The Bridges

I would like to introduce you to William Weir Bridges and his new bride, Lenna May White.  As I continue to scan photos for others, this one caught my attention for some reason and I wanted to make it available here.

Will & Lena Bridges at Thomas Studios in Salt Lake City

Will & Lena Bridges at Thomas Studios in Salt Lake City

I really do not know anything about them other than their names.  Some quick research tells me William Weir Bridges was born 15 April 1891 in Ogden, Weber, Utah and died 9 May 1959 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  He is buried in Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah although I do not know which cemetery.  This photo is likely in the collection because Will’s mother is Janet Fyfe (aka Fife)(1873-1953), half-sister to Agnes Fyfe (1903-1994) as referenced by Dale Vern Ashcraft.  I have also written of another sister, Charlotte Fyfe.

Lenna “Lena” May White was born 30 March 1898 in Salt Lake City and died 7 June 1974 in Murray, Salt Lake, Utah.  She is also buried in Sandy.  The two married 1 July 1915 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.  This photo was likely taken near their wedding date.

Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson Funeral

Sitting (l-r) Dora, Betty, Gladys, Maxine.  Standing: Unknown woman, back of man, back of man, Eddie Telford (in front of wheel of car)

Dena Donaldson graveside service.  Sitting (l-r) Dora Birch, Betty Donaldson, Gladys Ross, Maxine Telford. Standing: (l-r) Unknown woman, back of man, back of man, Eddie Telford (in front of wheel of car), Jan Birch, Richard Michaelson, Johnny Telford, Unknown man, Les Collins, Unknown man reaching out, Mary Hewitt, Andy Hewitt (face behind Mary’s head), Dena Michaelson, Mike Michaelson, Unknown man’s head, Minnie Berglund.

Here is a photo from the graveside service of Berendena “Dena” Van Leeuwen Donaldson in the Ogden, Weber, Utah Cemetery.  I have previously shared Dena’s life story.  But I thought I would make this photo available and hope maybe we can find a few more people in the photo.  My father says he was present, but did not make it into the photo.  He seemed to think he was standing with Jan, Richard, and Johnny, he may very well be the hidden person under the bough of the tree.  He provided me the names of the people in the photo, but I do not have a second confirmation for the names, so if you can confirm or correct, I would appreciate your help.

Dena died 5 March 1959 in Ogden.  This picture was taken 9 March 1959, the date of her funeral and this graveside service.  Three of Dena’s children are seated (Dora, Gladys, and Maxine).  Betty is Dena’s daughter-in-law.  Dena, Dena’s daughter, is standing also beside her husband Chauncey Michaelson.  Dad seems to remember Grandpa (Milo Ross) and Dave Donaldson are blocked by the tombstone on the right of the photo.  Two of Dena’s sisters are visible (Mary and Kate).  Dad could not identify any of the other people as they were either not family or distant enough he cannot recall them.  I think the man to the right of Johnny Telford and the man to the left of Mary Hewitt are Dena’s brother-in-laws, but I do not know which (only four were still living; George, Ellis, Ed, and Alvin), but they have Donaldson traits.

Jordan-Watkins Wedding

Thomas and Margret Mordecae Watkins are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Margret to David Jordan, son of Benjamin and Mary Evans Jordan.  David and Margaret were married 21 September 1839 in Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales.

Much of the history below is taken from the sketch written by David and Margret’s granddaughter Martha Evans Anderson (1870-1930).  I have fleshed it out with dates and additional detail from source documents.

Margret Watkins was born 10 September 1816 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She is believed to be the second of 5 children born to Thomas and Margret Watkins.  We really do not know a whole lot about Thomas and Margret Watkins.  A number of stories have survived which are shared below.

David Jordan was born 7 February 1820 in Merthry-Tydfil.  He is the first of four known children born to Benjamin and Mary Jordan.  Just like Margret’s parents, we really do not know much about this family.  At least minimal family history dates or stories have come down regarding either line.

Benjamin and Mary Jordan “were of a religious turn of mind and taught the Bible when he was just a boy, refined and of a gentle manner.”  Mary Jordan passed away in April 1843 when the family was still young.  The family consisted of David, Jane, Sarah, and John.  The Jordans were “a very refined and considered High Class people and of a high moral and religious character.  They were always proud of their personal appearance, always well dressed.”  The brothers were “devoted brothers, they lived and worked together with kind and friendly for each other.  When David and Margaret had children they all lived as a loving family together…this brother was named John Jordan.”

We really do not know anything of the Courtship between David Jordan and Margret Watkins.  “At this times Wales was in a prosperous condition and David and Margret were soon settled in which was very comfortable and spacious.  They had an extra room so that his father and one brother could live with them in their home.  His father lived only two weeks, when he died.  His brother continued to live with David and his wife.”

“Margret (Watkins) Jordan lost her mother when she was very young, leaving her father with a family of small children.  While the family was without the mother’s care, Margret met with an accident which left her with a crippled arm for the rest of her life.  This happened when she was about 2 years old…when her sister was carrying her on her back, when she slipped and fell.  Margret cried for days from pain before they learned that she had a broken arm at the elbow.  It had already started to set, it had been so long since it happened that they thought the child could not stand to have it rebroken and set properly, so it was never properly taken care of.”

“Margret’s father married again and brought into their home a most worthy and wonderful new mother to the children.  Grandmother used to tell us that she never remembered her real mother but their step mother was all that our real mother could have been.”

“When Margret was still in her teens and because of her crippled arm, she was apprenticed in a school for sewing.  The sewing at that time was all done by hand, they had no sewing machines.  Margret took to that kind of work very readily and was very satisfied to become a very good seamstress, while still a very young woman.  She was able to construct some of the finest work in the area.”

