Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Teething as a Cause of Death": Frances Ann Elizabeth Glade

The parents of Frances Ann Elizabeth Glade were recent immigrants to the United States. Frances's mother, Eliza Mary Litson, arrived in Salt Lake City in 1863 and married widower James Glade, who had been in the country just two years longer. Eliza was from Wales and James was from Devon, England, by way of Wales. James's wife Mary died while crossing the plains, and he had one young daughter.

Frances was Eliza and James's second child, born on Pioneer Day in 1866. She probably would have been walking and starting to talk when she fell ill, then died at the age of fourteen months. The burial record showed the cause of death as "teething." Drs. Harry Gibbons and Kent Hebdon studied the Utah death records and suggested that this probably meant cholera infantum. (West J Med. 1991 Dec; 155(6): 658–659.)  Cholera infantum happened in the warmer months and mainly struck children who had just been weaned. It was likely caused by bad milk, and the disease all but disappeared once the government started to require pasteurization.

The grieving young parents buried their little girl in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, grave B_1_2_W/2. They may have marked the grave, but based on burial databases like FindAGrave, there is no longer a marker.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Happy Labor Day

It's Labor Day tomorrow. The picture to the left is Rose Biodo of Philadelphia, ten years old in 1910. She had already worked for three summers, minding a baby and carrying berries, two pecks at a time. "This is the fourth week of school and the people here expect to remain two weeks more." 

It was the plight of children like Rose Biodo that led my grandfather's grandmother, Utah State Senator Elizabeth Hayward (bottom right), to support progressive legislation against child labor. The button to the top right was Elizabeth's, from a national campaign to levy an extra ten percent tax on those who used child labor. In 1922, the Supreme Court declared the Child Labor Tax Law of 1919 unconstitutional, but the battle to protect children continued and ultimately prevailed.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fighting the Good Fight, or How Do You Explain to People That They Don't Know What They Think They Know

Lehi and the Brass Plates.
John Tanner knew the name of his great-grandfather, so his son, Sidney Tanner, served as proxy for his great-great grandfather William Tanner in the early 1840s in some of the earliest baptisms for the dead in Nauvoo

Unlike the dramatic story of Lehi's family in the Book of Mormon, John Tanner and his family did not leave their original home with a record of their forefathers. John's memory stretched back to the third generation, which is as far as human memory normally goes without a written record. Although our memory may go that far, and sometimes further back based on the sharing of written records, we may know a few things about our great-grandparents from hearing stories from our grandparents, but we're unlikely to know detailed information or be able to reconstruct their families without supplementary documentation, or know much personal information about their ancestors. As would be expected, although he could remember the name of his great-grandfather, William Tanner, John Tanner did not remember the name of William's wife or parents.

Almost half a century after these first baptisms for the dead, two ministers by the names of Elias Fitch Tanner (Presbyterian Church, Wisconsin and Michigan) and George Clinton Tanner (Episcopal Church, Diocese of Minnesota) began researching the origins of the Tanner family. They were limited in their research by their location in the Upper Midwest and the resulting difficulty of finding sources, but their publications are quite amazing for the time. We are in debt to George, in particular, for preserving records that would have been lost otherwise.

Like many genealogists of the time, they did not have the access to the records we now have. They were limited by the same overall lack of records as we are, and they did not cite their sources as a modern historian should. However, people reading their books mistook their speculative conclusions about the origins of the Tanner family for fact, and hundreds or thousands of online trees have reproduced their speculations without providing any supporting documentation.

My father, James Tanner, an internationally-known genealogist, realized that there were several major problems in the genealogy. There is little question about the connections between generations back to Francis Tanner, but there are major red flags about the purported connection between Francis Tanner and William Tanner. I will not detail them here; they have been discussed elsewhere. (William Tanner on AncestorFiles and Genealogy's Star).

