Looking at place names

he clipper ship Cairngorm under full sailIf you’re like me, you want to know more about your ancestors than just when they lived and who their parents were. You want a picture of who they were, what was important to them, and what they hoped to accomplish in life. In other words, you want a picture of them as people. Unfortunately, vital records don’t necessarily tell you that much about your ancestors’ day to day lives, at least not directly. But they do offer you a number of clues, the most obvious of which is where they lived. If you know that a person lived in the Bronx (in New York) or London, rather than a fishing village in Scotland, or in rural Idaho, you already know quite a bit. Pay attention to the place names in your records and when your ancestors lived there. It’s easy to forget that places change over time, and what you think of when you see the words London, England may or may not match up well with the city in which you ancestor lived.

Fortunately, there are tools available that can help. I’ll use my second great grandfather John Woodhouse as an example. For some time, I thought he was born in Adwick Le Street, Yorkshire, England. He was christened there, and lived there for a time, but other records show that he was probably born in Campsall. What can we say about these places? After doing some Google  searches, the search key historic place names brought up A Vision of Britain Through Time, a web site I find tremendously useful, given that so many of my ancestors either came from Great Britain in the nineteenth century or later, or lived in colonial America. If your ancestors come from elsewhere, you will need to consult other resources. Don’t forget print publications and, of course, Wikipedia. You may not want to cite it as a primary source of information, but it’s a great place to start when what you want is general information, or an overview of a particular topic.

To return to John Woodhouse, I typed “Campsall” into the search box and found a map and some basic information about the township, including the following quote from John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-1872):

CAMPSALL, a township, a parish, and a subdistrict in Doncaster district, W. R. Yorkshire. The township adjoins the Doncaster and Wakefield railway, 1½ mile W of Askern station, and 7½ N by W of Doncaster; and includes the hamlet of Barnsdale. Acres, 1,470. Real property, £2,480. Pop., 349. Houses, 64. The parish contains also the townships of Askern, Norton, Fenwick, Moss, and part of Sutton; and its Post Town is Askern under Doncaster. Acres, 9,390. Real property, with the rest of Sutton, £14,816….

John Woodhouse did not live there in 1870, he left for the United States in 1851, but that is close enough in time to give a pretty good picture of where he lived. In addition, it explains why certain records list John Woodhouse’s place of birth a Doncaster and others do not. Even more, I’ve seen the name Chipping Norton associated with his father Charles Woodhouse. It turns out that there is a Norton in the district of Doncaster, too. Or at least that’s what I thought. Returning to the main page of A Vision of Britain and typing “chipping norton” into the search box, I found a rather different place, this time in Oxfordshire. Included was the following excerpt from John Bartholomew’s Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887):

Chipping Norton, mun. bor., township, and par. with ry. sta., NW. Oxfordshire, 12 miles SW. of Banbury and 89 miles NW. of London — par., 4872 ac., pop. 4607; township and bor., pop. 4167; P.O., T.O., 2 Banks, 1 newspaper. Market-day, WednesdayChipping Norton Junction, ry. sta., is 5 miles SW. of Chipping Norton.

A much bigger, and different, place! With a railway station and two banks, it is quite likely that Chipping Norton had an industrial base, and may have been a good place to seek employment. Of course, we should not neglect the possibility of error here. It is possible that someone mistakenly wrote down Chipping Norton when, in fact, they should have simply written Norton. This is something I need to investigate further. As a general rule, if your source of information is a secondary or tertiary source such as a census, this type of error is more likely, particularly if the record was made in the United States by someone unfamiliar with the geography of Britain. But it’s not impossible, Charles Woodhouse and his son were both tailors, and it is entirely possible that they may have sought work in a larger town. Incidentally, I know he was a tailor because he was recorded as such on the ship’s register when they emigrated to the United States. Almost all of us here in the States have ancestors that came here from somewhere else, and if they came by ship, you may be able to find the ship’s register. This may not be the most obvious source of information such as occupation but, when you think about it, a journey by sea is was not a small undertaking, and knowing who on board is tailor or an ironsmith or a doctor could be very useful. As it happens, John Woodhouse records in his journal that he earned extra money by doing tailoring work for the officers, which is good because the journey cost him most of what he had.

This is all well and good, but how do you go about finding place names in the first place? Vital records such as birth and death certificates will often tell you where people lived when they were born and when they died. If you cannot find them (or if they aren’t available), you can often look at parish registries, particularly for baptism or christening dates and locations. How easily you can find records like this depends on when and where your ancestors lived. For example, vital records were maintained in New England back into colonial times, so if you have roots in New England, you are fortunate. In other states, the systematic maintenance of birth and death certificates didn’t come until later (the exact time varying from state to state). If your ancestors lived in another country, then parish records or other types of records may be available (and they may or may not be online). Another thing to keep in mind is that different religious groups have different traditions regarding maintaining records. One that may not be obvious is that Quaker meetings maintain minutes, often in considerable detail, and scanned images of these records are starting to become available online. I actually did not know I had Quaker ancestors until searches at Ancestry.com started to turn up Quaker meeting minutes, so don’t assume that you have no Quaker ancestors simply because you don’t know about it. Probably the religious group in America most famous for maintaining records is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon church. If you haven’t looked at FamilySearch.org, you should It is the genealogy site created by the LDS (or Mormon) church, and you don’t need to belong to the church to get an account. If you have Mormon ancestors, you’ll definitely want to look at this resource, and if you don’t it’s still worth a look. That being said, I should note that documentation on this site is not always what it could be, and alternative data is not always recorded when it should be, so you’ll want to check your sources. This is really true of any source of compiled information.

