06 September 2012

The Great Genealogy Clean-up

I am stuck in a rut. I feel like I have so many options and people to research that I just don't know where to focus next. So, I'm deciding to not focus on any one person and instead focus on ... everyone!

Yes, I will be cleaning out my entire database. In preparation for "The Great Genealogy Clean-up" I've read various posts that have been helpful.
  • James Tanner of Genealogy's Star posted Clean up your Genealogy Database where he talked about looking at place names to make sure there aren't duplicates. I will definitely be doing this, but probably towards the end of the process since I think the method I've come up with will solve most of the issues.
  • Tina Lyons of Gen Wish List has a whole series of posts dedicated to Cleaning up My Genealogy Database. I started using her system, and even printed out 60 pages of names! But after about 10 minutes, I knew this wasn't the method for me. Her process, however, was informative.
So, I made a plan that I think will work for me. My process is more focused on "creation" rather than "deletion." Just as a reference, as of today here's what I'm starting with:

 The Plan:

  1. Create a new database that is blank. To this database I will add people one at a time and work on updating them before moving on to the next person. RootsMagic makes this so easy because I can just drag and drop people into the new database.
  2. Only people who currently have sources associated with them or with a fact will move to the new database. If I can quickly find something to support the fact/person I will do so. Otherwise, they get left behind.
  3. To be "complete" and included in the new database all of the following must be true: A. Each fact associated with the person must have a source; B. Each source must have a complete citation, including a image of the source and transcription/translation; C. Relevant notes must be included with each citation or fact, as needed.
  4. Additionally, I will also be updating all file/folder names as I go along and scanning/filing all originals following my "Family History Filing System" (a 4 page description of my system which I've included with my physical files). I have so many original photos and documents still to scan...I know those will flesh out a lot of the facts that are missing citations.
I am starting as any new genealogist should, with myself. I'll me, my husband and kids then move on to our parents and siblings working my way back.

I'm expecting when I'm done to have far fewer people in my database, but only "real" and verified information will be recorded. I will of course keep my "old" database as a guide when I continue research. Just because great-great-grandma's birth date is not verified (yet) doesn't mean I can't use the "alleged" date as a starting point in my research. As Reagan would say, "Trust, but verified!"

05 September 2012

(not so) Wordless Wednesday

William Leslie Taylor (b. 1893) and Edith Pearl Taylor (b. 1891)
Photograph taken in 1895 (according to note on back)

04 September 2012

John Ammon Taylor (1846-1921) narrative

John Ammon Taylor (1846-1921)
and possibly his signature?

Again, more from Aunt Jeanine's documents. It seems like there should be a lot of documentation/sources for the information in this narrative. I will definitely have to follow up on these leads.


John Ammon Taylor was born in Georgetown, Texas, Febr. 18, 1846, a son of John and Eleanor Burkett Taylor. They with 35 other families, had left their homes and property in Nauvoo and went to colonize in Texas under the leadership of Lyman Wight. This group and other families had been called by Joseph Smith Jr. to make a settlement in Texas a few weeks before his death and were making preparations to do so when he was killed by the mob. All the colonists that went to Texas belonged to the “Josephites.” (Which later became the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).

John and Eleanor later decided to go to Utah and in 1852 they moved to Oklahoma Territory where they stayed 2 years getting ready to join their family, who by this time were at Bingham’s Fort near Ogden. (This was in the area now known as Five Points.) They started their journey June 12, 1854 and arrived at Bingham’s Fort August 15, 1854. Another family started out with them but had better horses, no oxen, and didn’t want to travel as slow as the train so pulled ahead. Several days later the train found the wagons where they had been attacked by Indians and all killed except 2 boys who were riding their horses ahead and upon hearing the Indians hid in the brush and watched their family massacred. John Taylor’s party consisted of the parents, 10 children, 12 yoke of oxen and 1 horse. They had one bad accident when the baby was run over b a wagon but through faith and prayers he was healed. They moulded [sic] his head back in shape and took turns holding it with their hands.

