All posts by Marian Bulford

My friend Ruby….

……..of Morin Heights Quebec now of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, is 93 years old.

I have known her for about three years. We talk for an hour every day about her young life and all sorts of interesting subjects. I find her quite open minded with regard to religion, the latest news on the radio, world affairs and articles I download and read to her, as her eyesight is failing.

Ruby was born in Morin Flats, as it was called until 1911, when the name was changed to Morin Heights.[1] There were 5 children in the family, one boy and four girls.

Her great-grandparents were pioneers who came to the area from Ireland in the 1800’s possibly due to the potato famine. Her parents met and married and worked a cattle and dairy farm first in the 1890’s in Leopold, Quebec, but when family started to arrive they moved to Morin Heights so the children could be educated, and they ran the family farm, called ‘The Red and White Farm’ where Ruby was born.

The first settler in Morin was Thomas Seale, from Connaught, Ireland, who had started clearing his farm at Echo Lake in 1848. Families that had originated as pioneers in Gore, Mille Isles and other townships settled Morin along with emigrants directly from Ireland.[2]

The first Census in the area was the 1861 Census of Morin Flats, County of Argenteuil, Quebec, Canada and many of the 470 people named on it when I read them out to her, were familiar to Ruby either as family, friends, or neighbours’ names.[3] So it would seem the residents of Morin Heights tend to stay put!

Ruby’s family farm had four Jersey milk cows, one Holstein, which she tells me gave ‘blue milk’ which was fat free milk, one Ayrshire and 2 Clydesdale horses and some chickens. The family farmed hay, oats, corn and buckwheat. The River Simon ran through their property and Ruby often fished for perch and bass, and her mother cooked them for the evening meals. Ruby told me that they had a small spring next to the river from which her father piped water, into the barn and the house, and that the water was ‘fresh, cold, and the best water around’

In the winter, Ruby had to shovel snow, help in the kitchen and anything else that needed to be done. As she told me ‘We were never bored, we had no time to be bored’
In April, all the family spent a week in the fields, with the ‘stone boat’ a large piece of wood, with ropes at each end. All in a row, and bending down the family cleared the whole field of stones and debris, putting them on the ‘stone boat’ and either pulling it as they went or hitching up one of the horses.

 

Stone boat  A STONE BOAT

 

The stones would then be piled in a corner of the field, often higher than the children and then Father could plough and sow the fields.

At 4am every day, her Father would rise, curry and comb the horses, clean and feed the animals put wood in the wood burning stove and boil the kettle. By that time Mother was up and the family day began. In summer and spring, Father would milk the cows then put the milk into the metal churns, take it to the road running outside the property and leave it for pickup. Once a week, they received a cheque.

Some milk would be kept back for Mother to make her butter, to sell in the village for extra income. It was Ruby’s job to churn the wooden churner, with the family dog standing very close by, waiting for the butter milk he knew he would get at the end of the churning. Her mothers’ dairy was scoured daily and kept spotless. After the butter was churned and firm, which could take up to three hours or longer, her mother would take the two large wooden paddles and shape the butter into one pound blocks. Then they were wrapped in parchment paper for the trip to the village to sell them at the local shop.

Ruby commented, that in the winter months cows are usually ‘dry’ and calving but Father still had plenty to do. He would go into their woods, and bring out the huge trees, and ‘skin’ them ready for the warmer months, and on the first day of February, he would go to the river and cut huge ice blocks, bring them back and store them in sawdust in the barn, ready for the ice-box in the summer.

When spring came, the cows had fresh green grass, and a herb called Sorrel that they loved to eat, the butter was a beautiful yellow. In the winter, and early spring however, when the cows could not get the lush grass and herbs, Mother had to add a drop of carotene to make the butter look more attractive.

butter churn  CHURNING THE BUTTER

 

The barn which Father built by hand, was very large, clean and warm and held the cows and two Clydesdale horses. Clydesdale’s can grow to over 18 hands tall. A hand is four inches, so this would be 72 inches or 6 feet. A horse is measured from the ground to its withers. If you feel at the end of a horse’s mane, you will find a small flat spot, which is the withers. [4]

Ruby Father granddad.JPG
RUBY’S FATHER WITH THE CLYDESDALE HORSE

Ruby said that the horses drank an enormous amount of water daily and they had to have their water buckets filled three times a day. They were gentle and calm and the children never felt afraid being in their presence, unlike the Jersey cows! One day, she said, one of the Jerseys kicked her younger sister for no reason and the next day, Father sold her! The Jersey cow, not the sister.

