Thursday, February 16, 2017

Measuring Worth: Joseph Defriez Estate

Tanner Family Line

Joseph Defriez (1793–1874) was the father of Joseph George Defriez. His profession was Funeral Feather Merchant, and he had the Freedom of the City of London. (See Joseph Defriez and the Freedom of the City of London.)


When he died his estate was valued between £800 and £1000. I wondered what that would be in current dollars, and visited the site Measuring Worth. To keep it simple, I used a figure of £900. The calculator suggested a real price value of £75,360. However, with estates, I've found it more useful to use the website's relative economic status value. That gave an estimate of £661,100. In today's dollars, the real price value would be $94,109 and the economic status value $825,580. In either case, they were a family of some means, and were not the working poor like other ancestors from the UK.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sidney Tanner, "An Old Mountaineer and Veteran Mormon"


This morning I decided to spend a few minutes on my own genealogy, and searched for Sidney Tanner in CDNC (California Digital Newspaper Collection).  One of the results was well after Sidney Tanner's death, but I looked at it anyway and saw this note. 

T. S. Kenderdina, who came to this valley in 1858, was a guest of Sam Rolfe yesterday. Mr. Kenderdina comes all the way from Philadelphia. He is an author, having published two volumes, "The California Tramp," and "California Revisited." He crossed the plains with the party of Captain Sidney Tanner. Arriving here he walked all the way from San Bernardino to San Pedro. (San Bernardino Sun, “Personal," 31 August 1910, 5.)

With that it was the task of but a minute to pull up digitized copies of both of the books. A California Tramp has extensive, very detailed information on Sidney Tanner. Kenderdine only names him twice, but he is a constant and peaceable presence through many adventures. Kenderdine later notes, "throughout the journey [Tanner and the other Mormons] showed remarkable tact, both in their dealings with the Indians and our own men." [150] Here are a few excerpts.
Our party of twenty made arrangements [to travel from Great Salt Lake City to California] with some Mormon freighters, who were going to Southern California for goods, to convey themselves, provisions and baggage to the Pacific. Their charge was $80 a piece. [Equal to about $2,400 today.] . . . 
Our means of conveyance were three four-horse springless wagons, in charge of Sydney Tanner, a veteran Mormon. The other teams were owned by the drivers. We got along pleasantly all through the long and trying journey with these men. 
We were to go the southern route, which leads through the lower settlements, and then takes across the Great Sandy Desert via the Santa Fe trail, emerging onto the Pacific at San Pedro, which is eight hundred miles southwest from Salt Lake. [Today's Interstate 15 follows this trail, more or less.] This route is only traveled in the winter season, as it is nearly impassable during the summer on account of the extreme heat. [120–121]

Between the Sevier River and Fillmore Valley, Kenderdine gives a description of the accommodations.
We encamped after night on a cedar-covered bluff overlooking the valley, and as we had plenty of fuel we managed to keep at bay the cold night air which surrounded us, and our well-fed campfires shot out brightly into the surrounding darkness. The cedar boughs spread on the stony ground afforded us excellent couches, and with our feet turned towards the fire, Indian fashion, we rolled up in our blankets, and slept like kings in state; the earth our bed, the star-lit sky our canopy. [128]
They finally arrive in Beaver, where Sidney's family lived, and spent a couple of days there. "Our abstinence so long from vegetables and dairy products made us keen for them, and they were put on to us at high figures. They also knew our failing for pie, and did a fine trade with us in that circular necessity." [133] There they attended a testimony meeting.
At night we went to a religious meeting held in the schoolhouse. The congregation was rough, and rudely clad, in homespun, calico and buckskin. I saw here what reminded me of the old-time Puritan worship: bowie knives and revolvers in church. There was no regular minister; the services being carried on by different members giving in their "experience." Their language was rough and ungrammatical, and some of the narrations so comical as to set the audience to laughing. Some grew pathetic, and their hearers cried, and on the whole they enjoyed themselves. One told how, when once afflicted with a plague of grasshoppers, prayers for deliverance were made, when flocks of a peculiar bird, strange to that country, came among them and devoured them all. [132]

