Friday, February 28, 2014

What Is An Ancestor? Friday Is For Fun

Every Family Has A Story - What's Yours?

The Grumble Family: Friday Is For Fun Again

There’s a family nobody likes to meet;
They live, it is said, on Complaining Street
In the city of Never-Are-Satisfied,
The River of Discontent beside.

They growl at that and they growl at this;
Whatever comes, there is something amiss;
And whether their station be high or humble,
They are all known by the name of Grumble.

The weather is always too hot or cold;
Summer and winter alike they scold.
Nothing goes right with the folks you meet
Down on that gloomy Complaining Street.

They growl at the rain and they growl at the sun;
In fact, their growling is never done.
And if everything pleased them, there isn’t a doubt
They’d growl that they’d nothing to grumble about!

But the strangest thing is that not one of the same
Can be brought to acknowledge his family name;
For never a Grumbler will own that he
Is connected with it at all, you see.

The worst thing is that if anyone stays
Among them too long, he will learn their ways;
And before he dreams of the terrible jumble
He’s adopted into the family of Grumble.

And so it is wisest to keep our feet
From wandering into Complaining Street
And never to growl, whatever we do,
Lest we be mistaken for Grumblers, too.

Let us learn to walk with a smile and song,
No matter if things do sometimes go wrong;
And then, be our station high or humble,
We’ll never belong to the family of Grumble!

By L. M. Montgomery

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Whitaker Bible As A Source, Of Course

Collaboration on family history research is a time saver. It is also a way to work together to determine the facts. If you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints you should know that many serious non Mormon genealogists avoid working with us. They often find we just copy what someone else said, or even worse just jump to a conclusion, and publish that conclusion, without verifying if that conclusion is factual. As more and more of us catch the spirit of genealogy we need to be more interested in what is accurate than a green arrow.

By the way, the church family history department estimates that up to 80% of research is duplicate research. YUK! We only have so much time in our lives, let's not waste it with duplications. Let's also not be selfish with our research. I have to say, I find most genealogy buffs to be kind, courteous, and unselfish. What a great group of people to be aligned with. On the other side, it amazes me how many trees in are private. What's the deal with that?

OK now, to the point of the Whitaker Bible: It's an historic treasure passed down since about 1600. We don't know when it became a Whitaker possession. We do know that it has been handed down for hundreds of years. It got out of the family and then back into it.

A challenge for those of us who are a descendent of William Whitaker Sr (1701 - 1789), who we know had possession of this Bible is to document the link between him and Lord John and Lady Alicia Lisle. Websites throughout the internet have Lord Lisle as our ancestor. If true, it is possible that is where this Bible became our heritage. Lord Lisle was part of Oliver Cromwells Court that sentenced King Charles I to death for murderous and treasonous acts. Lord Lisle was later shot by a bounty hunter and Lady Lisle was later beheaded by Charles son, after Cromwell died, and when Charles II took back the throne.

If you want to be a pioneer of facts, go to family tree and start proving what is there connecting William Whitaker to Lord Lisle.

T"he earliest known Whitaker ancestors were Joshua Whitaker and his wife, Jane Parker. They were born in the 1670s. They were forced to flee England around 1710 and went to the Isle of Man, which is located between England and Ireland. They almost certainly possessed the Whitaker Geneva Bible at this time. The Geneva Bible was over 100 years old when it left England. The Whitakers were Quakers and Joshua Whitaker was killed in some minor religious skirmish around 1715. Joshua Whitaker's wife, Jane, and their four children, William, Robert, Catherine, and Peter, fled the Isle of Man and went to Ireland. They and the Bible went first to Timahoe, Ireland. Jane Whitaker and her children lived there several years. They then requested a certificate of removal from the Quaker Church allowing them to move to Dublin, Ireland. William Whitaker, born in 1701, the oldest child of Joshua and Jane Whitaker, requested a certificate of removal in 1719 from the Quaker Church in Dublin to go to Pennsylvania. It is not known exactly when William Whitaker arrived in America, but he presented his certificate of removal to the Newark Monthly Meeting (a short time later called the Kennett Square Monthly meeting) on December 2, 1721. William's mother Jane, brothers Peter and Robert, and sister Catherine, as well as the Whitaker Bible soon moved to Chester County, Pennsylvania. William Whitaker married Elizabeth Carleton on February 13, 1722. William Whitaker being the oldest child got the Geneva Bible. William and Elizabeth Whitaker lived in Kennett Square from 1722 - 1734. They then moved to Bradford a few miles from Kennett Square. It was located in Chester County. William and Elizabeth Whitaker decided to moved back to Kennett Square in the winter of 1739. In December 1739 William and Elizabeth were all packed up to move back to Kennett Square when their house was destroyed by a fire. The Whitaker's lost almost everything they had in the fire, even their seed for next year's garden. They were able to save the Geneva Bible. You can still see where the fire melted and cracked on the leather outside of the Bible. The fire damage is also visible on the edges of the Bible's pages. The Bible shows water damage as well." This paragraph is from the writings and research of C Bruce Whitaker.

