Playing in the Atlantic

Yesterday was a day Amanda and I took to head to the beach.  We went with Matthew and Sarah Harris to play at Virginia Beach.  You will notice I put up a couple of pictures in the Virginia Living from our day away.  Amanda is in pain today from her burns.  I did get some minor burning but nothing that is causing any pain.
I added a couple of photos to the Sharp Album.  Raymond and Celia Draper went to Plain City and visited Grandpa and Caroline.  Raymond is the son of Ruth Sharp who is the daughter of Milo Ray Sharp.  Milo Ray Sharp is the brother of Grandpa’s mother, Ethel Sharp.  That makes Grandpa and Raymond 1st cousins 1 time removed.  That makes Raymond and Caroline 2nd cousins.  For an interesting photo, they are behind the tombstone of Milo Riley Sharp and his wife Mary Ann Stoker (Lillie M) and his mother Mary Ann Bailey.  So this shows Grandpa’s grandparents and his great grandmother.
Dad continues to do well.  He spent an entire day in surgery the day after the initial surgery.  They thought he was draining too much blood.  It proved to be nothing.  On the good side, they found a bile duct they needed to secure more securely.  Apparently they would have had to go in to correct it later so it was a good thing they caught it this time.  They took his feeding tube out the day after the second day of surgery.  When I spoke to him this morning they had removed all his IV’s and the only thing he still had on him was an oxygen tube.  Apparently he will be in for a few more days before he can go to the little apartment nearby.  He has to visit the hospital daily for the first week, then every other day for another week, then every three days the next week, and then weekly for a few months or something like that.  He will be in Utah for a few more weeks before they will make it back to Idaho.  I have loaded a picture of Dad the day after the surgery in the Virginia Living Album as well.

Killed a hen

There is a big whopping achievement I want to report.  It has been an entire year in the process.  It would not have taken so long if I would have really knuckled down to do it.  It probably would have only taken three months.  I finished typing up my Great Grandmother’s journals!  Well, there are only three years worth, 1961-1963.  I have been told there are more, many more, but nobody seems to know where they are.  Well, actually I have been told they are located in the missing trunk that I reported on here some months back.  I don’t know if this trunk really holds all these treasures, of if it is to blame for the loss of family priceless jewels.  I hope someday we can find out.  The journals amounted to roughly the equivalent of 120 typed pages.  Yea, I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but it was a long process.  I really enjoyed the walk through time.  The death of my Great Great Grandmother is in there although a small, undetailed account.  The assassination of President Kennedy was another interesting read.  While she records no emotions on the death of her mother, for days afterward she is sickened by the assassination.  She comments seeing Mr. Oswald being shot by Mr. Ruby and how horrible that felt to her.
I learned quite a bit about myself in the process.  Every week contains some reference to my Grandparents, Norwood and Colleen Jonas.  Sometimes it is as common as every day for a week.  There are references to operations on my Grandmother, Colleen and her having what was believed to be a cancerous mole removed.  There are references to my own mother losing her finger, which story I have also included in past postings.  Grandma Lillian references babysitting often my Aunt Jackie.
All in all, I gained a greater testimony of daily journal entries.  Her example is powerful.  The most mundane of activities are in some ways completely foreign to us 40 years later.  She visit teaches 10 (!) different households every months the entire three years.  What is more, she comments about it the beginning days of nearly every month, meaning it was done early and regularly.  It is strange to hear of the chickens being killed for Sunday dinner.  That is something you never hear of someone just deciding to kill the chicken for dinner that evening.  Telephone calls are still referred to as a novelty.  The insurance was incredibly cheaper.  I don’t know of anyone who mops the whole house every Saturday.  I don’t know anyone who regularly bakes several loaves of bread and puts up literally dozens of jars of goods every fall.
So I am glad that is completed.  I will return these three journals to my Aunt Lillian when I am visiting Utah in the beginning of April.
This week has been Amanda’s Spring Break but it hasn’t been much of a break.  She has been going to all these different schools telling the children how to take care of their teeth.
This week I was informed we found the marriage date and place for my Great something Grandparents.  William Sharp and Mary Ann Bailey Padley were married at Laurel Loup, Nebraska Territory 10 Jul 1853.  Leanne Maynes got a copy of the divorce papers which gave the information.  I am glad to have a copy of the papers and the marriage date.
I also applied to George Mason University Law School this week.  That leaves only William and Mary to apply to.  Their deadline is the 1 of July, but I hope to get it in within the month.  No point of waiting and have it surprise me the day before.  So far I have applied to Washington & Lee, University of Virginia, and George Washington.  I didn’t even see the point of applying to University of Richmond.  They required several additional documents and I don’t have any desire to go there.  I am not impressed with them at all.  I will tell you, it is an expensive process applying to these schools!  Anywhere from $70 to $90 a school!  I will have to make sure I save some money for applying this coming year.  If I apply to 10 schools, and they each charge that range, that is $700 to $900!  The good thing is some of them do not charge.  LSAC does for the report to send to them, but that is only $12 per school.  That is much more feasible.
Temple cards continue to trickle in from all over the world.  I have forgotten where so many of these cards go.  I have to leave it completely in the hands of the people who have them to return them.  I got some from a lady a month or two back from Seattle!  I wrote to her asking where she got them from.  She gave me the name of a woman who I did not know so the chain is longer than I have the capacity to follow in some instances.  This week I received about 30 completed cards that were first baptized in 2002.  I don’t have many cards that old out there anymore.  But they still are!  I fear some cards may have been lost forever.  I hope not.
Last week I taught the first lesson of the latest string of family history classes.  It went very well.  I am excited for this class and group of students.  They all came prepared and have actually done some work.  I don’t have to try to light the fire of family history in them, they already have it.
Time to sign off.  Life goes well.  Just wish I didn’t have to sleep.  How much more could I accomplish in a day!?