Grandfather was 8 years old at the time of this journey and in later years when he and his brothers and sisters visited together they would take of the amusing happenings on this trip, perhaps not so funny at the time but remembers so afterward. All the family had a great sense of humor which helped them through many trying times, and he especially liked to tease and play harmless jokes on others. As he was the 6th child in a family of 12 he found plenty of outlet for this.

The family settled in Weber County and there he spent the rest of his life with the exception of a few years in Montana. He led the usual hard life the times with scant schooling but like most parents had the desire to see his children educated and out of a family of 9 boys and 1 girl he had 4 sons who attended Utah State Agriculture College and 1 son graduate of Harvard University of Engineering.

During his early manhood he made several trips to the Missouri River after immigrants, and on the last trip in 1868 he drove a team during the day and took turns in the night-hearding or watering camp at night. On these trips the guides and immigrants indulged in wrestling, singing, jumping etc. for amusement and he was the best wrester in his Company. When they would meet another Company they always stopped and had wrestling matches and other diversions. He often told of one of these matches when an opponent, a Wm. Gibson, after being thrown by Grandfather broke the hold and caught the leg of his overalls ripping it to the top. This made Grandfather angry as he had on a new pair and they couldn’t be had often in those days, so he said “I’m going to throw you had now.”  which he proceeded to try and do, finally succeeding but he also broke Gibsons arm. This made him as remorseful as he had been angry before and he insisted on paying the Doctor’s charge, although Mr Gibson didn’t hold him to blame for anything. On this trip back from the Missouri he bought one of the first cook stoves ever to come into that part of Utah (Ogden Valley) as he was contemplating marriage to Mary Hannah Poulson (Maren Johanne Ottoson).

[page 2]
In his early boyhood his father John Taylor got the goldfever [sic] and wanted to go to California so 6 younger children of the family and the parents made preparations to go but while camped at the mouth of Ogden Canyon waiting for the rest of the company they had a bad Indian scare and abandoned this plan and the next year set out with ox team and went up through northern Utah across Idaho and finally ended at Alder Gulch, Montana, where one of the richest goldfields then known was located. During their stay here the Indian Wars broke out, Grandfather and his brother William went to fight the Nez Perce. It seems there must not have been any age regulation about joining the Army – just the ability to load/fire a musket as they were in their teens. They never rejoined their parents who stayed in Montana several more years. On coming back to Utah Grandfather spent one summer in East Mill Creek working for Amos Neff, but one was enough when he had settled for his summers work he had a small amount of script on the Tithing Office and about 30 pounds of homemade soap. He packed the soap and walked to Weber County, about 50 miles. It was after this experience he made the trips back to the Missouri River and between trips worked for Bishop Ballantine of Eden, Ogden Valley. His parents were still in Montana, and his brothers that were married had been sent by Brigham Young to help colonize different parts of the Territory; one to Ashley Valley (Vernal), one to Franklin, Idaho and another was freighting from Utah to Montana.

While working for Bishop Ballantine he met Maren Johanne (Hannah) Poulson in 1868 in the Salt Lake Endowment Hiuse [sic] after his last trip to bring in immigrants. They lived in Eden a little over a year, where John Henry was born, their eldest son.

The people of Ogden Valley had to travel through Ogden Canyon to Ogden City for supplies and Grandmother very often made the trip behind a yoke of oxen and told us many times it was not uncommon for them to have to stop and build a road or bridge over the river where it had washed out. IT would take them all day to make the trip[.] She was very proud of the cook stove Grandfather had brought her and often baked bread and other delicacies for the neighbors, especially when there was a wedding supper or a party. She used this same stove until 1895.

Grandfather often told how hard it was to get money or at least to keep it and it was a common thing to go to a dance with a girl on one arm and a pumpkin or such in the other to pay the dance ticket. One incident where his love of jokes to to light again happened whenhe [sic] was floor manager and door deeper of the Poplar dance hall. One young man named Summers for several weeks had brought a $5.00 gold piece to pay his ticket and always came early before enough money was taken to make change. This night Grandfather was prepared for him, securing the change after much trouble in dimes, nickles  [sic] and some pennies. When the gold piece was offered he proceeded to count out the pennies nickles [sic] etc. Summers immediately dug into his pocket and brought out the quarter to pay the ticket, but nothing doing, he had to weigh his pocket down with coppers.

