Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Joseph Harold Moroni Wessman

Joseph Harold Moroni Wessman was born in Göteborg, Sweden, on February 23, 1888, the youngest child of Johan and Amanda Hall Wessman. His parents had been members of the church for almost a decade when Joseph was born. They were working-class, and were scrimping and saving to be able to emigrate to America.

First, his two oldest sisters emigrated to Utah. Then his two older brothers Herbert and Henry traveled to Utah. Next, mother Amanda and four-year-old Joseph traveled to America in 1893 on the ship Alaska.

At first they lived in Kamas, above Park City, where Joseph's brother-in-law was homesteading. After father Johan arrived from Sweden in December 1896, and after he died in March 1898, Amanda and her minor children moved down the mountain to Salt Lake City.

They lived for a time at 47 Apple Street (1900 census), at 176 Lincoln Avenue (see article below), then later at 209 West First North (1910 census).

Joseph was a bike racer. He was mentioned in the newspaper from time to time for winning a bike race. For example, from 1909:

On May 24, 1917, Joseph married Anna Olson, the daughter of Henry and Anna Berglund Olson, in the Salt Lake City Temple. He was 29. She was 20.

From Jean's biography:
Jean and Henry liked to go out with Joe and Anna Wessman (Henry’s brother and sister-in-law). They would like to play cards. They had a lot of association with Henry's siblings.
Henry and his brother Joe had certain opinions about hair. They liked long, straight hair. Joe's wife Anna and Jean decided to have their hair cut one day. Their spouses were quite upset when they saw the new hairdos. Jean loved her haircut though. However, Jean did bring home her hair in one braided piece.
Joseph was in the printing business like his brother Henry. Here is a picture of him at a linotype machine.

I do not have much more information on the lives of Joseph and Anna Wessman. Joe died in 1961 in Los Angeles and Anna died in 1978 in Anaheim. They were both buried in Wasatch Lawn Cemetery in Salt Lake City, as was Joe's mother Amanda Wessman.

Thanks to Emily for some of the pictures.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wessman Photos

During a recent visit to Salt Lake City, I would have liked to stop at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park and see Amanda Wessman's grave, but did not have enough time. Her husband is buried in Kamas, Utah, where he died, and the location of his burial is now unknown. Their children are buried around the country. I was able to visit the graves of some of their family members in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.


I also had the opportunity to visit with my cousin Emily, who has been scanning Wessman family records and photos to make a comprehensive collection. Included in the collection were some new pictures of Amanda Wessman.

Amanda Hall Wessman in Sweden, before she emigrated to the United States. 

Amanda in her later years.

Coming next... Amanda's son Joseph Harold Moroni Wessman ("Joe" in the Swedish photo caption)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

Mormon Times provided a link today to a new genealogy resource: the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. This interactive map provides extensive historical data about the boundaries and county jurisdictions of each of the states. It is provided as a service of the Newberry Library's Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture together with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The site has maps to each of the states and territories and interative maps of each of the states. Some of them are quite curious: in 1852 Sanpete County stretched well into Colorado and was about half the size of the entire state of Utah. Iron County stretched from the western border of Nevada to the middle of Colorado.

A randomly selected date of July 4, 1900, shows the counties of Utah looking much like they do today.