“Margret had a blind brother who learned to play the harp.  He was often requested to play, to entertain for groups at entertainments.  He carried his harp with him everywhere he went.  He was employed to play at different places and went alone to his employment places with his harp.  He became very popular and was loved by all his friends and family.”

“Margret continued to follow her trade as a seamstress after her marriage to Grandfather David Jordan, because she was very popular among the people of her community for her sewing.  As her family duties increased on her time, they had six children, two of which died in infancy, she gave up a lot of her sewing and devoted most of her time and energies to her family responsibilities.”

“David and Margret were among the very first in their area to embrace [T]he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They were baptized [18 January 1849].  Their children all grew up in the church.”

At this time there was a large branch of the Mormon church in their area of Wales.  “Their family was very faithful and devoted to their new church.  David was a good singer and also a composer and poet.”  He composed a number of beautiful poems.  One song was in honor of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  “As children, we remember hearing him sing this beautiful song, the music was very sweet and the words were all in Welsh.  We only understood it in part, but there was just something about the song that touched us very deeply.”

When they embraced the LDS church they had two little children, Mary and her older sister Gwyn who were 3 and 5 years old.  They were raised in the LDS church and were baptized when they reached 8 years old.

David and Margret’s first son was Thomas Jordan born December 1840 in Merthyr-Tydfil and dying June 1841.  We know very little about this little boy.

The first daughter was Gwenlliam Jordan born 2 August 1842 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She was baptized in August 1851.

The second daughter was Mary Watkins Jordan born 5 December 1844 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  She was baptized 1 January 1852.

“David was a coal miner.  He and his brother went to work every day in the coal mines.  They were paid good wages at the time, so they did very well economically.”

“One day David’s shift in the mine interfered with his Priesthood meeting so he traded shifts with a friend of his.  He was the secretary of his group and felt like he should attend his Priesthood meeting.  Grandmother Margret told us that she remembers the incident very well.  It was a beautiful day and all was peaceful and calm.  Then at 9:30 am word came there had been an explosion in the mine.  People rushed to the place and it was soon learned that a large number of miners had lost their lives in the explosion and among them was David’s friend who was working in his place.  This was a great sorrow for David.  He loved this man very much and he was there instead of David.”

“As time went on, conditions changed.  Little by little the miner’s wages were reduced causing hard times.  Then there were strikes putting them out of work entirely for months.”

“Their two girls had by now grown into their teens.  They found employment and became independent.  There was also two little boys in the family.”  These two boys would have been David and Thomas.

Charles Jordan was born 3 November 1848 in Merthyr-Tydfil.  He died in December 1848.

Margret Jordan was born 26 Jul 1850 in Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales.  She died in June 1852.

David Moiah Jordan was born 7 June 1854 in Merthyr-Tydfil.

Thomas Jordan was born 17 March 1857 in Merthyr-Tydfil.

Ann Watkins Jordan was born in 1861 and we do not know how long she lived.

“Margret now returned to her sewing again to support the family during the hard times.  In a few years, the two girls got married and came to Utah, leaving their parents and the two brothers in Wales.  This happened in 1864.”

I have previously written about Gwenlliam Jordan and her marriage to David D Williams at this link.

“David and Margret had now been members of the LDS church for 20 years.  They were however very happy and contented until their daughters left for America.  They were also making every effort to join their daughters in Utah.

“Then they were made very sad by the death of their youngest son.  He was 11 years old.  Many of the members of their church had gone to Utah and they were feeling lonesome and sad.”  David Moiah Jordan died 14 October 1865.

“The Elders that served as missionaries in their area always found a big welcome in the Jordan home, even in the middle of the night would stop by and found a welcome and told them that it was like coming home.”

“They themselves were making every effort to prepare to go to Utah themselves.  They were planning to sail with the next company of Saints that were to leave by ship for New York.”

“It was now 9 years since their two daughters had gone to Utah.  One day the Elders called on them and told them that the next ship would sail in three weeks.  They counted their money which they had saved and it was not enough.  So they decided that they would have to wait for a later sailing date, until they could accumulate some more funds.”

“When they had secured the money they needed, they sent word to their daughters of their plans so they would expect them.”  The Jordan’s departed 29 July 1872 from Liverpool, Lancashire, England.

“After a lazy and weary journey crossing the Atlantic Ocean, they landed in New York City, on the 13th of August 1872 and remained in New York with their 15 year old son.  They found employment and remained there until October.  They received a letter from their 2 daughters containing money for them to continue to Utah.  Some of the money came from their daughter Mary’s husband, who sold his team of horses to get the money to send to them.”

They arrived in Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah on 10 November 1872 “after visiting in Ogden with their oldest daughter Gwenie Williams, and then they continued on to Brigham City where their daughter Mary Evans lived.  It is useless to try and describe how happy they all were to be back together again after 9 years of being apart, and praying for the time when they could all be together in Zion.”

David and Gwenlliam Williams

David and Gwenllian Williams

“The first winter in Utah was very hard on them because of the extreme cold temperatures and the abundance of snow.  It was particularly hard on Grandfather David because he was used to working underground in the coal mines of Wales.”

“Their daughter Mary and her husband William Evans were living in their two room log cabin at 1st East and 3rd South, just one half block south of the First Ward Meetinghouse.  They had 4 children by now, Margret, Mary Jane, Martha, and Abraham, who was just one week old when their grandparents arrived in Brigham City from Wales.  These newly arrived grandparents remained with William and Mary and their 4 children in their small home the rest of the winter of 1872.”

“At this time the railroad was being built from Ogden to Logan and the three men, Grandfather Jordan, son-in-law William, and the 15 year old son (Thomas) of David and Margret Jordan, all found work building for the railroad.  It was very difficult for David and his son to endure working out in the awful cold weather through that first winter.”

