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…

True Love and Plural Marriage

True Love and Plural Marriage

It is the time of year when my mind wanders to the beautiful cemeteries of Cache Valley. In the years I have lived here I have learned to love these sacred places and the memories of those who rest in peace here. I logged on to Family Search this week not expecting to learn of another family member buried nearby. My feed on Family Search showcased newly uploaded photos of one Anna Clark Hale, who rests now in the cemetery in Preston, Idaho – just about 20 miles north of where I now reside. But is she really family? Well,Click to continue…

Eliza’s Letter

Eliza’s Letter

In catching up on all the family history news I missed over a very busy holiday season I was pleased to see that the Church History Library has at last digitized the letter Eliza Haven Westover wrote to her son Lewis in 1916. This was the letter where Eliza detailed living in Nauvoo as a teenager and witnessing the transfiguration of Brigham Young. We have shared that story before here. I am not sure how many others asked for that to be done. I have been requesting it to be done for more than five years. Eliza Haven Westover wasClick to continue…

The 19th Century Christmas

The 19th Century Christmas

Historians tell us that Christmas in the United States and even the world was not celebrated much prior to Charles Dickens. They claim that the Puritans of Boston banned it and that it was “quite dead” in England of the 18th century. That is all false. While some evidence suggests Christmas was quite different it was not the fragmentary thing they made it out to be in America. In fact, if anything was out of the usual when it came to Christmas it was the Puritan attitude about it. But the Puritans honestly never had a chance with their banClick to continue…

The Life of Ane Marie Jensen Barnhurst

The Life of Ane Marie Jensen Barnhurst

Of the many reasons to be on Family Search few are as important to me than a fairly new feature known as the Family Calendar. It is just a simple timeline tied to your family tree that shows important dates – birthdays, days of passing, marriage, etc. It’s kind of cool because if you set it up right it will send you reminders of these dates via Facebook. Tomorrow’s date marks the passing of Ane Marie Jensen – a pioneer of great significance in the Riggs line. Just who is Ane Marie to me? My grandmother, Maurine Westover, is theClick to continue…