Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy 188th Birthday, John Welch 1 (1823-1910)!

John Welch IV's great-grandfather 

The original John Welch, our patriarch pioneer, began a legacy that continues today with John Welch IV, V, VI, and VII.  John 1 shared a birthday with his mother.  (All these Welches to start out the year--indicative of their over-acheiving, competitive, scheduled nature to be first?  Not that I inherited any of that...)  Teenage John sailed across the ocean due to a nightmare about his family, met his bride on board ship, and later ran a moonshine whiskey still which Brigham Young disapproved of.  That story isn't one that gets told at reunions, so keep reading.

Happy 212th Birthday, Elizabeth Briggs Welch (1799-1867)!

John Welch IV's great-great-grandmother

The original Welch Woman, Elizabeth shared a birthday with her son John.  She was the driving force behind the family's conversion, carried on in Nauvoo once widowed, and journeyed west widowed again.  Our two January Elizabeth pioneer matriarchs on the Welch line led the way and inspire me today.

Yet this one seems shrouded to me—partly because she was known for making beautiful black veils and lacework, and partly due to being widowed three times and burying husbands and children.  Those heartaches must have given her great strength and endurance.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy 186th Birthday, Elizabeth Brook Scarborough Fox (1825-1906)!

Nita Woodland Welch's great-grandmother

The maternal matriarch of the line—my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother joined the Church in England, left an abusive husband, and threw her wedding ring into the Atlantic Ocean as she sailed to America. One strong lady!

To celebrate her birthday, Elizabeth’s Molasses Pie would be appropriate: “Two eggs beaten well with one pint molasses boiled, then baked between two pie crusts.”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 185th Birthday, Lorenzo Hill Hatch (1826-1910)!

Nita Woodland Welch's great-grandfather

Quintessential pioneer and in my top ten personal favorites list, Lorenzo Hill Hatch was undaunted by challenges and loved his family. Because of his detailed journals, much is known about his life. These can be found online here and  here.

young Lorenzo Hill Hatch

Happy 368th Birthday, Great-Uncle Isaac Newton (1642-1727)!

Shout out today to Wells relative Isaac Newton. He was actually born on Christmas day 1642, but with calendrical changes the date became January 4, 1643. Sir Isaac was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian who is considered by many to be one of the most influential scientists in history.

He died childless and I don't know if he'd claim us as relatives, but Gawain’s great-grandfather Stephen Robert Wells and his siblings were frequently told by their mother, Sarah Newton Wells (Isaac Newton’s great-something-grand-niece)—“Study hard so you can grow up to be as smart as Uncle Isaac!”

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 179th Birthday, William West Woodland (1823-1906)!

Nita Woodland Welch's grandfather

How appropriate to begin the year with the man with the most futuristic initials: William West Woodland. Most descendants probably know the stories of William following the mysterious light, and lassoing his bride. But how about the stories of William and the stagecoach robbery, the Australian gold rush, the miraculous crop, and his ghost appearing to save Laura from a banana investment scam? Keep reading.

William & Laura Woodland

Woodland home in Idaho (still standing); William & Laura front middle left