get the idea.

Here is a better photo of the quilt as it hangs in my parents' bedroom, along with the ribbons it won in the fair:


This quilt is even more precious to our family since our Dear Mother graduated from this life this past week.  We're so grateful for the many years of love and care and the heritage that she has left us.

Do you have a quilt that represents your family tree?



Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Pettit.


The Pettit line of my family tree can be traced back to Joseph Pettit, born February 8, 1715 in Hempstead, Queens, New York.  Joseph's great granddaughter was Elizabeth Ann Pettit Willie, my great-great grandmother. 

Elizabeth Ann Pettit was born December 3, 1818 in New Rochelle, Westchester, New York to William Pettit and Mary Odell  (see O is for Odell.)   Elizabeth was named after her two grandmothers, Elizabeth Ryder Pettit and Ann Ward Odell.  William Pettit was a cabinet maker, and Elizabeth and her younger sister Emeline were trained as seamstresses or tailors.  The Pettit family were members of the Trinity Episcopal Church.  While in her twenties, Elizabeth came in contact with missionaries from the LDS (Mormon) church and was baptized in June 1841.  Her parents disowned her because of her conversion, but she remained close to her sister and they corresponded throughout their lives.  Elizabeth married James Grey Willie in New York City on January 18, 1846.   They moved to Nauvoo, Illinois and then later to Salt Lake City, and Mendon, Cache county Utah.  Here they raised four children, and Elizabeth was a devoted wife, mother, and friend to all.  She served as the first president of her local church congregation's women's organization, the Relief Society, and continued in the position for 25 years.  She was known to visit in the homes of the women she served, and ask them to bring out their daring or patching as she said, "I might just as vwell be doing something while I sit here and visit."  Elizabeth was a good manager of her home, and taught her daughters to weave cloth, knit stockings, and be excellent cooks, among other things.  She kept her home and her family neat and clean, and often entertained visitors in her home, supporting her husband in his work as a farmer, postmaster, superintendent of the Coop store, and member of the bishopric of the church. James died in 1895 at the age of 91, and Elizabeth continued on in her home with visits and care from children and grandchildren until she passed away quietly in her sleep ten years later in 1906 at the age of 87.

Elizabeth  died quietly in her sleep

Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Odell

  The Odell Family is from New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York.

(Westchester County New York incorporated and unincorporated areas.  New Rochelle highlighted.)

 Mary Ann Odell is the first of the line in my family tree, was born in New Rochelle in 1785, and died in the same town in 1865.  Mary Ann's great, great, great grandfather, William O'Dell was the first of the line to emigrate to this country, having been born in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England in the year 1630.  The records on familysearch.org show three generations of William O'Dells living out their lives in Cranfield.  In the fourth generation back, about 1540, the name O'Dell appears to have morphed from Wodell, and then from Wardell.  This gives me eight generations of Odell or O'Dell on my family tree, four in Westchester County, New York, and four in Bedfordshire, England.



(Bedfordshire is also the area where ancestor Isaac Wagstaff lived, in the town of Northill.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for Nancy

Nancy Belva Frazier Howes

Dear Husband's maternal grandmother, Nancy Belva Frazier was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1910, the third child in a family of eight children.  The family moved several times when she was growing up, and she learned to work hard on the family farms, and helping to care for aging grandparents and younger siblings.  She was a hard worker her whole life, teaching and caring for her own family, her husband Otho, and her three children. They also had fun times dancing, camping and fishing.   Nancy Belva was known by the name Belva, but was named after her grandmother :

Nancy Eliza Richards Frazier.  

who was named after her own grandmother, Nancy Richards Pierson, both hardworking, faithful, pioneer women.  


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M is for Marbury

Dear Husband's maternal great grandmother was Mattie Marbury, born June 1892 in Texas.  Her parents were Thomas J. Marbury and Sallie P. Warren.  Thomas was born in the state of Arkansas, but we don't know where or who his parents were.

Mattie married Raymond Henderson in Bellville, Arkansas in 1913, and they were the parents of two children, Clio Lynn Henderson born in 1914 and Clara Gladys Henderson born in 1919.  The 1920 Census shows the family living Merry Green, Arkansas.   Mattie is listed as age 27, and Raymond, head of the household, was age 32.  Cleo was 5 years old and Clara was still under 1 year old.  The Census estimates her birth year as 1923, lists the birthplace as Texas, and both of her parents birthplace is listed as Arkansas.
Mattie died in July of that same year in Sheridan, Arkansas.

