You would think that I would be rolling in heirlooms, with my love of family and history, but after years of living outside of Utah, and being so far away, I really don't have a lot of things from my grandparents and their ancestors. Also, my husband and I are fortunate to have all of our parents still living, so they are continuing to enjoy all the "stuff." There is one thing which came to mind for this post, and that is this cabinet:
My grandfather, Kendal M. Ogilvie (I've written about him a lot already - he was a great guy who lived through fascinating times! He also loved sharing his story.), built this in his high school shop class in the 1930s. I know - it's a far cry from the shellacked monstrosities most of us think of when we hear "shop class." I adore this piece for its latches and hinges, and the lovely stain he picked.
When I visited my grandparents as a child (and I'll admit, even as an adult), I used to slip away and explore the house. In addition to the quiet, cool basement room that was loaded with books to read, I also liked to go upstairs and visit my aunt's sunny corner room, with the funky Snowbird Ski Resort poster on the wall. I would walk up the stairs, go past a room on the right that was so full of stuff that I did not dare to enter, then past my grandparents' room on the left. With the "washroom" in front of me, I would turn right toward her room. Right there in the hallway, on my right and opposite the built-in linen closet, was this cabinet. It always had a photo of my great-great-grandmother, Letty Rees Allgood, on top, and I would often think about how there was something in her face that reminded me of my aunt. It was a spot full of history, and stories waiting to be told.
The cabinet is a little tippy - the base isn't quite deep enough to support its height, but we've found some work-arounds. To my knowledge, it never had glass put in the doors. So I had the glass installed after picking it up from my cousin's house. She lives about an hour away (the two of us Western girls, marooned in Michigan!). After my grandpa died and all the things were being sorted, she had a bedroom set shipped to her from Utah. I asked if the cabinet could hitch a ride, too. I was so glad it worked out! After we said good-bye, and I was driving back toward home, the sun broke through the gloomy mid-Michigan skies and hit my face and arm. Feeling those rays brought the warmest thoughts of the love my grandparents had for us - for all of our family. It brought joyful tears to my eyes.
I love having this cabinet in my living room, as a way to honor my grandparents. I have some glassware from my grandma that I store in it, as well as some tea cups that my mom passed on from her grandmother. I also keep the little clay creations that my kids have brought home from art class in elementary school. It has become my little family keepsake corner, and fills my heart with love every time I walk by.
I hope everyone enjoyed Valentine's Day this week. My husband was out of town, so I celebrated by getting some rooms painted - thanks, honey! I also bought myself some lovely roses to enjoy this week. I thought of my grandma, Lila Mitchell Ogilvie, when I saw these beauties.
Her favorite color was an old-fashioned, dusty rose, and she looked lovely when she wore it. I was so inspired by her love of this color that my childhood room had wallpaper this color. I didn't learn just how deep her love of roses went until my grandparents were in their nineties. That was when I heard more about their long-distance romance during World War II.
My grandparents were married on 4 November 1939. Coming out of the Great Depression, money was tight, and they continued living at my grandmother's childhood home while my grandfather finished college. After receiving his commission in the Army ROTC, he served in World War II from 4 May 1942 to 2 February 1946. He carried this photo (below) of my grandma with him all the way across Europe, including England, Normandy, Belgium, Germany, and post-war occupation in Czechoslovakia.
My aunt said the variety was "old rose" - I haven't been able to find a photo of it, yet... My grandma remained in her father's house for all those years. She worked at the dental office at Fort Douglas, spent time with her family, and waited for her husband to come home.
My grandpa was famous for saying "It will all work out." I have trusted these words more and more as time goes by - and I'm sure my grandma must have, too.
1. "Utah, Select Marriage Index, 1887-1985," database online, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 February 2018), entry for Kendal Morris Ogilvie and Lila Mitchell, 1939, certificate number A083560; citing "Various Utah State Public Record Offices."