The above pages illustrate the value of an old Bible in our research. It also illustrates the generosity of others in sharing what they know or have. These photos were provided me by a newly met online distant cousin, Ray Isbell. 

Family Tree had people debating over facts regarding William Whitaker's vital statistics which were cleared up by the entry in the red box.  Now those debating the issue can move on to better things. 

This was often the only source of writing their history for families of old. 

 Yes, the Whitaker Bible as a source? Of course.

It gets a little gruesome, but this video re-enacts the trail and death of king Charles I. Our believed ancestors Lord Lisle is on this jury, and it is said he was the member of Parliament that delivered the summons to King Charles: thus the revenge on Lord and Lady Lisle by Charles II.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Fun Video Song About Finding Our Cousins

The youth who attended RootsTech were treated to a great message. There were examples of the success we can have by using Puzzilla and inspirational talks.

This video was a hit.

O K You Patrick Cragun Researchers: Let's Figure This Out!

So much is claimed so little is documented about our fearless Patrick Cragun, the legend. Some people are convinced the legend is true: He jumped ship from Ireland as a young boy, he was in the Boston Tea Party, he was arrested by the Kings Soldiers for Civil Disobedience. Was he from Ireland? Is his father really Caleb? Where did that name come from? Who was his mother? Did Caleb live in England? If so why would Patrick be in Ireland, especially in the mid 1700's when a famine similar to the Potato famine took place? Didn't only the Kings favorites go from England to Ireland at that time? Why would his family be so poor to place him with a boot maker as an indentured servant? Why is his name spelled Cragun? I find no such spelling in Irish history. I find 100 other versions; such as McCreagan, Chreagan, and possible even Craig and McCragg.

Some say he had one wife, another said he was married twice. Was his wife Rose Hannah Abbey, Rose Alley, Hannah Alley, Rose Hannah Alley, Hannah Elsey, Elizabeth, Sarah Alley, Rose, Rose Mary Abbey, or are their two woman wrapped up in this potpourri of names?

Shall we decide to source our conclusions? I was recently sent to Patricks memorial as the source for their being two wives. This shortened link will take you there:

Here is a clip from the memorial: "They were our guests for several days and related many interesting things to us. J.O.Q CRAGUN was well informed on Mormonism. He said that his father had been a devout Latter Day Saint, having died at Nauvoo on the treck to Utah. His mother never joined the Church but went north after his father's death. This accounts for the indifference of most of that family. "It is from this distant relative that I am able to give the following account of our g.g.grandfather, PATRICK CRAGUN." "CALEB CRAGUN is the first ancestor that we have any knowledge of and he was born in Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England, near the home of OLIVER CROMWELL, about 1700. He moved to Ireland, marrying an Irish lady. Their son Patrick, born 1745 or 1746 had a most interesting life and was closely connected with our American government in its making. I should like to give you a brief sketch of his life as it was told to me by J.O.Q.C.
"Patrick Cragun had a great desire to come to America, so he, with 40 other Irishmen obtained a sailing vessel and provisions sufficient and more than enough to last the journey through."

Some quote the legend stating Patrick was 12 years old at this time. Pretty brave I would say.

Cool, great story, the kind of stories legends are made of. Two good women wrote books based on their research. Fine, where is the sourcing? Word of mouth beats no word, but my word, doesn't word of mouth become suspect? Let us take it from here and add some facts. England resources are becoming more plentiful. If Mrs Patrick Cragun was born in England, let us go find her, and her family. Wouldn't this be a brick wall a pleasure to break? Let's find Caleb, or whatever his name is.

My sister Nancy Day, a devout researcher sent me this email: Found this on ancestry -
Patrick Cragun  (father of Isaac & John) 1743/45 in Ireland. Had a second wife in his later years, named Hannah. Records of Alma Beatrice Cragun of St. Joseph, Missouri, 93 years old, give further proof.

She kept a faithful record until her death in Nov. 1968, which states: "WILLIAN was well known in Indiana up to 1862, and his brother LUCIUS CRAGUN went east to New York, had two sons who became prominent physicians, changing the spelling of the name Cragun to "CRAGIN."  Was William the youngest child (by 2d wife) of Patrick Cragun?

Can anyone find the records or Alma Beatrice Cragun? Please do, one of you.

FamilySearch Family tree, at this time, has one wife, Rose Hannah Alley. It is possible that it is Rose Abbey. This search in family search could be a lead: It is a 1758 birth record of a Rose Abby; not indexed but available to view at the Family History Libraries - my next stop.

I think this is an article that I will update as I would like to focus more on this marriage. Please leave a comment as you see appropriate.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Should You Publish A Blog?

Blogging is Family History: Larry K Cragun

There is a community of people who have caught the genealogy and family history spirit. They are from all over the world, of all faiths and are engaged for similar reasons. They are writing, searching, and collaborating. This community is most easily discovered on a blog. 

Publishing a blog doesn’t need a webmaster; they are simple and flexible. Be aware though; there are reasons people resist. Here are the common reasons; “someone might read it, I am not a good writer, it’s too hard, I don’t have the time, and I have nothing to write about. and (Google) are the bulk of the blogs published. states that 97% of new bloggers quit publishing within 7 days. To avoid this it is important to have a reason and a plan. What is your reason, your goal?

Why blog? For What Purpose? Find cousins, influence family, inform others, Connect to Social Media, Collaborate, a journal for my family to share, preparing to write a book, find research partners, share my research, be a journal of  my research, preserve your research online,  or make a lot of money. Ha Ha, don't do a genealogy blog for his purpose.

Is there a book inside of you? Do you have family research to publish? I suggest that before you go to the expense of publishing a book that you create the book through a series of posts.

My main objectives in this blog are: feedback, collaboration, reach out to unknown cousins, improve some strained historical family relationships my ancestors created, and to come to the front in search engine results like these:

Cragun Genealogy:  Today that search delivers this me on page on 1 as the top three results.

Patrick Cragun: Today that search delivers this site on page one three times: #2, #5, and #6.

 Elisha Cragun, Patrick's son, and my 2nd great grandfather has this site as the #3 result on page 1.
I write about several topics to keep the site interesting and to make it less difficult to come up with articles to post. When I am focused I write at least three times a week. The more you write about your topic the better the search engines treat your site.

Blogs can be public, private, or limited to those you give access. Search engines won’t find your blog if it isn’t public.

Blogs can be free. Free blogs limit you in quality of templates. I use both WordPress and Blogspot. If you plan on making money by advertising you should use paid hosting and not use a free template or as they are called; themes. If you go the paid route you should definitely use WordPress. 

Themes can be purchased inexpensively now; I recommend you look to for themes and support. is my recommendation for paid hosting. On a single blog your costs can be as low as $24.00 per month. Network, multi-user blogs are much more expensive to host.

Rules to be found on the search engines: (What is your blog about, really?) Make the title relevant, have the tagline or paragraph related to the topic, use tags, categories, article title, and some of the text in the article related to the topic of the blog. (The search engines like active sites with fresh content) Publish 3 or more times a week; sometimes for several weeks, to be found on page 1. Don’t steal other content or be banned. (The search engines recognize duplicate articles) It’s ok, even desirable to copy up to 1/3 of another post as long as you link to the original article. 
Some of my favorite genealogy blogs; (reading other blogs on your topic help you find your voice, give you ideas, and get you into the community are
) are:,,, and  I list several others on the right sidebar of my blog.

Start simple, just start writing. Photographs make the articles much more interesting. Videos are a great addition to a blog. 

You can change your template at any time. You can start discovering the various widgets that add to the complexity of your blog later. Don’t wait until it is perfect to start publishing. Expect to be a better writer and photographer as you go. 

Blogging is genealogy, it’s a record of what you felt relevant. It’s an opportunity to share. It’s inviting feedback, opinions, and input.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Evernote Baby - For Cragun reserearch, actually for everything in your life that is important

I know I am not the only one who needs organizing improvements. I am also not the only one who is slow to catch on to some things staring me right in the face. I took a class at Rootstech 2012 on Evernote and it seemed fine. Having that attitude could be translated into "I didn't get the vision". I downloaded the program and let it set. I then took a class on Evernote at the Awesome Riverton 3rd Saturday Seminar last month. There is one every month but December. (Riverton Family History Center - 9AM to 12:30 PM, A most valuable event) and I finally caught the vision.

To not make me feel guilty the presenter admitted she had it downloaded for three years before she began to use it.

THIS PROGRAM IS AMAZING. Whether it is for organizing recipes, people you meet, your genealogy research and priorities; for anything and everything.

Please take a look at these two videos. Doing so might save you a year or three. They give you the big picture of what can be done.

