Friday, May 25, 2012

Tooele County: McIntosh Land

My cousin Kathleen Henderson Wheeler is a lot of fun to be around -- always in a great mood, quick with a smile and someone who really loves her family. She sent me an email a couple of weeks ago letting me know she would soon be in Utah. On her to-do list while in the Beehive State to visit her father, Mark Henderson (my mother's older brother), was to take him out to St. John -- 40 or so miles west of Salt Lake City -- to visit cemeteries and to see where his mother, Mary Anne McIntosh Henderson, was born. In the email, she wrote that she'd love to have me and my parents came along on the excursion, but that even if we didn't she'd be going anyway -- not being blunt about it, just that she was determined.

As it turns out, that was just the kick-start I required. You see, I've been promising to do this for years -- the going-to-St.-John trip, that is. Just never done it. I've talked to my cousin Neil Lamont about it, to another distant cousin Rob McIntosh about it, even to Rob's uncle Howard McIntosh about doing it.

But this time we pulled it off. On Monday, eight of us piled into Howard McIntosh's (Howard is my mother's first cousin; his father was Ira McIntosh) 12-passenger van and spent the morning driving through Rush Valley -- the "new" town that was formed out of combining St. John and Clover a few decades ago.
Here we are, absent Jean McIntosh, Howard's wife, who's taking the photo. L-R: Mark Henderson, Helen McIntosh Henderson Porter, Don Porter (Sr.), Don Porter (Jr.), Howard McIntosh, Linda Henderson Pullan, Kathleen Henderson Wheeler.
As the day approached, I thought it might be nice to have a better grasp on specific locations in St. John -- if possible, to verify what I'd learned from the Caldwell-McIntosh information that I have -- by visiting the Tooele County Recorder's office and checking the land records from the mid-1850s to 1900. I spent almost three hours there, and the employees couldn't have been more helpful. Given my limited time (I'll spend more there later this summer), I was able to verify the location of the building lots Caroline Elizabeth Caldwell McIntosh owned between 1868 and her death in 1891, and found record of a piece of ground purchased by William Abram McIntosh (her son, my great-grandfather) in the years after his marriage to Nancy Lena Guhl but preceding his move to Burlington, Wyo.

Here's a photo of the old, abandoned home still sitting on the block where Caroline owned two lots. If this is the right lot, it must be where she lived for many years.
Someone's living in a mobile home on the lot -- you can see a bit of it to the left, obscured by the pine tree -- but we didn't see anyone around when we were there. I'll post a scan of the original plot map (from 1890!) on the website sometime soon.

We drove to the site of the land purchased by W.A. McIntosh after his marriage to Nancy Lena, but there's a park and a couple of city buildings on the ground now.

We had better luck at the St. John and Clover cemeteries, though. There we found various McIntosh and Caldwell markers, including this one designating the graves of my Great-Great-Grandfather John McIntosh, my Great-Great Grandmother Caroline and my Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Mary Ann Vaughn Caldwell (Caroline's mother).
Now, I don't think we discovered anything new. This information, or most of it anyway, is contained in a wealth of information I received from the Caldwell-McIntosh organization. But I'll have to review that collection to see if it includes the land records. (If someone knows, please tell me where to look.)

It was a great day, full of stories and laughter and, not least, a great opportunity for my mom and Uncle Mark to catch up.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Henderson Reunion website has moved

WEST POINT, Utah -- Priorities. We all have them, and this past year mine have hardly included the family website. It's been a year filled with tumult, and so the website and this blog have not been at the top of my to-do list.

Not only did I switch web hosting services -- a racket if ever there was one -- but I was so disassociated from the whole website thing that I allowed ownership of my domain name ("") to expire. Once I realized that had happened, it took a little while for me to get things sorted out, and I decided to buy a new domain instead.

Henceforth, you'll have to change your bookmarks for the Henderson Reunion website to "" from

One other thing: I'm still cleaning up the inevitable broken and/or missing links to pages and photos, so please be patient. I believe most of the site is up and running, but I'll have to go through page by page to fix things in the coming weeks (not months, I hope, but I'm making no promises).

Frances Henderson's passing and funeral

I'm sure everyone knows by now, but in case you don't: Frances Henderson, my Uncle Mark's wife, passed away recently. I've started a Web page, but haven't yet posted any photos from the funeral (I'll need some help with names). I'll do that soon, and announce it here.

It was a terrific service, of course, and we felt so fortunate to be there to see so many family members that we rarely see (gotta get those reunions going again). Not only were Mark and Frances' children and (most of) their spouses there, but of course lots of their grandchildren and their spouses (spousi?), as well. I learned lots about my Aunt Frances that I hadn't known before. For example: I somehow had a vague knowledge that she'd grown up in Pennsylvania, but had no idea she volunteered to work in Hawaii during World War II -- tough stuff, that.

