Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day

LeRoy Parkinson Tanner served on the Mexican border and then in Europe during the First World War. Sometime after the war he joined the American Legion, which is a veteran's organization founded in 1919. A collection of his membership cards starts in 1935, and the first card notes that he had been a member for ten years. Here are a few of the cards.




The back of the 1942 card.




Some years he paid his dues early and got an "Early Bird" stamp on the card. Sometime in late 1944 he paid his dues and signed his card for 1945. It was before November 5, because that is the day that he and his brother-in-law were finishing work for the day and were killed in an automobile-train collision outside of Grants, New Mexico.


In memory of Roy Tanner
and the many men and women
who have served in the armed forces
of the United States of America.



The cards are from my father's collection of thousands of scanned photos and other genealogical memorabilia. (Thanks, Dad!) This post is reposted from seven years ago.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The "Historic Pugsley Manor House"


"Manor" is an exaggeration: it is built on the same pattern as several other houses in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Salt Lake City. The homes located at the addresses where the two Pugsley families were living in 1900 (341 West 400 North and 575 N 200 West) are listed as being built in 1908 and 1909, so after the deaths of Philip and Martha Pugsley and not long before the death of Clarissa Pugsley, Philip's second wife.

I tried to pull up Philip's probate for details on the family property but his main file does not seem to be available now on Ancestry. I hope they continue to host the entire Wills and Probates file for the Utah.

The home has this note on Zillow: "The home was once known as Pugsley Manor and was the home of Elizabeth Anne Pugsley, a pioneer period feminist who was responsible for obtaining the right to vote for women in Utah." Er, something like that. I'll have to double-check, but I believe that Elizabeth and her husband, Henry Hayward, never lived on Pugsley Court. Another home data website, redfin, lists the date of construction of this home as 1916.

It looks like this question could use some more investigation, but in any case, the home is an interesting example of the architecture of the 1910s, and one of the guests put an interesting note about Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward in her review of the Airbnb rental.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Walking in Their Footsteps: The Wessmans at Ellis Island

A few days ago I stepped off the ferry onto Ellis Island and walked up the path to the immigration building. I'd been there before, so I was surprised by the emotion that overtook me as I walked the path taken by my grandfather's father, Henry Wessman, in July 1893 and his grandparents, Amanda Hall Wessman later in 1893, and Johan Bengtsson Wessman three years after that. 

Amanda was about my age when she left Sweden for America with her four-year-old son Joseph. She had already sent her daughters Fanny and Bertha and her sons John and Henry ahead. 

John shared the following memory of the trip. 
July 1st 1893, I and my brother Henry left Sweden for America. My father took us to Copenhagen. We were there for two days and took a steamer for Hull, England, and from there overland to Liverpool. I remember an incident there. There was a fight of several men, and a squad of bobbies was sent to bring them in. It became a general fight between bobbies and civilians. They were dragged to the jail. We stayed in Liverpool for five days, and we then boarded a vessel called the ‘Alaska’ for America. When we were 2-3 days out, three large whales came to the surface for air. Many flying fish followed the steamer to get the offal for food, and when we got to the banks of Newfoundland, the sirens and the horns kept blowing continuously that we didn’t get much sleep that night. 
In entering New York, we saw the statue of liberty and landed at the dock six and a half days from Liverpool.
John doesn't mention why Amanda and Joseph traveled separately to America several months later. I have not been able to find John (Johan) or Henry (Harry) Wessman (Westman) on any ship's register., including the voyage of the Alaska that matches John's description. They may have been traveling with other adults, using the names of the family.

When Amanda left Sweden, she left behind her husband, who would come three years later, and their two deceased children.

Amanda and Joseph traveled on the ship Alaska. Here is the ship's register. They are number 16 and 17.


Just as my family and I did, they would have walked down the gangplank onto the dock, walked into the immigration building, and walked up the gray staircase to the great hall, probably carrying all their earthly possessions.


We have mother Amanda's immigration record, and father Johan's, and Joseph's, and hopefully someday someone will locate the immigration records for the four Wessman children: Fanny, Bertha, John and Henry.

