Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Family of William Ashton

William Ashton and his wife Sarah Ann Barlow ashton must have had some second thoughts as the approached the handcart trek.  Sarah Ann was pregnant with their sixth child.  There other children were all girls.  Betsy the oldest, about eleven, the second Esther had passed away as an infant, then followed Sarah, Mary and Elizabeth.
Tragedy would strike the family again, while in Boston harbor, little Elizabeth would succumb to the measles.  This only allowed the family a few hours to grieve before they had to continue their journey.  Their next leg was by wagon to the train station to  take them North to Albany where they would cross the Hudson River on the journey to Iowa.
This family's tragedy was not over.  Shortly after the pioneers had regrouped at Florence Nebraska and were traveling close to Winter Quarters, Sarah Ann would go into labor, and deliver another baby girl.  However she would pass away in child birth.  William was left four girls, one of them a baby.  Of course wet nurses form the company would help tend the baby, keeping her alive for two weeks.  Baby Sarah Ann would be buried along the plains.
When the company reached Fort Laramie, rations were being reduced to minimal amounts of food.  There would be a struggle to get over the mountains and into Salt Lake.  William Ashton left the company at Fort Laramie, leaving his three daughters to the care of others.   He was able to use his signing bonus to support his girls, but he left them on the plains to carry on alone.
The oldest daughter, Betsy, must have felt a great responsibility.  When the company reached the last crossing of the Platte, near present day Casper Wyoming, Betsy froze her feet.  She would succumb afterwards, someplace between Red Buttes and martin's Cove.  Her death was not recorded.  The two children Sarah, seven and Mary five were cared for by others, and they actually survived and made it to Salt Lake.  Mary was my great great grandmother.  She too would die in child birth some years later, giving birth to her only son, William Haston Wardle.  However hers is a great posterity, as that son was the father of eleven.
For more details and a view of a picture entitled orphans depicting Mary and Sarah after Betsy's death.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Serving in the Temple

Weekend of 3/6-3/815  This weekend was a temple work weekend.  Charity, Mom, Natalia, Ty and I went to the temple for sealings.  In all we did about 110 total (another group took some of our names so we could get them done).  It was fun.  We saw many people we know.  The Nelsons (formerly of Northland Ward and now Union Ward (he taught gospel doctrine before I did) were there.  Ron Cieslak of the Stevens Creek ward was also there (he may have moved before you would remember but was close to the youth Natalia’s age.)  Later we had Steve Orton and his wife join us.  It was a pretty fun evening with lots of work done. 
The youth and the Elders did baptisms Saturday and I sent names.  I figure about 55 names so between baptisms and confirmations that is another 110 ordinances.  So it was a very active weekend in the temple.  I always have a few ordinances being done on those I have shared with the temple as well.  I think a record with may 230 ordinances completed.  This has been my most active weekend, and since the sealing is the last ordinance these are all the way done.  We are now working on putting together another session by completing the preliminary work.  I have more than enough names, but we have to do the other work done first.  Natalia and Ty took names home to do in Washington.

Ruth Naomi Brandley Nelson

I have been working on my genealogy, connecting sources to different individuals.  In doing so, I came upon the obituary for Aunt Ruth, which surprised me as it said she had a son.  Aunt Ruth is actually my great aunt, my mother's aunt.  She lived with my grandmother for a time, which resulted in us kids receiving many kisses form her.  Her kisses were always slobbery aunt kisses.
Her life was one of love and tragedy.
I have talked to several people about Aunt Ruth, including my mother and Aunt Charlene, who would be her nieces.  Connie says my mother told her the story, and she provided some good information.
Aunt Ruth was born to Karl (Carl) Brandley and Jane Jeremy in Salt Lake.  She married Theron Nelson in 1922.  Their son Theron Jeremy was born in about 1925 in Salt Lake.
Her husband worked for a publishing company selling books.  This would require him to be on the road considerable, but allowed for a comfortable lifestyle.  Aunt Charlene said they lived in an "exquisite apartment" in Salt Lake.  Mom said they would not see them often, about every two or three years because the lived in Salt Lake, while she lived in Idaho.  Theron their son was about five years older then mother, and mother does remember playing with him.
Tragedy struck the Nelson home in 1947 when Theron was killed in an automobile accident in 1847.  Aunt Ruth made application for Theron's tombstone through Veterans as he was a WWI veteran.

