Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tracing Mormon Pioneer Ancestors: Find A Grave

Find A Grave is a commercial website. It was started in 1995 by Jim Tipton to track celebrity graves, but has grown to be the best aggregate site for burial records with a current claim of 68 million records.

I've used Find A Grave from time to time, but since I started looking into the site recently to prepare for writing this post, I've had so many adventures that I'm starting to lose track of them.

Here are a few:

Richard Litson, Sr. The record for Richard was created by Judie in Salt Lake. She has added a picture of his gravestone. His entry did not include any personal information or family links, so I requested that it be added (and sent the information), and she was kind enough to do that. You can contact the person who is creating or maintaining the grave entry by clicking on his or her name. The contributors and people who put the information on the site do it as a hobby and are providing a valuable service.

Edwin Pettit. (This one was actually several months ago.) I sent a note requesting that the name "Alfred" be removed from the memorial, since contrary to various online databases, this was not his middle name. I never checked to see whether that was done until right now, and the name is now correct.

Frances Ann Matthews Litson. I just added the crayon portrait of Frances to her memorial.

After contributing some information, I learned a little more about the community. I added a memorial for an ancestor who didn't have one:
Adeline Springthorpe Sparks Thomas. I wrote a little biography of her for her memorial (which I subsequently used for my Daughters of Utah Pioneers application) and added a picture. Helen Rigby has sent some lovely photos of Adeline's new gravestone, but I also requested a photo from local FindAGrave members. A nice woman from the area took a picture and put it online. I contacted her to thank her and she kindly gave me permission to use the photo.

I could not link to her family members, however, without requesting that the person maintaining their memorials do that. So I went to find the memorial for David Nathan Thomas in St. Johns, Arizona. By this point, I knew a little bit more about how FindAGrave works, and knew that I could request that a memorial be transferred to my account. I requested the memorials for David Nathan Thomas and Frances Ann Thomas Christensen. The person who created these memorials transferred them to me, and I added pictures and relationship information which will link these memorials together.

I also requested the memorial for Leroy Parkinson Tanner since I noticed he was not listed as one of the children of Henry and Eliza Tanner. I have updated his information and added a picture of his military grave marker that my dad took several years ago.

Athol Graham. The post I put up the other day about this Jarvis cousin came about when I clicked over to the contributor's record to ask her a question and saw that she listed his grave as one of her favorite memorials.

William Timms. I was showing my husband some of the resources available on his family. I am not too familiar with many of his family lines, so I was quite interested to see the information on this family. I've been emailing back and forth with the woman who put the information online and need to write a few more follow-up emails.

And finally, a couple more things you can do on FindAGrave:
  • Remove ads from a memorial. I don't see the ads since I am using AdBlockerPlus, but if you would like to do this to support the cost of running the site, it could be a way to honor someone.
  • You can leave flowers and a note on a memorial. A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the sad death of Richard Litson, Jr. In the way that sometimes happens when a person does family history work, I felt that his family wanted their son and brother to be remembered, so besides mentioning him here on this blog, I just added a forget-me-not to his memorial.
  • One lesson that I learned in between requesting the correction for Edwin Pettit and now is to remember, when making a request, to always thank the contributor for the work he or she has done. 
One of these years when I have some time, I'll systematically go through my family lines on FindAGrave and add and correct information. It is a wonderful resource, and I highly recommend it.

Assignment #9

Look up the grave record for a deceased family member. If a record does not exist and you are 100 percent certain that your ancestor was buried in a certain cemetery, you can create an account and add the record. If a record exists but there is no photograph of the grave marker, add one if you have it, or request one from a local contributor.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Good News About the Jarvis-Overson Photograph Collection

My father sent some emails and put up a post on his genealogy blog, Genealogy's Star, yesterday about the exciting news about the location of some of Margaret Jarvis Overson's photographs. See his post here:

Picture of Margaret Jarvis Overson and Henry Overson from a collection from Lois Salisbury, digitized by James Tanner.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1890 Diary of Mary Isabell Pettit, Part 13

1 November – Saturday
November came in warm and clear. Nothing occurred during the day out of the usual line. I retired about ten oclock.

2 November – Sunday
Arose about eight oclock. After breakfast four of us prepared and went to Sunday School. Took a long stroll with H in the afternoon. Grandpa came down. We had supper and I went to meeting. Spent the evening as I usualy do.

3 November – Monday
Have been washing. Uncle Lorenzo [Pettit] and Aunt Emma [Smith Brower Pettit] called to see us. We have received a card from Pa saying they will be home in about a week or ten days. Mr. Smyth and Mr. Martin called. Only stayed a few minutes. Gave me lots of news from the store.

4 November – Tuesday
I have been sewing most the day trying to make me a house dress and mending some. Newell has been here to dinner.

5 November – Wednesday
Today I have been sewing. Harry came down about eight oclock. The folks had all gone to bed and about ten oclock Pa, Uncle David [Seeley] and Aunt Mary [Pettit Seeley] came home. We were all very pleased to see them. After having some supper they talked about their trip and feeling tired retired about twelve oclock.

6 November – Thursday
Today we have been very interested in listening to the folks tell of their travels and what they had seen since they left home. I have been to meeting. We didn’t keep it late on account of so few present. I came home alone and went to bed being very tired.

7 November – Friday
I got up early and after the morning work was done I finished my sewing and went up town. Went to Mrs. Christys [1] and engaged to go and clerk in the store for a few weeks. Uncle David had gone south to visit his people.

8 November – Saturday
Have been working around home. I went up town in the evening and got myself a pair of shoes.

9 November – Sunday
I arose about eight oclock. Did not go to Sunday School. Harry and I went to the tabernacle. Bishop Whitney spoke. We came home, had supper. Uncle Lorenzo and wife and Orson were here. We went to evening meeting. Came home and spent the remainder of the evening untill about eleven Harry went home.

10 November – Monday
This morning I went to Mrs. Christys about eight oclock to try my ability at selling milinery. I was all day very busy cleaning and learning the stock so the day passed very rapidly and six oclock came before I was hardly aware of it. Aunt Mary has gone to Uncle Lorenzos.

11 November – Tuesday
Today has been a dull day for business but a busy day for dusting but we are getting nearly straightened. Mrs. Christy is far from being my stamp of a woman.