Okay, that’s birth and death. What about the time in between? If your ancestors lived at a place and time where census records were maintained, you’re in luck. Census records will  tell you where your ancestors lived when the census was taken, typically every ten years. You may find that they stayed in the same place year after year, or that they moved more frequently. A word of warning, though: vital dates recorded in a census are often based on memory, perhaps well after the fact, so you should look for better information sources such as birth certificates, parish registries, family bibles for the same information. But if you want to know where your ancestors lived and when they moved from one place to another, census records can be very useful. Finally, there are deeds and land grants. Any time someone acquires land, whether through purchase, inheritance or other means such as land bounty, there will be a record. And because land is so valuable, these records tend to be very reliable and less error prone than, say census records.

The very least you need to know about sources and documentation

sample chart

When we think about genealogy we tend to think about the various types of charts and diagrams that are used to present results. What we tend not to think of, at least at first, are source citations, annotations, and supporting documents. This is natural enough. For one thing, we always start with a certain amount of information we just know, and which we want to record right away, without stopping to record references for every data item. Another reason is that it is just human nature to think in terms of the finished product, rather than the process we go through to arrive at our final product, be it a chart, a narrative or something else. And this is fine. I started out by recording what I already knew on a pedigree chart. Everybody does. But presentation is only part of the story: we want our genealogy to look good, but we also want it to be accurate and as complete as possible.

Notice that I’m not just talking about persuading your audience that your conclusions are correct. That’s important. Anyone could write down a few names and dates chosen at random (and that’s basically what I did to produce the above chart), but you want people to have confidence in your conclusions. You want to be systematic and precise, and not leave important information out through a simple oversight. Of course, your readers will appreciate your thoroughness, and they will be more likely (and able) to make use of your work if they have confidence in it. Even if your readers are not planning on doing any research of their own, they’ll still want to know if the information you present is accurate.

So, how do you get there? Genealogical research is very much like doing research for a term paper, and preparing charts and other diagrams is vey much like writing the paper. You no doubt remember being expected to document your sources in the form of footnotes or endnotes. Why do you do this (except, of course, for the obvious reason that your teacher requires it)? The obvious answer is that doing so, you provide support for your conclusions. Your paper becomes more persuasive. Certainly, this is what my teachers told me when I was in school, and it’s true, of course. But it’s only part of the story. You also want to have confidence in your conclusions independent of any consideration of how persuasive the paper you write may or may not be. You also want to be systematic in your research: you don’t to omit important aspects of the story. Conversely, you don’t want to get bogged down in details or lines of research that ultimately don’t really matter, or which detract from other aspects of your work. In short, you need a systematic way of keeping track of the main points of your presentation, how solid they are, what needs more work, and what you have pretty much nailed down. In the context of genealogy, this can mean not spending a lot of time compiling information about people who are not actually ancestors, but who have similar names and vital dates (such as birthdates) and were mistakenly included in one of your charts. To put it succinctly, proper documentation is not only important as a means of proving or demonstrating the correctness of your conclusions, it is equally important as a research tool. It helps you to guide and organize your research, even if relatively few people will actually want to check your sources.

In spite of the benefits of citing sources in genealogical research, many people do not include extensive documentation. Instead, explanatory footnotes will be included only for selected entries, or there will be no documentation at all. Why is this? Two obvious reasons for this are lack of tool support and lack of familiarity with the process of writing proper source citations. I find that having tools that help me to record, organize and manage information is indispensable. It’s not my goal here to advocate the use of any particular product, and I certainly don’t mean to imply that there is only one software tool that should be the one that everyone uses. But whether you use a specialized tool such as Family Tree Maker, general purpose tools such as spreadsheets and word processors, or paper and a physical filing system, you still need to keep track of your sources and document your charts by citing sources as appropriate. You can start out with a paper record, but the further you go, the more you will benefit from using a specialized tool. Fortunately, there are a number of genealogy tools available, and web sites such as Ancestry.com provide much of the same functionality. But to be blunt about it, even though you can do everything with paper an pencil if you want to, automated tools will make life much easier for you, and decrease the likelihood that you’ll leave out crucial documentation for lack of time. I strongly recommend using a specialized tool or web site (or both).

