Thursday, July 29, 2010

James Udy

  • Name: James Udy
  • Born: August 16, 1820 Cornwall, England
  • Died: June 19, 1905 Farmington, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy Hanni
James Udy was born August 16, 1820 at Tervilmick in the Parrish of Lanlivery, Cornwall England, a son of Hart and Ann Brokenshire Udy.

Little is known of his early life in England, however, before leaving England he learned the blacksmith trade working as an apprentice for seven years for which he received only his board and clothing. He was also an armor in the British Royal Navy. This was the same as a machinist, similar to a blacksmith. There was a Navy yard in Woolwich, Kent. He married Mary Ann Trengrove. To them were born three sons.

After hearing the Gospel and being converted they joined the church in England and emigrated to America, landing in New Orleans. The voyage on the slow crowded ship was hard on him, but more so on his wife, Mary Ann who was a small woman and very frail. Upon arriving in New Orleans they both felt they had fulfilled a lifetime dream. They settled down in New Orleans with their sons for a time. But the long voyage and the life in the new country was too much for his frail wife, and she died. All he could remember of her was a fleeting shadow that had been with him for an instant, and then was snatched away. One son died in England and another son died soon after his mother, leaving the remaining son (William Henry Udy) the only tangible thing that James had from his family and life in Cornwall.

New Orleans held no future for James and at length he and his son took a boat up the Mississippi. Often he had thought of joining the Saints for the journey to Salt Lake but always it was thoughts of his sickly wife that held him back. It was there on the boat chugging slowly up the river that he met Isabelle Ann Cowley, she was from the Isle of Man. Isabelle had taken the small boy to heart and James found in her an answer to his dreams. A few months later they were married and on their way to Zion with a company of fellow converts.

They traveled in the Henry Bryant Manning Jolley Company in 1852. Isabelle’s parents appear to have been in this company as well. They eventually moved to Farmington as well. I will have a post about them soon.

On the journey west there was much sickness, deaths and massacre. Isabelle was pregnant and she suffered with the heat and the terror of the Indians. A week before they reached Zion it seemed she could not go on. She begged James to go without her, but he doggedly plodded on, working night and day to make things easier for her. The last miles were torture for Isabelle, every bounce of the wagon an intense thrust of pain. The rest of her life, Indians, friendly or not, caused goose pimples to stand out on her flesh, and her hands grew clammy with sweat.

In a short time Isabelle and James were settled in a tiny cabin of their own and James had set up a blacksmith shop in Salt Lake City. There was need for a good blacksmith and James Udy was most efficient in his trade. In fact there was no one in Utah during his lifetime that could surpass him in welding or any kind of blacksmithing. Even the old master himself had admitted that he had a magic touch with an anvil. In coming across the plains many of the wagons had been destroyed by Indians, broken or lost in fording the rivers and there was need for more wagons. He began to build wagons with some new friends. Money was scarce in the valley and all work was taken out in trade. Land was free to be taken up, wheat and other food stuffs raised by the settlers were traded for labor of all kinds. In this manner James acquired fourteen lots of land in Salt Lake City by the time their first child was born on November 4, 1852 and she was named Elizabeth Ann. James and Isabelle ended up having 10 children.

They lived in Salt Lake City two years when James decided to set up a shop in the new settlement north of Salt Lake called Bountiful. It had developed into a thriving community, and James anxious to find new trade and made plans to move Isabelle and his family there. Before leaving he traded his 14 lots of land for a yoke of oxen. A number of those lots on main street would have brought him a small fortune a few years later.

They lived in Bountiful for a time until news spread that there was plenty good land and water in Farmington and James had been thinking of moving there. Things were not so good in Bountiful as another blacksmith shop had gone up and he felt the need to move. So it was in 1856 that the family moved to Farmington.

For over four years James and Isabelle made themselves a part of the community of Farmington when news spread that Cache Valley had been settled. Pictures of the new land north came into James' mind. Seeing an opportunity to take up some more of this land, James sold his home and told Isabelle they were going to move to Cache Valley. For the first time and the only time in their marriage, Isabelle openly defied James. She refused to go, he tried to make her see that a good living would be made, but Isabelle stood pat and shook her head and flatly refused to move. The terror of the trip across the plains was so instilled in her mind that it could not be easily erased.

They did not move to Cache Valley. But with their home sold James and Isabelle took up 30 acres of land just over and below the hill from the Stewart family. Here James set up a rock shop and built a new home for his family. Up until a short time ago part of the rock shop stood on the hill.