Francis Tanner Home, Hopkinton,
Rhode Island, c. 1762,
courtesy of Brandon K. Staheli.
Several months ago, my father made a decision to remove Francis Tanner's purported parents from a widely-used online family tree, FamilySearch Family Tree, until documentation was found supporting their identities. The change log for Francis's page shows a battleground with traditionalists who continually add back in William Tanner and whichever of his wives feels right. Most do not give reasons for their action, but those who do justify the change with reasons like "dup." (That cryptic explanation refers to the records of Daughters of Utah Pioneers, a heritage organization chartered in 1901 to preserve and promulgate information about those who migrated to Utah between July 1847 and May 1869. Although DUP has done valuable work in historical preservation, unspecified records in their collections are no source for the identity of Francis Tanner's parents since any information DUP holds would trace back to the work of George C. Tanner.) One notable exception was from a woman who added William Tanner back, then realized the problem and removed him, noting "I should not have added this family. More research needs to happen."

Since members of the family are adding William back almost as fast as he is being removed, I decided to write an explanation to place at the top of Francis's page, hoping to educate and possibly provoke additional research and findings. Hopefully it will result in greater collaboration and understanding. The following is the text of my explanation.

• • •

Please look through Sources, Memories, and “Latest Changes” and read the following before making changes to Francis Tanner’s entry. As of May 2017, several family members are reading through Rhode Island and New York records to identify probate, property, tax, vital, church, and other historical records for the Tanner family. We are adding information to FamilySearch as we find it.

We have removed William Tanner and his supposed wives as parents of Francis Tanner. Around the start of the 20th century, Rev. Elias Tanner and Rev. George C. Tanner wrote books about the family. Over time, their speculations about the origin of the Tanner family were taken as fact and adopted in many genealogies and spread through online family trees, heritage society applications, family books, etc. A close examination of the speculative genealogy shows problems such as one possible mother, Elizabeth Cottrill, supposedly giving birth to Francis when she was a little child. The problem is that although there is very good reason to believe that a man named William Tanner was Francis Tanner’s father, there may have been multiple William Tanners in Rhode Island, and no one has provided documentation *created at the time* showing which one was the correct father, and which wife was Francis’s mother. Again, as far as we can tell, no one sharing online or published family trees has provided documentation supporting these speculative relationships.

We now have access to many more records than did family historians of prior generations, so we have begun to build a case for Francis’s parents. We are finding clues in probates, property records, and the records of the Sabbatarian or Seventh Day Baptist Church. We are identifying how Abel Tanner and Nathan Tanner and others are related to Francis, since a document associated with a relative might provide the clue that could reveal the identity of Francis’s parents.

If you would like to help, here are a few of the things you could do.

* If you've done research in the original records, look through the family entries on FamilySearch to see if something is missing, and please share a copy.

* Research related or possibly related families (Tosh, Sheldon, Tefft, Tibbitts, Babcock, Colgrove, Cottrill) using the original records of Rhode Island and New York, and add the sources to Family Tree.

* Transcribe Francis Tanner’s fourteen-page will. This would require familiarity with 18th century handwriting and legal language. (See a copy of the will in “Memories.”)

* Create detailed maps to show where each family lived during the 17th -19th centuries based on original property deeds.

* Research the history and records of the Seventh-Day Baptists and other Baptist denominations in Rhode Island and New York.

* Find additional records or original copies of extracted records in archives or government offices.

* Work on closer generations where relationships are known but the entries need sources, pictures, stories, family timelines, and biographies. In many cases the experiences of the women in the family were ignored; what can you discover and share about their experiences?

We appreciate all who have added original records or photographs. FamilySearch Family Tree gives us a remarkable ability to collaborate, so this is a good time to try to confirm what has only been speculation for too many generations.

• • •

Nauvoo Temple, undated daguerreotype
The source for the baptisms for the dead mentioned in the first paragraph is Susan Easton Black and Harvey Bischoff Black, Annotated Record of Baptisms for the Dead 1840-1845, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois (Provo, Utah: The Center for Family History and Genealogy, Brigham Young University), 6:3562–3570 (image 216–224). This book is available for viewing at at your local Family History Center.

Note, first, what this book is and is not. Susan and Harvey Black extracted the information from the Nauvoo Baptismal Records of the Dead. This book shows the baptisms for the dead done at Nauvoo, Illinois between 1840 and 1845. They supplemented the original record with genealogical information from FamilySearch and the old Ancestral File. They do not differentiate between the information and spellings from the original record and information from later (sometimes unreliable) sources. However, reduced to its essence, here is the important information, although the original records need to be located and checked. 

Note that these early members of the Church did baptisms for both male and female relatives; this was an early practice.