That takes us to the matter of mechanics. The basic data of genealogy are people, attributes or “facts” (which I place in quotes because the information we record may be incorrect or incomplete, or simply not proven), and relationships such as parent-child relationships, marriage, and so forth. As a matter of terminology, things  like birth, death, marriage, residence, national identifier and the like are called facts or events. We tend to say that things like birth, christening, immigration, marriage and the like are events. An identifier such as a social security number or a national identification number is a fact. But in genealogy, facts and events are generally treated together and are essentially the same sort of thing. It is facts and events that we document. This is crucial. One might think that relationships such as “A is married to B” or “A is the son of B and C” would be documented directly, but instead we document the marriage of A and B, or the birth of A to B and C. Now, events usually have attributes, usually a date and a location, and sometimes others, but it is the events that we document. This is really a design decision. Tools and standards (such as GEDCOM) could have been designed to document relationships (or even people) directly, but if you think about it, documenting events makes sense, and you’ll want to follow this approach.

Okay, so how do you document an event? By referring to a source. What is a source? It can be something concrete like a birth or death certificate, a parish registry, a book, or something a little more abstract like the 1860 census of the United States. A source can also be an index such as a listing of the people buried in a cemetery. What a source is typically not is a page in a book, a particular roll of microfilm, or a record in an online database (such as findagrave.com). As a rule of thumb, if it’s part that can be separately indexed, it’s not an independent source. You should try to include one or more source citations for each fact in your database. A source citation refers to a source (of course), but includes additional indexical information such as page numbers or record numbers where this makes sense. In Family Tree Maker and at Ancestry.com, this is called the citation detail. In addition, you can add citation text, which is generally freer in form, and generally includes a transcription of the cited text or other details. If you are using one of these tools, two additional details you can add are a URL for an online resource and a multimedia item such a scanned document.

leaf exampleFinally, I should say a bit about Ancestry.com and the hint (or leaf) mechanism it uses to help you discover (and sometimes document) information. If you use Family Tree Maker (in this case, Family Tree Maker 3 for the Macintosh) and it is linked to Ancestry. You my see a leaf like this. If you click on the leaf, you will be given the opportunity to review information and decide if you want to add it to your tree. If you use the web site instead, you will see the same leaf icon, but the interface is a little different. If you use this mechanism, Ancestry will add source citations for you, citing the resources it matched against your family tree. At this time, they can be any of a number of things, including census records, indexed birth and death certificates, immigration records, land grants and other types of records. This doesn’t mean you don’t want to review the source citations, and you don’t want to limit yourself to using this search tool. Add your own sources and source citations as appropriate. And if you use public member trees in Ancestry as sources, be sure to click on the tree names and review their sources. Member trees can be a great search tool, but they are not what you want to use as information sources in your final product. Different genealogists will tell you different things here, but my position is that it’s fine to use member trees as a tool as long as you’re careful to document your sources and you don’t treat them as the last word.

Can it really be that easy?

If you’re like me, you have watched commercials for Ancestry.com with considerable skepticism. After all, genealogy is supposed to be hard work, involving countless hours digging through library stacks and perusing microfilms. On television, on the other hand, we see people entering only as small amount of information and then seeing a leaf appear indicating that a clue to further information is available. Can it really be that easy? I thought the obvious answer was that it wasn’t, it couldn’t be. So, for the longest time, I just ignored these commercials and didn’t even consider trying it. Well, of course, family history research is not easy, it can be hard work, it can be frustrating. But I eventually decided to try it out and was surprised at how fast I was provided with information about my ancestors. Now, it really isn’t my intention to make this into a testimonial, but suffice it to say that I now use Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.com as one of primary research tools. Now, to be fair, I’m part of a Mormon family that goes back to pioneer days, and have many ancestors from Colonial America (one sort of implies the other), so there are a lot of people who have been looking into my ancestors’ family lines for years. So, it might be argued that I’m not a very good test case, of course the information will be out there for the taking, and of course a family tree on Ancestry.com will only grow, and grow quickly.

But is that really right? First of all, we should note that data in the form of pedigree charts, family records and published genealogies are out there, but how much information does that raw data really provide us with? Data can be thought of as a collection of statements, the source and reliability of which may or may not be known. Of course, data comes from somewhere and designers of repositories of data known as databases are usually careful to record the source of the recorded data, and this information (known to database professionals as metadata) can be very valuable to us as we analyze the data and try to  glean useful information from it. Okay, that’s a lot of terminology. Let’s break it down. First off, data is pretty much anything that can be written down. It can be unstructured (like a journal) or structured (like a list of names and birth dates in a parish registry). What we know about information is called metadata (or “data about data”). Before I go on, I should make it clear that this terminology is taken from information science, not genealogy. So, if you get funny looks from other researchers if you ask about metadata, you’ll know why. That’s actually not quite the whole story: metadata is generally systematic recording such things as authorship, language, time recorded and so forth. One thing that metadata is not, though, is evaluation or even interpretation. A document may list  3 Jan 1840 as the birthdate of Mary Williams, but how confident are we? This is a bit of a digression, but if the information source is a birth certificate, we can be fairly confident, but if it’s a death certificate, it has to come from some other source. The type of document from which we get our data is yet another issue to consider when interpreting that data. As an aside, I’ll note that it’s not uncommon to see the date of birth and christening date for a person to be listed as the very same day? How likely is that? It is certainly possible, but is certainly not expected. If the date doesn’t come from a primary source it is possible that, somewhere along the way, someone needed a birthdate but the only information they had was the date of christening. We also need to consider the cultural context. Was the christening considered the more important event? Was it more important to record that information correctly or the date of birth? The point is that there is a necessary analysis phase that may be described as trying to ascertain what the available data is telling us. At this point, the question isn’t whether it’s true or false, but simply what it means. When we have performed this task, the analyzed data becomes information.

