Monday, November 29, 2010

Nicholas Isch

  • Name: Nicholas Isch
  • Born: July 7, 1836 Oberwil, Bern, Switzerland
  • Died: May 5, 1915 Gridley, Kansas
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton

Nicholas Isch was christened July 17, 1836 in Oberwil, Bern, Switzerland to Johann David and Maria Haeuselmann Isch. One history says he was born July 7, 1836.

He was of the Apostolic Christian faith, becoming a believer in 1858 and was baptized in Switzerland, at the age of twenty two. He came to America in 1859, settling in Illinois. Here he married Maria Sommer, January 18, 1863 in Woodford County, Illinois. On the marriage license Woodford is crossed out and Peoria written above.

They moved to Kansas in 1879 and located on a farm northwest of Gridley. Nicholas was a hard working farmer, he had very strict principles, they spoke German in their home.

On January 21, 1884, at the age of 47 years, he became a citizen of the United States in Burlington, Coffey County, Kansas. On his citizenship papers, the word sworn was crossed out and affirmed was written above.

Nicholas and Mary had 11 children. There were three sons and eight daughters including our ancestor Bertha.

He was quiet, a hard worker, very small and stooped with bushy eyebrows. Some of the boys teasingly called him, "Old Nick." He died in Kansas on May 5, 1915 at the age of 78.

Thanks to Grandma Melva for providing us this history.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

William Carson

  • William Carson
  • Born: November 24, 1745 Downs, Ireland
  • Died: October 14, 1824 Mifflin, Pennsylvania
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Elvira Wilde Langford

William Carson was born on Nov. 24, 1745 to Aaron Carson and Bridgette Fleming in County Downs, Ireland. The family left the southern part of Ireland and arrived in the British Colonies, settling in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.
William married Ruth Sherman of Oak Ridge, Shelby, Pennsylvania on Dec. 20, 1770. They settled in Mifflin County, Penn., where their first child Elizabeth was born. They had two more children, John Carson and Polly Ann (Mary) Carson before the American Revolution began. William enlisted and fought under General George Washington, in the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776. He stayed in the army for the duration of the war.

He returned to his family after the war. They had six more children. The youngest was our ancestor George. Both William and Ruth stayed in Mifflin, where he died on Oct. 14, 1824.

Thanks to John Pratt for providing this history on his family history website.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Birgithe Jensen

  • Name: Birgithe Jensen Madson
  • Born: July 23, 1853 Dronninglund, Denmark
  • Died: September 15, 1932 Salem, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandfather James Madson

Birgithe Jensen Madson was born in Dronninglund, Longenhjoring, Denmark on July 23, 1853 to Paul M. and Meta Kyerstine Olsen Jensen. She was their first child and was probably names after her father's first wife, Birgithe Christensdatter, who died after only five years of marriage. (No childrens were born of that marriages that we can locate). Birgithe had a little sistter, Annie Johanna (Hannah), who was was born in 1860. These two girls were born as Poulsen according to the patronymic system in Denmark; however they took the name Jensen, their father's surname, when they came to America.

She was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints April 22, 1866 by Peter Nelson and confirmed by him. After the family accepted the gospel they emigrated from Denmark to Utah in 1866. They arrived in Salt Lake City October 8, 1866 and settled in Spanish Fork. They dug a dugout to store their things and lived in a tent until they could build a two room adobe house. Her father made the adobe for the house and Birgithe and her sister Hannah helped mix the mud and water for them. They would get in barefoot and run around and dance and had all kinds of fun doing it.

Birgithe had no chance to go to school after she got to this country and had very little schooling in Denmark. She estimated about a year in all. She went to work about a year after she came and worked until she was married at the age of 16 to James Ephraim Madson. They were married in the endowment house in Salt Lake City by Daniel H. Wells. They lived in Salem until his death in 1914 and she continued to live there except for a short time when she lived with her only daughter, Delia, because of poor health. She passed away September 15, 1932 and is buried in Salem, Utah.

Some of her memories of the trip from Denmark have been recorded by Delia for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. (As a side note Birgithe's daughter Bodil "Delia" was named for her now famous cousin Bodil Mortensen who froze to death in the Willie Handcart Company.)

She stated they left a comfortable home, sold everything they could and came to Utah for the sake of the gospel. Birgithe was 13 and her sister Hannah was six at the time. They sailed on the ship Kenilworth from Hamburg, Germany in May of 1866 with 684 Scandinavian Saints on board under the direction of Samuel D. Sprague and landed in New York on July 17.

Birgithe's parents - Poul Marrtines Jensen and Mette Kjerstine Olsen
When they were on the ocean the ship caught fire. Birgithe’s father was acting as guard that night. While he was making his rounds a man who was sitting up with his sick wife showed him where the fire had burned a big round hole in the ship. Our great-grandfather could not speak a word of English so he had a hard time giving the alarm, but finally he made one of the deck hands understand. Some of the crew was very frightened. They thought the ship was sinking, but it was only the water they were using to put out the fire and it was not long before the captain came and told them not to the afraid; the fire was out and they would soon be on their way. It took eight weeks to cross the ocean. In New York they were advised to take a condemned train because it was so much cheaper. They were eleven days on the train as they went through Canada.