“Two years later, William Evans purchased another house on a large lot.  The house had 4 rooms in the Third Ward at the corner of 3rd West and 3rd North.  It was on the northwest corner of the intersection.  When they moved into the bigger house with their 4 children, they sold the old house to David and Margret who lived in their log home for the rest of their lives.”

“They lived comfortable and made it very attractive and comfortable.  They were neat and tidy people and they kept a beautiful garden which they were very proud of and they produced a lot of products for their table.”

“They were very interesting people to talk to and had many interesting and the conditions and memories of their lives in Wales and the extensive knowledge and testimony of the gospel, made it always a pleasure to visit with them.”

“As time went on they worked at many different things that there was to do around Brigham at that time, which was all real hard labor.”

David and Margret attended the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah to receive their own endowments on 10 October 1878.  David and Margret were sealed to each other the same day.

“Their son Thomas grew into manhood and they decided that they would build themselves a better house.  They erected the foundation and bought as much of the material for the house as they could the first year, with hopes that the next year they thought and hoped that they could continue building the house.”

“However, the winter came and there was no work to be had for them.  Their son Thomas decided to go to Evanston, Wyoming to work, putting up ice, and they had some relatives.  He obtained employment in one of the coal mines near by.  He was doing well and was very happy there with the thought that he would be able to help his parents with their new home building.”

“This was not to be because Thomas was severely injured in an accident and word was sent to his parents at Brigham City.  His father, David, went to Evanston to see his son but Thomas died just one hour before his father arrived on February 28, 1880.”

“This was a great sorrow to Thomas’ family and destroyed all their hopes for completing their home building plans.  When spring came, David sold all the building materials that he had accumulated for their new home, spent the rest of their lives in the original small log house.”

“Their sorrow over the loss of their son weighed so heavily upon them that it changed their life’s hopes for the future.  However, their faith and convictions in the gospel and the LDS Church which they accepted in Wales; and the trust in their Heavenly Father never failed them.  Faithfully they continued to attend all their church duties and their testimonies grew and were wonderful to hear them speak.”

“Grandfather David was able to adapt himself to most any kind of employment; and with the products of their well kept garden and the fruit that he raised in the years at their home, they had a comfortable living.”

“They also took a great interest in the Temple work of the church and were some of the first to attend the new Logan Temple after its dedication in 1877.”

“They had their family genealogy all in order so that when the temple was ready, so were they.  They traveled to Logan often to do temple ordinances for the members of their family and stayed a week at a time on many occasions to do this temple work.”

“This work of love continued until David’s health began to fail, but he continued to obtain information and prepare records on the members of their family for the work to be done in the temple for their dead ancestors.”

David and Margret were sealed to all their children in the Logan Temple 27 June 1888.  Gwenlliam and Mary were both happy to be physically present for the occasion.  All of the other children had passed away prior.

David Jordan

David Jordan

“Grandfather David Jordan’s life came to a peaceful end November 26, 1893 in Brigham City, Utah.  So peaceful and sweet was his passing away that our family can be proud of that dear old Grand Sire.  He was the first fruits of the gospel in our family.”

“Grandmother Margret was not the last one in their little home, and she felt the loss of her companion very keenly, but she was visited and comforted by her living daughter and grandchildren.  She wanted to continue living along in their home.”

“It had been 25 years since she and her dear husband came to live in that little log cabin; and there she wanted to stay until she could go to join her dear departed companion.”

“She lived another 7 years after her husband died.”

Mary Jordan Evans, LaVan Jones, Margret Evans Jones, Margret Jordan

Mary Jordan Evans, LaVan Jones, Margret Evans Jones, Margret Jordan

“She died November 19, 1902, at home in Brigham City, Utah.  She was buried in the Brigham City Cemetery beside her beloved husband.

A side note at the end of the above: “This was written by granddaughter Martha Evans.  This story was copied from a note book, in the hand writing of Martha Evans.”  “It is probably a repetition of the story I have previously translated from his hand-written record that I have previously had translated and distributed some years ago.  However, I am sure that it is more more in detail than the one I translated previously because there is much more of it.  Yours truly, Wesley Anderson 10 May 1986”

Gwenlliam passed away 3 September 1900 in Slaterville, Weber, Utah.  Mary passed away 8 December 1923 in Brigham City.

Donaldson-Todd Wedding

Agnes Quirt Dunlop and Joseph Russell Donaldson

Samuel and Margaret Irvine Todd are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Sarah Armina Todd to Joseph Russell Donaldson, son of William and Catherine Scott Donaldson.  Joseph and Sarah were married 19 November 1862 in Pittsburgh, Frontenac, Ontario.

We really do not know much about this family in terms of personality.  We do know a few things about their lives from documents left behind.  I thought I would write this article in hopes that other photos may be found, but at least I can share this picture of Joseph and his second wife, Agnes.

Sarah Armina Todd was born the first of five children born to Margaret Irvine and Samuel Todd 13 April 1839 in Cape Vincent, Jefferson, New York.  We think the family had just barely arrived from Ireland.  The family then settled in Pittsburgh where her father worked as a blacksmith and farmer.  We also believe Margaret was of the Irvine Clan in Northern Ireland, but have yet to verify any of that.  We do not even know if Margaret and Samuel knew each other before leaving to emigrate to Canada.  They may have met in the United States or on the ship over the pond.  No pictures of her to date have appeared, hopefully one will arise at some point.

Joseph Russell was born seventh of nine children we know of born to Catherine Scott and William Donaldson 12 April 1836 in Bredie, Tyrone, Northern Ireland.  We still have to confirm the exact location, but this is from family history sources stretching to Joseph and Sarah’s sons.  Joseph’s parents emigrated to Joyceville, Frontenac, Ontario we believe around 1842.  We have yet to verify much of the information related to this family.  I have posted some information on Joseph’s sister, Mary Hutton.  I have also made mention of Joseph’s double nephew, William John.

