Monday, June 25, 2012

Fanny Constansia Wessman Parker Rule Johnson Moody

The Wessman Family, 1906, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Back, left to right: Henry, Herbert, Harold.
Front, left to right: Fannie, Amanda (mother), Bertha.

Amanda and Johan Wessman and their children were not able to emigrate to America together since they were living in reduced circumstances in Göteborg, Sweden.

The Wessmans sent their two oldest daughters, Fanny Constansia and Bertha Marie, to Utah first. Fanny had been born in Göteborg on May 5, 1873.

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Church History Library Catalog

For anyone interested in Mormon Studies, Mormon history, genealogy, the history of the Western United States, or even history in general, you will want to become familiar with the new Church History Catalog of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I assume this is being released in advance of next week's annual meeting of the Mormon History Association in Calgary, Alberta, which I wish I could attend.

This new online catalog brings together the collections of the Church History Library, a huge database of Family History Books, the BYU Digital Collections, and the Church History Library Collections at the Internet Archives.

Here is an article about the collection from the academic Mormon history blog, Juvenile Instructor. ("The New Church History Library Catalog.") The article notes that the Church is expanding its online digitized holdings, and that:
...over 500,000 documents and images are presently available on the catalog. Additionally, the catalog includes opportunities for historians to request digitization of various collections (providing approval is granted).  Although digitization will come with an attached cost, once completed, the digitized images will be made available to the whole Mormon history community, thus allowing patrons to build the body of digitized documents.
If you have any questions or comments about the catalog or the collections, the Juvenile Instructor article would be a good place for them.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marsden Family: Early Latter-Day Saints Website

While looking through the RootsWeb entries for the Marsdens, I saw that one was an index to the site Early Latter-day Saints: Remembering the People and Places.

This site is run by a not-for-profit organization called The Historical Pioneer Research Group. It seems to combine the efforts of Mormon-themed genealogical organizations in the Midwest, service missionaries at Nauvoo and other Mormon locations, and historians associated with BYU. It looks like it is a work in progress with requests for further information.

Here are some notable pages:

Includes everything from Nauvoo to the small settlements that sprang up as the Saints left Nauvoo. This could help trace your pioneer ancestors' route to the West.

Some of the entries have sources and notes; others have none, so the list is of mixed usefulness.

Includes the records for the Winter Quarters Cemetery. It is very touching to read through the grave records, many them children. Here are the entries for Isabella Hood Hill and a few others:
  • Isabella Hill; age 25 yrs., 8 mos., 12 days; wife of Archibald Hill; deceased, Mar. 20, 1847; birthdate, July 8, 1821; grave no. 109.
  • Willard Richards Bullock; age, 2 yrs., 1 mo., 6 days; son of Thomas and Henrietta Bullock; deceased Mar. 17, 1847; disease, effects of persecution; birthplace, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Ill.; birthdate, Feb. 11, 1845; grave no. 104.
  • Child; A. O. Smoot's sister's child not reported to me; deceased April 29, 1847; disease consumption; grave no. 144.
  • Jacob; age 17 yrs., 6 mos.; servant [slave or former slave] of John Bankhead; deceased, April 7, 1847; disease, Winter fever; birthplace, Monroe Co., Miss; birthdate, Oct., 1829; grave no. 126. [Ed.—This one helped make the identification of an otherwise unnamed slave mentioned in the John Brown diary, so I've added this source to my ongoing Slave List project.]
You can search the website by name and by location. Although it has some limitations (names and places have not been researched, sources have been transcribed by volunteers, etc.) I have added it to my list of sources to I check for every biography I write.

Marsdens in the Early LDS database:

Abraham, Charles, Emma, Hannah Maria, Harriet Zelnora, James, Margaret, Mary, William.

It looks like there are at least two different families of Marsdens who were early members of the Church, and it looks like Charles and James are the only ones in this list from our family. It can be helpful to know about the additional family for sorting through records and newspaper articles.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Marsden Family: RootsWeb

In RootsWeb, there are 25 results for Mary Ann Hancock with spouse Charles Marsden. Each entry shows how much information is included. I don't bother to look at entries that don't show a person entry, family tree, and documentation. (See icons beneath name.)