When they arrived in Boston, a friend of theirs, Mrs. Christanna Peterson, became ill and died, leaving her eight-year-old granddaughter, Mary Jensen, who was migrating with her alone. Mary traveled the rest of the way to Utah in the care of Birgithe’s parents. She became Birgithe’s companion – walking most of the way across the plains with her.

When they were nearing Chicago the Elders warned them to be real quiet as there might be a mob waiting for them if they found out they were Mormons. One fellow refused to close the window he was sitting by in the train, as he had been asked to do. He kept sticking his legs out and when they stopped, someone from outside grabbed them and hung onto them. After that he was glad to close the window.

The mob put rocks in the track thinking it would cause the train to run off into the lake. But it seemed as if the Lord was with them for by some miracle it ran off the opposite way into a forest of trees and bushes. Quite a few were shaken up and received cuts and bruises, but otherwise were unharmed.

They came down the Missouri River on a flat boat. While on this boat a crazy woman furnished them with amusement. The cooks were peeling apples and she asked for one and they gave it to her. Then she kept asking for more and was told she could not have any more so she watched for her chance and grabbed the pan and threw them all into the river. Another time she took a bath in the water they kept in a large stone jar for drinking. The Mormons were not allowed to drink that water; they had to drink river water. I suppose the sailors preferred the river water too after that incident.

At Omaha they were met by wagons from Utah and left on August 8th with Andrew L. Scott’s ox train. Hans Rigtrup was their teamster. There were 200 people in this company with 49 wagons. Thirty members of this company died while crossing the plains. All that were able had to walk so Birgithe, Mary and her mother had to walk most of the way. Hannah was only six years old and not very well so she was allowed to ride.

It was hard to keep in shoes. Birgithe’s mother made shoes of old felt hats or anything she could get to try and keep their feet covered. She was a very good dressmaker and used her skill on the shoes. But they didn’t last long and often their feet were sore and bleeding from walking so much. Grandfather Jensen had been in comfortable circumstances in the old country and sold out for what money he could get and then helped many immigrants who were less fortunate than himself by lending them money. Some were anxious to pay him back and did so as soon as they could, but he received nothing from others.

When they were in Laramie, Wyoming, Birgithe and Hannah were walking down the road together and an old lady stepped out of a log house and caught hold of Hannah and took her in the house. Both girls screamed until their father came. The old lady explained that she wanted to keep the child. She said she looked delicate and would never live to cross the plains. The old lady took them in afterward and gave them a good meal which Birgithe did not share as she could not be found. Hannah crossed alright and lived to be over 70 years old.

James Madsen family about 1893
Top row: James, John, Joe, Enoch
Middle row: Ervin, Frank
Seated: Delia, Father James, Elmer, Mother Birgithe, Will

James Ephraim and Birgithe immigrated at the same time, but she did not meet him until she came to Spanish Fork. He was the only one of his family to come to Utah and his parents and sisters seemed to think he had disgraced them by joining the Mormons. After they were married they moved to Salem and built a dugout to store their things. They camped in a wagon until they could build a one-room adobe house for which her father made the adobe. Birgithe was often left alone while her husband was away freighting or working in the canyon. She was sometimes quite frightened of the Indians. She often went into the fields gleaning wheat and thought nothing of walking to Spanish Fork to visit her parents. A few years later they built a larger house, a two-room adobe, and as the family grew they added on to it. As they prospered a little they build a ten-room brick house.

She became the mother of eight sons and one daughter. Granddaughter, Bea Kimball, remembers sitting on the porch of the Salem home and watching Birgithe make beautiful beaded necklaces which she gave to her grandchildren. Grandma would say, “Are you a princess, I’m making this for a princess.” This was typical of her interests and talents and love for her family.

Another granddaughter, Hattie Madson Knight, would always look forward to a visit from Grandma Madson each summer. How she got to Idaho she didn’t know, but she would spend about a week with each family – John, Frank and Irvin. She would sit for hours and teach Hattie to tat and crochet. She was an expert at both. She had a painful hip and used a cane during her later years. Her needlework was beautiful and given generously to each family.

Her husband passed away on March 26, 1914 after a useful and exemplary life. He was always a hard worker and kept busy until almost a week before his death, although he had been ill for almost two years. He served for many years a chairman of the Board of Education and was an active church worker. She was also kept busy in the church. She was treasurer in the Relief Society for 27 years. She spent many hours making temple clothes for the dead and other sewing that was needed.  She helped lay out the dead and waited on the sick. She was also active in religion classes for many years.

Birgithe was of a cheerful, happy disposition and a good wife and mother. She always thought of the welfare of others and did a good turn whenever she could. Through her many trials she always tried to look on the bright side of things.