Now that the wanderlust in him was gone, James was content to farm his acres and work in his shop. Lately he had been making iron parts for threshing machines. There were only a few of the more intricate castings that they had to send east for. Most of them he could iron out on his anvil with little difficulty. Many of the settlers could not understand how it was possible for a small town blacksmith to make such difficult pieces of iron work as those for the threshing machine. But James Udy had been a good apprentice in England and he was a good master of the trade in America.

James and Isabelle lived in Farmington for many years. Isabelle died very suddenly while preparing for a trip to Salt Lake City on December 4, 1893 at the age of 61. Always strong and healthy James Udy lived to be nearly 85. He died June 19, 1905. Both James and Isabelle Ann (Cowley) Udy are buried in the Farmington City Cemetery, as are his other wife Mary Sophia Hansen and three babies.

This history was compiled by Marva Udy Earl (grand-daughter) for the Daughter's of the Utah Pioneers Histories. I shortened it quite a bit but you can read the whole thing here. Also several members of the Udy family moved to Australia and New Zealand and were some of the first pioneers there. I have a book that goes into great detail about the Udy family in Cornwall called, "Udy, A Pride of Lions." written by an Australian relative. It briefly mentions James Udy. It was very interesting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rosel Hyde

  • Name: Rosel Hyde
  • Born: 20 May 1816
  • Died: 20 August 1903
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Elvira Wilde Langford
Rosel was born to Heman and Polly Hyde in York, New York. When the family moved to Freedom, New York Polly was converted to Mormonism by Joseph Smith himself. The entire family was privileged to "hear the Gospel in its purity." Though most of the family members where baptized Rosel took more time gaining a strong conviction of Restored Gospel. 

When the family moved to Kirtland, Ohio in 1836 the Kirtland Temple was dedicated. Because Rosel wasn't yet baptized he wasn't in attendance during the dedication. While he was working on the farm during the event he "witnessed the cloud and pillar of light that rested on the temple." That spiritual experience helped him secure his testimony and Rosel was baptized shortly after. 

Rosel moved with his father's family to Huntsville, Missouri, then to Quincy, Illinois where he married Mary Ann Cowles. He again moved, this time to Bear Creek, Illinois which is between Nauvoo and Carthage. His property was right next to some owned by the Prophet Joseph and the two became good friends. Mary Ann worked in the Prophets home, the children sat on his knee. When Rosel was informed of the Prophets death he exclaimed "They just killed one of the greatest men that ever lived."

Before the saints where driven from Nauvoo Rosel was ordained a Seventy and he and his wife received their endowment in the Nauvoo temple. They joined the driven saints from Nauvoo to Council Bluffs in 1846. 

Rosel and his family loaded a wagon and joined the Gully/Spencer Company to cross the plains in 1849. They lived in Salt Lake for a few years before they moved north just a bit to Kays Ward, currently Kaysville, Utah.  He had 65 acres of farm land right in Kaysville. Their first home there had a sod covered roof that leaked when it rained. Over the years, with hard work Rosel built a very nice home for his family. His home was often the resting place for General Authorities and others visiting Kays Ward. 

Rosel and Mary Ann where sealed by Wilford Woodruff in 1855. Rosel served a mission in New York and had many opportunities to help other saints reach the Salt Lake Valley. In 1863 Rosel took one of those opportunities in person and led the Rosel Hyde Company of 300 people to Utah. 

Rosel was often described as a very logical thinker, shy, a man of good judgment, slow to anger, had good business sense, prudent and thrifty. He would often suffer wrong rather than create a fuss with other people. 

Rosel served as the County Commissioner for nearly 20 years. We was well loved in the community. He was very generous and kind to others. He donated some of his land to the Union Pacific for the railroad and his land was often the home of his Native American friends that traveled throughout the valley. 

Rosel and his wife Mary Ann celebrated 60 years of marriage in 1899 with their family from near and far joining them in tribute. Joseph F. Smith spoke at Rosel's funeral and, pointing at the casket, said "Their lies a man without guile; I envy him his reward." Both Rosel and his wife are buried in the Kaysville cemetery.

I have loved learning about Rosel and most of this information is expanded upon in a history found online. Click here to read more about him.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Henry Mace I

  • Name: Henry Mace I
  • Born: 1720/1730 England
  • Died: 1781 Hampshire, West Virginia
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Idonna Nuttall Madson
Henry Mace I was born in 1720/1730 in England. He died in 1781 in Hampshire, West Virginia. He married Ann Petty about 1750. She was born about 1730 in Pennsylvania. She died about 1800 in Hardy, West Virginia. They had seven children. We are descended through their son Henry Mace II.