12 November – Wednesday
The day has passed as usual. I meet a great many of my friends and acquaintances at the store. Harry has been and spent the evening with me. We are going to a party tomorrow night.

13 November – Thursday
I have been to a dance and feel awfully tired and sleepy so I think I shall go right to bed. I have had a very nice time.

14 November – Friday
I have spent most of the day dusting and cleaning and am very little better off than where I commenced.

15 November – Saturday
Have been a little busier today and sold quite a number of hats. I left the store with Emma about half past six. After supper I done some mending and didn’t go to bed untill quite late.

To be continued...

[1] Probably German-born Augusta Christy, born 1852, living in San Francisco in 1900, at which time she was a widow (deceased husband possibly John E. Christy or Christie) with three living children, Millie, Carolyn, and Carl Bryan. Her daughters were born in Kansas and Missouri and Carl was born in Utah in 1879. She may have later returned to live in Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1890 Diary of Mary Isabell Pettit, Part 12

It's been awhile since we've had an installment of Mary Pettit's diary. There will be four posts after this one and then an index to the diary. Thanks once again to my daughter for typing this diary.
16 October – Thursday
The morning is delightful. The sun shines clear and warm on the dew covered grass. The night was quite frosty. I have been sewing untill now. It is nearly twelve oclock.

17 October – Friday
The day passed but I don’t know how. It seems to me it is a waste of time to stay in the store when I have so much to do at home.

18 October – Saturday
Today I have again been placed to wait upon customers. I have found it to be an easy task there has been so few. Mrfs Snyder and I went to the resturant to supper. Harry was there. We left the store at nine and walked slowly home. There was a letter from Pa.

19 October – Sunday
I went to work at home this morning. And have hept it up all day untill evening Harry came and we went to meeting. Came home and sat up untill rather late. Had a little quite confidencial chat. Wm. Cowan was set apart as second Coun. To Bishop Seddon.

20 October – Monday
I have been out for about two hours today with Lilly trying to select a coat. The rest of the time I have been moping around the store doing a little of almost everything to pass the time. Business is very dull.

21 October – Tuesday
I enjoyed my walk to the store very much this morning. The sun shone so warm on the dew of the previous night. It was also a pleasant walk home. There was a letter from Alice for me.

22 October – Wednesday
The same old rot day in and day out. I am pleased when night comes. The days are warm and pleasant. I long to be free from the miserable old store and some of the people here. I came home and Harry came and spent the evening with me.

23 October – Thursday
The day has passed as usual with very little business being done. Although I feel tired. I have a letter from Pa and one from Uncle William.

24 October – Friday
I didn’t wake untill quite late. I arose had breakfast and went to work. The day passed very unsatisfactorly to me. Night came and I left at the usual hour. Came home and sewed on my dress untill late.

25 October – Saturday
I left home at twenty minutes to eight walked to work with Harry. After dusting and arranging my stock in order I was called to the cash desk and there remained most all day. I went to dinner with H. Went to supper with Mrfs Snyder and about nine had a few words with my boss. I decided to quit. I informed him of the fact and left hoping never to see him again. Met Harry and came home.

26 October – Sunday
I went to school and afternoon services in the Tabernacle. Bishop O. F. Whitney preached but I was so sleepy I didn’t hear much he said. I also went to evening meeting. Harry had a little business to attend to so he didn’t go.

27 October – Monday
We have commenced house cleaning and not being used to that kind of work it is rather hard on me. Although I heartily enjoy the change. I have recieved a letter from Uncle Alfred.

28 October – Tuesday
I arose early and after breakfast was over I took up carpets, scrubbed, scoued [sic] etc. untill about seven oclock. I then got ready and went to the political meeting in the meeting house which was quite interesting. After meeting it was so beautifull and moon light Harry and I took a walk.

29 October – Wednesday
This had been another day of hard work from the time I arose this morning untill dark. Harry came and put the parlor carpet down for me this evening. It is now twelve oclock and all are asleep. H. had gone home and I think I will go to bed now. I am very tired. We recieved a letter from Eddie. He is in Ogden.

30 October – Thursday
I am commencing to feel awfully tired. I don’t think I can stand many weeks like this one. The weather still remains clear and warm but the nights are quite cold. We have almost finished our heavy work.

31 October – Friday
This has been a lovely warm day. The car is now running to eighth south. Lilly and I went up town on it for the first time. Mrs. Gershback came up and stayed a short time disguised as a man. H came and spent the evening with us.

To be continued...

Photo of the cat and pumpkin from www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt/273212143/.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Notable Relatives: Athol Graham

From time to time I will do a series about people in the extended family who are notable for some reason or the other. Athol Graham was a great grandson of George and Ann Prior Jarvis and a grandson of Charles (Defriez) and Margaret Jarvis. (This is the Tanner line of my genealogy.) Athol's mother, Lois Jarvis Graham, went with her mother Margaret Jarvis to Salt Lake City when Margaret trained as a midwife. Lois trained as a nurse and married Scottish immigrant Hugh Graham. The Grahams lived in Salt Lake City and had seven children including Athol. Athol is a Scottish name and has been used several times in the Jarvis family. 

To start this sketch, here is a biography written by Athol's aunt, Margaret Jarvis Overson, in the 1950s.

Zeldine Hansen and Athol Graham. 
(The picture is slightly distorted around Zeldine's mouth. Perhaps someone with photo editing skills and an editing program could correct it.)

Athol Graham, fifth child of Lois Jarvis and Hugh Boyd Graham, was born at Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, January 15th, 1924. His schooling was also had in the grade and high schools of his home city, and he finished his work with proper credits. He very early showed a liking for building and making things. A ship he constructed when a very small boy was a wonderful sample of technical work and sticking to a piece of work until it is finished, --something very hard for children to do.

He early in life would slip away from home awhile whenever possible and go to a nearby garage and watch the workmen repairing autos, --he was interested in seeing what and how they did the work, and would ask many questions. He served his term in the Service of his Country, entering in May 1943, first in Field Artillery, and later in the Air Force for Cadet training. It was found that there were more pilots than needed so 36,000 of the boys were placed in the infantry. Athol was sent overseas and put in a Service Company-Maintainance. He was all through Central Europe and the Rhineland.

