Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy 192nd Birthday, Clara Cleal James (1819-1876)!

Gayle Wells' second-great-grandmother

Clara was an early British convert who lived in Victorian England. However, her proper decorum did not adjust well to polygamy in the Wild West, and this distress eventually killed her.
This is either Clara, or her daughter's mother-in-law Catherine Williams--
we're going with Clara for today

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy 183rd Deathday, Sylvester Mendell (1766-1828!

Wally Cramer's second-great-grandfather

Okay, so we don't know on what day Sylvester was born, and not much else about him either.  He was a New Englander, and he died by drowning in the Charlestown Canal.  He was in his early sixties--was he depressed and wondering how to cope with fifteen children since his seamstress wife Dolly had died?  Was he a hero, jumping in to rescue a struggling child?  Was he drunk on a cold snowy night and missed his footing?
Charlestown Canal, Massachusetts
We can only speculate, but I would give him a life jacket for a birthday present.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy 209th Birthday, Ira Stearns Hatch (1802-1869)!

Anna Hatch Cramer's great-grandfather

(Well, either 209th or 211th, since his birth year is disputed.)  Ira met Joseph Smith under unusual circumstances, and then prophesied to his unbelieving brothers that he would move out west and raise more posterity than all of them combined.  His first two wives died, another left him for a friend going to the Gold Rush, and the last two were Scottish emigrants who didn't get along with each other.  But the prophecy has probably been fulfilled nonetheless.

Happy 180th Birthday, Agnes Martin Hunter (1831-1869)!

Gayle Wells' second-great-grandmother

Agnes had a hard life: she worked in the Scottish coal mines as a child, survived smallpox, was badly burned while pregnant, watched children die, endured a perilous sea voyage, and then died as a young mother.  Yet she was well-loved by her husband and appeared to him on his deathbed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy 156th Birthday, Sigvart Christian Jensen (1855-1928)!

Gayle Wells' great-grandfather

Sigvart joined the Church in Norway, but once in Utah, he inexplicably became a Seventh-Day Adventist.  We unfortunately know little about him.

Josefine & Sigvart Christian Jensen

Happy 194th Birthday, Laura Jones Peters (1817-1899)!

Nita Welch's great-grandmother

Laura was practical enough to pack a trunk for Zion over her husband's objections, brave enough to try and beat him into the baptismal waters, and visionary enough to see angels.  She was also a splendid Welsh horsewoman who could scare away Indians and shear a sheep like nobody's business.  
David & Laura Peters