Mattie's Parents Thomas and Sallie were married September 23, 1888 in Yell, Arkansas.   They had three children:  Leanord, born 1890, Mattie, born 1892, and Henry born 1894.   Not much else is know about the  Marbury line of our family tree.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Lorentzen


Anna Maragretha Dorothea Lorentzen, my dear husband's great-great grandmother was born October 27, 1827 in  Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark, which today part of Prussia, Germany.  Her mother was Ane Margarethea Jacobsen who was married to Lorentz Lorentzen.  Lorentz was the coachman of King Frederick VI of Denmark, and Margaretha was a cook in the king's palace.   King Frederick and his wife had no male heir, and as the queen was past child bearing age, it was accepted practice for the king to take a mistress in order to produce an heir to the throne.  Ane Margarethea and Lorentz had two healthy young sons, so Ane was chosen to be the King's mistress.  She was a part of the king's court and attended many functions with the king.   When Doris was born, unfortunately for the king, she was a girl, so he still had no male heir, but Doris and her mother were loved by the king, and well provided for by him.  King Frederick died when Doris was only 10 years old, and King Frederick's nephew took over the throne.   Doris and her parents were provided an estate, and Doris received a full education at the palace with other children who were relatives of the King.  After her schooling was complete, Doris left the court, and at age 23 married  Hans Petersen who had a fine farm and raised purebred horses for the government.  They were known as a fine couple, were quite wealthy, and had three healthy children; Josephine, Ernest, and Lorenz.  

Doris's mother had a dream that two gentlemen would come to their door with a valuable message.  When two Mormon missionaries showed up at their door, Doris and her Mother were quickly converted and baptized as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-Day Saints in 1858.   Hans was not as enthusiastic, but he too eventually joined the church, which was not well accepted in Denmark.  The family did much to help the church and its members, especially financially.  In 1863 Doris convinced Hans to emigrate to the United States,  and they sailed from Liverpool England to New York City, arriving  in May of 1863.   This was during the Civil war, so there was some difficulty with their travel, but Hans was able to buy some of the finest stallions and mares available to take with them as they traveled by wagon train  west from Nebraska to the state of Utah.

 Hans wanted to continue on to California to try his hand at mining gold, but Doris was determined to stay in Utah, which was the headquarters of the Church.  They were able to settle on a farm of 20 acres where  Hans eventually continued to make money raising fine horses, but the family gave much of their income to others less fortunate than they were. Two more children were born to the couple, Hans, who died at the age of six years,  and Ezra.  Eventually Doris and Hans were divorced, and Hans remarried.  Doris worked hard to support her children on her own, carding wool and making quilts, and later working as a cook.  She was later asked to learn to be a midwife, which she did, delivering about 1200 babies during her later years, continuing to work until 1919 when she reached the age of 90 years.  She was always generous with whatever skills, money, or other resources that were available to her.   Doris Lorentzen passed away at her home on November 17, 1922.

Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Kennett or Kinnet


According to the current information on Familysearch.org, my fifth great grandmother, Drucilla Margaret Kennett or Kinnet was born in 1758 in Kentucky.  She married Thomas Franklin Collings, Sr, in 1787 in Bullitt, Kentucky.  These records show  that she and Thomas were the parents of 12 children, including my fourth great grandfather, Allen Collings or Collins, who was born in 1796.   The source listed for this information is a gravestone located in the Collins Cemetary  in Dudleytown, Jackson County Indiana, but when I print out the information on that website, only five children are shown.


 As you can see, the photo that I have of this grave marker from findagrave.com is dark and unreadable, so I can only trust that the information listed on these records  is accurate. One comment or note posted at Ancestry.com indicates that this cemetery is located on a farm where the commenter has never found anyone in residence to allow entrance into the Cemetery.  Another comment posted says that Thomas's wife's grave marker or headstone is missing.   (As you may have noticed, spellings of names at this time often had various variations, something to keep in mind when searching out records on your family tree.)  The current records on familysearch.com show that Drucilla's parents were David Kinnet and Mrs. Margaret Kinnet.  There is no source listed for this information.

