Zena A Westover

Somewhere Daddy is Sleeping

While researching for another project I found myself on the Library of Congress website. It is the kind of online repository I can get lost in forever. There are just so many items of interest.

While there it occurred to me that perhaps I could find items of interest related to Family History. I was expecting to find photos of places. Instead I found this gem – copies of sheet music published in 1920. The song is called “Somewhere Daddy is Sleeping”. The words to this song were written by Aunt Zena. As I marveled at the discovery my mind raced: Is this our Zena A. Westover?

Going to Zena’s history on Family Search confirmed it. Sure enough, it says “Another talent she had was to write poetry. She had a song published “Somewhere Daddy Is Sleeping” about a soldier killed in the first world war.”

This is exactly the kind of detail I love discovering about our ancestors. What insight!

Somewhere Daddy is Sleeping

Somewhere Daddy is Sleeping

Somewhere Daddy is Sleeping

PDF of the sheet music for Somewhere Daddy is Sleeping

Zena A Westover

Taken around 1908 this is Zena, on the right, with her sister Myrtle (on the left), with their sheep (in the middle)

Manti Temple Workers 1886

Photo Forensics in Family History

I have been spending a lot of time in the world of Albert Smith for an upcoming video we hope to release. That, of course, comes with an always challenging effort to find images to help tell his story.

The best and perhaps most beloved photo of Albert is this one, showing him late in life with one of his wives:

Albert And Sophie

This photo has been mired in controversy for decades. That is most definitely Albert Smith, seated in the chair wearing the checkered suit. But the question comes from the woman pictured — is it Rhoda Gifford Smith or Sophie Klauen Smith?

Albert Smith lost his first wife, Esther, in 1856. As was common in the 19th century Albert began looking for a new companion because survival on the farm demanded it. He found a widow, Rhoda Gifford, who was likewise in need of a spouse and they married.

This was in 1857 — right after the arrival of the Willie Handcart Company. Grandma Sophie’s story has been told. Together, with Albert and Rhoda, Sophie went to the endowment house on Valentine’s Day 1857 and were sealed at the same time.

Albert Smith was suddenly a polygamist.

It wasn’t a happy arrangement and we’ll get into that in the video. For now though, let it suffice to say that Rhoda and Albert divorced in 1865 — long before the photo above was taken.

The picture above was taken by George Edward Anderson, a photographer born in 1860. This article from the September 1973 Ensign tells his story. The photo above was found in his collection of images dating from 1880-1928.

We know that Albert died in 1892. So this picture was taken between 1880 and 1892 — long after Rhoda was out of the picture. That woman in the photo is Grandma Sophie.

Mystery solved.

But in the resolution of one mystery comes yet another. And that is in this image:

Who are these people?

The photo is the next in sequence taken in Anderson’s Springville studio. It is likewise marked “Albert Smith”.

Looking at this couple do you suspect they are married? Or could they be brother and sister?

I have not figured it out yet. The records I’ve found of Albert Smith Jr. are so far pretty scant. He was married in 1883, just 22 years old, to Caroline Nielsen.

Looking at her records, which includes a few images, the woman in the photo above is definitely NOT Caroline. She and Albert Jr had three children in the 1880s — two sons and a little daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who died, along with Caroline, in 1889.

The journal of Albert Smith records a little about this period of time, with letters flying back and forth among the various family members. Not only did Albert Jr suffer from devastating news but sister Albertina, four years older, died in childbrith in June of 1890 in Huntington, Utah. Albert’s journal speaks of Albert Jr. returning to the Smith home in Manti with at least five of the grandchildren to stay with them a while.

I could be wrong — and probably I am wrong — but something tells me that might be a picture of Albert Jr and Mary Ann Humble sometime before they were married in December 1891.

Mary Ann Humble had been married before to a man named Clark Brinkerhoff. She was his 2nd wife. He was sent on a mission and while he was gone the Manifesto came out. With that he never returned to Mary Ann and the child they had together. In 1891 she married Albert Smith Jr, and he adopted the son Mary Ann and Clark had together.

