Jirene's Genealogy Treasures

Genealogical Information of Interest on my Ancestors: Morris and Ellsworth families including Lee, Halladay, Wanslee, Gordge, McFerren, and Blackhurst (England, Ireland, Wales, Australia to the US: Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah and Arizona), and the Butler and Adams families including Hancock, Lind, DeWitt, McCleve, Thetford, and Nielsen (England, Ireland, Denmark to the US: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, Utah, and Arizona).

Jul 18, 2010

Called to Colonize Arizona at 25: David Edward Adams

Much is written about the LDS Pioneers to Utah, however, I was reading some family histories and was impressed by that same pioneering spirit that sent the LDS people to other parts of the country at the request of Brigham Young.  David Edward Adams and his wife, Caroline Henrietta Lind, are part of that story as they were called to colonize Arizona.

As you read below, you will find that this young family moved and colonized some 14 different places in Arizona:  Northern Arizona and the White Mountain areas of Joseph City, Show Low, Forestdale, Linden, Taylor and Pinetop, as well as the southeastern areas of Bryce and Central (near Safford).  It is hard to imagine living the life of a pioneer without all of the modern conveniences we take for granted, such as good roads, fast vehicles, and an abundance of food at every stop.  I hope that as you read this pioneer story that you too will appreciate what our ancestors endured to colonize this great country.

David Edward Adams (known as Edward), was born November 27, 1851, to David and Maria Thetford Adams in Northampton, England.  They had joined the LDS Church and desired to join the other saints in Utah Territory.  Their family's pioneer story to Utah sounds similar to other LDS pioneers in their day.  Edward was five years old when his mother and two younger brothers left England on November 1, 1856, sailing for two months on the Columbia before arriving in New York on January 18 1857.  (His dad had gone ahead to earn money for their passage.)  Their family remained in New York until May, then traveled to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to join the other LDS pioneers.  From there they traveled by covered wagon and oxen to Utah Valley.  Edward and his brother William walked most of the way.  He and his family settled in Mountainville (Alpine), Utah.

In 1876, Edward was called on a mission by President Brigham Young to help colonize Arizona.  He was only 25 years old.  He was courting Caroline Henrietta Lind at the time, and she said she would only go with him if they were married.  They were married on January 24, 1876 in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City.  Edward had to dispose of his land and property, bought the best pair of young mules in town, a new Schuttler wagon and harness (costing $700), and a year's supply of provisions and some farm implements.  Within two weeks these newlyweds were on their way.

They made their way through Kanab, Utah.  They had to leave half of their load in Kanab and would come back for it after they were settled.  After a couple of days, one of his mules had became so bad it could hardly be led.  He had to leave another wagon load, and by the time they made it to Lee's Ferry, they were even worse off.  They carried on and eventually settled at Allen's camp near the Little Colorado River in Arizona (near Holbrook).  He had left so much behind on the trail that during that summer he returned to Kanab three times to retrieve their things.

While at Allen's camp, there were about 60 men and 6 women total.  They build a long dining hall and a huge eight foot wide fireplace.  Edward was appointed the cook and the women assisted him in baking bread and other items in the dutch ovens.  The people at Allen's camp joined another group of people to build a dam across the river, and each company had a canal and irrigated the crops they had planted until a flood took out the dam and the crops died for lack of water.  Edward and friend Alfred Cluff decided to move farther down the river and built a fort to live in, but later relocated to where another settlement (now Joseph City, Arizona).  Times got worse, so Edward and Alfred Cluff decided to rent Show Low Ranch from a Mr. Cooley.  Show Low Ranch was a nice little valley at the foot of the Timberland Mountains, with a good irrigation stream running through it.  Having no vacant houses on the ranch, they hewed and cut logs and soon each of their families had comfortable log cabins.

In 1878, Mr. Cluff and Edward decided to homestead a little valley among the pines about six miles southwest of Show Low Ranch, to which Mr. Cooley was not very happy and tried to dissuade them.  They cleared the land and planted crops nonetheless, and soon they were joined by eight other families.  Their colony was called Forestdale.  (They also named one of their girls Maria Forestdale Adams).  There was no corn in the country, so Edward went to Utah and brought back the first 1,000 pounds of corn.  They did well selling it to the others.  He also began raising dairy cows and had quite a few stock.

After about three years of living in Forestdale, Edward and Caroline decided to visit Utah for Christmas.  He fitted a horse and team and headed north.  They only stayed a few days in Utah once they arrived, as he was worried about his cattle.  His fears were justified, as when he returned to Arizona his cattle were scattered and things were in a sad state.  Mr. Cooley (who was still unhappy with them) had been busy with General Cook in building monuments and putting up signs along the water sheds between the Gila and Little Colorado River.  Troops and Indian Agents were changed at Fort Apache, and apparently the reservation maps were destroyed.  David and Caroline pleaded their case in Congress for remuneration for their losses, but the new Indian Agent wrote Edward a letter telling him to get off the land.

Edward and his family had to move to Ellsworth Ranch and remained there the balance of the winter.  They had traded the last of their cattle for four mules and a heavy wagon, and began a freighting business.  Later they had to move again due to the Indian uprising, this time to Taylor, Arizona.  Edward bought a city lot and some lumber and built another house. He freighted for a while, but he got an offer from John Reidhead for 15 acres of land which afforded an opportunity for homesteading 160 acres total.  Edward accepted and built a house and out-buildings of considerable value, fenced 160 acres, and dry-farmed a large portion of it, as there was no running water within five miles.  They had a surface well which would dry up in the latter part of the season, requiring them to haul their cooking water five miles from the Show Low stream.

Other families soon joined them, a schoolhouse was built, and they called the settlement Juniper.  Through the efforts of Caroline, a post office was obtained.  Settlers submitted names for the post office, but the name Caroline submitted was chosen:  Linden (named after her son Lind, and her maiden name).  Juniper became Linden, and they lived there several years and had good success with their crops and stock, although at times it was necessary to herd the stock at night to avoid having them stolen.  Linden still exists to this day.

Edward thereafter went into partnership with Symon Murphy on a farm.  Times being hard, Murphy wanted to take a team of horses and mules to work on the railroad 200 miles northwest of Flagstaff.  Edward stayed and farmed their land.  When Murphy returned, Edward decided to rent the Scott Ranch on the Show Low Creek and preempted 160 acres nearby.  He built a house and other improvements on the ranch and lived there during the winter.  The ranch was on the road to Fort Apache, and being a well-traveled road by many, his provisions and hay soon ran out so he sold out to the Scotts and moved back to Linden.

While in Linden he and a gentleman named Oscar Reidhead accumulated 1,000 head of ewes.  They would drive them 150 to 200 miles northwest of Phoenix in the winter to the high grass.  This venture turned out to not be too good, so he returned home.  A neighbor, James Lee, talked Edward into a sawmill partnership at Pinetop for $3,000.  The sawmill proved a poor investment at the time, because lack of demand and people were too poor to buy or trade.  However, Lee was charged with an embezzlement charge on another matter and left in the middle of the night.  Edward was now the sole owner of the saw mill with a fair-sized debt, but he was able to pay for the mill in less than one year.