After being married and living in Eden Grandfather moved his family to Plain City (the area known locally as Poplar) and began dealing in real estate. In 1899 he bought his fathers old homestead of 350 acres of the best irrigated land to be found in Weber County. Late in the 1880’s he and the older boys established a ranch in Bingham Co., Idaho buying part and homesteading part. The range was open and their cattle and horses ranged from Culew valley to Promontory, thus began the Bar JA brand one of the oldest and best known brands in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho. (Bingham County was later divided and the ranch was in Oneida Co. with Malad as the County seat.) This began as a cattle ranch with herds being driven out from Plain City and surrounding town to summer range and back in fall with horses being left at all times. After the Cattle war

[page 3]
with the Union Pacific R.R. and the subsequent closing of the waterholes on the range a large part of the ranch and all the cattle were disposed of and activity was given solely to the raising of horses for which the “Taylor Boys” became famous in this part of the country. They sold horses to the British Government for the Boer War in the 1890’s and also to the United States for the Spanish-American War and World War I. During later years they broke and sold horses for polo players.

As the sons grew older and married, Grandfather turned the active management of the farm and ranch over to them and devoted most of his time to civic affairs, helping establish the Plain City Irrigation Company, Plain City Canning Company, Harrisville Creamery Company, and the Utah Idaho R.R. in getting service to Plain City. He was a member of the District School Board for 20 years. He was also a member of the Black Hawk Veterans Association until his death.

Although being a stockholder in these companies took up most of his time, he always had time for visits with his brothers, sisters and friends and would arrange big family parties on the slightest excuse. He was a devoted husband and father and although not especially active in church affairs he instilled the L.D.S. religion into his children and sent two sons on missions, one to Australia and the other to the Central States.

Plain City was always the family home, here were reared the family, John H., William, George Francis, Charles Ezra (my father), Hyrum Alber, Ether Green, Parley Paul, Elmer A., and Lester Grant – nine sons and one daughter, Eliza Hannah. Grant died as a small child. With the exception of George F. his sons and daughter married and also reared their families in Plain City. On February 7, 1916, Grandmother died. Grandfather later married Martha Ferrin and moved to Ogden where he died after a two week illness on February 19, 1921, the day after his 75th birthday. He was survived by his eight sons and one daughter, 58 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He left his descendants a great heritage: of family love; to live a full useful life and be stalwart men and women.

Written by Thelma Taylor Storey, February 1935.
Information from family records, Ogden Standard
Examiner articles, personal letters written by
Uncle Francis and Emma Knight Furness, niece of
Grandfather and family memories.

03 September 2012

Joseph Taylor (1825-1900)

Joseph Taylor (1825-1900)
Here's the personal history of Joseph Taylor found in the documents from Aunt Jeanine. Joseph is Troy's 5th-great grandfather: Troy > Brent > Eugene Victor Lund > Edith Pearl Taylor >  Ada Rose Taylor > Joseph Taylor.

Having studied both History and English and the process/product of scholarly writing, I can't help but wonder at this narrative. I wish there were sources cited and less of the authors own bias. But, I guess this is a product of its time and the rose-colored look back at history, where things are very black and white. I just have to be sure to be careful in my own writing. I will also have to go back and verify everything stated in this narrative.


