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

Edward William Sharp

I thought I would write about Edward William Sharp today (some also list him as William Edward Sharp, I am not clear which is correct), known to the family as Uncle Ed.  He has a tender, yet thorny, position in the family.

Ed Sharp and Bob (?) 17 February 1949

Ed Sharp and Bob (?) 17 February 1949

Edward William Sharp was born 25 October 1887 in Plain City, Weber, Utah, the seventh child to Milo and Lilly Sharp.  My Great Grandmother, Ethel, was Ed’s younger sister, number 11 in line.  I have written more of Ethel’s marriage to Jack Ross.  Ed Sharp comes into the family line more closely when Ethel died in 1925.  She left behind five children, namely: June, Milo, Paul, Harold, and Earnest.  The four children were taken back to Paul, Minidoka, Idaho in 1925 to be raised by their Ross grandparents, James and Catherine Ross, while Jack got back on his feet.  As winter came and progressed the family struggled.  Earnest passed away the fall of 1925 in Rupert, Idaho.  Jack was gone for unknown reasons and James and Catherine called Ethel’s family to come get the four children.  Starting that winter of 1925-26, Milo Ross was raised by his Uncle Ed.  June went to live with her paternal grandparents, the Streeters in Ogden.  Paul and Harold were raised by Ed’s siblings, Vic Hunt and Del Sharp respectively.  Sadly, Paul fell from a loft in a barn in 1932, broke his arm, and suffered a concussion that would take his life in 1932.

Edward Sharp met and married Lillie Elva East 13 May 1909 in Plain City.  She was born 16 February 1888 in nearby Warren, Weber, Utah.  Together they had 10 children.

Lillie Elva East Sharp

Lillie Elva East Sharp

Edna Louise Sharp born 11 January 1910 in Plain City.

Florence Evelyn Sharp born 30 June 1911 in Plain City.

Marjorie Lillian Sharp born 23 June 1913 in Plain City.

Ethel Sharp born 8 July 1917 in Plain City.

Ethel Sharp and Wayne McCool

Ethel Sharp and Wayne McCool

Elmer George Sharp born 15 June 1919 in Plain City and died 12 November 1923 in Plain City.

Ruby Elaine Sharp born 13 February 1922 in Plain City.

Ruby Sharp

Ruby Sharp

Milo Riley Sharp born 27 November 1927 in Ogden.

Milo Riley Sharp (1924 - 1955)

Milo Riley Sharp (1924 – 1955)

Josephine Sharp born 18 March 1927 in Ogden.

Edward Junior Sharp born 24 January 1930 in Ogden.

Dean Sharp born 28 April 1935 in Ogden.

Lillie Sharp, Gary Blanch, and Dean Sharp

Lillie Sharp, Gary Blanch, and Dean Sharp

Back (l-r): Steven, Reed, Brent; Front: Lorraine, Lois, Dean, Teresa Sharp

Back (l-r): Steven, Reed, Brent; Front: Lorraine, Lois, Dean, Teresa Sharp

As a reminder, Grandpa, Milo Ross, was born in 1921 in Plain City.  He falls right in the middle of the entire family and became one of the siblings.  To tell the difference between Milo Ross and Milo Sharp, I will use their last name.

Milo James Ross

Milo James Ross

Unfortunately, things were not quite that easy.  Ed farmed a nice little farm in Plain City.  He also had some cows, pigs, and other animals.  The family grew up in the Depression with all the anxieties and difficulties that came with it.  Fortunately the farm was mostly paid for and the farm provided for itself and the family.

Despite technically being blood to Ed, Milo Ross was treated differently than the other children.  Milo Ross was not allowed to eat with the rest of the family.  When the family was done with the meal, then Milo Ross could eat.  Often alone.  Milo Ross was expected to work longer than the rest of the family, into the time while the rest of them ate.  Milo Ross was also expected to arise earlier and get things in order for the day before the rest of the family.  He did not often get to eat with the rest of the family for breakfast and often only got some bread and milk.  He was also given some of the more undesirable jobs around the farm.  For example, it was his job to tend the onions which often left him smelling of them and he found that embarrassing.