My subset of the Henderson clan has always felt a special kinship to Mark and Frances because when my father, Don, attended the FBI National Academy in 1970, he lived for three months with Mark and Frances in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington, D.C. He has repeatedly spoken of their generosity and kindness. I was 11 years old when we flew back to see Dad graduate (we met J. Edgar Hoover at a reception, among other interesting experiences), and we stayed there, too.

Anyway, I just love my cousins, and so it was nice to be able to visit -- especially with my new pal Amy, Mark Jr.'s wife, who's been a great help to my family this past year.

Another treat was that a trio of our McIntosh cousins also attended the service. We agreed to get together in the coming months to seek out and document (here and on the website) the McIntosh homes in Rush Valley south and west of Tooele.

So, make sure you navigate to the "new" website:, and after a couple of weeks let me know which links are still broken or photos missing, and I'll try to fix things. Also, I hope to announce here that the photos from the funeral are up for viewing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A 'Bill of Divorcement'

I'm certain I've apologized too many times for the months-long gaps in postings on this blog. Suffice to say it's been a challenging year, the genealogy and family history hasn't been at the top of my priority list, and I'm looking forward to 2012 being a space of time to get back into it.

That said, I just received from Sue Adams a transcription of Soren P. Guhl's "bill of divorcement" -- I love the formal sound of that -- from "Kerstine B.M. Guhl" in 1864. Kerstine was Soren's first wife; our line back to him goes through Mariane Madsen, a plural wife. Anyway, I've had the image of the document posted on the website for some time, but Sue has actually figured out what all the scribblings are. Click here to read it.

Thanks to Sue for this information. Every little bit helps to color in the blank spots about our ancestors' lives.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A few more items on the Caroline page

What better way to spend (Utah) Pioneer Day than to add information to our family website? I'm finishing up with the information so graciously passed along by cousin Rob McIntosh.

As mentioned in the previous blog post, in 1977 Rob solicited some recollections from Clover, Utah, resident Irene Russell about our ancestors, and she wrote three brief pieces:
Each sheds a little more light on the previously dim corners of our family's history. With everyone chipping in, a clearer narrative emerges. Also, thanks to Sue McIntosh Adams for sending along the photo of John Willard McIntosh to use with his history of Caroline.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Caroline, revised and expanded

Cousin Rob McIntosh sent along more -- great -- information about one of our most interesting and impressive ancestors: Caroline Elizabeth Caldwell McIntosh. I've revamped the main page, providing links to the sometimes lengthy content that was there previously, and links to some of what Bob just sent along.

In addition to the pair of histories we've had up for a while -- one by Ann Neddo and the other by John W. McIntosh -- Bob has sent along two letters written by Caroline to her son, and our (cousins) great-grandfather William Abram McIntosh (1859-1903).

Now, not only is the fact that we have letters written by her interesting, but the timeline makes it even more odd, as Bob pointed out:

Looks like while he was a student at Brigham Young Academy in 1889. Note: he was married with children at the time. Not sure how that worked out (family in St. John; him in Provo?).
Indeed, "Willie," as Caroline calls him, was married to Nancy Lena Guhl in 1883, and they had children. Be nice to know the story behind that.

Interestingly, Caroline spends a lot of time admonishing her son about "drinking and smoking." It's actually pretty funny.

I've also posted a link to a pdf document of the original aforementioned letters -- but in that same file there also are letters from a nurse in Billings, Mont., who, according to Bob, "
cared for Aunt Roah [our Grandmother Mary Anne McIntosh Henderson's sister] when she had typhoid fever, and from Gertrude Amelia McIntosh (d. 1918)."

Still to come: Bob sent along a letter/oral history from Irene Russell, of Clover, Utah, who died at age 97 in the early 1980s. She wrote some sketches of a few family members that I'll transcribe as I get time.

Once again, thanks to Bob for this great information about our family.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New photo book identifications

I'm not even going to bother making an excuse for my absence on this blog. It is what it is.

But I have good news: One of our far-flung (second) cousins, Rob McIntosh, was introduced to The Henderson Reunion website and he was able to identify a few people in Grandma Mary McIntosh's 1910 photo book. So, in Rob's own words:
No. 1c is most definitely Nellie Elizabeth Hibbert (married Orin Packard, who died, then James R. McNiven). 7d is Caroline McIntosh (Neves) and sister, Gertie. 7e I am quite sure is Gertie. I believe 7f is her brothers, Lester (left) and Fon (right). I believe 8a is Nellie Packard (same as no. 1c) and Sylvia Griffin (wife of Henry Griffin). The person you have identified as Nancy Henderson looks exactly like a person identified as Dora Isabell Henderson on a funeral card (she died in 1912) that was in my Grandmother's (May McNiven Partridge) records.