Henry and his brother Nicholas both bought land in what was then Augusta County, Virginia. There was another brother, John, who ended up in N.C. and was later killed by Indians along with his family. A son, Jacob, survived and came north to live with Maces in present day Hardy County. Henry and Nicholas moved north to present day Hardy in the early 1770s. I got the majority of this article from a book about the Mace family by a woman named Gretchen Ann
Mace Velasco. She does not believe that the name was Mace originally but was Maese/Maisch or some variation thereof. She also thinks they came to Virginia from what is now Dauphin/Lebanon County, Penn. and that they were Huguenots. I thought that way very interesting, see this article about Huguenots.

The Western Augusta Territory was a vast, wild area featuring mountains, deep ravines, severe climate and many rivers and streams flowing west to the Ohio and Kanawa rivers. Fertile land was scarce and in the early 1700's only the hardiest of pioneer colonists ventured into the area. For the most part these pioneers were illiterate, relatively backward and adaptable to such severe environment. About 1715, the West Augusta territory, by order of the English King George I, was reformed into eight large counties, one of which was Augusta located in the northeast corner of present West Virginia. In 1753, the present county of Hampshire was formed from part of Augusta County. About 1758 Henry Mace I moved over from the south Pennsylvania border to the newly formed Hampshire County. Henry homesteaded in a valley on the South Fork of the Potomac River about twenty miles south of Moorhead, Hampshire County, VA. (now West Virginia)

From the limited data on Henry Mace I, it appears that he was a solid citizen. Early Augusta County records show that on January 2, 1761 he signed a petition for the building of a road. Also, Henry was made a naturalized citizen on November 16, 1774. It is known that he was illiterate, and that he fit the pattern for survival in the out-back area of Virginia. He preferred the isolation and the freedom from the influence of English royalty which dominated the coastal plains area. Henry was physically tough, willing to jerk a living off the land, and a good hunter of game in the wild.

After years of farming and hunting, the residents of Hampshire County faced the prospects of the American Revolution and its consequences to them. Few residents fully understood nor joined actively in the prosecution of the Revolutionary War. Henry, along with other Hampshire residents enlisted in the 2nd Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. Two sons John and Isaac Mace also enlisted. Service for the Hampshire military unit was probably confined to drilling and standing by for further orders as most of the active warfare was confined to the north and east colonial areas. Henry was a private in the "2nd Regiment of Virginia, Continental Army". His military record shows that he entered service July 1777 and deserted camp 10 August 1777 after a month and 10 days of service.

As the war progressed it became necessary for the newly formed continental government to assess and collect taxes and to raise the quota of men to carry on the war. This development caused the rebellion of a group of Hampshire residents who, in 1780, formed an insurgent band which refused to pay higher taxes and to furnish more men under the quota act. A group of Hampshire county English royalists formed a Tory party led by John Claypole with the avowed purpose of joining English General Cornwallis when he entered the area. The purpose of these insurgent groups became hopelessly confused in the illiterate minds of many Hampshire residents. Many signed conflicting petitions in support of both insurgent groups (the loyalists and the patriots). Henry Mace was one of them.

Henry Mace, while suspected of being a Tory (a British loyal) at the time of his death, did not merit the label in view of his illiteracy. The truth is that he and his two sons along with other illiterate mountain men of Hampshire County, Virginia were "taken in" by a John Brake and his partner, John Claypole. These two men were literate and wealthy --- both certain that British General Cornwallis would quell the colonial rebellion thereby making them influential in post-war developments in Hampshire County. The personal loyalty of the mountain men to Brake and Claypole did not include and understanding of what the two were up to.

In 1781 complaints were made by the sheriff or collectors of the revenue complained to Colonel Vanmeter (Patriot) that the people of Hampshire County resisted his attempts to collect taxes and furnish the quota of men to serve in the Patriot Army. General Morgan was called upon to quell this "rebellion". About June 18th, the Colonial Army marched from Winchester and arrived in the Tory section of Hampshire County. They took Claypole as prisoner and moved up the Lost River and crossed the South Branch Mountain. They found a cabin near the summit which was searched. An elderly man named Mace (Henry) and two of his sons ran from the cabin. Henry being closely pursued by an aid to General Morgan named Capt.William Snickers was aiming to take out Henry with his sword. One of Henry's sons, Isaac seeing this, fired a shot which passed through Snickers’ horse's neck. The horse and Snickers fell to the ground. An Irish waiter to General Morgan who had been with the Colonials thought Snickers was dead and shot Henry Mace in the excitement of the moment. It turns out that Snickers had only been bruised.

A petition for pardon of Henry Mace signed by his son John Mace was submitted and heard by the Hampshire County Court. Henry was posthumously pardoned later that year.

