Sunday, January 26, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 4: Levi Evans Briggs

I just realized - I should have written this yesterday!   I thought when I looked last week, that the anniversary of Levi Evans Briggs' death was on Sunday - but now I see, it was really yesterday!

Levi Evans Briggs

Levi Evans Briggs was my Great Grandfather.  He was born on 10 December 1885 in Bountiful, Utah.   He was the son of Ephriam Briggs and Ann Evans.

Levi's father was a polygamist and had 2 wives, who were also sisters - Ann Evans and Mary Elizabeth Evans.    The 2 families both lived in Bountiful, but in separate homes.  There were a total of 18 children.   One of Levi's sisters, Lucy,  writes that even though she would hear people ask her mother which were "her" children, Lucy was a "large girl" before she realized that she had half brothers and sisters.

Levi's father was convicted of unlawful cohabitation in 1888 and served 6 months in jail, and had to pay a $25.00 fine.

When Mary Elizabeth died, Ann and her children moved into what had been Mary's house and took care of all of the children together.

In the 1900 Census, Levi is listed as attending school, and able to read, write and speak englisth.

In the 1910 Census, Levi is in Hollbrook, Idaho.  Living in the same town as his brother Ephriam.  He is listed as owning a farm, and occupation is farmer

In 1911 Levi married Selena Mae Bennett (She went by Mae).  Their first child, Mary, was born prematurely and died that same day on July 8, 1912.  My grandfather, Lawrence Bennett Briggs was born on October 23, 1913, and 5 children followed - Leo, Alvin, Ruby, Barbara and Stephen.   Both Ruby and Stephen died as very young children.

Levi and Mae Briggs

In 1918, Levi signed up for the WWI draft.   He is listed on his draft card as being tall, slender build with brown hair and blue eyes.   He lists his occupation as Pickle Maker for Cudahy Packing Company.  I'm pretty sure, after reading history about Cudahy Packing plant, and with the description in the 1940 census that he pickled meat - that the pickles he made, were not from cucumbers!

The 1920 census  has him back in Bountiful, married with 3 children.  His occupation is listed as laborer, industry packing.

The 1930 census shows him still in Bountiful, but now his occupation is listed as farmer.

The 1940 census has him still in Bountiful, but his occupation has changed to pickling meat for Cudahy Packing

Levi and Mae Briggs

I was 6 years old when Levi Briggs died.   I have only the vaguest memories of him.  I recall going up the hill in Bountiful with my mother and visiting him.   I recall being absolutely terrified of him, and that he gave me candy.    Later - I remember visiting him in a nursing home.

Levi Briggs

I asked my uncle, Bruce Briggs,  if he had any memories about his grandfather Levi Briggs,  that I could share, and he wrote the following:

"I would go up there 1-2 times a week with dad, take him shopping, or later on just fill the shopping list he gave us + mow & attended to his lawn & yard. I really can’t remember him actually ever engaging me directly in a conversation about me or my life. I usually just listened as he & dad discussed sports, current events, other family members, etc..

One event that does stand out – we used to have a big X-Mass get together with the three brothers, dad, Leo & Alvin + all the cousins before the cousins got older, married & had their own families. It was usually the weekend before Christmas. When I was 5 or 6 Levi gave all the male cousin, about my age the same size pkg. My focus for the season was on the big items being advertised & that you asked Santa for. I opened the gift & it was a wrist watch, a very basic one but it was something that hadn’t even crossed my mind as something I would want, receive or even like. It was a total surprise & I was thrilled. I have worn a wrist watch almost constantly from that time to today. It was the biggest surprise I can ever remember getting and I was ecstatic! It was so unique & unexpected and I felt I had won the lottery. I have had hundreds of presents since then but that one really stuck out."

Levi Evans Briggs died on January 25, 1975


Friday, January 17, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 3: Francis Plummer

I love that years and years later, the mundane events of life become fascinating reading to others.   I also love seeing some of the practices, laws and norms that existed in the past.....

Which brings me to my 10x great grandfather - Francis Plummer.   He did nothing that appears in history books, yet led a very interesting life.  At least to me - reading about it almost 400 years later!   I am fortunate in that because he was an original settler of Newbury, Massachusetts - there are many mentions of him in the historical records of the town.   In addition, Massachusetts has kept vital records since the 1600's so we are able to view things like land transactions and wills over 400 years later.