After three narrow escapes of the mill almost burning down, Edward decided to sell the mill and move to the Gila Valley.  He bought 160 acres of property in the Bryce area through a squatters right.  The property was fenced, had good springs, as well as a lumber house with improvements.  He sold the mill for cows and horses and stayed in Pinetop through December, 1896.  Most of his family was stricken with illness, several having typhoid and pneumonia, and the baby Mary (known as May, my grandmother) was sick with no doctor nearby.  Soon their health improved, and they left the Pinetop/Linden area for the Gila Valley.

Upon reaching Bryce, Edward felt the property he had purchased was so rough and covered with big stumps that they decided to buy 56 acres in Central, Arizona instead.  Edward bought the old Central White Rock School house and men helped him haul material to the property.  He built a nice house finished with brick.  Edward would grow and bale hay, and Alonzo Cluff would haul it to Globe for sale. He sold off a couple of acres of his land and purchased fruit trees, which later became a wonderful fruit orchard for his family.

In November of 1905, Edward decided to visit his parents in Alpine, Utah.  He also visited his wife's sister, Marian Lind Williams, who was a widow with six children struggling to maintain her family.  Edward convinced her to come to Arizona and assisted her financially.  Caroline had not been feeling well when Edward had left on his journey to Utah, and she worsened while he was gone those two months.  Her health continued to decline, and she died on September 10, 1906.

Edward and his sister-in-law Marian, both now being widowed and having small children, decided to help each other out with their families, and married on July 11, 1907.  Three additional children were born to them during their marriage.

About the time of Edward's second marriage, a large canal was taken out to irrigate the land above his farm.  Unfortunately, his farm became water-logged, killing his lovely orchard and 40 acres of alfalfa.  Edward had accumulated a good dairy herd as well, so he was able to rent Jim Porter's farm for $600 a year, complete with 40 acres of alfalfa and 40 acres of grain land.  He also borrowed $1,000 from a Safford bank to buy Porter's 16 head of Holstein dairy cows, only because Porter needed the money because he was called on a mission.

The first year crops were bad due to heavy rains breaking the dam and washing out the canal, also spoiling the hay.  His wheat was nearly destroyed by Bryce stock.  Marian's daughters helped harvest and bale what hay was left.  Edward had trouble making the loans and had to leave Porter's ranch, still owing him $18.  Edward traded his other property for 20 acres adjoining the 20 acres he already had, and moved once again to start grubbing mesquite tree stumps, leveling land, subduing alkali, making ditches and fences.  Edward borrowed money again and bought back 13 head of his herd he had sold, and fortunately in two years they had paid for themselves as well as supported the family.  They stayed in Bryce for several years.

In 1919, Edward and Marian went to visit Marian's daughter Elsie Palmer in Salt River, Arizona (near Phoenix).  Marian was quite taken with the country, and Edward was impressed with the pima cotton being sold on the land at the time.  Edward entered into a deal in the Orange Belt near the Arizona Canal on 16th Street, but later discovered his land was only an unimproved rock bed.  He was able to get the people to take the place back, but he lost $500 on the deal.

Edward and Marian returned to Bryce, and with the help of his two sons-in-law, William Butler (my grandfather) and William Watson, they got the crops planted and later sold them for $4,000.  He had tried leasing the land several times thereafter, but got his land back in worse condition than before.  He thought he had sold his land to Mort Merrill, and after a couple of payments the farm was sold for back taxes and water assessments due.  Edward was 81 years old at the time, and it looked like he had lost everything, but after a little more shifting around he came out on top.

In 1933, Edward was now 82 years old, receiving a $20 a month old age pension.  His youngest son took over the place, and he also sold some of the acreage to his daughter and son-in-law.  On December 18, 1833, the first electric lights came to Central, Arizona, and four light bulbs cost $25.  Edward and Marian enjoyed a life of traveling in their senior years, traveling to Utah again to visit family, and also to Phoenix and Prescott.  David bought an accordion and was overheard playing it while in Prescott, so he was asked to perform before 200 people at the Pioneers Home in Prescott.

At 87 years of age, he passed away at his home in Central on June 7, 1939.  Edward left a large posterity in Arizona to inherit the great state he was called upon in his youth to colonize.

Excerts taken from the life story told by David Edward Adams to his daughters, and submitted by granddaughter Lavona A. Cheney.

Jul 5, 2010

My Revolutionary War Ancestors: From Drummer to Serving under Benedict Arnold

This Independence Day weekend prompted me to research which of my ancestors served in the American Revolutionary War.  (It also helped that Footnote.com was offering a free search this weekend!).  I wasn't having too much success (problems with Footnote.com's servers being busy - go figure), so I decided to read blog posts to which I subscribe.

I came upon a blog post (Family History Expos' blog) that suggested when researching Revolutionary War veterans, to also research the databases of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.  I ran a few names from our family history through the DAR database and found some wonderful nuggets of information.  Here's a sampling of what I found:

Josiah Bearce (1755-1845), of New Milford, Litchfield, Connecticut:  He was a Private, and served under Captains Reuben Bostwick and Benjamin Stone.  He also served under Colonels Silliman and Fellows.

Supply Reed (1754-1847), of Chelmsford, Massachusetts:  He was a Private, and served under Captains Parker and Ford, as well as Colonel Jonathan Reed.

John Byam (1761-1835), also of Chelmsford, Massachusetts:  He was a Private, but was also a drummer.  He served under Captains Minot More and Foster, as well as Colonels Reed and Howes.

Jacob Ward (1756-?), of Somerset, Connecticut:  He was a Private serving under Captain Ames Walbridge and Colonel Charles Webb.

Stith Parham Sr (1730-1793), of Sussex County, Virginia:  Although he didn't fight in the war, he was recognized for his patriotic service in Virginia by furnishing supplies.

Israel Ellsworth (aka Israel Ellsworth Holliday) (1755-1834), of Pittsford, Rutland, Vermont:  He served in the Green Mountain Boys unit under Captin Peleg of Sunderland, Vermont.  He also was on the "line" with Cols. Ethan Allen (founder of Vermont) and Benedict Arnold (traitor for the British).   

Side note:  Benjamin Franklin wrote that "Judas sold only one man, Arnold three million."  Funny coincidence, though:  my sister's husband descends from Benedict Arnold.  Small world!

Although I don't know these relatives that well, I do know a little more about Israel Ellsworth Holliday because of the family "legend."  His true name is Israel Ellsworth, and the family story* is that following the war he disappeared about 1790, leaving his wife Hopestill Stevens in Pennsylvania with five children.  No one knew of his whereabouts until his Revolutionary War Pension Application in 1832 (which I did retrieve from Footnote.com; to be shared in a later story).  It seems Israel abandoned his family, assumed his mother's maiden name (Holliday), moved to Virginia, then married Ann Bennett.  He and Ann made their home in Fairfax, Virginia, and had four children.

Hopestill Stevens Ellsworth's version of the events (as recorded by a gentleman named Caleb Hendee) was that Israel, "in a fit of insanity," went into the woods and never was seen afterwards.  Hopestill left her Pennsylvania home and returned to her family in Pittsford, Vermont.  There she married again to a Mr. Patterson, with whom she lived for some years until he left her.  Later she married Willard Seaton.  It seems they were well matched, "both bad enough," and they lived together for some years.  Thereafter he left her and Hopestill went into Upper Canada and there married a fourth time.