The barn was kept free of rodents by the barn cats, who were never allowed in the house, but fed daily at milking with warm milk given to them on the porch by Mother. The house was lit by oil lamps until Ruby left home at 16 and for a few years afterwards. On a Saturday, it was Ruby’s job to wash the glass chimneys trim the wicks and fill all the lamps in the home. She would also walk to Christieville a long walk, to pick up the mail and shop.

The cast iron wood stove was where Mother did all of her cooking and baking. Ruby said, Mother never made cookies, they were too expensive! Everything else was home made. During the hot days doors and windows were always kept open for a clear draft through the house, to cool the cook.

The girls went berry picking in the summer, looking out for bears whom they could see had left their imprint, whilst they too, picked the berries. Always on 12 July, next to the river, they had a celebration picnic of the ‘Glorious 12th’ an Irish holiday celebrating the Battle of the Boyne where the Protestant King, William of Orange ‘beat the Catholics’ in 1690.

Ruby was home schooled until she was about seven years old, as before that it was too far and too cold for a youngster to walk or ski to school. Of course, there were no school buses. Ruby frequently skied to school in winter and walked there and back in Summer. Occasionally, if the snow was very deep her father would hitch the Clydesdale’s to the sled and take them to school, but not very often as he was too busy!

The one room school house for the high school children, had one teacher, hired from England and he taught them every subject, at every level, including French with the curricular coming from England and exam results sent ‘away’ for marking. There was a total of 8 pupils in Ruby’s high school. At lunch time everyone including the teacher, brought the same thing every day – a peanut butter and jam sandwich, and occasionally a cookie or piece of cake, They drank water. In the summer they all played baseball after lunch and in the Winter, skied. Ruby had homework every single night, and that had to be done after household chores. Ruby left school after passing all her exams, when she was 16 years old.

Ruby SAchool Ruby on Right.JPG

RUBY’S ONE ROOM SCHOOL – RUBY ON THE FAR RIGHT

Whenever I download historic information regarding Morin Heights to read to Ruby, she points out that the people I am reading about were her uncles, cousins, her fathers’ brother, or mothers’ family and other family members. There is a Rural Route named after her family and there are many historical articles about the building of churches and other buildings, where her family names are mentioned frequently.

Her Irish/Quebec roots run deep and many of the pioneers of Morin Flats were connected to her or her family, friends or neighbours she remembers.

You can learn a lot from the elderly and I love talking to Ruby about many things, which I hope to continue for many a year, but her stories of her early years are the most interesting!
Sources:
[1 2] http://www.morinheightshistory.org/history.html
[3] http://www.morinheightshistory.org/census/1861MH.html
[4] http://www.clydesusa.com/faq/
……and particularly, my friend Ruby.

Ruby McCullough Clements passed away peacefully on 24 November, 2016, RIP.

Save

Save

Illegitimate

Illegitimate
by Marian Bulford

In the March 31st 1901 UK Census Lilian Mary Symons was listed as a ‘servant girl/domestic’ in Leicester, Leicestershire in the employ of Mrs. Mary Whatnall, ‘Retired Lunatic Asylum Matron’ Mrs. Whatnall’s niece also lived in the house.¹

The 18 year old Lilian had, the previous November 25th given birth to a daughter. The father of the baby was a Royal Navy Cooper and master carpenter Thomas Bevan whom Lilian met when she was 17. They had started to court, but neither of them realised she was pregnant when Thomas left for sea. He was gone not knowing he was to be a father and Lilian had no contact with him for the next three years.

Lilian was the oldest in a family of five. Her father was a jobbing gardener and her mother a housewife so they would have had no means to take care of Lilian and another child.

How Lilian must have felt at that time, being pregnant and unmarried is not known, but I can only imagine how she would have had to approach her family and tell them. She also had to tell them that she did not know where Thomas, the father was.

Lilian’s father Thomas Symons unsuccessfully searched for Thomas and he also wrote to the Royal Navy regularly to find out the father’s whereabouts, but to no avail.²

In the 1900’s in the United Kingdom, unmarried pregnant women were often disowned by their families and the work house was the only place they could go during and after the birth of their child. There were no fees, but hard work was expected of the inmates. ³

According to my family, although Lilian was not ‘disowned’ by her family she did give birth to her baby and her child’s birth certificate states the child was born in the ‘Leicestershire Workhouse’.

