Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ann Prior Jarvis Diary — September 1–12, 1884

The people of St. George had a few stormy days as a cold front moved into the region. It was a welcome break from the heat of the summer, but the lightning reminded Ann of her son Willie's death. 

Ann regularly mentions her use of the buggy. It must have been an ongoing novelty for this Londoner to own a buggy, and of course it allowed her to get out, since she otherwise would have been homebound, and it also allowed her to offer rides to other women in the community and build some social capital.

September [1884]

Mon 1 Weather warm health very good for which I am thankful. we had a terriffic Thunder & lightning in the evening the worst since Willie was killed

Tus 2 Weather fair spent the day kniting reading writing took Sister Calkins riding took Sister Loughe home from her daughters

Wed 3 Wheat^h^er threating Cloudy lightened all night was very bad at night could not lie down for hours took Anne for a ride stayed with her late as Josey was ataehersel [?]

Thurs 4 Weather indicates a storm attended Fast meeting. a good spirit prevaled the meeting good instructions from the brethren Mary Mansfield [Bentley] baby was blessed. attended ladies Monthly meeting enjoyed myself

From FamilySearch Family Tree, courtesy of "kariburton."

Friday 5 Weather Windy sit with Mary some time knited sent a letter to Heber George played a game or two of checkers had the buggy for Eleanor

Sat 6 Weather pleasant had a good nights rest it was quite cold in the night so I think they had frost in the mountains George had the buggy for Eleanor

Sun 7 Weather fine went to meeting took Em for a ride took Mrs Calkins to & from Harmonds had a good night rest the nights are cold

Mon 8 Weather cool this day is passing away and I have note accomplished much our time is all we can say is ours I frequently grieve that time flys and I do not do much work I do not visit. my desires are good but I do not put them in practise I would like to do good every day I live

Tus 9 Weather quite pleasant it is relief society day we meet to work to make quilts I had a ride Mary Gates asked me to let her ride she enjoyed very much. Sister Squires is dead attended my meeting sewed some patchwork.

Deseret News, "Deaths," September 24, 1884, 16.

Wed 10

Thur 11 Weather warm attended the monthly meeting of the relief society I walked to the Lyceum Father had the buggy for me when I came out I was very thankful as I had palpitation of ^the^ heart very bad

Fri 12 Weather windy. went to the Sunday School Entertainment in the evening 

From Charles Lowell Walker's Diary
St George 4th Sept. 1884 Hot weather still continues. This morning I attended fast Meeting and blessed William Oscar Bentley. I then spoke a short time on the antiquity of the Gospel as pertaining to the people of this Earth. Also touched on the free agency of Man and the exercise of the free and independent will which God had given to his creatures for a wise and noble purpose of choosing the good and refusing the evil. Others of the Brethren followed much on the Same strain and on the fulfilment of ancient and modern prophecy. We had a time of rejoicing and testimony, those presiding bearing witnes to the good Spirit dictating those that Spoke...

Sister Calkins — Asa Calkins (1809-1873) had two widows, Mariette Symonds Barney Calkins (1810-1886) and Agnes Perkes Calkins (1840-1916). I would assume from context and ages that Anne meant Mariette. (There may also be a third widow, but as far as I can tell she was deceased by 1884.

Sister Loughe — One of the wives of Darius Lougee (1815-1893), either Maine native Sarah Leavitt (1822-1899) or Englishwoman Alice Hulme (1833-1898).

Mary Mansfield baby — William Oscar Bentley Jr. (1884-1974), the son of William Oscar Bentley (1851-1920) and Mary Ann Mansfield (1859-1949).

sit with Mary — I assume she meant her daughter-in-law Mary, not the Mary mentioned the previous day.

Mrs Calkins — Is "Mrs Calkins" the same as "Sister Calkins"? 

Harmonds —Probably the home of the widowed Eunice Chidester Harmon (1834-1905). None of her children seems to be married in 1884.

Mary Gates — A member of the large Jacob Gates family. The options are Vermont native Mary Minerva Snow (1813-1891), Mary Ware (1844-1909), and Mary Ware Gates's pre-teen daughter Mary Gates (1872-1909). If Mary Minerva went by the name "Mary," this is most likely to be her, since Mary Ware Gates lived for some time in Bellevue (Pintura) and ran a small hotel there.

Sister Squires —Englishwoman Maria Morrel Squire (1814-1884), the wife of William Squire. She had two living children at the time of her death, Agnes and John, and her husband survived her by about a year. Her obituary notes that she lived in Fourth Ward, so it was not likely that Ann would have interacted with her extensively. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Perpetual Fund: A Personal Response

From Wikipedia.

As the descendant of those who used Perpetual Emigrating donations to gather to Zion, and a descendant of others who contributed to the Fund and helped the poor Saints immigrate, John Lyon's poem "Perpetual Fund" strikes an emotional chord as I consider the lives and sacrifices each of these people made as they worked to obey the commandments of God and provide a heritage to their descendants.

Many thanks to Ardis for publishing this poem at Keepapitchinin: The Mormon History Blog.

For more information on the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, see my brief history and summary of resources: The Perpetual Emigrating Fund.

Joseph Litson and his sister Eliza Litson Glade.

