Friday, July 29, 2011

1890 Diary of Mary Isabell Pettit, Part 2

16 May – Friday
This morning my voice sounds quite natural. I arose early and after having breakfast I went to the store and found all very much pleased to see me better and again able to resume my old position after two weeks vacation. I came home alone. Later in the evening Harry came down and would hardly believe I had been to work. Talked of taking a trip in the canyon.

17 May – Saturday
This has been a very busy day. I came home about 7 oclock feeling very much fatigued.

18 May – Sunday
This morning I feel apparently in excelent good spirits. I went to Sunday school. Came home had dinner. H and I went to the tabernacle and listened to Bro. --- On our way seen Dinwoody store burning down. It was the largest fire I ever seen. We then went to the evening meeting.

19 May – Monday
This morning I arose at five and prepared for a trip to the canyon. In company with a large crowd we boarded the 7:30 train. In about one hour landed at a beautiful shady place in Parley canyon feeling very much pleased and refreshed with the ride. After finding a nice shady nook we partook of a hearty breakfast. There were about thirty at our camp. While still at the table we had a photo taken of the whole group. Harry went fishing but was not over burdened with fish. So roamed around gathering flowers viewing the scenery etc. Came back to camp. We then took another walk and seen some of the most delightful scenery I ever seen. We visited the falls and there had our photograph taken. Walked for some time. Had dinner, went fishing again and about 6:30 boarded the train for home. After arriving at home had supper. Harry and myself both agree upon it being one of the pleasantest days we have spent.

21 May – Wednesday
Yesterday and today I feel very tired but feel well after my excurtion. Harry came down and we spent the evening in talking over our trip. He went home at an unusual late hour. Pa being way we took advantage of it.

22 May – Thursday
Nothing of importance has occured during the day. I have been to meeting tonight. Harry came for me. We took a walk around the block. Came home and sat on the porch. And I think I have taken a little more cold. Harry has gone home and I am so tired I shall retire to dreamland. It is about half past ten.

25 May – Sunday
I did not attend school this morning nor afternoon meeting. About two oclock Harry came and it was too late for meeting, we stayed home untill evening. Then went to evening meeting. I was very much interested the remarks of the missionary, Bro. J. Paul. To whom I had the pleasure of speaking with after the meeting.

26 May – Monday
This morning I arose early, prepared breakfast and went to the store. I bought a dress and came home about seven oclock and commenced making it. Sewed until about quarter past eleven and got so tired I went to bed.

27 May – Tuesday
Nothing worth mentioning has occured.

29 May – Thursday
In consequence of tomorrow being Decoration Day I had to remain at the store untill half past eight. Then went down to Midgleys and found Harry still at his books waiting for me. We came home both feeling tired we took plenty of time. We then made out the programme for the day following.

30 May – Friday
I sewed and finished my dress in the morning. Harry came down at half past twelve. I was not ready so we concluded to take the two forty five train for Garfield Beach which we did. Arived there about four oclock. We went and had a bath which I enjoyed very much although the water was a little cold. Went for a walk then a boat ride. Got on the train went to Point and back. Came home after eleven. Enjoyed it very much.

31 May – Saturday
I did feel tired today but had to go to the store anyway. I found a great many more in my state. The day lingered slowly along until seven. I then came home had supper and dressed for the evening. Harry came and we went to the festival in the Tabernacle. I enjoyed it immensely.

To be continued...

Utah wildflower picture from

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some Notes about the Edwin and Rebecca Hood Hill Pettit Family

Edwin Pettit and grandchildren.

When I looked up Alice Pettit online after the mention of her in Mary Pettit's diary, it quickly became clear that many of the online family trees for the Edwin Pettit family are inaccurate at best.

There is a good source for information on the Pettit family. It is the book:
Pettit, William Alfred. Pettit Peregrinations, 654 to 1961. Provo, Utah: J. Grant Stevenson, 1963.
The book was written by Edwin and Rebecca Hill Pettit's youngest son Will Pettit, and includes a wealth of family information. You can purchase a copy here.

Although I will not put the entire family tree here with documentation, here are some basic facts.

First, Edwin Pettit did not have a middle name. His middle name was not Alfred. Alfred was his older brother. (See photograph below.)

Second, Edwin Pettit did not marry a woman named Elizabeth Sparks. He did not have children in Texas.

Edwin Pettit was born on February 16, 1834, in Hempstead, Queens, Long Island, New York. Hempstead is now in Nassau County, but at the time it was in Queens County, and for genealogical purposes, vital facts should be listed with the locations as they were at the time of the event, so Hempstead should be listed in Queens.

Edwin's parents were Jesse and Mary Pettit Pettit. His father and mother were first cousins, both grandchildren of Increase and Martha Eldert Pettit. The family was of English and Dutch origin and many ancestors had been among the early European settlers of North America.

The Pettit family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1840 and moved to join the Saints in Lee County, Iowa, across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo, Illinois. There, Jesse and Mary died in 1842. Edwin and his sister Mary Pettit Seeley went with the Saints to Utah. Edwin's oldest sister Emaline Pettit Carman was married and had remained in Hempstead, Long Island. Edwin's brothers remained in the Midwest.

Edwin, William, and Alfred Pettit.

Edwin went to California in the Gold Rush, then again to California with the San Bernardino settlers. He returned to Utah in 1857. His autobiography can be found starting here.

Edwin Pettit married Maria Pettit Bush, his second cousin, in 1860. She had been married previously to Richard Bush and had two living children, Richard Nelson Bush and John Pettit Bush. A daughter, Ellen Elmira Bush, had died before her first birthday. 

Edwin and Maria had a daughter, Alice Maria, born in 1861. 

Maria Pettit died in 1863.

Edwin Pettit married Rebecca Hood Hill in 1864.

These are their children with spouses listed in parenthesis: 
  • Mary Isabell (Henry Green)
  • Clara Hannah (died at age 1)
  • Emeline (Foster Jones)
  • Edwin Jr. (Sarah Louise Weichert)
  • Lillian (Benjamin Birkinshaw)
  • Daisy (Cassius Cummings)
  • Florence (died as infant)
  • Nellie (Thomas Morton)
  • Fannie Rebecca (died unmarried at age 27)
  • Archibald (Genevieve Johnson)
  • Elsie (Victor Rue McKnight)
  • Jesse Raymond (Phyllis Clayton)
  • Winifred (Bertram Reeves)
  • William Alfred (Mildred Tanner)

Edwin and Rebecca Pettit.

Rebecca and Edwin died in Salt Lake City, Rebecca on September 17, 1922, and Edwin on April 17, 1924.

I will not provide examples of the erroneous files regarding Edwin Pettit and his families, but there are plenty, and they should be corrected or removed by the people who put them online. I will also note that I have seen files regarding the colonial ancestors of the Pettits that have truly egregious and easily correctable errors. The purpose of doing genealogy, especially when putting it online, is not to copy large sets of data from whatever family trees are available in whatever source, but to collect and publish correct, documented information.

Historical picture of Hempstead from Atlas of Long Island, New York (Beers, 1873) as found at Pictures of Edwin and grandchildren, Edwin and Rebecca, and Edwin and his two brothers sent by Sharon Wilbur. Images of family Bible are from user katy02 from

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

1890 Diary of Mary Isabell Pettit, Part 1

Mary Pettit and Henry Green

The typist of this document is not identified, so I do not know how it compares to the original diary. Once again I am not indicating each misspelling, but I am carefully editing it to be exactly as typed, except for my bracketed notes identifying people as possible. I do appreciate having this record of an eventful year in Mary Pettit Green's life!