In addition, the original birth certificate also had the words ‘ILLEGITIMATE’ in large letters stamped over the entire certificate. Lilian immediately tore it up and threw it away. 4

Lilian’s circumstances definitely changed, as I have a wonderful photo of the child at two years old and she is dressed in a very attractive dress with a matching dolly. These are not the usual working attire for someone living in a 1902-era work house and tape recordings of family told me her parents looked after the baby daughter and Lilian went to work for Mrs. Whatnall.

Thomas Bevan did eventually return from sea and Lilian and he got married on 25th April 1904 when the child was three and a half years old.5

In the 1911 Census 10 years later, Lilian is the ‘head’ of a household with three additional children. They lived in the Royal Navy Port of Plymouth, Devon England and Thomas was once again, back at sea.6

The couple went on to have four more children, who all lived to adulthood, including my grandmother, Edith, who had no idea she was born out of wedlock until she was 65 years old, but that is another story!

 Sources:
1 1901 UK Census at Ancestry.com
2 http://www.workhouses.org.uk/life/entry.shtml
3 Family tape recordings
4 Certified copy of a Birth Certificate, Leicestershire City Council, England
5 Registered marriages in April, May and June 1904 Leicestershire, England at Ancestry.com
6 Family tape recordings

Photos Below:

Lilian Mary Symons b. 1882

Lilian Mary Symons 1899

Edith Bevan 1902

Edith Symons Bevan 1902

Thomas Bevan b. 1876

Thomas Bevan, RN

Australia, 1908

 

 

Troop Train Across The Sind Desert 1916

In 1916, William sailed for India. He was to take up garrison duties in Multan, India (now Pakistan) so as to release regular troops to fight in the War.

William Clegg lived in Liverpool during the early 1900s. He was married to Louisa and together they had eight children; one child stillborn, one child who died at aged two and another at six years of age, leaving five living children.

At that time and for many years afterwards life in Liverpool was hard. Living conditions were crowded, poor and unhealthy. There was not much work, and only the few could hope for a fulfilling life. William earned his living as a paint grinder a dirty, noisy and unhealthy job.

In April 1914, one of the children named Evelyn aged six died. This must have been a very hard year for the family. When WW1 was declared on August 1, 1914, William joined the Territorial Army. He probably wanted get away from the death and poor living conditions and maybe hoping to get a better level of pay to support his family. He was 32 years of age, and he left Louisa eight months pregnant!

The Territorial Army is an army of volunteers which supports the British Army. Volunteer units have existed for centuries, but in 1908 they were merged to form the Territorial Force. Members of the Territorial Force were mobilised in the First World War and served alongside the regular army. [1]

One of the units was The Fifth Battalion King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, which had its HQ at 65 St Anne Street Liverpool.

William was supposed to be part of the Home Guard and serve in England but at some point he agreed to transfer to the Rifle Brigade. He was immediately sent to the Curragh in Ireland, and then to Douglas on the Isle of Man for training.

By 1916, he and other troops were on their way to India as part of the “The Indian Trooping Season.”

Normally, troop ships left England in September and returned on another ship, with the last ships leaving India in March. This pattern was probably established once troop ships no longer sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and started using the “Overland Route’ and then the Suez Canal after its opening in 1869.[2]

Travel was restricted to the cooler months so that acclimatised troops from Britain were not traveling from the ports of Bombay or Karachi to their cantonments during the heat of an Indian summer.

William travelled on the troop ship “Ballarat,” which was mistakenly diverted to Karachi by senior officers.

It was against regulations to cross the Sind Desert from Karachi to Multan because of abnormally hot temperatures, but William and the other troops with him did so anyway.  They were exposed to terrible conditions. More than 200 men suffered from heat stroke and 20 of them died.

During an inquiry, three senior officers were blamed for not looking after the men. Questions were raised in India and England.

The governments of India sent the following telegram to the British House of Commons:

We can now give a considered opinion, having received a report of committee. The responsibility for diverting the ship from Bombay to Karachi rests with Brigadier-General Roe who was acting as Quartermaster-General at the time. He knew acclimatised troops had never before been sent in large number by rail in the middle of Summer through the Sind Desert. He knew, or should have known that the Commander -in-Chief in December 1915, had decided that Karachi should not be used as a port at which wounded and sick British troops should be landed and distributed to other stations, on account of danger of sending in the hot season through Sind.

