What Christmas Was Like for Them

What Christmas Was Like for Them

In my world there are three seasons: baseball, Christmas and family history. These three things are a backdrop to my life as a husband, father, son, and grandfather. It might be a bit unfair to call them seasons because for me none of them really begin and end. I always seem to be engaged in something connected to each of them. But rarely do those worlds ever collide. Today they do in that I want to address Christmas of our forefathers and just what it was like for them. My interest in Christmas is purely accidental. I was raised inClick to continue…

When the Worlds of Westovers and Smiths Collide

When the Worlds of Westovers and Smiths Collide

My great grandfather is Arnold Westover. He married Mary Ann Smith. Both the Westovers and Smiths have great histories. You will learn a lot more about the Smiths in an upcoming video about another Utah pioneer named Albert Smith, of Manti, Utah. But for now I want to focus on his great grandfather, a man with one of the great names in the family, Chileab Smith. Albert’s history speaks of his Ashfield, Massachusetts roots and the strong religious history of the family in the Baptist faith. Chileab was the man in Ashfield, hugely influential and a founder of the BaptistClick to continue…

Longfellow’s Family Story is Our Family Legend

Longfellow’s Family Story is Our Family Legend

The “Albert Smith Project”, as I’ve come to call it, has yielded so much interesting information there is just no way to include it all in the upcoming video. Some of it is so compelling that I still feel a need to share it – including this story here. Father Smith, as the citizens of Manti came to know him, was of the same generation and age as Electa Westover. He connects into the Westover line through the marriage of his granddaughter, Mary Ann Smith, to Arnold Westover in 1914. In advance of the building of the Manti Temple AlbertClick to continue…

Brothers

Brothers

The years of our family history from 1714 to 1834 is something of an emotional journey for me. I think the more we invest in discovering the lives of our ancestors the more they jump off the page and become real to us. Such is certainly true of Jonathan Westover, brother to Jonas Jr. I have learned what a critical role he played in the early history of the family. To be honest, I had never considered him much before doing this research. His journey is part of a compelling story, a story marked by one generation after the otherClick to continue…

Take an Indian to Lunch

Take an Indian to Lunch

When I was a kid my Dad exposed me and my siblings to the satire of Stan Freberg and one of my favorites of all his stuff is the song “Take an Indian to Lunch”, from the classic Stan Freberg album The United States of America. I fear it forever tainted my view of Puritans. We dig deep into the life of Puritan settlers in a serious way with an in-depth look at the life of Jonas Westover Sr. and Jr in our newest video titled Jonas and Jonas: Our purpose behind these videos is simply to present our familyClick to continue…