Margaret was raised in the Ogilvie household in Nova Scotia. She married English emigrant, Peter Furlong, and their first child, Barbara Elizabeth, was born in or near Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1852. The Furlong family joined the Ogilvie family on their arduous journey West to Utah Territory in 1855. They lived briefly in Tooele, then Alpine City, and later settled in Spanish Fork, and four more children joined the family. It was a difficult existence in those early days, with very little food, widespread illness, and poor shelter. To complicate matters, by 1860, Margaret's step-father, George B., had separated from her mother, and was starting a new family in a new location.
The 1880 U.S. census marked her further decline. She was the only boarder in the household of James and Jane Powell. She was marked as "insane," labeled sick with "paresis," and had not worked in the last 12 months. As you can read below, Margaret died five years later, in 1885, after having been "insane for a great many years."
As anyone who studies family history knows, unfortunate circumstances can continue to ripple for generations. Margaret's youngest child, Mary Ellen, was certainly affected by her family's misfortune. The following description of her childhood in a history of her husband, George Newman Perkins, is heartbreaking.
I often think of Margaret's family and the series of misfortunes in their lives. Margaret lost her father at an early age, endured the hardships of pioneer life, bore at least five children, lost the only father-figure she knew, and then her husband - her provider and protector - died at a young age. Poor and illiterate, she then lost her mother and two of her children, and then her other three children were sent to work, some in abusive situations. She lived alone, or as a boarder for the last fifteen years of her life. I think even the toughest of us would have been hard-pressed to retain our sanity through all of these events. Margaret's three surviving children went on to live long and productive lives, and two of them had very large families (the third gave birth to at least eight children, with only two living to adulthood - more misfortune).
Stories like Margaret's are a good reminder that not all family histories are pretty. However, these tales are just as important to tell, and can often provide explanations for medical histories, reasons why families fell into poverty, and inspiration for handling our own challenges. Understanding these stories can make successes stand out even more, when we know the challenges and misfortunes a family has faced.
1. Estate Papers of John Campbell, Musquodoboit, ca. 1827, “Halifax County Estate Papers,” no. C18, microfilm 19399, Nova Scotia Archives (NSA), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
2. "Utah, Death and Military Death Certificates, 1904-1961," database with images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 March 2018), entry for Barbara Elizabeth Hales, 13 October 1924, Utah County; citing "Death Certificates, 1904-1961," Series Number 81448, Utah State Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.
3. Individuals in this Company, Jacob F. Secrist/Noah T. Guymon Company (1855); online database, Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel (https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/companies/263/jacob-f-secrist-noah-t-guymon-company-1855 : accessed 2 November 2017); citing "2nd Company of 50 reports,” 31 May 1855; report, CR 1234 5, box 1, folder 37, Emigrating companies reports 1850-1862, Reports 1853-1855, Brigham Young office files, 1832-1878, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.
4. 1860 U.S. census, Utah County, Utah Territory, population schedule, Spanish Fork Post Office, p. 230 (penned), dwelling 2043, family 1632, Peter Furlong [incorrectly indexed as “Furlond”], Margaret Furlong; digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 November 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 1314.
5. 1860 U.S. census, Salt Lake County, Utah Territory, population schedule, Union Post Office, p. 270 (penned), dwelling 1983, family 333, Geo B Ogleby; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 November 2017); citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm publication M653, roll 1313.
6. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 26 March 2018), memorial page for Peter Furlong (19 Jun 1819–30 Apr 1865), Find A Grave Memorial no. 48253567, citing Pioneer Heritage Cemetery, Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah, USA. Note: I am still seeking original documentation for Peter Furlong's date of death. It is possible that he was buried in the Spanish Fork Pioneer Cemetery, but this has not yet been confirmed to my knowledge.
7. Spanish Fork Cemetery (Spanish Fork, Utah), “Cemetery records, 1866-1898,” page 3/image 22, Catherine J. Furlong entry; Family History Library (FHL) microfilm 008195204; FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 22 March 2018). Note: this record has a date of death as 15 October 1866, but the Spanish Fork City Cemetery Index on Ancestry has it as 15 October 1868.