Francis and his wife, Ruth came from England in to New England in about 1634.   With him was at least 3 of his children.    There is apparently some controversy as to where, specifically, he came from in England - so I'll just leave it as - England.   He was a linen tailor or lynnen weaver.

He arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts and spent the summer there.  In fall, along with several others of the company he arrived with, he moved a few miles north and helped settle what is now Newbury, Massachusetts.

The founders of Newbury drew up a plan for the settlement and allocated sections of land to each of the settlers.  The lots varied from 1/2 acres - along the square in the interior of the settlement, to 4 acre sections along the streets.  Francis selected a larger plot - along Merrimack Street.   Later, founders were allowed additional land, and Frances was able to acquire the 2 adjoining plots to his land and his homestead consisted of 12 acres.  In the years to come, Frances acquired more and more land.

In 1635 he was selected by the townspeople to become the innkeeper.   It appears he held this position for only 2 years, as town records show John Knight appointed as innkeeper in 1637.  Innkeepers were an important designation in early American history and only prominent citizens were allowed to become innkeepers.  You can read more about the role of an innkeeper here.

Francis was primarily a farmer, but was likely still doing some weaving for the community.   His homestead would have been like living in the wilderness at that time.

Other events recorded for this Francis Plummer's life:
  • In 1637 - he was fined 10 shillings for "defect of fences" and that amount was added to his taxes.
  • In April 1638 he was fined 2 shillings and sixpence for failing to attend a town meeting.
  • In 1642 he is listed as having 5 shares in the ox and cow commons.
  • In 1647, his wife Ruth died.
  • In 1649 he married Ann Palmer, the widow of William Palmer.
  • He served on the grand jury for The Quarterly Court - at Ipswich in 1646, 1653, 1654 and 1658.
  • In 1653 he became involved in a civic matter involving his former neighbor Robert Pike.   Mr. Pike was a magistrate and had served as a member of the general court.    Mr. Pike criticized the general court regarding intolerance in religious worship.  He was convicted - I'm not sure of what - and his sentence prohibited him from holding any public office in both the town and commonwealth, and prohibited him from pleading any case before the court - except his own.  He was also fined 20 marks.
Members of the community were not happy about this turn of events and began circulating petitions demanding the revocation of the sentence against Mr. Pike.   Frances Plummer, and  2 of his sons, Samuel and Joseph, signed the petitions.  The court was not amused, and convened a commission of 6 people to investigate those that had the audacity to sign a petition and their reasons.  Of those that signed the petition, the commission referred 15 to the court.  One of those was Francis Plummer.  The 15 were referred to the court for either failing to provide a reason for signing the petition, or for "asserting their rights to petition whenever they saw fit, denying the right of any person or body of persons to interfere."  (Quote from The Plummer Genealogy by Sidney Perley).  The trial of these men never happened.
Petitions are common in this day and age - but taking this stand in the 1600's was unusual!   This was not the end of Mr. Plummer getting involved and speaking up in civic affairs  Francis and his sons were involved in a dispute involving their pastor in 1679/1680 as well.

  • In 1659, Francis Plummer's military obligations were waived, provided he pay 8 shillings per year to support the use of the military company.
  • In 1662, his son Samuel represented him in a civil suit in which he prevailed, against Richard Dole for cutting and removing hedging from his property.
  • In Mary 1663 he was selected to be a Fence Viewer for his section of the town.  I had never heard of a Fence Viewer before I started looking into family history.  If you are not sure what this public office entails - here is a link.    In short - Fence Viewers were city officials who enforced the fence laws of a community, inspected fences, and settled disputes.
  • In October 1665 his second wife died, and 43 days later he married another widow - Beatrice.   She is described as being "a disagreeable woman", yet he defended her - saying that "if he had sought all ye world over he could not have found a better wife.".  (Quote from The Plummer Genealogy by Sidney Perley )

Francis died on January 17, 1672.   The final listing of his assets  is preserved, so we can see what possessions he had.   It is interesting to me - the things that are part of daily life - that become part of settling his estate.   In the list of his the list of his final assets include things like:  A featherbed, 2 pillows, a coverlet and and blanket from the parlor.  a table and onboard in the hall, 2 pairs of gloves, an Iron Kettle and pot, 2 pounds of feathers, 4 pounds of flaxen yarn, a grind stone, 4 flitches and a half of bacon, quarter of a barrel of pork, 28 pounds of cheese, and 3 pounds of butter.

