Hay view from Castle

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

True & Faithful? - More Springville Evidence

This is the sort of evidence that we've had for a while, but it takes a bit of sorting to figure out. We have also been checking against LDS Ward records in Salt Lake City as well as in Springville.

First of all, I haven't continued with the "Springville in Context" series because 1857 gets so depressing! Mountain Meadows wasn't the only horrible tragedy of that year (and I encourage everyone to read the book by LDS Church Historians, Massacre at Mountain Meadows.) Springville itself was home to the Parrish-Potter murders, another terrible story. There are some very good and reliable sources about that. I refer you to published articles by Polly Aird on Mormon apostasy and the murders in Springville and Ardis Parshall on another incident involving a letter of President Brigham Young and the general state of things that year. Ardis is a friend of mine and I trust her work. And she refers to Polly Aird favorably.

Then, because of the Utah War and the relocation of thousands of Mormons from Salt Lake County to Utah County in 1858, ward records are very confused for a few years. The Springville records seem to have gaps from 1857-1860. So there is a lack of church records in the very period in which Elinor Vaughan and Jane and John Lewis and son seem to disappear.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Blind Harpist - Friend of the Family

Thomas Davis Giles (1820-1894) was well known in Territorial Utah as "The Blind Harpist." I had seen references to his performance in Springville from the Luke Gallup Journal.

That was a bit of surprise after checking the Tredegar, Wales Branch membership records for John and Jane Vaughan Lewis (and maybe Elinor). I had seen that a Thomas Giles was Branch President and had emigrated to Utah in 1856 along with the Lewises. So, I thought he could be a possible connection to find them in Utah.

Also in the Branch records I found that John Lewis, married to Jane from Llanfoist (our Jane Vaughan, daughter of John 1789 & Elinor) was ordained a Priest by President Giles on June 27, 1850, and then became an Elder October 16 of the same year when he was also chosen to serve as Second Counselor in the Branch Presidency. So I figure our people would have known Thomas Giles pretty well.

Giles was born in Blaenavon just over the Blorenge mountain from Llanfoist. He was one of those eight-year-old coal miners. It was dangerous work, but he had no serious ill effects until 1848. Here is his story from this website [citing LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, Andrew Jenson, Vol. 2, p.507]: