Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What Price A Debt Unpaid?

Promissory note from Levi Cragun

My father, Royal Cragun, passed this on to me. He told me this note was debt to be paid to my grandmother and grandfather by his son Levi as payment for the farm Levi took over.

My grandfather Simeon Wilbert Cragun became bitter and apparantly cut off all relationships with his son. 

I assume there were other issues, such as my grandmother being 28 and my grandfather 49 when they married. I sense that didn't go over very well.

So what price? A big one. Grandfather Simeon told my father, on grandfathers death bed, he was sorry he let it come between them.

So if by chance this bitterness has affected the Cragun legacy - let it be over with, OK?

Free & Easy Create Images of What's On Your Screen

Jing for Screenshots

Capture What You See -

Available to download at:

Jing is a free handy tool I have been using for years. It has inexpensive upgrades, for purposes like taking longer videos, but my main use is for taking a photo of something on my screen.
I believe that many of you that become active in FamilyTree will set up a blog, if for no other purpose than as a place to house your documents to link to from FamilyTree. You will like Jing!

An example of how you would use Jing, would be to take a photo of a document you find on line, and instead of having to copy the whole screen you copy just the document. You even  have the ability to make comments as you see in the example below.

The Jing sun sits nicely on your desktop, ready to capture all or any part of your screen at a moment’s notice. Jing will capture a window, pane, or region with just one click.

Cragun Family Home Pleasant View Utah

Or..... you might do what I just did in seconds: Jing a photo off the internet & post it on your blog for your children to see:

Shall we title it, big family big house?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

At Home Missionary? - What Is That About?

The approximately 1000 family history missionaries that serve in Salt Lake City have a variety of assignments. Most are supporting questions and problems that patrons from around the world come up with in trying to do their own genealogy/family history.

That's not so with me, I'm assigned to a somewhat unknown part of the church - recruiting and processing at home missionaries.  There are about 500 that currently serve at home (At Home Missionaries). They go through 2 months of training, about 1.5 hours per day. They then become part of the system the full time support missionaries use to take the next phone call, email, or text. These are from what is usually a very frustrated or in need patron. They are not just church members.

We need about 1000 more to handle the growth of incoming questions. Here is a link to a video I hope gets the word out. It's a good one.

                           Click the link below the photo to go to the video

At home missionaries serve 15 hours per week and need a recommendation from their
bishop and Stake President. They need basic computer skills and adequate internet and computer standards. Their schedule is flexible. They are part of a team and have ongoing training with a full time church professional employee as their leader. Most at home missionaries serve supporting either new family search, indexing, research, the wiki, family history centers, or historical records.

Inquiries can be made by calling 1-800-453-3860 Ext 2-0850 or by email to

Monday, February 27, 2012

Family Tree - Weighing The Best Documentation

The benefit of Family Tree will be a combination of the forums for discussion, the ability to link to a source, and the sharing of the documentation for analysis. Relatives can discuss the details of what is posted. One can look at mulitiple sources to determine which is the most reliable. New facts can be determined from a combination of sources.

For example: below is a copy of my cousins funeral program. If this were the only record it would be valuable in the decision making process. However, one would prefer official death and birth certificates.

Ray was in this database and the information it had was not documented, it was different in: Full name, birth place and date omitted, death date was different, and no place or date of buriel. All of these I was able to update based on the funeral program.

Another benefit, is that what I have here in this program may not be the best proof but may provide something factual a relative might want and it may be they are glad to be able to copy the program. If you only had this program there are some things it might be a clue to. Why was Howard Cragun conducting? Was he a Mormon Bishop? He was. We know where Ray was buried by this. Who knows what a program would mean to a descendant!

I also began watching Ray and his parents activity in Family Tree. This provides me an email when anyone makes a change, comment, or document to their file. Currently the email's come weekly, they hope to eventually make them immediate. This service connects you immediately to those who are working on that relative.

Pretty cool.

Raymond E Spalding Funeral Program

This brings up another point. Where do you place the document so you can link to it.  Family Tree won't let you upload the document, there will be millions of subscribers, and the service is going to be free. The server farms being built are already very expensive, can you imagine the costs to store everyones documents?

This is one of the reasons I started this blog. Every post has a unique link ID. For example, this one is:;postID=1726049901124148798

This link can be placed in family tree as access to the source. Doing it this way provides another benefit: my unknown cousins can find my blog and see my charming personality - and my vastly extensive knowledge about family, technology, and culture. :)

I would allow relatives to post documents on my blog, shall I say send them to me to post but don't let the concept be intimidating. As wildly technical as I might appear, starting and writing a blog is so easy anyone can do it. It takes so little time to setup and your 5th grader can do it. OK, your 1st grader then.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Family Tree Update - Showing The Sources

Things are progressing fast with Family Tree features. So you want to see the source? OK, it's right here for your viewing.
Yes, you can now provide a link to see the sources. You just have to have a place like Flickr or a website to send peope to. That one is easy and can be free.

