26 December 2014

Homemade Genealogy Christmas Gifts

I had an idea for a Christmas gift for my niece that I thought I would share. I know it is the day after Christmas but I was afraid that the secret part of my present would be given away but posting this on the Internet.


I have been aware of  word clouds for a while now. In my office there are several word cloud posters on the walls. The above picture is one of them. Treeseek.com can take data from your FamilySearch FamilyTree and create a name cloud.



The image above is the name cloud for my FamilyTree information. Treeseek takes the most repeated names and makes them larger than other names. Treeseek also allows to to create a cloud of All first, last, male or female names. I have created these for several of my family lines because Treeseek also allows you to choose with what name to begin the diagram. I have used them for headers on family Facebook pages or just as an image to grab attention for a post I make to a family. 

Last month my mother called me out of the blue and asked me if I still had the bassinet she loaded me 20 years ago before my oldest son was born. I do still have the bassinet because it is a family heirloom that not only I used as a baby but so did my mother. I did not realize I had taken out a 20 year loan until my mother called but we did use it with all six of our children. I asked her what she needed it for and she said that she wanted to put her heirloom porcelain dolls into it for a display in her home. I was/am a little bothered that this meant the bassinet heirloom might not be passed down to one of my children. [I am the oldest after all].

My wife and I began to discuss my mother's request. I couldn't imagine that after 20 years she wanted it back for her dolls.  Soon dawned on me that she didn't really want it for her dolls but if not for the dolls then for who? My younger sister had her three children before my wife and I even started our family. As the oldest child in my family the streak of me being first in the family to do things ended before I was even married. My sister having blatantly disregard my birth order rights also meant that she is was not a candidate for the bassinet. My youngest brother also had his first son in May of 2013. I thought I might have received a call back then from my mother about the bassinet, having received no call I thought the heirloom was for sure mine to pass down.

It was then it struck me that it must be one of my sisters children that was expecting. I had ruled them all out before because none of them were married -- but we live in different times now. My oldest niece soon posted on Facebook that she was seven months pregnant and expecting. I am not sure why my mother did not tell me the truth. They were probably trying to plan for the baby and also find the right time to tell the ogre oldest brother/uncle.


I am not sure why I have shared this detail about my family but... With Christmas quickly approaching and the news of the new baby fresh on my mind. I was trying to think of a gift to give to my niece. I was sitting in a staff meeting at work and I saw the above word cloud on the wall. I then thought of the name clouds from Treeseek. I had always wanted to make some sort of gift out of the name cloud but I wasn't sure how. 

Then I remember a blog post I made a while ago, in response to a post by Randy Seaver about Matrilineal lines, where I traced 9 generations of my mother's direct female line. My thought being I could create this cute gift for my niece where she might learn a little about her genealogy but also about the names of those women who came before her. Maybe she would even like a name enough to use for her baby.


I jumped online and googled word cloud. I came across a blog post about how to use tagxedo. I think the things I liked the best about this online app was that it was free and, like the above picture shows, you can place any words into different shapes like a rose. 

Following the instructions from the blog post I added the ten generations of women in their matrilineal line. I had to play with the setting and add or subtract some names to make some bigger and smaller. I also played with the fonts and the color schemes. I also decided I would also give similar gifts to my mother and sister who share the same line.


The above image is the final result I created for my mother, her name in Linda. I also chose to include the surnames of the women on all three of the name clouds. For my mother's I also added the names of my little girls even though they are not part of the Matrilineal line. They are very small but I wanted them included in her picture.


This image above I made for my sister. I had to add more Melissas and less Lindas to make her name bigger. I could of chosen any shape but I liked the hearts but this heart is shaped different than my mother's.  I also removed my daughter's names. I chose to only use maiden names and not married surnames names. I also added any nicknames or abbreviated names from the list.


This above image is the one I made for my niece. Her first name is Alixis but she goes by Ali or Lexi depending to whom you are talking. Her mother's name (Melissa) is pretty big, I probably forgot to take out the extra few I added when I made hers. I am not sure why may grandmother's name (Wilberta) appeared as large as it did. I don't think tagxedo renders the names mathematically proportional but when I shuffled them around I saw my niece's two nicknames and I decided this is the final version I wanted.

I did do a little Photoshop work to the images I downloaded. I made them all 8x10 to fit the frames I had picked out. I also added a full list of the ten generations of women included in the name cloud. I also added their birth year because it looked odd when I added the death dates to seven of them but three were still living. I know these are not perfect. I am not selling to promoting them as a product, but they worked for me and for this purpose.

