Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gone to Zion

Winter Quarters just got a bit more real for me.

Winter Quarters, Nebraska Territory. Winter of 1846-47.
The LDS Branch established by Elder John Needham in Llanfoist, Monmouthshire, just couldn't have ended in failure! Well, my ancestors joined the church forty years later up in Durham after the example of their grandmother, Elinor Jenkins Vaughan, baptized in Llanfoist in 1841.

Checking the 1851 Census against the 1841, most of the names of those baptized had disappeared from Llanfoist. Of course, my Vaughans are still there. John Vaughan was to die a few months later and be buried in the location we found on our trip. Some of those had to have gone to gather with the Saints in Zion. Working with some difficulty through Family Search and the Mormon Overland Trail database, I found them.

James and Elizabeth Davies were baptized in Llanfoist in 1842 and 1841, respectively. This appears to be the James Davis (1794-1847) who died at Winter Quarters on an unrecorded date, buried in an unmarked grave. His wife was Elizabeth Sykes Davis (1797-1855). They were apparently re-baptized in Nauvoo, 21 October 1842, indicating that they must have left Britain and immigrated to Nauvoo on the Mississippi in the Summer/Fall of 1842. James and Elizabeth received endowments and sealing in the Nauvoo Temple, January 1846. Elizabeth came to Utah in 1847 with the Smoot/Wallace Company arriving by Sept. 29, and died in 1855. Two of their daughters married Peter Nebeker. We have some good friends who are Nebekers. Looks like their ancestors were friends with ours in Llanfoist.

And one more coincidence in Zion. In the same 1847 wagon train as Elizabeth Davies/Davis was my wife's ancestress, Mary Smithies, who became a wife to Heber C. Kimball counselor in the First Presidency to Brigham Young.

James found Zion. The hearts are turned again.

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