2. Utah State Archives and Records Service (Salt Lake City), Military Service Cards, ca. 1898-1975, Reel 093 - Neusmeyer, Kenneth - Otis, Francis, for Kendal M. Ogilvie; database online, "Utah, Military Records, 1861-1970," Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 February 2018); citing Department of Administrative Services, Division of Archives and Records Service, Series 85268, Reel 93.
I found this photo on Find A Grave - I have learned so much from this wonderful, free web site! You can also contribute to the site, and help others who are looking for their family. I used it for many years before I could afford an Ancestry account, and found it very valuable and accessible. Take a minute and look up some of your family members - see if they are accounted for, and if their information is correct. If not, make suggestions for edits, and add photos if they are missing - you'll be hooked from there!
I've studied Salathiel's daughter, Diana Jane, through her marriage to John Bechtel. They both died in Iowa, but spent about 25 years in Nebraska, where they were married in 1873, and John was a minister for the Church of the United Brethren. I hadn't understood why Jane was in Nebraska until I took a closer look this week. I found homesteading documents for Salathiel on Ancestry, which show that he applied for land as a disabled Civil War veteran. According to his application, the family arrived in April 1871, and their first home there was made of sod. Again, from Find A Grave, Salathiel's obituary reads:
Salathael Stanley, father of Mrs. Roy Crom, died last Friday of apoplexy at the home of the latter. Deceased was eighty-three years of age and one of the early settlers in this country. - Nebraska Signal, Geneva, Nebraska, June 8, 1906.
Salathiel and his wife, Sarah Ann Hickey, were living in Illinois with eight children when the Civil War broke out. He was 40 years old when he enlisted as a Private in the Union Army in Coles County. He was assigned to Company H in the 79th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry. He was discharged for disability on 16 July 1863 in Louisville, Kentucky, and it was this disability which qualified him for applying for his land in Nebraska. Apparently it was not severe enough to limit his farming efforts, and I am also happy to report, Salathiel and Sarah Ann had one more child, Amanda Della, in 1864 (the Mrs. Roy Crom mentioned above).
I read about the history of the 79th Regiment on The Illinois Civil War Project - it looks like he may have been injured at the Battle of Stones River, Northwest of Murfeesboro, Tennessee, or possibly the Battle of Liberty Gap a few months later (June 1863), Southeast of Murfeesboro.
I don't have any Civil War participants in my family history, so I am always curious when one pops up on my husband's side. In this case, I felt like I could understand Salathiel's story better because our family visited the Carnton Plantation battle site, in Franklin, Tennessee, a couple of years ago, while we were visiting my aunt. In fact, the 79th Regiment played a part in the Battle of Franklin. Even though it took place in 1864, after Salathiel was discharged, our visit helped me to envision his experience.
By the way, remember the star on his vest? At first I thought he may have been a sheriff in his later years, but context and closer examination lead me to believe that he was photographed wearing a commemorative medal given to him and other Civil War veterans by the Grand Army of the Republic, such as the one pictured here. From what I have learned so far, it seems to me that Salathiel Stanley was definitely one of the good guys.
1. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 11 February 2018), memorial page for Salathiel (Salathael) Stanley (16 August 1822–1 June 1906), Find A Grave Memorial no. 33011463, citing Chelsea Cemetery, Fillmore County, Nebraska; photo credit Zelda Capehart.
2. “Useful Life is Ended,” Earlham Echo (Iowa), 6 December 1923, p. 1, col. 4; digital image, search term “John Bechtel,” Community History Archive (http://earlham.advantage-preservation.com/ : accessed 18 October 2017).
3. “U.S., Homestead Records, 1863-1908,” database with images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 February 2018), entry for Salathiel Stanley, 26 September 1878, Beatrice, Nebraska, Application Number 7325, Final Certificate Number 3792; citing National Archives Record Group Title “Records of the Bureau of Land Management, 1685-2006,” Record Group Number 49: Land Entry Case Files: Homestead Final Certificates.
