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.

Witness of the book

Perhaps I may be a little crazy.  I believe we fully and completely are enabled to witness miracles in our day.  Just like the days of old, it seems the miracles are probably all around us.  I always take the scriptures to mean that if we are in tune it isn’t that more miracles will happen to us (although faith may lead us to ask for more and receive more) but that we will more more recognizing of the miracles about us.  Hence, the great crime in seeking signs.  There are those always looking for signs to confirm or denounce their course of action.  Those people are like the waves of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed.  But those who live by faith will not be seeking for signs, but will recognize them all about them.  We have one such miracle happening nearly every day around us.
“And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.” (2 Nephi 27:11).
I just never got this verse until my latest reading.  Even then, I may not still get it.  However, how in the world does the most vile of sinners read this book by the power of Christ?  Now, those who are familiar with it know this scripture is talking about the Book of Mormon.  The whole chapter and some previous talk about the coming of the Book of Mormon coming forth.  Viola!  The whole miracle of the book coming forth is by the power of Christ.  There is no other way this book could possibly exist except by the power of Christ.
Every day, wherever a page of the Book of Mormon is read, even when a Book of Mormon is trashed, it is by the power of Christ.  The mere existance of the book is a testimony of Christ working in our day.  It is not that the book will be read through the power of Christ like I had always thought, but it will be read, dropped, burned, ripped, coveted, loved, cherished, and hated all by the power of Christ.  Everything that happens to it is by the power of Christ which made it available to us.
It goes on more.  It will be through the power of Christ that all things are revealed.  It isn’t necessarily by a prophet, capital P or not.  It isn’t necessarily through the Priesthood, the church, or even the kingdom of God.  Just the fact that knowledge, history, wisdom, and all these things are flooding the earth is a continuing testament of the Son of God.
The next verse goes back to the Book of Mormon.
“Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witness shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein. And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his owrd unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead.” (2 Nephi 27:12-13).
This is jumping back to references in Isaiah.  The book should whisper from the dust and the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead.  What a strange and interesting idea.  I haven’t a clue what it all means.
What we do know is there are witnesses to the book who are faithful.  I always wondered why there were not more recent witnesses to the plates.  There was a time when I prayed to become a witness to the plates and the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.  However, it seems these witnesses are to speak as if it were from the dead.  It takes faith to believe the testimony of a deceased person.  Just like Lazarus wanting to go back from the dead to warn his brothers.  If they won’t believe Moses or Joseph Smith, why would they believe a modern or living individual.  It doesn’t seem as necessary.  As I say that, I have no doubt there are those who have received such a witness in our day, but they are not called upon to bear that witness.  Just like Mary Whitmer, or Vilate Kimball, they receive witnesses for their own testimony but not to share with the world at large.
I may show some ignorance of church history, beyond their testimony written in ink, the extent to which the three or eight witnesses were called to bear that testimony also seems limited.  Martin Harris and Joseph Smith seem to be the only ones who went out of their way to share the testimony with others.  Many of them served as missionaries, some went on to convert some very notable names in the church, but I am not aware of them going out of their way beyond being questioned about their witness of the Book of Mormon.
Many receive the witness of the Book of Mormon but how many actually receive the vision, hefting, dream of the plates?  I don’t know?  Does it matter?  After all, the testimony of the Spirit is all that is important.
Then again, do we really need to see the plates.  If we have the Spirit of God, we will recognize the miracle of the cheap missionary handout version sitting in the glove compartment of the car.  If we have the Spirit of God, we will already have a witness of the Book of Mormon, whether or not we have a witness of the plates upon which they rested.