Kenderdine talks at length about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which happened about a year previous. Sidney Tanner had been traveling in the area of the massacre a couple of days after the tragedy, but it is not clear if he provided any information to Kenderdine about what happened, or if he would have known any details, himself.
The country became more rough and uneven as we advanced. Filling our casks at a little stream which crossed our path, we made a dry camp at nightfall, on the summit of the rim of the Great Basin. As we were now approaching a region infested by dangerous Indians, a council of war was held in the evening, for the purpose of choosing officers, appointing guards and making regulations for the government of our company. Sydney Tanner, an old mountaineer and veteran Mormon, was unanimously elected captain . . . The passengers volunteered to stand camp guard, while the more difficult horse guard was to be performed by the teamsters. A short but comprehensive address was made by the captain in regard to our intercourse with the Indians, so that collisions might be avoided, after which the meeting broke up with three loud cheers for the officers elected. Roughly clad, sunburnt, and "bearded like the pard," we formed quite a picturesque group, as we stood encircling a huge campfire . . . [141]
It is too bad that Sidney Tanner did not leave any record of his adventures. This book just gives a brief flavor of the longstanding relationship he cultivated with the tribes along his route. (Note that although it is used in the following two anecdotes, "Diggers" is an archaic and now offensive term.)
The head men [Paiutes] knew our conductors well from previous intercourse, and shook hands with them quite ostentatiously; winding up with the everlasting cry of "shetcop," a word which springs as naturally to a Digger's lips as does "backsheesh" to those of their near relative, the Egyptian Arab. Shortly after their arrival in camp they commenced dragging fuel from distant points for our use, for which service they expected liberal pay in food and raiment. Our animals were given in their charge. The Mormons adopted this plan altogether while traveling in these regions, and were rarely troubled with having stock stolen; for the Diggers, through interested motives, were true to their trust. [152]

At a place called Kingston Springs, the wagon train advanced with great caution. They were right to be cautious: early the next year Salt Lake merchants Thomas S. Williams and Parmenia Jackman were killed outside San Bernardino by one of these warring tribes.
Our reason for starting [just before sunset] was to avoid the Kingston Springs Indians, it being dangerous to halt among them at night. Our Mormons reported them as of large size and differing in appearance from the Diggers generally. They rarely show themselves by day, but watch from behind the desert rocks the movements of travelers, and should they halt at night, steal or kill their stock. The reader can hardly imagine how we dreaded the loss of animals on the waterless stretches of from thirty to sixty miles, and with what anxiety we watched them at night. Their loss almost involved our own lives. But by traveling much after sundown, and by the judicious treatment our conductors pursued toward the Indians, we went through safely. Lack of pasturage was made up with rations of wheat, which for the emergencies of desert travel had been carried from the settlements. This, however, was running short, and our teams were getting thin and weak. The alternations of yielding sand and jolting stones were trying to passengers as well as teams, as much of the way we were obliged to walk. [172]
These are just a few short excerpts, and any descendant of Sidney Tanner will find the story worth reading in its entirety, from page 120 to 183. (A California Tramp: Among the Mormon SettlementsAlong the Desert Border, On the Great Sandy Deseret, and From the Kingston Springs to San Bernardino.)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Refugees

Due to the events of the past few days, here are some portraits of refugees. One was a peace-loving man who fled Denmark to avoid conscription in the Second Schleswig War. Others fled religious violence or persecution in Europe or America. All hoped to find peace and security here. And as you could probably guess if you've known me for any length of time, these are my ancestors. Do my ancestral stories inform my politics? You'd better believe it. If you're American, there's an excellent chance that you have refugee ancestors as well. Can you name them? Do you know about their experiences?


Names (left to right). First row: Ove Oveson, George Jarvis, Ann Prior Jarvis, Sidney Tanner. Second row: Mayflower pilgrims Richard Warren, Francis Cooke, John Cooke; Rebecca Hill Pettit, Edwin Pettit, Archibald Newell Hill and son Samuel. Third row: Isabella Hood Hill, Samuel Shepherd and wife Charity, Adeline Springthorpe Thomas.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Consecration Deed: Archibald N. Hill

Here, finally, is an actual consecration deed. So far I have only this one for Archibald N. Hill. There is one listed for Myron Tanner & Brothers, value $566.50, but other than that I'm not finding family names. There are very few deeds from the San Bernardino settlers; they would have been in transit at the time the deeds were being created, and as far as I know there were no deeds created in San Bernardino.