4. 1860 U.S. census, Coles County, Illinois, population schedule, East Oakland Township, p. 5 (penned), dwelling 36, family 36, Selathiel Stanley household; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 February 2018); citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm publication M653, roll 171.
5. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 11 February 2018), memorial page for Amanda Della Stanley Crom (20 July 1864-21 March 1935), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27707057, citing Grasston Union Cemetery, Kanabec County, Minnesota.
Now that I am (for the moment, ha ha!) caught up with my 52 Ancestors posts, I wanted to share a little bit about my first experience with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), which is run by the Utah Genealogical Association. This year it ran 21-26 January. I was fortunate to find an open spot in the class "The Third Coast: Research in the Great Lakes Region," which was offered by Cari Taplin, CG, and Kathryn Lake Hogan, PLCGS. Believe me, the irony of leaving a Great Lakes state for this experience was certainly not lost on me. I'll admit it - I was also looking for a reason to go home.
I went early so that I could catch up with my family and get settled in, but you know what Robert Burns says about the best-laid schemes, right? I came down with the flu during my flight - probably somewhere over Nebraska? - and I spent all the extra time resting instead. I was fortunate to be able to join my class on the first day as planned, but was still recovering. It took a high level of concentration to keep up with the fast-paced course - Cari and Kathryn really know how to pack in all the info! French and English colonial history, the War of 1812, shipping and timber industries, native people, church records... on and on! We were also treated to guest lectures by Judy Russell, JC, CG, CGL; David Ouimette, CG, CGL; and John Philip Colletta, PhD, FUGA. By the end of the week I felt much better prepared to serve my adopted state of Michigan, and people with family history on both sides of the Great Lakes. I even learned more about one of my Canadian Loyalist families!
The fun didn't stop there! Every day after class there was some kind of event scheduled. One evening we took over the Family History Library (aka Genealogy Mecca), where I made a little progress on some of my research projects. Another evening we went to the Utah State Archives, where not only did I run into an old friend, but also made an excellent find about my great-great-great grandfather George B. Ogilvie (which I'm sure I'll be posting about later). One evening we were generously hosted by AncestryProGenealogists at their downtown SLC office - what a treat!!! The last night was a banquet where all of us who had worked so hard, learning or presenting, celebrated making it through the week!
Now that I am home and have had a chance to restore order to my life (and caught up with my blog posts!), I am so glad that I took the big leap and made this experience happen. Not only was I able to finally meet two of my classmates from the online BU course in genealogical research, I also made new friends. I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to attend another SLIG course next year - the biggest challenge will be deciding which one to take!
This week's prompt is: "What intriguing find have you made in a census?" Here is a clipping of my paternal grandmother, Lila Mitchell Ogilvie's population census entry. She and her family were enumerated on 16 April 1930, when she was 13 years old.
This snapshot in time holds deeper meaning when you understand that this family lost their mother, Eudora Allgood Mitchell, just five months prior, on November 15th, 1929. In addition to Lila's father, Vernon C. Mitchell, the household included her siblings: Howard E. (20), Kenneth C. (18), Eudora (16), Jed N. (10), Louise (6), and Elda L. (4). (Her eldest brother, Vernon R., died tragically in 1920, after being struck by lightning, and her second eldest brother, Leonard R., was married and living nearby in his own household).
I grew up hearing from my grandma about how devastating it was to lose her mother at such a young age (Eudora's death from appendicitis coincided with the advent of the Great Depression - just two weeks after Black Tuesday), and how hard she had to work to step into the role that her mother left behind. Her older sister, Dora, told a similar story.
What I found surprising about this census was the presence of their grandmother, Lettice "Letty" Rees Allgood in the household - either I never heard, or I had forgotten about this part of the story. She was widowed herself, and had been supporting her family alone since 1909. I can only imagine what it must have been like for Letty to suddenly lose her daughter and, in the wake of her own grief, to step up and take care of her son-in-law and seven grandchildren. Thank you, Letty.
