Boy with Top

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This is one of those photos that will captivate you.  You can stare at it and wonder who this little boy is, who did he become, what became of his life?

This photo came from the collection of Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).  While I cannot be certain who the photo is, I believe it is Clair Charles Anderson (1902 – 1956).  Clair is Marth’a nephew through Martha’s sister, Walborg Christiansen Anderson (18775 – 1951).  I don’t know much about his life.  Perhaps some day.

"Clair C Anderson to Martha Coley"

“Clair C Anderson to Martha Coley”

Here is a picture of Clair’s brother, LeGrand Clive Anderson (1914 – 1973).

LeGrand Clive Anderson

LeGrand Clive Anderson

Haunting Eyes

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I was thinking of this little girl the other day.  Her eyes and smile are hauntingly familiar to me.  I know she is full blood family, I just wish I knew for certain who.

This photo was one in the collection of my Great Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

I am convinced this little child, I don’t know if male or female but assume female, is likely one of Martha’s own children.  I just don’t have baby pictures of her children though so I cannot tell for certain.  But I do seriously wonder if this is not my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas.  I do have this picture to compare.

Baby Lillian Coley

Baby Lillian Coley

You can view all the other unknown photos I have from Martha’s photo album here.

Happy 100th Anniversary

Joseph and Lillian Portrait

For several weeks leading up to September 6, I repeatedly thought of my Great Grandparents Joseph and Lillian Jonas.

I have written of their life, you can read the post here.

It is not because I have some great memory for the dates of others.  That particulate date has more history for Joseph and Lillian.  They married on that date in 1916.  Their son, Ellis, was born on that date in 1926.  Joseph tragically died on that date in 1932.  Grandson Randall was born on that date in 1950.

Alas, I found myself in trial on the date of their anniversary and did not get an opportunity to write about it before.  At least I am doing it afterward.

Happy 100th Anniversary Great Grandpa and Grandma Jonas.

Logan revisited

Later this year will be our 10 year anniversary.  Ten years since we were married in the Logan LDS Temple in Cache County, Utah.  Since we were down with the kids in Logan for a reunion, we made a stop.

Hiram, Aliza, Amanda, and Lillian Ross

Hiram, Aliza, Amanda, and Lillian Ross

The day turned out to be beautiful despite being the middle of October.  Other than the angle of the sun, you might never have known it was October.

We took a picture in one of the doorways that we also took pictures 10 years ago.  Time flies.

Amanda, Lillian, Hiram, Paul, and Aliza Ross

Amanda, Lillian, Hiram, Paul, and Aliza Ross

Of course I have heard multiple comments on my neon toes!  Thank you to my in-laws for making me push my boundaries and wear toed shoes.

On the way home I asked the kids their favorite part of the trip.  The quick response for both was the temple.

I have always felt a strong family connection to the Logan Temple.

John Nuffer and Eva Greiner, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 123 years ago in 1892.  They were married 25 July 1867 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Wuerttemberg.  You can read of them here.

Olle Christiansen and Constance Jorgensen, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 122 years ago in 1893.  They were married in 1874 in Norway (and have yet to find the exact date and location).

John Wanner and Anna Schmid, my 3rd great grandparents were sealed here 117 years ago in 1898.  They were married 6 June 1870 in Holzgerlingen, Boblingen, Wuerttemberg.  Read more about them at this link.

John Wanner and Regina Nuffer, my 2nd great grandparents were married and sealed here 117 years ago on 31 August 1898.  Read of them with this click.

Herbert Coley and Martha Christiansen, my 2nd great grandparents were sealed here 115 years ago in 1900.  They were married 1 December 1896 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.

Joseph Jonas and Lillian Coley, my great grandparents were married and sealed here 99 years ago on 6 September 1916.  Read more of their marriage here.

Paul Ross and Amanda Hemsley, us, were married and sealed here 10 years ago on 20 December 2005.

This is just the sealing ordinances.  This does not include endowments, baptisms, or second washings and anointings for my ancestors.  I received my own endowment here with my father on 1 September 1998.  Who knows what future ordinances for my family may take place in Logan.

All I know, I miss the days of attending the Logan temple.  I miss learning in the House of the Lord for Stake instruction.  I miss the fill the temple sessions where we would work in the temple all night long.  I miss going to the temple with roommates.  I miss doing endowment sessions on a regular basis with my wife, we often feel guilty leaving our kids with others for that long (and the drive).

One thing I know, and I hope my family history work proves this, I know the temple blessings are real.  I see them in my life and feel them on a regular basis.  I am grateful for my ancestors who went before and provided an example of what, and what not, to do.

Aliza kept asking if she could go inside the temple.  I told her she would have to wait until she was at least 12.  I am glad Aliza and Hiram also feel the draw to the temple.  Hopefully those covenants are already beginning to find the way into their little hearts.  Great promises and responsibilities come from the temple.  That is my testimony.

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.