D-Day Sacrifice

I wrote about Irwin John Jonas a year ago in regards to D-Day.  I have a new document I want to share relating to him.

As I mentioned then, he participated in the D-Day invasion and lost his life on 11 July 1944, almost 71 years ago, near Saint-Lô, France.  He was part of the 38th Infantry Regiment then in the 2nd Infantry Division.  They landed on Omaha Beach on the day after D-Day.

As you can see, this is the Application for his headstone giving his birth and death date.  He is buried in Richmond, Cache, Utah.

While the death is tragic enough, the family still has to deal with the paperwork and other related issues with someone’s death.  We often forget about those incidental issues.  Here is a copy of the document just to resolve the headstone issue.  I assume the military had a quarry and set of stone masons just to take care of all these headstones, and then the shipping clerks to have them sent all over the nation.

Let’s not just forget the sacrifice of those who died for our freedom, but also the family who sacrificed with the aftermath of such a sacrifice as well.

U.S.HeadstoneApplicationsforMilitaryVeterans1925-1963ForIrwinJJonas

Sadly, the tombstone provided in this application has been seriously damaged by Richmond City.  For which they have ignored my phone calls and requests for communication.  Even more tragic, this was not the only marker I can see damaged by careless caretakers.

2014

Todd Truck

Many of you know I continue to roam the country looking for family photographs.  I often whisk a photo album away from an owner for a week or two so I can hopefully preserve the photos digitally.  As I do so, often those photo albums contain photos of other families not linked to my own, but linked to the individual who often begrudgingly allowed me to borrow a sacred treasure with a high degree of trust.

I borrowed an album from Colleen Coley Todd of Buhl, Twin Falls, Idaho.  I have written of her parents, Ivan and Clara Coley and her relationship to me.  Found within her photo albums are pictures of her husband, Melvin “Mel” George Todd, and his family.

This photo is of Mel’s grandfather AW Todd, Albert W (William?) Todd, born 8 October 1875 in Clarkrange, Fentress, Tennessee and died 27 September 1962 in Walla Walla, Walla Walla, Washington.

AW Todd

AW Todd

Click on the picture, I scanned it at a higher resolution.  This photo tells us so very much, yet we know so little.  That is a cow tied in the trailer, not just tied, but somehow loosely tied down.  As if the cow was going to bounce out.  A truck with a wagon behind it, extra length tongue.  What model is the truck?  Did he work for a dairy?

The back of the photo has this written, “George Todd, 441 Teton Drive, Jerome, ID  83338,  Man by truck is AW Todd.”  At least we know that was written after the early 1960s since that was when zip codes were put in place.  George Todd is AW’s son.

At any rate, a fascinating find.  Whether taken in Idaho or Washington, it tells its own story.  I can saw that AW Todd lived in Tennessee in 1910 and in Twin Falls County in 1920 and 1930, which is the likely location of the photo.

Aliza’s Name

Repeatedly people ask us why we spell Aliza’s name the way we do.  Some ask why we don’t spell it the ‘Mormon’ way like Eliza Roxbury Snow or some of the others in church history.  It is very popular in Utah and is mostly confined to the intermountain west.  As we found out in Oklahoma, not many people even knew how to say the name who did not know LDS history.

Truth be told, we first stumbled upon the name at St. John the Baptist, a church in Halesowen, Worcestershire, England.  Here is a picture of the tombstone that caught our attention.

DSCN3873

Joseph Willetts (1842 – 1903) is the son of Samuel Willetts (1800 – ?), Samuel Willetts (1800 – ?) is the son of Samuel Willetts (1769 – ?) and Mary Crumpton (1773 – 1787).  Samuel Willetts (1800 – ?) is the brother to my Letitia Willetts (1795 – 1875).  Letitia is my 4th great-grandmother who married James Coley (1795 – 1875).

I have written of James and Letitia before.

At any rate, Aliza is the wife of Joseph Willetts.  I don’t even know her maiden name.  But once we saw the name, we both knew that we liked it and wanted to name our daughter after this Aliza Willetts (1844 – 1915) buried at St. John the Baptist in Halesowen, England.

Halesowen and nearby Hasbury and Lutley are strongholds of my Coley, Willetts, Parish, and Lea lines.  Hopefully I will get to visit again some day when the heavens have not opened to unleash rains upon us.  I also hope that maybe Aliza might be able to visit the grave of this namesake, maybe even with us.