Addressing Gettysburg

As the title seems to denote, there has been a visit to Gettysburg.  It turned out to be a good experience and things really cannot have gone better.  There are a couple of pictures added to the Virginia Living Album.  As usual, I don’t know if you can take a good picture of me.  Well, at least as long as the sun seems to be attempting to burn your eyes out of your head.  I take on a scary brow which raises the cheeks and I don’t think I resemble myself or a really a human for that matter.  Enjoy the pictures of the scenery and a beautiful wife.
We met with Matt and Sarah Harris over dinner on Friday to plan our trip.  We were to meet at their house at 6:15 AM and we would begin the drive to Pennsylvania.  Sarah and Amanda decided they would listen to Harry Potter all the way up and back.  I instantly knew my ears would be hurting and I would be sleeping on the way up.  Amanda and Sarah did the driving duty up.  Matt and I passed out in the backseat and did not wake much until we passed into Pennsylvania hours later.
We drove to the visitors center and got a bit of a grasp of what was happening for the day.  We walked to the Cyclorama and watched two films.  Once definitely with the flowery language of the 60’s with the grainy picture to match.  The second film was a History Channel special that was much more up to date and easier to pay attention to.
We wound our way to the back patio of the Cyclorama and caught a tour of Cemetery Ridge.  It was interesting to have a park ranger give the history lesson.  We walked clear out to the Copse of Trees and the Angle and listend to what took place there.  It really was a tragic story on the part of the Confederates.  Everything that could go wrong did that day.  It was interesting to listen to Matt afterwards and how he was taught at BYU the Union was meant to win and heaven’s power was on their side.  I am not so sure if I agree with that especially since my understanding of history is that the Saints were praying for the South more than they were for the North.  Funny our take on history now paints that the North was the one we were praying for.  Times change right and so does our interpretation of history.
Perhaps I should qualify that statement.  Not stepping into the racism issue but purely from a Constitutional standpoint.  If a group of people wanted to live their life their own way, especially according to the dictates of their religion it should be granted to them.  The Saints had fled the country and wholeheartedly believed it was their choice to leave their country in order to openly practice their religion.  They were against slavery, despite what others might say against the church for the race issue, as Joseph Smith proved by making it a core tenet of his running for the Presidency.
Anyhow, back on the subject.  We enjoyed the tour of Cemetery Ridge and also enjoyed a ranger giving us history at Little Round Top.  We went and visited all the large monuments the various states have put up.  You can see the pictures of the largest ones that we visited.  A couple of them like Pennsylvania are huge compared to others.
On a side note as we were driving through Gettysburg we turned down Reynolds St rather than Reynolds Ave.  Trying to figure out what was going on and getting back on the right track, grabbing myself a handful of Cheez-ums, and trying to pay attention to three others in the car I accidentally ran a stop sign.  Of all the luck in the world, there was a police car waiting at the intersection who clearly saw my inattentative driving.  Of course she pulled me over and issued a citation.  Yep, what would have been a $30 trip to Pennsylvania increased $107.  By the time our visit with Officer Powers ended we were laughing and having a good time.  Glad I could help with public funds in Gettysburg.  Not that I am stingy, I just don’t hope to be making more of those donations in the future.  Good thing I just secured the insurance rate on the car for the next year!
In closing, I will remark there are some Harry Potter photos in the album I just uploaded as well.  They are pictures from our attending the Harry Potter release.  We went with the Nathaniel and Robin Givens and Madison McLean met us there.  It was a good occasion.  I settled down in the biography aisle and read about half of a biography on Richard Nixon.  They finally found me and I was not able to finish before the official release.  Oh well.  Amanda finished the book by Saturday evening and I read it piecemeal until I finished in Wednesday evening.

Jonas Family Photos

Jonas Family Photos

It has come time for the information regarding the Jonas Album.  There are a couple of generations in there, but like the Andra line, I will not include much information on the living individuals.  Only those familiar with the line will find those photos interesting or of much value.  However, you may be able to figure some of them out by their names.

Some of this information has been given in previous posts.  Particularly in relation to the Coley album and the Lost Trunk.  I do have quite a bit more information in relation to some of these families.  I have told some of the stories previously as well.  I will have to post more later.

Joseph Jonas
10 Jan 1859 – Frenchtown, Monroe, Michigan
23 Jun 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah

Married
Nov 1883 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Annetta Josephine Nelson
18 Nov 1864 – Logan, Cache, Utah
23 Dec 1907 – Provo, Utah, Utah

Children
Margaret Jonas
17 Jun 1884 – Logan, Cache, Utah
17 Sep 1904 – Thorpe, Kittitas, Washington
Mary Nelson Jonas
17 Jul 1885 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
21 Sep 1899 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
Rosa Nelson Jonas
5 Sep 1886 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
20 Feb 1951 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
John Nelson Jonas
14 Aug 1888 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
19 Dec 1918 – Richmond, Cache, Utah (Influenza)
William Nelson Jonas
2 Dec 1889 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
14 Apr 1972 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
Joseph Nelson Jonas
19 Nov 1893 – 19 Nov 1893 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
6 Sep 1932 – Ogden, Weber, Utah (electrocuted)
Annetta Josephine Jonas
12 Aug 1896 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
12 Aug 1896 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington

Christian Andersen (married previously to Caroline Mathilde Halverson)
9 Oct 1873 –Christiania, Akershus, Norway
9 Aug 1957 – Ogden, Weber, Utah

Married
29 Jun 1904 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Rosa Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Children
Rosetta Mabel Andersen (married Vordis Rio Cazier)
23 Oct 1905 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
9 Jun 1981 – Townsend, Broadwater, Montana
Christian Cyrus Andersen (married Florence Zelnora Child)
21 Dec 1907 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
7 Jul 1980 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Annetta Cleone Andersen (married Christian S Miller)
24 Nov 1909 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
19 Jun 1981 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Merlin Andersen (married Ruby Harris)
20 Sep 1913 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
30 Dec 1998 – Westpoint, Davis, Utah
Verla Jonas Andersen (married Howard Wayment Lythgoe)
16 Mar 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
22 Jun 1999 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Arvie Jonas Andersen (married Dorothy Dean Hobbs)
30 May 1921 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
22 May 1990 – Ogden, Weber, Utah

John Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
5 Jun 1912 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Nellie Armina Jonas
26 Jul 1889 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
11 Dec 1953 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Children
Calvin Anderson Jonas (married Viola Florance Chapman)
6 Aug 1913 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
17 Jun 1991 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
Melvin Anderson Jonas (married Doris Everts)
31 Mar 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
16 Jul 1944 – San Marcos, Hays, Texas (drowned, married Doris Everts)
Armina Anderson Jonas (married Don Farnes)
5 Mar 1919 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
30 Mar 2011 – St George, Washington, Utah

William Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
6 Jan 1921 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Karen Marie Thompson
31 Oct 1892 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
13 Jun 1980 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah

Children
Delwyn Thompson Jonas (married Myrna Mae Bowman)
4 Jan 1922 – Logan, Cache, Utah
10 Dec 2003 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
Maynard Thompson Jonas (married Lois Rae Lemmon)
9 Apr 1923 – Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho
31 Jan 1997 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Gaylen Thompson Jonas
14 Mar 1925 – Logan, Cache, Utah
19 Sep 1944 – Peleliu, Palau Islands
Vaughn Thompson Jonas (married Dorothy Wiley)
7 Sep 1926 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
8 Aug 1991 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Carvel Thompson Jonas (married Beverly Clayton and Barbara Williams)
17 Sep 1934 – Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah
Still living
William Thompson Jonas
22 Oct 1937 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
23 Oct 1937 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah

Joseph Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
6 Sep 1916 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Lillian Coley
26 Aug 1898 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
11 Feb 1987 – Layton, Davis, Utah

Children
Joseph Herbert Jonas (married Hilma Grace Erickson)
14 Aug 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
23 Jun 1993 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Spencer Gilbert Jonas (married Viola Amelia Cole)
10 Dec 1920 – Burley, Cassia, Idaho
26 Aug 1996 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Irwin John Jonas (married Mary Elizabeth Popwitz)
2 Sep 1921 – Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho
11 Jul 1944 – Lowe, France
Wilburn Norwood Jonas (married Colleen Mary Andra)
15 May 1924 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
14 Mar 1975 – Burley, Cassia, Idaho
Ellis Seth Jonas (married Geraldine Pitcher)
6 Sep 1926 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
12 Aug 2012 – Smithfield, Cache, Utah
Evan Reed Jonas (married Lona Rae Jensen)
4 Sep 1928 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
4 Feb 1999 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Lillian Annetta Jonas (married Ray Laurence Talbot)
15 Jul 1930 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
20 Feb 2009 – Layton, Davis, Utah
LeReta Mary Jonas (married Lowell Hansen Andersen)
1 Aug 1932 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Still living

Bonified Stately

Another week has passed and things constantly change and go. Sometimes I have to laugh at how quickly the world seems to change. One moment one thing is happening, the next moment all new circumstances have arisen.One month ago, Amanda and I were not in Virginia yet. In fact, we were driving through Kansas and would be arriving in Missouri. A week before that, we were comfortably situated in our little apartment in Provo, Utah. Had not even started packing yet. One year ago, I was unmarried, living and working my life away in Boise, Idaho. I had a wonderful job during the week working for The Gallatin Group, and on the weekends I sprayed lawns in Malad, Idaho. Seven months ago and eleven days, I was married in Logan, Utah. Put me at seven and half months ago, I was working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Now another chapter of sorts is beginning, or at least a sub title. Today Amanda officially starts at Virginia Commonwealth University in the dental hygiene program. It was strange to drop her off at her ride’s home, and come home alone, to realize she is now a student again. Oddly enough, Matthew and Sarah Harris are one of the individuals who Nathan Wayment’s e-mail passed through in its line before us for which we were able to secure this huge home to live in.

Another chapter opened on Friday when I went in to take the Virginia Health Insurance Licensing Exam. I had spent a whole week in class preparing to take the test, and there I was, taking it. I really don’t know what I expected, that it wouldn’t come? It did, and I squashed it! So, now I have certification to be licensed for health insurance in Virginia. Now, I head off to Raleigh, North Carolina for two weeks of training so that Combined Insurance of America can appoint me. Then after appointment, I will receive my actual license from the state. Then I will be bonified and legitimate to be selling insurance in this state. Carrying on in a company of which my Grandmother invested 30 years of her life. Too bad I could not take her residuals!

Life marches on, it continues to amaze me, and go forward. One day it seems that I have enjoyed and endured all I wanted in life, and then another magnificent vista opens before me. Endured not because of pain and torment, but because it just seems my bosom could not contain anything more. My, our, blessings are beyond comprehension. At some points in life, I feel my heart has swelled as wide as eternity and could not possibly take any more. Pain just isn’t an option any more. It is so low, so mean, so vulgar, and something only to distract our mind from the real view. The past weeks I have recognized blessings which have come to me which have been in the pipeline for generations. I recognized blessings that come to me from my Great Great Grandmother Christiana Wilhelmina Knauke Andra. I also stumbled upon one that has passed to me from Regina Friederike Nuffer Scheibel Wanner. Just this week I had one fall in my lap that came from Herbert and Marthan Christiansen Coley. Who would ever have thought that the faith of these individuals would reap and bestow blessings on those who they only could imagine.

Well, time to be doing something more. All is according to plan, as far as I can see.