The fact that so many of us are related to each other makes this exciting. I have 2nd cousins whom I have never met or known of their whereabouts. Today I went in and added a link to a neat photo of their mother my 1st cousin. It is a terrific photo, she is beautiful. I am sure they will be overwhelmed when they check in, check sources, and find this of their mom.

I also added a link to this copy of my grandmother and my step grandfathers marriage license. It was easy and is now there for all of our relatives to see or download.

I really see the vision of collaberating via this free service, Family Tree.

Once again, Family Tree is in Beta with about 5,000 of us testing it. I can probably add you as a beta tester if you would like. Please leave me a comment or email at if you would like that.

Click here for a more in depth article I posted about Family Tree.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting Started - Family History Strategies - Part 2

Part 1 of this series is found by clicking here

I suggest you keep a log of the research you do. I have a separate section of a journal for each ancestor.

Below is what makes family history research a lot like detective work. There is excitement in this, just no danger. I suppose if you want danger you could take your laptop on a bungee jump or to the edge of a cliff.

However you do it, just go go go.

From a class taught at the Riverton Family History Center by: Diana Toland

One Thing (detail) Leads to Another (records).

Note occupations. Often found on the records, such as a census. They may be linked to a location or county records and perhaps in historical society news.

Military Records: draft cards are filled out by the individual in person, pension files require proof.

Immigration - generated passenger lists, border crossing cards often contain information about the relative.

Land and Probate. Probate records often have information such as family members and location.

Religious Records.  birth, marriage, cemetery, immigration, and histories are sometimes found this way.

Census: approximate ages confirmed, years married, parent information including locations of birth, and information on living children.

Obituaries: besides personal and family detail you sometime find out hobbies, successes, civic roles,and important information about relatives.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Access 29 Premium Pay Sites For Free At LDS Family History Centers

Brigham City Mormon Church

There are over 3700 English Speaking Family History Centers, so there is likely one near you. In addition to the other many free services, you can access numerous paid subscription sites using the church's Family History Center licenses.

Many of these centers are in or near a  Chapel such as the one above. They should be fairly easy to locate.

Here are most of the sites you can use:
  • Belfast and Dublin Ireland
  • 19th Century British Library of Newspapers
  • 19th Century U S Newspapers
  • American History and Life
  • Chronology of Irish in America
  • World Wide addition
  • Famnet New Zealand
  • Find My Past
  • Fold 3
  • Genline - Swedish
  • Godfry Memorial library
  • History of Sligo County & Town (Ireland)
  • Heritage Quest Online
  • Historic Map Works
  • Historical Abstracts
  • Images of the American Civil War
  • J Stor - Schorlaly journals
  • New England Ancestors .org
  • Newspaper
  • One Great Family
  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • Paper Trail
  • Pro Quest Obituary Listings
  • SVAR - Archives of Sweden
  • The American Civil War Research Database
  • The American Civil War - letters and diaries
  • The Genealogist
  • The Times - London
  • World Vital Records
Take this as my invitation to discover your local Family History Center

Don't Disinherit Your Children

Will, page 2

In researching my Cragun ancestors I came across some facts that brought home a sad memory. I found that one of my great grandmothers father disinherited her and her sister (John Amick). I find that she had joined the early Mormon church but her sister didn't. I have yet to find more detail on why.

My point in simple terms has nothing to do with the size of the inheritance, rather the insult it delivers. It's as if you the child didn't exist.

You were their parent. They did exist. That's it.

Here is a piece of the John Amick story (and other Amicks) by Jerry Mower a 3rd Great Grandson and a link to his Amick website.

I, John Amick of Monroe township being of sound mind and memory thanks be to God, do make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made and First I direct that my body be decently interred in the burying ground of the Clear Ridge Meeting House in the said township according to the rules and ceremonies of the said Church and that my funeral be conducted in a manner corresponding with my estate and situation in life. And as to such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to entrust me with I dispose of the same as follows: .......... It is my will that my son John Amick and John Martin Esq. Exec of this my last will and testament. Signed 21 day of May 1843. John Amick his mark X
We can learn some interesting things about the make up of John Amick's family as it stood on 21 May 1843. We know through this will that daughter Mary, who had just joined the Mormon Church was basically disinherited. Why Susannah was disinherited I do not know as she did not join with the Mormons.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Elisha Cragun Story



Elisha is believed to have been born at either Russell County, VA or Sullivan County, TN on February 22, 1786, the second child of Patrick and Rose Alley Cragun. While Elisha's birthplace may have been in doubt, his Virginia connection was certain through his wife.
In 1811 he married Mary (Polly) Osborn, daughter of James and Mary (Whitaker) Osborn of Castle's Wood, then in Washington County, Virginia (now Castlewood in Russell County, Virginia). The Osborn's are recorded as being wealthy slave and land owners of the area.
Polly's father, James Osborn(e), was a member of the second group of settlers to reach the Castlewood area of Russell County Virginia shortly after 1769. It was a part of the Clinch River settlements in extreme southwest Virginia. His father, Caleb, was owner of a plantation of over 579 acres in the area of Cedar and Dutchman's Creek at the Forks of the Yadkin, Rowan County, North Carolina. James' wife, Mary Whittaker, was (probably) the daughter of one of the Whittakers whose land adjoined that of the Osborn's.

