Hay view from Castle

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Document! . . . not much news.

The guy at the Church History Library sent me the ledger account from the Perpetual Emigration Fund (PEF) for Eleanor Vaughan.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Judy's Trip Home . . . to Wales

This is by Judy Vaughn Atwood:

For many years I had a dream of visiting Hay on Wye, Breconshire, Wales. From the first time I got interested in family history, I was fascinated by the town of Hay. This is the home of our Vaughan family, the place of our known beginnings. Our earliest Hay ancestor was John Vaughan born in 1789 to Hannah Vaughan an unmarried woman; we do not know who his father was.

Hay is on the east bank of the Wye River on the border of Wales and England. It is just inside the Welsh border; Cusop is a nearby town just across the Dulas Brook in England. Our family has history in both of these towns.

At the time that our ancestors lived in Hay, it was a small market town. Now it is most famous for its books. Thanks to Richard Booth, the town has an abundance of book shops including the one at Hay Castle. So the town has had a rebirth and the local economy has been transformed.

Elaine, Judy, Lucille, Linda, & Grant - one of many book shops in Hay

In 2010, I had the chance to join cousins, Kathleen Nielson, Grant and Linda Vaughn and their friends Lucille and Elaine on a trip to the UK. It would be a genealogy tour, a sightseeing adventure, and a 30th anniversary trip for Grant and Linda.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Springville in Context, 1856-1857 (Part II)


Let me start by saying very clearly, I am not a proponent of modern, current-day polygamy. And neither is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church does not accept the membership or participation of those who practice polygamy. I do respect my ancestors, and there were several of them, who lived this religious principle of plural marriage to the best of their abilities.

The only doctrinal basis and the only real explanation I can give for plural marriage are in the scriptures, both for the establishment of the doctrine and practice in Doctrine & Covenants 132, and for the disestablishment of the practice in Official Declaration No. 1. Still, a bit more historical explanation is needed to the extent that it helps us understand Elinor and where she was after arriving in Utah.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Springville in Context, 1856-1857 (Part I)

Our handcart pioneer, Elinor Jenkins Vaughan (1789-abt.1858) could not have arrived in Utah at a more interesting and challenging time. We have solid evidence that she was here in that she was present for her own endowment on Temple Square on November 15, 1856, and that she was present on March 23, 1857 at the sealing to Charles Hulet in the First Presidency's Office where the tours for the Beehive House begin today. It appears from all that we know, particularly the sealing to Hulet, that she was in Springville, Utah from Fall of 1856 to the Spring of 1857. She likely died and was buried not long after Spring 1857 without it being recorded as those were busy times for Springville and all of Utah Territory. Many of the able-bodied men left by Fall of 1857 to defend against Johnston's Army sent by President Buchanan to put down a supposed Mormon Rebellion.

There was no rebellion. There was plenty of misunderstanding. And there was an attempt by LDS Church leaders to reform the Saints to prepare and sanctify themselves for the anticipated Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As of the present, neither the necessary sanctification nor the Second Coming has occurred. We still have work to do. And some terrible things happened in 1857 to throw us off from being a Zion People. Yet, sanctification still remains an option, as does entering the presence of the Lord which we hope and pray for Elinor as she did all that was required of her. May we do the same.

To explain some of the historical, spiritual, and all too human tragic context of those times, I choose the amazing journal of an ordinary person, Luke Gallup (1822-1891) who joined the LDS Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He pioneered Springville, Utah, served missions, and in 1888 moved to Orange County, California, where he died away from the Church leaving numerous, faithful Mormon descendants.

Gallup's journal covers the broad expanse of his life. You can find it on-line from the Church History Library. He had some writing skills and served as a clerk to bishop Aaron Johnson of Springville. What fascinates me is his account of the Mormon Reformation right at the time and place of Elinor's arrival:

October 1856
4th copied a letter for Bp. Johnson to B. Young. 6th E. Taylor started for Sanbarnardino. Bad weather 8th & 9th. 15th was [re]baptized by Bp. A. Johnson & confirmed by J.M. Stewart. Snowy & unpleasant from the 19th to the 24th Snow 3 inches deep on ground.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

John Vaughan 1825 & the Other Mother Confusion

John 1825 was quite the interesting character. He comes into this world of confusion creating some in his birth. He also mysteriously disappears at the end of his life, although Judy about has him tracked down.

The problem is, as some may have noted on Family Search or looking at the Hay Bishop's Transcript itself, that John's mother is written down at the christening as Catherine, not Elinor. Some have tried to reconcile this by creating a middle name for Elinor, calling her "Elinor Catherine Vaughan." There has been a lot of confusion in LDS Family History records. There is no record anywhere that provides actual evidence to support the name being any variation of "Elinor Catherine." Judy and I encountered the same problem, then we began to collaborate much to our mutual and the family's benefit. And this was further confirmed by Elinor herself giving her name, birth, and parents for her own endowment in 1856 here in Utah.

There is evidence of another explanation. And we've had this checked out by a professional researcher.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Eleanor Didn't Come Alone!

Way to go, Judy!

Yes, Family History is a collaborative effort. While I was taking a step back and looking at all the other pioneers of the Edmund Ellsworth Handcart Company of 1856 that had come from Elinor's neighborhood in Wales, Judy did us one better by going through the Ellsworth list to see if any of her married daughters had come. And she found Jane.

On Ellsworth's list is John & Jane Lewis with son John eight years old. A quick check to the 1851 Census found them in Bedwellty, Tredegar, Wales - with wife Jane having been born in Hay, Breconshire, and son John, born in Llanfoist, Monmouthshire. We have a match!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Springville City Cemetery - Established 1851

Rather than an update of an update on the last post, I will lay the latest discovery here. It isn't much, but it's a solid, contemporaneous source for the establishment of the Springville Cemetery in June, 1851.

The Church History Library has a great diary on-line of Luke W. Gallup (1822-1891) MS_8472. Among the first settlers of Springville Utah, he was a clerk to Bishop Aaron Johnson. He appears to have had some surveying skills. There is a great copy of  the first plat of Springville City itself in his diary.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Springville Cemetery Update - The Plots

The Kirkman Plot, Springville City Cemetery. About half-way up (South from the North) the far East road of  Old Section.
This is the layout on the ground. We may never know until that great day who will come forth out of any particular spot. But they are known to the Lord. And He wants us to find out. [I actually don't know if He wants us to find out now. But we are going to greet each other in the Resurrection and as I long for that day, I'd like to know where to greet everybody.]

Karen, Vickie, & Judy
pointing to Eleanor's name
This posting is still preliminary, but I wanted to share with others what we have so far to get other brains wrapped around the questions. Then hopefully, we can come up with some answers.This plot drew me back to the Springville Cemetery yesterday.

Some of my Dad's Cousins and I had a great trip down there Thursday afternoon. And the Assistant Sexton was very helpful. But my camera wasn't working and the cell phone pictures don't do justice to the importance of the questions (or my good-looking cousins either, "not a dud among them!" -attributed to George E. Vaughn). So I had to buy a new camera and take a couple of my own kids.