Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Family History A to Z (Check Your Work!)

There is a great set of suggestions for researching and writing family history sketches over at Ardis's Mormon History Blog Keepapitchinin.org. It was very gratifying to get an honorable mention there.

Reading that today, I had a nagging thought that my work wasn't finished on my report on the Davis County East Winds and my Great Grandparents' experience in 1906. There was that confirmation in the 1907 Davis County Clipper about the great east wind storm of October 20 and 21, 1906, but there had to be more to the contemporaneous account from 1906. The one note I found in the "Bountiful Briefs" section about the Giles home destroyed by the winds was all that came up in my digital search.

I went back to check the front page of the October 26th edition to see if I had missed something. Sure enough:

I suppose I could make the excuse that the word "Easter" threw me off thinking it was the holiday not the East Wind. But then even the Mormons of Davis County celebrate that sacred event in the Spring, not in October. While I have heard of "Nor'easters," I'm not sure "Easter" is a common term for a windstorm. Maybe the Clipper was low on big type if not just trying to be too clever. Note the "disasterous" spelling in the next line.

Which brings me to the name "Clipper" itself. I have yet to discover why a newspaper in the Great Basin would have a Clipper Ship on its masthead. There wasn't much nautical activity of that nature on the Great Salt Lake. Maybe it was that a lot of immigrants had come over the Atlantic on clipper ships? Or, could the name possibly have something to do with the famous East Winds of Davis County? See, the problem with history, at least for me, is that every piece of information leads to more questions. I have to keep working to find the answers.

History never ends.


  1. Thanks for the kind words over at Keepapitchinin. Although I seldom comment here, I've been a faithful reader of this blog for a long time. :-)

  2. Now, as to this post itself... :-)

    I wonder if rather than being a local thing, "clipper" wasn't instead a nod to the speed of clipper ships (not unlike the widespread use of the word "telegraph" to name newspapers). Granted, during the second half of the 19th century clippers were no longer cutting-edge technology, but for transoceanic speed they weren't bested by steamships until late in that period.

    However, I also like your guess about the immigrant connection. :-)


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