Born 9 July 1866 — Died 1 April 1905

Mary Pettit was married to Henry Green 9 December 1891. She referred to him as Harry. The following was copied from a small red diary Mary kept in 1890. Mary was 24 when she wrote it; Harry was 23. She gave the diary to her daughter, Mary Leone Green Layton. It is now in the possession of Jean Layton Thornton. The spelling is just as Mary wrote it. She referred to Harry Green as “H.”


April 28 – Monday
Arose early went to the store as usual nothing eventful occured. H. walked home with me and presented me with this book.

May 1 – Thursday
May morning came in so bright and beautiful that it seemed all nature were smiling. The sun shone brightly, there was not a cloud to be seen. I arose quite early and went to work at the usual time. I found by that time I could hardly speak I was so hoarse. I stayed untill three oclock when I was forced to come home. Harry came down in the evening.

May 2 – Friday
I am very hoarse yet and obliged to remain at home very much against my will. Eddie [probably her brother Edwin Pettit Jr.] came home this afternoon feeling pleased to see us all and I think thoroughly satisfied with being away.

3 May – Saturday
I have been working in the house all day although I have not felt much like it. I coughed so much last night I didn’t get much rest consequently left me with a violent headache which lasted most all day. Harry has brought me some herbs which I steeped and drank and then went to bed about eleven oclock.

4 May – Sunday
This is a beautiful morning. I arose very early feeling it was a waste of time to lay in bed any longer. There has not been any school this morning. Harry and Eddie went to the hospital to visit a friend. They returned about five oclock. We then stayed home the remainder of the day.

5 May – Monday
This morning I felt so much better I went to the store but when I got there I could not talk had to come home again.

6 May – Tuesday
A busy day at home. I have been sewing all day and feel very tired. My cold is not any better. After supper I read for a short time then after having a thorough good sweat and dosing myself I retired about nine oclock.

7 May – Wednesday
This has been an unusualy busy day at home. I have been doing the house work while the others washed. I am still so hoarse I can not speak. Harry came down and was very much surprised and disappointed to see me no better. He left me at about 10:30. It has been raining.

8 May – Thursday
I arose about half past six and was much better after my rest. And very much encouraged. We had breakfast and I swept and dusted five rooms. And then finished the table scarf for Em. Harper and worked on other fancy work untill dinner. Spent the rest of the day in reading.

9 May – Friday
This was a beautiful May morning. I arose early and prepared breakfast. Pa went to the farm. Ma and myself quilted a quilt which took most of the day. Harry came over in the evening.

10 May – Saturday
I arose early this morning and have been working at home. Mr. and Mrs. Gurshbach came in and stayed untill quite late. My cold was so bad I could not talk so went to bed about nine oclock.

11 May – Sunday
This morning I am determined not to stay home any longer on account of being hoarse. After breakfast I prepared and went to Sunday School. Came home had dinner and Harry and I went to the Tabernacle and listened to Bro. John Morgan. Mrs. Green came home with us. We all went over there had supper and then went to meeting. Spent the remainder at home with H.

12 May – Monday
Today I am much better. I have been up town came home and quilted with Ma. Went down to Mrs. Gurshbacks met Mrs. Anderson there.

13 May – Tuesday
I have been recording the minutes of the Y.L.M.I.A. up to the present date. Have also written three letters. One to Alice [probably half-sister Alice Maria Pettit Mecham Walker] one to Alfred Pettit [probably uncle Alfred Pettit in Illinois] and one to Eddie Seeley [perhaps her cousin Walter Edwin Seeley in California, the son of her aunt Mary Pettit Seeley]. In the evening Harry came over.

14 May – Wednesday
Today has passed of slowly. Harry came down to see me tonight.

15 May – Thursday
Nothing of importance today.

To be continued...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The James Glade Video

Happy Pioneer Day! For the occasion, here is Grandmother Beverly's loving tribute to one of her pioneer ancestors, her great grandfather James Glade, and his family. What a treat it is to hear her voice narrating the film!