Though I digressed into divulging "family dirt" about my ancestors (admit it, it's the fun part of genealogy!), I do have a sincere gratitude for their serving this great Country in its infancy.  I know a blog post remembering them does not compare, but learning these little nuggets about them instills in me a great pride.  Thank you, Patriots.

The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree.  
~Thomas Campbell~

*See book on Ancestry.com called Our Ellsworth Ancestors.

Jun 13, 2010

Merab Emma "Belle" Lee Morris: Polygamist Daughter with that "Bad Lee Blood"

Merab Emma “Belle” Lee was born in Harmony, Washington, Utah on 14 October 1868, the daughter of John Doyle Lee and his 18th wife, Anne Gordge.   She had an older brother, Samuel James Lee (nicknamed Jimmie Gibble), who was born 14 March 1867 in New Harmony, Iron, Utah, and a younger brother, Albert Doyle Lee, born 12 November 1872 in Beaver, Beaver, Utah.
Anne Gordge and John Doyle Lee.

Belle recalled:  "At the age of two years or thereabout, my father, mother and family moved to Skutampaw.  Mother, tiring of frontier life, became dissatisfied and returned to the East, taking with her my younger brother, Albert, age three months, and leaving myself and older brother, Samuel James, with Father."

After her mother's departure, she and her brother were under the care of stepmother Emma Batchelor (Lee, French) of England.  Emma Batchelor had recalled that Anne named her little daughter Merab Emma for her mother and sister wife, but somehow the nickname “Belle” was adopted.  Folklore says that it was because she was such a pretty child that her Father once called her “the belle of the ball.”

The family moved from place to place as all pioneer people did, and Belle was separated from her brother Samuel James (they were 6 and 4 years old at the time).  Her Father moved at this time to the Big Colorado River at the point bearing his name, “Lee’s Ferry.”  Here he constructed the first large boat to cross the river.  He also built the road over a part of the mountain known as Lee’s Backbone.  He was known far and wide for his courage as a pioneer, going first to blaze the trail and open the way for other pioneers.

Belle remember seeing that great boat, standing on end up against a large adobe building, waiting to be skidded into the river for them.  The boat proved to be a success and a wonderful help in building up Northern Arizona.

Stepmother Emma Batchelor also recorded that John Doyle Lee and his sons (including Samuel James) had worked to put in a dam in the Paria River so they could get water to their land (Lonely Dell at Lee’s Ferry).  They cleared the land and planted fruit trees and vines, with a generous area for a vegetable garden.  He traded many items with the Indians:  horses, blankets, clothing, cloth, beefsteak, grape roots, shrubs and seeds.

Belle recalled while living at Lonely Dell there was a company of 73 missionaries sent from Utah to explore different parts of the country so that new homes could be made for the LDS people coming from the East.  There were eight or ten men in this company that came to the ferry under the leadership of Daniel H. Wells.  This was a season of the year when the river was very dangerous.  Her Father’s ferryman, J. Johnson, seeing the danger of the river, refused to ferry the missionaries across, but the men seeming to be in such haste would not heed Johnson’s warning, and attempted to cross on their own accord.  When the boat reached the current it began to dip water.

Her step-brother Ralph, knowing the boat would soon capsize, hurried out with a skiff to rescue what he could.  Their belongings all went down. Ralph had all the men safely on the skiff except Jacob Hamblin and Byron Roundy.  Knowing that Roundy was an expert swimmer, Ralph turned to get Hamblin who said, “Save me.  I can’t swim.”  When he returned to get Roundy, he had gone down and was never seen again.

When all were safely on shore and the excitement was over, Belle and three of her sisters were given the privilege of hanging the missionaries’ slippers out to dry.  They were made of pretty flowered Brussels carpet with leather soles.  They were directed to hang them by the toes over the posts of the wagon boxes and other similar places.

The Company took supper at her Father’s house that night.  Her Father sat at the head of the table, which was spread with the whitest of linen and the very best food that they had as pioneers.  Everyone was served and served alike.

Belle also recalled another time at high water when some Indians had traveled to and from Utah to get provisions and wanted to cross at the ferry. The last company crossing the river had left the skiff on the opposite bank.  In order to help the Indians, Brother John risked his life by swimming across to bring the skiff over.  The Indians all stood in awe, thinking that every instant he would go down.  When they saw him safely on shore, the shouts and cheers were equal to a war whoop.  They wished to reward him with their valued blankets, beads and other things -- which amounted to a great deal of money – but he refused.  “Friendly acts as this and many others made a tried and true friendship between the Indians and my people,” Belle had recorded.

Another memory was when her Father and Ralph were out in the Buckskin Mountains hunting cattle and got lost for five days without food or water.  Ralph was just a small boy at the time, and her Father was afraid that if they did not find their way soon, Ralph would starve.  The only possible resource that her Father could think of to save Ralph’s life was to cut off the ears of the colt (a yearling) and roast them.  Ralph, who was riding the colt, refused, saying he would rather starve.  A few moments later they found their way and soon arrived where everyone was anxiously waiting.

This colt was always looked upon as a cherished relic to the family.  Her Father’s request was that each of Rachel’s children and his orphan children (Belle and Samuel James), should be given a colt from this one colt.  He also gave each of them a calf from some of their most choice cattle.  Belle remembers she received two horses and two cows, and she cherished those memories her entire life.

There is some dispute as to why John Doyle Lee and wife Rachel and sons had to leave the ferry.  One source records that they had lost the ferry, but Emma Batchelor Lee recorded that since most of the work at the ferry “looked good,” John Doyle Lee and his wife Rachel and sons had to leave to work another new ranch.

Emma Batchelor Lee wondered what would happen to little Belle. Emma already had three little girls, but “Aunt” Rachel only had Amorah, and they asked Belle if she wanted to go live with Aunt Rachel.  So it was arranged, and little Belle went to live with Aunt Rachel.  They moved to Moabi, Arizona.  Belle would remain a member of that family until her marriage.

Their Moabi home was located near a spring, and the water was used to irrigate a portion of the tillable land and for domestic uses.  This Moabi home and spring was known throughout Utah and Northern Arizona as a stop for travelers going to and from each place as a place of hospitality.

Belle remembers that on their Moabi farm they milked a number of cows and made cheese and butter.  They also raised vegetables of different kinds.  Travelers were supplied with what they needed, whether they could afford them or not.

Belle’s Father was a man of discipline.  Each child was given their separate duties, and were taught and expected to fulfill those duties.  Though strict, he was a very kind and loving father, and in return, he was loved and respected by all his children.

One task she recalled was with regard to gardening.  They raised small white navy beans which they would shell out as soon as they were ripe into pint jars.  It was the younger children’s responsibility to pick up one pint of beans in the morning and one pint in the afternoon.  Joseph Willard and Belle were near the same age, and he didn’t care to do as he was expected.  Joseph Willard would play or find another excuse for not doing his share until Belle finished.  Rather than see him punished, Belle would help him against the protest of others.