Theophilus and Martha France

In an odd twist of fate, I thought I might share my latest story in search of the family of Theophilus and Martha France.  I stumbled on this photograph when scanning the photos of my Great Great Grandmother.  She married Herbert Coley, whose sister, Martha Ann, is shown above.  This photo was in the collection, likely from Martha France herself, to my Great Great Grandfather Herbert.  The photo just had the two names written on the back of the photo.

Since, I have tried to track down the family with little or no success.  I will give some of the limited history I know at this point and then close with my latest little find.

Theophilus was born 26 December 1863 in Dudley, Staffordshire, England.  He married Martha Ann Coley 4 November 1891 in Logan, Cache, Utah in the Logan LDS Temple.  Martha was born 18 August 1860 in Lutley, Worcestershire, England to Stephen and Hannah Maria Rogers Coley.

Theophilus was a musician that took the family to various places chasing performing and music instructions.  Mostly in Cache Valley, but also taking in a jaunt to Salina, Sevier, Utah.

Theophilus France, in the middle, nicknamed Foghorn

Theophilus France, in the middle, nicknamed Foghorn

Born to the family were 5 children.

Ada France born 1 April 1893 in Franklin, Franklin, Idaho and died 14 February 1957 in Caldwell, Canyon, Idaho.  She married Henry James Flippence.

Marguerite France born 19 October 1894 in Franklin and died 20 Mar 1936 in Logan.  She married George Bright.

Franklin Bank, circa 1895

Franklin Band, circa 1895, Theophilus France is sitting second from the right, supposedly as the leader

Wilford France born 25 Mar 1897 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah and died 28 August 1986 in Los Angeles County, California.  He married Elsie Arvilla Brown.

John France born 22 May 1899 in Lewiston and died 18 June 1953 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  He married Meryln Burton.

Beatrice France born 16 October 1901 in Lewiston and died 14 October 1997 in Salt Lake City.  She married Robert Wallace Ekenstam.

From the census records, it appears Martha may have had a son (maybe a brother) named Frank.  He appears and then disappears.  He may be a cousin who came over from England with Martha and then died, married, or just moved away.  I cannot trace him down again, so this is one question I have always wanted to answer.  But finding a member of this family has not proved easy.

I knew Theophilus and Martha are buried in the Lewiston Cemetery.  Her brother, George, and their parents, Stephen and Hannah, my Great Great Great Grandparents are also buried there.  Theophilus died 30 October 1923 in Lewiston.  Martha died 18 July 1949 in Parma, Canyon, Idaho.

George Bright and Marguerite Coley had at least 8 children, but only one of them lived to marry.  I knew her name was Gennevieve Bright and that she had married a man by the name of Elvon Monson Jensen 22 April 1947.  He died in 1990 and trying to track down a lady Monson in Utah or Idaho, especially where she could have remarried, seemed an impossible task.  I left it there and tried some of the other lines.

In 2011, I was in my office and visiting with the wife of the other attorney from who I rent office space.  I knew Kent was from Preston and in a lull of the conversation asked the name of Kent’s parents.  She mentioned Elvon and Gennevieve.  I could not tell where, but I knew that Elvon Jensen was in my family history.  That night I looked him up and sure enough, there he was.  I rent office space in Burley, Idaho from my 3rd cousin, once removed!  Kent’s children are my 4th cousins.

It was with some sweet satisfaction that I was able to provide a copy of the photograph of Theophilus and Martha above to him.  He had not seen a picture of them before.  I asked that he put me in contact with the member of his family who does the family history on the France/Coley line.  Maybe I can help bridge some of the divide and flesh out more fully the Coley line in Utah and Idaho.

The picture above of Theophilus and Martha was scanned in 2006.  Who knew that I would be providing a photo of ancestors to a line who did not have a photograph.  Maybe there will be more such stories in the future with all the photos I have and continue to make available.  We can only hope.  Here is a photo of Martha later in life, I don’t know how old she was at the time.

Martha Coley

Martha Coley

Betty Donaldson Obituary

Betty May Oram Donaldson, 83, passed away peacefully surrounded by many dear friends on November 13, 2014. She was born November 5, 1931 to Gloyd Hyrum Oram and Rosabelle Grant Oram in Ogden, Utah.

Betty Oram Toddler

Betty Oram as a toddler

She attended schools in Honeyville and Ogden. She met and married David William Donaldson on April 12, 1953 (in Las Vegas) and their marriage was later solemnized in the Ogden LDS Temple (2008). They enjoyed traveling, camping and fishing. After 54 years together, David died in 2007.

Gloyd and Betty Oram

Gloyd and Betty Oram

Betty loved her dogs, cooking, crocheting, listening to books on tape and visiting with friends and family. She worked as a medical record and lab technician. She was a member of the LDS Church Plain City 7th Ward.