But to return to the topic of online genealogical research, we’re likely to find ourselves confronted with a wealth of often conflicting information (at this point, I’ll stop being pedantic about the distinction between the two). My genealogical database is full of alternative dates and places for what should be a single event, and I imagine yours is, too. Of course, we work hard to resolve these discrepancies, but that’s not always easy. This is why a technology can seem to give us a lot of answers very quickly, but then we find out that we’re not as sure of the information in our charts (or electronic databases). Does that mean that online search tools and social media just give us a false sense of knowledge, leading us to believe things that have yet to be proven? It would be easy for a cynic to take this position, but I think it is a mistake. The Internet is a powerful tool, and can be extremely helpful to us as we dig into our family history. It’s not a panacea, though, and we have to be critical of the information we’re able to find using search tools. We just need to do the work of evaluating, cross-referencing and verifying that information. This isn’t really so different from genealogy in the pre-Internet days. The difference is that instead of getting our raw data from microfilm or microfiche, we are likely to get it from a web-based tool. The amount of time we spend performing these various tasks may change, but the tasks themselves do not. Modern technology really can help us to find information more quickly, but we do need to be careful and methodical in our analysis if we want to avoid mistakes.

History of Sarah Ann Weeks

Today’s post is another pioneer biography, this time in Sarah Ann Weeks’ own words.

Sarah Ann Weeks (1843-1928)An autobiography and life sketch of Sarah Anne Weeks Lewis

I am daughter of Joseph Peter Weeks and Anne Kearns Weeks. I was born August 19, 1843 at Paddington, London, England commencing school in 18??, graduating from the ninth grade in 1855. I got my education quite young, starting to school when but three years old, going to the same school all he time, and having but two teachers during my whole six years of schooling.

I had one brother and one sister older than myself and one younger brother. Their names were as follows: Mary Anne, Joseph John, and Frederic Charles (Charels). My sister married a man by the name of Thomas Alfred Burrell. My brothers were not married when I left home for America. My father had five brothers and two sisters. My mother had one brother and two sisters. My father died when I was but nine years old, so I had to work out for my living from that time one, getting my education quite young. I got along nicely having to go out to work for my own living.

When I was seventeen I went twelve miles from home to work as house maid for an English gentleman’s family. The cook, the gardener, and the gardener’s wife were Mormons. I soon became acquainted with them and I too joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I remained with this family until I went home to prepare to go to America. Of course, my people were against me going away with such a set of people as the Mormons. My mother told me if I went to America with the Mormons I need never expect to hear from her no matter how many times I wrote her. She also told me that before she opened them she would not open them but would put them in the fire and burn them. She also said that if she had to open them to find out who they were from, when she did see that they were from me, she would burn them up without reading them. This is all because they were so prejudiced against Mormons. I guess mother thought that by saying this she would change my mind so I would not go, but it made no difference to me for it was for my religion I was going for.

So, you see, when I got ready to sail for America, I had to run away from them without saying goodbye, and when they found I was gone, they got a policeman and came aboard the ship Amazon, in search of me. They searched for me until they either had to cross the ocean or return to the decks, but their search was in vain. They could not find me, so they had to return without me. I could have put my hands out and touched them many times as they passed by. I have never heard a word from any of my people since leaving home for America. I know the Lord opened the way, and put the means in my way, so I could come to Utah. I wrote many times to my people but received no answer. After I was married, my husband and [I] advertised to try and locate my people, but it was without results.

We sailed from the London docks June 4, 1863 with John Avery Captain. He was a very kind and good man. William Bramhall of Springville was the president of the ship Amazon. We had a very good voyage and enjoyed ourselves very much. There was only one death on board the ship and [that] was a small baby. There were one thousand and one souls on the ship. We were six weeks on the water. We landed at a place called Castle Gardens, New York; then went to Florence, Nebraska by boat and trains, where we met ox teams from the valley of Utah. It was indeed a very pretty sight to see sixty covered wagons with their oxen ready to take us to Salt Lake City, Utah. We stayed at Florence, Nebraska a few days to wash and clean up for the journey. I spent my twentieth birthday there. We left Florence the 12th of August 1863 and arrived in Salt Lake City October 5, 1863. We had a happy time crossing the plains. I walked almost all of the way with several other girls. When they could find a suitable place to camp, the men would clear off the grounds, and we would have a dance, as the teamsters had some musical instruments and knew how to play them. Sometimes we would sit around the campfire telling jokes and stories, singing songs and hymns. We enjoyed ourselves fine. We had some buffalo meat which the men had killed, and it was surely good. We had some buffalo berries which tasted good after traveling so long. Then it was novel to us, cooking over the campfire and going ahead of the teams to gather buffalo chips to do the cooking with.