Here is a summary of the entries with multiple icons:

1-3) Shows a line of descent running through daughter Harriet Marsden Gaunt. Harriet seems to have died in England in 1867. Her widowed husband, William Gaunt, may have gone to the United States, since their daughter Elizabeth Gaunt married John Tavennor Snelson and they had a son, William Edward Snelson, born in 1892 in Salt Lake City, Utah. So Harriet did not make it to Utah, but some of her family did. Trees 2 and 3 show added information that Elizabeth Gaunt Snelson died in Salt Lake City in 1921. All these lines seem to have duplicated information for some of the children. (Trees submitted by 794468, 92052, and a44830.)

4) Shows a line of descent running through James Marsden. (Tree submitted by bevangenealogy25.)

5) Shows descent through Ann Eliza Marsden Hitesman. She went to Utah and married there and seems to have remained there. (Tree submitted by ldshistorical.)

6) Shows James's line again. (Tree submitted byterrijpt1.)

7) Shows a line of descent through Eliza Marsden Brailsford. The family was in Derbyshire at least through 1867. The family tree shows that Eliza died in 1867, but I would need to double check this information since Harriet is shown to have died that same year. Unlikely. The family tree shows that after 1867 at least part of the family went to Utah including Eliza's widowed husband. (Tree submitted bygenlady2.)

8) Shows line through James Marsden. (Tree submitted by greendragonfly.)

9) Wood Family Tree. Shows lines of descent through eight children. This is the first tree that has documented information citing censuses and parish records and other information, so this is the first tree out of all those listed that I would actually cite as a source. (Tree submitted by woody65.)

In previous years I would have used the last family tree as a resource, but now I usually construct my own from primary and secondary sources on Ancestry, checking all the information and lists of children against family records, NewFamilySearch, and published sources. I'll probably check this family tree against my compiled tree to see if it has any additional leads.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Marsden Family: The Survey, Part 2

Mary Ann Hancock Marsden
A Marsden cousin just sent a note with some questions about the family, which reminded me that I abandoned the Marsden posts back in December when I was finishing up a research project for my husband.

It's evidently time to resume this project. The timing works, since I'm taking a break from the Eminent Women project over the summer.

Last year I created a primer about Tracing Mormon Pioneer Ancestors using the Richard and Frances Ann Matthews Litson family as an example. I will use that general outline for this family as well.

To restart the project, here are screen shots of my current records on Charles and Mary Ann Hancock Marsden from Brampton, Derbyshire, England. Some of this information is documented. Some of it is from family records and is otherwise undocumented.

These are the current children I have listed in the family records. 

As you can see from the graphics (arrows, Family Search icon), I only have further information for one of the children, Lucy Marsden Green. I assume this is a result of the fact that the father, Charles Marsden, died before the family left for America, and Mary Ann Hancock Marsden died fairly early in the pioneer experience. Not having a family with two living grandparents may have affected how close the family members felt to each other and how much contact they had after a generation or two.

As I have experienced time and time again while writing my series on the Eminent Women, it is very important to track down all the family members back a generation or two, all the siblings, and all the children and grandchildren in order to tell the story of a person's experience. You're not going to understand the family if you just trace back your immediate ancestral line.

We will also learn more about Brampton and Derbyshire, England, as we explore the history of the Marsden family.

To be continued...

Marsden Family Posts

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hannah Hill Romney Album: The Album Itself

Hannah Hood Hill Romney Album, Back Cover
Hannah Hood Hill Romney Album, Front Cover
Hannah Hood Hill Romney Album, Inside

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hannah Hill Romney Album: Oh Baby

Here are three unidentified babies from Hannah Hill Romney's photo album. As always, please contact me at the email address listed on the sidebar or leave a comment if you know who is shown in any of these pictures.
Note: if you want to reproduce these pictures elsewhere (Ancestry, etc.) please remember that it is a very generous gesture on the part of the owner of the album to provide these pictures to the descendants and relatives of the Miles Park and Hannah Hood Hill Romney family. If you copy pictures, remember to note that the pictures came from this site so that other people know where they're from and can see the entire collection and help make the identifications.
Here are some good articles and a collection of links about how to cite sources. (PDF Guide: "Genealogy Source Citations") ( "How to Cite Sources.") (Cyndi's List: "Citing Sources")
And now back to the album and the three babies. The first and third pictures list only the name of C. R. (Charles Roscoe) Savage on the back, so presumably these two pictures were taken after Charles Savage and George M. Ottinger dissolved their partnership around 1872. (See Pioneer Photographers of the Far West, 478.)