It follows, that before (the ship) Ballarat was diverted to Karachi, Acting Quarter-Master-General should have consulted Commander-in-Chief but did not do this. Having taken on himself responsibility, he should certainly have warned Karachi military authorities to take special precautions for safety of troops during journey by rail. He did not do this.

We, therefore, must hold him responsible, and propose to remove him from his appointment as Deputy Quarter-master-general. It is clear from evidence, that the mischief began before disembarkation, many men having been seen on deck bareheaded in the sun, a thing no officer with Indian experience would have allowed. All the officers on board were quite inexperienced, and we cannot hold them blameworthy.” [3]

The lengthy telegram went on to add that the troop train left Karachi with 13 officers and 1013 men and was insufficiently equipped, overcrowded and without experienced officers.

The three British officers named in the inquiry were “cashiered,” which means they were dismissed from their positions for a breach of discipline.

William Clegg and 19 others died in the Multan Military Hospital, which is now in Pakistan. He left behind his wife and 5 children.

He was originally buried in Multan but the commonwealth War Graves Commission has found it impossible to maintain War Graves in Pakistan so his name also appears on the large British War Graves Cenotaph in Karachi.

William was the grandfather of my husband John Clegg.

[1] http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/army-auxiliary-1769-1945

[2] https://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Trooping_season

[3] http://papersPast.natlib.govt.nz/dominion

Food Rationing Post WW 2

I think queues were invented in the UK. We queued for everything and even though I was only about four-and-a-half  years old, I remember queuing with my mother. One time, when she was heavily pregnant with my brother, she sent me into the shop to keep her place, whilst she rested on the wall outside.

I marched in, went straight up to the front of the queue and stated my order…….I remember very well, the smiles and laughs, but I got my order right away and, once outside, instructions from Mum on the correct way to queue.  My Mum told me that ‘food was all we thought about’ how to get it what to make with it, how to stretch it.

We ate everything from the animal. Called ‘offal’ it included heart, kidneys, brain and stomach–all made into quite tasty dishes. I don’t know if I would have eaten the dishes, had I known what I was actually eating!

¹During rationing, 1 person’s typical weekly allowance would be: 1 fresh egg, 4 oz margarine, 4 oz bacon (about 4 rashers), 2 oz butter, 2 oz tea, 1 oz cheese and 8 oz sugar.

 Meat was allocated by price, so cheaper cuts became popular. Points could be pooled or saved to buy pulses, cereals, tinned goods, dried fruit, biscuits and jam.

We used to have a dish called ‘tripe’ boiled animal stomach with onions. Or liver and onions still popular today. If you got a tongue at the butchers you could make many meals with it. Fried, or pressed in aspic to make ‘brawn’ then cut up to make sandwiches with or add to salads.

A favourite after the Sunday roast was “bubble and squeak” which was the left-over potatoes and greens cut up small and fried to a crisp with cold meat and pickled onions, usually fed to us on Monday as the family laundry was done on that day. Corned beef hash was another dish mixed with cabbage and potato and fried.

Chitterlings (intestines) were sometimes eaten cold. Pigs trotters added to a hearty mix of vegetables made a wonderful meal with dumplings. Many people made their own blood puddings.

Gran’s beef olives was a favourite meal. That was skirt steak, when we could get it, beaten to death with a rolling-pin cut into strips and the strips stuffed with sage and onion stuffing rolled up and secured with a tooth pick and roasted for hours on end.

Dripping’ was the various fat from animals carefully preserved (no refrigeration in those days) in a crock and kept on the cold, stone floor in the larder to spread on a piece of bread sprinkled with salt – very tasty!

Most people had an allotment and grew as many veggies as possible. Wasting food was a criminal offence during the war my Gran told me. Too bad that does not apply today!

²The Ministry of Food produced leaflets and posters advising housewives to be creative and one of England’s best known cooks, Marguerite Patten gave cooking tips on the radio.

‘Mock’ recipes included ‘cream’ (margarine milk and cornflour) and ‘mock goose’ (Lentils and breadcrumbs). Powdered eggs and Spam from the US were mainstays of wartime and after. Kippers and Sprats were a fish easy to obtain in Plymouth Devon, a Royal Naval fishing city where I was born.

This is an example of a ‘Government Recipe’ taken from the book ‘Ration Book Cookery Recipes and History. Published by English Heritage, London 1985.

Mock Goose

150 g (6 oz) split red lentils

275 ml (1/2 pint) water

15 ml (1 tbls) lemon juice

salt and pepper

For the ‘stuffing’

1 large onion

50 g (2 oz) wholemeal fresh breadcrumbs

15 ml (1 tbls) fresh sage, chopped.