Betty Oram

Betty Oram

She is survived by her sister, Marilyn Keyes of Williamsburg, Virginia, many cousins, nieces and nephews and lots of friends. She will be missed very much.

LaPriel Gailey and Betty Oram

LaPriel Gailey and Betty Oram

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Donald Oram.

Betty with cup

A viewing for family and friends will be held on Friday, November 21, 2014 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Myers Ogden Mortuary, 845 Washington Blvd and Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. at the mortuary. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at the Honeyville Cemetery, 6900 North 2500 West.

Betty and David (Dave) Donaldson

Betty and David (Dave) Donaldson

We would like to thank the Lotus Park Assisted Living personnel and Intermountain Homecare (especially Vickie, Launi and Misty) for their excellent care of Betty. We are very grateful for the assistance of Betty’s ward family during her last few weeks.

~

That is her obituary as found in the newspaper with two additions by me (in parenthesis).  I thought I would add a couple more side notes.

I have mentioned Betty and Dave in the history for Dave’s parents found at this link.

I am not sure the reasons, but it sounds like Betty was pretty much raised by her grandparents, Jedediah Mill Grant and Annie Kaziah Bowcutt.  Interestingly, Annie’s brother, Lorenzo, married my great grandmother Lillian Coley Jonas years after my great grandfather had passed away.  Betty had some interesting stories about Ren as he was known.  You can see pictures of Ren and his obituary at the link for Lillian.  She adored her Grandmother Annie Bowcutt Grant.  As I mentioned, I did not think to ask why, but she never told me much about her parents.  But she told me loads about her grandparents.  She even gave me a number of photos to scan of them, which I will likely post next week.

I liked to go and visit Aunt Betty.  Since she lived next to Grandpa and Grandma it was easy and convenient to go.  Sometimes though after spending a few hours with Grandpa and Grandma I wanted to get on the road but Grandpa would send me to Betty’s with something to give her and Dave (when he was still alive).  Grandma would even walk over with me sometimes.

Coley-Rogers Wedding

William and Mary Rogers are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Hannah Maria Rogers to Stephen Coley, son of James and Letitia Coley.  They were married 3 October 1852 in Halesowen, England.

This family has limited information, but since we stumbled upon a picture recently, I thought I would make it available.  Hopefully some other photos of the family will appear.  Another appeared, it is posted below.  A darker picture, but closer.  Hopefully I can get the whole thing at some point with the clearer resolution.

Light photo of Stephen

Stephen was the third child born to Letitia Willetts and James Coley on 28 January 1830 in Lutley, Worcestershire, England.  James, as far as I can tell was a hired man, but we do not know anything more.  The family stayed in Lutley and by the age of 21 Stephen was working as a servant for the widow Ann Page as a farm laborer on her farm.  Stephen continued working as a farm laborer until he took a job in the Iron Works of Haley Green by 1871.  The 1881 census lists him as a mender, we do not know what kind. When he shows up on the 1900 Census in Syracuse, Davis, Utah he is a day laborer.

Darker photo of Stephen

Darker photo of Stephen

Hannah was the first child born to Mary Harris and William Rogers on 4 June 1832 in Romsley, Worcestershire, England.  Some of the census records show Lutley too.  This family we know little about as a whole.  Mary died in 1859 and Roger in 1862.  We do not know his occupation or even where the family and other children end up.  The name is too common and tracking down siblings to this point has been unsuccessful.  The family lived near enough Romsley to be married there and each of the children christened there.  The only reason we know anything more about Hannah is because she left her own record with her posterity and church.

We have records of 7 children born to Stephen and Hannah Coley.

William Coley born 19 October 1854 in Hasbury, Worcestershire, England.  William married Sylvia James 19 Aug 1877 in Dudley, Worcestershire, England.  We do not know anything more about this family.

Charles N Coley born January 1857 in Hasbury, England.  Charles married an Ann and had 7 children we know of.

Martha Ann Coley born 18 August 1860 in Haley Green, Worcestershire, England.  She married Theophilus France, and more is written of them at that link.

Arthur Coley born 17 January 1862 in Lutley and married an Elizah Willett.  We know nothing more about him.

Herbert Coley born 12 February 1864 in Lutley and married Martha Christiansen 1 December 1896 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.  This are my Great Great Grandparents and I will write more of them later.

George Harry Coley born 16 April 1868 in Lutley and married Caroline Wilson, and more is written of them at that link.