Images of Francis Plummer's final assets below:


  • The Plummer Genealogy, by Sidney Perley, 1917.  link

Saturday, January 11, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 2: Frye Bayley

I read about a challenge that has issued - blog about 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks!   This is week 2!   I decided to take the challenge!  This means that on one of my updates each week - you'll see me tag it with 52 Ancestors or #52ancestors - so it gets tracked!

Frye Bayley was born on January 1, 1749 and died on January 11, 1823.  He is my 3rd cousin 7x removed.

When I was looking for someone to highlight today - I knew absolutely nothing at all about this man.

Generally I go through my daily list and do a quick search to see what may be out there, and then decide.   Once I hit Frye Bayley, I didn't even continue to the others.

Frye Bayley was born in Newbury Massachusetts, the son of a chaplain who served in the French and Indian War and the oldest of 4 children.   He moved to Newbury Vermont at the age of 14 - at the request of his uncle, Jacob Bayley who was then a Captain and later became a General in the Revolutionary War.   Frye was an original grantee of the town of Newbury.

He married his first wife, Deborah Tillotson in 1769.  His first daughter, Abigail, was born in 1770 and Deborah died in 1772.

He next married Mary Porter.  He had 12 children with Mary - the first born in 1773 and the last in 1800.

In 1776 he joined the army.   His commission was signed by John Hancock.

Frye went back and forth to Canada several times with various assignments, including carrying dispatches for George Washington and he rose to the rank of Captain.  During this time, the army made use of a Indian scout named Joseph.    When "Indian Joe" died, it was Frye Bayley that paid for his coffin and burial.  A detailed account of the story of Indian Joe can be found here.

The major project he was involved with, along with his uncle who by then had the rank of General was the planning and building of the Bayley-Hazen Military Road.  This road has quite the history.  First planned in 1775 to be used in an  invasion of Quebec, it was never fully completed and construction was halted several times.   At one point construction was halted because of rumors that it was to be used by the British to invade the towns in the area - though an invasion never happened.  It was also the location of several skirmishes during the Revolutionary war.     Construction began a second time in 1779, and again was stopped after rumors that the British were on their way surfaced.  More about this road can be found here.

In October 1777 he was in charge of a company that went from Newbury to Saratoga Springs and was present when Burgoyne surrendered.

In December 1777 he was sent, along with Captain Nehemiah Lovewell and John Powell to escort Captain Singleton who was there negotiating for the release of hostages.  Instead, the men were captured and put in prison for several months and returned to Boston in October 1778.

Frye Bayley acquired small pox while serving in the army and even though he was so sick he was close to fainting several times, he , along with many others, were still required to perform their duties.     He kept a journal during the war, and he wrote - "It is a very dying time.".

Frye Bayley remained active in the army until the end of the Revolutionary War.   He participated in several alarms and patrolling the area of Newbury, as well as carrying dispatches as needed.

Following the war, he returned to his farm and was involved in town and county business.  He was a respected member of the community and was appointed Sheriff.   He built an extensive library which is now maintained by the city.   He was appointed County Sheriff and moved to the community of Chelsea.

His second wife died in 1808 and he married a 3rd time in 1811 to Mary Safford.

In 1818, Frye filed for an army pension.   As part of that process, he provided an oral account of his service in the Revolutionary War, which he signed after it was written down.

Below is a transcription of the statement - I was able to read most of it..........

I Frye Bayley of Chelsea in the county of Orange and State of Vermont testify and declare that on the 22nd day  of January AD 1776, I received an Ensign Commission signed by John Hancock President of Congress, and immediately entered the ???? Company service of the United States Army Colonel Timothy Budele (sp?) Regiment forward in said capacity until sometime in the month of October following when I was discharged at Ticonderoga by James (?) Gates in consequence of my being sick and unable to do duty, which commission I herewith  ??? and afterward ?? in the month of December AD 1777 I took the command of a flag of three by by the order of Colonel Bodet (?) to go into Canada with two British Officers ??? with letters from General Gates to General ?? who was not recognize the flag and I was detained as a prisoner between ten and eleven months in Canada and Nova Scotia and afterwards, then living in Newbury, a frontier town, volunteered my services to go against the British and Indians who frequently made incursions upon us and continually harassed us and was almost continually in the defense of of my country until the close of the Revolutionary War.   I further testify that by reason of my ?? in life, being almost seventy years old and infirm I stand in need of assistance of my country for support and wish to put on to the pension list according to a late act of Congress.
Chelsea April 15 1818          Frye Bayley (signed)

State of Vermont, Chelsea Office, Orange County April 15, 1818 I personally spoke to Frye Bayley and make oath that the foregoing declaration by him ?? is true before me.
Josiah Dana Chief Judge of Orange County Court.