James Osborn was listed as a soldier at Moore's Fort in 1777. It was located at Cassell's Woods and until 1775 had been under the command of Daniel Boone who at that time departed the area to make his second entry into Kentucky. The story of Moore's Fort and the names of its' soldiers on June 30, 1777 can be found in the Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, Pub#4, 1986, of the Historical Society of Southwest Virginia. James died on Dec 14, 1821 leaving to his widow the dwelling house, 1/3 of that tract of land and two Negroes. The remainder of his farm and eight Negroes were left to his son, Solomon. His other children, including Polly Cragun, Elisha's wife, were each bequeathed a certain undisclosed sum of money.

Polly was born in 1790, the youngest of nine children. Married at age 21, when Elisha was 25, they moved the fifty miles or so to join Patrick and the family in Sullivan County, Tennessee, where Rebecca was born to Mary in 1812 after Elisha had departed for army service.

Polly's older brother, Jonathan, migrated along with members of the Alley family to the area that became Franklin County, IN in 1811, the same year that the land was opened for settlement having been obtained from the Indians in 1809 by the Twelve Mile Purchase treaty. In 1813 he was among the first to draw land. The next year, in 1814, Elisha and Polly left Sullivan County, TN with their daughter, Rebecca, and on September 16th. entered four surveys of land near Jonathan's property and adjoining property of Peter Alley along Pipe Creek, at the junction of Metamora and Butler Townships in Franklin County, IN. Apparently, Elisha's entry into Indiana was delayed by service in the war of 1812 in which his brothers Isaac and John also served. Both John and Elisha are said to have served with the troops of General Andrew Jackson; however, Elisha's service can not be verified through records at the National Archives.

Later, on March 2, 1819, Elisha's younger brother, Caleb, twin of Joshua, entered a survey in the same area in Franklin County as Elisha and married the widowed Sarah (Alley) Jones with two children. By 1828, Joshua Cragun also settled in Franklin County; however, sometime between 1825 and 1827, Elisha and Polly moved on to Noble Township near Richland in Rush County after that land was opened for settlement following the St. Mary's Treaty with the Indians.

One can only be impressed with the way Elisha and his family kept following the frontier. As new lands were opened for settlement, they moved into them and developed farms bringing civilization along with them. They settled land and cultivated it in contrast to speculators of the time who claimed and simply held land against the hope of increased prices thus retarding both settlement and development of the frontier as it moved west.
With the exception of Rebecca, who had married and established her own home with Aaron Beeman in Rush County, in 1835 Elisha, Mary, and their nine other children claimed land in Boone County, cleared it of growth including the black walnut trees which grew in abundance and began to farm near what became known as the Pleasant View Community in Eagle Township between Zionsville and Whitestown. Not much is known about the family during this period. The record indicates that Mary died December 14,1844 at age 54 and daughter Abigail died three days later on December 17 at age 21. They were buried side by side on the farm in an otherwise unmarked grave where a large black walnut tree then stood.

Heiner described the land in 1965 as being lush and green with a stream called Jackson's Run flowing through the Pleasant View Church yard. This is now the location of Hutton Memorial Cemetery East of Whitestown where several family members have been buried. Heiner also reports that Elisha sold all or part of his holding to Washington St. Clair on September 8, 1845. This perhaps marks the breakup of the homestead done in preparation for the next shift to the west, which is explained by Heiner as follows: "During their moves from one county to another, Elisha encountered two Mormon missionaries - Nathan T. Porter, and Wilber Earl. Their doctrine appealed to Elisha and his wife, Mary. A very good friend, Henry Mower, a Methodist minister, had been converted to the Latter-day Church of Jesus Christ and he also influenced their faith and baptized Elisha 15 March 1843 at Jackson's Run."

After the death of his wife and daughter and sale of his property, Elisha made his way to Nauvoo, Illinois, to be near the head of the church there receiving a Patriarchal Blessing on November 10, 1845. Heiner also reports that Elisha was accompanied by several members of his family. With him at Nauvoo were his sister, Elizabeth, and brother, Syren. The record also shows that all of his surviving children except Hiram departed for the west. Two sons, James and Simeon and three daughters: Mary, Tyresha, and Tabitha ultimately completed the treck and settled in Utah. Rebecca Cragun Beeman and her family were reported by her son, Elisha, living in 1909 near Elizaville, Indiana, to have gone as far as Council Bluffs, Iowa, and then turned back for unknown reasons.
Elisha Cragun's fifth child, Enoch, and his wife, Molly (Peters), got as far west as Missouri then went north to Minnesota establishing a branch of the family which still lives in the area of Brainard, Minnesota.