However, my dear mother, who has spent years trying to find the parents and grandparents of Drucilla Kennett, has found information from the will of a Charles Kennett who married Anne Conwenhower on 12 October 1785 in Nelson County Kentucky.  Charles died in Washington County, Kentucky in 1803.  The will lists sons  Joseph, John, and Samuel, and Daughters Susannah, Nancy, Katty and Drucilla, and an unborn child.   On the marriage records that are available in several sources, Anne's father is listed as Joseph Conwehower.   However, this is not likely to be the family on my family tree, much as we would like it to be, as Drucilla's birthdate is listed as 1758, and Charles and Anne were not married until October 1785.

So, where are the sources for my fifth great grandmother's birth and parents?  My mother and I have been searching records in the Kentucky and Ohio and Indiana areas for many years.  There are quite a few records of Kinnets and Kennetts, mostly families who came to the area shortly after the revolutionary war from Virginia and Maryland, but I have yet to find definitive proof of who Drucilla Margaret Kennnet's parents were.  Does anyone out there have any information on the Kinnet or Kennett family that I have not found?  Anyone??

Saturday, April 11, 2015

J is for Jaques or Jacques

My fifth great grandmother on my maternal grandmother's line is the first of the Jaques (or Jacques) line to appear on my family tree.  Susannah Jaques (married to Joseph Bird, see B is for Bird) was born 17 June 1731 in Woodbridge, Middlesex county, New Jersey.  According to one source of information found on familysearch.org the Jacques family were thought to be French, probably Huguenot.  Susannah's great, great, grandfather, Henry Jaques is said to have been a carpenter who first settled in Newbury, Massachusetts, and later was among the first settlers of Woodbridge, New Jersey back in 1670.  Other sources say that the family emigrated from Stanton, Wiltshire, England.  Susannah's  grandmother, also named Susannah (maiden name Dille or Dell), is listed as a member of the Woodbrigde Presbyterian church in August of 1708.

Susannah and Joseph were said to have six children:    They suffered much during the revolutionary war, with their homes and livestock being taken from them.  One of their sons, Joseph, died during the war, and another Jeremiah was taken prisoner for a time.  Susannah herself died in 1781 in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

source:  familysearch.org

Friday, April 10, 2015

I is for Isaac

My great-great-great grandfather, Isaac Wagstaff, was born in 11 October 1787 in Northill, Bedfordshire, England.  He married Mary Bathsheba Gullians on 12 October 1808.  He became the head gardener and landscaper for Esquire Harvey and lived with his family in the the cottage pictured below, located on the Harvey Estate. The information found at  www.familysearch.org shows that he and Mary were the parents of 11 children, including my great great grandfather, JohnWagstaff, who later emigrated to the United States.  Isaac died on 25 February 1844 at the age of 56 in Northill, with his family gathered around his bedside.




Source:  Family Search


Thursday, April 9, 2015

H is for Howes, Hunsaker, Humberstone, and Harlestone

H is for many names and places on my family tree.  It's no secret that my married name is Howes.  Dear Husband's ancestory goes back to England-- to Staffordshire and earlier, to London. 


William Howes Sr and his wife Sarah Martin Howes   Source:  FamilySearch.org

 William Howes, Sr and his family emigrated to the United States of America in 1871, traveling on the ship Nevada.

H is also for Hunsaker.  My Hunsaker line has been traced back to Switzerland where it was originally spelled Hunsiker. Hans Hunziker was born in Reitnau, Aargua, Switzerland about 1528.  A member of the Mennonite faith, Hartmann Hunsaker was the ancestor one who left Switzerland with his family in 1731 via Rotterdam, Holland on the ship Pennsylvania Merchant and settled in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area.


Sarah Humberstone  Source :  familysearch.org
'
H is for Humberstone.  Sarah Humberstone was the first of her line to come to America with her husband John Wagstaff in 1862, sailing from Liverpool to New York on the ship William Tapscott.  Sarah was born in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England.  The Humberstone line has been extended back to the 1500's in Hertfordshire, England, which borders on Bedfordshire.

Bedfordshire, England  Source:  Wikipedia

Hertfordshire, England.  Source: Wikipedia

H is also for Harlestone, Northamptonshire, England.  I have fallen in love with this little village through a scrapbook that was given as a gift to my great-aunt back in the 1930's by her cousin who lived in Harlestone, now in the possession of my father.  Time and space do not permit me to go into detail about Harlestone, but I plan to revisit Harlestone in my letter S post on April 22nd:  S is for Smith and Storton.