His pension was approved and he was paid $250.00 per year until his death in on January 11, 1827.


  1. Fifth Report of the Daughters of the American Revolution, October 11, 1901 to October 11, 1902 - link
  2. A History of Newbury Vermont. Frederick Wells, 1902 - link
  3. The First American Army, Bruce Chadwick, 2007 link
  4. Pox Americana, the Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-1782 by Elizabeth A Fenn, 2001 link

Friday, January 10, 2014

Love is in the air.....

On this day, in 1916 Hans Rasmussen and Theresa Mabrito Rodler were married.   Hans is my great grand uncle.      He was born in Denmark and moved to the Utah when he 6, his younger brother James is my great grand father Theresa Mabrito was born in Colorado.     This was her 2nd marriage, and she already had 2 young boys.   The exact cause of her first husbands death is not documented - but family lore is that he was killed in a mining accident.

Theresa was born in Colorado, her family had emigrated to the United States from Italy.   Her family were miners, as was her first husband.   It's not clear how Hans and Theresa met - currently there are 2 working theories - either Hans, who also spent some time as a miner, met her while in Colorado.   Or, they met in Utah.   Theresa's brother was living in Utah at that time, and his draft card lists their mother as a dependent and partially disabled - so perhaps Theresa came to visit?     Han's great grandson is working on this mystery.

In addition to the 2 boys from Theresa's first marriage, Hans and Theresa had 7 more children.

Hans Rasmussen Family - 1920 Census - Elsinore Utah

A little bit about Hans:

From the history my grandfather wrote, I know that Hans' and James' father was very strict.  One story is that the boys were allowed 1tb of sugar each morning for their coffee - but if they spilled 1 crystal, they got none.  His parents - Niels and Hansina Rasmussen joined the Mormon church while living in Denmark, and moved to the United States.  According to my grandfathers history, once Niels arrived in Utah and learned of polygamy, he would never have anything to do with the Mormon Church again.

Niels and Hansine Rasmussen
with James (Baby) and Hans (Standing)

Below is the record of Hans Birth, it is on line 113 - his parents had not yet selected a name for the baby when the priest recorded his birth.  The translation is this: Born 8 Dec 1885 the son of Niels Rasmussen and Hansine Maden (21) years old living at Tolderlundsvej # 6.

Theresa died on December 4, 1952

Hans Died on July 5, 1958.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Doctor and Tavern Keeper

My 5th Great Grandfather, Amos Howe, was born on this day in Worchester, Massachusetts.    Amos lived only to 39, but did accomplish quite a bit in those years.

Amos Howe became a doctor and in 1797 moved to Richmond, NH to set up practice.  He established his office in Jedediah Buffum's house, where he met and later married Candace Buffam.   Amos and Candace had 6 children.

In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Howe was issued a tavern keep's license and he and Candace established a tavern in Four Corners, Richmond, New Hampshire.    At the time - only respectable members of a community could be issued a tavern license.

In 1812, Dr. Amos Howe went to Sackets Harbor NY along with other members of the Richmond community to serve during the War of 1812.  There is no known record of Dr. Howe serving in any military capacity, and it is assumed he served as a civilian doctor.

Amos died in 1813 in Sackets Harbor NY, leaving Candace with 5 children (one of their children died as an infant).     After Amos' death, Candace continued to operate the tavern in Richmond, which became known as the Widow Howe's Tavern.    She later became a postmaster as well, and the tavern served as the post office.

Amos Howe, Pioneer Foundryman by Margaret Cannon - link
History of Richmond, Cheshire County, New Hampshire - link
History of the Town Richmond, Cheshire County, New Hampshire from its Settlement to 1882 - link

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bon Voyage Briggs Family!

The first members of the Briggs line in my family tree to come to America left England on this day in 1851 aboard the ship Ellen.    There were 4 in the Briggs family.   James and Ann and their children, Thomas and Elizabeth.   On board were 466 passengers from the Mormon Church, all emigrating to America.

The Briggs family left England with the intent of moving to Utah.  The Ellen sailed from Liverpool to New Orleans, and then the family went up the Mississippi river to St. Louis where they settled in for what they intended to be a short time.   James and Ann both died in St. Louis, and Thomas did not make it to Utah until 1862.