Sara Jane, Elisha's youngest child, is reported to have died in 1847 or 1848. Nothing further is known of her.
Elisha is believed to have departed with a party from Nauvoo headed for Utah and got as far as Council Bluffs, Iowa or Winter Quarters, Nebraska where he died during the winter of 1846-47 at age 61. No record of his grave has been found, but he may be burried in one of the nearly 800 unmarked graves at the cemetery near the encampment at Florence, Nebraska on Rt.#75, north of Omaha, a victim of a cholera epidemic that winter.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Family History - Getting Started Strategies

C5  Track Meet DWP_0061

Get Ready

Get Set


The Riverton Family History Center in the Salt Lake City area is a shining example of what the LDS Family History Centers are to become: not only a place of research & support but a place of learning. 

This photo depicts what it was like Saturday at the monthly training.
There was an hour long keynote speaker and then 2 hours of classes, several to choose from.

The Riverton Family History Center is larger than your local center, but the concept will be the same. At this time you can find help, a computer to use, and individual attention at a local Family History Center.

The class I attended was on research strategies by Diana Toland: and it was excellent. I will share with you in a series of articles that are strategies I gleaned from Diana.

Build on what you already know: Review all of your notes, files, documents, letters, clippings, or informaiton about your ancestors.  Look for clues from these records.

My sister  is an excellent genealogist. Besides realizing she is doing something of great value to a great cause she loves being a detective looking for clues and facts. That is what you will be doing.

a. Review all the notes, files, documetns letters, clippings, or information about your ancestors. 

b. Call of visit any living relatives that might have any information, memories, or keepsakes about your family.

If you watch the national TV show "Who Do You Think You Are" or the BYU TV show Generations Project you will see that in action.

c. Should anuy relative pass away, IMMEDIATELY contact the executor of the estate. Check on dispostion of the "Family Records" and vital documents.

Getting copies of all vital records is a valuable exercise.  I phoned my mothers sister for inromation on my grandmother. Her immediate response was I was only 4 when my mother died, I have nothing to help you with about her. We went and visited her anyway. Guess what, she did find a file with a few things of importance. Oh, how important they were. She also remembered a few things she was told. What a productive visit it was.

d. Check to see who else is working on your family online. That can be done by joining New Family Search, soon to become Family Tree,, Roots Web Worldwide, and by doing Google searches just as an example.

I'd be glad to give you feedack on this topic if you have questions.

I plan on making this series at least 7 articles. I hope it helps.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Family Tree Is Going To Change Genealogy Research Forever

Family Tree is in Beta Test now with some of the features I describe below functioning. The goal is fully functioning and open to all by the end of this year. It is currently available for anyone to join, not just members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The Decision:
Up in my tree

It's not your tree - or my tree - but our tree.

There are some who will be driven crazy by this decision. People like my mother who wouldn't let me mess with her Book of Remembrance and got me one of my own. Or like the nice lady in the email I received demanding I tell her how I was related to her great great grandfather. (I had edited some info in New Family Search about one of OUR ancestors.)

Yes cousin, it was decided that if we were going to document the genealogy of mankind. We had to figure out.............

How to work together.

We have got to stop research duplication.
We have got to recognize it's our genealogy not mine.
We have got to preserve our research for the generations to come.

There is no reason for our kids to have to redo what we have done!

There is too much research to be done, for you or I do to it by ourselves.

Therefore, the ONLY solution and the decision is OPEN EDIT!

With open edit you can fix it. But you are noted as the source.

All can look at what you did - AND THEY MIGHT SAY:
               "This guy is an idiot" - they can get an email (Notifications) of what you did - and they can change it back.(Restoreable)

OR THEY MIGHT SAY - "This guy is amazing!

The entire history of changes is easily viewed in the change log. You can move the changes back a step or more to fix it if a recent change was wrong. It's called restoreable.

So the key to success has been conceived - by the unique concept of  "Working Together".

Family Tree will not only have email notifications (eventually immediate notifications) and it will have "discussions". One might be wise to comment their conclusions in the forum for feedback, lest they consider you to be that noted idiot, rather than the amazing one.

Documentation is what this evolution to Family Tree is all about.  You will be able to upload a document or add a link to a source. You will weigh each others findings and select the best documentation. Yes, cool!

GET EXCITED PEOPLE: This is a Family Tree,  not a Tug Of War!
Tug of War Boys Team_4_BW

It is about sources, evidence and proof. The world is going to respect this a ton.

It will benefit as we work carefully and NICELY with each other.

