Sunday, September 30, 2007

Eliza Ellen Parkinson Tanner

b. 8 September 1857 San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California
m. 25 January 1877 St. George, Washington, Utah
d. 17 August 1930 Joseph City, Navajo, Arizona
b. 18 August 1930 Joseph City, Navajo, Arizona
Husband: Henry Martin Tanner
Father: Thomas Parkinson; Mother: Mary Ann Bryant

Mrs. Mary Ann Bryant Parkinson, wife of Thomas Parkinson of Beaver City, passed over the dark river after a lingering illness on Wednesday, September 6, 1905. Sister Parkinson was born in 1826 in Kent, England. Went to Australia in 1838 where she received the gospel. In 1853 emigrated to America and was married the same year in San Bernardino, California. She and her husband remained in San Bernardino until 1857 when they moved to Beaver where they resided until 1890 when they moved to Toquerville on account of their health, coming back some time ago. Deceased is the mother of eleven children, seven boys and four girls, sixty-two grandchildren and forty-nine great-grandchildren.

Eliza Ellen Parkinson Tanner born September 8, 1857, San Bernardino, California, daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Bryant Parkinson. My parents were English, went from England to Australia in 1838, emigrated to America 1853 and married the same year in Beaver City, Utah.

My early childhood days were spent in attending school and helping my parents to make a livelihood. We were very poor thus the necessity of all giving a helping hand.

In the year 1877, 25th January was married to Henry Martin Tanner in the St. George Temple. We made Beaver our home until the 21st February, 1877, we left for Arizona in company with John Hunt and family. We went a new route and encountered many hardships on the way such as being short of water and feed and lost several animals during the journey of eleven weeks arriving at Allen Camp (now St. Joseph) 2nd day of May 1877 and decided to make St. Joseph our home.

We have had a great deal of experience since we came here and have had many trials and hardships such as building dams and seeing floods wash them away only to have to build them again but at last succeeded in building a high dry dam which has stood the test since 1893, since which time things have gone along better and all have been more satisfied with their lot and began to prosper in the land. I am a mother of eleven children, seven boys and four girls, forty-three grandchildren.

Two of my sons Arthur and Roy were on the Mexican borders 1916. And also two Roy and George in the world war. One went to France, Roy, and was called to go to the front the night the Armistice was signed 11 November.

September 7, 1877 the St. Joseph Relief Society was organized and I was sustained secretary. (Released Dec. 3, 1885) December 3, 1885, was sustained as counselor in Relief Society to Sister Lois Bushman, released March 2, 1902. Sustained first counselor to Nina M. Porter in Relief Society January 7, 1909, released May 20, 1919.

Eliza Ellen Parkinson Tanner. Genealogical Record Sheet.

The picture of Eliza and Henry with Martin, Thomas, and Julia is from 1883 and was found in Diane and John Parkinson. James Parkinson of Ramsey: His Roots and His Branches, England—Australia—America. Austin, Texas: The James Parkinson Family Association, 1987.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Some of The Wit and Humor of Henry M. Tanner and Stories We Heard Around The Tanner Homes

My Top Twenty from “Some of The Wit and Humor of Henry M. Tanner and Stories We Heard Around The Tanner Homes”

Speaking of a rather egotistical young man, Henry said he would like to buy him for what he was worth and sell him for what he thought he was worth.

Of a child who takes more food on his plate than he will eat, “His eyes are bigger than his stomach.”

Two horsemen were riding their horses in thick brush and trees. The lead man caught hold of a limb of a tree and held on to it as long as he could, then let go. It knocked the other fellow off his horse and also wounded his pride. When he complained, the first man said, “Imagine what it would have done to you if I had not held on as long as I did.”

When one of the neighbors complimented his friend about how fat his horses were, the friend replied, “Yes, they sure are, and I can’t understand it. All I ever feed them is straw and that ain’t half threshed.”

There was a farmer who declared that a cedar post would last 100 years in the ground. Said his father had tried it many a time.

And there was the woman who said she had some stockings which had lasted her twenty years. Every other year she put new feet in them and the opposite years new legs.

One boy is a boy; two boys are half a boy; and three boys are no boy at all.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Henry Martin Tanner

b. 11 June 1852 San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California
m. 25 January 1877 St. George, Washington, Utah
d. 21 March 1935 Gilbert, Maricopa, Arizona
b. 24 March 1935 Joseph City, Navajo, Arizona
Wives: (1) Eliza Ellen Parkinson, (2) Emma Stapley
Father: Sydney Tanner; Mother: Julia Ann Shepherd

Since Henry Tanner took the opportunity to write his own life story, I'll include it in its entirety. He notes that his hearing is poor; how many of us inherited that gene? After this post, I will do a few posts on Henry and Eliza Tanner.

So here is Henry Tanner in his own words...