Perpetual Fund

By John Lyon (1850)

Come on, ye rich, with all your gifted store,
Give to the poor, and God will give you more!
Your feeling hearts, responsive to His call,
Will find His love and blessing best of all:
Yes, tenfold int’rest on the things you have,
And more than all your charities e’er gave!
Why should the rich not help the lab’ring poor?
Both are compell’d to knock at Mercy’s door!
As well the river scorn the stream and brook
From which it all its swelling greatness took;’
Or the great sea retain her liquid store,
Nor give one drop to quench the parched shore;
As Wealth withhold accumulated toil,
And say to Poverty, starve on the while!
Let richer Saints pour in their glit’ring gold,
‘Twill pave your way to Zion’s mountain fold!
Ten thousand hearts with prayerful ardour seek
The means to live, yet mourn from week to week,
Who could be blest through your beneficence,
To go where labour gains a recompense!
Oh, then! let love your names in sums record
What you will do for Zion and the Lord!
Ye poor who labour, learn with pure delight,
How much in value was the widow’s mite!
How farthings multiplied to pence make pounds,
And pounds to hundreds, thousands, have no bounds!
‘Till ev’ry Saint’s relieved, and sinner stunned,
Will shout, look here! at this Perpetual Fund!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Poor John Tanner

This picture has been kicking around Ancestry for several years and someone just added it to John Tanner's entry on FamilySearch Family Tree. 

I have never seen any explanation as to why anyone thinks it is John Tanner, or any explanation as to where it came from.

As explained in the following article it is unlikely that there are any pictures of John Tanner:

The Tanner Family Daguerreotype (see included links as well)

In order for a picture to be attached to John Tanner's Family Tree entry it should have a clear chain of ownership with the identification of the picture made at the time it was taken and not rely on a guess several generations later, which could very well be the case with this picture, since no one has indicated anything to the contrary.

The picture may have been originally labeled "John Tanner," but there were two other John Tanners in Utah in the 19th century. One was a Swiss immigrant. One was John Tanner's son John Joshua Tanner, often called "John Tanner" in vital records. From time to time I've seen Tanner descendants confuse John Joshua with his father.

Now that I'm looking at a picture of John Joshua, this does look a very little like him. 

It also looks a very little like Nathan. 

So this could be one of John and Lydia's sons. But it is unlikely to be John Tanner, the father, and should not be attached to his entry unless someone has definite and convincing proof that it is him.

As stated before, proof would include information about who owns the original, when it was taken, and when and by whom the identification was made.

Update, September 7, 2014I put my kids on this case, and they immediately concluded that the man in the first picture was not related to John Joshua and Nathan. For reasons they suggested shape of ears, shape of eyes, shape of nose, shape of creases from nose to mouth, shape of beard at mouth. These conclusions are being made from a low-resolution picture, but these are all the type of markers that help identify pictures.

As noted in my analysis of the possible photograph of John Tanner's relative-by-marriage Samuel Shepherd, a picture needs to meet several tests:
  • What is the provenance of the picture? (Who owns it and why? What is the chain of ownership?)
  • Is there an identification included with the picture? Who made it?
  • Is the technology appropriate to the time it was supposed to have been taken?
  • Were there daguerreotypists or photographers operating in the area at the time?
  • Any family resemblances? 
  • Do the ages of the people in the photograph seem to be accurate?
  • What can the clothing tell us about when the picture was taken?
  • What other details in the picture help locate the picture and identify the subjects?
I would be happy to find that some member of the family had a picture of John Tanner, but because of the history of the Family Associations and genealogy projects through the years and all the factors mentioned in the Tanner Family Daguerreotype analysis, I would be very surprised if there was one.

PS The man in the first picture seems to have some African-American or Indian heritage. That was not uncommon in colonial America, but I don't think DNA tests have shown that to be the case in the Tanner family. (But the DNA tests I saw were done many years ago. Perhaps if people in the family have had tests done more recently, they could share the results associated with the Tanner line.)

“One Line a Day”

A few weeks ago as I was transcribing Ann Prior Jarvis's diary, I realized that most days she just wrote a line or two but over time her consistent effort resulted in a valuable record of her life and the history of her family and community. So why couldn't I do the same?

As a child, my father took seriously the counsel of Spencer W. Kimball to keep a journal, so he did that faithfully, and also trained his children to do the same. Here is one quote from President Kimball on journal keeping:
Any Latter-day Saint family that has searched genealogical and historical records has fervently wished its ancestors had kept better and more complete records. On the other hand, some families possess some spiritual treasures because ancestors have recorded the events surrounding their conversion to the gospel and other happenings of interest, including many miraculous blessings and spiritual experiences. People often use the excuse that their lives are uneventful and nobody would be interested in what they have done. But I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations. Each of us is important to those who are near and dear to us—and as our posterity read of our life’s experiences, they, too, will come to know and love us. And in that glorious day when our families are together in the eternities, we will already be acquainted.
After I married and my family grew and I became busier, I fell out of the habit, but thanks to Ann and her diary, I decided to look for a new journal and resume the habit.

It turns out there are a number of one-line-a-day” diaries on the market. I chose one from Amazon and a few days later it arrived. It's a great format for me. The space allows a few lines of small text. I keep it next to my bed and can write at the end of the day without it taking more than a minute or two.

The cover is not too well done, which was a disappointment, but the diary still works and the important thing is to leave this record of my own life.