- Kinder-Kult -

Other Perks:

The system will remember for you the last 10 ancestors you looked at.
  • There will be no more combining and uncombining.
  • There will be no more New Family Search
  • When you add a document it is saved with other documents you have uploaded and that document is easily attached to other ancestors. No duplicate entereing needed.
So what can you do while the development is being wrapped up? Start scanning your sources. See if you can get access now to the beta version. Leave me a way to contact you in comments on this post or email me at

This is a sequel to an article I wrote on February 9th: Click Here
And to this article about sharing or not sharing: Click Here

Thursday, February 16, 2012

More - Basics of QR Codes Explained

I have had people tell me they are a little confused about QR Codes -

so here is a more detailed explanation.

What are QR Codes And How Do They Work?

Currently I am most excited about a QR Code attached to a headstone. The CR Code would send the smart phone to a website where the life history or genealogy info on the person is posted.

There are companies that assist you in this, metal QR Code and install. I would be anxious for comments on other applications you might know of. Larry
QR — or "quick response" — codes are two-dimensional barcodes capable of holding significantly more data than the traditional UPC barcode. They are a quick and convenient marketing tool used to transfer specific information to any smart phone or digital device with a camera and QR reader application.

How QR Codes Can Help Businesses

Information encoded in the QR code can link users to website URLs, a phone number, email and more. This versatility offers nearly unlimited applications ranging from sharing contact information or registering for an event to offering point-of-sale discounts, collecting email addresses, providing real time updates or even tracking ROI.

Where to Use QR Codes

Here are just a few examples:
  • Tom Hooley Construction. Looking for a way to prompt immediate action, incorporated a QR code linked to his business phone into a vehicle wrap on his company truck, Scott’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing with positive feedback.
  • America's Best Defense. In an effort to spark interaction with current and potential clients, added QR Codes to marketing pieces including window and door stickers, promotional banners and its website. “The QR codes have not only made things easier – they have also made things more interactive,” says owner Paul Garcia.
  • To promote a month-long series of fashion and music events, Oakbrook Center mall put a QR code on floor signs to direct shoppers to more information about associated events and promotions. After a high success rate, Oakbrook Center added the QR code to other event literature and continues to see positive results.

Top 5 Tips for Creating a QR Code

  • Make it Valuable. Only a small percentage of smart phone users actually scan QR codes, so encourage your target audience to scan yours by offering something of value to them.
  • Size Matters. The viewing distance will dictate how large the code should be. QR codes should never be smaller than one square inch.
  • Keep it Simple. While you can incorporate branding, don't cover the corner blocks and remember, the more characters, the greater the chance for reader error.
  • Don't Go Home. Don't link your QR code to your home page, and make sure wherever you send them is mobile-friendly.
  • Test, Test, Test. Test your code on several different phone platforms and readers before producing.

Simeon Cragun Part 2

Simeon Wilbert (Wilbey) Cragun

Click here for a related post: What price a debt unpaid

I say part 2 in the title to reference Simeon, my grandfather as I am a grandson from his 2nd marriage. I am hoping some of my 1/2 cousins find this site and this article.

I am going to share a few things about our grandfather and wish I knew more of him. Truly when an old man dies a library burns. In my case I became interested in family history when most of the old men and woman have passed on. I would love to have them tell me stories.

Simeon has one son from Blanche Bingham that is still alive. His name is Howard Cragun and I have asked him to provide me any information he can provide.

There are a lot of Craguns in Utah and more are from his first wife, Mary Ann Clifford than from Blanche.

Blanche Rebecca Bingham Cragun
My grandmother, Blanche was 28 years younger than Simeon when they were married. Mary Ann had died 8 years earlier. Blanche was 21 years old, Simeon 49. Is it fair to say Trophy Wife? Was that a problem with his family?

From my knowledge our side of the family has had no contact with our 1/2 cousins. I don't know why.

It seems my grandfather moved away from his other children after marrying my grandmother. I get the sense he had little contact with them after that. I'd like to know for sure. I wonder if there was resentment about her age, someone so young? My grandmother, Blanche had had a previous marriage annulled.I don't know if that was a problem. His name was Grundy. He worked on the railroad and she discovered he had another family at the other end of the railroad so to speak.  She was pregnant when she discovered this and was so upset she miscarried.  (Cecil Cragun writes me that the anulment part of this story can't correct due to Reubens birth. I will research this, I may have some facts wrong, however, there have been several times I had been told about Grandmother Blanche having a miscarriage. ).
Our family was told that Simeon had been quite successful in Utah. We were told he sold his farm to his son, Levi with an agreement to be paid at a later date. We were told he was never paid and he was quite bitter over this, angry and bitter. I am told by my father Royal Cragun he carried this anger until he died.

Things must not have been real peachy for my grandmother, being married to Simeon. Before she died she told the family not to seal her in the temple to him. (Someone did that anyway, Oh Well).  She said he promised to marry her in the temple which he never did. We hear stories that they were continually poor. He moved her to American Falls, Idaho to set up a dry farm that never panned out. We have been told their housing was a dig into a hillside with tarps as covering. I've lived in Southern, Idaho, and winters can be brutal. I can't imagine living in that condition.