  Harlestone House and Church  Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

G is for Gibby and Grant

The Gibby line and the Grant line of my family tree are two of the few  lines that have been traced back to countries other than England or the USA.  The Gibby line has researched  back to the 1600's in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and the Grant line back to the 1600's in Edinburgh, Scotland.


William Gibby and Catherine Stevenson Gibby    (source: familysearch.com)

William Gibby is one of my paternal great-great-grandfathers.  William was born in 1835 in Slebeck, Pembrokeshire, Wales.  William and his four brothers and two sisters did not get the chance for much education as his family was quite poor.  He and his brothers were apprenticed out as drapers, which as I understand means that they worked in shops that sold fabrics.

In November of 1854 William and his brother John left Wales to emigrate to the United States.  They sailed from Liverpool, England on the sailing vessel Clara Wheeler, bound for New Orleans.  Measles broke out while they were on board, and 22 of the 442 passengers on board died on the trip.  After arriving in New Orleans they traveled by steamship up the Mississippi River to Kansas where the brothers worked on a farm for two years in order to raise money for their trip farther west.  In the summer of 1856 they crossed the plains by covered wagon, driving ox teams in exchange for their board.  William married Catherine Stevenson in 1857 and they settled in the Salt Lake City area and raised 10 children, with William working as a carpenter and a farmer.   He was best known for winning a $500 prize for raising the most wheat from one acre of ground, yielding 8 bushels and 6 lbs.  He died in 1910 at the age of 75.

Ellen Grant Bird

My great grandmother, Ellen Grant, born August 23, 1862 was the first white child born in Gunnison, Utah.  Very few white people were living in the area at the time.  When she was only a few days old, a big Indian came in to see the white papoose, and seeing her abundance of dark hair, said that she was an Indian Papoose and took her from her bed and ran outdoors laughing.  Ellen's father was an interpreter for the Indians, and they often came to see him for help with their troubles.  The Indian thought it all a big joke, but being new to the country and unused to the Indians,  Ellen's mother wasn't much amused by the joke.  It wasn't much longer that she asked to leave Gunnison to visit her parents in the northern part of the state, and she never returned. Ellen's father later returned to try and sell their home and retrieve their belongs, and was told that several of the men he had worked with had been killed by the Indians while they were gone.  Ellen spent the rest of her 91 years in rural Cache County, Utah.  She married Deloss Perley Bird and they raised 9 children.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is for Family Search and Family Tree

Some of you may at this point be asking how I find the time to do all of this family research?   Well, the true confession is that I don't actually spend all that much time doing research on my own.  My mother, my grandmothers, and many other aunties, cousins, and other relatives are the ones who have spent the countless hours writing histories and memoirs, writing letters, collecting family records, and researching in libraries and archives and church and census records to find the names and dates and stories.  Much of their work has been personally shared with me through the years as I have attended family reunions and family genealogy meetings, and both my dear husband and I have quite the collection of books and records and photos.   But the biggest blessing and asset to searching out my family tree has come about in the past decade or two as the access to records over the internet has literally exploded.

There are many resources available out there, but my personal favorite is Familysearch.org.  Anyone can sign up for a free account and have access to family history records submitted and shared by thousands of people.  You can easily discover what information other people have already contributed about your ancestors and family tree to this wonderful database, as well as share your own information, details, and family's history.  You can upload photos and stories, or save photos and stories that are already there to your own files.   You can search millions of available records:  books, catalogs, genealogies, and a wiki.  You can create and print out charts showing your ancestory, your own family tree. You can create your own family history book to preserve your own family's story. You can also make a difference by volunteering to help index and make historical records more searchable online.    The Family Search Blog features posts on a variety of topics including new tools and helps, conferences, and even fun stories shared by people like you and me.

Have you ever visited Familysearch.org?  What are your favorite resources for searching out information on your family tree?

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Edward

Edward is another of our traditional family names.  We have four generations of Edwards, all middle names following different given names beginning with the letter R.  Here are some of my favorite photos of our family's  R Edwards:


Four generations of Edward:  R, Edward, R Edward, R Edward, and O Edward

















R Edward with son R Edward


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Divine Direction

Have you ever wished that you could know what God wants you to be doing in your life today?  Do you feel the need to be spiritually fed and uplifted?  You can received divine direction for your life right now by listening to the words of inspired Apostles and Prophets as they speak the mind and the will of the Lord to we who live on the earth today.  Click here to Watch LDS General Conference Now.   LDS General Conference is taking place this weekend, April 4th and 5th, 2015.  If you have missed the live broadcasts, you can see summaries of them here Conference at a glance.   You will be able to watch the entire sessions here soon.  