Athol received two bronze stars, Meritorious Unit Award, also a Bronze Start Medal. He has had a repair shop at his home where he did all kinds of auto repair work both before and since his marriage, but is now working for Cadillac Co. He is especially interested in racing engines and has built several and raced on the Bonnerville [sic] Salt Flats and won several trophies.

Athol also served as a Missionary for his Church in New Zealand - one year among the Maori people and the remainder of his time among European people in the South part - 1948 to 1950. He is keeping up his church work wherever called.

Athol Graham married, at Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, on the 2nd, August 1950, Zeldine Hansen, daughter of John Harvey Hansen and Pauline Peterson Hansen, who was born at Joseph City, Navajo County, Arizona, September 26th, 1930. He had met her in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she had gone to enter nurse training in the Latter Day Saints Hospital School of Nursing, and from which she graduated, and received her diploma. She now has a good job at home.

They now have a home in Salt Lake City, and Athol has a garage, where he repairs and assembles automobiles.

Address: Mr. and Mrs. Athol Graham, 3321 South 3010 East, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Here is a picture and a bit of an article by larger-than-life sports editor Harold "Hack" Miller at the Deseret News, August 2, 1960.

Zeldine and Athol Graham on the morning of August 1, 1960.

[Indeciperable] lady pulled herself out of the cockpit of the racer. The jacks had been pulled, the wheels toed in to fit the scale.

Athol Graham put his arm around his pert little wife (and partner in racing).

Neither said much to the other, just exchanged a kiss and a smile of worship.

Trying to make the 400 mile [per hour] goal was a joint venture. Athol had dreamed of it—racing was his life's blood. Zeldine had become a part of the venture.

All Spare Time

Athol spent all his spare time at his Canyon Motor Garage. Zeldine worked nights as a nurse at a Salt Lake hospital—so she could have soem of her days at the shop.

There was talk that if he went through the measured mile at near the 400-mile mark he might let his wife drive the car through the other way. Here was a real team.

Zeldine got into one of the official trucks. "I'll go with them dear, to see if the track is clear."

"See you at the other end," Athol said.

He fitted his gear and goggles for the photographers. He gave them all the pictures they wanted.

If the driver, who rose to fame when he ran this same car through the mile at 344 miles an hour last December, had any emotion he contained it. He was as cool as the other mechanics as he put in the fuel, watched the helpers tuck in the dry ice, chuckled as he helped adjust the toe-in of his front wheels.

Usually the top drivers (like Cobb, Eyston, Campbell, Jenkins) had got away to a dawn start before the sun had a chance to draw the moisture out of the salt. And before the winds came out of the canyons to the west.

Of No Concern

But these things seemed of no concern to Athol Graham. He said he would run when he had the car ready.

There was something about this day that was not right and everyone sensed it as we took position along the course—mostly at the start of the measured mile.

The course was 12-1/2 miles long. He would enter the timers after "Mile Five." Several airplanes took off and held position in the sky.

I turned to Hi McDonald, who has covered Athol's races before.

"He won't run today. That wind is too wicked," I noted. Others had suggested the same.

"At about 10 minutes past 11 a.m. one of the timers announced at the press line, "He's on his way."

Everyone, some with binoculars, some without, watched the salt expanse to the north. There was a spot—barely discenable [sic] due to the curvature of the earth—or desert mirage.

"He's coming," shouted on the the observers from the scaffold perch.

Then there was the heart-burning sight of parts flying, people shouting that he was off the course, and then more pieces of auto, with tires, and a terrifying spray of salt which told the story that the run was over....

[H]e had put his life into a race machine. And that is where he left it.

Miller's article notwithstanding, a Salt Lake Tribune article from August 1 noted that after the Grahams' car City of Salt Lake crashed (and as I have read elsewhere it was probably due to a magnesium wheel disintegrating rather than the wind or other conditions), Graham was flown to a Salt Lake Hospital where he died, leaving his wife Zeldine and four children, Loie, Lindi, Kristy, and Daryl (Butch), who were staying with their grandparents in Arizona at the time.
Gravestone of Athol Graham in Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, Salt Lake City. Picture by Tabatha Bailey from FindaGrave. Used by permission.

After Athol's death, Zeldine decided to rebuild City of Salt Lake. She worked with Otto Anzjon, but he died of leukemia in 1962, and she worked with Harry Muhlbach, and they attempted the land speed record in 1963.

Graham's son has rebuilt City of Salt Lake to its original glory. Here is a KSL story with a video, pictures, and family memories, and here is a collection of very nice photographs of the Grahams' car, the Grahams, and some associates. (Part 1, Part 2.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Times Behind the Scenes at TheAncestorFiles

Posts have been rather sporadic here for a little while since I am working full speed on editing a chapter for the Women of Faith in the Latter Days project. The chapter will consist of an edited autobiography of Ann Prior Jarvis.

My kind siblings and mother typed up one of the versions of Ann Prior Jarvis's autobiographies, a copy of which was serendipitously posted on Ancestry.com and then sent to me by email by David Bond. Thanks again to all of you!

Documentary editing could potentially be a tedious process, but luckily the subject matter here is so fascinating that I have not lost interest in the least. I have really appreciated New Family Search for this project, because it has made it surprisingly easy to identify some of the people mentioned in the autobiography.

Besides the time necessary for this project, I have a number of other major projects in the works, as well as the requirements of family life, so going forward, looking at the schedule for TheAncestorFiles, I usually try to post something each weekday, but will most likely post just a few times a week on the following topics through the end of the year:
  • Tracing Mormon Pioneer Ancestors, Starring the Richard and Frances Litson Family
  • Biographies of the Four Litson Children
  • The Letters Written Home to Wales after Eliza and Joan Jeanetta Litson Arrived in Utah
  • The Remainder of Mary Isabell Pettit's 1890 Diary
  • The Life and Death of James Glade
  • The History of Isabella Love Glade
  • The History of the Hamilton Family
  • The History of the Green Family
  • The History of the Marsden Family
  • The History of the Hill Family
  • A Famous Utah Photo, or, Boy, You Look Distinguished in Stripes, Grandpa
  • Some Famous (Or Infamous, as the Case May Be) Relatives
  • The Lanark Society Settlers
  • George Jarvis and the Opium Wars
  • Cholera in London, the Birth of Modern Epidemiology, and Why I Am Mentioning It Here
And, hopefully, before the end of the year:
  • The John Tanner Daguerreotype
Lots of fun stuff coming up! Happy times!