Don't miss this one:

Here is a sample of what my Patrick Cragun research is beginning to look like in just one of my notebooks in Evernote. I've just started, much more to organize and MY IT IS EXCITING! I am so much more on top of my priorities already.

I can share this notebook or even just the note with those I want to collaborate with.

Really: take time to learn this. It a way to sharpen the saw, don' t keep sawing until you do this.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Are You A Utah Cragun Descendent?

Over the past many days, about a month,  I have had fun looking at this site:

If you enter the name cragun in the search bar you will find 1735 articles are posted on this site. Most are papers from 1836 to 1922.

Some of the articles are not that historic; james cragun had a visitor from salt lake city for the weekend type of information. However, of these many articles I did find some of interest. These I attached to FamilySearch Family Tree. If you are a descendant of Wiley G Cragun, Jonathon Osborn Quicny Cragun, William Henry Cragun, James Hyrum Cragun, Annie May Budge, Mormon Cragun, Willard Uriah Cragun, Wiley Moroni Cragun, Lathael Grande Cragun, James Alfred Cragun, Wilson Elijah Cragun, Grace Cragun, WIlford Elisha Cragun, May Mahalia Cragun, Willard Simeon Cragun, Simeon Wilbert Cragun, John H Cragun, James H Cragun, Lydia Margaret Cragun, Levi Ephraim Cragun, Dresden James Cragun, Katie Blake Holladay, Oralie Kate Cragun, James Cragun, Lydia Margaret Cragun, Mabel Cragin, Royal Cragun, George Douglass, Pearl Cragun, Eva Cragun Heiner, Verna Cragun, Violet Cragun, you might check family tree. Who knows what you will find: good things, bad things, strange things. There are some wedding and funeral announcements, birth notices, even law suits discussed. This is not a complete list, so check it you craguns.

It was a fun experience and once I started I wasn't happy until I read them all. PS Obituaries are interesting, there were a few of those. We can now index obituaries in Family Search. Up until now I have thought my interest was in research and fixing the tree, but indexing obituaries has caught my attention. You might also want to give it a go.

Oh a bad thing, I found a great uncle sentenced to six months in prison for punching a woman in a dispute over water rights. His appeal failed. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Tip In Inputting Names

In many cases you will be glad you followed this procedure. Instead of identifying a photo as for example: Larry Kent Cragun; name it this way. CRAGUN Larry Kent. The more you do it this way the more you will love the tip.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I have a sister who is a peacemaker. Good for her. Perhaps she should have lived back in our grandfathers era. One of my new initiatives is what I recently wrote about, searching newspapers. I will write more from time to time on my Cragun and other family discoveries.

I am finding, and posting good things, interesting things, but some not so pleasant discoveries on family tree; notices of lawsuits among brothers, my fathers uncles for example. Even suing over water rights more than once. I hadn't planned on finding this type of information. It makes for a few questions about their family legacy. They are direct first generation descendents of four Cragun siblings who were pioneers. A couple crossed the plains as babies.

What kind of legacy is this? Do we believe we will be together in a later life? I do. Do we think we will have interactions with our families then? I do. Will we be basically the same people, having the same personalities and issues? I believe so. So then what?

Perhaps we should take the follow of my good sister - let go of grudges. I was involved in  a conversation today with a some good people, one having troubles with family injustices. It made me think, how am I doing?

Perhaps I can be doing better with cousins, siblings, and other family members; how about you? I wonder now, if those great Uncles have made any progress. They are all gone from here now - I wonder how it is for them.

This newspaper research is interesting with interesting finds. I guess we all are creating a legacy; some good some needing to be better however. For the record, family tree allows us to post our stories. As living people they are only seen by those we give permission. Perhaps we should be posting our stories, written by us. Stories are a part of memories section now; I have some good ones I have entered there; currently 24 stories. They go live to the public when I am deceased. You could do that too. I wish my great Uncles had provided us some of their stories, I plan on looking them up on the other side, if you know what I mean. 

Yet, I am on this side and could use some better relationships, as could some of my siblings and cousins with each other. I'm willing, even anxious - "Can't We All  Just Get Along?" 

Larry your brother and cousin Cragun.

PS: I was raised in Idaho, lived most of my adult life in Washington State. My grandfather lived much of his life in Pleasant View Utah. He, Simeon Cragun's first wife, Mary Ann Clifford, died when he was 41 years old. They had 6 children at that time. Eight years later he married my grandmother, Blanche Bingham. She had has some disappointments in life and I am told was hoping for a peaceful life with Simeon. She was 21 when she married Simeon, he was 49. They had five children and Simeon adopted a son, Reuben with her. Her pictures show  her as good looking. I lovingly call her the trophy wife. One of their sons is still living and 90 years old. I asked him to discuss how it was with the step brothers and it was not a topic he would discuss other than to say it wasn't good. His mother was only 7 years older than Levi the youngest of Mary Ann's children. So a rift between our two families seems to have begun. How long will it last?

