Update: LOST:OLD TRUNK

I am republishing this old post with a pretty cool little update.  I first published this post on the 26th of October 2006.  I am happy to report that while the trunk was not located, its contents have been!  I will not disclose where these contents were found, the important part is that family once again has these items.  Future posts will start to share these contents as I have the opportunity to review, scan, and make it available.  There are some pretty cool, and useless, items in these contents.  Everything from tokens obtained in Cigarette packs for Hoppie’s Billards in Richmond, Cache, Utah to a stash of photos that I can only hope we can name all the individuals captured.  Calendars from 1934 to mail received in the 1940′s.  Telegrams regarding the bringing of a body home (9 years after dying in World War II) to receipts from the Benson Stake (Richmond, Utah) Tithing Office.  Franklin Institute flyers from 1930 to a wallet of my Great Grandfather containing receipts from the day he died in 1932.  This will be fun.  None of the journals have been found yet.  The flag from her son’s coffin is not present (yet).  The person is still looking to see if there are more items, which I hope there are.  As a taste, here is a photo from a negative found in the contents of Yellowstone Falls.
Thanks be given for this modern miracle.

Yellowstone Falls about 1966

Here is the original post.
Here will certainly be a different blog. It is both a prayer and an announcement for the world. There is also a hope that the miracles of God
will be manifest. I ask that those who read would offer up a prayer and hope for the same.

My Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt, grew up in the mountains to the south-east of Richmond, Utah. She was born to Herbert and Martha Christiansen Coley in 1898 and was the eldest of 10 children. In 1916 she married Joseph Nelson Jonas in the Logan Temple and had 8
children.

Joseph Herbert Jonas
Spencer Gilbert Jonas
Irwin John Jonas
Wilburn Norwood Jonas
Evan Reed Jonas
Ellis Seth Jonas
Lillian Jonas
LeReta Jonas

In 1932, Joseph, her husband was electrocuted working for the railroad in Ogden, Utah. His father had worked for the railroad, and most of his family also worked for the railroad. He was made manager and had moved to Ogden from Richmond only a year or two before.

The family moved back to Richmond. Lillian then did her best to raise the boys. She remarried in about 1959 to Lorenzo (Ren) Bowcutt in Preston, Idaho. Ren died in about 1966. She lived alone mostly until the mid 80′swhen she moved in with her daughter, Lillian, in Layton, Utah.  Here is the reason for writing. Through all these years, she kept a trunk with personal possessions. Contained therein are the birth certificates of all her children. We know she kept journals through most of her life in calendar books issued by the insurance companies. There are at least 10 of these journals in the trunk. There are a couple photo albums that were hers and her mother’s. Also there is the flag that draped her son’s coffin after his death in WWII. There are apparently some books that came over with her grandfather from England.

This trunk of is wonderful value when it comes to family history work. The only thing that might be of any worth is the trunk, but it is so old and
worn that I cannot imagine it would hold any monetary value.  Somehow, for what reasons I do not know, my grandmother ended up with the
trunk. I only remember it being placed in one of the upstairs bedrooms of my grandmother’s house and we were forbidden to look in it. She placed a television on it when we were younger to keep it from younger hands. It sat in that same space, even until I left to go to England for my mission.

In 1999, she died, and shortly thereafter, somebody broke into her house.  The trunk is one of the objects that were stolen. My aunt was living there at the time but insists she has no idea who made off with it. She thinks it is somebody she knew or knows. There might be other items that were taken, but the official inventory was not taken for another week or two afterward.

So here is the plea. This trunk would have little or no value to anyone who is not a member of the Jonas/Coley family. I sincerely hope that whoever did this deed, friend or foe of the family, would not have carelessly thrown away or destroyed the trunk and its contents. In fact, I don’t care about the trunk. But it is the possessions of the trunk which are of great interest at present. All living members of the family still ask me
regularly about the trunk. Their own birth certificates are in there. I am interested in the history and priceless information contained within that
trunk.