After her husband's death, Aunt Ruth became a different person.  She took up drinking.  Aunt Charlene described this as "She lived a different lifestyle, drank and carried on."  Connie says that the story goes that one night when she was drinking, a man in a bar hit her in the nose, breaking her nose.  This is why her  nose was always so large.  However Connie says this also caused brain damage and she had a poor memory after this.
Aunt Ruth took up with and married a younger man.  Connie says he was a sailor.  Aunt Charlene confirms this story.  However she says the tombstone for Aunt Ruth bears the last name Nelson, and she can't remember this person's name.
He exploited Aunt Ruth, and took her money, and then left her with nothing.  After this Aunt Ruth was very poor.  She came to live with her sisters, Aunt Marie Brandley Coburn in Saint Anthony, and my Grandmother, Geneve Brandley Wright in Lincoln, Idaho Falls.  At some point her son disowned her.  This was due to her driniking and taking up with another man.  He eventually settled in Colorado.  Aunt Charlene laments that he didn't even come to the funeral.  However she thinks he made arrangement through a funeral home.  Connie remembers that Aunt Rose Marie (Mom's sister) made most of the arrangements for the funeral.  
Aunt Ruth
Aunt Charlene said she most often lived with Aunt Marie.  However she also would stay with Grandma for extended periods.  One of these periods was when we as a family spent five months living with Grandma in Lincoln.  Her bedroom was the first on the right as you entered Grandma's house from the rear door.  It was across from the bathroom.  Sara remembers that Aunt Ruth had lots of jewelry.  However she isn't sure if it was real or glass jewelry.  
Aunt Ruth and Aunt Marie
Connie remembers that Aunt Ruth had a granddaughter.  She would  call her Bunny.  Connie thinks she came to visit because Aunt Ruth had a picture of her she displayed in her room and she would share with people.  Connie said Aunt Ruth's memory was such she couldn't remember names, and would call everyone bunny.  She actually had two grandchildren, Penelope Jane Nelson (Penny) and Theron Jeffrey Nelson.   Theron Jeffrey passed away in 2009 and his father Theron Jeremy in 2012.
Aunt Marie, Grandma, Aunt Ruth
Connie says there was at least one occasion when Aunt Ruth was hitting on Grandmother.  This may have been the result of drinking.  Connie also visited Aunt Ruth at the Blackfoot State Hospital. "The last time I saw Aunt Ruth Mom and I visited her at the the State Hospital in Blackfoot.  Jed was a baby.  All of the patients wanted to touch Jed he was so cute."  The obituary indicates that she passed away in a nursing home in Idaho Falls.  This was several years after Grandmother had passed away.
Connie says, Aunt Ruth lived with Grandma many years.  However Aunt Charlene remembers she mostly lived with Uncle Elmo and Marie Coburn in Saint Anthony.  Aunt Ruth's nephew officiated at her funeral.  She was often at Grandmother's when we visited.
Aunt Ruth

Grandma and Aunt Ruth

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shaw Pictures: Please identify

Audrey is farthest right
These pictures were not labeled. They were with other pictures taken 1965 and appear to be of a Shaw Reunion.  Any help with identification would be appreciated.  
Rosa Eliza Shaw left, Grandma Melissa Ann Shaw Wardle on right and two of her siblings

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pictures of Grandma Melissa Anne Shaw Wardle and Children

Could these pictures be of Grandpa's funeral, or shortly after.  The were developed in December 1973, or a full our after Grandpa passed away. No labels provided but all together and clothing the same.
Donna Phyllis and Sandra and David Olsen

Grandma and Denise Olsen

Wardle woman, Phyllis, Lula, Grandma, Audrey, and my mother (daughter-in-law) Ileen

My father Jim and Grandma

Grandma at her home in Rexburg

Phyllis, Lula, Grandma, Ileen, Audrey
Aunt Verna is missing from these.  If anyone knows the occasion please let me know.  Billy

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Visit to Aunt Joy's Grave

My cousin, Ray Olsen, added a Billion Graves link to the Family Search page of Aunt Joy Jean Williams Wardle.  She is my father's aunt, the wife of Uncle Leo, son of William Haston Wardle.  They had no children.  When I realized that the grave was in San Jose, I determined to visit.  I figured the grave probably had not been visited by anyone for at least 50 years, if not more.  I became determined to place a rose.  The link shows the grave in the North East corner of the Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose.  I walked past the palm trees, and had some difficulty finding the grave.  It was farther than I had assumed from looking at the internet picture.  In fact, the graves were all placed for those reading from the south, while her grave was in the first line of gravestones placed the opposite way, for those reading from the north. 
It created a special moment, and a special memory.  I was introduced to Aunt Joy when I wrote my father's history.  My father seemed to really enjoy his time visiting with her when he was in the Navy as a young man.
looking to the North East from the gravesite