In 1840 John Tanner did proxy baptisms for Thankful Barber (his sister), Elizabeth Tanner (his grandmother), Francis Tanner (his grandfather), Joshua Tanner (his father), Lydia Tanner (his second deceased wife), Tabbatha Tanner (his first deceased wife), William Tefft (his grandfather), Mary Tifft (his grandmother).

Elizabeth Beswick did proxy baptisms for Elizabeth Beswick (her grandmother), Everton Beswick (her grandfather), John Beswick (her uncle), (Ephraim's Wife) Boughton (a friend), Boughton Lamb (a cousin), Elizabeth Lamb (an aunt), Sandrus Lamb (a cousin), and Mabe Varson (a friend).

Sidney Tanner did baptisms for Tift Barber (his cousin), Amy Hyde (his aunt), Angeline Place (his cousin), Amy Stewart (his grandmother), William Stewart (his grandfather), William Taylor [sic] (his grandfather). [The latter would be William Tanner, his great-great-grandfather.]

Louisa Conley Tanner (Sidney's wife) did baptisms for (Uncle) Barton (her uncle), (Grandfather) Cole (her grandfather), (Grandmother) Cole (her grandmother), William Coles (her uncle), Calvin Conley (her brother), Easter Conley (her cousin), Elsie Conley (her mother), Anstrus Conly (her grandfather), Sally Persons (her cousin), Samuel Persons (her uncle), Phebe Warding (her step-mother).

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mapping History: Sidney Tanner Homes

When I pulled up the map of Sidney Tanner's homes that I embedded in a previous post, I noticed that it had been viewed 180 times. It's a great way of representing data, and worth explaining. There may be other ways to create maps like this, but Google provides a nice platform, and will probably be around for some time, so that's the method I've chosen to do several recent maps.

I first used this kind of map for my book project. I was constantly pulling out a copy of the Nicholas Morgan/J. B. Ireland Pioneer Map of Great Salt Lake City to see where someone lived, and figured it would be useful to plot my data in one central location. I now have seventy data points on a map about Early Black Utah/Mormon History and may make it available to the public at some point. It has been very useful to me to see where people lived in relation to one another, and to historical events.

Here's the Sidney Tanner map.

As noted, it is "in progress." A couple of the locations are exact, to the very foot, such as Fort San Bernardino, but some are more general and could stand some additional research. In the process of making the map, I discovered that I cannot see Sidney Tanner's home at 195 E. 200 North in Beaver although it was on the National Register of Historic Places and noted to be in excellent condition.

Does anyone know about the home? Is it this one, significantly altered?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Remember the trials of Missouri; forget not the courage of Nauvoo . . .

The years of 1838–1839 were a tragic and unstable time in our nation's history as the Mormon War raged in Missouri. The Mormons were trying to protect their right to establish homes as a religious and cultural minority, and although they may have acted unwisely, nothing they did justified being driven out of their lawful homes and persecuted and murdered and the women and girls subjected to awful crimes.

At the time the state of Missouri sought to prosecute him for a variety of charges, Sidney Tanner had a wife, Louisa, and four young children, Allen, Lydia, Emma, and Mary. The oldest was only seven years old. Like so many others, the Tanners left few records of their sufferings, but Sidney's father, John Tanner, was taken prisoner and badly injured, struck on the head with a gun, "which laid his skull bare to the width of a man's hand."

Here is Sidney Tanner's land patent from July 28, 1838. He filed two claims at the General Land Office in Lexington.

The first land was eighty acres in Clinton County, Missouri, Township 56N, Range 30W, Aliquots W1/2SE1/4, Section 13. It was just north of what is now Wallace State Park, and is just west of Plum Creek, and located on the eastern edge of Clinton County.

The second land was forty acres in Clay County, Missouri, Township 56N, Range 29W, Aliquots NW1/4NE1/4, Section 21. It was a couple of sections east of the first land, just over the county line in Clay County, and just west of Goose Creek.

When the conflict heated up, the local government indicted many of the Mormon residents. Here is some news coverage from New York.