The journey from Liverpool to New Orleans was quite the adventure.  The ship collided with another ship and spent 3 weeks undergoing repairs, rations were tight, winds were not always favorable and 12 people died.

Thomas wrote a journal which tells of the events leading up to the family's departure from England and the details of the voyage.

The story of the voyage, in Thomas' own words can be found here.   A general account of the voyage can be found here.

Passenger List - the Briggs Family is the last on this page.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

On this day in family history............not much happened!

That is right!    Seriously slim pickings today!

So - rather than highlight someone - - - I'll highlight the process!

While investigating possible people today, I made a super fun discovery!    I was doing some research on the Howes, specifically one of the many Abigail Howe's, when a happy accident happened in a search on  

I found out that I am related to the Abigail Howe, who is Brigham Young's mother!    In the final outcome - once I had all the parties updated, I discovered that Brigham Young is my 3rd Cousin, 6x removed!!!

That is all for today!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Aunt Stacie!

Today would have been the 59th birthday of my aunt - Stacie Rae Clark Rasmussen.     Stacie was born on January 6, 1955.     Stacie died on November 8, 1993.  

I grew up knowing Aunt Stacie.   She was always a lot of fun to be around!    She taught me how to play blackjack and went with me to Wendover the very first time I went and actually gambled........ we won't mention that I was not technically old enough for this adventure..........

I know her family misses her and she would have been so happy to see her children grow up, and meet her first grand child - who is named after her.    I am amazed at how much her daughter, Robyn looks like her mother!

Here is a link to Stacie's obituary - in case the picture is too small.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lizzie Roberts Wiggett Shepherd Tubbs

Today is my birthday - but that would be boring!   Maybe in 100 years!

I had a little help with family history today - meet Peanut!     As you can see, he is a lot of help!  Who can guess what site that is I have open?

Today, I am going to highlight my 2x Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Talmer Roberts, who died on this day in 1935.

Elizabeth had quite the adventurous, and often difficult life.  Lizzie was born on June 10, 1861 in Headless Cross, Worchestershire, England.  Her father was a blacksmith and her mother was a former school teacher.  She began working as a very young child.   First chasing birds from fields of growing crops, later at a needle factor with her mother, and then as a maid.  

Her first marriage was to John Wiggett on August 5, 1878.

In 1880, 2 of Lizzie's brothers had joined the Mormon church and moved to Utah.    By 1882, things were not great at home, John was drinking and spending long hours away from his family, which included 2 children.   Lizzie's family had been writing to Lizzie, encouraging her to leave England and to join them in them in Utah.   About this time, the family's 3rd child was born and died.   Lizzie hoped that a change would improve things with John and began making preparations to leave.

John did not come.    The story is that he went to the dock, but decided at the last minute that he could not leave his family and stayed behind.  Lizzie went ahead and left, along with her sister and family.   She had a sick toddler and was pregnant.  Her fourth child, John, was born in Utah, but died after on a few days.

In 1884, Lizzie began working as a housekeeper for Rollins Don Carlos Shepherd, and ended up marrying him in 1884.   He was 30 years older than her.     The family, which included Lizzie's 2 children from her first marriage, lived in Utah until 1893.   5 children arrived during this time - Rollins Don Carlos II, Marcus de Lafayette, Claude, Electra and Edna.

In 1893, after hearing about the opportunities available in the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming, the family loaded a covered wagon, obtained 75 cattle and a pony and headed to Wyoming.    Along the way, most of the cattle were killed or lost, and they arrived very late in the year with almost nothing.   A daughter, Adeline, was born in September.   Rollins Don Carlos worked on other farms to try to provide for his family.  They lived in the covered wagon and had little food or comfort.  

In Spring, the family decided to head to Billings, Montana for supplies, and left the older boys behind to care for their camp.    On the way home, Electra fell out of the wagon, and caught her dress on the break and was thrown under the heavy wagon which rolled over her and broke her back.   They headed back to Billings to find a Dr., but Electra could not be saved and died a few days later.

It was not until the following spring that the family had selected where they would build their farm and commenced clearing the land, building a home, and planting crops.

Things went well for the family for several years.  They farmed, gathered berries, hunted and the children grew.   2 more children were born during this time - Valie and Bartley.   The older children began to get married, and were busy setting up their own households, and grandchildren began to arrive.