Sharp Family History Outreach

The past few weeks have held some very interesting walks of family history.  The Sharp family has always been one of the most difficult lines.  I will explain some of the reasons why later.
I have mentioned in past updates my interactions with Kent and Pat Nielsen of Provo, Utah.  He contacted me for the first time several years ago.  I found that he was a relative of mine.  We share the common ancestors of Thomas and Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp.  He was born in 1796
in Misson, Nottinghamshire in England.  We don’t know exactly when he passed away, but his wife immigrated to the United States with her children.  Sadly, she never made it all the way to the Utah Territory dying in St Louis in 1851.
We do not know with certainly what exactly the family’s plans were.  William (1826-1900), my ancestor, joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1848.  His sister, Isabella (1831-1904) joined in 1849 and is Kent’s ancestor.  None of his other siblings joined the church but yet they made their way to the United States.  We assume they came for the LDS cause since they embarked upon a ship predominately  LDS.  They finally arrived in St. Louis despite some considerable difficulties at sea in Nov 1850.
They stayed there for a time.  They held together as a family but the draw for William and Isabella to be gathered with the Saints must have been strong.  They eventually set out for Utah leaving behind them their non-LDS family (Their mother died in Feb 1851).  In 1853, Isabella and William set out for Utah with their new spouses.  They arrived in September of that year.   Joseph and Isabella Carlisle settled in Millcreek, Salt Lake County.  William and Mary Ann headed to Lehi, Utah County.  (I leave behind the Carlisle family due to the fact that they have several individuals working on that line including Leanne Maynes, who I come to find out later was working with Kent.)
Difficulties with the water, cattle, and neighbors prompted them to move elsewhere.  During the evacuation of Salt Lake from threats of the United States Government, they learned of open, available spaces in Weber County to the north.  They made provisions and picked a place moving there the next spring in Mar 1859.  Their daughter, Evelyn, is claimed to be the first white girl born in Plain City.
This is where things get a bit more difficult.  They lived there and were actively involved in the community.  William’s skills as a mason became useful and were employed often in the community.  The family was also actively involved with dramatics and music as well.  Somewhere in this time, discord became apparent in the area.  Somewhere from about 1870 to about 1879, William and Mary Ann (Bailey) Sharp were  excommunicated from the church.  It is also notable to show that they were not the only ones.  A list of individuals was read at a meeting in 1879 announcing their excommunication.  Several prominent names from Plain City are on the list, including; Skeen, Dix, Musgrave, Singleton, Noyes, and Davis.  There are many speculations for the reasons of this excommunication, but nothing is known or documented for sure.
Since we don’t know the exact excommunication date, we do not know how this played into the divorce of William and Mary Ann in 1876.  We do
know that there was a group of former Anglicans who asked for a congregation of the Episcopalian Church to be organized in Plain City.  William Sharp built their church and school for that purpose.
He would later remarry and would die in Mount Fort (Ogden).  Mary Ann we know a little less about, but she would pass away in Plain City in 1913.  With that as a backdrop, we can focus on some more contemporary family.  Anne Sharp would marry in the Endowment House of Salt Lake in 1872 to Daniel Claiborne Thomas.  Their family would for the most part remain active in the LDS church until the present.  The other three  children, Milo Riley Sharp, Evelyn Carlisle Sharp, and Victorine Mary Sharp would all remain away from the church for their lives.
Evelyn would marry James Henry Taylor and we still know little of their family.  They would make their way to Oregon and they are hard to follow with little more than census locations.  Victorine Mary Sharp would marry Robert Edward Maw.  The Maw name is well known in West Weber.  We still know relatively little concerning her family.
Milo Riley Sharp would marry Mary Ann Stoker in 1879.  She was the daughter of William Thomas Stoker and Emma Eames.  Her father joined the
LDS Church in 1852 with two siblings joining in 1860 and 1863.  Her mother passed away in 1863 and that same year her family immigrated to the United States.  They moved directly to Plain City.  Due to financial difficulties, each of the children were raised by separate families.
Mary Ann Stoker was raised by the George and Victoria Musgrave family.  (Her father would go on to remarry and raise another family.)  It was
during this time she took on the name of Lilly Musgrave Stoker (some records show her as Lillian).
Milo Riley and Mary Ann would eventually have 12 children; Milo Ray, George, Effie, Delwin, Ernest, Austin, William Edward, Victorine, Mary
Irene, Edith, Ethel, and Emily.  George, Effie, and Emily all died young.  Their 11th child, Ethel Sharp, is my great grandmother.