Missing for me in identifying the picture above are the critical details in the histories of Albert Smith Jr and Mary Ann Humble.

Whoever these people are — they knew Albert Sr. and Sophie, because this picture very obviously was taken at the same time and paid for by Albert Smith in the studio of George Edward Anderson in Springville, Utah.

Note: I’m still combing through Anderson’s sizable collection but I did find this image of Manti Temple Workers taken in 1886. I’m wondering if there are any Smiths, Nielsons or Snows recognizable in these faces.

Manti Temple Workers 1886

The War Letters of Carl P. Begich

We are excited to announce the addition of the Carl P. Begich Collection to the photo section of WFH.

Included in this collection is a small batch of Begich family images. Also included in this collection are the war time letters of Carl P. Begich written from September 1943 to May 1945, the month that he died.

It is a huge collection and a project that has taken hundreds of hours of work. These letters were scanned, optimized and organized by Matt Westover, a great grandson, who continues to work of transcription.

The letters are an important record. They provide much of what we know about Grandpa Carl and we believe they will yield some genealogical clues in furthering the Begich family research efforts.

Carl was born of Yugoslavian immigrants in northern Minnesota in 1919. He met Winifred C. Welty in New York in 1942, married her and together they brought forth a daughter in January 1943. That daughter is my mother. They were together as a family only until February 1943, when he was shipped off for training. We do not have the letters written from when he entered the Army until September 1943. But the collection from September 1943 to his death is included here and is quite comprehensive.

Carl was a reporter before the war and had desires to document his experience and produce a book after the war. Much of what is in these letters are notes to that end. But these are personal letters as well and they reveal much of his as a man, as a son, as a father, as a patriot, as American. He died when he was only 26.

The project to digitize these images is an important one. Now anyone in the family studying World War II has an eyewitness perspective thanks to these letters. We are certain this record will prove valuable for generations to come.

Arnold Westover

Arnold and Mary Ann Westover Photos Added

We’re excited to announce the addition of the Sam Westover Collection to our photo archives. Sam is Arnold‘s grandson (Gordon is his father). This is the bulk of photos taken by Arnold and Mary Ann Westover during their lives.

Mary Ann was an avid family historian who did a LOT of work. In fact, much of the history we have on the Westover and Smith lines comes from her or is confirmed through her archives. These images are well organized, mostly identified, and well cared for. It is an exciting collection to have.

Almost all images have been uploaded although I’m still grappling with a few huge files that I have to resize. They will be added as soon as possible.

If you’re new to our photo galleries you should know that as you click through the pages to see each “album” as Mary Ann organized them you can click on any particular image. That will open a “filmstrip” that will give you a larger size of the image against a dark background. If there is data embedded that provides identifying information of people, places and dates that information is shown at the bottom of the screen. You can right click to “save as” on any image.

You can also add comments to any photo and we encourage you to do so. We are hoping folks who see and recognize some of these images will share new information that maybe we don’t know about a person or a situation in the image. Any kind of memory should be added, if possible.

While we put these images behind a security screen we DO encourage you to copy and keep these images as part of your private collections. The more people who archive these images the longer they will survive.

I did get that question the other day: How are we “saving” this information on the website? I keep a backup of all files. But I am counting on people copying text, video, pictures and files for their own records. As before, the more people who do this the longer this information lasts. Hard copy duplication of these records are also being worked on and will be part of the efforts ongoing just so that we can access information in the days ahead if we no longer have access to digital venues.

As for the image at the top of this post — I just love it. I’m too young to have a living memory of Grandpa Arnold Westover but in discussing him recently with my father he told me of a time he spent working with Grandpa Westover when he was in his teens. I thought Dad would appreciate this image — I think it just tells his story well based on all I’ve read and learned about him. Here is the full image:

Arnold Westover