"The St. Louis Republican is doubtful as to the final result of these prosecutions," wrote the reporter. He noted that after driving out and indicting so many Mormons, the Missourians were snapping up their land and homes. "Great distress and suffering exists among the plundered Mormons, many of whom were formerly quiet, inoffensive residents of northern Ohio. . . . There can be no possible excuse for the murder and rapine with which they have been desolated since emigrating. The infamy will be as lasting as the name of Missouri." (January 15, 1839, Hudson River Chronicle (Ossining, New York), 3.)

The Missouri officials pretended to continue with the legal proceedings, but released most of the prisoners. Joseph Smith and five others were taken to Liberty Jail and held until they were allowed to escape. The Mormons fled the state and resettled in Illinois and Iowa for a time.

Sidney Tanner is not known to have filed a redress petition with the federal government about the loss of his land. It's too bad, since the Redress Petitions contained many good biographical and historical details from those who wrote them. Note, in closing, that Sampson Avard testified under oath that Sidney Tanner was not a Danite.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Slaves in the Family: Quom and Cloe

Soldiers at Yorktown, including a black
infantryman from the 1st Rhode Island Regiment.
When he died in January 1777, Francis Tanner of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, owned an enslaved man and woman named Quom and Cloe. He left Quom to his son Joshua Tanner, later the father of John Tanner. Since Quom became the property of Joshua and not one of his older half-brothers, he probably came into the Tanner household through an inheritance from the family of Joshua's mother and Francis's second wife, Elizabeth Shelton Tanner.

"Also I give and bequeath to my said son Joshua Tanner my negro boy Quom"
The year after Francis died, Quom signed up to fight for Rhode Island against the British. Joshua served in the war as well. Quom would have been a strong young man, since his value was given as £120. He served as a private under Captain Elijah Lewis in the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, or "Black Regiment." Quom was captured by the British on May 21, 1779, on the Narraganset shore of Rhode Island. He was a prisoner of war for the duration of the war and was returned to America after the Peace Treaty of 1783. Joshua Tanner should have been paid Quom's market value of £120, so Quom probably did not return to the Tanner family after the war. Joshua Tanner did not own any slaves in 1790.

Quom Tanner (1761-1852) received bounty lands from the United States government for his service in the war, and he settled in Rensselaer County, New York, and raised a family with his wife, Charity (-1852). There was also a Chloe Tanner living in Rensselaer County, and I will continue to do research about their families.

Note: When faced with this situation, a number of families have added slaves as children in a family. Do not add Quom or Cloe as children in the family. They were not members of the family; they were chattel slaves and members of the Tanner household. They should be remembered honestly in the family histories, but history is what it is, and we cannot repair it by trying to alter it to match our twenty-first century views, as many families have tried to do over the years.

• • •

Here are the sources.

Bartlett, John R. Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations . . . 1774. Providence, Rhode Island: Knowles, Anthony & Co., State Printers, 1858, 225.
Hopkinton, Rhode Island, page 225
Francis Tanner
Above 16: 2
Under 16: 1
Above 16: 1
Under 16: 1
Indians: 0
Blacks: 2
Total: 7

TANNER, Francis – PR 2:64 Will written – 22 October 1776, Proved 20 January 1777
Wife, Elizabeth Sons: Josiah, Isaac, William, Joshua
Daughters: Amy, Dorcas, Susannah
Mentions a farm that he formerly lived on in South Kingstown he gives to his son Nathan which
partially abuts his brother Benjamin’s farm, a farm he bought from his brother Nathan that was in South Kingstown and gives to son Isaac, gives his wife items that her father gave to her, mentions a negro girl, Cloe and a negro boy, Quom.
* Land Description
Witnesses: William Tifft, Francis West, Abel Tanner
Codicil: Witnesses, Abel Tanner, Nathan Tanner
Inventory: PR 2:72 9 January 1777 Appraisers: Abel Tanner, Joseph Witter Jr.
This abstract of Francis Tanner's will is from the Hopkinton Historical Association

[Date] April 2 [1778] [Name of slave] Quam Tanner [Owner of slave] Joshua Tanner [Residence of owner] Hopkinton [Value of Slave in £] 120

Private Quam (Quom) Tanner, BLW 1636-100, S42445 (Enlisted March 8, 1778 (Muster Roll); Slave of "Joshua Tanner" of Hopkinton (Rider, Rhode Island Historical Tracts No. 10, p. 53))