This history was written and compiled by Hattie Madson Knight, 1976.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rowane Moon

  • Name: Rowane Moon 
  • Born: December 20, 1865 Farmington, Utah
  • Died: September 4, 1932 Tremonton, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandmother Margaret Udy Hanni 

I, Rowane Moon Udy, am going to attempt to write a short sketch of my life. My father, Henry Moon, was born March 29, 1819 at Eccleston, Lancashire, England. My mother, Temperance Westwood was born August 19, 1839 in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England. This date being my mother’s birthday, I have been thinking of a great many things pertaining to life and how I would like a written history of my parents’ life as they joined the Mormon Church in England and were among the early pioneers of Utah. I was born December 20, 1865 at Farmington, Utah of good parents. I had seven brothers and five sisters: Robert Henry, Joseph Hyrum, Hannah Temperance and Elenora, (I, being the fifth), Henry Moroni, Edmund, Phillip Westwood, Lelia Olive, Mercy Eveline, Louise Westwood, Albert and Franklin Everett.

As I am now 63 years and eight months old at this data and hope my children will start earlier in life to write something of themselves, and not be as neglectful as their mother. This is a busy world, and we do neglect so many important things which we will be held responsible for. And as a great many dates have gone from my memory, I will not attempt to tell very much but hope my children will take the time to look this over.

I being born on a cold December night and have heard my parents mention it. With two feet of snow on the ground, father had to break a road with an ox team to the nearest neighbors for help, which was Sister Margaret Lenord, who never had any children and no experience. But they were good Latter-day Saints and had faith and trusted in the Lord, and I got here all right but not without much suffering for my mother who did [not] have many comforts in the home as we have these days. But she always trusted the Lord to help her, and by her faith in him she was blessed.

A few years of my early childhood was spent in Salt Lake City, where father was bishop. I can just remember living there and moving to Farmington, where my girlhood and happy school days were spent. I always loved the Sunday School and was a teacher when I was fifteen. The primary, I remember so well when it was first organized, and I was one of the first members. Also the Mutual Improvement association [in which I] was a member.
Mural depicting first LDS Primary — Farmington, Utah
Our home was in the north part of Farmington so we had to walk two miles to meetings in those days. It did not mean very much to walk; but in these days the young people would, I guess, think it a long walk. My girlhood days were very happy. I had many good friends, good parents and good brothers and sisters, all of whom I loved dearly. I loved all the beauties of nature, the trees, birds, flowers, the meadows and hills. I loved to wander by the beautiful streams of clear water, bathe in the water of the Salt Lake, and dance on the grass in the grove of trees where we held our celebrations. All this comes back to my mind, and I think I did make good use of my time. Father owned a good farm and among other good things was a peach orchard [from] which we were supposed to dry the fruit to buy our clothes. We sure worked hard picking, cutting and spreading out to dry. In the fall of the year we would haul them to Salt Lake in a wagon and buy our clothes for winter, not like the clothes we buy now, just the material to make them. We had to do the sewing, so it was all interesting. I worked out some, helping people with housework for $1.50 a week to help buy my trousseau, for I was thinking of getting married.

Thomas James Udy
On the 19th of July 1883, I was married to Thomas J. Udy at Farmington and was very happy, but [we] made a great mistake when we did not go to the Temple to be married. This is something I always regretted and worried over all my life. I loved my husband, and he loved me in return and promised that he would go to the temple and be sealed.

But time went on, and it was neglected. Oh that word neglect. My eyes fill with tears; I can hardly stand to think how I worried over it. We were so happy with each other, but there was always that feeling that we had not done as we should.

October 19, 1884 our first darling baby boy [Thomas “J”] came and the joy he brought to our home we surely did rejoice. We named him after his father. Time went on, and still [I had] that desire, stronger than ever, to have our temple work done. [On] September 15, 1886 another dear baby boy was born to us. We named him Edmund. How our family was increasing. My husband thought we better be getting some farmland. He had worked up to this time in the blacksmith business with his father.

The spring of 1887 he went to the Bear River Valley and made a homestead entry on 160 acres of dry land covered with sagebrush. He went to the hills, got logs and built our first little home, just one room [and] we were happy to have that as our own. It was sure hard to make a living — a well 60 feet deep and the water not good, the land to clear of brush, no fence to keep out the range stock, one team of horses to do the work with a walking plow. So much different now, with the tractor and modern machinery. There were many drawbacks: grasshoppers, drought, our first crop did not amount to much, a lot of hard work, some sad experiences, etc. My husband worked wherever he could get it for one dollar a day. I sure felt sorry for him, with a family to keep; and he had to leave me and our dear children in such a lonesome place with the howling wolf and roving Indian and neighbors nearly two miles away. We were happy when he would come home. As winter drew near, we knew we could not stay there, so [we] went to Farmington where there was more chance for work. By this time we were further away from having the temple work done that I so much desired. We were not attending to our duties as we should, [and] we did not have the money to fix up to go. When spring came, we were ready to go back to our dear little lonesome home. We were glad to be in our own home again. We had enjoyed the winter with our folks, and they were very good to us. The summer of 1888 was another hard time to make a living out. In a way we were happy, and the Lord blessed us with good health, which we were very thankful for. As winter drew near, we could see we could not stay in this place, so [we] made our way back to Farmington and rented a room for the winter.

