The Deacon of Killingworth

The Deacon of Killingworth

Last year I shared with you a family history connection we have with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – great American poet and truly one of the “rock stars” of the 19th century. We share with Longfellow the common ancestors of John and Priscilla Alden. Another common ancestor we share is “The Deacon”, as Longfellow referred to him in his famous poem, The Birds of Killingworth. Cousin Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is famous for a lot of things. He was very educated. He spoke ten languages and studied dozens more. He was not only a poet but also a famous educator, teaching forClick to continue…

Baptist Cousins of Piscataway

Baptist Cousins of Piscataway

Today, the 9th of June, I received an email from FamilySearch.org reminding me that my 7th great grandfather, Jeremiah Drake I, would be celebrating his 312th birthday. It is not often that I cannot immediately make the connection between myself and a name on our tree. But for the life of me I couldn’t remember which line the Drakes came through. Confusing to me even more was a memory of someone telling me that we’re related to Sir Francis Drake, the famous explorer of the oceans who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. So I had to go look, if anythingClick to continue…

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…