My grandfather, John Tanner, was born August 15, 1778, Hopkinton, Rhode Island. Was converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Previous to his baptism into the Church he was a cripple and at the time of his baptism he was healed by the power of the Lord. He was very well fixed financially and during the early days of the Church he donated freely to the Church.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tanner 3: Eva Margaret Overson Tanner

b. 14 August 1897 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
m. 26 August 1923 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
d. 30 December 1932 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
b. 1 January 1933 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
Husband: LeRoy Parkinson Tanner
Father: Henry Christian Overson; Mother: Margaret Godfrey Jarvis

Eva Margaret Overson, first child of Henry Christian and Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson, was born August 14th, 1897, at St. Johns, Apache County, Arizona. She was married to LeRoy Parkinson Tanner, son of Henry Martin Tanner and Eliza Ellen Parkinson Tanner, August 26th, 1923, at St. Johns, Apache County, Arizona, and left the next day by automobile to go to Salt Lake City, Utah, to have their marriage solemnized in the Temple. President of the St. Johns Stake, President Levi S. Udall, performed the ceremony at the Henry C. Overson Home, in the presence of a large number of relatives and friends of both families, and with the good wishes of all.

LeRoy P. Tanner was the ninth child of his parents, and was born at Joseph City, Navajo County, Arizona, January 12th, 1895.

Eva was the only daughter in a family of nine children. As a child she attended the public schools until graduated, then the St. Johns Stake Academy, from which she graduated at the age of sixteen years, the youngest of the class.

She spent one summer at the Flagstaff College, and then entered into the business world.

She was assistant Postmaster to her Grandfather Charles Jarvis, assistant in the Recorders Office, and then began Clerking in the Cash Store, where she soon was given the Bookkeeping, and much of the ordering and general business to attend to.

After her marriage, and because her husband’s work took him away from home a great deal of the time, she continued to work in the store part time for several years. Her insight into the business and her splendid memory of each detail and each personal account, made her place hard to fill.

During all her life up until the time of her death, she had been active in all Church work. Commencing with the Primary and Sunday School, she was a dependable Secretary and teacher. In the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association she was Secretary in the Ward for seven years, and only missed one meeting, and then was out of town. Was also Stake Secretary of Y.L.M.I.A. and later Relief Society Secretary for a number of years. Was a member of the Old Folks Committee. A leader in Bee Hive work, and also was in charge of the Flower Club of the University of Arizona Extension work. One summer while directing the Club she had a flower garden of her own raising, numbering seventy different kinds of flowering plants. She would go out in her garden and pick armfuls of flowers and put them in her car and drive around taking a bouquet to the old, the sick, or shutins, and her many friends, and thus spread beauty and happiness to many. There were also flowers of her bringing at church on Sundays, at weddings, at funerals, or on any special occasion. She dearly loved people, and was happiest when doing a good turn.

She did beautiful sewing, embroidering, crochet work, tatting, beading work, etc., as well as being a good cook and housekeeper. A dutiful and loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and neighbor—one wonders how a life so short, only thirty-five years, could accomplish so much of good. Her many activities gave her such a large circle of acquaintances, business, social, family, Church—but the saying was certainly true in her case, “None knew her, but to love her, or named her, but to praise.”

She had suffered from diabetes for about seven years, but never gave up if it was possible for her to be up. When she was not able to do anything else, she would do her beautiful fancy work.

She passed away suddenly, after two day’s serious illness, the evening of Friday, December 30th, 1932, and was laid to rest on New Year’s Day, 1933, in the Westside Cemetery, St. Johns, Arizona.

Margaret Jarvis Overson. George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez Genealogy. Mesa, Arizona: Privately printed, 1957. Tatting image from Project Gutenberg, copyright expired from Beeton's Book of Needlework. My picture of roses at St. Johns, 1994.

Tanner 2: Leroy Parkinson Tanner

b. 12 January 1895 St. Joseph (Joseph City), Navajo, Arizona
m. 26 August 1923 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
d. 5 November 1944 Grants, New Mexico
b. 9 November 1944 St. Johns, Apache, Arizona
Wives: (1) Eva Margaret Overson, (2) Clara Peterson
Father: Henry Martin Tanner; Mother: Eliza Ellen Parkinson Tanner

LeRoy Parkinson Tanner, son of Henry Martin and Eliza Parkinson Tanner, was born January 12, 1895, at Joseph City, Arizona. He attended school in Joseph City and at the Snowflake Stake Academy at Snowflake, and worked on the family farm with his father and brothers.

In 1913 he enlisted in the militia and served with the troops on the Mexican Border in 1916. He was a member of the Citizens Military Training Camp stationed on the border when World War I broke out.

When the U.S. declared war on Germany, Roy, as he was always known, was assigned to a combat division and served in France until the war’s end. He went through the entire conflict without receiving a wound, but almost died as a result of the influenza epidemic in 1918.

He was called to the front in Russia the day that the armistice was signed. After that he served for a time with the occupying forces in Russia. [8.4.09. He was not called to the Russian front. It is questionable if he was ever in Russia. For more on his military service see this post.] [8.25.11 It is indeed possible that he was part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. I will continue to try and find information about his military service.] What he heard and saw there prompted him to observe during World War II that the United States would be better off not helping Russia so much and possibly even helping Germany against the Russians, since he felt that Russia was a much greater threat to the United States than Germany would ever be.