And one additional note: this weekend my family and I will be attending the broadcast of the groundbreaking for the Philadelphia Temple. The Temple (A) will be just blocks from the place (B) where Samuel Linton first heard the gospel preached in 1856:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tracing Mormon Pioneer Ancestors: Local Heritage Organizations

When I mentioned the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in an earlier post, I neglected to mention the local chapters of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. In particular, I will mention the St. George DUP, which has a large collection of pioneer histories, photographs, and memorabilia relating to the settlement of Washington County, Utah, and the surrounding areas. I spent a few delightful minutes talking to a couple of volunteer docents at the McQuarrie Memorial Museum today.

I also neglected to provide a link to the Sons of Utah Pioneers Website.

Here is a page on the Daughters of Utah Pioneers website which lists all the museums in all the different areas of Utah and one in Idaho:
DUP Satellite Museum Directory
Since I have no reason to believe that the Litsons ever left the Salt Lake area in the first two generations (Richard and Frances and their children), I would have little reason to look at any DUP outside Salt Lake.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11: The Events as Experienced by a Young Mother in San Diego

Geneabloggers is encouraging genealogy bloggers to record their own memories of 9/11, so here are mine.

We were living in San Diego at the time, which is three hours behind New York, and were woken about 6:30 by a phone call from my mother-in-law not long after the south tower of the World Trade Center was hit. We turned on the radio since we didn't have a television, and turned on the computer and followed the internet coverage. 

We had three small children, ages five, four, and one. My husband would walk our kindergartener to school each morning and then catch the bus to his work in front of the school. We felt very vulnerable and didn't want to lose sight of our family members, so we all walked the kindergartener up to school and then my husband and I walked home and he went to work from there and I read coverage of the events and listened to the radio and tried to shield my children from the news coverage and from my emotions as much as possible.

The day after the attacks, if I remember correctly, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir put on a special broadcast with music and words from President Gordon B. Hinckley and others. We attended the broadcast at the Mt. Abernathy Chapel, and I recall during the music and influence of the Spirit the dramatic change from feeling almost frantic with grief and anxiety to feeling calm, but still very sad. 

Ten years later, I only have to think about those events for a few seconds to have tears come to my eyes. It was all so sad, even happening at the distance it did, and not knowing any of the victims.

A few other memories:
  • We saw a veteran at the Tabernacle Choir broadcast wearing a baseball cap that said, "Pearl Harbor Survivor." 
  • Our next door neighbor in the apartment complex was a single, mid-20s Middle-Eastern man. Shortly after the attacks, he packed up some of his belongings and disappeared. Some of the hijackers had been living in San Diego before the attacks, but I always assumed that our neighbor had no connection to the attackers but might have had visa problems and felt threatened.
  • It was not until a year later that I saw television coverage of the events, and the images were even more horrific than the print and radio coverage. 
  • People started flying American flags everywhere. A nearby construction site flew a large American flag from the construction crane.
  • My husband and I listened to a broadcast performance of Brahms' German Requiem from a cathedral in New York City a few days after the events. Ever since then, that music has been among my "mourning music," the selections that I listen to when I am mourning a death of a family member or a member of the community of families of children with congenital heart defects. I am listening to it right now.
September 11, 2001 was a sad day for our country and the events of the subsequent ten years have been complicated and divisive in many ways, but it was an amazing thing to see the outpouring of national sentiment and common mourning and grief after the attack on our country.

Today, to commemorate the events of ten years ago, we will be watching the Tabernacle Choir's broadcast, "Rise Above," remembering the events. It will be shown a number of times on NBC stations and networks (schedule here) or on BYU-TV.

Picture of the World Trade Center as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge in July 2001 under a Creative Commons license from www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/161310480/.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tracing Mormon Pioneer Ancestors: Government Records

Since the Litsons lived in Utah, I will only look at Utah records in this post. Other states will have their own systems for dealing with public records.

The Utah Division of Archives and Records Service is actively putting collections of records and indexes to records online. The latest post from the Archives blog, Researching the Utah State Archives, notes that:
The Utah State Digital Archives provides over half a million images of historical records online and free to the public, including death certificates from 1904-1958. With worldwide online access, patrons have the ability to do research from anywhere while the State Archives efficiently fulfills its mission “to provide quality access to public information.”
The Utah State Archives was recently recognized by Family Tree Magazine as one of the best state websites for genealogical and historical research.

Here you can search all the databases at the Archives:
Utah Digital Archives Search
A search for the Litson family finds the probate record for Frances Ann Matthews Litson's estate and birth and death certificates for a few family members. The birth and death certificates are available online. The probate file can be ordered from the Archive.

I also looked at all the linked databases. The Utah Cemetery and Burial Database came up with the following burial records:

I just noted all the relevant information from this database into my genealogy files. I am not sure that the burial dates listed in the database are accurate since it shows the death and burial dates as being the same, so I have noted that in my files. Additionally, the record for Eliza Mary Litson Glade says that she died at 331 Q Street. That should be "C" Street. But the record for burial locations is valuable even if the dates are of dubious accuracy. (Death certificates would be more accurate sources for that information, where available. Utah began issuing death certificates in 1904.)

There are also extensive online indexes and images at the Utah Archives site including legislative records, which may or may not be applicable to your family. They would have information applicable to John Hamilton Morgan and Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward, but I can't think of any other lines that would justify a search of Utah Senate and House records.

After looking at the state level, check the county and city governments to see if they have any available resources that are not held at the state level. I cannot find anything available online, but I will come back to the subject of USGenWeb, and we will cover that again.

Assignment #8

Check your family name in the Utah Digital Archives Search.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tracing Mormon Pioneer Ancestors: Newspapers

Probably the best place to find historical newspapers is the University of Pennsylvania webpage, Historical Newspapers Online. Scroll down to your state to see what collections are available online. For the purposes of tracing the Litson family, I will confine my searches to the Utah collection:

My favorite of these four databases is the Utah Digital Newspaper Project, a service of the Marriott Library at the University of Utah. It has many local newspapers throughout Utah.

When I search for "Litson," the database comes up with 558 results, which is way too many to scan, so I will search for "Richard Litson" and "Frances Litson" and other combinations of the family names.