On January 12, 1889, my sweet little brother, Franklin, died very sudden from croup. He was the baby of the family and the first to go out of a family of thirteen children. We sure mourned to lose him and such shock to us all, but we had to say the Lord’s will be done. I was too sick to go see him. The day after his death, on the 13th, our first sweet little girl [Rowane] was born. We were happy over the birth, but it was such a sad time, mother and all feeling so bad. In seven more weeks (I haven’t got the date) [7 March 1889], my brother, Robert, the eldest in the family, died very suddenly of heart trouble. [It was] another sad time for us, and we could not go see him as the winter was bad and his home was at Woodland, Summit Co. When spring came we went back to our home, dear to us, for it was our own. We were ready to start in and work harder than ever to try and get a start, but it was a hard struggle to get anything ahead but a scant living, but with saving and trying we kept a going. This summer’s crop was some better, but the grain had to be hauled about 40 miles to market and sold for 35 and 40 cents a bushel. So much different now, and still I don’t think people appreciate the difference that haven’t went through it.

As winter drew near, we decided to stay home and try it out on poverty flat, as this place was then called. The wood for fire had to be hauled from the hills, which was hard work. We did not have money to buy coal, if there had been any to buy. We spent a happy winter together with our three dear little children, and we kept well. It was very cold — the snow about three feet deep and lots of wind. I am just writing this down from memory of the past and hope you, my children, will not complain but will appreciate your homes and families and be as thankful as we were. Be honest with everybody, do what is right, live good clean lives and it will all help to make you happy. I know you can live better lives than we have and can attend to the duties of life as going to church etc., as we did not have the clothing and the ways to go as you have.

In the years 1890-91 the Bear River Canal was built. There was plenty of work and times were some better for us. The winter of 91 was very cold, with lots of snow. Our three children all had the whooping cough and were very bad with it and were just at the worst, when on the 2nd of March, our fourth child, a dear sweet boy [Henry], was born. When I think of it now, what we had to put up with, I wonder how we did it. I had faith in the Lord and my prayers were answered. We got along all right, without doctor or nurse, just a neighbor lady who lived about four miles away, and the elders who were sent for who prayed for me that I might live and raise my family. I am thankful our prayers were answered.

I was always praying that the time would come when we could go to the temple and have our temple work done. Little did I think then that I would have to go alone with my children to have it done. And I wonder why did it had to be this way, for husband and wife were never dearer to each other than we. But it was neglected — put off too long. Oh, why do we put off important things? I do hope it will all be made right in the end to come. Time went on. As usual, each year our harvest was some better, we were picking up and buying more land so there was more work and we were rich because we were happy trying to make a living for our dear family. The boys were getting to be so much help.

The winter of '92 and '93 was coming on, and we were expecting a new arrival in our family. We were wondering what to do, as there was no help to be got here, when a letter came from mother saying: don’t think of staying there, come to Farmington and we will take care of you. Just like a mother, so thoughtful and wanting to do all they can for their children. To Farmington we went on January 1, 1893. I stayed with my dear sister Hannah King. She and her husband were sure kind and good to me. My husband helped his father in the shop and kept the older boys with him. On the first day of April 1893 a dear baby boy [Horace] was born to us. A sweeter faced baby was never born I don’t think. We were nearly broken hearted when we discovered his little feet were deformed. We had doctors come and look at them. They did not seem to know what was the best thing. A dear lady at Kaysville, hearing of our baby, came to see me as she had a baby with feet the same, who said the doctor wanted to cut the cords, but she would not let him. She advised me not have them cut, as her son was now 16 years old and all right. She told me and showed what to do to rub and bandage and pray and ask the Lord to help. I was willing to do anything to make them as they should be. It seemed to me very slow progress and a long time before they seemed to get much better. As he grew older, I worried and wondered if he would ever be able to walk. But my faith in the Lord was strong that my prayers would be answered, and I [knew I] must not give up but keep on working and praying. In November 1898 my mother-in-law died very suddenly. Grandpa wanted us to stay with him throughout the winter, which we did. He took so much comfort with our darling baby. Horace is what we named him. He would crawl all over the house to find grandpa who would hide and play with him.

When spring came we went back to our home, and as usual, were glad to be home again. Be it ever so humble, there’s is no place like home - just one room and five little children and a loving husband and father who had to work hard to support us. We were thankful for it all, and we were blessed with good health. The summer was more prosperous. We had another well dug, but not much better water. [We] built another room on to our little house, which was a welcome addition, as was the darling baby girl born September 17, 1894. We named her Mabel. Horace was just beginning to try to walk. I was sure thankful to have him walk, but oh how pitiful to see his poor little feet so deformed. He was so good-natured and seemed so happy. I, having so much work and another baby, was afraid I was not caring for him as I should. As time went on he improved slowly. We had braces and shoes made for him which seemed to help some. October 17, 1896 another darling baby girl was born and was welcome at our home. We named her Abbie Louise.

The summer of ‘96 was hot with lots of work to keep us busy. We were getting more land cleared and buying more land and getting more horses, cows, pigs and chickens. We were making a pretty fair living, but our house was small for our family. We could not think of building and always lived on a dry farm and hauled water. The winters were cold with lots of snow. The children had a long way to go to school. We tried to make the best we could out of what we had, and [we] were happy with our family. We would load them all in a wagon and take them with us everywhere we went, for it was not safe to leave them in this lonely place. I don’t recall very many important events that happen along this time. But think if I had written them down there would have been many things worthwhile. I was always wishing we could be where we could go to meetings more often and live nearer the gospel teachings. My constant prayer was for my family, hoping they would grow up right but a poor hand to teach them; hoping and praying that some day we would do better and go to the house of the Lord and do as we should do.

