Hay view from Castle

Hay view from Castle
Hay-on-Wye, Powys (formerly Breconshire), Wales. The "Town of Books" (and Vaughans!)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

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

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

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

Friday, May 30, 2014

What If Elinor's Son-in-Law Was in the American Civil War?

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


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

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Finding Maranah

By Judy Vaughn Atwood:


I still recall my parents coming home from a visit to the Genealogy Library in Salt Lake City. I was a young teen and remember the smiles as they came in the door.  The first words were “We found our great-grandmother, Maranah!” They discovered her christening in the town of Penrhos, Monmouthshire, Wales, Maranah Watkins, the daughter of William Watkins and wife Hester, christened 17 June 1827. At that time I knew very little about our Family History, but I had a curiosity about those that came before me. I love the name, Maranah.

When I had a chance to research on my own, I went in search of Maranah. She did not read or write so her name was not always spelled the same. I found her listed as Maranna Watkins, on the 1841 Census in Llantilio Crossenney, Monmouthshire, Wales; she was a 15 year old servant on a farm, a short distance from Penrhos. Our relatives found the marriage certificate showing when John Vaughan (1825) married Maranah Watkins (1827) in Llanfoist, Monmouthshire, Wales; on 10 September, 1846.

John and Maranah Vaughan were found on the 1851 Census in Llanfoist with their first two sons George John and Thomas. Together, family members found parish records of the birth of their children, but not much more. Of course, one of the biggest finds was when they found her on L.D.S. Church records. She was baptized in the Stockton Branch, Durham, England in 1883. Other Vaughan family members also joined the Church in the early 1880’s. All of John’s and Maranah’s sons left England with their families and settled in Ogden, Utah from 1884-1888. Maranah stayed in England.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Ellsworth & Handcarts: Success before Disaster

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

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

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Finding Our Cousins WITH Our Cousins

Happy Mothers Day, Elinor!

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

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