Cook the lentils in the water until all the water has been absorbed. Add lemon juice and season. Then make the stuffing. Sauté the onion in a little water or vegetable stock for 10 minutes. Drain, then add to the breadcrumbs. Mix in the chopped sage and mix well. Put half the lentil mixture into a non-stick ovenproof dish, spread the ‘stuffing’ on top, then top off with the remaining lentils. Put in a moderate oven until the top is crisp and golden.

I have tried this recipe, and it was really good, considering not much was in the ingredients.

Despite the stresses of wartime, it was reported that the health of the poor improved. Babies and pregnant women were allocated extra nutrients such as milk, orange juice and cod liver oil.

Post war, the orange juice we got for my baby sister was condensed in a small bottle and carefully measured out by the teaspoon and mixed with water. For all the hardships I was never hungry and I do believe that I had a healthy start to life, due to rationing.

¹ http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/topics/rationing_in_ww2

This is an interesting slide show regarding rationing.
² http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8511000/8511309.stm

My Family History

 

Handcart Pioneers Postcard pg. 1 - 1939_thumb[1]

Handcart Pioneers Postcard pg. 2 - 1939_thumb[2]

by Marian Bulford

My family history includes, like most peoples’ history, twists and turns and coincidences that sometimes defy belief. In the 1970s, my family and I were living in Geneva, Switzerland, when we had a visit from the ‘Mormons’ doing their proselytizing door to door. Because we were in a non-English speaking environment and they were from the USA, we invited them in. Over the course of a few months, we became great friends and we decided to explore the church’s history with them.

One day, whilst talking to them, they mentioned Salt Lake City as the ‘Zion’ of the church, and how the early Pioneers who had left their homes and families to trek across the US to get to Salt Lake City, Utah. That name Salt Lake City brought back a memory. When I was 11 years old, I lived with my Grandparents for a few years and my Grandfather used to ask me to go to the post office to post his letter to a Salt Lake City address. I remember it so well because in the 1950s Air Mail letters were treated differently from normal mail, and I had to have this important missive weighed and stamped before it could be posted, so it made quite an impression. I remember thinking ‘where was Salt Lake City, and why and who was my Grandfather writing too? Of course, by the time I arrived home again, the questions were forgotten.

Now, years later in the 1970’s the question arose again, so I called my Grandfather Percival Victor O’Bray (The English branch spell it with an apostrophe unlike the USA branch who spell it without) and asked him about the letters and to whom he had been writing.

He replied that ‘Well, you know the Americans, they are always doing their genealogy and one day, I received this letter from a lady, telling me I was related to her, I was a distant third cousin’ I questioned him further and he said they had corresponded for a number of years, and at one point, she had sent him a ‘Family Tree’ all handwritten then, of course and started in 1717 to my grandfather’s day. I was very excited by this and asked him, if, when we next came home could I see the ‘Family Tree and read the letters. He replied that I could have the letters and the Family Tree, he had no further use for them, and he would post them to me.

 

The Family Tree sent to my Gramps by his third cousin Ellen Louise Gibby Facer in Utah in the early 1950s.

Starting Family Genealogy

I think that started my interest in genealogy and research. The next time I went ‘home’ I questioned my grandparents and family at length, recorded their voices and wrote out the names and birth dates of the family. My Grandparents – who threw nothing out – gave me some marvellous 1800’s photos of family members. On the back, I wrote who these people were, most important because shortly after that, we moved to Canada, and genealogy was put on the back burner in a box, for a number of years.

32 years later a renewed interest came when we met some UK friends again, and members of the Church of Latter- Day-Saint or Mormons. We talked about genealogy, but with young families and busy lives, that was all we did, talked about it, but, never really did any more research.  About 8 years ago, we decided the time had come, and we met and researched together. Our friends invited us to their church’s’ “Centre of Family History” in LaSalle, Quebec, Canada to do some real research with them.

Finding Family Skeletons

I found the Family History Centre a wonderful place. Free to anyone at certain times it has most of the current genealogy web sites online open for free. Books, microfiche and copies of records can be researched, with help from church members if needed. It was a quiet peaceful place and we got to spend some time with friends, have lunch and do some family history together. Our friends were a great help, as the Church recommends that its members do family history so they are very experienced. I recalled all the information I had amassed in the 1970s and had no idea how to put it all together. Now I had a chance to do that. I was pleased with how I had named all the photos as it was a wonderful tool to enable me to search online for family members.