"Lyman Chalkey, Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement of Virginia, Vol 1 16 Nov 1774.
Gretchen Ann
Mace Velasco "The Mace Family in America, A Genealogy and History 1720-1990"

Friday, July 16, 2010

William Currence

  • Name: William Currence 
  • Birth: 16 Sep 1727 in Ulster, Northern Ireland
  • Death: 1780 or 1781 in Mill Creek, Randolph County, (West) Virginia 
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Idonna Nuttall Madson

William Currence, a son of Samuel Currence, was born in Ireland September 18, 1727 and was killed by Indians in Randolph County, Virginia on May 12, 1781. He came to America about 1744 when he was just seventeen years old. He married Lydia Steele about 1751. Lydia, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Smith) Steele, was born in Pennsylvania about 1725 and died in Randolph County August 29, 1820.

After the death of his mother, William's father married a wealthy and aristocratic woman who could not get along with her step children. According to local tradition, he left his home in Ireland when a disagreement arose between himself and his step-mother, while his father was not around. Believing that harmony was no longer possible, he at once entered upon his journey to America. A short distance from home, he met his father, Samuel, who enquired where he was going. The son replied "to America". After finding admonition unavailing, the father dismounted and a foot race resulted. The young man finally leaped over a ditch which the parent could not cross and eluded his fathers pursuit. I found some accounts that said he was a stowaway on the ship and others that mentioned his father paid for his passage.

He landed at a Maryland port and moved inland to western Augusta County, Virginia and later moved to Tygarts Valley in Randolph County and settled in what is now the town of Mill Creek. He and Lydia raised a large family. Our family is descended through their daughter Ann. In Mill Creek he built a tub mill, which is supposed to have been the first water mill in Randolph County. The area became known as Currence Mill Creek, later the Currence was dropped but the name is still "Mill Creek".

William built Currence Fort in 1774. He maintained it during Dunmore's War and later during the Revolutionary War until his death by Indians while on a scouting party two miles south of the fort. The fort was used by soldiers and spy rangers, who moved from fort to fort. He is listed as a signer of a 1776 petition to the Virginia Assembly in Richmond.

He was killed by an Indians on October 7, 1780 or May 12, 1781 (I found it both ways) at the age of 64. Frank Riffle (we are also related to the Riffle family) was also killed on the same day in the same area. According to one of the books I found online William Currence's family tried in vain to stop him from taking the "ill fated trip". His son was sent to the field for a horse and returned with the excuse that the animal could not be caught. But the father was persistent, and under threats of punishment the lad brought the horse to his father. William was then shot and killed by an Indian’s rifle.

Randolph Co., History by Bosworth; p. 334-339.
Randolph Co., History by Maxwell; p. 359.
"Warnaar Hornbeck Descendants", p 256,
'The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia', Vol 6, p 1214. 
Vol 4, p 17, Magazine - History and Biography Published by Randolph County Historical Society. National Number 45 3703.
"The Mace Family in America, A Genealogy and History 1720-1990" by Gretchen Ann
Mace Velasco, p 15,
"Bicentennial History of Randolph County, West Virginia", by Donald L Rice, p 7

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hello World!

Erin and Dan here — history buffs and the biggest nerds you know. We love genealogy and thought it would be fun to have a place where we could share some of the interesting stuff we have found since we started looking into our family history. I know some of you relations have been asking for information so we thought this would be the easiest way. This way I won't have to look at your glazed eyes when I tell you in person about various ancestors I have found information on. You can read this at your leisure. Also if any of you relatives have any info you want to contribute let us know and we can make you an author too.

When I was a little girl I loved sneaking into my mom's cupboard where she would keep her genealogy stuff. I loved reading the stories and seeing the pictures. I heard it said once that you only hear the stories from whatever branch of your family is the loudest. More likely in the past we only had documents and histories from certain family members. Now through the miracle of the internet we have been finding many more stories that we didn't know where out there.

I really started working on family history a few years ago for a church calling and have just kept going. I have gotten Dan into it too and it is something fun we like to do together. I have mostly been working on my grandmother's line from West Virginia. She died when I was seven so I haven't known much about her family in the past. It was also supposedly the line that needed the most work. I have been breaking down roadblocks on that line and it has been fun. I have been learning a lot about history in the process. Kind of makes me wish I had taken more history classes in school. For example I didn't know that West Virginia used to be a part of Virginia. It was all one state until the Civil War and then they formed the state of West Virginia out of a bunch of counties that didn't want to join the Confederacy. Cool stuff. 

Anyway on this blog we will share little bits of our family tree and profile random ancestors and their stories. We will be sure to include which grandparent that ancestor is related too. That way you will all know which posts to be the most interested in. We will try and profile ancestors from all our different lines. I think this will be really fun even if it only helps us find new stories. Enjoy.