8. Spanish Fork Cemetery (Spanish Fork, Utah), “Cemetery records, 1866-1898,” page 4/image 23, Barbra E. Ogilvie entry; Family History Library (FHL) microfilm 008195204; FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 9 November 2017).
9. 1870 U.S. census, Utah County, Utah Territory, population schedule, Spanish Fork, p. 29 (penned), dwelling 227, family 215, Margaret J Furlong [incorrectly indexed as "Mary W Furlong"]; digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 March 2018); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1612.
10. Spanish Fork Cemetery (Spanish Fork, Utah), “Cemetery records, 1866-1898,” page 18/image 31, Margaret A. Furlong entry; Family History Library (FHL) microfilm 008195204; FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 22 March 2018).
11. "Deaths," (Salt Lake City, Utah) Deseret News, 18 March 1885, page 16, for Margaret Furlong; online database with images, Utah Digital Newspapers (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu : accessed 22 March 2018).
12. Spanish Fork Cemetery (Spanish Fork, Utah), “Cemetery records, 1866-1898,” page 76/image 90, Margaret J. Furlong entry; Family History Library (FHL) microfilm 008195204; FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 22 March 2018).
13. Reo Stephens Perkins, "George Newman Perkins," [publishing date unknown], page 1, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/6604803 : accessed 24 March 2018). Note: I have been unable to identify the Gibbs family referenced in this memory - it is possible that this surname was mis-remembered.
I really had to work at figuring out who to write about for this post. As far as I know, I have no Irish ancestry (maybe Ulster Scots?), and so many of my ancestors were just regular people who were born into tough circumstances. I finally landed on George Byers Ogilvie, my 4x great-grandfather, because there is no denying his great luck. I have studied his story for a very long time, and I still have some questions about him. I'm sure I'll be writing about him several times on this blog (I've already mentioned him in this post, as well as in my SLIG post, which also has a nice view of the Oquirrh Mountains) - so I'll try to just focus on this one moment in time, when the winds of fortune blew his way.
George arrived in Utah Territory with his family in 1855, and worked at cutting timber and running cattle along the Wasatch Front for several years.  The story goes that he was doing lumber work for an associate named Archibald Gardner (one of Gardner's saw mills is now a shopping destination in West Jordan, Utah), near Bingham Canyon, in the Oquirrh Mountains.
George is credited with discovering silver ore in Bingham Canyon in 1863. He worked with Archibald Gardner and other men to form the "West Mountain Quartz Mining District," which ran the length of the Oquirrh Mountains. The district included their specific mining claim for the ore discovered by George as "The Jordan Silver Mining Company." This became the first mining claim filed in Utah.
Despite this historic discovery, George moved his family to Nevada before his interest in this mine had a chance to pay off. His grandson reported that a man rode out to buy his shares from him for $25 each, prior to his death in 1879. George never reaped the rewards of his great fortune - his shares eventually became part of Bingham Copper Mine, the world's largest open pit mine. It is visible to the naked eye from space.
It has enriched many, and employed thousands, including my great-grandfather, who swept floors and moved debris, and my grandfather, who was an engineer for the smelter. I wonder what George would have thought of that? This may come as a surprise, but there are many reasons why I am grateful that my family did not benefit too much from this mine - I suppose, in a way, we have been lucky, too.
1. Jetta Stewart Brunson, “History of George Beyers Ogilvie,” biographical narrative; FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/8058896 : accessed 7 November 2017).
2. Daniel D. Coons, Biography of George Byers Ogilive [sic], Part 1, [publishing information unavailable], page 21; viewed on FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/7905705 : accessed 12 February 2017).
3. Coons, Biography of George Byers Ogilive [sic], Part 1, pages 21-24.
4. “Bingham Bulletin Notes,” (Salt Lake City, Utah) Salt Lake Herald, 16 December 1895, page 3; online database with images, Utah Digital Newspapers (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu : accessed 16 March 2018).
5. Photo of George Byers Ogilvie, circa 1870, digital image, FamilySearch
(https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/5207917 : accessed 16 March 2018).
6. “Notice: Office of the Vedette Silver and Copper Mining Company,” (Camp Douglas, Utah Territory) Union Vedette, 27 November 1863, page 2; online database with images, Utah Digital Newspapers (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu : accessed 16 March 2018).