I decided to start with the mysterious ‘Family Tree’ from the USA. It was so exciting to be able to put in full names, birth dates and areas to search. I was grateful to the previous Missionaries that advised us to label and date all information as we received it. A really great tip!

My Grandfather was born in Pembroke Dock, Wales and his Great-Grandfather had, as was usual, a large family. Two of those sons, my Grandfathers’ Uncles, Thomas and Samuel OBray became Mormons and left Wales for ‘Zion’ Salt Lake City in 1854.

This photo, which appears all over FamilySearch.org, was included in letters to my Gramps from his third cousin in Utah.

Samuel William OBray

(Portrait found on Familysearch.org)

That was a surprise for me, considering the friends and interest I have had in the church over the years, a case of my Great Uncles having “been there, done that’ so I was able to trace their long and arduous journey across the plains to Utah through Mormon church records.  Our friends were very excited for us, as this was a great honour in the history of the church, to have family that had made the arduous and terrible trip to reach their ‘Zion’.

Further Research

Through the Welsh Mormon History page, on FamilySearch.org I found that Thomas, was born in Wales in 1824 and he joined the Mormon church when he was 13 years old. Eight years later, he began to preach the gospel in England then Italy, France and Germany. Later, he went to Norway and Denmark. In Malta, he raised up a church branch. In 1854 Thomas emigrated to the US. The ship stopped in New Brunswick, Canada and picked up another family. Thomas joined that family and met Louisa. They continued the journey on their way to St. Louis Missouri to pick up supplies, wagons, food, and animals for the three-month journey across the plains of the United States.

In June at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Thomas and Louisa were married. During that journey, with her brother Albert and her sister Martha, Louisa died of cholera and was buried en route to Salt Lake City on the plains, in an unmarked grave, a bride of three weeks. Thomas continued on with the family and arrived in Salt Lake City in September 1854.

A Few Surprises

In October 1854, Thomas married Louisa’s sister, Martha. Five children were born to Thomas and Martha. In 1857 Thomas married Carolyn and had 9 children with her. In 1864 Thomas married Ruth and they had 14 children together. The women and children, according to Censuses of the time, lived together in separate houses and were called ‘Housekeepers” Thomas lived with Martha and their children.

Altogether Thomas had 28 children and yes, my Great Grand Uncle had ‘plural marriages’! At that time, it was a tenet of the Church. Martha died in 1887 and a year after her death Thomas was sentenced to the Utah penitentiary for 11 months for ‘Unlawful cohabitation. He was sentenced a second time a year later, and served from April to August 1890.

 Following a revelation to the church Prophet, the practice of plural marriage was instituted among Church members in the early 1840s however; from the 1860s to the 1880s, the United States government passed laws to make this religious practice illegal. These laws were eventually upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. At that time, the President of the church, Wilford Woodruff issued a Manifesto, which was accepted by the Church as authoritative and binding on October 6, 1890. This led to the end of the practice of plural marriage in the Church.

Decedents Of The Family

My Great Grand Uncle was asked by the church to explore further land outside of Salt Lake City and to build other settlements, and so he moved his families to ‘Cache’ (secret) County and founded a small place called “Paradise’ just outside of Salt Lake City. Thomas homesteaded the site where the church farm is now located.

In 2014, I visited this small town. It was full of my ancestors. Even the local cafe knew the name of my Grandfather and his Uncles. The Paradise Cemetery was a beautiful place, calm and serene and I found my Uncles and their families. It may sound strange, but I ‘introduced’ myself to them, and told them of their ancestor who wrote to my Grandfather, all those years ago, and how I now ended up here, in Paradise. I hope to go back again one day.

The cemetery contained all of the family who were ‘Pioneers’ and had crossed the plains to get to ‘Zion’ It was very moving to see my two Grand Uncles with special plates affixed to their memorial stones to indicate that they were original Pioneers. Great Grand Uncle Thomas died in Paradise, Utah on 21st October 1899 and Great Grand Uncle Samuel died in Paradise, Utah on 5th June 1910.

Meanwhile, I continue my researching and find surprises every day. I would love to contact any members of Ellen Louise Gibby Facer’s family. She, who wrote to my Gramps, all those years ago!  I still have her letters and Christmas cards.

How ever did we manage without the internet and more importantly, https://www.familysearch.org?