L-R: Milo Ross, Josephine Sharp, Howard Hunt, Milo Sharp, Ruby Sharp

L-R: Milo Ross, Josephine Sharp, Howard Hunt, Milo Sharp, Ruby Sharp

Ed also had some drinking issues and had a certain temper.  Of course his family saw the issues that arose as part of the alcohol, but it was Milo Ross who felt it.  He was the one who suffered the wrath of Ed’s drinking bouts at the end of a belt or sometimes worse.  While Milo Ross loved his cousin-siblings, the relationship was not as kindred with Ed.

On Horse l-r: Harold Ross, Howard Hunt, Milo Ross, Josephine Sharp (arm only), Janelle England, Eddie Sharp.  In front l-r: Ruby Sharp, Lucille Maw, and Milo Riley Sharp.

On Horse l-r: Harold Ross, Howard Hunt, Milo Ross, Josephine Sharp (arm only), Janelle England, Eddie Sharp. In front l-r: Ruby Sharp, Lucille Maw, and Milo Riley Sharp.

Ruby Sharp, Lois Robbins, Milo Ross, Milo Sharp

Ruby Sharp, Lois Robbins, Milo Ross, Milo Sharp

Milo Ross was only one year in age from Ruby who he ran around the countryside with.  They were close enough that they would hold hands.  They did quite a bit together.  He was also close to Milo Sharp, but he was still three years behind him in age.  The older siblings, Edna (who went by Louise), Florence, and Ethel were good to him, but were close to each other and did mostly their own thing.  Ed kept Milo Ross busy that he did not get as much time with the younger children but he grew close with Josephine and Edward (known as Eddie in the family).  Dean was young enough that he was around him some, but did not have as close of a relationship.

L-R: Ruby Sharp, Harold Ross, Milo Sharp, Milo Ross, Paul Ross, Ethel Sharp, and Bob Martin.

L-R: Ruby Sharp, Harold Ross, Milo Sharp, Milo Ross, Paul Ross, Ethel Sharp, and Bob Martin.

As I mentioned in the story of Ed’s parents William & Mary Ann Sharp, she also went by Lilly, the Sharp and Stoker families came to Utah as converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  A number of issues arose in Plain City and families left the church.  Ed’s parents followed that suit remaining with the Episcopalian faith.  Ed and Lillie did as well, but were not very active.  The Mormons continued to work on bringing the families back to the church.  The Sharp family started to work through Delwin’s family first and the faith spread through Ed’s nieces and nephews and into his own family.  Only one of Ed’s siblings joined the LDS faith while alive, and that was Vic in 1975.

Edward Sharp, Delwin & Vilate Sharp, 13 August 1957

Edward Sharp, Delwin & Violet Sharp, 13 August 1957

Marjorie, Ethel, and Ruby all joined through the waters of baptism on 12 May 1939.  Milo Ross joined 2 July 1939 (only after 18 as Ed would not give consent otherwise).  Louise, Florence, Milo Sharp, Josephine, and Eddie all joined 3 January 1943.  Dean was the last on 31 October 1943, he was not 8 in January to join with the remainder of his siblings.

As soon as Milo was of age, he looked for opportunities to get out.  He eventually married, moved in with his in-laws, and then the impending war took his services abroad.

Milo Ross did not tell only negative about Uncle Ed.  Grandpa regularly told of how he learned to work hard under Uncle Ed.  While somewhat an outsider, Ed kept in contact with the extended family and Grandpa’s position in the family meant he was regularly tending to his Grandmother, Lilly Sharp mentioned above.  While it was his strict duty to clean out his Grandma’s bedpan, keep the kitchen and house wood split and stocked, and whatever else she needed or wanted.  Grandpa relished those moments in her home and with her.

Lillie East Sharp died 4 September 1942 while separated from her husband.  She had started divorce proceedings but died before they completed.  She was buried in Plain City.  Milo Ross remembered her as a beautiful lady who he sometimes told his woes, but she acknowledged the issues but took no steps to resolve them.

Ed died 24 August 1962 in Othello, Adams, Washington.  The family brought him home and buried him in Plain City too.

William E Sharp Obit

Camping in Swan Valley

This fall, over Labor Day weekend, we went camping near Swan Valley, Idaho.  I thought I would post a few pictures from that trip.

We had to do some preparation on the trailer, like sewing up some rips in the canvas on the tent trailer.  This is Amanda’s handiwork.

Sewed Canvas Cover

We also replaced the elastic ropes in the canvas, the old ones were pretty shredded.