Here is Johan Wessman's Ellis Island record. He is on the next-to-the-last line, and his name is written "Westman."


Here are some of the textures in the immigration building.





Saturday, July 16, 2016

Rejoice, and Be Exceeding Glad: Traveling through the Ancestral Lands

My parents have been on a long road trip through Ontario, New York, Vermont, Maine, and I forget where else. They've enjoyed the scenery, including a stop at Bolton Landing to see the site of the former John Tanner home. My dad has been blogging some thoughts about the trip at Rejoice, and Be Exceeding Glad.

Following the Journey
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4: Ancestral Homeland
Part 5: Cemeteries and Dates
Part 6: Byways and Genealogy

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mea culpa. I believed Wikipedia.

Wikipedia said that the 123rd Volunteer Illinois Regiment was at the Battle of Stones River, and I didn't think to double check.

The battle was December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863, and at that time the Regiment was chasing the raider John Morgan (not our ancestor) through Tennessee, and were in the general area but not at the battle. John Morgan (yes, our Morgan ancestor from Coles County, Illinois, later Salt Lake City) was a member of the 123rd, and several years ago I listed the battle among his service. I will correct that.

Here is a detailed description of the actions of the 123rd Regiment.

123rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry 

OVERVIEW: Organized at Mattoon, Ill., and mustered in September 6, 1862. Left State for Louisville, Ky., September 19, 1862. Attached to 33rd Brigade, 10th Division, Army of the Ohio, to October, 1862. 33rd Brigade, 10th Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November, 1862. 1st Brigade, 5th Division, Centre 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 5th Division, 14th Army Corps, to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 14th Army Corps, to October, 1863. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to November, 1864, and Military Division Mississippi, to June, 1865. 

SERVICE: Duty at Louisville, Ky., till October 1, 1862. Pursuit of Bragg into Kentucky October 1-12. Battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8. March to Munfordsville October 12-18, and duty there till November 30. Expedition to Cave City October 31-November 26. Moved to Bledsoe Creek November 30. Pursuit of Morgan to Bear Wallow December 26, 1862, to January 2, 1863. March to Nashville, thence to Murfreesboro, Tenn., January 3-10, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro till June. Action at Woodbury January 24. Expedition to Auburn, Liberty and Alexandria February 3-5. Cainsville February 15. Expedition to Woodbury March 3-8. Breed's Hill March 4. Vaught's Hill, near Milton, March 20. Expedition to Lebanon, Carthage and Liberty April 1-8. Expedition to McMinnville April 20-30. Regiment mounted and armed with Spencer carbines May 6. Attached to Wilder's Mounted Brigade, Smithville, June 5. Middle Tennessee (or Tullahoma) Campaign June 24-July 7. Big Spring Branch June 24. Hoover's Gap June 24-26. Occupation of Manchester June 27. Estill Springs July 2. Occupation of Middle Tennessee till August 16. Expedition to Columbia and Centreville July. Expedition from Decherd, Tenn., August 5-9. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Ringgold, Ga., September 11. Lee and Gordon's Mills September 11-13. Leet's Tan Yard (or Rock Springs) September 12-13. Alexander and Reed's Bridges September 18. Pea Vine Creek September 18. Crawfish Springs and Dyer's Ford September 18. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-21. Operations against Wheeler and Roddy September 30-October 17. Hill's Gap, Thompson's Cove, near Beersheeba, October 3. Murfreesboro Road October 4. Near McMinnville October 4-5. Farmington October 7. Sim's Farm, near Shelbyville, October 7. Camp at Maysville, Ala., October 19-December 21. Moved to Pulaski December 21, thence to Mooresville, Ala., January 12, 1864, and guard Tennessee River till April. Moved to Columbia, Tenn., thence to join army near Dalton, Ga., reporting May 11. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 11-September 8. Battle of Resaca May 13-15. Near Dallas May 24. Operations on Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Near Big Shanty June 9. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Noonday Creek June 19. Powder Springs, Lattimer's Mills, Noonday Creek, June 20. Noonday Creek and assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Rottenwood Creek July 4. Chattahoochie River June 5-17. Stone Mountain Station July 19. Garrard's Raid to Oxford and Covington July 22-24. Garrard's Raid to South River July 27-31. Snapfinger Creek July 27. Flat Rock Bridge July 28. Siege of Atlanta August 1-13. Operations about Chattahoochie River Bridge, Pace's and Turner's Ferries August 26-September 2. Occupation of Atlanta September 2. Operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama September 29-November 3. Near Lost Mountain October 4-7. New Hope Church October 7. Dallas October 7. Rome October 10-11. Narrows October 11. Coosaville Road, near Rome, October 13. Near Summerville October 18. Little River October 20. Leesburg, Blue Pond, October 21. Ladiga, Terrapin Creek, October 28. Dismounted November 1, and ordered to Louisville, Ky. Refitting at Louisville till December 28. Moved to Gravelly Springs, Ala., December 28, 1864-January 20, 1865. Wilson's Raid on Selma, Ala., and Macon, Ga., March 22-April 24. Selma April 2. Montgomery April 12. Columbus, Ga., April 16. Macon, Ga., April 20. Moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., May 23; thence to Nashville and duty there till June 27. Mustered out June 27 and discharged at Springfield, Ill., July 11, 1865. 