Here is the plea to those who come upon this blog. If you are searching for the owner of the trunk, please contact me. While there are no individuals who would possess the names in the trunk in Southern Idaho, I hope you stumble on this blog. There will be no questions asked, we just want the inventory, any of it. If you are just reading and can understand the plight, please offer a prayer to heaven in our behalf that this priceless gem is returned to those who would honour and cherish it. This is a deep and sincere desire of my heart.

Aliza’s Four Generations

Maybe it is a product of our day where people live longer, but Aliza is fortunate to have 3 of her great grandparents living at this time.  For family history purposes, I thought I might post these pictures of Aliza with her great grandparents.  Further, I thought I would post a picture or two that Amanda and I have with our great grandparents.

Here is a picture of Aliza with Amanda’s paternal grandfather, DeLece (“D”) Hemsley. This picture was taken at a party in Kaysville, Utah for Amanda’s brother, Derek, upon coming home from his two-year mission in July.  We took the opportunity for a couple of photos with family.

(l-r): DeAnne, D, and Bryan Hemsley with Aliza and Amanda

This is Amanda’s paternal grandmother, Shanna Thompson.  This photo was also at Derek’s party.

(l-r): Mel and Shanna Thompson; Paul, Aliza, and Amanda; Bryan and Jill Hemsley

Lastly, here is my paternal grandfather, Milo Ross.  We took these pictures, the day after at Derek’s homecoming party, at Grandpa’s house in Plain City, Utah.  I will post three pictures because I think they are good photos.  This first one shows a great smile on Grandpa, Aliza, and Amanda.  I also like the profile of Grandpa.

Grandpa’s first sight of Aliza

I like this one because Aliza looks as cute as she always does.  For being 90, Grandpa can sure pick her up and throw her in the air with ease.

Here is one we took of the four generations with my sister, Andra, and her son, Daniel. Grandpa has two of his great grandchildren in this picture (and Dad has two of his grandchildren).

Andra, Milo (Jr), Daniel, Milo (Sr), Paul, Aliza

Fortunately, Aliza has now had her photo taken with all of her living Great Grandparents.  Amanda was also fortunate to have such a photograph with all of her living Grandparents and Great Grandparents.  Even more, ALL great grandparents and grandparents are in the same photo!  Here is that photo from the day of her baby blessing in Kaysville.  LeRoy, D, Shanna, and Clara are all Amanda’s Grandparents.  Belle is D’s mother.  Walter and June are Shanna’s father and step-mother.

Back (l-r): LeRoy Holden, D Hemsley, Bryan, Jill, and Amanda Hemsley, Mel and Shanna Thompson. Front: Clara Holden, Belle Hemsley, June and Walter Hansen.

I had three Great Grandparents who were alive when I was born.  Unfortunately, I do not seem to have a photo in my possession with my Andra Great Grandparents despite the fact that I was 10 and 11 years old when they passed.  Oddly, I have pictures of my Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra that I was present when the photo was taken, like the one below.  This is my mother’s maternal grandparents about 1989.

Mary and Bill Andra

This is my mother’s paternal grandmother and some of the rest of the family at her sister’s funeral, Edna Coley Neilson.  My Great Grandma Lillian Bowcutt (remarried in 1953 after her husband Joseph Jonas died in 1932) is in the center of this photo and is the mother to the two ladies beside her and the four men in front.  I am more of a footnote in the photo, but at least I have one with Great Grandma Bowcutt in the same picture.

Far back (l-r): Unknown, Larry Talbot, Unknown (completely unseen), and Unknown. Middle: Jimmie Jonas, Hilma Jonas, Lillian Talbot, Lillian Bowcutt, LeReta Andersen, Lona Jonas, Colleen Elliott.  Front: Spencer Jonas, Joseph Jonas, Ellis Jonas, Evan Jonas, Paul Ross, Jackie Jonas, Andra Ross.

Benson Stake Recognition

Back (l-r): Lydia Leavitt, Estella Blair, Sarah Preece, Susanna Allen, Livinia Wilcox, Clara Wheeler. Front: Lavina Poulsen, Christensia Hansen, Martha Coley, Martha Lewis, Sarah Snelgrove.