We decided to buy a home and some land at Farmington, but it was hard to know how to leave. I did not want to be separated from part of the family as I knew some would have to be on the dry farm part of the time and I would rather stay here and be all at home together. So in a few years, we sold the Farmington place and continued to exist on the dry farm. There was always plenty of hard work, and we had to be contented. The children were growing up, and how I longed for something better and wished for something better for the children than to grow up here and not be educated as they should and not have much house room nor any conveniences. There was no use to complain. It was all we had, and all we could do was to live in hopes that we would someday have things more convenient and more room for our family and friends and relatives when they came to see us, which they did during the summer. We enjoyed having them come, and they also enjoyed coming. For where there is a will, there’s a way, and there is always room for more and where the room is small you can draw closer together and where there is love in the home there is happiness. We now had our farm fenced and cleared of brush. It seemed more civilized. We had close neighbors one half mile away, a pretty fair school two miles away. Sunday School meeting and of different organization. The children attended these pretty well, but their father did not care to go very often. I thought as we both did not go, I felt like my place was home caring for the family, always praying that some time we would do better and attend to our duties and keep the commandments of the Lord and strive more diligently to serve him as he had blessed us in so many ways. I have always been thankful that I believed in the Lord. [I am] thankful that I belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ, and if my children can see that I have done any good, I hope they will follow that example and the example of their father in being honest, charitable, courageous and try and treat everybody right. Love one another and do all the good you can.

I am forgetting what I started to write. The winter of ‘98 and ‘99 was very, very cold with plenty of snow. Mother came to stay with us during the winter, and we were very thankful to have her with us, although it was not so pleasant for her as our home did not have the comforts I would of liked her to have had, not caring for myself so much, but hoping that some day we would have more room for our family for they were growing up and it sure was hard for us to live like this. On 16 of February 1899, a dear baby boy [Austin] was born to us, and how thankful we were to get along so well and have my dear mother with us who was always so faithful and good. The weather was terrible cold, but we lived through it all, and my biggest worry was my thoughts, “Oh will we ever go to the house of the Lord and have our temple work done.” [I would] think of the family we were raising, how dear they were to us and still how neglectful we were. The tears I have shed and the hours I have laid awake thinking of this no one will ever know. Of course, every one can’t see these things alike; thus we have to suffer. Time went on about as usual as far as I remember. Hot summers with fairly good crops and cold winters with plenty of hard work which kept us healthy and happy—happy because of the love for each other and our family of good children. In the spring of 1903 there was quite a lot of sickness with colds. Everyone in my family had the colds except m self, and I had other ailments but not so serious as I sometimes thought.

On the 23 of March 1903 another sweet baby girl was born to us. We were happy for the safe arrival, and she was welcomed by the whole family. I certainly was thankful to have a good nurse to take care of me every day, for that is the way they did those days. She lived five miles away, and we had to send a team outfit to get her. The nurse was very good to doctor the children's colds. They were soon well again. We named our baby Effie. I can’t recall any thing very important for a year or two. On 2 day of Feb. 1905 our oldest son Thomas was married to Charlotte Archibald and went to live at Plymouth. As usual life went on, and Tommy worked for his father. Their father told the boys if they would work for him and all work together, they could buy more land which they did. They bought some irrigated land at or north of Riverside, which they farmed until in the spring of 1907. [Then] we started to talk of building on the irrigated farm.

On the 28th of May 1907, another dear baby girl [Rhea Mae] was born to us and as usual was welcomed by us all. This was our tenth child. We now had five boys and five girls. We were proud to be the parents of such a good family. So we decided we could afford to build a new home north of Riverside where there was plenty of water to irrigate, and plenty of good water for drinking, and a house which we were looking with thankfulness to get there to live and enjoy that which we never had at the dry farm where we had lived so many years. All summer we were anxious to get to our new home which was being built. I was busy sewing carpet rags to make carpet for the floors and getting ready to move by fall.

Home in Riverside about 1913
Left: Effie and Rhea
Center: Thomas, Temperence Westwood Moon and Rowane
Right: Abbie, Mabel, Horace, Austin (sitting) and Henry.
In October we moved in to our new home. [It was] so much different than our little log cabin which had served us so many years where we had spent so many happy days. I will say nothing of its discomforts, but it served us well, and we could not help shedding a few tears when leaving. [We left] Tommy to move in the old place. I sure felt sorry for him and his young wife and baby, Glenn, our first grandchild to live there. They had buried their first child, a dear little girl. But I think Tommy was glad to move in and take care of the things that had to be left on the farm.

We were very busy at our new home getting ready for winter, which was drawing near with plenty to do finishing and building out buildings. On November 6, Edmund was married to Mary Buxton. Shortly after, our whole family were taken down with the measles and were all very sick, nine here at home with it and Tommy and baby at their home. [This was] the first serious sickness we had had in the family and we were sure thankful to have more room with so much sickness. We were thankful when they were all well again. We spent a very pleasant winter. We were nearer to school and meeting and getting acquainted with now friends, which we enjoyed.

