Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hannah an Actual Spinster? (better than some things she could have been called...)

On the Family History records, you may notice that we have collected up Hannah, Joanna, and Johanna Vaughan as the same person. Those are common variations of the same name. She appears in several different places at different times: Cusop, Herefordshire; Hay, Breconshire; and Glasbury, Breconshire or Radnorshire (Glasbury was in both counties as the Wye River was the dividing line and kept changing course over the centuries). You will also see on a map that all three places are very close to each other, Cusop practically a suburb of the market town of Hay - even if across the national border of England/Wales. And Glasbury is just around the bend of the Wye with possible shortcuts over the hills of the northern tip of the Black Mountains that would avoid Hay.

I doesn't help that we're dealing with three counties and two countries in this little neighborhood
There is a significant issue with those connections in that Hannah/Joanna appears as the mother of illegitimate children in all three places. John 1789 christened in Hay, is the origin of our surname on the male line. She had a child previously, Thomas 1787, who was christened and buried in Cusop, Herefordshire. And she may have had a daughter Sarah, Christened 1796 in Glasbury - a year before Hannah/Joanna's father Roger Vaughan died in Glasbury.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Uncle John in Union Blue?

He doesn't show up anywhere else and this seems to fit:

Third line down. It could very well be the John Lewis (1822) who was married to Jane Vaughan (1827) and came with Elinor and the handcarts. He showed up for rebaptism in Springville, March 1857 and then disappears from Utah records. It looks like he may have gone to California for work in the gold fields up over the Sierra passes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Handcarts & Ellsworth: Success before Disaster

Andrew Galloway's story of Edmund Ellsworth's divine inspiration for the handcart companies was recorded late in his life. It matches surprisingly well with Ellsworth's nearly contemporaneous remarks recorded in the Deseret News of October 8, 1856. There were only some brief few weeks between the success of the first two companies of handcarts and the disasters of Willie Martin. Some of that tragedy was even anticipated by Ellsworth. I encourage the reading of the full account which can also be found on the Mormon Overland Trail Database.

My particular interest was what he said about those in his company. Grandma Elinor was among them:

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Day I Needed a Blessing

It was just a couple of years ago. One of those days where I was as close to the edge as I ever didn't want to be. With my dad far away, I asked my father-in-law, a real good guy, if he could give me a blessing of comfort and guidance. We planned to go there that Sunday evening.

My wife, our ward Relief Society President, got a call about a family in our neighborhood. Our friends were out of town and their son's step-daughter, playing with her twin sister, had collapsed in outdoor play, stopped breathing, and turned blue. The twin went running for help, found her step-dad and he, having been a Boy Scout, commenced CPR. The girl was breathing when the paramedics arrived but remained unconscious to the hospital and after while the doctors scrambled to figure what was wrong. My wife suggested that we stop by the hospital on the way to her parents' so she could visit with them.

I hate hospitals. I much prefer funerals. My faith in the afterlife is so solid that I appreciate the sense of earthly finality and closure. Hospitals are full of pain, suffering, anxiety, and uncertainty.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The "Well-regulated Militia" IS the National Guard

While not at all the main point, that's my favorite line concept out of the new statement on violent acts in Mormon History from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are like much of the world, sadly, a "warlike people" (Pres. Spencer W. Kimball) and have need of repenting from following false gods. IMO, the militia movement is a "false god."

It is gratifying to see that the statement on our history is pretty much in line with themes I have been promoting since college. It is also in line with what I have been reading and thinking over the years from the Mormon Indian Wars to Mountain Meadows. I have even referenced the Mormon Reformation of 1856-57 and some inappropriately violent fall-out in doing my family history. My friend Ardis at gets cited in that one as well as in the new statement of history from the Church.

I'm not doing this to toot my own horn (or even Ardis's). My purpose is to promote truth until it has swept every continent and called all the Lord's children to come to Him and not rely on the arm (or arms) of flesh, even those generally good among us who make horrifying mistakes at times. Our role is to be better. To love one another as Jesus taught us - not to promote divisions and hatreds that lead to war and violence.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Finding Our Cousins WITH Our Cousins

Happy Mothers Day, Elinor!

Her card was carefully placed on top so I could tell the Sealer at the Bountiful Temple that she was the Matriarch of the whole group of family names we took to be sealed.

It was a lot of fun with typical family confusion to meet up with three of my dad's cousins and one spouse at the Temple yesterday morning. We thought it would be good to get some sealings done together for our shared family. Several of us have been working on this even before the Church put out this great video with Elder Anderson:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

KBYU Radio 1955 - My Mother Was a DJ?!

[Previously posted on last Thursday]

My family has done pretty well saving old items of personal history. Bless my dear paternal grandmother who saved every letter she ever received and in her later years, returned them to the senders! Going through this and other material transcribing letters digitally into family history records, I found the most amazing thing. A card from 1955 with my mother's name on it:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Mom Just Made My Day!

It wasn't her excitement over the Keepa post for her Mothers Day gift. She reminded me that Mothers Day was a week away when I thought it was tomorrow. (Thanks, Mom) It was when I wheeled her into the garage for the shade while we waited for Dad to open the car to help her get in from the chair.

"Where did you get those plants?" She asked.

The Girl from Psychology & Ryan Innes

My boy performed with the Caleb Chapman Bands last night in a great venue - the Masonic Temple on appropriately named South Temple Street (even if named for another Temple).

Caleb Chapman's Hooligans Band with my boy on on bass drum and cymbal
Photo by another boy of mine used without permission (but I don't think he'll sue me)
Caleb has an award-winning jazz music program including international recognition. He is able to connect to Grammy-winning artists who frequently make guest appearances with the band.

One of the famous people last night, of whom I had never heard because I don't watch much "reality" TV talent competition, was Ryan Innes who apparently was a finalist or something on "The Voice."