7. George Francis Ogilvie, "George Beyers Ogilvie - Pioneer Elko County Rancher," Northeastern Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, 93-4, pages 135-136; citing George Francis Ogilvie, "George Beyers Ogilvie: Pioneer Rancher in Elko County," biographical narrative, Elko, Nevada, 12 June 1966; paper copy in possession of the author, 7 November 2017.
Why have I chosen Mary Coats Bergstrom as my "Strong Woman"?
This 1901 obituary really says it all:
Mary was the paternal aunt of my great-great grandmother, Mary Maud Coats Stratford - the little child mentioned in this obituary, and the one who cared for her at her end. Her story is a good reminder that sometimes our ancestors made more than one trip across the Atlantic. I've found Mary's first crossing, with her husband, Carl, and younger sister, Jane Coats. I'm still looking for Mary's return with my great-great grandmother. I'd love to see that goat listed on the passenger list - ha ha!
As with all stories, there is so much more I could write about this woman. Suffice it to say that life was not all roses for her. She was born into poverty. She worked in a cotton mill from a very young age. Her marriage was disappointing, and her alcoholic husband eventually abandoned their family. She never had children of her own. However, instead of sinking into despair, she worked hard and saved her money, bringing her widowed mother and adopted niece to start a new life as Utah pioneers. While she was sad to lose her husband, his departure enabled her to finally find financial independence and stability. Her stores in Ogden and Logan were community gathering places, and she made lasting friendships with her neighbors and customers.
Mary Coats Begstrom, I admire your strength and courage, and am so grateful for your legacy of thrift, persistence, and love for your family.
1. "Death of an Old Resident," (Utah) Ogden Standard, 11 November 1901, page 6; Utah Digital Newspapers (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu : accessed 6 March 2018), search term "Mary Bergstrom."
2. Maud Coats Bergstrom Stratford, "Sketch of the Life of Mary Coats Bergstrom," 4 September 1922, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Camp 33, Recorded by Ethel Stratford Skeen; digital copy in personal collection of the author, East Lansing, Michigan, 2018.
I have been thinking all week about which will to write about... There was the hotly contested will of John Russell, my 3x great-grandfather, which I recently discovered. Or perhaps the will of someone I was studying for a class, which magically solved my research question? But then I saw the prompt from Amy Johnson Crow, the originator of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, about how my post could also be about someone named "Will," and I knew that was the direction to go.
Many people called my great-grandfather, William George Ogilvie, by the name "Honest Will." I always love reading that about him. I never met him - he died four years before I was born. I knew his wife, Ida Jorgensen Ogilvie, and heard her stories many times, but I didn't know as much about him, figuring he was a quiet, stable person who preferred to stay out of the limelight.
He is pictured above with his three sisters (l-r), Julia Reina (seated), Edna Eliza, and Grace Amelia. Will was the oldest of seven children, and his family was raised in Richfield, a small Central Utah town, which his grandfather, George Ogilvie, helped settle. Below, on the left, Will is pictured with his brothers, Oliver Fay (left), and Orin Author (right). His sisters are in the photo to its right, with Edna Eliza (top), Julia Reina (left), Grace Amelia (right), and Delora (bottom).
Like most families in this time and place, they were not wealthy, and everyone pitched in with household labor, growing food, and taking jobs where and when they could. They are pictured below in about 1913, prior to the loss of many family members. Will's youngest brother, Oliver, died in 1914, his father in 1917, his sister, Edna, in 1918, and his mother in 1919. Listed left to right: Oliver, Grace, Will, Julia, Orin, Edna, George William, Delora, and Cosmelia "Melia" Ogilvie.
I recently read my great-grandpa's autobiography, and honestly, I wish I could just post the whole thing here, because his words tell the story better than I could. Unless noted otherwise, all following information comes from this document. He summed it up this way, "My entire life consisted of hard working conditions." His early adult years consisted of traveling away from home for menial jobs. Just a few examples:
Will worked as a missionary for his church from 1907 to 1910, travelling throughout South Carolina and parts of North Carolina. He worked at harvesting and thrashing grain after his return. He attempted to work at the mine again, but became ill after several months and returned home. He worked at the Elsinore Sugar Factory, processing sugar beets, when he met and married Ida Jorgensen, in 1913. Unfortunately, the sugar mill was only open seasonally, so he had to look for work in the winter/early Spring, such as working for a plaster company.