Here is a photograph I thought I would share.  It tells its own story.  This photo was taken on 25 April 1948 in the Benson Stake Tabernacle.  The photo is honoring those Visiting Teachers who have been faithful in going out for 40+ years in the Benson Stake.  The Benson Stake was headquartered in Richmond, Cache, Utah (later renamed to Richmond Stake), not Benson.

Mind you, at that time, this was not just an organization you automatically became a member of when you joined the church.  This was a separate membership with dues requirements for the organization.  You even received a membership card.  Not only are these women faithful in Visiting Teaching for 40 years, but they had volunteered to be a member of the Relief Society for that many years and actively participated.  Martha Coley in the front middle is my Great, Great Grandmother.  How many Visiting Teachers today qualify for faithful Visiting Teaching for 40 years?

Here is Martha Christiansen Coley’s daughter’s Relief Society membership card.  Lillian Coley married Joseph Nelson Jonas and after his death remarried to Lorenzo (Ren) Bowcutt.

Here is some more information I could find on the individuals in the photo.

Lydia Elnora Karren (1879-1959) married Edward Leavitt (1876-1957).  They probably lived in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.

Estella Nora Glover (1883-1952) married Ephraim Isaac Blair (1882-1943).  They probably lived in Lewiston.

Sarah () married Preece ().  Cannot find records, either have the name wrong or she moved from Cache Valley.

Susanna “Susie” Elizabeth Preece (1863-1953) married Andrew Bickmore Allen (1859-1941).  They probably lived in Cove, Cache, Utah.

Livinia Merriam Henson (1871-1950) married James Franklin Wilcox (1869-1951), previously married to an Levi Knapp Allen (1842-1928).  They probably lived in Cove.

Clara Deseret Stephenson (1880-1951) married Joseph Henry Wheeler (1882-1963).  They probably lived in Lewiston or Trenton, Cache, Utah.

Lavina Ellen Hawkeswood (1877-1954) married John James Poulsen (1871-1948).  They lived in Lewiston.  Interesting note, Martha Christiansen Coley’s husband, Herbert Coley, and Lavina are 1st cousins once removed!  Do you think these two ladies sitting on the front row knew of that relationship?

Christensia () married Hansen ().  Cannot find records, either have the name wrong or she moved from Cache Valley.

Martha Christiansen (1879-1961) married Herbert Coley (1864-1942).  They lived in Richmond.

Martha Ann Kingsbury (1850-1950) married William Crawford Lewis (1830-1908).  She was 98 years old in this picture!  They probably lived in Richmond.

Sarah Ann Gaunt (1878-1963) married Owen Elmo Snelgrove (1880-1973).  They probably lived in Richmond.

1961 Coley Film

I stumbled upon a photo of a Great, Great Uncle, Wilford Herbert Coley, posted on a website. I e-mailed the lady who posted the picture and she forwarded my e-mail to her brother. As it turns out, the family has a number of film reels taken from the early 1960′s. I asked him to share any that he thought I might be interested in.  He indicated that one was from a funeral and it seemed to include extended family.  He could only identify his grandfather, Wilford Herbert Coley, in the film.

On a hunch, I sent him this photo and informed him that it was taken 17 August 1961 at the burial of my Great, Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley, in Richmond, Utah.  This is Wilford’s mother and I knew he was at the funeral.  I also knew that if the family was into filming events, this could very well be one such event to catch.

Art, Golden, Wilford, Roland, Lloyd, Edna, Hannah, Carrie, Lillian, Ivan Coley at their mother's funeral in 1961.

He responded to me stating the film was from the same funeral and it actually covered the carrying of the casket from the hearse, some scanning of the crowd, and then the final shots of the 10 siblings standing together in which this photo was taken. He shared the converted video from the film with me yesterday.

