Thursday, January 30, 2014

John Tanner Ordained a Priest

Thanks to a mention of new content at the Joseph Smith Papers Project (h/t BCC) I went and took a look at the website. The JSPP home page mentioned new biographical information, so I looked at John Tanner's entry and saw a reference I hadn't noticed before about his ordination as a priest. Here is the source material, a newspaper account of Orson Pratt's early missions, referencing his journal entry for February 2, 1833.

John Tanner would have been ordained during the four days Orson Pratt and William Snow were in Bolton.

“History of Orson Pratt,” Deseret News, 9 June 1858, 65.

Here are Orson Pratt's travels from November 8, 1832, to February 17, 1833. Bolton shows up at (G) when he spent ten days there in late December 1832, held ten meetings, baptized ten people and (L) when he returned to Bolton at the beginning of February.

Here is a picture of Orson Pratt in his later years. He was the winner of Keepapitchinin's famous Best Beards Contest.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ann Prior Jarvis Diary — March 26, 1884

Brigham Jarvis.

Wednesday 26.  Weather dull cloudy just sprinkling  Brig has bought Br   Mustards house for three hundred dollars   Leany Mattese is to be married to Jousha Crosby this week. cooked dinner kniting ctr had a pleasant chat with Br Mansfield  Weather blustering rain stop^p^ed. shy clear bley^w^ing hard – Father ^is^ at the wine cellar I am a lone Josey ^is^ at School. Father went teaching in the evening  Josey stuied her lessons.

Brig — Brigham Jarvis.

Br Mustard — David Mustard (1819-1895).

Leany Mattese — Lena Albertina Mathis (1864-1949) the daughter of Johannes Mathys and Anna Bryner, Swiss immigrants. Ann's spelling indicates how the name "Mathis" was pronounced.

Jousha Crosby — Joshua Alma Crosby (1863-1909), son of Jesse Wentworth Crosby, Sr., and Hannah Elida Baldwin. Joshua and Lena were some of the first of the children born in St. George to marry.

Br Mansfield — Matthew Mansfield (1810-1891) or perhaps (less likely) one of his sons.

Wine cellar — George Jarvis was in charge of wine production for the bishop's storehouse in St. George, making wine for the sacrament.

Josey — Daughter Josephine Jarvis.

Teaching — Ward teaching, now called home teaching.

Her lessons — Josephine was teaching in a local school.

Lancaster, Dennis R. "Dixie Wine." Thesis (M.A.) Brigham Young University Department of History, 1972.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Researching Your Mormon Ancestors

Here is a short guide to researching Mormon ancestry, 
including a summary of some of the more useful resources.

Collect and Examine Family Records

What genealogy work has already been done in your family? Do you have a copy? If not, who has a copy of the research? Can you get a copy? Who did the work? When? Which family lines did he or she research? What resources were available at the time? What line do you want to work on?

At this point you can choose one of two methods:
(1) Do a purely genealogical search: confirm vital records and census entries and source and correct Family Tree and your own files. This can be a valid and rewarding process.
(2) Go on a grand adventure and get to know your ancestors and their families and experiences and communities. Collect pictures and stories and write biographies. This process will include all the same kinds of work as (1), but will turn up more information about your ancestors' circumstances and life experiences.

It is good to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future. It is good to look on the virtues of those who have gone before, to gain strength for whatever lies ahead. It is good to reflect on the work of those who labored so hard and gained so little in this world, but out of whose dreams and early plans, so well nurtured, has come a great harvest of which we are the beneficiaries. —Gordon B. Hinckley

A Note Before Starting

Remember the basic rules of genealogy:

1. Work from the known to the unknown. You don't want to start researching the wrong people. For example, there were two pioneer couples in Utah Territory named George and Ann Jarvis. If you don't know anything more than their names, how do you know you have the right couple? Start with the information you know, even if that means you have to start with yourself and work backwards through the years.

2. Always cite your sources. Here are a few examples of adequate citations:
Overson, Margaret Jarvis. George Jarvis and Joseph George DeFriez Genealogy. Mesa, Arizona: M.J. Overson, 1957. 
Tanner, Amy Thiriot. "Ann Prior Jarvis: Strength According to My Day." In Richard E. Turley and Brittany A. Chapman. Women of Faith in the Latter Days: Volume Two, 1821-1845. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2012, 136-148. 
Washington County News. "Another Pioneer Called." [Ann Prior Jarvis obituary.] January 16, 1913, 8.
Each of those citations includes enough information that someone could find the source and double check your work or find additional information in the source. The exact format or order of information is not as important as simply having enough information.

3. Use standard formats and spell out everything. No abbreviations. For example, a United States location would be written as "St. George, Washington, Utah, United States" (town or city, county, state, country). An English location would be written as "Harlow, Essex, England" (town, county, country).