Joseph Taylor, third son and eighth child of William Taylor and Elizabeth Patrick Taylor, was born 4 June 1825 at Bowling Green, Warren, Kentucky. He moved with his parents to Missouri and went through the trying times of the early church history. In Nauvoo he met Mary Moore and married her 24 March 1844. They went through the Nauvoo Temple 24 Jan 1846. At the same time his mother, brothers Allen and Green also went. He served as one of the body guards to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Under the leadership of Brigham Young, he and his family and his mother and some of her children crossed the Mississippi River on the ice 8 February 1846. They reached Council Bluffs in June and had planned to go on to Utah, but the calling for the Mormon Battalion upset all his plans and he was marching away without bidding his wife good-bye, leaving her in a campwagon and in a delicate condition. He suffered the terrible persecutions and starvation that this body of men had to endure. History treats it lightly in comparison to what it really was. When the men became sick, the government doctor would give them medicine to make them worse. If they had diarrhea, the doctor would give them medicine to make them worse or to increase the cramps. Because of this the men would stay on duty as long as possible before admitting that they were ill. They were so near starvation that they would eat the decaying meat of dead sheep, even picking out the eyes and eating them. One time they had one this sheep for a group of starving men. One man was left to keep guard and cook the meat while the others rested. The sheep was so this the firelight shone through. This man was so hungry he ate all of the sheep while he was cooking it. All the rest of his life he would never eat mutton.
Joseph returned to his family in 1847 but his cattle and belongings were so scatted that he couldn’t leave until the last of May 1850. In the company of fifty wagons where James Lake was captain, Joseph was lieutenant. He had his wife and children: Clarissa, Mary Melvina, Joseph Allen, and William Andrew. The latter was two weeks old when they began the journey. Joseph baptized Sarah Jane Marler in the Platte River on the way to Utah. They suffered the hardships, privations and horrors of the Indians but were always faithful. They came by way of Parley’s canyon and arrived in Salt Lake valley 5 September 1850. They settled in Salt Lake for a time, then moved to Kaysville. He had a farm and was building a log cabin when his wife took ill and died at childbirth 4 April 1852. He made her coffin out of his wagonbox, and placed her and the tiny baby in the coffin took her to Salt Lake for burial. She was one of the first to be buried in the Salt Lake Cemetary.
Soon after he married Jane Lake Ordway. After they lived in Kaysville for a time, she persuaded him to move to Ogden so that she could be near her parents, se he moved and settled in West Harrisville, now Farr West. He settled where Eliza Taylor now lives. Very few people lived here. He and two others built a small irrigation ditch to their farms. Tey [sic] made a proposition that if people would work onand [sic] enlarge this canal they could have water at four dollars an acre, where it had cost them therty-two [sic] dollars. People flocked here because of such good terms. He was water master for years. A branch of the church was organized with Daniel Rawson as head, and Joseph Taylor and Green Taylor as his two counsellors [sic].
During the Echo Canyon War, when Johnston’s Army came to Utah, Joseph Taylor was appointed Major and sent out with forty or fifty men to the Oregon road near the bend of Bear River to help delay the progress of Government troops and trains. The instructions given him were “Burn the whole country before them and on their flanks, keep them from sleeping, by night surprises, blockade the roads by falling trees and destroying river fords, take no life, but destroy their trains, and stampede and drive away their animals at every opportunity”. After he had passed fort Bridger he left his men and returned to that place on important business. He came upon a body of United States troops unexpectedly and he and his assistant, William Stowell, were surrounded and taken prisoners. The soldiers tried to poison them by putting poison in their soup after starving them. Joseph told his friend not to eat the soup because it was poison. Mr. Stowell just tasted his soup and then they buried it, yet he became deathly sick. Then the soldiers tried to smoke them to death in a tent. Joseph told his assistant to dig a hole in the ground with his hands, put his face in the hole, hold his hand around the hole and breath in it. By so doing they lived. One day Joseph said to his companion, “I’m leaving here tonight”.”You’ll be killed if you try it”, his companion replied. The officers had been given instructions to fire and kill the men if they tried to get away. In spite of this, that night Joseph kept asking the soldiers to build the fire higher because he was cold. He took off his shois [sic], supposedly to warm his feet. The sentinels kept up their duty of coming together, giving the password, and facing around to go back to meet the next sentinel, then coming back, which they did every few minutes. He waited until the sentinels turned to go back, their backs being toward him, then he bolted from the fireside and out into the midst of the cattle and horses. This caused a great commotion and started a stampede. His guards fired and searched but they couldn’t find him. He ran for miles without stoppingthen [sic] he slowed down some. A day or two later he found an overcoat and in the pockets of which were some clean, dry socks. He made good use of these, especially the socks, since he had left his shoes behind and it was winter.** The next day he saw two men coming toward him on horseback. At first he thought it was the men hunting him but soon saw that it wasn’t. They were hunting the overcoat. They gave it to him and ride back besides. William Stowell was released at the close of the war.
Joseph Taylor was stern, strong charactered man. He married two other wives, Maria Harris and Caroline Madsen.
About 1859 he took a herd of cattle to care for on shares. They milked about fourty head in summer and took them down to Salt Creek in winter. The winter that Joseph Allen was eleven and Andrew was nine, they stayed with the cattle, living in a dugout and their only clothes being straw hats, shoes and canvas suits. One night some Indians came into the dugout, motioned for the boys to go to bed, that they wouldn’t harm them, and they ate all of the boy’s food. Of course the boys didn’t sleep. Next morning Joseph Allen send Andrew home to tell his father what had happened while he stayed with the cattle. Andrew walked the twelve or fifteen miles through the snow, arriving hole late in the afternoon. His step-mother had no food ready so he had to wait until the next day before his father could take fresh provisions to his brother.
He was father to the following twenty- 4 children: Clarissa, Mary Melvina, Joseph Allen, William Andrew, Moroni, Esther, Emma Jane, Lydia Anne, James bailey, Janette, Julette, Mary Ellen, Elizabeth, Philomela, Amanda, Lamone, James, Heber, Hyrum, Ada, Evelyn, Frank, Joseph Jr. and Esther.
He lived to a ripe old age, doing good all his days. He was a Patriarch. He died at Farr West, Utah 9 August 1900 after a three week illness. His funeral was held in Farr West with a large attendance. Five Mormon Battalion members were present, all of whom spoke. They were: John Thompson, James Owen, Lorin Clark, Alexander Brown and Jess Brown. Bishop James Martin presided and he and George Middleton, William Fife and Thomas Doxey all spoke of long acquaintance with him and of his faithfulness in forwarding the Lord’s work. He had always been willing to defend his people, even to laying down his life.
** some say that he took his shoes with him when he ran away from the soldiers in Johnston’s Army.
Some of this was from Orson F. Whitney book “The Making of a State” Page 107.
                                                                                                                        (by Lola Taylor wells)
Source: Lund and Taylor Family personal papers, (genealogical research and documents, ; privately held by Jeanine Lund (Clontz Allen Sinsel), [address for private use], Plain City, Utah); Joseph Taylor narrative report of his life, great-grandfather, scanned and transcribed, 31 Aug 2012. Written by Lola Taylor Wells.