Belle recalls that they were in great danger living in Moabi, as there were three tribes of Indians living nearby.  Two of the tribes, the Navajos and the Utes, were very savage.  The Oarabi (or Moquis) were friendly and civilized.  A son of the Navajo Chief had been killed by some prospectors in Southern Utah, and this aroused their hostility to the pitch of war.  One of their traditions was to kill one of the offenders as they saw fit, so they turned on the White people for revenge.

There was an old prospector named Boran living with them at the time who was afflicted with a white swelling on his leg and was bedfast.  The Navajos knew this, and the Chief came with ten of his warriors and wanted them to give them Boran so they could torture and kill him as they pleased, to pay the price of their man.  Belle’s Father said, “No, we will all die together.”  Belle was afraid they would torture all of them, so they prepared to defend themselves as best they could.  They piled all their firearms and ammunition on a table and made ready to fight.  The Chief argued with her Father for some time, and when he saw that they would not give up, he laughed and said we were afraid.  He commanded his warriors to dismount with him and asked that they smoke the peace pipe together.  Not using tobacco at all, Father sent Ralph (who did smoke) out to smoke with them.  This was a sign to all that peace could be had, and they were firm and true thereafter.

While in Moabi they became friends with some of the Indians. Tuby, the old Indian Chief of the Oaribi tribe was one of the first Indians to join the Church.  He and his wife Kalashnimki (Cocheniman) were baptized during President Young’s time.  The old Chief was very religious.

His wife Kalashnimki’s name was changed to Cocheniman due to a tradition of the Indians.  If by accident one lost a finger, an eye, or any part of their body, their names were changed.  It so happened that she had lost a finger, which is the reason her name was changed.

Many times the Chief and his wife ate at their house, and Belle was glad that theyhad came.  It was a great novelty to the children to have a Chief in your home.  They were very kind-hearted people, and his wife was like a mother to Belle.  Belle stated, "Being left without my own mother, she always brought me some small token for which I was so grateful. I, as all other pioneer children, had but very few toys and luxuries. It was the joy of my heart to see the old lady come."

Belle’s last remembrance of her father was when she was a little past seven years of age when he went back to Utah.  He was embracing and bidding all goodbye. “When it came to me, I was not there. They found me, with my small roll of worn quilts and clothes which I had gathered together, huddled in a corner of the wagon ready to go along, and oh, how my heart was broken when Father told me I could not go. He kissed me and put me and my belongings out. I cried until I cried myself to sleep, and when I woke up I was still crying." 

Belle was baptized into the LDS Church when she was eight years old.  She was baptized by Brother Joseph, who was in charge of their small Sunday School.  Belle remembers enjoying the Sunday School and that they all took much interest in it.

Later the family moved from Moabi to Snowflake Arizona, and from there to Springerville, Arizona, then on to the Gila Valley in Graham County, Arizona.  By this time Belle had reached the age of 12.

Belle married George Lumpkin Morris when she is 14, who was also a member of the LDS Church.  Their wedding date was recorded as 3 February 1883, in Safford, Graham, Arizona.  George was born 20 Mar 1853 in Calhoun, Gordon, Georgia, son of Gad Morris and Elizabeth Wanslee.  She became the mother of seven children, of which she raised five to maturity (two were buried in infancy).  She took pride that all five of her remaining children were all married and had taken upon themselves the duty of raising families of their own.

In 1904 she made a trip to Idaho and there found her own mother and two brothers, James and Albert.  It was a great rejoicing to renew their love after thirty-five years of being separated, and "thrown on the world to practically care for ourselves."

“During all my life from marriage I have tried to make myself useful to my fellowmen, especially in rendering service and comfort to the sick and afflicted, and caring for the dead.”

George died 15 Jan 1921 in Safford, Graham, Arizona, after suffering internal injuries from falling off the roof of a building.  Emma died some 24 years thereafter on 21 Nov 1945 in Gerber, Tehama, California.  (It is assumed she was living with her daughter Edith Morris Robinson prior to her death.)

Belle’s father, John Doyle Lee, was later executed by the U.S. Government on 23 March 1877, at Mountain Meadows, Washington, Utah, for his part in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.   Writer Juanita Brooks wrote that the descendants of John D. Lee were rejected, refused admittance to clubs, kept out of offices, and were never considered on the same social level as others.  Children in the lower grades could not join in the games at recess.

Belle was my Dad’s grandmother, and he too experienced a little of this ostricization.  He recalls being told:  “You are part of that Lee family – you have that bad Lee blood.”


This history was written based on these sources:
(1) History of Merab Emma Lee, a descendant of John Doyle Lee, http://www.wadhome.org/lee/chapter_20.html

(2)  Emma Lee, by author Juanita Brooks, Copyright 1978, 1984, Utah State University Press, ISBN O-87421-121-2.
(3) Letter from Edna L. Brimhall to Louise Butler Morris May 24, 1958.  Ms. Brimhall indicated in the letter that the history was recorded on March 3, 1931, by Edith Morris Robinson, daughter of Emma Merab Lee, who was living in Gerber, California.  Edith recorded in 1931 that they had just located Belle’s brother, Samuel James, in Portland Oregon, whom Belle had not heard from in 12 years.  Samuel James was pleased to hear that they were trying to write some family history.  Edna also indicated she knew her Aunt Belle well.  She remembers that when her father died, Aunt Belle was there for them for a few days, and lived up to all that she had said about rendering service and comfort to people.  She was known far and wide for her services and good help.

May 3, 2010

Proof that We're Wacked (Yes, My Mom and Dad ARE Related!)

Here's living proof that our family is definitely wacked.  YES - My Mom and Dad ARE related:

(Click on the photo to enlarge it and to save it as your own.  If you want a copy without the writing on the photo, please email me via my profile.)  

I have indicated on the photo my Mom's ancestors, as well as my Dad's ancestors.  Now - the story:

Nancy Jane McFerrin (seated in center of photo) and her husband, John McCleve, emigrated from Ireland to join the LDS Saints in Salt Lake.  They crossed the plains with their seven children, however, John McCleve died just three days before they were to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley.  After Nancy Jane McFerrin McCleve got to Salt Lake, she later married David Ellsworth and had more children.  My Mom descends from Nancy's daughter by John McCleve, Margaret McCleve (and her husband Mosiah Lyman Hancock).  My Dad descends from Nancy's son by David Ellsworth, Davisel Ellsworth (and his wife, Emma Ann Halladay).

Granted this was many generations ago, but this excuse ("my parents are related") comes in handy when I do something stupid.