"Richard Litson" brings up three articles of interest, all in the Deseret News. The first is a record of the Litsons' arrival in Salt Lake City:

The second is some very sad family news about the family, and in particular, Richard Litson, Jr., the son who kept such a detailed account of their crossing of the plains. This tragic event happened six years after the death Richard Litson, Sr.

Next is a note that the family's Perpetual Emigrating Fund debt has been paid.

Then, there are several articles noting Frances Matthews Litson's homestead in South Cottonwood:

And, finally, there is a notice of Frances' death:

This death notice gives a lot of information, and a hint to check the Millennial Star for her obituary. The Millennial Star did not always copy all requested obituaries, but they did for Frances, and we have already seen it in the post Using Google.

The one thing that is missing is a death notice for Richard Litson, Sr. He died on October 29, 1872, so I will search the Deseret News manually. On the first page of Utah Digital Newspapers, I select the Deseret News, and when its page comes up, I will select the year 1872. The newspaper was weekly, so the next newspaper after his death was October 30. It takes awhile to download each page and scan it, and I am trying not to get distracted by the interesting notes in the newspaper, for example: "Maine, following the example of Utah, has admitted a lady to the bar... she is said to be the first woman permitted to practice law in New England," and the account of a jury in Davis County, Utah, which included three women: "The deliberations of the jury-women were marked by quite as much dignity and self respect as ever evinced by the stronger sex, and we understand the verdict was not any less satisfactory on account of the jury not being entirely composed of the male persuasion." Page 14 contains this note from the Missouri Democrat:

But that is off topic. I do not see Richard's obituary in the two newspapers following his death and have run out of time to look further since it is possible that the family did not notify the newspaper.

One of the links in the Historical Newspapers Online is to the Library of Congress Chronicling America project. The search term "Litson" for Utah newspapers to 1890 comes up with six results, several of them mentioning Joseph Young Litson's participation in the Mill Creek and Smithfield Rifle Teams, but otherwise not applicable to our Litson family.

All in all, this was a very informative search, turning up a family tragedy that had not been mentioned in any of the family histories, and also some vital facts about the family: an obituary for Frances, the record of the family's immigration, a homesteading notice, and a note that their PEF debt was paid.

Assignment #7

Check the Historical Newspapers Online for a family of interest, whether in Utah or another state.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tracing Mormon Pioneer Ancestors: Pioneer Databases

Today's post highlights two truly remarkable databases.

Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868

The Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel database is run by the Church History Library, the archive department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The description on the website says it "is the most complete listing of individuals and companies in which Mormon pioneer emigrants traveled west to Utah [1] from 1847 through 1868. It is an incomplete listing, as rosters have not been found for all companies. It also identifies sources to learn more about the experiences of each company."

Every now and then I will send in some information, and the wonderful missionaries who run the site correct and update the database almost immediately. A week or two ago, it came to my attention that Richard Litson was accidentally listed twice, so I sent a note and the incorrect listing was removed.

Here is a note about an award presented to the librarian in charge of the database.

The Litsons are listed as follows:

Each person listed has his or her own page. Here is the page for Richard Litson Sr.:

If you click on the links, you can see the sources for the Samuel D. White Company, and you can also read the source material about Richard Litson and about the entire company, which is more extensive.

Mormon Migration

The Mormon Migration database was recently put online at Brigham Young University. It is also a huge database and has amazing amounts of data. Unlike the Overland Travel database it does not seem to be correctable.

Here is the entry for Richard Litson:

Eliza and Joan Jeanetta do not seem to be in the database. 

If you click on "Accounts for this voyage," shown in the screenshot, the database contains a number of journals and personal histories mentioning the events of the voyage. It is a wonderful way to find out about the trip across the ocean. The ship's passenger list is also reproduced with links to each person.

Assignment #6

Look up some of your pioneer ancestors in one or both of the databases. If you are following this series but do not have pioneer ancestors, look up someone of interest such as Brigham Young. He shows up in both databases. (Hint: he was born in 1801.)


[1] The Overland Travel database also includes information about pioneers who traveled to Utah from the west, including from Australia and San Bernardino.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Frances Ann Matthews Litson

Note that the picture of Frances here is a crayon portrait, an interesting and fairly-short-lived development in the history of photography.

After posting this history, I will return to the Mormon Pioneer Record Tutorial rather than posting the histories of the four Litson children. I will post those when I am done with the tutorial.

Frances Ann Matthews [1] was born 1 May 1819 in Ely, Llandaff, Glamorganshire, South Wales, the third child and second daughter of James Matthews (1789) and Frances James (1789). James and Frances Matthews had eight children, three girls and five boys. Their first girl Frances Ann died just prior to her third birthday and their sixth child David died before he was one year old. At least one of Frances Ann Matthews’ brothers, James Richard, came to American sometime after his wife Beata died in 1871.

A letter dated 10 Jan 1843 mailed from Cardiff from James and Frances James Matthews to their daughter Fanny (F. A. Matthews, 20 Cambridge Street, Edgeware Road, London, England, expressed concern for her welfare. She was working for some people in London although it was not clear in what capacity. Frances was a seamstress as was indicated in this letter as well as her marriage certificate. Frances would have been 23 years of age at the time this letter was written.

She was married 8 February 1845 to Richard Litson (1819) at the Parish Church, St. Andrews Parish, Glamorganshire, South Wales.

Her first child, Eliza Mary was born 7 March 1846 at St. Andrews, Glamorganshire, South Wales.

Her second child was Joan Jennetta, born 24 May 1848 at Whitchurch, Glamorganshire, South Wales.

Her third child, Richard, was born 24 August 1851 at Whitchurch, Glamorganshire, South Wales.

Her fourth and last child, Joseph Young, was born 24 September 1858 at Treforest, Llantwit Vairdre, Glamorganshire, South Wales.

Although the date has not been proven in a church record, she was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 2 October 1852 and rebaptized at South Cottonwood 5 May 1867. Record has been found in the Dinas Powis Branch of the Wales Mission of the baptism 3 October 1861 of her third child Richard, indicating he was baptized by Llewlyn Jones and confirmed by Richard Litson, John Jones, Llewlyn Jones, and James Peard.