02 September 2012

George Francis Taylor (1875-1945)

Some of the pictures in the Taylor pile were Post Cards. These are pretty neat and while most of them were blank on the back, I thought it was a fun idea. I wonder what the process was to get them printed on post cards. I may have to look into that a bit more.
George Francis Taylor
b. 24 Apr 1875, Plain City, Weber, Utah, United States
d. 16 May 1945, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

That's all I know! He is Grandma Pearl's uncle, brother of her father, William Taylor (1871-1942). Apparently he served an LDS mission in 1909 in Subiaco, W.A. At first I thought that was Washington State but since the postcard came "via England" that wouldn't be right. When I did a Google search I discovered it was in West Australia. That's pretty neat. There was no stamp on the card so it may have come in a packet with some other missionaries and not individually through the mail.

Tarjeta Postal
Post Card
Bilhete Postal
Carte Postale

Union Postale Universalle

Subiaco, W.A.
Dec. 13, ’09.
Dear Niece;-
                    This picture will show
you how a Mormon Elder looks
just before preaching. Sometimes
he looks that way when preaching
except his hat is off and his
mouth wide open. This picture
was taken Oct. 30, ’09, but I
look about the same now.
It was taken in our back
yard the next day after my
beard was cut off. I am well
and hope that this will find
all of you the same. Love to
all and accept the same yourself.
                Yours truly, Geo. F. Taylor

Miss Pearl Taylor
Plain City,
Weber Co.
Via England. U.S.A.

01 September 2012

William and Ada Rose Taylor, abt 1900-1909

William Taylor and Ada Rose Taylor (yes that was her maiden name). In fact, they were first cousins, once removed - here's what that looks like:

The back of the photograph had some information written in about them:
Ada Rose Taylor
Born Aug 13, 1872 in
Harrisville UT
Died with her 9th child
on the 9th day of the 9th
month in 1909. They were
married on 3 Sept 1890 on
Will's 19th birthday
William (Will) Taylor.
I have no birth date.
Died April 11 1942.