Take a Look at What's Already Online

Online family trees tend to be full of errors and faulty connections, so looking at this information can give you a general idea of what has been done, but none of the information should be taken as gospel truth unless fully sourced. Rule of thumb: the more sources an online tree has, the more accurate it tends to be.

(If you don't have a subscription, you can use a limited version at your local FamilySearch center.)

Search the Internet

Use a search engine to look for family associations, websites, biographies, and blogs. Here are some examples of sites with extensive family history information:
Check Online and Archive Resources

The Church History Library is a building in downtown Salt Lake City north of the Church Office Building and east of the Conference Center. It has extensive holdings related to the history of the Church. Some of the holdings may be useful for genealogical research. Some collections are available online, some can be digitized by request, others can be viewed on site. Search in the online catalog for family names and locations. Ward and stake and mission records can contain valuable genealogical and historical information.

This organization has been collecting pioneer histories and pictures for over a century. Check the online index, and if you're a descendant, you can request copies of histories and pictures. Also check the collections of Sons of Utah Pioneers and regional Daughters of Utah Pioneers collections. (For example: Washington County (Utah) DUP.) Remember that these biographies are not always accurate.

More than two hundred thousand digitized copies of family and local history publications. They range from excellent professional works to known fraudulent genealogies, so check the identity of the author and the accuracy of the information before using the contents.

FamilySearch has huge holdings available either online or on microfilm. When you search, look for both family names and locations (town or city, county, state). Court records may be worth looking through in case your family is mentioned. Additionally, the Library in Salt Lake City (west of Temple Square) has a Special Collections Area with historical temple records which can help you find out what temple work has been done, and in some cases this can help you confirm the identity of family members.

Check this database for gravestone pictures, sometimes also obituaries and family pictures. (See also BillionGraves.)

A large collection of historical newspapers. Be creative in your search terms, for example, search for "Mrs. H.J. Hayward" as well as "Elizabeth Hayward."

This database has lists of Mormon immigrants and overseas missionaries and has copies of the migration books where available. Even if your ancestors didn't leave an account of their voyage, read all the other accounts of their voyage for an idea about their experiences.

Once again, read all the accounts for the wagon or handcart company.

A search portal for regional university and library collections. (See also WorldCat. You may need to be very specific or creative about your search terms.)

You can narrow searches by year or locality.

A Few Other Useful Links

Use Research Guides
(research guides, some more complete than others)
(links to free online databases for Western states)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ann Prior Jarvis Diary — March 25, 1884

The Charles and Margaret Jarvis family, Arizona.

[Tu]esday 25. Weather fine   I helped ^to^ Clean the Temple I took Aunty Johnson home in the buggy  attended my relief society. Anne had a ride in the buggy for a couple of hours with me   I have my face sun burnt it pain me very much.  sent a letter to Charley.   We had a [?] meeting we were peicing patchwork for [?]

[To the side:] [?] Sam [?]iever.

Aunty Johnson — perhaps a wife of Joel Hills Johnson or of Joseph Ellis Johnson. I can't figure out which family would have been in St. George at the time.

[?] — this entry is at the bottom corner of a page and some of the words are cut off where edges have worn away. I will continue to use brackets to indicate missing or indecipherable text or to explain something about the text.

^^ — In the transcription, these two characters with text between mean that something was written above the line, so in this case Ann wrote "I helped Clean the Temple" and then went back and wrote "to" above and between "helped" and "Clean," resulting in the transcription, "I helped ^to^ Clean the Temple."

Editor's note — Look at the clothing in the picture of Charles and Margaret and their children. The family is dressed in beautifully-made, well-fitting clothing. They were not wealthy people and not everyone showing up in the photos from this era was as well dressed, so this is evidence that Ann Prior Jarvis taught her dressmaking skills to her daughter Margaret, and that Margaret learned her lessons in dressmaking well.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ann Prior Jarvis Diary — March 24, 1884

The David and Ann Jarvis Milne family.
From the George and Ann Prior Jarvis Family Website,
previously from the David Milne Family Website, now defunct.

Monday 24. Weather pleasent after raining all night the valley looks green and fresh. Trees are in blossom the birds are singing al nature seems glad my health is good to day   I am spending the morning washing dishes baking bread et.crt  Anne is been here to borrow a picture for Br. Milne to copy as he is painting one for our Lyceum  Josey has gone to school. I paid a visit to Amelia.  I walked there and back it was very hard on my chest causing me to cough. My daughter that I buried in East Boston would be twenty 5 years old to day if she had lived  I often wonder if my Willie and my little girl will know each other in the spirit world. I suppose I sha[ll] know some day.

Anne — daughter Ann Catherine Jarvis Milne (1848-1956). She was the second of the eleven Jarvis children and the second of David Milne's three wives. At the time of this diary entry, she had six children, five of them alive: Susan, George, Athole, Erastus, and Margaret. (Her first son David had died at age seven.) And, yes, those dates for her birth and death are correct.