When Eliza Mary was 17 and Joan Jennetta was 15, they sailed from London, England, on 4 June 1863, on the Ship Amazon, arriving in New York 18 July 1863, on their way to Zion. What an adventure for two very young girls. Just think of a mother’s concern to send them off. William Bramall was the leader of this Latter-day Saint group.

When they arrived in Florence a few days later to be outfitted for the journey, they were assigned to the wagon of James Glade who had returned to Florence to help other emigrants travel west. It was just two years earlier that he had lost his first wife, Mary Dyer, near Florence on their quest to Zion and he traveled with his young daughter, one and a half year old Mary Jane the remainder of the way alone.

They left Florence August 7 and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley 4 October 1863. It was in October Eliza Mary wrote her parents of her marriage to James Glade from Cardiff and also in October James Glade wrote to Eliza Mary’s parents telling them of the marriage.

Imagine Frances’s feelings upon hearing that news. As her husband Richard Litson expressed in a letter dated 7 February 1864 to Eliza: “When your mother opened the last letter bearing the date October 30 and not in your own writing but in a very strange hand and the first word she caught sight of was I am married. It came like a beyonet to her heart that she could not read it. Had she not been standing in the middle of the old ship Zion the heavy wave would have dash her overboard. But she has now nearly recovered of the shock. She thought that you would have waited until she got there but as it is, we all wish you joy and may the blessings of heaven attend you in everything you set your hand to.”

Richard Litson (1819), Frances (1819), Richard (1851), and Joseph Young (1858) emigrated to America on the ship John Bright which left Liverpool, England, 30 April 1866, and arrived in New York 6 June 1866. They traveled to Zion with Captain White’s Company, walking many miles of the journey. They arrived in Salt Lake on 4 September 1866.

When the family first arrived in Utah, they lived in Great Salt Lake City but moved to South Cottonwood. The family were members of the South Cottonwood Ward as early as 5 May 1867 when Richard Litson, Frances Litson, and Joseph Young Litson were baptized and their baptisms recorded in that ward record. [Immigrants were often rebaptized upon arriving in Utah.] It is believed that the family lived in a little rock home on the brow of the hill about 891 East 5900 South. Baptisms were also recorded in the South Cottonwood Ward for Frances A., Joan Jeanet Turpin, Richard Litson, and Joseph Young on 31 October 1875. (Names were recorded backward in this record.)

Their address in the 1870 Census was not determined. Post Office Union Fort was the heading and would probably have been the South Cottonwood 5900 South address. The 1870 Census South Cottonwood Ward of the Territory of Utah shows Frances and Richard with their sons Richard age 20 and Joseph age 12.

Homestead certificate approved 20 May 1862 (date of the Homestead Act) signed by President Chester A. Arthur, transaction 20 November 1882 was in her name, possibly because Richard Litson died 29 October 1872 and perhaps she applied for the homestead as a widow. The property was on the northwest corner of 3100 south and 40th West and the 1880 Census shows her living there. Her daughter Joan Jennetta also lived there with her husband James Richard Smith Turpin and their family.

The Deseret News carried the obituary of Frances Matthews Litson who died in South Cottonwood, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory 17 February 1885. It stated that she was a treasurer for several branches of the Church in this part of the country in which she resided and was honest and faithful in the discharge of her duties. She was treasurer of the Ladies’ [Relief] Society from 1870 until her death. She lived the life of a faithful Latter-day Saint.

The Millennial Star No. 12 Vol. XLVIL dated Monday, March 23, 1885, also carried her obituary.

Written by Beulah Litson Twede
Read February 13, 1995
South Cottonwood Camp
Daughters of the Utah Pioneers

Typed by Martha Moss Spencer, March 2009

[1] The name is spelled Mathews in Welsh records and Matthews in American records.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Southern States Mission Conference, Haywood Valley, Georgia, August 1878

Deseret News, September 11, 1878, 7.

Ed. — Thanks to Bessie from Ancestral Ties for adding a couple of links to provide more context to this article. Here is a post at Amateur Mormon Historian and one at Ancestral Ties, "The First Relief Society Presidency in the Southern States."

The Emigration of Richard Litson, Part 2 of 2

Continued from here...

One little girl was hurt very badly by falling off one of the wagons. By using what medicine they had on hand and by several elders administering to her, she got well and was able to romp and play again. They camped at a house called Junction House and then proceeded on their way, camping near houses as much as possible so as to procure water and wood. They passed two graves, one inscription reading "H. Veight [or Voight] died 1865, Sept. 15, age 31 years." A second inscription read "K. Wilden [or Milden], died June 2, 1864, late of Preston England."

One morning, after traveling about a mile from camp, they were passed by a regiment of soldiers. Further along the way they passed several graves with inscriptions as follows: Lawken K. Stevens age 14 years; E. Hunter, died July 3, 1865; N. P. Wells, Late of Biethan [Bethany?], Missouri, killed by Indians, aged 39 years.

They had intended to cross the Platte River but decided the crossing too dangerous, so went along further to find a safer place. All the wagons crossed before it got dark, except two or three  waited and crossed in the morning. They traveled three or four miles, then stopped for dinner and camped. The next morning they started at 8 o’clock and traveled until 12 o’clock, stopping for dinner and continuing until 6 that evening. They traveled eight or ten miles the next day, thinking to go to North Platte but unexpectedly found water, so they camped. There was a grave at this spot named John Brain Craon [Graon], crossed shore, died August 23, 1844. The next day they continued several miles and camped by a creek running close by the road. The next day they camped by North Platte for dinner. The first mule train passed there on the 30th of July. They camped again by the river that night and the next day they crossed over some sand hills and after a few miles they met some soldiers. After most of the wagons had passed about a half dozen or so, the soldiers came forward and tried to claim some of the mules that had the U.S. brand on them. The Litsons insisted that the mules belonged to them, having bought them from rightful owners, but the soldiers argued and took one of the mules. The company traveled on and camped for the night. The next day when they camped, the captain and two teamsters of the soldier’s regiment drove in and returned the mule that was taken the day before, apologizing for having taken it.

In the next few days of travel, they saw Indians several times, some at a distance and some close, but they did not molest them. On crossing a bridge they saw Laramie to the left, and had to stop and be examined before they could proceed further. During the time the company was stopped for examination, a child of Brother and Sister Bell died and they buried her beside a large tree on a hill.