And, yes, I still have not explained consecration deeds. Explanation to come, eventually, complete with citations.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

John Tanner's Family Bible

Ron Tanner somehow found and added pictures of John Tanner's family Bible to FamilySearch Family Tree. Since I work with nineteenth century documents almost daily, I can attest that this is an original record, and made by someone with intimate knowledge of the Tanner family. (Either that or it was made by someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Tanner family and nineteenth-century spelling variations, and the counterfeiting skills of Mark Hoffman, and such a dark horse should undoubtedly be counterfeiting something of higher value than this, museum piece as it is.)

There are about half a dozen different handwritings in this record, but most of the first inscriptions are the same handwriting, probably John Tanner's.


[678]

FAMILY RECORD.

BIRTHS.

John Tanner was born August 15th 1778

Taberthy Bently was born August the 23 1780

Lydia Stewart was born November th 18 1783

Elisha Bently Tanner was born March th 23 1801

William Stewart Tanner was born October the 27 1802

Mathilda Tanner was born September the 14 1804

Willard Tanner was born October the 29 1806

Sidney Tanner was born April the 1 1809

John Joshua Tanner was born December the 19 1811

Romela Tanner was born April the 1 1814

BIRTHS.

Nathan Tanner was borne May the 14 1815

Edward and Edwin Tanner was born October th 3 1817

Mariah Loisa Tanner was born November th 28 1818

Martin Henery Tanner was born March the 21 1822

Albert M. Tanner was born April the 4 1825

[Elizabeth's children carried over from the other page]

Sarah Tanner was Born July the 19 — 1840

Francis Tanner was born mach the 10 — 1843

[the last looks like the same hand as the Sidney Tanner letter from San Bernardino]


[679]

FAMILY RECORD.

BIRTHS.

Elise Beswick was born November 28 — 1803

Myron Tanner was Born June th 4 in the year of our Lord 1826

Seth Benjamin Tanner was born March th 6 — 1828

Fremon Everton Tanner was born Jen [January] th 3 1830

Joseph Tanner was born June th 11 — 1833

Philomely Tanner was Born March th 10 1835

David Dan Tanner was born feb th 8 1838

DEATHS.

Taberthy Tanner died Aprial the 9 1801


Willard Tanner died August the 12 1807


Romela Tanner died April the 16 1814

Edwin Tanner died October the 8 1817

Edward Tanner died October the 21 1817



Philomely Tanner Died May th 28 1838.


[680]

FAMILY RECORD.

DEATHS.

Lydia Tanner died may the 31 1825

Francis Tanner died June the 5th 1844

John Tanner died april the 13th 1850

Sariah Tanner Died March the 12 1853

Elisha Bently Tanner Died March 11. 1858.

William Stewart Tanner Died [1875]

DEATHS.

Matilda Tanner Randall died April 17. 1888. in Kirtland Ohio.

Albert Miles Tanner Died. [1879]

The Mysterious Pardon

...Pardon Tanner, that is.

Every so often, someone compares his or her personal family records to John Tanner's FamilySearch Family Tree entry and discovers that their copy of the family records has a child of John and Lydia Tanner named Pardon Tanner, born 1820. Pardon is not in Family Tree, so they go ahead and add him.

The problem is that as far as anyone has been able to discover, he does not exist. My dad removed him from the family tree today. I've removed him from the family before, as has Karen Bray Keeley.

Here is my explanation for removing him from the family, as added to John Tanner and Pardon Tanner's discussion section:
John and Lydia Stewart Tanner did not have a son named Pardon. There are no known trustworthy records for the existence of this child. RonT provided a copy of the family bible in the Memories section above. The family bible lists Lydia's children as: William, Mathilda, Willard, Sidney, John Joshua, Romela, Nathan, Edward, Edwin, Maria Loisa, Martan Henery, and Albert. (All spellings from the record.) Lists of the family from the 19th and early 20th centuries do not mention a child named Pardon, and sources within the family state that John and Lydia had twelve children.

John Tanner had a brother named Pardon Tanner (L6G9-6S3), born 1791. William Tefft Tanner (LZY8-STR) and Lydia Foster (LHRF-CWS) had a child named Pardon Tanner (MBPD-GH5), born 1820, died 1824. Elizabeth Tanner and Newman Perkins had a child Pardon Perkins (K236-P41), born 1824.

William and Lydia Tanner's son is probably the Pardon mistakenly placed into the John and Lydia Tanner family.

I don't know who first speculated that John and Lydia had a son named Pardon. A Pardon Tanner was sealed as a child to John Tanner and Lydia Stewart on September 2, 1975 in the Logan Utah LDS Temple. I have never seen a valid reason for anyone doing that. No one has ever provided documentation.