Rebecca Bearce - Probably One of the First Indians to Join the LDS Church

I have had a copy of a 125-page book in my possession for many years, simply called "Rebecca Bearce."  I knew we came from the Bearce line, and that they were Indians who descended from the famous Indian, Massasoit. As for that, I didn't know much more.  However, I went searching for how I am connected to Rebecca Bearce, and in short, here's my lineage to her:
  • Me
  • My mom Louise (b. 1925 Hubbard, Arizona) 
  • Her Dad William Franklin Butler III (b. 1891 Taylor, Arizona)
  • His mom Mary Hancock (b. 1872 Leeds, Utah)
  • Her dad Mosiah Lyman Hancock (b. 1834 Kirtland, Ohio, Nauvoo pioneer, buried at Hubbard Cemetery near Thatcher, Arizona)
  • His mother Clarissa Reed (b. 1814 Ackworth, New Hampshire, Nauvoo pioneer)
  • Her mother Rebecca Bearce (b. 1784 New Milford, Connecticut, Nauvoo pioneer, but died near Mt. Pisgah, Iowa, while crossing the plains).
Although this book is titled in her name and is 125 pages, it had a total of 6 pages dedicated to her personal history (the remainder was a history of her ancestors' Indian tribes).  This post, however, is dedicated just to Rebecca Bearce.

Rebecca Bearce - from life in Connecticut to her death while crossing the plains with the LDS

Rebecca Bearce was born 30 September 1785, in New Milford, Connecticut to Josiah Bearce III and Freelove Canfield Bearce. She was named after her paternal grandmother, Rebecca Baldwin (the daughter of John Nauasee Baldwin and Mercy Caroline, the daughter of Waramaug.)  Rebecca's father, Josiah III, was about ¾ Indian and ¼ white; her mother, Freelove, was ½ Indian and ½ white; making Rebecca about 5/8 Indian.

New Milford is a 300-year-old town located on the Housatonic River in the western part of Connecticut, between Danbury and Litchfield.

She grew up in the town of New Milford where the Indian population was dwindling due to sickness, disease and poverty.  Most of the Indians had either moved farther west, intermarried and become part of the white man's world, or died.  Some of Rebecca's family continued to intermarry with Indians and retained their Indian identity for another hundred years, such was the case with her younger brother Gideon, the Great Grandfather of Franklin Elewatum Bearce. Rebecca, however, chose to accept the white man's ways and assimilate that new culture.

The cultural changes of her day were not only eradicating the New England Indian traditions but, at the same time, the old ways of the English colonists were fading from memory. The American Revolution, in which her father fought, ended just two years before her birth. The Constitution was written, the Federal government formed and the first State, Pennsylvania, was admitted to the Union when she was only two years old. She was four years old when George Washington was elected president. This young country was melting English, German, Irish, Scandinavian, Dutch and Indian cultures together and creating America.

Sometime between 1800-1805, Rebecca met and married John Reed of Acworth, New Hampshire.  John was born in Acworth, 12 Oct. 1783, to Supply and Susannah (Byam) Reed (or Reade).  Supply Reed (6) was the son of John Reade (5) the son of Ralph (4), and John (3), Ralph (2), William Reade (1).  Supply was an American patriot and answered the call of the Minute Men on April 19th,  1775.

He was a private under Col. Moses Parker of Chelmsford, Mass., about 10 miles north of Concord, Mass.  Although he saw no action in the first day of the American Revolution, he was called out again on subsequent alarms for a total of 40 days in the first year and a half of the war. Later, in 1780, when the military was asking men to sign up for six month terms, Supply answered the call by enlisting for one of these six month tours. 

John Reed was the second of thirteen children of Supply and Susanna. At age six, however, his only older brother drowned, making him the leader and example to his younger brothers and sisters.  As a young man, John found his way to New Milford, Connecticut where he met, and married, Rebecca Bearce. They returned to Acworth, N.H. to make their first home by John's family. (22: p.4-7, 14-21)

Rebecca had black hair, John's was auburn. He was not a tall man if he was built like his father, whose military papers list him at 5 feet 6 inches. Yet John must have been a strong man as he was a farmer his younger years and later worked as a blacksmith. 

This young couple wanted a family and anxiously awaited the arrival of their first child. Excitement built as the months passed but, the anticipation was replace with sorrow as their first baby was stillborn. Again and again they tried to have a child but, after the first four babies were all stillborn, the couple became discouraged and felt they would never have a natural child. They decided to take in a young baby by the name of Thomas Henry Green, who was born 15 May 1808. Henry, as he was called, was less than one year old when John and Rebecca received him to raise as their own. They must have been delighted to finally have a child. It was not long thereafter that they realized they were about to have another one of their own. They must have been very fearful as the months passed awaiting the arrival of this baby.  Fear was changed to joy as the baby was born healthy and strong.  Over the next seven years they had four children born in Acworth, N.H.:

1.     Lee, b. 27 Jan 1810, d. 15 Jan 1895 at Farmington, Ut; m. (1st) 15 Dec 1828 at Rome, Ohio, Nancy Babcock. They separated, he m. (2nd) Eliza Jerls, b. 15 Dec 1828 near Raleigh, N.C., daughter of Henry and Penny (Grey) Jerls; d. 23 Mar 1911 at Charlotte. Ia. 
2.     Caroline, b. 1 Nov 1812, d. 23 Apr 1872; m. (1st) 2 Dec 1831 Ira Beckwith, b. 27 Jan 1800, d. 1838 at New Lyme, Ohio; m. (2nd) Dec 1843 Hezekiah Platt, b. 20 Oct 1794, d. 3 Dec 1863.
3.     Clarissa, b. 18 Dec 1814; d. 17 Jan 1860 at Salt Lake City, Ut.; m. 29 Mar 1833 Levi Ward Hancock, b. 7 Apr 1803 at Springfield, Mass., son of Thomas and Amy (Ward) Hancock; d. 10 June 1882 at Washington, Ut.  They were separated, she m. (2nd) 11 Apr 1854 at Salt Lake, Thomas Jones White, b. 17 Jan 1823 at Dorson, Herefordshire, Eng., d. 17 July 1885 at Harrisville, Ut.
4.     William Willard, b. 11 Mar 1817, d. 17 Feb 1887; m. (1st) Eleanor Schafer, b. 19 Mar 1816 at Arcadia. N.Y. d. 23 Oct 1904.  They separated, he m. (2nd) Talutha _______ b. about 1851; they separated, he m. (3rd) Skippie A. Lyons, b. 23 June 1859.

In the early 1800s. families were out of New England into the frontier of western New York and Ohio. The construction of the Erie Canal led the way, followed by artisans of various trades and then by farmers looking for new lands to cultivate. Rebecca and John decided to leave their home and John's family in Acworth, N.H. and make a new life in upstate New York. They traveled first to New Milford to visit Rebecca's family and talk to them about the opportunities of the opening frontier. Rebecca's sister, Sarah Elliot and her family, moved to Penfield, Monroe Co. (near Rochester) N.Y. about 1820, which was about the time that Rebecca and John also moved there. Rebecca's parents followed them to Penfield about 1825. It was probably in New York that the next two children were born. The records were not well kept on the frontier as they had been back in New Hampshire:

5.    Susanna. b. __________, died at about two years of age from scalding.
6.     John, b. ___________, m. Henrietta Meade, they had one daughter who died at birth.  John died Oct. 1846 at Keokuk, Iowa.