1840 Census
Name: Quam Tanner
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Nassau, Rensselaer, New York
Birth Year: abt 1762
Age: 78
Free Colored Persons - Males - Under 10: 1
Free Colored Persons - Males - 10 thru 23: 1
Free Colored Persons - Males - 55 thru 99: 1
Free Colored Persons - Females - 10 thru 23: 1
Free Colored Persons - Females - 36 thru 54: 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Total Free Colored Persons: 5
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

The primitive 1781 watercolor by Jean-Baptiste-Antoine DeVerger shows American soldiers at Yorktown, including a black infantryman from the 1st Rhode Island Regiment. From copy at Wikipedia, originally World Digital Library.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Measuring Worth: Joseph Defriez Estate

Tanner Family Line

Joseph Defriez (1793–1874) was the father of Joseph George Defriez. His profession was Funeral Feather Merchant, and he had the Freedom of the City of London. (See Joseph Defriez and the Freedom of the City of London.)

When he died his estate was valued between £800 and £1000. I wondered what that would be in current dollars, and visited the site Measuring Worth. To keep it simple, I used a figure of £900. The calculator suggested a real price value of £75,360. However, with estates, I've found it more useful to use the website's relative economic status value. That gave an estimate of £661,100. In today's dollars, the real price value would be $94,109 and the economic status value $825,580. In either case, they were a family of some means, and were not the working poor like other ancestors from the UK.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sidney Tanner, "An Old Mountaineer and Veteran Mormon"

This morning I decided to spend a few minutes on my own genealogy, and searched for Sidney Tanner in CDNC (California Digital Newspaper Collection).  One of the results was well after Sidney Tanner's death, but I looked at it anyway and saw this note. 

T. S. Kenderdina, who came to this valley in 1858, was a guest of Sam Rolfe yesterday. Mr. Kenderdina comes all the way from Philadelphia. He is an author, having published two volumes, "The California Tramp," and "California Revisited." He crossed the plains with the party of Captain Sidney Tanner. Arriving here he walked all the way from San Bernardino to San Pedro. (San Bernardino Sun, “Personal," 31 August 1910, 5.)

With that it was the task of but a minute to pull up digitized copies of both of the books. A California Tramp has extensive, very detailed information on Sidney Tanner. Kenderdine only names him twice, but he is a constant and peaceable presence through many adventures. Kenderdine later notes, "throughout the journey [Tanner and the other Mormons] showed remarkable tact, both in their dealings with the Indians and our own men." [150] Here are a few excerpts.
Our party of twenty made arrangements [to travel from Great Salt Lake City to California] with some Mormon freighters, who were going to Southern California for goods, to convey themselves, provisions and baggage to the Pacific. Their charge was $80 a piece. [Equal to about $2,400 today.] . . . 
Our means of conveyance were three four-horse springless wagons, in charge of Sydney Tanner, a veteran Mormon. The other teams were owned by the drivers. We got along pleasantly all through the long and trying journey with these men. 
We were to go the southern route, which leads through the lower settlements, and then takes across the Great Sandy Desert via the Santa Fe trail, emerging onto the Pacific at San Pedro, which is eight hundred miles southwest from Salt Lake. [Today's Interstate 15 follows this trail, more or less.] This route is only traveled in the winter season, as it is nearly impassable during the summer on account of the extreme heat. [120–121]

Between the Sevier River and Fillmore Valley, Kenderdine gives a description of the accommodations.
We encamped after night on a cedar-covered bluff overlooking the valley, and as we had plenty of fuel we managed to keep at bay the cold night air which surrounded us, and our well-fed campfires shot out brightly into the surrounding darkness. The cedar boughs spread on the stony ground afforded us excellent couches, and with our feet turned towards the fire, Indian fashion, we rolled up in our blankets, and slept like kings in state; the earth our bed, the star-lit sky our canopy. [128]
They finally arrive in Beaver, where Sidney's family lived, and spent a couple of days there. "Our abstinence so long from vegetables and dairy products made us keen for them, and they were put on to us at high figures. They also knew our failing for pie, and did a fine trade with us in that circular necessity." [133] There they attended a testimony meeting.
At night we went to a religious meeting held in the schoolhouse. The congregation was rough, and rudely clad, in homespun, calico and buckskin. I saw here what reminded me of the old-time Puritan worship: bowie knives and revolvers in church. There was no regular minister; the services being carried on by different members giving in their "experience." Their language was rough and ungrammatical, and some of the narrations so comical as to set the audience to laughing. Some grew pathetic, and their hearers cried, and on the whole they enjoyed themselves. One told how, when once afflicted with a plague of grasshoppers, prayers for deliverance were made, when flocks of a peculiar bird, strange to that country, came among them and devoured them all. [132]