Photos: My great-great grandmother, Lettice Rees Allgood, Portrait, and Seated (center) with Children (clockwise from left): Eudora (my great-grandmother), Stanley Thomas, Lester Rees, Ernest Earl, Lettie Florence, and George Harry Allgood (Source: FamilySearch).
Another fun fact I learned from this census was that Letty spoke Welsh. She was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales in 1860 and, according to this record (and the article below), she emigrated in 1872. I think it is pretty cool that she retained the language of her home country, so many years later. This record also shows that she was a naturalized citizen. Her entry in the 1920 census, where she was living alone with her youngest son, Harry, records her year of naturalization as 1889 - I have some following up to do!
I don't know how long Letty stayed with my grandma's family after 1930 - maybe it was only for a short time? My aunt once said that she lived in the house next door. By the 1940 census she was living in the household of her oldest son, Earnest Earl Allgood. This census also reported that she was living in the same place five years earlier, in 1935.
I'm posting an article about Letty below - it was written in 1941, three years prior to her death. You can see how her 'onward and upward' attitude served her well through her years - she must have been quite a character!
1. 1930 U.S. census, Salt Lake County, Utah, population schedule, Salt Lake City, Enumeration District (ED) 18-47, sheet 18A, p. 68 (stamped), dwelling 146, family 154, Vernon C. Mitchell household; imaged at Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 February 2018); citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 2420.
2. 1920 U.S. census, Salt Lake County, Utah, population schedule, Salt Lake City, ED 105, sheet 12B (penned), house 30, Letty Allgood (incorrectly indexed as Lilly Allgood) household; imaged at Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 February 2018); citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 1866.
3. 1940 U.S. census, Salt Lake County, Utah, population schedule, Salt Lake City, ED 30-11, sheet 1A (penned), house 5, Ernest Earl Allgood (incorrectly indexed as Emestearl Allgood) household; imaged at Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 February 2018); citing National Archives microfilm publication T627, roll 4226.
4. Clarence D. Williams, "Early Resident Likes Convenience and Comfort of Modern Life," Salt Lake Telegram (Utah), 22 March 1941, page 13; imaged online, Utah Digital Newspapers (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu : accessed 4 February 2018).
The story goes that William was an illegitimate child - his mother, Ann Wilkinson, was a maid in his grandparents' home. She left shortly after he was born, and he was raised by his grandparents. His father, William, married and had a family, which did not include William. He was determined to leave home as soon as possible, and became a cabin boy at a young age. Eventually he was working on a farm in New York, where he was converted to the LDS faith.
He married Sabra Lake in Illinois, and they eventually settled in Harrisville, North of Ogden, Utah, where they raised 15 children. Father Dixon, as he was called, had an extra challenge: one of his feet turned inward at the ankle, so that he walked with a limp from the age of nine. Knowing that he sailed on ships, worked on a farm, and crossed the plains with this disability gives me an added sense of respect and honor for this man. He did not let it slow him down.
What I find especially interesting about William is that, like me, he was a dedicated gardener. According to the biographical sketch written about him by granddaughter Electa Skeen Johnson: 
"William loved the soil. He and his sons planted an orchard just below the hill to the southward. He loved to prune his trees and found joy in their bud and bloom and fruit. How many times as he walked among the trees must he have remembered his experience in the old English apple orchard in his youth. Between the rows of trees in his orchard he planted various kinds of berries. His strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries were the choicest in the valley. There was one row of an unusual variety of fruit, called ground cherries which grew on a low, rambling bush and were most delicious and rare. South of his orchard he planted his garden and on to the south stretched his fields of grain and rich, green meadows."