Rebecca and John did not stay long at Penfield. Perhaps the tragic death of their little two year old daughter made them feel like moving on to a new location. From upstate New York, pioneers were spilling over into the Ohio River valley.  John and Rebecca next moved to Rome, Ohio, where four of their remaining five children were born: (22: p.7)

7.    Joel Goss, b. 22 Apr 1824, d. 26 Feb 1899 at Camden, Ark; m. (1st) 25 June 1845 in St. Louis, Mo. Harriet Louise Steed, b. 20 Nov 1826 in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, Eng., d. 25 Nov 1887 at Carrollton, Ill; she was the daughter of William and Hannah (Turner) Steed. He m. (2nd) 10 Dec 1891 Tillitha Steed, sister of his first wife, she was b. 22 Mar 1838 in Great Malvern, Eng.
8.     Lydia, b. 15 May 1827, d. 17 May 1912 at Farmington, Ut; m. 16 Aug 1845 at Nauvoo, Ill. Henry Steed, b. 24 May 1817 at Mathon, Worcestershire. Eng.; d. 8 Oct 1890 at Farmington, Ut. Henry was the son of Ann Steed and ___________.  Henry and Lydia were married by her brother-in-law, Levi Ward Hancock.  This was a second marriage for Henry.
9.     Laura Lucinda, b. 22 May 1829, d. 22 Nov 1903 at Farmington, Ut. m. 13 Dec 1846 at Keokuk, Iowa, Thomas Steed, b. 13 Dec 1826 at Great Malvern, Worcestershire, Eng., son of Thomas and Charlotte (Niblett) Steed. He died 26 June 1910 at Salt Lake City, Ut.

In November 1830, there began to be considerable excitement in the area around Rome, Ohio, on the subject of religion. A man, by the name of Parley P. Pratt, was travelling through the countryside telling of a book that was the history of Christ's visit and teachings to the ancient inhabitants of the American continent. The book was called the Book of Mormon and those who believed in it were referred to as “Mormons.”  Many converts stepped forward requesting baptism into this new Church.  One of these early converts was a well known and respected young man of the community by the name of Levi Ward Hancock.  He was baptized in November and ordained an Elder a few days later.  He began immediately to preach the gospel throughout the countryside where he was well known.

Levi's home was in Rome, Ohio. Here, he was well known and respected by John and Rebecca Bearce Reed. As Levi began to preach the gospel, members of the Reed family were some of the ones to listen intently to what he had to say. The date of their baptism is not known but it appears they were probably baptized, by Levi, sometime in 1831.

Just six months after the Church was organized, its leaders felt a concern for the Lamanites, or Indians. As a result, Section 32 of the Doctrine and Covenants was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. In it Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer and Ziba Peterson were sent on a mission, to the west, to preach to the Indians. Enroute, they stumbled on a very receptive group, in the area of Kirtland, Ohio. Soon there was a larger congregation here than there was back in New York. It was while they were in Ohio that Levi Ward Hancock, and others, joined the Church. While the four original missionaries continued on, toward the Mississippi River, to preach to the Indians, Levi, a newly ordained Elder, converted Rebecca Bearce, perhaps one of the first Indians to join the Church in latter times.

As one of the first, if not the first, Indians (Lamanites) to join the Church, Rebecca, in part, helped to fulfill the prophecies and intent of the Book of Mormon as stated by Moroni when he said it was a “record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites – written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; … by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation – written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed – to come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof ... to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever -- and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations." (Book of Mormon title page.)

Rebecca and John were so happy to receive the news of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ that they named their next baby after the bearer of that glad message:

10.    Levi Ward, b. 15 Nov 1831; d. 30 Nov 1893 at North Point, Ut., m. (1st) 1852 Matilda Eve Pettit (marriage performed by Samuel Alger, a brother-in-law of Levi Ward Hancock). She was b. 4 Apr 1837 at Hempstead. N.Y.; d. 20 Mar 1869 at Salt Lake, Ut.  She was the daughter of Ethan and Margaret (Ellsworth) Pettit, and sister to Margaret Pettit, the wife of Ira Beckwith Reed. He m. (2nd) 8 May 1879 at Salt Lake City, Ut, Augusta Larson, b. 8 June 1851 at Hjelsted, Sweden; d. 25 Aug 1923 at Fairfield, Id.

In early 1831, Joseph Smith, Prophet of the LDS Church, moved with the Church to Kirkland, Ohio. Soon thereafter, Levi Hancock was sent on a mission to Missouri and after his return home, in May 1832, he records in his journal that he  “went to Rome, lived a while with John Reed, then went to Chagrine and stopped with Solomon (Hancock, a brother), for a few days when the Prophet Joseph Smith sent for me... I told Joseph how I had felt on the way. I also told him about the girl that I left and how sorry I had been that I did not tell him before I went.  He said not to mind, that the Lord had a girl for me that would suit me better than she would if I had of married her. ‘I hope you will not marry soon. I want you to do some work for me.’ I told him I would do the work and was soon to work building his desk and room.”  (47: p.50-51)

During this time, one of Rebecca and John Reed's daughters, Clarissa, was working in the home of Joseph and Emma Smith, in Kirtland, Ohio helping out with housework. No doubt, Levi knew Clarissa as he was well acquainted with her family in Rome but, as she was eleven years younger than he was, he had probably not given her much thought. In 1832, Levi was 29 and Clarissa was almost 18.

It seems Joseph Smith was somewhat of a matchmaker for this couple and arranged to bring them together. Levi Ward Hancock continues, “about this time Joseph called on me to go to Rome with a hired girl by the name of Clarissa Reed, who had been living with him. I went and returned with her in about two weeks…

“It is now March, 1833, and we had not a place to worship in. Jared Carter went around with a subscription paper to get signers.  I signed up two dollars.  He made up a little more than thirty dollars and presented it to Joseph.  The Lord would not accept it but gave a command to build a Temple.

"I helped my father to move to Kirtland. I had married Miss Clarissa Reed on the 29th of March 1833. I had obligations against the estate of three hundred dollars. I told my folks to sell and send the money to Zion on all they could spare.  They did it and I gave up the note.  Father bought a place in the town of Kirtland. My wife and I lived with them. I signed a note for fifty dollars toward the Temple and went to work on the Temple whenever I could… In the fall I had to guard the Temple walls for some men had threatened to tear it down and at times it grew worse and worse. (47: p.52-53)

At this time, John and Rebecca Reed also moved from Rome to Kirtland, Ohio to work on the Temple. John did the blacksmith work on the Temple between 1833 and 1836. While living in Kirtland, Rebecca, who was just three months short of her fiftieth birthday, gave birth to their youngest child.  He was named after a son-in-law, Ira Beckwith, the husband of their oldest daughter, Caroline.

11.    Ira Beckwith, b. 25 June 1835 at Kirtland, Ohio: d. 8 May 1872 at North Point (SLC) Utah; m. 18 June 1858 at Mona, (or Clover Creek) Utah to Margaret Pettit, b. 1 May 1844 in Lee Co., Iowa d. 16 Feb 1923. (22: p. 20)

Devoted converts to the Mormon religion, John and Rebecca (Bearce) Reed endured the hardships of anti-Mormon prejudice in Kirtland, and moved with the Saints to Nauvoo, Illinois.  Here, for a short time, peace seemed to be possible and the family enjoyed spending time together.  Rebecca, and some of her married daughters and spend many enjoyable hours conversing as they carded wool, spun thread on an old spinning wheel and made their own cloth and clothing.