At last we arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah. Daniel McArthur was captain of the company crossing the plains. He lived in St. George, Washington County, Utah. As I had no place to go, I went on with the Dixie teams and stayed at Washington, Washington, County, Utah that fall and winter. In the spring I went to Fairview, Sanpete County, Utah and stayed in Fairview, then called North Bend. I taught school three terms and worked around at different places. In the spring and fall of 1866 we vacated on account of the Indians, who were very hostile at that time. We went to Manti and stayed there for a while.We then went back as far as Spring City and stayed there that summer and fall and in November I was married to Aaron Lewis by his father Nathan Lewis at Manti November 18, 1866. I was given a patriarchal blessing by Bro. [E]mmier[?] Harrison; one by M. G. Perkins, and one by Wiliam Cazier.

My occupation was a housewife; my height was five feet one inch; my weight 140 pounds, my bust 36 inches; the color of my eyes dark brown, my hair very dark brown; my health good. I am interested in religion. I taught school three years. I was a member of a choir for two years. I was a [nurse] for five years. We lived in Manti for three months; then moved to Richfield, Sevier County, Utah, and in the fall of 1866 had to move again on account of the Indians. We then moved to Nephi or Salt Creek, as it was then called, in Juab County, Utah. We lived there two years, and our first child was born there September 8, 1867, her name being Rebecca Anne Lewis. We then moved to Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah where Hannah Louise Lewis was born November 12, 1869; also Sarah (Permelia) was born in Spring City April 2, 1872. We then moved to Manti, Sanpete County. We lived there about three years. There my husband’s father died, and my husband could not content himself there when his father was gone, so we moved to Joseph City, Sevier County, Utah, where his oldest sister lived. It seemed [to] us as if they could not be separated long at a time. There we joined the United Order. It lasted only eleven months. They could not agree, so I guess it wasn’t the right time for the order, so the order was broken up. We then moved to Santa Clara, Washington County, Utah April the 7, 1876. His name was Joseph Aaron Lewis. He died January 7, 1906 at Marysville, Utah. My husband and his family and his sister and her family moved to Panguitch, Garfield County, Utah in the spring of 1878. We lived there thirty years. The following children were born at Panguitch: Amity Rosalia born March 28, 1878, died May 6, 1880 at Panguitch. Ester Elmira born March 12, 1888 and died December 28, 1896 at Panguitch. Nathan Martin, born June 12, 1886. Albert [unreadable] born March 12, 1886 died December 28, 1896 at Panguitch. My husband’s sister died at Panguitch when my husband and I were left alone. We later moved to Tropic, Garfield County, Utah where our daughter (Permelia) lived. My husband died April 12, 1900 at Tropic, Garfield County, Utah. I went to live with my daughter (Permelia) six years later being 1906. We later moved to Lake Shore, Utah County, Utah and have lived here ever since. I am now 80 years old and able to wait on myself. It is now 1923.

Mother died May 29, 19282. She was 84 years and nine months old when she died.

Haun’s mill and bottom-up research

Back in 1838, a contingent of Missouri militia members attacked a mill belonging to Jacob Haun that was serving as a settlement for some forty Mormon families. This incident, which occurred during a time of truce, has come to be known as the Haun’s mill massacre. Of course, I grew up learning about this event in Sunday School and other church settings. It is, after all, one of the iconic events of the Missouri period of Mormon history, and one in which the Mormons suffered violence at the hands of others. It was also included in the film Legacy. What I didn’t know is that I had any connection to Haun’s mill.

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Until now, anyway. Last time, I posted a biographical sketch of Ira M Judd, written by his daughter Sarah. Ira is my second great grandfather and his wife Hannah Louise Lewis. It’s his first wife, Nancy Ann Norton, that actually has family that goes back to Haun’s mill. In case you’re wondering, yes, Hannah was a plural (or polygamous) wife. It’s one of those things that makes Mormon genealogy, well, interesting (and confusing!). To me, the most interesting thing about family history, the term I prefer to genealogy in most cases, is that it’s a sort of a bottom up approach to history. We start out with what we know best, our immediate families, and work outward from there. This is, in some sense the opposite of traditional historiography in which we start out with big narratives, and then examine them in ever greater detail, trying to reconstruct a coherent narrative and, maybe more to the point, try to learn why things happened the way they did.

In my case, I started looking at what I knew about Ira M Judd, trying to find more information, if I could. I really had no thought of looking at Nancy at the time, but added historical records as I found them. Once I learned that her father was John Wesley Norton (a name that meant nothing to me) and then that her mother was Rebecca Hammer, the historical records would come quickly, usually a good indication that something interesting is coming. And, indeed, her father, Austin Hammer, was one of those that died at Haun’s mill. In this case, what I stumbled across in this way was a well-known and well-documented historical event, so I didn’t really learn anything about history writ large. At least not this time. Family records could just as easily have led to something new, or to a new perspective on something that’s already known. Then again, family history need not be anything more than learning more about our ancestors and their lives. That’s my goal.