James Glade was born in 1831 in Devonshire, England, and died in 1882 in Salt Lake City, Utah. His first wife, Mary Dyer, died while crossing the plains and he later married Welsh immigrant Eliza Mary Litson and Scottish immigrant Isabella Love.
We’ll build on the rock they planted
A palace to the King.
Into its shining corridors,
Our songs of praise we’ll bring,
For the heritage they left us,
Not of gold or of worldly wealth,
But a blessing everlasting
Of love and joy and health.
("Carry On," Ruth May Fox)
Many thanks to Jared for putting the video on YouTube.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Adventure of the Adeline Springthorpe Sparks Thomas Grave Marker

Adeline Springthorpe Sparks Thomas

Adeline Springthorpe was born in Leicestershire, England, most likely in 1826. (Many different dates are given in different sources.) Her parents were James and Frances Springthorpe.

At age 18, she married Elijah Sparks. Thomas family records note that Elijah died at sea, but nothing further is known about the circumstances of his death.

Adeline joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1854. After her mother died in 1862, Adeline left England for the United States. Her entry in the Mormon Migration database showing her voyage on the ship John J. Boyd can be seen here. Also on the ship was widowed Welshman David Nathan Thomas and his four children, Margaret, Isaac, Sarah and Mary.

According to family stories, the Thomas family and Adeline crossed the plains in the same wagon company. Adeline is listed in the rosters of both the Homer Duncan Company and the Lewis Brunson Company, but since the Thomases were in the Homer Duncan Company, it is most likely that she traveled with them.

At some point, probably after reaching Utah, Adeline and David were married.

David Nathan Thomas

The family moved south to Nephi, Juab County, where daughter Frances Ann Thomas was born. Shortly thereafter they moved to Kanosh, Millard County, where son David John Thomas was born. They remained in Kanosh until 1878 when they joined the Kingston United Order in Piute County, Utah.

After three years with the United Order, David received a mission call to Arizona. In 1881, he and his wife and two children, son Isaac Thomas, and brother-in-law John Springthorpe and his family, moved down to Arizona. Margaret and her husband Richard Price and Sarah and her husband Thomas Dyches remained in Sanpete County. Daughter Mary and her husband John Henry Beal seemed to be living in Pima County, Arizona.

David was a blacksmith, so he started a blacksmith shop in St. Johns. His daughter Frances married Marinus Christensen in 1883, and Marinus became a blacksmith as well.

David Nathan Thomas died in 1888 and was buried in St. Johns. David and Adeline's son David John died in 1890 and was also buried in St. Johns.

After the deaths of her husband and son, Adeline traveled to Manti, Utah, probably to do temple work, but before she was able to do the work for her mother or other relatives, she died suddenly on April 16, 1891, and was buried in the Manti Cemetery in a donated grave.

The Manti Temple

In the 120 years since Adeline's death, a lot of temple work has been done for the family, but the family records were not in very good shape, primary vital records have been hard to track down, the family of Adeline's daughter Frances Thomas Christensen did not know details about the family including Adeline's first marriage, and little was preserved in the family records about the Thomas and Springthorpe families in Wales and England.

This changed when Margaret Thomas Price descendent Helen Rigby began looking into the history of the family. She did a thorough job, traveling to Wales, St. Johns, and Manti. I got to know Helen when she contacted me for permission to use the picture of David Nathan Thomas from this blog. It has been a real delight to get to know her by long distance and to get to meet her when I was recently in Utah.

Helen had mentioned during a phone conversation that Adeline's grave in Manti was unmarked, so when I was in Utah, I traveled down to Manti with a friend and made arrangements for a grave marker. Originally, it was going to read "Adeline Springthorpe Thomas," but after meeting Helen and her husband the next day and thinking about the story she told about tracking down the marriage record for Adeline and Elijah Sparks, the stonecutters made a change to the order and it will now read "Adeline Springthorpe Sparks Thomas."