Reading this for the first time made my heart sing. This man loved soil as much as I do! When I look into his eyes in this photograph, knowing his story and the challenges he overcame, I feel a connection with him that is so deep and intangible. It really is hard to explain - but I know that part of me comes from him. I would love to sit down with him to share a meal and talk about our shared successes and failures, preferably in the summertime, so that we could taste the delicious results of his hard labor.
1. "Biography of William Wilkinson Dixon," compilation of biographies by Harvey Dixon, Jr. and Electa Skeen Johnson, in Robert Boyd Jackson, editor, The Family of William Wilkinson Dixon and Sabra Lake Dixon (printed by the editor, 1983), pages 1-3 to 1-5; in personal collection of the author, 2018.
2. Electa Skeen Johnson, "William Wilkinson Dixon," biographical sketch submitted to Daughters of Utah Pioneers (between 1935-1955); digital format, FamilySearch
(https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/18067004 : accessed 4 February 2018).
I know, it's tiny.* Let me read that for you:
*Many thanks to the Find A Grave volunteers who created and maintained this memorial page.
105 years old - isn't that amazing? To my knowledge, John Ogilvie is my longest-lived ancestor [by the way, he and Elis had 13 children!]. Longevity runs in my family - in addition to John, on the Ogilvie side, my grandpa, Kendal M. Ogilvie, died at the age of 97. His mother, Ida Jorgensen Ogilvie, was 95, and his wife, Lila Mitchell Ogilvie was 94. In addition to these nonagenarians, I have many other ancestors on both sides of my family who lived into their 70s and 80s, surviving challenges such as pioneer life, the Spanish Flu, or the Great Depression without modern medicine. Let's just say, with this in mind, I have been pacing myself in patient anticipation of my personal longevity.
John Ogilvie's story is particularly remarkable. Thanks to this beautiful headstone, we know when he was born (1751), and where he died (Meagher's Grant, Nova Scotia), but we still don't know where he was born. John and his older brother, Peter (who died at a respectable 88 years old), arrived in Nova Scotia as Loyalist refugees from Georgia in 1784. Although not mentioned by name, they were both included (along with their mother and a third sibling), in their father, James Ogelby's, petition for land in St. George's Parish, Georgia in 1759, soon after Georgia became a royal colony in 1852. Peter eventually owned his own land, which was described in his repeated petitions to the British Crown for compensation for all that he lost. Some people have supposed that this family came straight from Scotland, however, considering historical context, they likely arrived from South Carolina, and the family may have been Ulster Scots prior to that (it might be a long time before we get back to Scotland!). Unfortunately, despite what we do know, many details have been lost over time.
With it concerning my paternal line - the surname I carry, this sweeping story has held my fascination for decades. Where did we come from? Isn't it amazing how far these two brothers traveled? Why were they Loyalists? How in the world did John manage to live so long? Questions like these are what have inspired me to keep researching this family. I hope to live long enough to learn more about their story!
1. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 17 January 2018), memorial page for John Ogilvie (1751–20 Nov 1856), Find A Grave Memorial no. 52135878, citing Meagher's Grant Cemetery, Meaghers Grant, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada ; Maintained by Calcat (contributor 47061806); photo credit Okanagan Researcher or Glenn MacKenzie.
2. Leonard H. Smith, Jr., and Norma H. Smith, compilers, Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867, Volume 1, page 190, column 2, entries for Ogilvie, John and Ogilvie, Peter, Genealogical Publishing Company (Baltimore, Maryland), 1992-1994; indexed digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 February 2018).
3. Surveyor General, Survey Records, Colonial Plats and Warrants, RG 3-3-56, CWPOglesbyJames01a/01b/02a, James Ogleby (incorrectly indexed as Oglesby), St. George's Parish, 1759, Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia; database with images, GeorgiaVault (vault.georgiaarchives.org : accessed 1 February 2018).
4. American Loyalist Claims, Series II, class AO 13, piece 025, Memorial for Peter Oglevie; The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey, England; indexed digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 February 2018).