Francis Henry Coley born 8 October 1871 in Lutley and died 10 July 1893.  We do not know where, but that is the date passed down by the family.

While the family lived in Lutley, Mormons came to the community.  We do not know the conversion story, but Martha joined 23 August 1867, Herbert 1 June 1881, George 22 August 1881, and Frank 2 June 1882.  The call to gather to Utah was strong enough that these four children decided to make the venture.  We do not know if Stephen and Hannah came begrudgingly or not, but they accompanied the children on their journey.

The family boarded the RMS Wisconsin in Liverpool.  They arrived 23 October 1890 in New York City, New York.  Stephen traveled with Hannah, daughter Martha, niece Letitia Lea Willetts, one of Letitia’s daughters Clara,  and an unknown Frank and Mary.  We don’t know who these last two children are, but they traveled with the company.  The confusing thing is that Clara is listed as a Coley, yet her mother Letitia is a Willetts.  We believe it is this same Frank who shows up in the 1900 Census living in the Martha France household where he is listed as a step-son to Theophilus.  Therefore, it appears this Frank is Martha’s child, but we have no record of his birth, father, or where he ended up after the 1900 census.  Mary may be the daughter of Charles Coley, but the age is two years off, and she disappeared once they arrived in Utah, so we do not know.

Martha married in Logan, Cache, Utah on 4 November 1891.  Interestingly, Hannah was baptized a Mormon that same day.  Martha was sealed to Theophilus in the Logan Temple.  It is likely that Hannah attended to the temple the same day and was baptized in the font of the temple.  (They used to allow convert and children of record baptisms in the temple font)  Stephen was baptized 5 January 1892, we do not know the location.

Stephen and Hannah were both endowed on the 12 October 1892 in the Logan Temple.  They were sealed to each other the same day.  George married 23 November 1892 and his parents likely attended.

Hannah died 22 October 1894 in Franklin, Franklin (then Oneida), Idaho.  I don’t believe they were living outside of Lewiston so she was probably visiting or died there for some other reason (Lewiston and Franklin are only a few miles apart).  She was buried two days later, 24 October 1894 in Lewiston.

By the time the 1910 Census rolls around, Stephen is staying with Edwin Paice, step-son of his niece Letitia Lea Willetts who had remarried to William Paice.  Edwin lived next door to William and Letitia.  The photo above was likely taken between the death of his wife his own death 19 years later.  I am guessing somewhere after 1900, which year would put him about 70, since I guess he looks like he is in his 70’s.

Stephen died at home in Lewiston 22 October 1913 (same day as his wife) and was buried two days later, 24 October 1913 in Lewiston.

Uncle Art’s Visit

14 Sep 1998, Paul Ross, Colleen Lloyd, Paul, Idaho

14 Sep 1998, Paul Ross, Colleen Lloyd, Paul, Idaho

This photo brings all sorts of memories for me.  I don’t have many pictures in my Grandma’s yard.  But this photo conjures all sorts of memories for so many reasons.  I stopped to visit Grandma one day and Uncle Art (1921-2004) and Aunt Mary Coley (1918-2014) were visiting.

Uncle Art took a liking to my little 1955 International R-100 and asked for me to take him for a ride in it.  He tried multiple times to convince me to sell it to him.  I would just laugh and tell him he did not have enough money for me to sell it to him.  Finally, he asked for a number and I threw out $5,000.  He said, “Well, at least let me pay for the ride.”  He had me pull in to the gas station and paid to fill it up.  We probably drove for an hour, he just wanted to keep going.

Uncle Art or Aunt Mary took the photo.  I think it says quite a bit for Grandma to lose her husband 23 years earlier but still to keep regular contact with her first husband’s Uncle and Aunt.  I have later found out she was quite good at keeping in contact with most of his family even despite other marriages and the passage of time.  I visited Clara McMurdie Coley in 2008, after probably 15 years since the last time I visited her (with Grandma), she commented that it had been quite some time since she had heard from Colleen.  I then told her Colleen had died 9 years previously and her comment was, “I wondered why I stopped getting letters and visits”, yet she did not know Grandma had passed.

I still have the shirt.  I wish I still had the shoes.  I wish I still had the truck.  I wish I still had Grandma.  But this picture also points out a little joke between us regarding her height and mine.  Hence the elbow on her shoulder.

I remember we enjoyed some ice cream with Uncle Art & Aunt Mary before I left.  Uncle Art shook my hand, gave me some $$ for my mission, and wished me well.  It is really the only memory I have of Uncle Art although I know I was around him more over the years.  He had a fun laugh, a sense of humor, love of old trucks, and seemed like a good man.