The 10 siblings in the picture above and film are as follows from left to right.
Arthur Christiansen Coley (Art), 1921-2004
William Golden Coley (Goldie), 1924-2009
Wilford Herbert Coley, 1903-1966
Roland Charles Coley, 1915-2005
Oley Lloyd Coley (Lloyd), 1918-1998
Edna Coley Neilson, 1900-1983
Hannah Marie Coley Thomson, 1909-1982
Carrie Christiansen Coley McMurdie, 1906-1992
Lillian Coley Jonas, 1898-1987
Ivan Stephen Coley, 1912-1994

The film starts out with children carrying flowers out of the church.  I am pretty sure this is the old Richmond, Utah South Ward Building (demolished after the 1962 earthquake).  I do not think we will be able to identify any of these girls because of how cloudy and short the video is at this point.

The film then moves to the Richmond, Utah Cemetery viewing the place where Martha will be laid to rest.  Two girls appear in the background, again probably too short a span of time and too fuzzy to identify them.

We jump to the casket being carried by 6 men, the 6 male siblings.  On the far side of the casket from right to left are Roland, Wilford, and Art.  On the near side from right to left are Lloyd, Golden, and Ivan.

In the background right as the pallbearers appear with the casket are two girls dressed in white.  The taller of the two are Connie Gittins (Wilford’s granddaughter) and an unknown girl.

A young unidentified girl walks in front of the group bearing the casket.

Then we start the first scan of the crowd counter-clockwise from the south.  These are the individuals:
Wilford Coley
Short boy in white that Bob Jonas steps in front of
Bob Jonas in white shirt
Steve Coley in white shirt
Gary Coley revealed when Steve Coley steps aside
Art Coley
Mary Coley (Art’s wife and Bob, Steve, and Gary’s mother)
Lillian Coley Jonas
Carrie Coley McMurdie
Edna Coley Neilson
Hannah Thomson
Tall guy in background (probably Lorenzo “Ren” Bowcutt?)
Lady in white in background
Tall thin man in background
Shorter man in foreground, very short time

Then we move to the 10 siblings back and forth as mentioned above in the photo.

Since this website would not let me upload the video, I had to upload it on YouTube.  Be sure to open it in full screen and to have your mouse on the pause button so you can look more carefully.  Here is the link to the video:

Martha’s Coley’s funeral movie clips.

If anyone can add more information, I certainly welcome it.  I hope we can identify every person in the video but I think I hope for too much.  After all, this was taken 40 years ago!  Nevertheless, the video is interesting to see people living and moving who are now all gone from mortality.

For those interested, here is a copy of Lillian Coley Jonas’ journal that includes this funeral.  Martha died on the 14th of August 1961.  I also include the other two journals we have for her.

Lillians 1961 Journal

Lillians 1962 Journal

Lillians 1963 Journal

Jonas-Andra Wedding

Bill and Mary Andra are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Colleen Mary to Wilburn Norwood Jonas, son of Joseph and Lillian Jonas.  They were married in Elko, Nevada on 27 September 1946.

Colleen is a 1946 graduate of Preston High School.  She is currently pursuing a degree at Brigham Young University.

Norwood attended North Cache High School.  He is currently employed at Pet Milk in Richmond.

The couple will make their home in Richmond.

While short and sweet, I think that is what their announcement may have been like.  What else is in there between the lines?  Norwood and Colleen met at the Persiana in Preston, Idaho.  A dance hall on the second floor of the building.  William and Mary Andra were not entirely pleased with Colleen’s selection of a spouse.  The poor boy from Richmond who smoked and drank was not an appropriate mate for their daughter.  Not only that, she loved him so much that her parents did not see this as a good influence on her even while they dated for a couple of years before.  While not entirely supportive, they allowed their daughter to make her own choices after having a number of clear, frank conversations with her.  If this is what she wanted, then she could do as she pleased.  But she was well aware that much heartache and pain could be in her future, at least as her parents predicted.

With so little support from her parents, many of her siblings liked “Nor” for the most part.  He worked hard and provided for his family and that is most important.