Anyhow, Joyceville and Pittsburgh are about 1.25 miles apart and it is easy to imagine how Joseph and Sarah met.  Both families were in the area long enough they were probably well acquainted with each other and the myriad of cousins living in the vicinity.  However they met, the two were married in Pittsburgh in 1862 and went on to have eight children.  Joseph worked as a farmer his entire life in the Pittsburgh area.

Margaret Emma Donaldson was born 6 February 1864 in Joyceville and died 11 June 1916.  We do not know where she died or if she ever married.

William Scott Donaldson was born 18 June 1865 in Joyceville and died 12 September 1913 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad, which took him west.  There he met and married Mary Elizabeth Williams.  I have written of their life at this link: Donaldson-Williams Wedding.

Samuel Gordon Donaldson was born 23 February 1867 in Joyceville and died 22 October 1933 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio.  He married Catherine Joyce 18 January 1899.

Joseph Russell Donaldson was born 15 September 1868 in Joyceville and died 19 October 1922 in Toronto, York, Ontario.  He married Mary Elizabeth Connell 1 May 1899 in Joyceville.

George Donaldson was born 10 October 1871 in Joyceville and died 8 December 1943 in Watertown, Jefferson, New York.  He married Florence Martha Carey 9 January 1896 in Clayton, Jefferson, New York.  Here are photos of their family.

Sarah Gertrude Donaldson was born 15 July 1873 in Joyceville.  We do not know anything really more about her other than she married Harry Joseph Houghton 22 April 1903.  As far as we can tell, they moved to Lakewood or Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Harriett Edith Donaldson was born 10 September 1875 in Joyceville.  We do not know anything more about her other than she married Arnold Lovell 25 July 1903.

Robert John Donaldson was born 26 July 1877 in Joyceville and died 24 May 1878 in Pittsburgh.

Sarah then died 4 October 1880 in Pittsburgh and was buried in the Sandhill Cemetery in Joyceville.

Joseph remarried 15 July 1891 in Ernestown, Lennox and Addington, Ontario.  We do not know a whole lot about her other than it appears she was born 14 June 1842 in Quebec and died 20 February 1925.  Her parents are listed on her death certificate as Henry Quirts and Ann Jane Farquar.  The family used the name of Henry Quirt and Ann Jane Farquhar.  Dunlop was the name of a previous husband, Robert.

Unknown, Joseph and Agnes Donaldson, Hattie Lovell, Unknown

Unknown, Joseph and Agnes Donaldson, Hattie Lovell, Unknown

When retirement came,  Joseph moved to Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario.  It is here we presume he met Agnes.  He lived in Kingston until he passed away in that city 19 January 1925.  He was buried next to Sarah in Sandhill Cemetery in Joyceville.

Williams-Davis Wedding

Here is another life sketch I want to share.  This time of John Haines Williams and Sarah Jane Davis.  John is the father of David Davis Williams and Mary Jane Williams Davis.  He is the brother to my David D Williams.  At some point I hope I have more history to write of David D and John Haines’ parents, but at this point there are far too many questions.  In all honesty, it seems that their parents John Williams and Frances Henneys have had their history confused, merged, and corrupted by some other Williams lines.  Until we can sort the real information on our line from the rest, I have delayed writing to keep from perpetuating mistakes and confusion.  For example, it appears John Williams died in Ogden, Weber, Utah in 1867.  But some have him merged and combined with John Williams who died in 1876, 1870, and 1867.  On with the already written history.

I will offer more family information after the life sketch.  I do not know who wrote this history.


“John Haines Williams was born February 1, 1829, at Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, Wales, a son of John Williams and Frances Hennys.  He was the fourth child of ten children: Frances, Elizabeth, Catherine, John, Mary, David, Sarah, Richard and Joseph.  His father was a collier by trade and worked hard to sustain a large family.

“Sarah Jane Davis was born 5 July 1830 at Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales, the daughter of William and Margaret Davis of Kidwelly.  She was the youngest of the nine children born in this family: Margaret, Mary, Ann, William, Eliza, John, David, Lewis, and Sarah Jane.

“After their marriage, John and Sarah Jane made their home in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales, where he worked in the coal mines.  Here two sons were born, William and David.  Upon hearing the gospel and the advantages of life in America, they worked, saved, and made plans for a new home there.  Those who emigrated in their party were: John, Sarah Jane, their sons, William and David, his father, John Williams, then a widower, and his two brothers,  David and wife and Richard.  They took passage from Liverpool, England with a group of Saints in the year 1855, spending eight weeks on the water.

“Landing in New York, they went to Scranton, Pennsylvania to make their home.  While living there, the men worked in the coal mines.  At Scranton, two more children were born, Thomas John and Ann.  The family lived in Scranton until 1859 and then came west, making their home in Ogden, Utah for several years.  There Eliza Bell, Sarah, John, and Mary were born.

“When a group of Saints were leaving for southeastern Idaho, John and Sarah Jane and their eight children went with them and settled in Malad Valley.  At first, they lived in Woodruff where George and Frances were born.  Later they moved to Malad and took up a homestead of three hundred twenty acres at Gwenford.  There they worked hard clearing the land of sage by hand to prepare it for planting.

“John Haines was a lover of fine horses and cattle.  Many people of the valley bought animals from him.  They built a three-room log house and were happy in their new home.  Here Joseph, the eleventh child, was born.

“Desiring the best in education for their children and having a desire to share their happiness in the truths of the gospel, Thomas was sent to Europe and labored as an L.D.S. missionary in England and Wales.  After his return home he attended school and taught school for many years.  This privilege could not be afforded the others after the death of their father.