Kenderdine talks at length about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, which happened about a year previous. Sidney Tanner had been traveling in the area of the massacre a couple of days after the tragedy, but it is not clear if he provided any information to Kenderdine about what happened, or if he would have known any details, himself.
The country became more rough and uneven as we advanced. Filling our casks at a little stream which crossed our path, we made a dry camp at nightfall, on the summit of the rim of the Great Basin. As we were now approaching a region infested by dangerous Indians, a council of war was held in the evening, for the purpose of choosing officers, appointing guards and making regulations for the government of our company. Sydney Tanner, an old mountaineer and veteran Mormon, was unanimously elected captain . . . The passengers volunteered to stand camp guard, while the more difficult horse guard was to be performed by the teamsters. A short but comprehensive address was made by the captain in regard to our intercourse with the Indians, so that collisions might be avoided, after which the meeting broke up with three loud cheers for the officers elected. Roughly clad, sunburnt, and "bearded like the pard," we formed quite a picturesque group, as we stood encircling a huge campfire . . . [141]
It is too bad that Sidney Tanner did not leave any record of his adventures. This book just gives a brief flavor of the longstanding relationship he cultivated with the tribes along his route. (Note that although it is used in the following two anecdotes, "Diggers" is an archaic and now offensive term.)
The head men [Paiutes] knew our conductors well from previous intercourse, and shook hands with them quite ostentatiously; winding up with the everlasting cry of "shetcop," a word which springs as naturally to a Digger's lips as does "backsheesh" to those of their near relative, the Egyptian Arab. Shortly after their arrival in camp they commenced dragging fuel from distant points for our use, for which service they expected liberal pay in food and raiment. Our animals were given in their charge. The Mormons adopted this plan altogether while traveling in these regions, and were rarely troubled with having stock stolen; for the Diggers, through interested motives, were true to their trust. [152]

At a place called Kingston Springs, the wagon train advanced with great caution. They were right to be cautious: early the next year Salt Lake merchants Thomas S. Williams and Parmenia Jackman were killed outside San Bernardino by one of these warring tribes.
Our reason for starting [just before sunset] was to avoid the Kingston Springs Indians, it being dangerous to halt among them at night. Our Mormons reported them as of large size and differing in appearance from the Diggers generally. They rarely show themselves by day, but watch from behind the desert rocks the movements of travelers, and should they halt at night, steal or kill their stock. The reader can hardly imagine how we dreaded the loss of animals on the waterless stretches of from thirty to sixty miles, and with what anxiety we watched them at night. Their loss almost involved our own lives. But by traveling much after sundown, and by the judicious treatment our conductors pursued toward the Indians, we went through safely. Lack of pasturage was made up with rations of wheat, which for the emergencies of desert travel had been carried from the settlements. This, however, was running short, and our teams were getting thin and weak. The alternations of yielding sand and jolting stones were trying to passengers as well as teams, as much of the way we were obliged to walk. [172]
These are just a few short excerpts, and any descendant of Sidney Tanner will find the story worth reading in its entirety, from page 120 to 183. (A California Tramp: Among the Mormon SettlementsAlong the Desert Border, On the Great Sandy Deseret, and From the Kingston Springs to San Bernardino.)

Sunday, January 29, 2017


Due to the events of the past few days, here are some portraits of refugees. One was a peace-loving man who fled Denmark to avoid conscription in the Second Schleswig War. Others fled religious violence or persecution in Europe or America. All hoped to find peace and security here. And as you could probably guess if you've known me for any length of time, these are my ancestors. Do my ancestral stories inform my politics? You'd better believe it. If you're American, there's an excellent chance that you have refugee ancestors as well. Can you name them? Do you know about their experiences?