New Elastic Ropes

We are fortunate that the Tateoka Family is as sharing with their camp trailer as they are, otherwise we may have been sleeping in a tent again!  The Darrington Family let us trade pickups with them so we could all ride in the same pickup to Swan Valley together.  Thank you to both!

We set up at Falls Campground near the Snake River.  Enjoyed a couple of days there.

Set up at Falls Campground

Set up at Falls Campground

We really enjoyed the campground.  Some great fly fishing nearby in the Snake River, there were tons of fly fisherman everywhere we went.  We hiked over to the falls too.

View of Snake River near Swan Valley, Idaho

View of Snake River near Swan Valley, Idaho

We did take some time to drive over to Plano where the Hemsley clan had their start in Idaho.  There are multiple Richard Hemsleys buried there.

Hemsley graves in Plano, Idaho

Hemsley graves in Plano, Idaho

Here is a picture of the house Hemsley built.

Side of Hemsley House in Plano, Idaho

Side of Hemsley House in Plano, Idaho

Front of Hemsley house in Plano, Idaho

Front of Hemsley house in Plano, Idaho

We also stopped in Rexburg at the temple and in Ririe on the way back where I was coaxed out of a few dollars for some kid who was short of some cash.  I offered to pay the difference and somehow ended up paying for their entire goodie stash!

We had a great little campfire.

2014-08-31 21.41.30

We introduced Aliza to cattails.  We were regretting it later due to the mess it tracked everywhere.

Playing with cattails

Playing with cattails

We also gave them little containers to go find bugs.  Boy, they found plenty.

Inspecting bugs

Inspecting bugs

Drinking some soda

Drinking some soda

Walking down a country road back to camp

Walking down a country road back to camp

 

Georg Friedrich Nuffer

Georg Friedrich Nuffer

Georg Friedrich Nuffer

I stumbled upon this old photo of Georg Friedrich Nuffer the other day.  It is not often you come across a color photograph of a family member from so long ago.

Georg is the half-brother to my Regina Friederike Nuffer, daughter of John and Eva Nuffer.  Georg is the son of John and Agnes Nuffer.  Agnes Barbara Spring passed away 29 January 1867 in Neuffen, Esslingen, Wurttemburg and John Nuffer remarried to Eva Katharina Greiner 25 July 1867 in Neuffen.

Georg was born 20 January 1864 in Neuffen.  The family immigrated to the Preston, Franklin, Idaho area in 1880, I believe to the Glendale area.  He met and married Anna Elizabeth Rinderknecht 3 April 1888 in Providence, Cache, Utah.  He died 31 March 1952 in Saratoga, Santa Clara, California.  This photo I believe was taken somewhere near Preston.  From the vehicles in the background, it was within a year or two before he passed away.  It is a gem of a picture from the wrinkled suit, bushy eyebrows, and colors.

Camping near the Great Rift

Last weekend I went with a friend, Ted Tateoka, camping on the desert near the Great Rift.  Our plans were to go to Copper Basin, but they were supposedly receiving winter weather advisories, so we opted for something a little closer with a little less snow.

We set up camp in Falcon Cave.  Here is a picture of the cave with the tent deep inside.  You can also see some of the smoke from our fire near the mouth of the cave.

Falcon Cave

Falcon Cave

We spent some time exploring the desert in multiple directions.  Here is a picture of the desert looking south from Horse Butte.  I should have taken a picture looking into Wild Horse Corral, which is pretty amazing.  You can see Cottrell’s Blowout  in this picture, but it looks minimal.  You will have to forgive me, I was on an exploring expedition, not a photography mission.

Horse Butte to the south with Cottrell's Blowout

Horse Butte to the south with Cottrell’s Blowout

In Sullivan’s Hole, we stumbled upon this piece of rock.  I don’t know how many hundreds or thousands of years ago this fell off the roof of the cave, but the formations still look new as if they were still hanging from the ceiling.  The access to the cave is through a vent in the ceiling.  We had a rope ladder to take us down the 25 feet or so from the roof to the floor of the cave.  We found graffiti dated from 1925 that still looked new.

Beginnings of stalactites on stone fallen from the ceiling of the cave

Beginnings of stalactites on stone fallen from the ceiling of the cave

Lastly, a picture of Rock Lake.  You can see what remains of the dam built at some time in the past 100 years or so.  No water in the lake this time of year.

Rock Lake

Rock Lake

I guess I will have to go back to find some more of the sites, but to also take more pictures.

 

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.