Regiment lost during service 3 Officers and 82 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 133 Enlisted men by disease. Total 219.

(The original source for this list seems to be Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (Des Moines, Iowa: Dyer Publishing Company, 1908), 1098.)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Finding the Graves at Richardson's Point

As the pioneers traveled west in 1848, Edwin S. Little and James Monroe Tanner died at Richardson's Point. The two pioneer graves had been kept in memory by local residents for almost 140 years when a descendant of Edwin Little, Wallace C. Mauger, went to great lengths to find, and later to mark the two graves. The story is available online at the Church History Library. This picture is located in the document he wrote about his experiences.


The current location is Section 32, Chequest Township, Van Buren County, Iowa, on private property about four miles west of Lebanon, Iowa, (one mile west of Oak Point Cemetery) on route J 40.

Wallace C. Mauger, “Finding the Graves at Richardson's Point,” MS 13678, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Elder Sidney Tanner of Beaver

This picture of Sidney Tanner is from the Bathsheba W. Bigler Smith photography collection at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. Believe it or not, he is not the most rugged-looking individual in the photography collection, women included.

The back of the photo says "Member of the church in Kirtland. Worked with Hyrum Smith in getting out the timber for the Kirtland Temple    son of John Tanner"



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sidney Tanner Writes to the Family of His Deceased Wife


Sidney Tanner's wife Louisa Conlee Tanner died on September 29, 1846, at Winter Quarters. Sidney must have put off the grim task of notifying her family, because it took him seven months to write to his father-in-law, step-mother-in-law, and other family members with news of her death, and by the time he wrote this he had been remarried for more than four months to young Julia Ann Shepherd, a very brave girl to step in and care for his six motherless children.

Why was this letter in possession of the Tanner family? Is this a copy? Who owns the original? The handwriting is strikingly different from the Sidney Tanner letter featured the other day, but could be the same handwriting, perhaps written with a different pen?


A copy of this letter is in the collections of the Church History Library. The CHL copy includes a typescript, which has been corrected into standard English. I am trying to transcribe the actual letter as-is, but the computer keeps autocorrecting the transcription, so this should be approximately correct.