Names (left to right). First row: Ove Oveson, George Jarvis, Ann Prior Jarvis, Sidney Tanner. Second row: Mayflower pilgrims Richard Warren, Francis Cooke, John Cooke; Rebecca Hill Pettit, Edwin Pettit, Archibald Newell Hill and son Samuel. Third row: Isabella Hood Hill, Samuel Shepherd and wife Charity, Adeline Springthorpe Thomas.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Consecration Deed: Archibald N. Hill

Here, finally, is an actual consecration deed. So far I have only this one for Archibald N. Hill. There is one listed for Myron Tanner & Brothers, value $566.50, but other than that I'm not finding family names. There are very few deeds from the San Bernardino settlers; they would have been in transit at the time the deeds were being created, and as far as I know there were no deeds created in San Bernardino.

And, yes, I still have not explained consecration deeds. Explanation to come, eventually, complete with citations.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

John Tanner's Family Bible

Ron Tanner somehow found and added pictures of John Tanner's family Bible to FamilySearch Family Tree. Since I work with nineteenth century documents almost daily, I can attest that this is an original record, and made by someone with intimate knowledge of the Tanner family. (Either that or it was made by someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Tanner family and nineteenth-century spelling variations, and the counterfeiting skills of Mark Hoffman, and such a dark horse should undoubtedly be counterfeiting something of higher value than this, museum piece as it is.)

There are about half a dozen different handwritings in this record, but most of the first inscriptions are the same handwriting, probably John Tanner's.




John Tanner was born August 15th 1778

Taberthy Bently was born August the 23 1780

Lydia Stewart was born November th 18 1783

Elisha Bently Tanner was born March th 23 1801

William Stewart Tanner was born October the 27 1802

Mathilda Tanner was born September the 14 1804

Willard Tanner was born October the 29 1806

Sidney Tanner was born April the 1 1809

John Joshua Tanner was born December the 19 1811

Romela Tanner was born April the 1 1814


Nathan Tanner was borne May the 14 1815

Edward and Edwin Tanner was born October th 3 1817

Mariah Loisa Tanner was born November th 28 1818

Martin Henery Tanner was born March the 21 1822

Albert M. Tanner was born April the 4 1825

[Elizabeth's children carried over from the other page]

Sarah Tanner was Born July the 19 — 1840

Francis Tanner was born mach the 10 — 1843

[the last looks like the same hand as the Sidney Tanner letter from San Bernardino]




Elise Beswick was born November 28 — 1803

Myron Tanner was Born June th 4 in the year of our Lord 1826

Seth Benjamin Tanner was born March th 6 — 1828

Fremon Everton Tanner was born Jen [January] th 3 1830

Joseph Tanner was born June th 11 — 1833

Philomely Tanner was Born March th 10 1835

David Dan Tanner was born feb th 8 1838


Taberthy Tanner died Aprial the 9 1801

Willard Tanner died August the 12 1807

Romela Tanner died April the 16 1814

Edwin Tanner died October the 8 1817

Edward Tanner died October the 21 1817

Philomely Tanner Died May th 28 1838.




Lydia Tanner died may the 31 1825

Francis Tanner died June the 5th 1844

John Tanner died april the 13th 1850

Sariah Tanner Died March the 12 1853

Elisha Bently Tanner Died March 11. 1858.

William Stewart Tanner Died [1875]


Matilda Tanner Randall died April 17. 1888. in Kirtland Ohio.

Albert Miles Tanner Died. [1879]

The Mysterious Pardon

...Pardon Tanner, that is.

Every so often, someone compares his or her personal family records to John Tanner's FamilySearch Family Tree entry and discovers that their copy of the family records has a child of John and Lydia Tanner named Pardon Tanner, born 1820. Pardon is not in Family Tree, so they go ahead and add him.

The problem is that as far as anyone has been able to discover, he does not exist. My dad removed him from the family tree today. I've removed him from the family before, as has Karen Bray Keeley.

Here is my explanation for removing him from the family, as added to John Tanner and Pardon Tanner's discussion section:
John and Lydia Stewart Tanner did not have a son named Pardon. There are no known trustworthy records for the existence of this child. RonT provided a copy of the family bible in the Memories section above. The family bible lists Lydia's children as: William, Mathilda, Willard, Sidney, John Joshua, Romela, Nathan, Edward, Edwin, Maria Loisa, Martan Henery, and Albert. (All spellings from the record.) Lists of the family from the 19th and early 20th centuries do not mention a child named Pardon, and sources within the family state that John and Lydia had twelve children.