The peace was not to last long however. In 1844 the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were assassinated and the mobs threatened the destruction of any Mormons who remained in Illinois. Not wanting to leave their beautiful city before the completion of the Nauvoo Temple, men and boys were put on armed guard around the town to allow the workers to continue building.  Boys, too young to build, were formed into the “Whistlin’ and Whittlin’ Band.”  As suspicious looking strangers came into town to spy on the Mormons, these young boys would open their pocket knives and begin carving on a stick and whistling a tune. They would casually follow the stranger around town whistling and whittling as they went. Different tunes were recognized to have various meanings to the other boys in the Band, who would then open up their knives, pick up a stick, begin whittling and following the stranger as they joined in on the same tune. It could be argued that this was not a very hospitable way to treat strangers but, at this point in their history, the could not afford to be as hospitable as they had previously been. The Saints knew they would soon have to leave their homes and much work was needed to complete the Temple before they wanted to leave. At least one of Rebecca's grandsons, Mosiah Hancock, was a member of the Whistlin' and Whittlin' Band, and it is likely that her two youngest sons, who were about the same age as Mosiah, would also have been members of this humorously famous group.
Even before the Temple was completed, Temple work was begun on a rush basis. Families were sealed together and other ordinances performed. Eventually, the mobs were so threatening that a decision was made, by Brigham Young, to leave Nauvoo in the bitter cold of February 1846, rather than to wait until the more moderate spring. The Mississippi River was frozen over, which was a blessing in disguise as it allowed many of the fleeing Saints to cross over in the middle of the night. In a short time, the residents of Nauvoo had to choose whether they were going to move on with the Church or stay and rely on the mercy of the merciless mobs. Nauvoo, at this time, was the largest city in the state of Illinois. Moving this many people in an organized manner, in the dead of winter, with little time to prepare and in the face of angry enemies was a monumental task.

The first goal of the Church was just to get the Saints out of Nauvoo safely and across the river. Few people had adequate provisions, on such short notice, to last them more than a couple of weeks at the most. The first night of the exodus, February 4, the temperature was below freezing. Thousands were homeless with on1y the thickness of a canvas tent, or less, between them and the elements. Nine babies were born and other sick and elderly people died. Within a month, Brigham Young had the first wagon train, of over 500 wagons, rolling across southern Iowa. Short on provisions, many of the men would stop briefly to work for local farmers in exchange for food supplies. Fences and bridges were quickly built, fields plowed, rocks cleared from land by plant grain on the public land where later followers would tend it as they passed and, eventually, yet other pioneers, would harvest it and bring it with them as they came.

As the first wagon train began to move in March 1846, the ground was still covered with snow and progress was slow. They moved five miles on the first day before stopping to make camp. Slowly the Saints began to make their way across Iowa and, by summer, they were arriving on the Missouri River at Council Bluffs. Here, they stopped to form a more permanent camp, and to organize a rendezvous point for all the pioneers who would follow. The Church leaders planned to spend a year in preparing the people for the long and difficult march to the Rocky Mountains.

As summer passed and the level of the river dropped, the stagnant water bread various bacterial diseases and fevers.  Thousands died and nearly everyone was affected, to some degree, by cholera and other terrible illnesses. People were so ill that at times they could not keep up with the task of burying all of the dead. Mothers were seen, weakly waving towels to keep flies off of their dead babies, whose bodies were decomposing in their tents.

These diseases lasted throughout the summer, particularly, and into the fall. Eventually, as the weather cooled down, the diseases abated. The Reed family was hurt severely when Rebecca's husband, John, first became ill and then died from the dreaded disease, cholera, in October 1846. He was buried at Bonaparte, Iowa, on the Des Moines River.  He was 63 years old at the time of his death and Rebecca was 61. She was left a widow with two young boys, ages 11 and 15, and a 17 year old daughter, alone, on the plains, in the middle of Iowa.

Still, she did not give up. Rebecca looked forward to continuing her trek west with the saints.  Her son-in-law, Levi W. Hancock, looked after her and her family and they planned to move on toward Council Bluffs. Soon, however, the U.S. Army came to ask for volunteers to march to Mexico and fight for the country they were now leaving behind.  Levi was asked to go with this army, known as "The Mormon Battalion.”  As a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, he was the only General Authority on the march, and as such, acted as their Chaplain. This noble cause left, not only his own young family, but also his mother-in-law’s family, without a guardian. 

On 13 December 1846, Rebecca's youngest daughter, Laura Lucinda, was married to Thomas Steed at Keokuk, Ia., leaving only the two youngest boys in her immediate care.

In the spring of 1847, as the first wagon trains of Saints began to embark on their long journey west, Rebecca and her family had to remain behind.  She, along with her young children and her married daughter, Clarissa, continued to make plans and preparations for the following year. Surely they would be able to go in the spring of 1846.

This was not to be, for the same diseases which had plagued the camp the previous year, continued to take their toll on the pioneers in the summer and fall of 1847.  Rebecca contracted cholera and suffered from this illness until her death, on February 10, 1846, in Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, and was buried at Mt. Pisgah, Iowa.  She was 62 years old at her passing and left her two young songs, ages 12 and 13.

Even though Rebecca did not reach the Salt Lake Valley, her dream was realized, in November 1848, when these two boys, together with her daughter, Clarissa, arrived in the Salt Lake Valley to make a new home and bring up her descendants in the love, peace and religion that she wanted to give them.

The bravery of John and Rebecca must be admired.  Over the age of sixty and with relatively young children, to give up their home and the comforts of civilization, to make a long and difficult trek across one thousand miles of unknown wilderness, and to know they would face hardship, privations and disease, would be a difficult decision to make. 

It is one thing to talk about and romanticize today but, quite another for those courageous souls who met the challenge and gave everything they had, including their lives, to push on and never give up.

Rebecca Bearce a young Indian girl from New Milford, Connecticut, embodied all of the noble heritage of her great American native forbearers; wrestled with the conflicts of two opposing societies and chose the ways of the new Americans; lived a life of joys and tragedies on the frontier of and expanding country; responded enthusiastically to the familiar doctrines of the restored Church of Jesus Christ and faithfully followed its leaders throughout the remainder of her life.  She died in an obscure location on the Great Plains outside the boarders of her country.  But, the decisions she made have changed the lives of thousands today, who have descended from this great woman.

In the Book of Mormon, Nephi recorded a vision he had concerning his, and his brother’s descendants.  He saw their civilization break down and their people degenerate into a lowly state.  He saw them fight among themselves and lose their lands to the Europeans. But, he also saw the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the coming forth of his record of their ancestors, and he knew that many of them would recognize and accept the religious history of their people. He said, "And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken (Book of Mormon) shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.

“And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews (or House of Israel.)

“And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.”

“And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people.”  Nephi (2 Nephi 30:3-6).

“Many generations" have not passed away since the time Rebecca Bearce recognized the gospel of Jesus Christ and was restored unto a knowledge of her fathers. And we, her descendants, are the fulfillment of this prophesy.