Winter Quarters April 13th 1847

Dear Father and Mother  Brothers & Sisters

I gladly embrace this opportunity of writing a few lines to you and tell you how we have been situated and how we are at present. we left the Iowa the 4 of March we traveled five days and stoped our youngest child by the name of James Monre was taken sick and died the 17 of March with the inflammation on the brain. we had got about 2 hundred miles from Montrose when we received your letter dated Feb 10 and you wanted to know what we wanted to moove for. it was to go to a land of freedom where we could enjoy the peace of sosiety and our liberty we did not want to live in country where their is no peace no liberty and citizens was not allowed their rights. we went on about one hundred miles farther to council point when we had another child aded to our family it was a boy ^its name was Mason Lyman^ & was born July 1 and Louisa got her health was well as ever we crost the Missouri river the last of July at council bluff where we stoped for the winter. [indecipherable] Louisa was taken sick with the fever she got ^some^ better and then took the canker and the chills fever and was sick a bout two months and then departed this life leaving her strongest testimony of the truth of the gospel of christ taught in the lasts days she requested me to write to you and tell you that she died in the full triumphs of the faith of Jesus Christ and her most desire for living was for the benefit of her family and Friends and do what she was afraid they would not do for themselves that they might arive to a glorious salvation in the kingdom of God where she


[e]xpects to meet them and enjoy their society she often spoke a bout you and wanted to see you and hoped ^that^ you would yet embrace the gospel and come to the west she died September 29 her babe was taken sick soon after she died and lived to be four months and 23 dys old it ^died^ Nov. 29 

This will be sad to you I have no toubt to hear of a death of a sister who has been near and unto you. the rest of my family is ^well^ at present

Lydia was sick last fall with the fever & ague I have six children living you gave me some very good advice to beware of false propets and evil doers that has been the cry in all ages of the world when the Lord has sent his servents and apostles forth to preach that was the sayings in the ^the days of our^ savior and apostles but the scripture says “beware of those who ware a form of Godliness and deny the power there of from such turn away   I was sorry to here of your misfortune of your getting ^your house^ burnt. I would be glad to see you all  I expect to remain here untill next spring   I want you to write to me soon as posible and I would be ^glad^ to have you come and see us

I do not want you to forsake me and the children because of our misfortune but write as ofen as you can give my respect and good wishes to all our relation and enquireing friends    the children sends their love to you all I rmain as your affectionate son and Brother

Sidney Tanner

James and Monroe Conlee

direct your letters austain post office 
Atcheson County Misouri


I concludes a record of the children ages
Allen Benedict Tanner was born March 2 1831
Lydia Tanner was born Nov 3 1832
Emma Tanner was born June 1 1835
Mary Louisa Tanner was born Sep 4 1837
Ely Elizabeth Tanner was born May 14 1840
Sidney Tanner was born March 6 1842
James Monroe Tanner was born July 30 1844
Mason Lyman Tanner was born July 1 1846


10
Mr
James or Monroe
Conlee
Union Villege
Wasington Co.
N.Y.
[postmark]

Friday, April 29, 2016

Eliza and Caroline Lyman Plead for Child Support

The women who entered plural marriage generally did so out of a firm belief in the Restored Gospel and the prophetic ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith. There were occasional abuses of the system, some women were coerced into the practice, some men were neglectful or vicious, and some men took wives they could not support, but divorce was possible if desired on the part of the woman, and sometimes the system worked okay for some families.

Amasa Lyman, with his many church responsibilities, may barely have had the means to support one family, let alone eight. John Tanner and Sidney Tanner helped care for Amasa's large family when they were able, but John died in 1850 and Sidney was sent to settle in Beaver in 1857 so Amasa's wives were often left to provide for themselves. Many of the women who entered into the practice of plural marriage suffered severe lifelong consequences, and this included Amasa's plural wives including Eliza Maria Partridge Lyman, who had been a plural wife of Joseph Smith, and Caroline Partridge Lyman. 

After Amasa left the Church, most of his wives took their children and lived well away from him, but it was a difficult situation. Eliza and Caroline wrote this letter not long after he was excommunicated, and hopefully he was able to do something to help them, since the two sisters had ten living children, the youngest just four years old, but he was getting on in years himself.

Fillmore         July 31st 1870

Dear Brother Lyman

You will perhaps be somewhat surprised at receiving a letter from us, but we are driven by stern necessity to do something. We cannot sit down quietly and see our children starve.