I have never seen pictures like the ones you have in that album--so many smiles, which you almost never see from that time period.
As I told Rob, it is so nice to know someone is reading and exploring the website, and also quite a thrill that we're filling in a few more blanks.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Walking over to the Lindsay side of the family

Haven't done a whole lot with the Lindsay branch of our family, so I thought I'd hop onto that limb today with a look at William Buckminster Lindsay, Jr. I should explain right up front that over the years I've tried two or three times to contact modern-day Lindsays via e-mail, asking permission to re-post items from their websites on our Henderson Family Reunion page, but have never received a response. (The e-mails weren't bounced back, so I'm sure someone got them; I guess they're just not interested in the correspondence. If anyone knows a member of the Lindsay family, please let them know we'd love to have them in here helping, commenting, showing us the way.)

So, I've forged ahead, given them due credit and haven't been asked to take them down despite all the copyright notifications on the Lindsay websites. I sincerely hope they don't mind.

As any of you know who've looked at the Lindsay pages linked to from our Henderson site, I've had photos up of Lindsays I had no way of identifying. But my visit last summer to Marsha's house provided me with plenty of information and I'm now in the process of matching names to the faces.

William Buckminster Lindsay, Jr., was born Dec. 25, 1821, in Jamestown, Canada
, the son of William Buckminster Lindsay, Sr., of Vermont, and Sarah Myers, of Yorkshire, England. He grew up on "his father's 77-acre farm near Rideau Lake, Leeds County, Canada."

He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at age 20 in 1842, and married Julia Parks on Feb. 19, 1845, in Nauvoo, Ill. (Julia and William Jr. were the parents of Julia Ann Lindsay, who married Hyrum Henderson; Julia Ann and Hyrum were the parents of my grandfather, David Monroe Henderson.) According to the account by Rex B. Lindsay/David J. Wardell, there exists an autobiography by Julia Parks Lindsay. It would be really nice to get a copy, or find out where we could get one to distribute to family members.

In 1846, as the Latter-day Saints were being hounded out of Nauvoo, William B. Lindsay, Jr. and Julia P. Lindsay were preparing to leave when he was called to serve as a guard for Brigham Young. This delayed Julia P.'s departure, and she stayed with her sister, Fannie, until

"there was another company about ready to start. I had the opportunity of going with my brother-in-law. I felt very anxious to go for I had heard that my husband was quite sick with the measles and I knew that he would be exposed to the cold and would not have much to comfort him and although I felt very loath to leave my dear sister, yet I felt it a duty to go.

"I started, but it being a very rainy spring, the roads were very bad, and I had traveled a whole week and never got into the wagon to ride, and some days we would only go two miles. I did not overtake my husband until I got to Garden Grove, and he was just getting so that he could work a little."

Then came polygamy. William Jr. married a second wife, Parmelia Charlotte Ann Blackman, "with the permission of his first wife, Julia."

Later, the family arrived in Utah, settling in Kaysville in 1853 (which, ironically, is where Samuel Henderson and his family first landed in Utah. But tragedy struck when "two of Julia's three children, all girls, were stricken with scarlet fever and were laid low by the hand of death in the fall of 1853."

William Jr. took a third wife, Sarah Elizabeth Henderson, in 1854. They all lived there about 13 years, and were farmers. In 1860, they divided into separate homes. And four years later, moved to the Bear Lake Valley.

In the fall of 1869, twelve of the family came down with typhoid fever. There were no doctors in the Bear Lake Valley at that time. Two boys died at this time. One was a ten year old son of Julia and the other was a six year old son of Parmelia. Both died within twenty four hours of each other. For three months the house was like a hospital and they did not know how ow whether they would be able to survive the ordeal. Minnie Lindsay Sorenson describes the conditions in the Bear Lake Valley in those first years in her history of William Buckminster Lindsay, Jr.

So, there's yet another history of William Jr. we should track down.

It's also worth noting that Julia P. Lindsay was the first Relief Society president in the area. Indeed, several years ago when Jan and I were vacationing near Bear Lake with our two youngest daughters, we visited the Paris, Idaho, storefront "museum" and our daughter Sarah noticed a large portrait of Julia hanging on the wall. And although the Paris Tabernacle was closed for renovations at the time, cousin Kathleen Wheeler had visited there a few years earlier and took photos of "hair flowers" in the tabernacle that included some of our Great-Grandmother Julia's actual hair. (It's an odd custom, I think, but one that apparently was not uncommon at the time.)

I think you'll find it all pretty interesting reading. I think it would be great to get access to those two books, too. Anybody have any information? Kathleen, is Julia's autobiography the one you said was available at the Daughter of Utah Pioneers museum?