My serving here in Salt Lake City Family and Church History Headquarters mission has been a chance to feel a greater love and respect for my pioneer ancestors. The community here emphasizes it more. There is the Pioneer day parade and celebration. Our local youth did a Pioneer Trek this summer. It's talked about more and I appreciate it.
In doing my genealogy I have learned how Elisha Cragun found the church not long after his wife and 23 year old daughter died. He gave up his plantation and slaves and moved to Nauvoo where the church members were gathering. He and 4 of his childrens families went with him. One son, ended up in Minnesota while Simeon Cragun and two sisters headed west. Elisha didn't make it, he died in Winter Quarters. Great Grandfather Simeon and family were the first to settle in Pleasant View, Utah.
Sanford Porter was my first ancestor to join the church, not long after it was founded. He had an amazing, actually several amazing experiences leading up to his joining the church. Sanford Porter had two sons that are great grandfathers of mine: John President Porter and Lyman Wight Porter. Lyman Wight was named after one of the missionaries that taught Sanford. The Porters traveled in the Charles C Rich pioneer company, and it's not surprising one of the Rich girls married John President.
My Bingham ancestory has a touching situation. Erastus had 10 children and lived in England. He and one daughter joined the church and came to America and were pioneers. They seemed to have had to give up their family to come as my grandmother records they never saw or heard from her mother and siblings again.
The Porters settled in Morgan County Utah. You may be related to some of them: Joseph Rich Porter, Marlow Rich Porter, Bertha Maria Porter, Joseph Irvin Porter, Mary Viola Porter, Nathaniel Victor Porter, Nellie Electa Porter, or Eleca Elizabeth Porter. Electa is my great grandmother, the others her siblings.
My great grandfather Simeon Cragun had a son, Simeon who is my grandfather. His first wife died. His second wife Blanche Bingham is my dads mother. So my Cragun and Bingham lines come together through this marriage.
I'm proud of my pioneer heritage. I'm grateful my ancestors found the church so I could be a part of it and its blessings from my youth.