Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy 217th Birthday, Elizabeth Blackwood Muir (1794-1867)!

Anna Cramer's second-great-grandmother

Elizabeth Muir is intriguing: she came from Scotland to Utah, didn't like it, and went back home.  Quite the journey, to go both directions!  She is also our small connection with the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and has such an interesting perturbed expression.

Happy 924th Deathday, William the Conqueror (1028-1087)!

Gayle's many-greats-grandfather
with statue of William in Bayeux, France
Don't most people with English ancestry claim descent through William the Conqueror?  (Our line goes back through Asa Calkin.) To claim the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces at the Battle of Hastings. His reign, which brought Norman culture to England, had an enormous impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages. In addition to political changes, his reign affected law, vocabulary, a program of building and fortification, and the introduction of continental European feudalism into England.  He was married to Mathilda and had ten children.

The Bayeux tapestry, which memorializes William's conquest, is on display in France in the charming town of Bayeux. The embroidered cloth has its own adventuresome history, rescued from French revolutionaries who were using it to cover military wagons, and later stolen by the Gestapo. It is well worth the visit; don't miss an evening sound and light show at the nearby cathedral and the best (and only) tuna pizza I've ever eaten!

museum of Bayeux Tapestry 

La Reine Mathilde--restaurant in Bayeux named for William's Queen Mathilda
William, I would give you a trip on the Chunnel!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy 147th Birthday, John Welch Junior (1864-1948)!

John Welch's grandfather

Eighth child but first surviving son of British pioneers, John Welch was named after his father John Welch, and by age eight he could handle a team of horses well.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy 191st Birthday, John James (1820-1863)!

Gayle's great-great-grandfather

John James was a British butler, whose life contrasts sharply with another British ancestor named John (Scarborough) in a similar situation with his wife.
He died when he was 43--does he look older than that here?

Happy 169th Birthday, Anna Gustava Johnson Cottam (1842-1899)!

Anna Cramer's grandmother

I'm named after my grandma, and she was named after her grandma, this Swedish pioneer Anna Gustava Engelbrektsson/Johnson Cottam.