Have a wonderful Easter Sunday!  Because our Savior Lives!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for Dunsdon and Dunn

Dunsdon and Dunn are two more surnames from the maternal side of my family tree.

 Sarah Ann Dunsdon was the fourth of seven children born to James and Mary Ann Rose Dunsdon.  She was born in 1835 at  Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire England.  The family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and began the long trip across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States.  Both of her parents and her older brother died of cholera on their journey, and the remaining children were divided up among other families.  She walked barefoot all the way from Missouri to Utah at 15 years of age, saving her shoes from wearing out on the trip.


Before leaving England, Sarah's mother had made plaid shawls for all of the daughters of the family.  At a conference meeting in Utah, Sarah was wearing the shawl and recognized her sister who was wearing an identical plaid shawl.  It was the first time that the sisters had seen each other since their parents' deaths.  At the age of 17, Sarah married Charles Bird mentioned in Thursday's B is for Bird post.  They settled in Mendon, Cache County, Utah, living in their wagon until their house could be built.  Sarah and Charles were the parents of eleven children, including my great grandfather, Deloss Perley Bird.

Wiltshire, England  Source: Wikipedia

The known portion of the Dunsdon branch of my family tree extends back to John Dunsdon, born about 1677 in Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire, England.  


Susannah Dunn was born in 1843 in Nauvoo, Illinois, USA to Simeon A. Dunn and Margaret Snyder Dunn. Her mother died while she was very young, leaving her father with four small motherless children.  He married Harriet A Silver who became mother to these children, and others.  In 1847 the family traveled by wagon to Utah, enduring many hardships along the way, but also seeing many miracles and blessings.  In the early years they gathered wild garlic to cook with beans for soup to sustain themselves.  Susannah married Allen C Hunsaker at the age of 16, and they lived in various locations in Box Elder County, Utah, farming, sometimes dealing with Indian troubles, and raising their five children, one of which was my great grandmother, Eliza Hunsaker Willie.

Hertfordshire, England  Source: Wikipedia

The known portion of the  Dunn branch of my family tree extends back to four generations of men named William Dunn who lived in the late 1500's and early 1600's in Cottered, Hertfordshire, England.


  1. Devon or Devonshire, England.  Source: Wikipedia

D is also for Devon, the county in England where the Collings branch of my family tree originated, which I talked about yesterday.

Don't you just love maps?  I do!  Thanks Wikipedia!

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Collins, or Collings, or Collyns

 C is for Collins, or Collings, or even Collyns, depending on when a person lived, and how the name was spelled at the time.


Eliza Collins, born March 5, 1817 in Spencer County, Kentucky, is my third great grandmother, and the first ancestor on my family tree to bear the name of Collins.  She married Abraham Hunsaker in Quincy Illinois in 1833 and they later migrated to Box Elder County Utah.  Together they had 12 children, one of which was born in Wyoming while crossing the plains on the way to Utah. 



Eliza's parents were Allen Collins, born in 1796 in Bloomington, Jefferson County  Kentucky . . . . 




and Mary (Polly) Broady.  They were both born in Kentucky, which was originally a part of the great state of Virginia.   

As we move back along the Collins Family Tree, the spelling of the name changes from Collins to Collings, and we encounter Thomas Franklin Collings, Sr. (born 1760 in Pennsylvania),   William Edward Collings (born 1725 in Pennsylvania), Zebulon Collings (born 1706 in Pennsylvania), and Sir Anthony Andrew Collings who was born January 4, 1678 in Antony, Cornwall, England.  He was the first of this line to emigrate to the New World and settled in Westmoreland County Virginia, later moving to Charles County, Maryland, where he died in 1754, well before the Revolutionary War.  

I was very excited today to realize that this branch of my family tree has roots in Cornwall, the beautiful area that my fellow A to Z Challenge blogger, Hillary Melton-Butcher often blogs about.  The LDS Family Search website shows this family line extending back through the generations in Cornwall and Devonshire to John Collings who was born in Huish Parish, Devon, England in about 1555.   Someday I hope to be able to visit this beautiful country of my heritage, but for now I'm grateful to be able to learn about and visit it through the internet and fellow bloggers.