“Sarah Jane was a very proud, cultured and refined woman, a wonderful homemaker, seamstress and cook.  Many enjoyed her delicious home-cooked meals.  She had to make bread nearly every day.  The Indians were prowlers at that time.  They came to her home often, but she believed in the admonition of President Brigham Young; It is better to feed them than fight them.  This she did.

“John Haines died on January 20, 1882 at the age of fifty-three.  Sarah Jane worked very hard caring for her family.  Her daughter, Frances, lived with her until her mother=s death on August 4, 1892.  They were both buried in the Malad City Cemetery.”


Some more family history information.

John Haines Williams born 1 February 1829 in Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, Wales and died 20 January 1882 in Gwenford, Oneida, Idaho.  He was buried 23 January 1882 in Malad, Oneida, Idaho.

Sarah Jane Davis born 5 July 1830 in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, Wales and died 4 August 1892 in Samaria, Oneida, Idaho.  She was buried 7 August 1892 in Malad.

John and Sarah were married in 1849 in Kidwelly.

Their children are:

William Davis Williams born 20 June 1850 in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, Wales and died 10 May 1916 in Malad.  Buried 13 May 1916 in Malad.  Married Hannah Maria Thomas (1849-1900) 10 April 1871 in Samaria, Oneida, Idaho.

David Davis Williams born 19 June 1852 in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales and died 27 June 1927 in Samaria.  Buried 30 June 1927 in Samaria.  Married Rebecca Price Williams (1857-1936) 31 December 1877 in St. Johns, Oneida, Idaho.

Catherine Williams born 4 April 1854 in Llanelli and died 27 March 1856 in Pennsylvania.

Thomas Davis Williams born 3 August 1856 in Hyde Park, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania and died 24 January 1900 in Woodruff, Oneida, Idaho.  Buried 27 January 1900 in Samaria.  Married Mary Ann Davis (1860-1895) 20 January 1881 in Samaria.  He married Agnes Ellen Bowen (1868-1943) 18 May 1897 in Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah (married by Rudger Clawson, later LDS Apostle and member of the First Presidency).

Ann Ellen Williams born 11 April 1861 in Scranton, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania and died 26 August 1936 in Malad.  Buried 28 August 1936 in Malad.  Married Joshua “Jessie” Lewis Thomas (1857-1928) 26 March 1888 in Malad.

Sarah Williams born 3 May 1862 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  We don’t know anything more about her.

Eliza Bell Williams born 4 June 1963 in Ogden and died 15 September 1941 in Samaria.  Buried 19 September 1941 in Samaria.  Married William Lewis Jones (1857-1889) 19 January 1887 in Logan, Cache, Utah.

Mary Jane Williams born 8 April 1864 in Ogden and died 20 March 1903 in Samaria.  Buried 24 March 1903 in Samaria.  Married Samuel Deer Davis (1859-1923) 10 October 1882 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

John Haines Williams born 18 February 1866 in Ogden and died 9 August 1956 in Malad.  Buried 11 August 1956 in Samaria.  Married Rebecca Morse (1869-1938) 14 February 1886 in Malad.

George Haines Williams born 15 October 1867 in Woodruff and died 26 December 1950 in Woodruff.  Buried 29 December 1950 in Samaria.  Married Sarah Elizabeth Morse (1872-1908) 20 September 1890 in Samaria.

Frances Williams born 10 April 1870 in Woodruff and died 18 July 1948 in Woodruff.  Buried 20 July 1948 in Samaria.  Married Samuel John Williams (1865-1943) 14 December 1898 in Samaria.

Joseph Davis Williams born 15 January 1872 in Malad and died 5 November 1943 in Samaria.  Buried 9 November 1943 in Samaria.  Married Rachel Morse (1872-1937) 18 August 1896 in Samaria.

Williams-Williams Wedding

I am sharing this life sketch of David Davis Williams and Rebecca Price Williams.  The original version was written by William Jenkin Williams and found in the records of Eliza Williams Rees with insights from her granddaughter Betty Mifflin Bushman taken from family interviews and her own experience.  For the most part I will stick to the original history.  I do not have any photos to share, but since I have the history, I wanted to make it available.

Before I jump into the rest of the life sketch, I think it is important to connect these individuals to my family history.  I have previously written of the marriage between David D Williams and Gwenllian Jordan.  David D Williams had a brother named John Haines Williams.  David Davis Williams is the son of John Haines Williams.

I will provide more family information after the life sketch.


“David D. Williams was born in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales on June 19, 1852, a son of John Haines Williams and Sarah Jane Davis.  He came to the United States with his parents, settling first in Pennsylvania in 1858.  In 1860 the family moved to Ogden, Utah, crossing the plains with in a handcart company led by Captain Elias Morris.  It was the second ox team to land in Ogden.  From there the family went north to the Malad Valley where they settled in Muddy Creek, living in a dugout where some of the children were born.  They later moved to Gwenford.

“Rebecca P. Williams was born on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1857, at Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales, a daughter of Jenkin Williams and Eliza Price.  She was baptized (LDS) in Wales on December 11, 1867 by her father, Jenkin, and confirmed by John Thomas.  With her parents, she came to this country for the gospel’s sake, settling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  After living there two years, they went to the Malad Valley in the year 1872.

Younger Rebecca Price Williams

Younger Rebecca Price Williams

“On Rebecca’s birthday, December 31, 1877, she and David were married in St. Johns, Oneida, Idaho by Justice of the Peace William H. Waytell in the presence of Benjamin Waldron and Mary Ann Daniels.

“David was baptized (LDS) 8 March 1878 by John Evan Price and confirmed by Samuel D. Williams.