The next time the train made camp it was by some ox trains. They continued the next day and passed the other trains that were traveling. When those trains camped, the Litson train continued on, stopping by a creek where a mule train was camped. There was a notice here that read: "To Bridger's Ferry 15 miles," "To Virginia City 425 miles." They found plenty of wood to use for the rest of the journey.

The next two days they traveled 20 miles the first day and 18 miles on the second, covering more ground than usual. They camped the next day on the Platte River. They followed the river, camping by it again and saw a few soldiers there. On crossing the North Platte River bridge they saw two graves. Joseph D. Graves, a private of Company D, Ohio Cavalry, died at Platte Bridge, October 16, 1863, age 20 years. The next one in memory of Phillip W. Rhod, a private of Company Y, 110 V. C., killed by Indians March 8, 1865, age 19 years.

They left the Platte River and traveled a long way, stopped at a creek, and then continued on again. That night when they camped, they discovered one man named Robert Daybell was missing. The next morning men were sent out to look for him. The train continued on, crossed a bridge, and stopped by a store. The men came to camp but reported that they had not found the missing man. The men went out again the next day in search of Daybell and the train waited, but the men returned at midnight reporting they could not find him. They traveled on their way, and on the 17th of August they camped by the Rocky Mountain River, following it along, crossing it twice, and camping nearby. After continuing a long way, they crossed a little brook and found the country quite unlevel. They had to cross several hills. One day, by traveling a little later than usual, they managed to cover thirty miles. That night a woman died and was buried by a creek a little further on the road the next day.

At their next stop they did not have good water to drink, but that night when they camped they found plenty of clean water and the weather was warm. They had to cross the river twice the next day and camped that night by it. They continued on their way and crossed the Green River. A few of the wagons crossed on the ferry boat instead of the usual way. As they knew there would be no water available for several miles, they took some with them from there, however, they found water that night where they camped. There were some soldiers stationed there, but they were not to be trusted, so guards were stationed to watch that night, and the men were on the alert.

They traveled on and had water from Green River, crossed it, and camped on the left side. After many miles they passed a house and some trains. The water was scarce where they stopped for dinner. Further on they saw some miners going the opposite way.

They did not travel one day because it was raining quite hard. They had some potatoes from Salt Lake for their dinner and everyone was thrilled with this luxury. The Litsons could not travel on with the others the next day as some of their mules got lost and they had to search for them. They found the mules and started on. They crossed many bridges and toll bridges and finally caught up with the others.

It was a pretty dry camping place, and some of the mules went in search of water making part of the company hunt for them again. They found the mules and caught up with the other wagons before noon. They passed Cush [Cache] Cave on the right side of the road and camped for dinner at Echo Canyon. They passed many inhabited places that day including Kimball’s Hotel and camped at Silver Creek. The next morning they traveled from Twenty Miles Creek over the summit and camped at the head of Emigration Canyon. A little further on they met Joan Jeanetta Litson, daughter of Richard Litson, and friends who had come in Hammers Great Salt Lake Express to meet them. The next day the Litsons and their friends, Brother Glade and his little girl [1], started out before the rest of the train and traveled on, reaching the mouth of the Canyon and passing through Coalville, having breakfast at Elizabeth Kates'. Traveling they soon came in sight of the city, arriving at 4 o'clock. [2]

With God's help they  arrived at their destination, the Valley of the Mountains. The family was reunited and lived in happiness and religious security until the death of Richard Litson, October 29, 1872.

(From an account by Mabel and Leo Turpin, Blackfoot, Idaho, Feb. 14, 1940. Leo Turpin was the son of Joan Jeanetta Litson named above.)

[1] Mary Jane Glade was the daughter of James and Mary Dyer Glade. Mary Dyer Glade died on the plains near Florence, Nebraska, in 1861, along with her newborn son William. James Glade was left a widower with one daughter, Mary Jane. James later met Eliza Mary Litson and they were married in Salt Lake City.

Eliza had recently given birth her second child, Frances Ann Elizabeth Glade, when her parents arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, so she would not have taken the trip up into the Canyons to meet them.

Mary Jane Glade was six years old when she accompanied her father into the Canyon to meet the Litsons. Her future husband, Joseph Young Litson, was seven years old.

[2] The two accounts are a bit mixed up here, and I have not been able to tell the exact sequence of their descent into the Valley.

Many thanks to Martha Spencer for typing this history. She and I have standardized punctuation, spelling, and typesetting. This history was written by Mabel and Leo Turpin, but credit has also been given in some copies to Alice Floto. I have used the text as written by the Turpins as much as possible since it seems to be the earlier account. Anyone know the history of this history?

Picture of the North Platte River available under a Creative Commons License from www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/5044928864/.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Emigration of Richard Litson, Travel Notes

Here is a Google Map showing the American travels mentioned in the first installment of "The Emigration of Richard Litson." The history, as mentioned before, seems to be written with reference to the diary of Richard Litson, Jr., and a look at the map shows a number of issues that may have had to do with his spelling or the reading of his handwriting by the authors. This map follows current roads rather than the railroad route in 1866, but it is good enough to give a general idea of the route.

At this point I would like to pause for a moment and say thank you to the many dear family members and friends who are assisting with this monumental family history project. It is a comfort and a blessing to have the help and editing notes and typing assistance and collection of materials and the encouragement of so many people.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Emigration of Richard Litson, Part 1 of 2

This is a history of Richard Litson, Sr., born September 18, 1819 in North Molton, Devonshire, England. It tells of his journey to Utah with his wife Frances Ann Mathews Litson, and their sons Richard and Joseph Young. Their journey started on April 30, 1866. He died October 29, 1872. [Much of this information was taken from the diary of Richard Litson, Jr. I am trying to locate a copy of it.]

Richard Litson, Senior, having received the Gospel and being converted to it, hungered for the blessings and advantages that Zion offered and longed for the day when he could come to Utah, the beautiful valley of the mountains where God’s true Church was established and men could live and worship in peace with their fellow Saints. But it took money, time, and many sacrifices to get there. This Richard Litson knew but he was undaunted. Working very hard and sacrificing many pleasures and comforts, he saved enough money to send his two daughters, Joan Jeanetta Litson and Eliza Mary Litson, in the year of 1863.

