Hay view from Castle

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

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Update on John Lewis's PEF Contacts in Utah

There are a few more facts available on the two people named in association with John Lewis's debt to the Perpetual Emigration Fund in 1877. As indicated in the link above, John's debt was discharged as the responsibility of Daniel Thomas. The newly analyzed facts tend to support the connections among John Lewis (1822-1867), Daniel Zorobabel Thomas (1819-1880), and Bishop John Evan Rees (1821-1903).

Reviewing information from the databases of Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel , Mormon Migration, FamilySearch.org, and Ancestry.com, Daniel Thomas emigrated from Wales in the Samuel Curling in 1856, the same ship that John, Jane, John Samuel, and Parley Lorenzo Lewis were on. It is not clear what company he traveled with to Utah, but it may have been the Third Handcart Company under Edmund Bunker. Also, the 1860 Census for Springville, Utah Territory, lists Daniel's occupation as "Adobie Maker." Based on the contemporaneous Luke Gallup Journal, this was a common occupation for laborers in Springville and was likely John Lewis's work before he left for California as well as partial motivation.  I am searching for records of workers at Camp Floyd as many Mormon men were hired as "adobie makers" there from 1858-1861. That may have been John Lewis's connection to the Army escort of Mormon dissidents to California in 1859. Daniel Thomas later lived in Pond Town which became Salem, Utah. However, Daniel died in 1880 and it is not indicated whether he ever paid John Lewis's debt.

Modern adobe maker
(not much different than in the old days)
Bishop John Rees of Wales, Utah, was from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, and a member of the LDS Church there by 1849 when John and Jane Lewis lived a few miles west in Tredegar (having been married in Merthyr in 1846). The Reeses emigrated to Utah with the Miller/Cooley Wagon Co. of 1853. It is likely that Bishop Rees would have known John and Jane Vaughan Lewis from Wales as well.

The Village of Bedwellty is near Blackwood. The Parish was large in those days to include Tredegar in the north.
Abergavenny and Llanfoist would be on the northeast corner (different parishes) near Blaenavon.

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