The marker is granite and should be set on Adeline's grave site within a month or two. In keeping with the look of her husband's plain grave marker in St. Johns, it is an unadorned memorial stone, and it will be placed by a local business, so the cost is fairly modest, but if any of Adeline's descendants would like to assist in remembering our common pioneer ancestor, I would appreciate help with the project. Thanks to those who have already donated!

I can be contacted at the email address listed on the blog sidebar.

December 18, 2012—Here is a picture of Adeline's grave marker. The picture was provided by a kind volunteer at FindaGrave.


Additional Notes about Adeline's Descendants and Springthorpe Genealogy

I do not have contact with many of her descendants outside my grandparents' family, but Adeline would have descendants through the following children of her daughter Frances Thomas Christensen and son-in-law Marinus Christensen:
  • Adeline Christensen Gibbons and her husband Andrew Smith Gibbons
  • David Thomas Christensen and his wife Iness Jolley Christensen
  • Marinus Elmer Christensen and his wife Hilda Garnatz Christensen
  • Jessie Christensen Morgan and her husband Harold Morgan
  • Francis Lee "Frank" Christensen and his wife Nellie Vanetta Christensen
  • Joseph Lawrence Christensen and his wife Susan Worthen Ellis Christensen
There is still a lot of research that needs to be done on the Springthorpe lines. It will be a couple of years before I get around to doing more research on these lines, but I would be glad to see any more information on the family.

The bit of the Minerva Teichert painting of the pioneers is from a photo of the painting I took at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. The photo of the Manti Temple is from with permission given to use, share, and remix the work.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mary Isabell Pettit Green

After a break from posting due to vacation time, a family reunion in Virginia, summertime schedules, and some unexpected illness, here is a little anonymous history of Mary Isabell Pettit Green. I am leaving it exactly as typed and have not bothered to mark each [sic].

Mary Isabell was the first child of Edwin Pettit and Rebecca Hood Hill. She was born at 237 South 2nd West Street in Salt Lake City. This was the propoerty her father purchased from W. W. Phelps in 1858 in return for property he had owned in San Bernardino, California.

She had a half sister Alice and two step brothers, Richard and John Bush. Her father was absent from home a great part of the time traveling as a teamster between Salt Lake and Southern California. Consequently as she grew up as the oldest member of the family she developed an unusual sense of responsibility.

The next oldest member of a family of seventeen children, she early learned that hard work was the lot of the girls in pioneer families. The younger members of the family looked upon her as a second mother.

When six years of age, the family moved to 908 South 2nd West where they started a new home on the margin of a swamp that was under water in the early month's [sic] of each year. She lived to see that swamp reclaimed and developed into a desirable residential subdivision. She was always active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and was baptised when eight years old. She served as secretary to the ward sunday school and was an officer in the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association.

She worked for sometime as cashier at the Walker Department Store. Upon graduation from the University of Deseret she became a teacher in the 5th Ward District School.

On December 9, 1891 she married Henry Green who was born on October 7, 1867 at Brampton near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. He had joined the Mormon Church in England and migrated to Salt Lake City arriving on July 7, 1887 with several brothers and sisters. He joined Jack Reeves and his brother Will to from the Green and Reeves Plumbing Company. They installed the plumbing and heating in some of the first large buildings in Salt Lake including the L.D.S. Hospital, the Temple, the Tabernacle, Hotel Utah, Walker Bank Bldg, Office buildings, and the Church Schools.

Their first home was a small house in the center of the block between 8th and 9th South and 3rd and 4th West. In 1896 they built across the street from Mary's parents at 915 South 2nd West where they lived until Mary died on April 1, 1905. [Added in Beverly's handwriting: *Mary whom Henry called May, died ^by hemmorhaging^ in giving birth to her sixth child Mildred.]

They were always active in Church work. Her husband was the President of a branch of the 4th Ward that met in a small building on the north side of 13th South East of 2nd West. later he was counselor to Charles Cottrell when the 30th Ward was organized.