Until someone can provide an actual document from the nineteenth century (burial or church record) showing his existence that proves that he is the son of John and Lydia and not of Joshua and Thankful or William and Lydia or Elizabeth and Newman, please do not add him to the family.
A reliable and contemporaneous source would be one created at the time this purported child was born or died. Lacking an actual record of his birth or death, a family record created in the 1800s would work, something like a family Bible. The family Bible record provided by Ron Tanner does not show a child named Pardon.

I will add the images of the family Bible in a subsequent post.

This "Pardon" was most likely created by someone thinking William and Lydia Foster Tanner's child belonged to John and Lydia Stewart Tanner, or perhaps someone speculating the existence of a child in the 3-1/2 year gap between Louisa Maria and Martin Henry. There may have been a child at this time, but without any record to prove his existence, we can't create historical reality by speculation.

• • •

Although no temple work needs to be done for this family, here are some things that do need to be done.

(1) Source and correct all entries for all children and grandchildren and their families. Please do not make changes unless you have documentation to back up your changes. Documentation does not include personal genealogical records, unless you have family records created at the time of the events, but documentation does include vital and government and church records and certain histories. 

(2) Collect and write biographies for all family members, including the women, and place them in the "Stories" section of each entry. Collect and add photographs from family members and historical societies such as Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Remember to include a note about where you got the story or picture and get permission if anything is still in copyright. 

(3) Research and source related families such as the Bentlys and Stewarts and Beswicks and Teffts. 

(4) There are plenty more sources available on John Tanner and his family including tax and government and land and military and church and legal records. Many of these require more work to find than a quick search on FamilySearch, but they are available and should be added as sources to Family Tree.

This was originally posted on February 15, 2015. Since I wrote it, Pardon has been added again to the family (perhaps more than once?) so I expanded the explanation to reflect the family Bible that Ron Tanner somehow located and added to John Tanner's entry.

"Washington County Farm" by UpstateNYer - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons—http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Washington_County_Farm.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Washington_County_Farm.jpg

Friday, January 6, 2017

Consecration Deed: Archibald Hill


April 10/54

Brother Young     I Dedicate Myself & wemen and Children with all that I Have in Posesion unto The Lord and Your Desposel with Chearful Heart

     and Remain Your Brother In the Gospel of Christ

                 Archabild N Hill

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Consecration Deed: John Sutton




Another consecration deed, this one for John Sutton and, by extension, his wife Mary Ellison Sutton. The collection, like any professionally-done documentary collection, shows both front and back of each page. The picture above is from FamilySearch Family Tree, courtesy of MWBaer. There is no known picture of John Sutton, so I have included his obituary.



April 11th 1854

Sir

      this is to Certify
that I am willing
to join the firm
namely of giving up
unto the Lord

I remain yours

        John Sutton

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Consecration Deed: Philip Pugsley


I will not explain consecration deeds right now, but I will plan to do so after I post a number of them. I am reading a newly-digitized and amazing collection from the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. It is something else to be able to read these records from the comfort of my home (or read them at all), and when I see one belonging to any of the people featured on this blog, I will include it.


{seal} I Philip Pugsley Tanner*

residence 19th ward do give
& bequeth all my property
to the Church of Jesus Christ
of Laterday Saints This the 11th Day of
April in the year of our Lord
one thousand eight fifty four
Great Salt Lake City
April 11th 1854


* Tanner was his profession. The picture shows him with his first wife Martha and her children.

Image of the deed courtesy of the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day

LeRoy Parkinson Tanner served on the Mexican border and then in Europe during the First World War. Sometime after the war he joined the American Legion, which is a veteran's organization founded in 1919. A collection of his membership cards starts in 1935, and the first card notes that he had been a member for ten years. Here are a few of the cards.




The back of the 1942 card.




Some years he paid his dues early and got an "Early Bird" stamp on the card. Sometime in late 1944 he paid his dues and signed his card for 1945. It was before November 5, because that is the day that he and his brother-in-law were finishing work for the day and were killed in an automobile-train collision outside of Grants, New Mexico.


In memory of Roy Tanner
and the many men and women
who have served in the armed forces
of the United States of America.



The cards are from my father's collection of thousands of scanned photos and other genealogical memorabilia. (Thanks, Dad!) This post is reposted from seven years ago.