When spring came we were busy with a new kind of work for us: planting trees, gardens and flowers. We were real successful with them all and enjoyed watching everything grow so beautiful. We were enjoying being so comfortable here, but to me there was that longing to have our temple work done, which I had worried about all my married life and did not seem any nearer to having it done. This had been the biggest worry of my life and wondering if we would have it done.

The next fall, after we moved here, our daughter Rowane was married to Robert MacFarlane. We sure missed her in the home, being the oldest now. The two older ones were married. She was so much help which I felt I needed so much. But I knew it was the right thing for her to do if she wished to, and there were others growing up which were very good help also. We were getting along fine financially in our now home with good gardens of what we needed, trees and everything we planted all grew so nicely. By this time we had bought a home in Riverside for Tommy. And Eddie moved to the dry farm for a short time. Then we bought a home at Riverside for him, so we were getting close together again.

Thomas and Rowane Udy Family about 1914
Back row: Horace, Thomas J., Rowane, Edmund and Henry
Front row: Abbie, Thomas James, Austin, Rowane, Effie on lap and Mabel
On the 6th day of November, our next eldest son, Henry, left to fill a mission to the Northern States. It was sad to part with him, but knew it was a duty when we are called or asked to do anything in the church of Latter-day Saints, to respond and do the best we can and trust in the Lord to help us. With faith and prayer we will be blessed. Henry was pleased to go and was interested in the mission work and for eight months was doing fine. But the climate did not agree with him, and he was taken suddenly ill. He was so bad that the president of the mission thought it best that he return home, which he did to his sad disappointment. [The president] realized that he was in a condition that he could not do very much work. But he was faithful and worked in the Sunday School and other duties in the ward. When his health improved some, he worked in the temple, helping mother with some work she was doing in the Temple and which she was thankful to get done. He married Ethel Hales two years after his return home, built a home near ours on the south and was very happy. But his health was getting poor again and shortly after he passed away on the 21 of June 1915, leaving his dear wife and sweet baby girl which was so sad. We all surely mourned his passing away in early manhood and missed him so much. But the Lord knows what is best and knows whom to call, so the Lord’s will be done, not ours. We should trust in the Lord for consolation and pray for his comforting blessings, which I am sure he will give if we ask in faith and believing. In the meantime Horace, our next oldest son, married Ella Pet and built a house on the north of us. We were pleased to have our children near us.

Times were fast changing in many ways. Our boys were still working together on the farms, which were doing well under their good farming and congenial work. The time of the auto cars was here. We were enjoying riding in them, and we were getting other conveniences but with all this there was that longing to have our temple work done and which I feared would never be done as our children were marrying off so fast it seemed to me. On the 14th of February 1917 our next two oldest daughters were married, leaving a large gap in the family circle. Mabel married Frank Munns and Abbie [married] Vern Wood. Our family was sure getting small — just three left to marry of our ten. We were taking care, and living with us was Henry’s little girl, Doris, which we were glad to have. It was so nice to have another baby. Her mother was learning nursing at the hospital.

Now comes the saddest part of my story. I feel like I can hardly write it, for tears blind my eyes of memories gone by. On the 27th of May 1918 my dear husband Thomas James passed away. He was taken suddenly ill and was soon gone. I shall not attempt to say much of this sad event, as you, my children, know all about it, and I cannot control my feelings. It is thirteen years and one month from this day since this sad death happened and the sorrow I have passed through since then no one will ever know. I have tried to keep it to myself as much as possible so as not to make others unhappy too. The Lord’s will be done. I have tried to make the best of it, have prayed for comfort and I know the Lord has blessed me in many ways, blessed me with a good family of sons and daughters who have been very good and kind to me. But, Oh the thoughts of your parents being so neglectful as to put off the most important part of their lives, their temple work. I pray that the Lord may forgive us, and that it will be made right in the time to come.

To start on my story again, after this sad happening my thoughts were what can I do for the best a widow with three children partly grown up and the responsibility I felt like I could hardly endure it. Would that I could train them in the right way, for I was always a poor teacher but always loved the right and want my children to be better teachers to their families than I have been. And forgive me if I haven’t done right by you, for my intentions were good. Time went on. We were doing the best we knew how, and the Lord was blessing us in many ways. The bishop, Brother L. R. Kennard, was very kind to us and gave us good advice in many ways. In the fall of the same year that dreadful disease, the flu, broke out all over the country. Twenty-two of my family were down at once and were very sick. But thank the Lord, they all recovered some after a long time, for it was so bad. We were blessed with means to have them taken care of which we were also thankful for. We did the best we could, and the Lord added his blessings. As time went on we got along very well.