“He and Rebecca took up a farm in Gwenford where they lived for about twenty years.  During this time David operated a freighting business between Kelton, Utah and Helena, Montana, a trip that would take him about three months.  He served as a deputy sheriff, was the first Chief of Police of Samaria, Idaho, and even worked as a blacksmith.  Later he went into the confectionery business and operated a business and general store, D.D. Williams Candy Kitchen, with Rebecca in Samaria until his death June 27, 1927.  He was a man, it is said, who could not be idle.   His daughter, Eliza, described him as a wonderful husband and  father.  His granddaughter, Mae Rees Mifflin, remembers him with great fondness also.  She named her first child, Darla Dean, after her grandfather.  It is a wonder that Darla was not nicknamed Dee Dee too.

David Davis Williams

David Davis Williams

“About him, a grandson, Ray Earl Rees, told the following story:  Their daughter, Eliza (Ray’s mother), had a washing machine.  In order to help her elderly parents, she would do their laundry.  Every Monday morning Grandpa David would drive his buggy the few miles to Malad with a bundle of clothes for her to wash.  Grandpa would drive the team around to the north road and enter the farmyard by the back way.  About the time he was expected, Ray would wait out by the gate to open it for his grandfather.  Then he would climb up in the buggy with him and ride up to the house.  Always Grandpa Williams had a sack of candy for Ray.  He could depend on that treat and waited eagerly for it each Monday morning.

“When the family would visit their grandparents in Samaria, it was a treat to go in to the store and see all the candies on display behind the glass counter.  Rather than give the children candy, Grandpa Williams would give them each a nickel and let them do the choosing.  They were not allowed to go around the counter, but while he smiled encouragement to them, they would stand before the counter and choose their treat.

“He was the sweetest man who ever drew a breath, Ray said about his grandfather.

“David was always a prominent figure in our childhood stories about family as our mother was said to be his favorite.  He even appeared to her to tell her goodbye after his death.

“It seemed so romantic to my sister and me that he and Rebecca married on my favorite holiday of the year, New Year’s Eve.  That day was also Rebecca’s twentieth birthday.  Her present was our handsome, nice great-grandfather.  What a perfect party time to have a wedding anniversary.

“Rebecca is remembered by her daughter, Eliza, as a wonderful mother and homemaker, never being one to go away from home.  She had a wonderful alto voice and when the children were small, she would often gather them around and sing to them.

“After her children grew up and married, she helped her husband in keeping the confectionery store.  Many remember stopping there as youngsters on their way to Mutual to share a soda and socialize.  They were always reminded not to be late for their church meeting by Rebecca, who would usher them out the door at ten minutes ’till.  Later the teenagers would reunite there to pick up where they had left off.

“Her daughter, Eliza, described her this way, Rebecca P. Williams was loved by all who knew her.  She was kind to everyone and did not have an enemy on earth.

“Great-Grandmother Rebecca was always a colorful figure to my sister and me.  As the youngest surviving child in her family of eleven children, we loved the story of how when the family came from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, she was assigned to carry a beautiful crystal bowl for her mother.  With it wrapped in a shawl, fourteen-year-old Rebecca later carefully tended it all the way to Idaho.  Through interesting circumstances, that bowl was inherited by our grandmother, then Mama, and finally Darla.  Since Darla also inherited Grandma Rees’ beautiful china closet, it seemed quite natural that the Welsh bowl would always rest inside it.  At any rate, I never ever expected it to be mine.  One day when I was picking up Darla to bring her to my house for a day’s visit, her daughter, Alyce, walked out to the car with us.  In her hands, Darla was carrying something wrapped in a piece of fabric.  She handed it to me with a smile saying that she had a present for me as a little thank you gift because I was so good to her.  With Alyce looking on and smiling too, I turned back the cloth to see the Welsh bowl.  Ignoring my protests that it was hers and that I could not accept it, she said she knew it would be safer in my home, that I would take good care of it and always treasure it.  Alyce said they had talked it over and both felt that it should be mine.  How I love to hold and admire that bowl.  Made of clear glass in a square shape, scalloped edging runs along its rim and base.  With a small pedestal and lion heads at each square corner, it is truly a work of art and indeed a special item. I love knowing of its history and importance in our family.  When we would look at it as children and hear its story, it was always viewed in quiet awe or discussed in hushed tones.  Never, ever, did I think it would be mine.  I felt amazed, quite honored, and a bit afraid of the responsibility.

“David died on 27 June 1927 after an illness of eight months.

“Later Grandma Rebecca moved to Malad  where she resided just across the street from her daughter, Eliza.  I remember Grandma carefully preparing a plate of dinner each evening for her mother.  It was usually the job of Uncle Ray to deliver it with a caution to hurry so it would be hot for his grandmother.  When I was around, he would often grab me by the hand and together we would dance across the street as he deftly carried the napkin covered plate in one hand and dragged me along with the other.

“I remember her as a frail little lady, a bob of white hair on top of her head, wire-rimmed glasses perched on her nose as she looked us over.  Books and magazines were plentiful in her small apartment and always a deck of cards.  In addition to reading, she liked to play games, playing Solitaire to entertain herself when no one else was around.

“Rebecca died on March 30, 1936 at the age of 84, a few months before my fifth birthday.


Rebecca Price Williams

“Both are buried in the Samaria Cemetery.

“Thirteen children were born to David and Rebecca, five boys and eight girls:  Sarah, William Jenkin who died in infancy, Mary, David, Phoebe, Jenkin, Eliza, Margaret, John, Catharine, Beatrice, Frances Orenda who died as a baby, and George.”


Some more family history information.

