Monday, September 1, 2014

A Descendant of Llewelyn Fawr

As excited as I am to start my Welsh class tomorrow evening, it's making me a bit nervous with the anxieties of an older middle-aged man not sure about starting a college class after 30 some years. The young tend to jump into life-changing ventures like college, missions, and even marriage more excitedly than anxious.

Then I was playing around with BYU's great ancestral connections program (Which Norton seems to think an unsafe site linked as it is to family history information). And I discovered something grand. OK, it's good enough to be a direct descendant of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine even if through the "lacklanded" son. But it was the next few generations that stir my blood - as direct descendant of Llewelyn ap Iorweth - Llewelyn the Great and the Lady Joan, illegitimate daughter of King John. And their daughter Elen who connects to me down through English nobility until, surprisingly, my Welsh Vaughans marry into their descendants in Northern England, Yorkshire and Durham.

Thanks, Mom

We had a pleasant visit with my parents today. I've been thinking a lot recently about a place that was special to my mom and me, Rhododendron Park, Kenmore, Washington:

Amazingly huge and near wild (feral?) Rhododendrons in Kenmore, Washington.
from a nice family blog from Japan (no apparent copyright restrictions)
I worked one Spring and Summer in college at a plant nursery in Orem, Utah (Utah Valley). It almost pained me to help unload plants off of big semis from Oregon. The plants were screaming, "Where are we?!! Who left us in this desert wasteland?!" On some occasions, I feel the same.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Brigham Young writes to the Five Jolly Welshmen

Yes! My good buddy at sent me a copy of Bro. Brigham's letter back to John Lewis and his jolly friends! It's in the public research files (I hadn't found it in the indices yet) so she didn't need to sneak it out of confidential files or anything.

But Springville! Why did it have to be Springville! At least Brigham didn't put "at present" in air quotes.

So far we've determined that the Jolly Welshman did not stay together. At least two of them, Henry Moore and John James, went to the Carson Valley. It also appears that our John Lewis may have gone but kept on going over the Sierra for the gold fields. And, there is a possibility that Jane was still alive and may have remarried in Jacks Valley (south of Carson). More research is needed to firm up these hints.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Valid hitler Comparison

We know (or should know) that no argument can maintain any semblance of rationality when the comparison is made to a certain Austrian corporal. This one is valid because it's, well, hitler.

Dr. Seuss's hitler
Skimming through old newspapers on-line as any good genealogist does, I was startled to see der fuehrer's face. And startled again to see the artist's name. I thought it was worth sharing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Five Jolly Welshmen"

Just discovered, a treasure trove of letters to Brigham Young on-line from the LDS Church History Library. Including this:

John Lewis arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 26, 1856, along with his wife, Jane Vaughan Lewis, their son, John Samuel Lewis (age 9), and mother-in-law Eleanor Jenkins Vaughan (widow). As we had believed, they went to Springville although we still have no information on Jane after arrival.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book of Mormon Proof

A representation of Nephi fashioning the plates for what became part of the Book of Mormon
(From Thanks, Elder Bednar!)
I'm in a good mood just back from Temple service. So without even asking (it's late), I'm just going to cut and past Anonymous D's email message in here with minor edits and a final comment or two:

I was just thinking about proving the Book of Mormon. Of course I know it's not possible. That seems to me to be the point. Just imagine for a minute that you're God, and you are trying to get the point across that the only way you can get your children to come back to you is to trust you? So you give them a book of instruction that essentially explains their situation and pleads with them to trust you. If the whole point is trust, would you give explicit, irrefutable evidence that your book is true or you would ask them to experiment upon it themselves and learn that they can trust you because it works? Especially in the light of the fact that trust/faith seems to be essential in really learning something for yourself, and changing from a fallen/dark being into an enlightened being.