My father was an electrician. He credits his father for going that direction. Simeon, as I recall, was an important part of the construction of the American Falls Dam. It would be interesting to see if that helped their life financially.

I guess there are lessons to be learned from my grandparents.  Perhaps the biggest was in some of my grandfather Craguns last words. My father was with him as he passed away. Dad told me that grandfather Simeon told him, the biggest mistake of his life, was letting the debt from his son cause him to lose his relationship with him.

Comments are open, and I hope some day to have someone leave me greater insights to this very incomplete story.

There has been some confusion in our family as to his correct name. He went by Wilby with my fathers era. 

1920 Census RE: Family

Simeon Wilbert (Wilbey) Cragun

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Born: 21 November 1841 Died: At the age of 98

          The following is from the Book of Remembrance of Howard Blaine Cragun, gr-grandson of Emma Sarah (WHITE) Guthrie and Lorenzo Freeman BINGHAM and is being typed by Ruth WOOD Cragun, wife of Howard Blaine.

Be it known that I, Mrs. Emma White Guthrie, whose present residence is Harrisville, Weber County, Utah, am on this 15th day of April, 1931 herein stating the history of my life.

             I was born in London, England 21 Nov. 1841. My mother’s name being Rebecca WHITE and my father’s name being Samuel WHITE. (NOTE: Father was Samuel WHITE and mother was Sarah Rebecca ADAMS rc)

My father joined the Mormon Church in 1850 at London, England. I was personally baptized in this church when I was 9 years of age. My mother was never baptized into this church
My father was porter in a fruit and vegetable market known as Covent Garden in the city of London. This market was the largest market of its kind in existence at that time. Fruit, vegetables, and flowers being shipped to this market from all parts of the country (France, etc.). This position my father held long before my birth and up until his departure to America, which will be stated later in this document.

On the 1st day of April, 1852, myself and my father left London, England for America The views of my mother regarding the Mormon Church were not in accordance with those of my father and myself and it was for this reason that we two left London, leaving mother behind. We had one thing in mind, which was “to go to the city of Zion.” We had been converted into the Mormon religion by Mormon missionaries who worked in London.

As stated, on the 1st day of April 1852 we left Liverpool, England. Liverpool being one hundred (100) miles away from England (possibly she means 100 miles from ‘London’ rc). There were four hundred (400) people set sail on this date, including men, women and children, all converted to the Mormon religion and our slogan was, ‘we are all Zion bound”. The name of the ship on which we traveled was ‘The International’.

We were on board this ship exactly six (6) weeks and three (3) days from the time we left Liverpool, England until we disembarked at New Orleans, Louisiana.

Our average speed, under normal weather conditions, was forty-four (44) miles per hour on this ship, but frequently we encountered what is known as ‘headwinds’ and in such cases it was our experience to be driven back (40) or more miles, due to these headwinds.

The trip in general, for those days, was about as pleasant as we could expect. My father brought with him quite a supply of food such as bread, which we called gingerbread. This was made into large slices of toast, which was mostly our food. The ship allowed us a certain supply of food, but mostly our food consisted of our own bread, as that which was supplied by the ship was only in a very small quantities, and for liquid we were allowed one pint of water per day and myself, being under age, I was allowed one half pint of water. We brought with us our own tea, and from this water allowed us we were permitted to go to a certain part of the ship where we could heat this water to make our tea. Occasionally we were allowed a small quantity of hot water with which to make this tea in addition to that which we were usually allowed.

Our sleeping quarters were all below deck. The beds, being called ‘bunks’, were so arranged that one was above the other. Each individual had their own bunk. The main deck was used only for pleasure such as walking around, holding meetings, etc. Every evening we held one on board ship.

One of the Mormon missionaries, by the name of Captain Brown, was in charge of the four hundred (400) converts. He left Liverpool with us and was in charge throughout the trip until we landed in Zion.

As previously stated, we landed in New Orleans, La. Six (6) weeks and three (3) days from the date we set sail from England. This making our landing in New Orleans about the middle of May in the year 1852

After landing in New Orleans, we remained there only long enough to get our belongings together and our Captain then loaded us on a steamship on which we sailed up the Missouri River to St. Louis, Missouri. A short distance from St. Louis was our camping ground, where arrangements were being made to cross the plains to the city of Zion.

At this camping ground, the equipment consisted of wagons and oxen teams. There were generally, what is called, three (3) yoke of oxen, to each wagon (a ‘yoke’ consisting of two (2) oxen. There were forty (40) wagons to our train (a train being the entire outfit of wagons, oxen, etc.). In a few cases there were four (4) yoke of oxen to a wagon, but not often.