The Sharp family has been one of the most difficult lines to connect.  Ethel died in 1925 after giving birth to her 4th child.  John Ross and his parents were not able to take care of the 3 children so they were separated among Ethel’s siblings.  I have written more about this family at this link: Ross-Sharp Wedding.
Grandpa, the son of Ethel, has very few memories of his parents.  He grew up with the Ed Sharp family, and for numerous reasons has refused
to speak of them.  So any continuation of family stories or history has for the most part not jumped that break.
It was with interest that last year in corresponding with Leanne Maynes (Joseph and Isabella Carlisle descendent) that I learned she had some
contact with Mrs. Brenda Pett and Mrs. Carilee Sleight.  I found out they were descendents of Milo Ray (Milo Riley and Mary Ann’s oldest child).  I contacted them and initiated conversation.  The information, history, and photos they were able to provide gave a catalyst to opening up the Sharp history.
With enough information and history on the Sharp line, I began to feel the connection and felt to pursue the family.  The family although raised non-LDS would have several lines who would go on to become LDS.  Only two of the children would join the church in their lifetime, Mary Irene and Victorine.  Although many more lines would open up to becoming reclaimed through a spouse.  For the most part, some of the difficulty
in the Sharp family is still one of a house divided.  That introduced some difficulty in reconnecting the family and bringing them together.  So I will tell of my experience with a couple of the lines.
Brenda and Carilee are both from Milo Ray’s family.  They are a granddaughter and great granddaughter of Milo Ray respectively.  It has been interesting to get to know them.  Brenda is in charge of one of the family history libraries and her mother’s 40 years of accruing family history documents and history has been a valuable resource.  We hope to take this more available to the family and that it can be the means of tying the family together through documentation.  I visited with Brenda for some time this past weekend in touching base and looking to the future.
William Edward, known as Ed, married an active LDS woman and all their children were raised LDS.  This is the family my Grandfather was raised
with, and probably the most familiar of all the Sharp lines.  My personal interaction with Josephine Sharp Costley and Dean Sharp have provided the more human face to this family.  Even though Dean passed away just last month, it has been interesting to interact with these lines at my Grandparents 60th anniversary and at my Grandmother’s funeral.  I have corresponded with Delores Bair who was married to Ed’s son, who we call Eddie.  She provided a great deal of information on the Eddie Sharp and Ed Sharp family line.  I continue to actively pursue this line with Josephine Sharp Costley and Lois Sharp.
I received a phone call from Grandpa sometime last year informing me that a woman, Ms. Lynne Riddle had been to visit him asking for family
history information.  Lynne is a granddaughter of Edith Sharp Martin.  I have been in contact, but she seems to have fallen off the planet.  She
will not return phone calls and e-mails.  She was very anxious in corresponding earlier on.  However it seems she got what she wanted and does not want to share.  For what reasons I do not know.  I do sense it may have a question with the LDS issue after her apparent upset at my
Grandfather imposing his testimony upon her.  I do hope we can break any barrier that may or may not be in place.
Last weekend I visited with Mae Richardson, the youngest daughter of Mary Irene Sharp Richardson.  Mary Irene was the first to join the LDS
church of the siblings.  She joined in 1931.  Her family were all raised LDS, but seem to have had no contact with the rest of the Sharp family
after about 1970.  I just started sending out letters to those who I thought may be family of the Richardson family.  I received a letter back from Mae telling me she was related, and informed me who the Richardson “in house genealogist” was.  In phoned Mae and had a great conversation with her for over an hour.  I also phoned Karen Knudsen, who is her niece, the one who apparently keeps the family history information for the Richardson family.  I look forward to her first e-mail and corresponding and bringing that family back in communication.  The most impressive thing about Mae was her memory.  For being in her 80’s, she could still remember all her siblings birthdates and even locations for weddings, children’s birth locations, and much, much more.
I also relocated a connection through the Victorine Sharp Hunt family.  I met Archie Hunt several times.  Most notably I remember him from my
Grandma’s and Uncle Harold’s funerals.  Who can forget a man who has two prosthetic legs?  One cannot but honor and reverence a man who still
farms under those circumstances.  I look forward to visiting with Archie and reestablishing those links.
So, there is a great deal of work to do in relation to the Sharp family.  There are many descendants that are yet unaccounted for.  There are many
questions and holes just in dates and information on the current family.  Then the fleshing out of stories and life histories yet to be found.  It is good that I am not going about this alone.