Winter came and oh how lonely for me. The first winter we, my dear husband and I, had ever been parted. I hardly knew what was the best thing to do, but I asked my Heavenly Father to help and comfort me, and I know my prayers were answered. In the spring of 1919 the bishop advised me to go to the temple and have our work done, which I had worried over so much and longed to have done. I had hoped the time would come when we would all go together to the house of the Lord and have that work done which we had neglected for so long. How happy we would be to have it done! But time changes our lives in many ways and all we can do is try and make the best of our lives. On the 28 of May 1919 we went and had the temple work done, which I realized was the best thing we could do now. But how sad that Father could not go with us in life. I was thankful that my children and myself were all counted worthy to go to the house of the Lord and do this great work, and I pray that it will be accepted, Effie was the first to marry after her father’s death. She married Karl G. Welling on the 12th of October 1921. I sure felt bad to see her go, but think it was the right thing to do if she thought so too. On the 19th of December 1923, Austin was married to Mabel Pett. This was my last son to marry, so again I sure felt lonely with only one of my family left at home. I expected all these things to happen and knew it would not be long before I would be left at home all alone. So such is life, and I am thankful that it is no worse, and that I have a good family and a good home, but Oh so lonely. I am thankful for means to live on and don’t suffer for the necessities of life. On the 14th day of October 1927, Rhea was married to Vernon Hess. The last of my family married. The thought came, how, what am going to do, left in the house alone? Something I can never do. So I asked Austin if he would move in part of the house, and I would go to Salt Lake for the winter and work in the Temple. I sure enjoyed the temple work. But to come back home, it all seemed so different and so sad for me. No one will ever know how I felt. I always tried to look on the bright side of life. Now I wondered if there was any brightness for me but with faith and prayer I could see there was much to live for yet.

I came back home in the spring but home was not like the home it use to be. No husband to tell or to advise me what to do. All of my children married — so lonely and wondering what was the best thing for me to do in life. Summer passed away, then fall came. I decided the best thing for me to do was to work in the temple where I could do a little good. In October I went to Logan and enjoyed the temple work very much all winter. I made lots of new friends which I learned to love and enjoy. They were so kind and good to me. I enjoyed being where I could attend meetings of different kinds. The winter passed much more pleasant than I ever thought it possibly could. When spring came, I was ready to come back home again, work outside a little to try and keep things up around my home, but it was hard to do. Everything was getting run down and looked discouraging to me. I worked hard but it did not amount to much. I just kept the burs from going to seed and keeping the place from getting any worse. As fall drew near, I prepared to go work in the temple at Logan again. This was a very early fall and a very cold winter with lots of snow. I had five blocks to go to the temple but never missed a day and attended some of the night sessions and enjoyed it all, for I believed I was doing my duty.

But as usual, I came home in the spring to trudge my weary life away on the farm. And in the fall was ready to go back to the temple work, which I enjoy better than anything else and enjoy the city much better than here at home where I would not be able to go anywhere very often. I love my home and family and love to be among them and enjoy their company, and it is natural when spring comes I want to be nearer to them. This summer, 1930, was a very pleasant one— the centennial year of the church. I went to the grand pageant at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

I remodeled my house a little and made it a little more convenient for me. My granddaughter, Doris, came to see me. I had not seen her for several years. I was sure pleased to see her again. I went on a number of pleasant trips during the summer. I went to the Moon reunion at the park in Weber Canyon, to the Yellowstone park and several other enjoyable canyons and scenes. I have been very neglectful and haven’t written in my diary for over a year.

In the fall of 1930, I went as usual to the Logan temple to work. There is nothing I enjoy so well, and I am thankful I have been blessed with means to go to Logan to live in the winter, which is very pleasant for me. In the spring I enjoy coming home. 1931—the summer has been very dry, but our crops have been fairly good—something to be very thankful for. I made a very pleasant trip to the Cardston temple, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone Park. It all was so wonderful and beautiful. I surely did enjoy it all. In October, I went to Logan to try and locate and rent a room to stay in this coming winter. I am very shaky and can hardly write. My health hasn’t been very good this last summer, but I hope I will be all right when I get to working in the temple.

Rowane Moon Udy died September 4, 1932, in Tremonton Utah.

This history was dated August 19, 1929 at Riverside, Utah. The history was copied by her daughter Effie Udy Welling. The spelling and the entire content were copied exactly as Rowane had written it. It was then copied for the James Udy Reunion, August 1978, and the Moon Reunion, 1978, by Christine Weese Mooney, great-granddaughter of Rowane’s. To make the history more readable for publication, Richard N. Moon made spelling and minor punctuation corrections to the document. Very long sentences were shortened and a word or two were added in a few places for clarification. Every effort was made to retain the style of Rowane’s writing. It can be found in the book The Family of Henry Moon: Mormon Pioneer 1819-1894.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Samuel Rohrbach

  • Name: Samuel Rohrbach
  • Born: February 1, 1856 Erlenbach, Bern, Switzerland
  • Died: August 14, 1949 Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Related through: Erin's grandfather Kenneth Hanni

Samuel Rohrbach was born on February 1, 1856. He died on the14 of August 1949. He was 93 years old. His wife was Margaritha Baehler. She was born on November 1, 1856. She died on the December 21, 1934. She was 78 years old. They had sixteen children. Four of these children died in infancy, five more died while real young. Some died of brain fever, and diphtheria and tuberculosis. Samuel was a watchmaker. They were very strict parents. Margaritha joined the church in Switzerland against her husband’s wishes. But the children were not able to join until they turned 18. They immigrated to the United States in 1922. They sailed from Le Havre, France and  passed through Ellis Island on August 26, 1922. They were both 66 years old. Some of their children had already moved to the Utah by then.