Adie, Valie, Edna, Thelma, Lizzie and Mildred
As Rollins Don Carlos reached his 70's, he began to become erratic, and unpredictable and at times violent.   In 1903 he decided to leave the family and had divorce papers drawn up, mortgaged the farm, and left for Utah to live with his brother.    In 1904, the last of the 9 children was born - William Gifford.     Lizzie was 43 and Rollins was 74.

After Rollins left, Lizzie moved her family several times.   She took various jobs to support her family - including taking in boarders, cooking, running a store, and opening a diner.  

In 1906, following the death of Marcus, Rollins Don Carlos rejoined the family in Belfry, Montana. After a couple of very hard winters, they moved to Laurel Montana.  On Christmas day, in 1909, Rollins Don Carlos Shepherd died.

In 1912, Lizzie moved to Lewiston, Montana and rented a cafe.

Lewiston Dining Parlor

 In 1913, the new town of Denton had been formed, and the Railroad was coming.    Lizzie left Lewiston and moved to Denton, where she was sure there would be more opportunities.    

Denton Hotel, Dining Hall

By now, Lizzie was living with William Tubbs, who had been one of her boarders.    In Lizzie's obituary, it is indicated that she was married to William Tubbs, but I could not find any documentation, and the family history doesn't say for sure if they ever got married, and if so, when this happened.

By now, Lizzie had children and grand children living in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.    She would visit the children, especially in times of need - when there was illness, or a death in one of the families.   William Tubbs was a carpenter and taught that trade to some of the younger boys.

In 1918 - Lizzie and Bill Tubbs moved to Grand Junction, CO along with several of Lizzie's children.  They stayed there for several years.

In 1934, Lizzie decided to travel to Salt Lake City.   The car broke down somewhere in the desert, and they had to wait awhile before Bartley was able to come from Helper, UT.    Lizzie became sick, and went to Bart's house in Helper where she died on January 5, 1935.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

52 Ancestors Week 1: A little genealogical mystery today.......

Yesterday - I missed posting.    I kept looking at the list for January 3, and there just wasn't really anything interesting there!

Today I had a choice of 10 events.    I started looking for who I would highlight today and ended up spending time trying to unravel the life of William Ray, my 4x Great Grandfather.

William Ray was born in 1760 in Wrentham, Massachusetts, and died in 1845 in Hubbardton, Vermont.  They mysterious part of this search is:   Was William Ray a member of the Green Mountain Boys?

I am not able to determine exactly when William Ray moved to Vermont.   His first son was born in Wilmington, Vermont in 1782.   His marriage to Joanna Pond in 1781 was in Wrentham, Massachusetts.    Perhaps the couple moved after they were married?  Or perhaps he was already living in Vermont and traveled to Massachusetts to get married.  I checked - its 128 miles from Wrentham to Wilmington.

There is an interesting coincidence that surfaced when researching William Ray and his possible connection to the Green Mountain Boys.    William's daughter, Roxalana Ray,  married Samuel Shepherd and several members of his family were in the Green Mountain Boys.

While researching, I found that there is a lake in Vermont, near Wilmington that is named for William, and his brother Benjamin.

Below is an except from a Wilmington Historical Society newsletter.   William and his brother, Benjamin, bought a piece of land near Wilmington that contained a pond, which was known as Ray's Pond.  After purchasing this land, the brothers expanded the pond and it later became known as Lake Raponda after the area had been developed and people felt that Ray Pond didn't sound very interesting.   The name was combined to Raponda.   It has grown to be an exclusive place to vacation and live.  I found it interesting that William and Benjamin were referred to as being members of a local family in 1788................ if they had just recently moved there.

So - without any conclusive evidence - Is this my 4x great grandfather or not?   Maybe someday I will find out for sure!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Not many choices today......

Here we are on January 2, 2014.    4 People in my family tree have events today, but nobody that I have much information on!

The most interesting of my choices today is Abraham How (by the time my grandmother was born - the family name was Howe). 

Abraham is my 3rd Cousin, 8 times removed.   He was born on January 2, 1724 in Ipswich, Massachusetts.    He died on August 18, 1808.     He was married to Elizabeth Perry and had 9 children.  

Abraham served in the Revolutionary War.   I was able to locate his service record, but there is not a lot of information there.    The 12th Regiment of the Continental Congress under Col. Moses Little.  This regiment participated in several key battles including the Battle of Bunker Hill, the New York Campaign and the Battles of Trenton and Princeton.    