We remained at this camping ground a few weeks, during which time the equipment was being put in order for our trip to ‘Zion’. Oxen had to be purchased, wagons equipped and bows and covers, etc
We left this camping ground headed for Salt Lake Valley. Previous to our crossing these plains, surveyors had surveyed practically all the road and there had been some travel over same. Enough so that it was known to us which was the road. Scarcely anyone rode during the entire trip from the camping ground in Missouri to Salt Lake Valley. We all walked, as our clothing, bedding, provisions, etc. took up all the room in the wagons and it was only when one became ill, or in some manner unable to walk, they were permitted to ride. It was only when we came to rivers that we would ride and, when coming to these, naturally they had to be forded and we would ride across the water.

Our main trouble was with the Indians. This was the tribe of Sioux Indians. They were a very wealthy tribe of Indians, highly painted and dressed in their style and rode the most beautiful of ponies. They would halt our train of wagons and demand food. There was no use trying to fight them, as in such an attempt they would fight to kill. Our only way out of such a predicament would be to feed them. In such cases, where we were attacked by the Indians, our Captain made  (the) family of the entire 400 converts give to the Indians a certain amount of our supplies, such as half pint of sugar from each family and other food we (had) in proportion. Sugar, these Indians were very fond of and made special demands for this. The Indians were equipped with bow and arrow, scalping knives and, in a few cases of the wealthier ones, they had firearms. The main food on which the Indians lived was the buffalo they would kill.

Encouraging those Indians so frequently and having to give a certain portion of our food products to them, we were afraid we were going to run short of food ourselves. On every occasion we tried to hold out from giving them food, but they were wicked and would kill in dark. On one occasion they came in the night and frightened our cattle, causing them to stampede. In one case I recall now, our cattle were frightened away and scattered to the extent that we were two (2) days getting them rounded up and ready to pull off again. I might say, as nearly as I can recall, we had three (3) full months of traveling across the plains, walking all the way from our camping grounds in St. Louis to Salt Lake Valley.
The first mountains I recall coming to was what is known as ‘Little Mountains’ and ‘Echo Canyon’. I recall my father taking me by the hand and standing on top of ‘Little Mountain’ and looking over into Salt Lake Valley.

We landed in Salt Lake Valley October 1, 1852, a full six (6) month journey from Liverpool. We camped on what was known as ‘
Immigration Square
’, which was very near the place that is now known as
Temple Square
. No one was allowed on the place except the immigrants. Our Captain told us that we would not have to remain on this
Immigration Square
very long as there would be members of the Mormon church who would come and get us and take us to our homes. Fortunately for my father and myself we were taken by Mr. Wm. C. Staines, who was a high member of the church and later a high man in the organization of Brigham Young.

We remained there all winter, at which time my father took a notion to leave Salt Lake and go north, taking me with him. He came north from Salt Lake Valley and located at Bingham Fort (later known as Lynn Ward). This Bingham Fort was all enclosed by a high mud wall, as protection against the Indians. This protection (as we thought) was really not much protection against the Indians, but acted as a feeling of safety in the minds of the people.

My father worked on this vicinity approximately three (3) years, building fences and digging ditches and working for other people who had located here previous to our coming.

My father and myself lived in a log cabin, which he built himself. The winter of 1853 was known as ‘the hard winter’. Terrible cold. So much so that cattle died from exposure. The snow was so deep and the weather so cold that the cattle, in trying to feed themselves by eating the bark from the trees at the river bottoms, would freeze to death standing  up.
It would be difficult for me to say how we lived during that winter. I could probably best answer this question by saying, “We didn’t LIVE”. However I recall my father bringing home a bushel of wheat from a man for whom he had been working and he took it to a small mill and had it ground. We ate the best of it and then were forced to eat the balance, which we would now call ‘bran’, or ‘pig feed’.

I also recall one incident where my father would go to the river bottoms with a sled he had built and would cut the rear quarters from the cattle, which had frozen to death in the river bottoms and bring them home. Here he would do, as we called, ‘jerking’ the meat. This slicing it to fine slices, salt it and dry it. In this manner we had two burlap sacks full of this kind of dried meat. In the fall of 1857 Johnston’s Army came in and it was their intentions to kill all of the Mormons. They were held back in the mountains by the Mormons all during the winter of 1857.

They had sufficient grain for their mules and they killed game for their own support. They were held back in the mountains by the Mormons until they were about starved out. In the spring of 1858 Brigham Young issued orders that all Mormons (except a few of the rear guards) were to leave this valley and go down south. This was done. Then, as stated above, Johnston’s Army was about starved out and finally sent word into the guards of the Mormons that, if the Mormons would allow them to come in, they would not fight. Word was passed on to Brigham Young and on the promise of Johnston’s Army not to fight, they were allowed to come. They came and went directly to what is now known as Fort Douglas and commenced building what is now known as Fort Douglas. They hired the Mormon boys and paid them in actual money. They had plenty of money, but no provisions. This was done while the majority of the Mormons were down south. Then, after being down south several months, quiet seemed to reign in Salt Lake Valley and Brigham Young ordered us to return to our homes, which we did.