History taken from the book, Rebecca Bearce, by Lionel Nebeker, March 22, 1987.  Book was donated to the LDS Family History Library, Call Number 929.273 B38n.  It was also microfilmed by the Library (surname index at 2055217 Item 28, and book filmed as 1697283 Item 4).

Apr 27, 2010

Ellsworth Origins (Aylesworth)

For those of you interested in where the Ellsworth name derives, the following was found in a book at Ancestry.com called:  "Our Ellsworth Ancestors."  The book indicates that the following information was copied from Genealogical and Historical Sketch, Media Research Bureau, 1110 F. Street, Washington, D.C., reported to be "out of business" back in August 1955.  In any event, it is fun reading about the Ellsworth name.

(Photo is of my grandparents George Albert Morris and Elena Halladay Ellsworth.)

The Ellsworths and Their Name

"The name of ELLSWORTH is said to have been derived from the residence of its first bearers at a place of that name in Cambridgeshire, England. It was originally spelled EELSWORTH, meaning "Place of the eels," being situated on a stream which was at one time famous for its eels. The name is found on ancient records in the various forms of Eelsworth, Elesworth, Elsworth, Ellesworthe, Ellesworth, Elswort, Elesworde, Aylsworth, Ayleworth, Aylworth, Elworth, Ellisworth, Elsworthe, and Ellsworth, of which the last is the form most generally accepted in America today.

"Families of the name were to be found at early dates in the English counties of Cambridge, York, Kent, Glouster, Devon, Somerset, Essex, Oxford, and London and were, for the most part, of the landed gentry and yeomanry of Great Britain.

"Among the earliest records of the family in England were of Albin de Ellesworthe of Cambridgeshire in 1273, Samson de Ellesworth and Robert de Elesworde of the same country at a slightly later date. Thomas de Ellesworth of the same place in 1292, Sir John Ellsworth of the same line in the early fourteenth century (who is claimed by some authorities to have been an ancestor of the emigrant Josiah or Josias. Henry Ayleworth of Gloustershire in the early fifteenth century (who was the father of John, father of John and Walter, of whom the first had John, who had Anthony, who was the father of Richard, Mary, John, Francis, Edmund, Peter, Paul, and Frisroid, of whom the first had a son Edward who was the father of the early seventeenth century of Tracy, Richard, Gyles, Thomas, and several daughters), Johannes or John Aylesworth of the latter sixteenth century (who was the father of Ashton, Edward, William, John, Robert, Wilter, Anthony, and others, of whom the first made his home in Kent County and was the father of Thomas, John, Walter, Roger, and several daughters, and the younger sons also left numerous issue), and Robert Elesworth of London before 1668. 
"It is not known definitely from which of the many illustrious lines of the family in England the first emigrants of the name to America were descended, but it is generally believed that all of the Ellsworth's were of common origin at a remote period.

"One of the first of the family to emigrate to America is believed to have been Jeremiah Ellsworth, who is said to have resided at Rowley, Mass., sometime before 1650 and to have been married in 1657 to the Widow Mary Smith.  No definite record of his immediate family has been found, but it is supposed that the Jeremiah Ellsworth, who is said to have removed from Rowley to Brentwood, N.H., in the early eighteenth century, as well as others who removed from Rowley, Mass., about the same time to New Hampshire, were the descendants of the emigrant of that name.  The last mentioned Jeremiah is said to have had four children, Aaron, Jonathan, Hannah, and John.

"The before mentioned emigrant Josiah or Josias Ellsworth is said to have been the son of one John Ellsworth of Yorkshire, a descendant of the Cambridgeshire line, and to have come to Winsor, Conn., about 1646 or shortly thereafter. In 1654 he married Elizabeth Holcomb, by whom the was the father of Josiah, Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, Thomas, Jonathan, John, Job, and Benjamin, all of whom left numerous issue and have many descendants in America today. 

"One Christopher (some authorities say, Theophilus) Elswort or El(l)worth who came from Holland, where he is believed to have gone from England, to New York about 1655, is believed by some authorities to have been the brother of the emigrant Josiah or Josias of Windsor. He is believed to have been the father of among others, a son named Clement, who married Anna Maria Englebert and was the father of Theophilus and probably of others as well. 

"Arthur Ellsworth of Aylsworth of Kingstown, R.I. before 1679,is also said to have been a brother of the emigrant Josiah.  By his wife Mary Brown he is said to have been the father of Robert, Arthur, John, Phillip, Chad, Mary, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Martha. 

"The descendants of these and possibly other branches of the family in America have spread to practically every state of the Union and have aided as much in the growth of the country as their ancestors aided in the founding of the nation.  They have been noted for their energy, industry, ambition, integrity, piety, patience, perseverance, ingenuity, initiative, loyalty, and courage.

"Among those of the name who fought in the War of the Revolution were Captain Charles of Connecticut, Captain Peter of New York, and numerous others in the ranks of the various other New England and Southern colonies.

"Robert, John, Henry, Thomas, Walter, Edward, Jeremiah, William, Jonathan, Arthur, Peter, and Josiah are some of the Christian names most highly favored by the family for its male members.

"Two of the many members of the family who have distinguished themselves in America at various times were Judge Oliver Ellsworth of Winsor, Conn., famous jurist, who was born in 1745 and died in 1807, and Colonel Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth of New York and Virginia, noted military officer who was born in 1837 and died in 1861. 

"One of the most ancient and frequently recurrent of the several coats-of-arms of the English family of Aylworth or Ellsworth is described as follows:

ARMS - Argent, a fess engrailed between six billets gules. 

CREST - An arm habited sable issuing out of rays or, in the hand proper a human skull argent."

Feb 16, 2010

Levi Ward Hancock - "It Is the Truth, I Can Feel It," Ensign Article

www.lds.org, Ensign, Jul 1999, p. 47

To know God’s truth was Levi W. Hancock’s desire from childhood. Once he found the gospel, he followed the Lord’s prophet no matter the sacrifice.

Levi Ward Hancock was a bodyguard to the Prophet Joseph Smith (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), marched with the Mormon Battalion, was one of the first Seventies of the LDS Church, is listed in the Doctrine & Covenants of the LDS Church, and surprisingly is my ancestor. 

I loved reading this article on him (taken from his journal and the journal of his son, Mosiah Lyman Hancock). I also enjoyed reading the article "From Iowa to Immortality:  A Tribute to the Mormon Battalion," Ensign, 2007 July.


I Love Finding Draft Cards of My Ancestors

I recently decided to upload my family tree to Ancestry.com, and was pleasantly surprised to see the many improvements offered.  First, I know Ancestry.com would search records for you, but I was amazed how many Leaves ("hits") it is finding!  I have 5,298 family and ancestors in my tree (most of which were handed down to me from my Mom), and Ancestry.com has over 82 Leafs for me to research.  This is coming in handy, as I have mostly been researching first source records to document my Mom's (and her family's) research.

I've been using Ancestry.com for many years, and have loved finding draft cards of my ancestors.  However, with the new "Leaf" feature, I discovered that my grandfather, William Franklin Butler III, had to register for the draft (which I was unaware).  Here's his draft registration card (World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918):

Tip:  To preview the image better, just click on it to enlarge it.  If you want a copy, right click on the image and save a copy to your computer.   Enjoy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...