Joseph Jonas had died 14 years earlier and would not be around for this occasion.  In fact, Norwood saw his father electrocuted before him on that fateful day in Ogden, Utah in 1932.  Norwood often took his father his lunch at that time because they lived in railroad housing not far from the switchyard where he worked.  Nor walked up the tracks and his father saw him coming.  He stepped down from the locomotive they were working on to the track and started walking toward Norwood.  A Mr. Child who had been warned earlier to move the line had not done so and Joseph hit his head.  Norwood saw his father thrown back to the ground.  Mr. Child made the mistake that killed Joseph that day and every time he saw the family he always apologized for the death.  If that wasn’t a burden to live with for Mr. Child, it was for Norwood.  His brother, Ellis, indicated that was the day the lights went out in Norwood.  Nor’s mother, Lillian, also indicated Norwood was never the same after that day.

The family lost their housing with the railroad and moved back to Richmond, Utah.  There the family had to live in two train cars placed side by side for years to come.  Finally the family could afford to move into a little home of a few hundred square feet, but that was after most, if not all, the children were gone.  Lillian (nee Coley) was a humble, faithful widow who did what she could for her children.  Much relied upon the good people of the ward in which she lived, but the boys had their crazy days without a father.  The Jonas brothers were known to be a rough, mean bunch.  The meanness only exacerbated by alcohol.

Colleen had graduated Preston High School and followed her parents suggestion by enrolling at Brigham Young University.  I think the parents probably hoped some good boys would come along.  However, Norwood and Colleen could not bear to be that far apart and Norwood came down to pick her up at school after only a few days or weeks there.  They drove back north and would eventually take Lillian and run to Elko to “elope”.

Norwood attended North Cache High School but never graduated.  Only one of his siblings would graduate from high school (Ellis).  Norwood was bright and able to keep up with school.  So much, he attended with classes with his older brother, Irwin, who was two and a half years his senior.  Norwood even shows in Irwin’s class pictures.  But the life of the widow was hard and the boys found employment as soon as they can to help with the family expenses.

The two would be happily married for years to come.  The first child would not come for 6 years after the marriage.  Norwood and Colleen enjoyed the social environment and party of friends, often hosting Bridge and other card games at their home.  Children would arrive in 1952 (Douglas Norwood), 1954 (Sandra, written about at this link: Baby Sandra Jonas), and 1960 (Jackie).  I really don’t know much for sure of this period.  Other than they seem to have lived the usual family life.  Alcohol would eventually come to cause the majority of problems within the home and which would eventually take Norwood’s life in 1975.

Colleen’s journals from 1944-1946 can be found here.  Colleen’s Journal 1944-1946.  I also wrote about the journal at this link: Colleen Andra’s Journal.  While short in its entries, it tells more than anything I could have ever found out otherwise.  Everyone, keep a journal, even if only one sentence a day.  That one sentence tells scores of information decades later.  I treasure every word.  I wish she had such a journal extending through every year.

Baby Sandra Jonas

This is the only photograph I have of my mother as a baby.  I am sure there are more out there, but they have not been shared with me.  This photograph was in an album of my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas (Mom’s paternal Grandmother).  It was in an album that had the plastic stick pages and you can see the effects of that and a little moisture on the photograph.  Hopefully some day another version will emerge.  I am sure my Grandmother had some more pictures but nobody seems to know where they went in 1999.

Sandra Jonas was born 16 March 1954 in Logan Hospital in Logan, Utah.  She weighed in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces and I do not have a record of how long.  Her parents were Colleen Mary Andra and Wilburn Norwood Jonas.  They resided at the home Grandpa built at 142 N. State Street in Richmond, Utah (someone update me so I can correct this).  I do not know the exact address.  She was delivered by Dr. Willard Goodwin Noble.  An interesting note about her birth certificate, Dr. Noble made out the certificate of birth on the 24th of March and was probably filed the next day, but the certificate says it was filed on the 15th of March, the day before she was born!  L. K. Gates was the Registrar.  That is all from the State Certificate of Birth.  The Logan City Certificate of Birth all states the same except signed by H. R. Pedersen as City Recorder with W. W. Nyman as deputy.

Sandra, who had a strong dislike for the name Sandra, has always gone by Sandy.  Sandra is not a family name and was popular at the time.