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!

I have been interested in family history for awhile now.    It's amazing how the seemingly small day to day things in life become incredibly interesting when you find out about them.........many many years later!

I decided to start sharing some of the things I run into!    

By now, I have thousands of people in my family tree. With a group that large, I figure that there has to be someone in there with a birthday, anniversary, death, or something going on for every day of the year!    I also found an "On This Day" report in one of the programs I use which will help me find someone for each day.  So - I decided I'll highlight a different person each post, who has a life event on that day.

With that in mind, I'll start this off on January 1, talking about my great grand uncle, Rollins Don Carlos Shepherd.

Rollins Don Carlos (Carl) Shepherd is pictured above with his 2nd wife, Hattie Mae Kinnamon and 7 of his 19 children - Ruth, Wilma, Elma, Martha, Alvin, Warren and Floyd.  In addition to 19 children, he was step-father to 3 more kids.   Quite the big family!   The baby (Warren) in this picture was born in 1929 - he looks pretty young - so my best guess is that this picture is from 1929 or 1930.   

Carl was born January 1, 1885 in Beaver, Utah.  He spent his early years in Utah at first in Beaver, and then in Vernal.  In 1889 word began to spread around the area that good opportunities could be found in the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming, and the family moved there in 1893.  The Shepherds were farmers and all the children worked on the farm, and the boys sometimes worked on other farms or cut and hauled wood to help support the family.     

In 1904, Carl married Mary Ann Abercrobie Caldwell, who had 3 children.   He was 19, she was 28.  They had 6 children - Electa, Bertha, Elizabeth, Clara, Rollins Don Carlos III, and Lyman.  

As Carl's father,  Rollins Don Carlos Sr., aged, he became angry and violent.  Rollins Sr. was 30 years older than his mother and the youngest of their children was born in 1904 - the same year Carl married his first wife.  The boys had to watch out for themselves and the others because when their father was upset, he would come after them with shovels, buckets, etc..

In 1904, Carl's father, Rollins Don Carlos Shepherd I, filed divorce papers,  mortgaged the ranch and transferred all of his assets to his wife, Elizabeth Talmer Roberts.     Lizzie took the money and moved the family around Wyoming, Montana and Colorado for the next several years.  Carl's father spent several years away from the family, living with his brother in Utah and when he returned to Wyoming, was in and out of the family's life until he died in 1909.

Conditions were often poor for the family, with Lizzie occasionally working in camps as a cook, and the boys working on various farms or logging and hauling wood to make money to support the group.  As the children got older and married, they settled down in various locations in the area.  Carl and Annie left with Annie in 1904 and moved around with her most of the time.

Carl's first wife, Mary Ann, died in 1915 due to complications resulting from Lyman's birth.   Carl's mother Lizzie and his sister Vailie came to help with the large family.    It became apparent that Carl would not be able to care for the family alone and the children were farmed out - some going to the oldest child - Carl's step daughter, Brazillia, and the youngest children going to live with Lizzie.    Electa and Bertha stayed with Carl.

Carl registered for the WW1 draft in 1915, and his draft registration form describes him as tall and slender with blue eyes and brown hair.

In 1916, Carl married Hattie Mae Kinnamon.   They had 13 more children - Audrey, Martha, Ruth, Floyd, Elma, Alvin, Wilma, Warren, Merrell, Beulah, Kenneth, Alice and Norman.   The family settled down near Olathe, Colorado.    Carl hauled coal, and farmed, and later the family moved to Montrose, Colorado.      He was a devout member of the Mormon church and was in charge of Sunday School, and the house was used to host the missionaries and hold "cottage meetings" for other members of the church in the area.

Carl's daughter, Elma, wrote a short biographical sketch of her father - filled with pleasant stories of lemonade and fried chicken, canning peaches, etc..    But she also indicates there was a dark side to Carl.

Elma writes that her father was a completely different man at church, then he was at home.   Away from church he did not speak often to his family, especially when angry, and had, what she described as an "terrible temper."  His family lived in fear with repeated threats that he would kill himself.  

Carl died in 1940, in Montrose, Colorado, the same year his youngest child was born.   I have not been able to find verification of how Carl died, Elma indicates he committed suicide.     

While I am able to document dates, and locations, the story part of this comes from 2 primary sources - a biographical sketch written about Carl by his daughter Elma in 1926, and a family history about Elizabeth Talmer Roberts.