Samuel and Margaritha on ship to America
Granddaughter Jeanette Spencer writes, “My Grandfather was very strict and I was afraid of him. He could not speak English, and so we could not communicate with him. We saw him a few times. He was short and carried a cane, and wore a mustache. He was a watch repair expert. He worked at repairing watches until he grew too old to work on them. He then went to keeping bees, and gathering honey. We remember seeing his beehives, and tasting his honey. Before he became a member of the church, he smoked a pipe. One day he took out his pipe and looked at it and said," That's enough of you. He put his pipe away and never smoked it again. He joined the church in his old age, and attended the temple often. He did hundred of endowments in the temple for those relatives of his who had died. We remember him coming to our house, to take English lessons from my sister Grace. Our Mothers Mother, we only saw about twice. She was sick. She was in bed. She joined the Church over in Switzerland. I believe that our Mother looked a lot like her Mother. Samuel was born in Erlenbach, Canton of Bern. Margaritha was born in Wattenwill, Bern.
Rhorbach family in Switzerland

Rhorbach family in Salt Lake City
Following is a birthday announcement from the newspaper in Salt Lake City.

91st Birthday Awaited by S. L. Resident

Until three years ago — when he was 88—his nimble fingers skin fully manufactured Swiss matches. When he thought he should give that up, his interest turned to the keeping of bees; today that's his prime joy in life.

Rhorbach home in Switzerland
Samuel Rohrbach, 2507 Green St., will observe his 91st birthday Friday in a gathering he began many score of years ago . . . his family circle. Although each birth-day adds another year to his lifetime, the elderly man is in the best of health and daily journeys to the Salt Lake temple, where he is an ardent worker. He never misses Sunday church services at the Nibley Park ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, where he is the eldest ward member.

His birthday observance this year will be a quiet one, with just the family present at the home of a daughter, Mrs. Margaret Durtschi, where he has lived many years.

He was born in Switzerland Feb. 21, 1856, and came to the United States in 1922. He is a veteran Swiss watchmaker, and carried on his favorite vocation when he came to this country. He married Margarita Bahler Feb. 11, 1878. She died about six years ago. The couple was the parents of 16 children, all but six of whom have been outlived by their spry father.

Sons and daughters of Mr. Rohrbach are Mrs. Martha Hanni, Garland, Box Elder County; Mrs. Matilda Spencer, Mrs. Adele Durtschi and Alfred S. Rohrbach, all of Salt Lake City, and Mrs. Bertha Hatt, Biel, Switzerland. Mr. Rohrbach has 28 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

Thanks to Kenneth and Jeanette Spencer for much of this information and to Grandpa Ken for the photos.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

George Carson

  • George Carson
  • Born: July 17, 1794 Mifflin County, Pennsylvania
  • Died: December 20, 1851 Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Related through: Dan’s grandmother Elvira Wilde Langford

George Carson was born on July 17, 1794, the youngest son of William Carson and Ruth Sherman, in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. George married Ann Hough and they had eight children. George and Ann's family had six boys and two girls. The first three were born in Wayne, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania: William in 1818, John in 1819, and Jonathan in 1820. Their fourth child, and our ancestor, Elizabeth was also born in Mifflin County in 1822. Then they moved and had twins George and David who were born in Greene, Wayne Co., Ohio, in 1827, where their son Washington was also born on April 18, 1830.

George and his family were converted to Mormonism through the preaching of Elders David Whitmer and Harry Whitlock at Sugar Creek, Worcester County, Ohio. They joined the saints and moved to Independence, Missouri, where their youngest child Mary Ann was born on March 16, 1833. They were expelled with the other Mormons by mob violence from Jackson County, Missouri. For the next five years lived in Clay County, and then making their home for a brief period in Caldwell County. Then they were driven with their people and went to Adams County, Illinois. In 1851 George migrated with the Mormons to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he died that year on December 20, 1851.

The following account from some of his children was written by David H. Carson of Lehi, Utah, a great-grandson:

"It was in the spring of 1851 that George Carson and his family set out for Utah. In the family group were their children William Carson and family, John and family, Elizabeth and her husband Patison D. Griffith and family, the twins David and George, Washington, Mary Ann and her husband Thomas Bradford Ewings, who were married May 19, 1851.

"At Winter Quarters they were outfitted with the usual stock of supplies for the trip across the plains. The Mormon Emigrant Train in which they traveled was under the direction of Captain Harry Walton. There were sixty wagons in the train. William Huff Carson was the Captain of ten wagons. The journey was long but pleasant. Two deaths occurred on the way. Those were Mother Thompson and Miss Kingsley. She was killed by jumping from a runaway wagon. Then the oxen could smell the blood of slain buffalo they would get mad and this caused a stampede. William's team was the only one that did not run away. He controlled his oxen by means of rope line which he had just put on them.

"The George Carson family arrived in Salt Lake Valley the latter part of September 1851. They went directly to the Little Cottonwood area. On December 20, 1851 George passed away and was buried in Little Cottonwood.”

Thanks to John Pratt for providing this history on his family history website.