Three years after the journey of the two girls, enough money had been saved for the rest of the family to start on their way to Zion and reunite their family. They started from Porth Station, lodging that night at Merthye and traveling by special train to Liverpool where they had to walk three miles to Bramley Moore Dock. They sailed on the John Bright, occupying berths numbers 417 and 418, or the 8th Ward. Brigham Young, Junior, came on board the ship and held an excellent council meeting, giving the people encouragement and advice and answering questions. After the meeting was over, he left and went back to the ship Royal Alfred on which he sailed.

[Two of the other emigrants on the ship John Bright were B.H. Roberts and John H. Gibbs. You can read an interesting story about them at Amateur Mormon Historian. There is more information about the ship John Bright at the website of the National Maritime Museum.]

The passengers were all examined by the doctor before sailing on their journey on April 30, 1866. The weather was fair and good progress was made. The Saints broke the monotony of sailing by singing hymns, reading and helping the sailors turn the sails. Sometimes a ship would go by and they waved to those aboard. Often they saw sea pigs [dolphins or porpoises] jump out of the water which amused them. On days that the sea was rough, huge waves dashed at the front of the ship and as they lashed at each other they looked like huge mountains. Many people would get seasick on such days, and would have to remain in their berths. Mrs. Richard Litson was among those and felt pretty bad for a few days. However, she soon got used to the sailing and enjoyed herself on sunny, smooth days, but felt rocky and kept to her bed on rough ones.

After a rough night the sails had to be fixed and the Litsons and other Saints helped the sailors in this task. One good day the passengers were obliged to go on the top deck while the sailors fumigated the lower decks to purify them so as not to spread disease. The passengers had to leave without their dinners and as some of them “lived to eat” instead of “eating to live,” Richard Litson was posted to keep order at the door of the cooking gallery as some of the weak-willed would not run riot until the sailors had finished with their task. On one occasion the Saints had started a concert and many beautiful hymns and selections were rendered, but because of a heavy rain, it had to be finished another day, but there was no grumbling, the Saints took it as they did every other discouragement, in good spirit.

As they neared New York, they saw several ships, some going in the same direction, and one, the screw Plackett, was headed for Liverpool. When the weather was foggy the sailors took turns standing at the front of the ship blowing on a trumpet four times every few minutes as a signal to other ships.

The passengers saw several fishing boats out to make their catch even though the sea was rough and it was rainy weather. However, the ship plunged on through calm or rough seas and the Saints praised God his mercy on them in their crossing. As they saw the ships passing at a distance, and because distance was hard to determine on the ocean, the younger Litsons amused themselves by likening the shapes of ships to objects such as a ball, a post, etc., as they sailed on the glimmering water.

The pilot came with the pilot boat Edward Williams, No. 14, and stayed by them. The steamer the Charles Chamberlain came out to take them into the harbor. As they came near the harbor they were pleased with the beautiful scenery, the large houses and the many cottages. There were many steamers, the names of which were: Northfield, Middletown, Thomas, Hunt, America and others. They sailed in the boat Ontario and the tug Peter Cary pulled them to the Castle Garden Emigration Landing Depot.

The first death they witnessed was Sarah Evans, wife of John Evans, who died at the Castle Garden Emigration Landing Depot.

They boarded the train and were very pleased with the good cushioned seats and the accommodations which were better than in England. They saw lovely scenery of trees, meadows, birds, animals, and many little things they had not seen before. The train they were riding contained twenty cars besides those the Saints were riding in. The engines of the trains were different and had different names than the English trains, and the people were interested in this. They traveled 400 miles, seeing scarcely anything but trees. They changed trains at a small train shed and traveled in cattle cars that stopped several times and were rougher riding. They changed trains at Kingston Station and had better luck in securing a better riding train. They passed Napanese [Napanee] Station, Shanneville [Shannonville], Belleville, Coleburg [Cobourg], Newcastle, Fort Union [probably in Toronto], and Stations Berlin [now Kitchener, since 1916], Lucan, Ailsa Craig, Enirge [?], and Iova [?]. On the road they saw horses, cows, nanny goats, and billy goats, geese and goslings in the various fields.

They stopped at Camlachie Station [perhaps in Windsor] and got off the train, and stood on the side of the [St. Clair ?] river waiting their turn to be taken across on the steamer W. J. Spicer. While waiting they sat on the platform to rest watching the fish and birds flying over the water.

They boarded the train Dorchester and traveled about 217 miles from Detroit. They saw many other engines and many new scenes. They stopped at Chicago, Illinois, and spent the night in a train shed, sleeping on the floor, but the night was spent in peace and safety. A Brother Clark and granddaughter died that day, bringing the deaths of their party to a total of four since starting on their journey. They boarded the Illinois Central train the next morning but because seats were unavailable, they sat on the floor. On arriving at Quincy, they went into the Rosa Taylor steamer and crossed the river, boarding the [Hannibal] and St. Joseph railroad train. They managed to get two seats after much hurrying and crowding. After eight days of train travel, they reached St. Joseph, put their luggage in the steamer to sail to Wyoming, and slept in the train shed that night.

The steamer traveled quite fast, and they saw several other steamers on the river. The most thrilling sight was when they saw their first Indians who were standing on the banks of the river watching the boats going up and down stream. They were filled with awe and wonder at the copper-skinned natives but could not form clear ideas as they had to leave their positions for men who had to fire up the steamer. After eleven stops, the party at last landed at the place where they could secure their teams and wagons to start over the plains. After several days of preparation, they started on their way. The first day they traveled 2-1/2 hours and then stopped and camped for the night by a beautiful house where there was water and wood. The next stop was made by water, but there was not much wood to be had. They passed several teams going east and passed two other trains going west. The passing of several graves, which marked the trail and bore a testimony of those who had passed ahead, dampened their spirits. They camped by the Platte River South, and as they followed the river they saw many Indians who were friendly and made no trouble. The party followed near the river, getting their water from it, but had scarcely any wood for four or five days. They passed through Kearney City which had a post office and bakery. They had spasms of rainy weather for a few days with lightning and thunder but made good progress considering these circumstances.

To be continued on Monday...

Photo of porpoise swimming in the ocean off Australia in 1909 from www.flickr.com/photos/state_library_south_australia/5456915625/.