John Tanner had a brother named Pardon Tanner (L6G9-6S3), born 1791. William Tefft Tanner (LZY8-STR) and Lydia Foster (LHRF-CWS) had a child named Pardon Tanner (MBPD-GH5), born 1820, died 1824. Elizabeth Tanner and Newman Perkins had a child Pardon Perkins (K236-P41), born 1824.

William and Lydia Tanner's son is probably the Pardon mistakenly placed into the John and Lydia Tanner family.

I don't know who first speculated that John and Lydia had a son named Pardon. A Pardon Tanner was sealed as a child to John Tanner and Lydia Stewart on September 2, 1975 in the Logan Utah LDS Temple. I have never seen a valid reason for anyone doing that. No one has ever provided documentation.

Until someone can provide an actual document from the nineteenth century (burial or church record) showing his existence that proves that he is the son of John and Lydia and not of Joshua and Thankful or William and Lydia or Elizabeth and Newman, please do not add him to the family.
A reliable and contemporaneous source would be one created at the time this purported child was born or died. Lacking an actual record of his birth or death, a family record created in the 1800s would work, something like a family Bible. The family Bible record provided by Ron Tanner does not show a child named Pardon.

I will add the images of the family Bible in a subsequent post.

This "Pardon" was most likely created by someone thinking William and Lydia Foster Tanner's child belonged to John and Lydia Stewart Tanner, or perhaps someone speculating the existence of a child in the 3-1/2 year gap between Louisa Maria and Martin Henry. There may have been a child at this time, but without any record to prove his existence, we can't create historical reality by speculation.

• • •

Although no temple work needs to be done for this family, here are some things that do need to be done.

(1) Source and correct all entries for all children and grandchildren and their families. Please do not make changes unless you have documentation to back up your changes. Documentation does not include personal genealogical records, unless you have family records created at the time of the events, but documentation does include vital and government and church records and certain histories. 

(2) Collect and write biographies for all family members, including the women, and place them in the "Stories" section of each entry. Collect and add photographs from family members and historical societies such as Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Remember to include a note about where you got the story or picture and get permission if anything is still in copyright. 

(3) Research and source related families such as the Bentlys and Stewarts and Beswicks and Teffts. 

(4) There are plenty more sources available on John Tanner and his family including tax and government and land and military and church and legal records. Many of these require more work to find than a quick search on FamilySearch, but they are available and should be added as sources to Family Tree.

This was originally posted on February 15, 2015. Since I wrote it, Pardon has been added again to the family (perhaps more than once?) so I expanded the explanation to reflect the family Bible that Ron Tanner somehow located and added to John Tanner's entry.

"Washington County Farm" by UpstateNYer - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons—

Friday, January 6, 2017

Consecration Deed: Archibald Hill

April 10/54

Brother Young     I Dedicate Myself & wemen and Children with all that I Have in Posesion unto The Lord and Your Desposel with Chearful Heart

     and Remain Your Brother In the Gospel of Christ

                 Archabild N Hill

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Consecration Deed: John Sutton

Another consecration deed, this one for John Sutton and, by extension, his wife Mary Ellison Sutton. The collection, like any professionally-done documentary collection, shows both front and back of each page. The picture above is from FamilySearch Family Tree, courtesy of MWBaer. There is no known picture of John Sutton, so I have included his obituary.

April 11th 1854


      this is to Certify
that I am willing
to join the firm
namely of giving up
unto the Lord

I remain yours

        John Sutton

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Consecration Deed: Philip Pugsley

I will not explain consecration deeds right now, but I will plan to do so after I post a number of them. I am reading a newly-digitized and amazing collection from the Church History Library in Salt Lake City. It is something else to be able to read these records from the comfort of my home (or read them at all), and when I see one belonging to any of the people featured on this blog, I will include it.

{seal} I Philip Pugsley Tanner*

residence 19th ward do give
& bequeth all my property
to the Church of Jesus Christ
of Laterday Saints This the 11th Day of
April in the year of our Lord
one thousand eight fifty four
Great Salt Lake City
April 11th 1854

* Tanner was his profession. The picture shows him with his first wife Martha and her children.

Image of the deed courtesy of the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.