He returned to the U.S. in 1920 and was discharged honorably from the army. As did several of his brothers, Roy then went to work on road construction. He became a lane surveyor and construction superintendent.

From 1920 to 1940 he engaged in highway construction work throughout Arizona. Sometimes Roy would have a few days or a week off while his bosses were lining up a new job or moving from one location to another. At such times one of his favorite pursuits was hauling wood. He usually had a large pile on hand, sometimes as much as fifty loads, which was ready to be delivered when a cold spell struck town and he could get a good price per cord for immediate delivery. He would often load up some and take it to a home where there was sickness, or to widows, without cost.

In 1922 while surveying a new highway between St. Johns and Springerville, he met Eva Margaret Overson, the eldest child of Henry Christian and Margaret Jarvis Overson.

They were married in St. Johns on August 26, 1923, and were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple shortly thereafter.

Two sons were born to Roy and Eva: Wallace Ove born August 12, 1924, and Lee Henry, born April 13, 1929. A daughter died at birth.

Eva was loved by everyone who knew her, and her home was a mass of flowers from early spring to late fall. She was not strong, however, having been stricken with diabetes while still a young woman. Eva died December 30, 1932, after an extended illness.

After Eva died their two boys went to live with their grandmother Margaret Overson until he married again and decided to take them with him.

On October 14, 1934, Roy married Clara Peterson, daughter of Brigham and Stella Jarvis Peterson. Clara was born April 25, 1909, in St. Johns. She was Eva’s first cousin.

Clara did not like Roy to be away from home, so in 1940 he purchased a large farm and ranch near St. Johns. He bought machinery and livestock and was working on paying off his mortgage.

Roy was active in civic affairs. He was a member of the Greer-Dewitt Post of the American Legion and served several terms as commander of the post.

He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities. From 1941 he was a member of the High Council of the St. Johns Stake.

In November 1944 Roy Tanner and his brother-in-law George Peterson went to earn some extra money for cash expenses by taking a bailer and bailing hay in Bluewater and Grants, New Mexico. They were almost through with the job and were going to camp for the night (November 5, 1944), when they started to cross the railroad track and in some unknown way were caught by the evening passenger train, and killed instantly.

The double funeral took place in St. Johns on November 9, 1944. This was a hard blow for the entire family. To add to the sorrow, one of the Peterson sisters had just three days previously received word of her husband's death in World War II Germany. Roy's widow Clara disappeared for a year without letting anyone know where she was.

After Roy’s death, Clara worked for a while as a counselor in the Ogden school system. She subsequently married Joseph Sudweeks, a professor at Brigham Young University.

Wallace Ove Tanner, a graduate of Harvard Law School, had a long career in the legal field. Wallace married Jessie Maxine Morgan, daughter of Harold and Jessie Christensen Morgan. They had six children.

Lee Henry Tanner worked on heavy construction in Arizona until his death in April 1976. He was married and divorced several times. He had four daughters.

From a sketch of the life of Leroy Parkinson Tanner by Wallace Tanner and others with additional information from Margaret Jarvis Overson, George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez Genealogy (Mesa, Arizona, 1957). (Photo of 1938 and 1939 Ford trucks used by permission.) Leroy P. Tanner stone photo courtesy of JLT.


Each AncestorFile starts with #1 my grandmother or grandfather. Then #2 is his or her father. #3 is his or her mother. #4 is his or her father's father. #5 is his or her father's mother. #6 is his or her mother's father. #7 is his or her mother's mother. #8 is his or her father's grandfather. And so forth. This is called the ahnentafel system.

Here is a very basic ahnentafel that covers five generations. It could be expanded with births, christenings, marriages, deaths, burials, and relationships.

1 Grandpa Tanner
2 Leroy Parkinson Tanner
3 Eva Margaret Overson Tanner
4 Henry Martin Tanner
5 Eliza Ellen Parkinson Tanner
6 Henry Christian Overson
7 Margaret Godfrey Jarvis Overson
8 Sidney Tanner
9 Julia Ann Shepherd Tanner
10 Thomas Parkinson
11 Mary Ann Bryant Parkinson
12 Ove Christian Oveson
13 Mary Kjerstine Christensen Oveson
14 Charles Godfrey (Defriez) Jarvis
15 Margaret Jarvis
16 John Tanner
17 Lydia Stewart Tanner
18 Samuel Shepherd
19 Roxalana Ray Shepherd
20 James Parkinson
21 Elizabeth Chattle Parkinson
22 Samuel Bryant
23 Sarai Stapley Bryant
24 Jens Andreas Oveson
25 Kjersten Maria Pederson Oveson
26 Jens Christensen
27 Karen Mary Johannesen Christensen
28 Joseph George Defriez
29 Mary Ann Godfrey Defriez
30 George Jarvis
31 Ann Prior Jarvis


Welcome to TheAncestorFiles. I have four AncestorFiles: Tanner, Morgan, Wessman and Glade. Each file starts with one of my grandparents and goes back, tracing their ancestry as far and completely as possible. Much of the information is available because the person or their children or parents took the opportunity to write their history. Make sure you do the same!