Br. Milne — son-in-law David Milne (1832-1895), an artist, who did work on the St. George Temple and Tabernacle, St. George Lyceum, and Manti Temple. He had three wives: Susan Young (1835-1881) who had died three years previously, Ann Jarvis, and Anna Hess. Besides Ann Jarvis Milne's five living children at this time, he had one living son from his first marriage, Alexander Young Milne (1859-1929), and four living children from his third marriage.

Lyceum — the social hall in St. George, also used for the Relief Society, the MIA, and the town library.

Amelia — daughter Amelia Jarvis Webb (1853-1908), married to William Webb (1843-1911). At the time of this diary entry she had six living children: William, George, Joseph, Ephraim, Heber, and Annie. A daughter Amelia died at four months old.

"My daughter that I buried in East Boston" — Elizabeth Frances Jarvis (1859-1859).

"My Willie" — her youngest child William Thomas Jarvis (1873-1881) was killed by lightning while standing on the steps of the St. George Tabernacle.

Washington County Historical Society, "Libraries in Washington County," accessed January 12, 2014.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ann Prior Jarvis Diary — March 23, 1884

Thomas Punter Cottam. From Ancestry, courtesy of "RJ1842."

Sunday 23 — The Weather is stormy it is raining slightly Sky dark cloudy wind howling. I ought to be thankful for the rains in this barren desert to moisten the parched ground. I never feel happy in dull weather it is cold and miserable attended meeting Br Wooley spoke about his doings at the legislatere. ^it is still^ raining a little. Thomas & Emmeline was here this evening Em is not feeling very well.

Brother WooleyEdwin Gordon Woolley (1845-1930) (not to be confused with his half-brother, Edwin D. Woolley) was a son of Bishop Edwin D. Woolley and Louisa Chapin Gordon. He was one of the founders of Wooley Lund & Judd Merchantile, a member of the territorial legislature, and Washington County Probate Judge.
Thomas — Son-in-law Thomas Punter Cottam (1857-1926) was married to Ann's ninth child, Emmaline Jarvis. He was later mayor of St. George and Temple President.

"Em is not feeling well" — she was seventh months pregnant with her third child, Heber Cottam.

"RJ1842" [pseud.]. "Thomas Punter Cottam." [digital copy of photograph], accessed January 10, 2014,

Washington County Historical Society. "Thomas Punter Cottam Home: St. George, Utah," accessed January 10, 2014,

Washington County Historical Society. "Woolley Lund & Judd Mercantile," accessed January 10, 2014,

Whitney, Orson F. "Edwin Gordon Woolley" in History of Utah, Comprising Preliminary Chapters on the Previous History of Her Founders, Accounts of Early Spanish and American Explorations in the Rocky Mountain Region, the Advent of the Mormon Pioneers, the Establishment and Dissolution of the Provisional Government of the State of Deseret, and the Subsequent Creation and Development of the Territory. Vol. 4. Salt Lake City: G. Q. Cannon and Sons, 1892, 552-555.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ann Prior Jarvis Diary — March 22, 1884

George Jarvis.

The weather is Pleasant   Saturday 22d feel sleepy  I have a cold

I churned. Father & Brig put the colt in the wagon for the first ^time^ (went splendid played a few games of chekers with Brig in the evening. I believe I have not done a great deal to day ^I^ cooked dinn[er] nice turnips greens & Potatoes meat ct.ct.

I think I shall retire to bed with a thankful heart for all the blessings I have enjoyed this day to morrow is the Sabbath day, we must remember to keep it Holy.

Father — Ann's husband George Jarvis (1823-1913)

Brig — Brigham Jarvis (1850-1933), her third child and second son, married to Mary Forsyth. Brigham and Mary had two living sons, two daughters who had died as infants, and were expecting their fifth child.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ann Prior Jarvis Diary — March 21, 1884

Emmaline Jarvis Cottam. From the George and Ann Prior Jarvis Family Website.

March 21. Dolly man paid me a visit. Weather [fair?] brought a parcel from Mrs West to be sent to [Parion?] wrote to Charley.   ^it is^ Emmelines birthday gave her some Chow chow. rode in my buggy with Josey for an hour in the Evening.

Dolly man — perhaps someone named Dolly Mann? Perhaps a peddler?
Emmeline — her daughter Emmaline Jarvis Cottam, married to Thomas P. Cottam. Emmaline had one child and was expecting her second at the time this was written.
Chow chow — pickled vegetable relish made of cabbage and other vegetables, perhaps introduced to the family by the Southern settlers.
Josey — her daughter Victoria Josephine Jarvis Miles, not yet married to George Miles.

Jarvis Family Web Gallery. Digital copy of photograph. George and Ann Prior Jarvis Family Website.

Thigpen, Susan M. "Chow-Chow Recipe for Sweet Southern Style Relish." The Mountain Laurel: The Journal of Mountain Life [blog], accessed January 10, 2014,