Biography of Ira “M” Judd

Autobiography of Ira “M” Judd

written by Sarah Judd Jackson

Ira M JuddIra Judd, son of Hyrum Judd and Lisania Judd was born Farmington, Davis County, Utah, the thirteenth of June 1854. He came from a large pioneer family, 13 sisters and brothers, namely: Clara Adelia, Hyrum Jerome, Jane Lucinda, Arza S., Don Carlos, Ira, Ammon Frank, Lucius Hubbard, Lisania, Diana, Anna, Daniel, Lyman Perry, Lafayette. When he was a small boy, his father was called by the Church authorities to help to settle the Dixie country. Life at Santa Clara, The Muddy, and Eagle Valley, Nevada, were some of the stories that I well remember him tell. Santa Clara, Utah, near St. George was the first place they settled in. A number of families were together and they built homes, planted orchards and vineyards, and were making a good living for their families and an abundance of rainfall caused a large flood to come down the Virgin River and wiped out everything in its path, and they said they were fortunate that no lives were lost. They left and moved into Nevada. They didn’t stay there very long. The state put such high tax on the land that the Church advised the Saints to move out. The Judds went back to Panguitch, bought lots, and proceeded to build homes for good, as they thought, but it was not for long.

I am getting ahead of my story, but I want to tell you some of the stories that happened to father while they were still living in Santa Clara, we liked to hear him tell them. They raised good crops of corn, which they must have used for most of their bread and cereal. They also raised sugar cane and made molasses. Wheat flour was a luxury and sugar was too expensive for poor people to buy. When he was 12 years old and started going to dances, produce was more plentiful than money and boys would take a squash, or other produce they had, to pay for their dance ticket. He said he asked his girl friend if she would go to the dance with him, and she said the soles on her shoes were worn out and he told her he would repair them for her and she accepted and off he went to the dance. He went with a girl under one arm and a squash under the other.

Even now in their old home town they were not entirely without worries, not knowing what time they might be waylaid by the Indians, who were still very hostile. Grandfather Hyrum, like Jacob Hamblin, who was a brother to him (Jacob married Hyrum’s sister Rachel), was always a friend to the Indians and, in return, gained their friendship. But he said they had to be taught to keep their place and he learned one thing — “never let an Indian think you are afraid of him. Many a time I had to take a whip and give them a sound thrashing and they knew they needed it.” He fed and befriended them as they came to his home and taught them to be honest. I remember hearing my dad tell one story about Jacob trading with the Indians. Jacob had bargained with the Indians to trade a pony for so many blankets and sent his boy to make the trade. The Indians gave him more blankets than was bargained for and Jacob sent to boy back with them. The Indians told Jacob they knew he would return them. They were testing his honesty. Hyrum often visited with them in their camp and was invited to enjoy a bowl of their favorite soup with them. Rabbit, squirrel, and sometimes even snake meat was used for the stew with vegetables or anything they could get to put in it and always adding plenty of pinion (pinenuts) to make it real tasty.

Father told a story of how he and his pal found a sack of pinenuts cached in the woods. They know who had put them there but what a temptation, aa whole sack of pinenuts and no one was around. Father knew they wouldn’t be allowed to keep them if he took them home, and he knew what happened when his brother Dan found a cache of service berries and took only a pocket full out and took home. But they decided they would take some out and hide it in another place. They covered it up just like they found it and were sure no one could tell that it had been disturbed, but the old Indian was smarter than they were, and started right away to locate the culprits. He walked quietly around town and watched the boys at play and he soon discovered that two of the boys were taking pinenuts out of their pockets and giving to the other boys. Silently he left and reported to the fathers of the boys. Imagine their surprise when they were told what had been done and told they must take the nuts they had left back to the owner, tell him they were sorry, and pay for the ones they had eaten.

Father had no sisters older than himself and as the older boys were needed to help their father it fell to his lot to help mother with the housework. He resented this, it was girls work, washing dishes, caring for the baby, a boy shouldn’t have to do it and be called a sissy. And he told of the worst whipping he ever got from his mother. It was wash day and he had been helping all day. Mother was tired, all the clothes had to be scrubbed on the old washboard and 16 people to wash for, then the kitchen floor had to be scrubbed with the suds left from the washing to save on soap and water. The floor was bare pine boards and the only way to wash it was to get down on your hands and knees and use a scrubbing brush made for that purpose. Father was on his knees, he looked up at her and she was crying. That was the turning point. He loved his mother and to know that he was making her feel bad made something hurt inside him. He flew at his job and it was soon done. He said, “if tears had taken a willow and tanned my hide, it wouldn’t have hurt as much as it did to see those tears. She was a wonderful Mother.”

I failed to mention that Uncle Zadock Judd, Hyrum’s brother, was with him when they left Nevada to come north and settle in Kanab, Kane, Utah. They each built half a block of land, built a home. Hyrum felt like Panguitch seemed more like home and wanted to go back there, but Zadock said Kanab was cold enough for him, so he bought grandfather’s property, where the Knapp Judd home stands, moved on to Panguitch and settled down once more. They farmed, raised stock and caught fish from Panguitch and sold in the winter. I remember hearing father tell how he would chop through two feet or ice making a hole to fish from. They would catch barrels of them and sell them in town. The boys helped to build and work at the sawmills.