David Davis Williams born 19 June 1852 in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales and died 27 Jun 1927 in Samaria, Oneida, Idaho.  He was buried 30 June 1927 in Samaria.

Rebecca Price Williams born 31 December 1857 in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales and died 30 March 1936 in Malad, Oneida, Idaho.  She was buried 2 April 1936 in Samaria.

David and Rebecca were married 31 December 1877 in St Johns, Oneida, Idaho.

Their children are:

Sarah Elizabeth Williams born 22 August 1878 in Samaria and died 31 February 1968.  Buried in Draper, Salt Lake, Utah.  She married James Benjamin McGuire (1872-1952) 30 September 1900 in Samaria.

John Jenkin Williams born and died 23 September 1879 in Samaria.  Buried in Samaria.

Mary Jane Williams born 10 April 1881 in Samaria and died 14 January 1975.  Buried in St Johns.  She married John Nelson Hill (1872-1913) 22 February 1899 in St Johns.

David Joseph Williams born 26 February 1883 in Samaria and died 4 April 1973.  Buried in Malad.  He married Ester “Essie” Katherine Munsee (1888-1967) 25 March 1908 in Ogden.

Phoebe Ann Williams born 12 December 1884 in Samaria and died 15 March 1942 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  Buried in Riverton, Salt Lake, Utah.  She married Thomas Charles Jones (1883-1922) 4 July 1903 in Samaria.

William Jenkin Williams born 24 Jul 1886 in Samaria and died 5 Jun 1963.  Buried in Samaria.  Married Mary Mae John (1901-1989) 26 February 1921.

Eliza Mae Williams born 10 February 1888 in Samaria and died 6 July 1967 in Ogden.  Buried in Ogden.  Married Gomer Vaughan Rees (1883-1971) 24 November 1904 in Samaria.

Margaret Rebecca Williams born 25 November 1889 in Samaria and died 9 November 1980.  Buried in New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas, Ohio.  Married Walter Russell Ripley (1895-1979) 13 December 1913 in Malad.

John Haines Williams born 31 May 1891 in Samaria and died 25 February 1957 in Malad.  Buried in Malad.  Married Eleanor Jones (1899-1975) 29 March 1916 in Malad.

Catharine Zina Williams born 14 August 1893 in Samaria and died 19 Oct 1988 in Salt Lake City.  Buried in Malad.  Married Elijah R van Ables (1892-1961) 12 December 1920 in Malad.

Beatrice Estella Williams born 30 July 1894 in Samaria and died 9 December 1976.  Married Carl William Jones (1892-1958) 4 April 1913 in Malad, later divorced.  Married Allen John Keehn (1888-1957) 16 November 1938 in Elko, Elko, Nevada.

Frances Orenda Williams born 6 May 1897 in Samaria and died 10 September 1897 in Samaria.

George Thomas Williams born 22 February 1901 in Samaria and died 24 June 1962 in Pocatello.  Buried in Restlawn Memorial, Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho.  Married Theona Withers (1906-1990) 4 October 1924 in Malad.

Wanner, John George, Jr. and Eliza Sterling/Regina Nuffer

I found this biography written by Mary Louise Wanner Andra of her parents.  I will write a separate history for them in the future, but I thought I would make this one available unadulterated by me (typed completely as written in the book, although I added the photo).

This biography was published in Whitney Centennial 1889-1989: Whitney’s First 100 Years.  It was published in 1991 by the Whitney Ward, written and edited by the Whitney Ward Centennial Book Committee.

John George Wanner Jr Family abt 1912. (l-r): Eva, William, Golden, Serge (sitting), John, Regina, Rulon, Willard, Mary.

Our father, John George Wanner, Jr., was born in Holzgerlingen, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemberg 29 October, 1870.  His parents were John George Wanner and Anna Maria Schmid.  He was the oldest in the family of five boys and five girls.

His father had a small farm and some cattle.  He was also a road overseer.  So dad, his mother and brother and sisters did most of the farm work.  They also got wood from the forest for winter fuel.

Dad’s parents were very religious people and belonged to the Lutheran church.  They were very hard workers and tried to teach their children correct principles.  Dad tried hard to follow in their footsteps.

His parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1891.  They made sure all their children were baptized as they became of age.  His parents could see that it was the only true church on the earth, and they wanted to go to America, where they could worship as they wished.  They also felt it would give their children a better opportunity in life.

His parents were the only ones in their respective families who joined the LDS church.  Our dad was baptized in July in 1891, and came to America with one of the missionaries – a brother Terrell who was from Providence, Utah.  Brother Terrell took good care of him and helped find work for him to do and provide for himself.

Dad got a job working for brother Fred Nuffer in Glendale, Oneida County (now Franklin County), Idaho.  In 1893 his father, mother, and his brothers and sisters came to Cache Valley from Germany.  Dad and brother Nuffer met them with a wagon and buggy in Franklin, Oneida County, Idaho, June 18, 1893.  I am sure he was happy to see his family again, as it had been almost two years since he had seen any of them.

Dad met a lovely girl from Providence, Utah, by the name of Eliza Sterling, and this relationship blossomed into marriage in 1894.  They were blessed with two sons, George and Earl Wayne.  This marriage was not a very happy one and they were divorced.

On the 31st of August 1898, dad married Regina Nuffer who was a sister of our uncle Charles August Nuffer.  [Daughter of the marriage of Eva Katherine Greiner and Johann Christopher Nuffer]  On 9 November 1899, they were blessed with twin boys, William and Willard.  As time went on they were blessed with more children, a total of five boys and two girls.

John & Regina Wanner

John & Regina Wanner

Dad went on a mission to Germany in the fall of 1907, leaving a wife and six children.  On March 8, 1908, their son Serge was born.  Mother and the family were living in a home John Nuffer built for dad.  It is a rock house on East Oneida Street in Preston, Idaho.  This house is still standing and is in good condition at this writing – June 1979.