Wilburn went by the name of Norwood (or “Nor”) because he did not like Wilburn.  He is shown as a laborer on the birth certificate and worked on and off at various jobs through the years.  The majority of the time he worked for Sego Milk (aka Pet Milk) in Richmond.  When the plant closed in the late ’60′s, that is why the Jonas family moved to Burley, Cassia, Idaho.  Norwood then began work helping construct the new Del Monte Plant in Burley.  Colleen also worked through the years at various jobs, usually working at the at the pea and other packing plants in Franklin, Idaho and Smithfield, Utah.

Sandy was the second child of Norwood and Colleen, the older being a boy born in 1952, Douglas Norwood.  Mom was later followed in 1960 by Jackie.  Neither Douglas or Jackie are family names and the family appears to used names that suited their fancy than having any tie to ancestry.

As I look at the picture, I see a happy baby.  She continued to grow into a happy little girl.

I look at our new baby, Aliza, and I see much of my mother.  While I never knew my Mom’s real face because it was rebuilt cosmetically after a wreck threw her into some barbed wire than nearly removed her face and her life, I see in this photo many features of Aliza.  Everything from the long hair on the baby, the smile and build of the face, the wrinkles in the skin of the neck, and more.  Little Aliza does not have the ears or the plumpness of this baby.  Perhaps the plumpness will arrive when she is able to sit up as Mom is able to in this photo.  We will just have to wait and see.

Bath, Birmingham, and Milton Abbas

Tonight we write from the deep countryside of Dorset.  We are staying in the little village of Milton Abbas with a cousin’s cousin.  We are both related to the Coley and Harris lines in Halesowen, England.  Peter and Cynthia Wise have taken us in a day earlier due to the fact we are not going to Merthyr-Tydfil, Wales now.  We will be with them two days.

Yesterday went terribly wrong.  We left a little late from Walkden, got stuck in a traffic queue for 1.5 hours in Stockport meaning we had to drop our visit to Chatsworth House.  Then we decided we better drop Mattersey and Misson on my Sharp family line to at least make Sudsbury Hall.  We then found out the M1 was closed with miles of traffic queue so we had to take side roads to Nottingham.  There we saw the Robin Hood sites and made our way to Sudsbury for their manor house.  Well, all the side roads were occupied with motorway traffic so we were delayed, we got lost, and in the end missed the last time to get into the home.  We got pictures with the house but Amanda was devastated we didn’t get in.

In defeat, we made our way to Hagley, near Halesowen, near Birmingham last night.  We checked into our little hotel and ran into Halesowen where we found the church of St. John the Baptism.  Interestingly, as we wandered the cemetery, we found loads of Coley, Willetts, and Harris tombstones.  Many were modern, but there were a few in which I am sure they are cousins I have in my family history file.  That made it worth it.  The other deceased I will have to do some research on to trace them back to the family and connect them in.  Hopefully I can find another person who has done research on some of the same lines and can help me with my research.  We shall see.

Today we toured Romsley, Hayley Green, and Bromsgrove near Halesowen, more sites of Coley ancestry.  We wandered and took more pictures in St. Kenelm’s church.  There were more Coleys and Willetts found there.  I was pretty excited.  None as old as in the Halesowen church, but you never know.  We hopped on the Motorway and went through Worcester, Gloucester, and finally to Bath.  There we saw the Royal Crescent, some of the Victoria Gardens, and the Roman Baths.  It is a beautiful city.  We enjoyed ourselves.  From there we wanded to Milton Abbas way out in the countryside.  We drove several miles through one car-width lanes to this village.

We are still figuring out what we will do tomorrow.  At any rate, it should be fun.

Lillian Coley’s Journals

I am happy to now make available the journals of Lillian Coley Jonas.  I know I have mentioned them earlier, but this blog site did not have the capacity to link a file at that time.  They were too big to place the entire journal’s text online.
Lillian Coley Jonas was born in Lewiston, Utah in 1898 and died in Layton, Utah in 1987.  She married Joseph Nelson Jonas in Logan, Utah in 1916.

Lillians 1961 Journal

Lillians 1962 Journal

Lillians 1963 Journal