At the age of nineteen, Father and Nancy Anne Norton, fifteen, were married. She was the daughter of John Wesley Norton and Rebecca Hammer. This was a double wedding ceremony, the older couple was father’s sister Lisania and Joe Craig. They were married by grandfather Hyrum who was a Justice of the Peace. They were later sealed in the old Endowment House in Salt Lake City.

I, Sarah Judd Jackson, daughter of Ira Judd and Hannah Louise Lewis (2nd wife), years later, had quite a spiritual experience while I was trying to find my father’s endowment date. I had had very little experience in genealogy work and hearing the elder members tell of my father and mother being married in the St. George Temple, I wrote there for my father’s endowment date and was surprised to hear that it was not there. My mother was and the date that she and father were married. I worried, wondered, and finally prayed about it. I received a visit from my father’s cousin and her husband Charles Cottam from St. George. She said, now Charles, now tell her what you came here for before you forget it. This was his story: “It was at the dedication of the St. George Temple and General Conference of the Church. I was just a boy. I heard the announcement that made that Hyrum Judd and his were called to help settle southern Utah and northern Arizona. He named the sons – Jerome, a very odd name, Ira, so short, Arza, not a common name, and Frank. I could remember that one better he said! The thought came like a flash, I had heard folks tell of this call when my half-sister was one year old and before father and mother were married. They were sealed in the Old Endowment House, the 8th of Nov 1875.

It is an old and true saying that a rolling stone gathers no moss, but the early pioneers had their calling. The call came once more to Hyrum and his four married sons to move south and help t0o to settle Arizona. They all had some cattle and horses and the oldest son had some sheep. A few other families joined them and it was quite a caravan that headed south. They divided the partty so that they would not be compelled to wait so long to be ferried across the Colorado River in a ferry boat. Two babies were born between Panguitch and their destination. They stopped at Sunset, Arizona and most of the families joined the United Order there. Father’s brother Daniel, in his diary, gives a splendid account of the happenings at Sunset, Pima, and Mormon Lake, and I will not repeat it here. He also tells of some of the Judds going back to Panguitch and were preparing to make another trip, and grandfather went back to help them on their way. This was his third trip. Several of the Judd families were in this group, my father and family and as grandfather was dissatisfied with the way the Order was being run and drew out of it just what he had put in as near as they could figure it, not a dime for the work they had done, not even the increase of the cows. All the Judds were together now, Uncle Dan said this was the first time, and he was a tickled kid. They were going to a new land and more pioneering.

McClintock’s History of Arizona says, “When the Mormons left Eagle Valley they had to leave everything they had,” so the Judds must have been pretty well stripped by the time they got to Panguitch and were just getting shaped around so they could live decent lives when the call came from the Church, six years later, to help settle Arizona. Uncle Frank says – “This time we went on to the Gila River and built homes. They were stockaded cottonwood sticks standing up with a dirt floor and a roof. We helped to dig the first Mormon canal. It was sure a wild country, horse thieves and renegades everywhere. Father had his only pair of horses stolen and left him without a team. There were ten thousand Apache Indians on the reservation 20 miles from where we lived, and every little while a little band would break out and plunder until they were run back by the soldiers. There was one man killed in the little town where we lived while was burning lime, six miles from town and five others from nearby settlements. A small boy was killed with rocks. He was driving a bunch of horses belonging to his widowed mother. He was traveling with some freighters, taking the horses to a ranch, and a little ahead of the teams. They killed him with the rocks so the men wouldn’t hear the shots, and they drove the horses away. The mother lost her mind grieving over her boy. So you see these were not pleasure trips. We made four trips to Arizona, so I think we filled that  mission.”

I don’t know how long they stayed there, but they cleared a lot of land and raised good crops and were doing real well. A second daughter was born to father and Nancy, but the baby died at birth and Nancy almost lost her own life. Father took her back to Panguitch where her folks were.This was the last trip my father made to Arizona. About this time, the Church was advising their male members to marry a second wife, and father heeded their counsel and married Hannah Louise Lewis, daughter of Dd. Aaron Lewis and Sarah Anne Weeks. They were married in the St. George Temple 11 Nov 1886. The State of Utah did not approve of this law and soon had officers working to put it down. Every man with a plural wife was given a jail sentence if he was caught. Father and Nancy were living in a small town on the Pahreah Creek, Utah. To evade the officers, he sent his second wife to Kanab to live with his father’s brother Zadock Judd’s family. Hannah took the name of Liza and her mother’s maiden name, Weeks, and this is the name she was known by the remainder of here life. Two years later, father moved both wives to Fredonia, Arizona, a new town there and one half miles south of the Utah-Arizona state line. It was settled by residents from Kanab, and men with plural wives were not molested in the state of Arizona, so many moved to help build the town. Some time later, when Apostle Erastus Snow was was attending Conference in Kanab, he was asked to give the town a new name and he suggested the name “Fredonia”, the word meaning Free Women.