We are living now by borrowing of one neighbor then another without any prospect of ever paying which I consider not a very creditable way of doing. It seems to me that there is ^no need of all this destitution, that we are not so much worse off than other folks with regard to property, and can you not devise some plan whereby your family can be fed and clothed and have some little chance for an education? I think you can testify that during the last twenty four or five years we have borne poverty and privations of almost every kind without complaint and have done all in our power to make your life as ^happy as possible under the circumstances and be in truth a help to you, and it is not with a desire to add one sorrow to your heart that we write now, but to let you know how we are situated and see if there cannot be something done to relieve our wants a little. I hope you will excuse me if I have said too much, but I feel almost desperate sometimes, my health is gone and old age comes creeping on, and now when I most need some one to lean on, I find myself standing alone, no Husband to lighten my cares, no Father to provide for my children or to help me in rearing them, no home that I can call my own, no means that I can command to support myself and family, all are gone, gone, and I feel that the weight of responsibility that rests upon me is sometimes ^almost more than I can bear, but I put my trust in the Lord knowing that when all others forsake us he is still our Friend

Hoping to hear from you soon we subscribe ourselves your Friends

Eliza M. Lyman

Caroline E. Lyman

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Letter From a Refugee in 1857


Here is Sidney Tanner writing to his brother-in-law, Apostle Amasa Lyman, as Sidney evacuated both their families from San Bernardino under the direction of Brigham Young while the United States Army marched toward Utah Territory to put down a non-existent rebellion.

To be honest, it had never crossed my mind that Sidney or any of the Tanners would be barely literate, but they had lived on the edges of the frontier their entire lives without the benefit of formal education. 

In the letter Sidney explains that he wants to settle in Salt Lake City, but as we know, the family ended up in Beaver. He ends his letter hoping that his Heavenly Father will deliver them from the hand of the oppressor and enable them to do good while they remained on the earth. I think it is safe to say that his prayer was answered in the affirmative.


San Berinardino November   [1857]

Br
            Amsa Lyman

drop you           Dear Sir

drop you a line to let you know of my welfare myself and family has ben a flicted with sore is eyes  I have not ben able to but litle since I got home thare is a geate excitement in this place at p[r]esent Brother Hanks sold me the four muls and two wagons the goats hee wod not due enny thin a bout I recicive your letter on the 28th I was glad to here from you you wanted me to look after your famly

I will do the bestican [best I can] times Is vary hard here thare is no c[h]ance of seling land here at prsant I expect to start the temes [teams] about tenn days and bring [Amasa's plural wives] Cornelia [Ely Partridge Lyman,] Piscilla [Priscilla Turley Lyman,] Dionishia [Dionita Walker Lyman] and my family as fur as seder citty [Cedar City]


Tare [There] stop and send back temes to help up the res of the famly I want you to make a raingment for grain thar for the temes to return wih as wee will have no monny [money]

Brother Cox will do the best he can for the rest of famly

In my absence when I git the famly all along I want to come to citty of great salt lake

I wish you wood giv em all the infrommation about this this matter from time to time

seei meed [?] and about all others my prare [prayer] is to god my hevnly father hee will de liver us from the hand of opresor and in able [enable] us to du good while wee remain up on the erth

            Amasa Lyman                    Sidney Tanner

Additional information in a letter from William J. Cox to Amasa Lyman (November 7, 1857):
Brother Sidney Tanner will leave about the 20th, with his family, and is advised to leave his load at Cedar City or vicinity and return for a load of the poor, as there are many who are not able to get any part of a fit out themselves. I have adopted the plan of sending some teams with families on the 20th inst, and have them return for another load, especially the best of the Teams, Sidney. Will take your teames at the Same time With a part of your family and leave them at the same place and return to this place for another load, this is all the way.  That offers at present for the removal of the Saints from this place, We are Busy here in gathering teams, and Wagons for the trip. But Waggons are very Scarce and very dear and our traps are very low. So you See that it is an uphill afair to us But We Will Be able to get out, on foot or some other way 
The excitement here is intence, oweing to the late massacre on the Plains near the Southern settlements in Utah, and the high_way and high handed Robery of another Train (as our enemis call it) this side of there, the feeling against all who uphold the authorities of the church is greater than you I presume can imagine, especially in this and Los Angeles Counties