It was after our return from the south that father and I went north and located in what is now my home in Harrisville, Utah. It was while I was on this farm with father that I met Thomas B. GUTHRIE, whom I later married. My father died in 1878. I was married previous to my father’s death and gave birth to five (5) girls and four (4) boys. Nine in all.

I Know A Person That Won't Share

Yes, and I am as surprised as this kitten about that.

When it comes to family research some people just won't share. You note it in that their trees are private and they won't respond to your inquiries. They want you to go it on your own. I understand the emotion, especially if it took a lot of effort and time to personally do the research.

I think the won't share people can be sold on the concept that the future of genealogy is collaberation.  I refer you to a RootsTech Keynote Speach by Jay Verkler.

In his speech Jay shares an exciting and fascinating vision of the future of family history research. Click this link: Jay Verkler Keynote and it will take you to the home page which houses the keynote speaches. Jays is the Thursday keynote. It is about an hour long but worth it. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Do You Have A Fan Chart Yet?

If you have a new family search account you may have a fan chart now. Fan charts are handy for easily seeing where you need to do more research. A fan chart starts with you and extends out 9 generations. It's colorful and some folks are framing them as a wall photo in their home. You can contact me if you need help getting a New Family Search account setup.

When New Family search will become Family Tree, Family Tree will be opened up to everyone. We expect over 1 million new users in family Tree in the first year.

Creating a fan chart of your own is an easy 2 step process.

Our mission is to help the world get involved and receive help in genealogy - family history. If you want some personal guidance email me at and I will be glad to help you.

How To Turn A Missionary Apt Into A Castle

How do you do that? You marry a talent!

Living Rooom



Master BR

Arbitrators Urgently Needed

FamilySearch indexing is in need of additional arbitrators. Experienced indexers should start transitioning to arbitration now. Stake indexing directors should join in the arbritration effort themselves and should train all new arbitrators. Directors, please consider adding at least 5 new arbitrators to your team including capable consultants. To find training and more about how to become an arbitrator, go to the Indexing Resource Guide.

Newspapers are a Wonderful Source of Information

The following information was gleaned from a RootsTech class presented by Kathleen Murray, PHD and Tara Carlisle, M.A., M.S..

Two freely available newspaper archives, Chronicling America at the Library of Congress and The Portal to Texas History at the University of North Texas.

Chronicling America Chronical America Website

Chronicling America is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress.
The Portal is a gateway to Texas history materials. From prehistory to the present day, its unique collections from Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, and private family collections, provide researchers with primary source materials. The University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries maintains the Portal, which includes the Texas Digital Newspaper Program (TDNP) collection. The UNT Libraries is the lead institution in Texas selected for the National Digital Newspaper Program, Chronicling America. TDNP is a partnership providing broad geographic access to digitized Texas newspapers as far back as 1829. It currently includes 80,486 newspaper editions (618,619 files).
Types of Information
·         Births and deaths
·         Marriage announcements
·         Military Service
·         Land purchases
·         Promotions
·         Advertisements: Family businesses
·         Travel announcements


Bekaert, J., Van De Ville, D., Rogge, B., Strauven, I., De Kooning, E., Rik Van de, W. (2002). Metadata-based access to multimedia architectural and historical archive collections: A review. Aslib Proceedings, 54(6), 362-371.
Holley, R. (2009). How good can it get? Analysing and improving OCR accuracy in large scale historic newspaper digitisation programs. D-Lib Magazine, 15(3/4). Retrieved from
Klijn, E. (2008). The current state-of-art in newspaper digitization: A market perspective. D-Lib Magazine, 14(1/2). Retrieved from
Maxwell, A. (2010). Digital archives and history research: feedback from an end-user. Library Review, 59(1), 24-39. DOI (Permanent URL): 10.1108/00242531011014664
Robinson, L. (2010). The evolution of newspaper digitization at the Washington State Library. Microfilm and Imaging Review, 39, 24-27.
Thurlow, I. & Warren, Paul. (2008). Deploying and Evaluating Semantic Technologies in a Digital Library. In J. Davies, M. Grobelnik, & D. Mladenić (Eds.), Semantic Knowledge Management (pp. 181-198). Berlin: Springer.
Warwick, C., Galina, I., Rimmer, J., Terras, M., Blandford, A., Gow, J., & Buchanan, G. (2009). Documentation and the users of digital resources in the humanities. Journal of Documentation, 65(1), 33-57.
National Digital Newspaper Program
More information on program guidelines, participation, and technical information can be found at or

Family Search Wiki - The # 1 Research Tool

Have questions/ideas about Family Search Wiki? Guess what! We hold monthly online meetings so we can hear from you!  | |