Man, there must be a lot to overcome in the eternities to come, I think I will seek to be more like my sister, be a doer  here on earth.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Warning About RootsTech

Rootstech has come and gone. It was awesome this year, especially with the larger venue. Even the 4,000 youth there didn't seem disruptive. It actually seemed like they were having a great event. Sign up now; plan for next year. If they just repeated this years curriculum it would be fine as every hour had multiple options for classes and of course we can only take one at a time.

PS Rootstech: will you please post the keynote by Elder Brimhall? Thanks in advance.

I was told by a fellow family history missionary that his Church Leaders are telling the youth to go to the youth activities even if they didn't get signed up. Bad Advice from a good leader. Only those youth that are registered and weary wristbands will be allowed to enter the auditorium. After all - full is full.

Here is the email I just received:
RootsTech 2014 January 2014
FDD Lockup wout Youth
Family Discovery Day is just a week away. It will be a great day with many opportunities for you to learn how to connect with your family-past, present and future!
Check-in Process
On Saturday morning, please arrive by 9:00 a.m. in order to check in and get your name badge before the morning devotional with Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy, which starts at 10:00 a.m. Check-in is located at the RootsTech registration area in the South Foyer of the Salt Palace Convention Center. Enter your name into the computer kiosk, and show your picture ID to the volunteer. You'll receive your name badge, which will give you access to the Family Discovery Day events and the RootsTech Expo Hall. Family Discovery Day Schedule
Family Discovery Day includes free, fun, and informative classes to help you strengthen your family relationships. Use this schedule to plan your day. Your Family Discovery Day pass will get you into classes with an ID number that starts with LDS. RootsTech (RT) and Getting Started (GS) classes are part of the paid RootsTech pass and requires a separate registration. Access to youth (YOUTH) classes and activities are for those with Youth Event registrations and wristbands.
Interactive and Hands-on
Be sure to check out the new Family Discovery Exhibit, sponsored by FamilySearch, in the RootsTech Expo Hall.

Photo Scanning Area
Make digital copies of family photos that you can preserve, share, and even upload directly to your FamilySearch Family Tree. There are also plenty of high-capacity scanners that make great digital copies quickly. 

What to do: Bring the photos you want to scan and a flash drive. 

Recording Booth - Record Your Story
Video or audio record your favorite family story in one of our enclosed sound booths. Your private recording session includes ten minutes of recording time and you'll get a copy of it on a flash drive. Enjoy sharing the memory for many years to come. 

What to do: Think of a family story or memory that you want to capture and preserve. Story helps will be provided on-site.

Record a Call - With Someone Who Inspires You
Make a phone call that will last a lifetime. Simply call a parent, grandparent, or someone who inspires you and find out more about their life. Our app will record the conversation and you can take it and treasure the memory for years. 

What to do: Bring a phone number of a person you want to call and interview, as well as an email address you'd like to send the recorded file to.

See Yourself in History
How would you look as a cowboy or as one of the pretty maids all in a row? Have your face (and the faces of your friends) added to one of several fun antique photos and e-mail yourself a digital copy you can share. 

What to do: Have an email address to send your new photo to. 

FamilySearch Book Scanning Booth
Get your family book scanned for free. We'll make a digital copy, you keep the original and a searchable PDF copy for yourself. You can also donate personal works, books that are copyright protected, and books that are in the public domain. Questions?

Youth Activities

Family Discovery Day for Youth is a separate event from Family Discovery Day and is completely full. In order to accommodate this group successfully, only those registered for the youth event and who have wristbands will have access to youth classes and activities. Seating for the Studio C event and the devotional with Elder Neil L. Andersen will be made available to registered Family Discovery Day attendees on a first come, first seated basis in Hall D.  Parking
Parking at the Salt Palace is available, but it can be expensive. There are a number of less expensive parking lots in downtown Salt Lake City, around the Salt Palace. We recommend parking in the lot located on South Temple between 200 West and 300 West, which charges $3 per day per vehicle. Parking at the LDS Conference Center or Joseph Smith Memorial Building is $10. 

Public Transportation
For those taking Trax, the Green or Blue line will get you to the Salt Palace. The closest stop to the Salt Palace is Temple Square (132 W. South Temple Street). Learn more at

We're excited to see you at Family Discovery Day on Saturday, February 8! To contact us with questions, please email