There was considerable farm land and a stream of water in the Kanab Creek which could be put on the land for farming. Father acquired two large lots on the west side of town reaching to the creek. He built two homes on them and brought Fruit trees from his farm in Pahreah and soon had an orchard on both places. He also bought land in the field area where he raised feed for his animals, milk cows, and horses to farm with. He was a carpenter and helped to build many of the homes. He was able to make a good living for his families. He loved music and was a master at the accordion and was welcomed by dancers. His wife Nancy called for the dancers of the Quadrille, the dance the Church advised. Uncle Dan said – “no waltzing, no swinging around the waist, ladies on one side of the hall and gents on the other, if you broke the rules, you quit dancing.” They had no dance hall but they were too poor to put carpets on their floors, and they didn’t have much furniture, it didn’t take long to set it outside to make the largest room (usually the bedroom-living room) available for a good old hoe down. I think those were the happiest days our parents ever spent. They talked of their good neighbors, how they would help each other with no thought of pay. There was no closed season on deer on the Buckskin Mountains and several men would get together and go up with their teams and a wagon and get 15 or 20 deer and divide with the families who needed meat for the winter. They had small houses and no luxuries, but they owned what they had and were happy, contented people. The ward was organized and a school was started and the town was growing as children came and other families moved in.

Then one day, father made a wrong decision, one which caused him a great deal of trouble, sorrow and hard work. A friend who owned a lovely farm in Idaho came to visit and painted such a beautiful picture of Idaho that father swallowed it hook line and sinker, and could see no reason why he couldn’t have one of those farms. Mother begged him to take Nancy and family first and let her stay in her home until he was sure he wanted to move to Idaho. But he thought it was too far to make two trips by team and wagon, so he sold the homes, stock and all they couldn’t take in two wagons and were soon ready to start. Two teams and wagons and none people starting a long, long journey, which ended in tragedy. After two years of hardships and sickness, we returned to Fredonia without home, money, or a job. Two babies were born on the trip. The years that followed were rough. Work was not plentiful and wages were low, we didn’t own any water to raise food and three more children were added to our family as time passed. Nancy’s daughter Rebecca and husband, who went to Idaho with us, was now divorced after adding two more to the family to support. Seven years later she remarried and her husband owned a home in Tropic, Garfield County, Utah. Her Mother couldn’t live away from her so she insisted that her father move both families to Tropic. After five years of struggling to survive on a  small farm and having two more girls added to the mother’s family and two  children to Rebecca, she divorced her husband and the following year found us back in Fredonia again. Rebecca married her first husband again and had their own home thereafter. In the year 1909 father bought the first home that was built in Fredonia and lived in it until he passed away in 1926 at the age of 71 years. He was bedfast just one day.

Father was not active in the Church burt he taught his family the principles of Righteous living and raised a good family. His father and mother were faithful pioneer and father did his part in helping them to colonize this country and make peace with the Indians.

John Woodhouse Obituary

John Woodhouse

[Special to the Herald-Republican]
Lehi , Sept. 10 – This afternoon at 1 40 o’clock , while walking on Denver & Rio Grande railroad track, John Woodhouse, a pioneer of Lehi, was instantly killed when train No. 5 struck him. Mr. Woodhouse attended priesthood meeting this morning, after which he dined with all of his family that reside in Lehi, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Rachel Anderson.

After dinner, Mr. Woodhouse, as was his custom, went for a short walk and since he was only one block from the Denver & Rio Grande depot, he took part of his walk along the railroad track.

He had gone as far as the cattle guards when, apparently, he heard the train and turned around, but became confused and was struck by the engine and hurled a distance of fifty-four feet, alighting on his head and receiving a bad fracture of the skull immediately over his left eye. His chest was badly crushed, his arm and shoulder broken and his neck broken.

The train was stopped within 300 yards of the accident and the crew picked him up and brought him to the depot where he was identified by Joseph Goates and sent to Leo Goates’ undertaking parlors.

Mr. Woodhouse was 86 years old and is survived by a widow and ten children. He was the son of Charles and Anne Long Woodhouse and he was born July 21, 1830 at Wickle street, Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. He was a tailor by trade, his father and grandfather having been the same before him.

At the age of 18 he joined the Mormon church and January 6, 1847 left Liverpool for the United States, arriving in Salt Lake City, Utah September 10, 1852. From Salt Lake, he moved to Provo, thence to Nephi, Spanish Fork, and finally to Beaver, where he remained for some time.

In March 1864, Mr. Woodhouse came from Beaver to Lehi, in company with Daniel Thomas, whose daughter Emma he had married. He has resided in Lehi ever since. He has been a well-known and influential citizen and has acted as city assessor, county assessor and justice of the peace, beside acting on countless other offices, both in church and state. His children are William Woodhouse and Morgan Woodhouse of Idaho Falls, John Woodhouse of Lehi, Charles Woodhouse of Lewiston, Utah, Mrs. Rachel Anderson of Lehi, Isaac Woodhouse of Arthur, Nev., Dorr Woodhouse of Los Angeles, Cal., Mrs. Kate Kirkham of Lehi, Harden Woodhouse of Idaho Falls, and Bertha Ohren of Lehi. He has sixty-two grandchildren and forty-five great-grandchildren.

[Salt Lake Herald 1916-09-11, http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/slh12/id/94578/show/94578/rec/1
transcribed Nov. 27, 2014 (Thanksgiving Day) by Greg Woodhouse.]