When Serge was a few months old, mother took all the children and had a picture taken and sent it to dad so he could see the new baby.

While Dad was in Germany, he met William Andra’s mother and family and baptized the eldest daughter Freda.

In 1910, Dad’s mother and father sold their home and farm in Whitney to Dad.  This is the farm Lawrence Bodily now has.  Dad built a red barn that is still in use on the farm.  After grandpa and grandma sold their farm to dad, they moved to Logan, Utah.

In 1913 dad’s parents, brothers and sisters had a family reunion at their home in Whitney.  There was a large crowd and we all had a good time.

We all had to work hard and dad relied on his daughter Mary for many hard farm jobs.  However, on Saturday nights he would take us to the picture show and give us each 25¢ to spend on the show and treats.

In 1917, I begged to take the sewing class at the USAC in Logan, as I wanted to learn to sew.  However, I was only there a short time when dad brought me home to work on the dry farm.  I have always felt bad about this as I wanted to learn to sew.

My brother, William, enlisted in the Army on August 5, 1917.  He was with the 145th Light Field Artillery, Battery C.  He left Salt Lake City for Camp Kearney on October 11, 1917.  He left for France August 2, 1918.  William contracted the influenza and died December 1, 1918.  His body was brought home November 11, 1920, and interred in the Whitney Idaho Cemetery.

Just a few days before they got the sad news of William’s death, their son, Golden, died November 26, 1918 in Salt Lake City from influenza.

On January 8, 1921, dad sent his son Willard on a mission to New Zealand.

Dad and mother were to face still more sorrow when their son Rulon died February 26, 1924, in the Logan hospital.

Dad believed in missionary work with all his heart and soul and on December 15, 1925, he went to Tennessee on a six month mission.

In 1928, Serge went to New Zealand on a mission and died there October 5, 1929.  His body was brought home for burial.  The funeral was held in the old opera house in Preston, Idaho.  These were trying times for our parents.  Losing four sons, and all their bodies returned home in a box.  This left them with only one son and two daughters.

On April 7, 1930, dad sent Eva on a mission to California.  Dad was not a stranger to hard work.  He raised crops and took good care of his farm animals.  He took pride in having things looking neat and clean around the farm and yard.

When Dad operated his farm in Whitney, he was always up early in the morning and usually was the first to get to the beet dump in the morning.  The story is told about some of his neighbors who decided to beat him to the dump.  They got up extra early to get a head start.  Before they got to the beet dump, they could hear George Wanner going down the rad ahead of them.  They could hear him saying to his horses, “Gid up–gid up–gid up.”

When dad sold his farm in Whitney, he purchased 40 acres nearer to Preston and built a beautiful home on it.  Part of it is where the Oakwood School is now located.  When he retired he sold his farm and home to his daughter Mary and her husband William Andra.

Dad was successful in the various undertakings he engaged in.  He was one of the first in Preston to have an automobile.  When he brought it home he did not know how to stop it.  He yelled “whoa” when he got in the garage, but before he got it stopped he had gone through the end of the garage.

Dad built the two little homes on the west side of second east and first south in Preston, Idaho.  He also built three homes on first south and the south side of the street in Preston.  Dad and mother lived in one of them until she died in 1942.  Mother was ill for quite a while before she passed away.  Dad cared for her the best he could and would take her for little rides in the car.  She was unable to walk and dad would carry her on his back from place to place as they went visiting.

As many of you will remember, there was a humble side to dad.  I have seen him cry when bearing his testimony and when he was grieved over the death of a loved one, a relative, or friend.  He wanted to leave this world a better place than he found it, and I feel sure he made some contributions and brought this desire to fulfillment.

After mother died, dad remarried and went to live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This marriage was not successful and they were divorced.  Later on he remarried again and was living in Florida.  He became ill and wanted to get back to Preston.  My son William went to Florida to bring him home, but when they got to Chicago, he was too ill to go on.  So, William put him in the hospital where he passed away on January 5, 1947.

Regina Nuffer was born January 26, 1869 at Neuffen, Germany, a daughter of Johann Cristoph and Eva Katharina Greiner, she came to Utah with her family after they were converted to the gospel.  She married Jacob Scheibel July 15, 1889, in Pleasant Valley, Carbon County, Utah.  Her first child, Alma Katherine Scheibel Naef, was born, September 27, 1889.  When her child was six months old, she and her husband separated and she moved back to Mapleton, Idaho, where she stayed with her parents on their farm.  During this period, she would help people when they were sick, and her mother would take care of her child.

In about 1893, after the death of her mother, she moved to Weber County, Utah, and worked for the Will Taylor family in Farr West and the Bowman family in Ogden.  She again returned to her father’s farm.  On her way home, she stopped in Logan and walked out to Providence to visit a friend.  While eating lunch, she happened to think that she had left her new coat on the train.  She went back to Logan to the train station and they sent out a tracer.  In a few days she got her coat back.  After returning to Idaho, she worked for several people in Franklin and Preston.  She lived in one room of her brother John’s home in Preston.  Her brother was on a mission in Germany at the time.

On August 31, 1898, she married John George Wanner in Logan, Utah.  That winter she lived on his ranch in Worm Creek or Glendale, Idaho.  In April she moved with her husband, daughter, and step son, Wayne, to the Bancroft flat, a little west of where Grace is now.

She was known as a fine, well mannered woman.  Her niece, Athene Hampton, said that toward the end of her life her health was not very good and she had a hard time speaking.  When Athene and Louisa Nuffer would visit, they would converse by writing notes to each other.  She died on March 10, 1942, in Preston, Idaho.  Her funeral in Preston was very well attended.