It went on this way for a few years, along with the arrival of his first two sons (photo above is of Will, Ida, and my grandpa, Kendal Morris Ogilvie ). In October 1918, Will contracted the Spanish Flu, which led to pneumonia and pleural empyema. He was hospitalized for two months, and did not work for nine months. His household was supported by a network of family, friends and neighbors. During this period his mother died, and his third son was born. He went back to work crushing gypsum for the Jumbo Plaster Company, and spinning sugar for the Elsinore Sugar Company, but his health was never the same after this experience.
1923 brought a big change to the family, when Will started work with American Smelting & Refining Company in Garfield, Utah (a company town that no longer exists), at the Southern end of the Great Salt Lake. He started as a clean up man, eventually working with the electrical generators. By the time he retired in 1950, he was back to sweeping and clean up, and he took on other janitorial jobs here and there after his retirement from the smelter. He and Ida were the parents of nine children (including one adopted son), and hosted several foster children along the way. They sent four sons off to fight in World War II at the same time - all returned home safely.
Will wrote that he never learned how to drive, and never owned a car. One story that has really stuck with me was something his wife, Ida, shared in a recording. She said that he once walked all the way over a mountain range, from Richfield to Delta, Utah, to meet her. At some point he wore off the soles of his shoes, so he completed his journey barefoot.
Photos above are of Will and with his wife, Ida. Will battled ill health throughout his adult life. In addition to his respiratory problems, he suffered several heart attacks - one that knocked him down in the middle of crossing a busy street! He had cataracts, and was nearly blind by the end of his life. He experienced the loss of several family members early on. Despite all this, surrounded by those who loved him, he continued to work hard, holding tight to his faith and his family throughout all of his trials. His children all lived good lives - guided by strong morals. His grandchildren remember him as a gentle, loving person. He died on 26 February 1971 - just two days shy of his 86th birthday - I started writing this post on his 133rd birthday. So Happy Birthday, Great-Grandpa Ogilvie! What a perfect example of "When there's a Will, there's a way."
1. William George Ogilvie, "Autobiography of William George Ogilvie," page 1, digital image at FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/48335817: accessed 28 February 2018); scanned from B. Eileen Ogilvie Ipson and Grant J. Ipson, ed., My Links to Heaven: Courageous Ancestors Stories and Testimonies, self-published, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1993.
2. B. Eileen Ogilvie Ipson, "Biographical Sketch of George William Ogilvie," digital image at FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/37687372 : accessed 28 February 2018); included in B. Eileen Ogilvie Ipson and Grant J. Ipson, ed., My Links to Heaven: Courageous Ancestors Stories and Testimonies, self-published, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1993.
3. "Not Guilty: The Glenwood Alleged Murder," (Provo, Utah) Territorial Enquirer, 26 March 1886, page 3; Utah Digital Newspapers (https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu : accessed 28 February 2018), search term "Charles Ogilvie."
4. Photo of Ogilvie children, circa 1893, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/4994307 : accessed 28 February 2018).
5. Photo of Ogilvie boys, circa 1903, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/8908604 : accessed 28 February 2018).
6. Photo of Ogilvie girls, circa 1903, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/8908604 : accessed 28 February 2018).
7. George William Ogilvie Family Photo, circa 1913, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/4994481: accessed 28 February 2018).
8. William George Ogilvie, "Autobiography...," FamilySearch.
9. William George Ogilvie, Ida Jorgensen Ogilvie, and Kendal Morris Ogilvie photo, circa 1915, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/1591771 : accessed 28 Feburary 2018).
10. Ida Jorgensen Ogilvie, audio recording of memories of her son, Kendal Morris Ogilvie, circa 1980-1990 (date unknown), digitized copy obtained from Rachel Ogilvie Robison privately held by author in personal collection, 2018, East Lansing, Michigan.
11.William George Ogilvie photo, circa 1945, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/8908605 : accessed 28 Feburary 2018).
12. William George Ogilvie and Ida Jorgensen Ogilvie photo, circa 1960, digital image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/1871286 : accessed 28 Feburary 2018).