After adding them to the frames my wife commented on how much she liked them. She said she though that her mom might like one too. It looks like I may be making another batch in the near future

18 December 2014

Getting started

I have a close friend who asked me for some ideas for his Family History research. He has been doing genealogy work for several years but is now in a position to dedicate more time to it and he also gets to instruct others on how to start their own research. We are both LDS and he is currently the High Councilor assigned to Family History in our Stake. He asked me for a few pointers and I began to write him an email and thought this would make a great post for the blog...so here it goes.

I am trying to restrain myself and not flood you with useless information but...

Where to start.
  1. Gather together the information you have that pertains to your Family History.
  2. Make sure that you are registered on FamilySearch.
  3. Make sure you open accounts on the affiliate sites. Use the https://familysearch.org/partneraccess link to access those sites.
  4. Download a genealogy program. I know that there are so many online resources that it seems funny to have your own database on your computer but the downside of working online, especially in FamilySearch, is that others can delete your work. I use Legacy, there is a free version you can download at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/. I have also heard good things about Rootsmagic they also have a free trial you can download at https://www.rootsmagic.com/.
  5. Fill out the My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet. There is an online version that plugs in information that is already in FamilySearch. You can find the online version here. You can also get a pdf version of the booklet here.
  6. Begin to enter information into your genealogy software. Make sure that you do not copy information without a source. Family History without sources is just a story. Most people have the first person in their database be themselves. This is a natural starting point. I started my database with person #1 as my oldest son Tyler. This way I can add information from my wife's family and my family all into one database AND when I pass my work to my children they will have one file for their whole family. There are some disadvantages to doing it this way but I have found that it has worked for me.
I know this is very basic. I you have questions please ask. I by no means have all the answers but I am surprised what I have picked up over the last few years for doing work myself.

I have posted my favorite Internet Resources and Blogs into the other pages on this blog. You can access them using the tabs at the top of the page. The right side of the page also displays my RebelMouse feed and links to the newest posts from the blogs I follow. My RebelMouse feed is where I post links to websites with new information so I can easily find the information again. You can scroll the feedbox to see more information from that feed.

27 October 2014

A letter from James Jacob and Jane Wall Facundus

I received an email this weekend from my first cousin once removed. Everyone has a person in their family that is a genealogist. My cousin Mark has traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi in search of genealogy related sources for our family. He has a precious collection of family history items, he has taken a DNA test and encouraged me to do so. He also participated in a civil war reenactment and played the part of our confederate ancestor on the same battlefield in Georgia. Mark is a true historian and a great person to share genealogy questions and theories. He currently is Park Manager at Camp Floyd in Fairfield, Utah.
"Used as a strategy by both the Northern and Southern States, Camp Floyd and the Utah War were an attempt to divert the nation's attention from the issue of states rights and slavery, to the Mormon problem and polygamy. Buchanan believed that Democrats and Republicans, northerners and southerners, could unite in an attempt to restore order to Utah, and he could thus divert attention from the crisis over slavery and tensions between the north and south."
The letter was written in 17 Nov 1900 by my 3rd great grandparents James Jacob and Jane Wall Facundus to my 2nd great-grandmother Emma Irene Facundus Trotter. Emma and Samuel Trotter had left Louisiana and taken a train to Utah in June of 1900. The Trotter's had been meeting with LDS missionaries and had converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Like other Saints, in the late 19th century, they left their homes to gather in Utah where the fast growing church had set roots.



The family of seven settled in Goshen, Utah where two more children were born into the family. They migrated with infant Arthur Dahl Swenson Trotter, born 12 March 1900, who was named for the two missionaries who helped the family to join the church.



The Letter reads [annotations]:
Magnolia, La.  Nov. 17th 1900

My Dear Children[,]  I write you to day for the first
time and hope you do not think hard of us for not writing sooner but we knew you was hearing from us all the time through Cassie[.] We are all well at this time and hope you are all enjoying the same blessing[.] We still live at same place[,] get and getting along as usual and I guess you no how that is[.] Our crop was short on act of had bad weather and what little we made Lea Jones hogs ruined it so I never gathered a bushel of corn and tore up my potatoe patch[.] Allthough I made good potatoes and have gathered enough of them to last us way in Spring if they sleep well[.]  I hope you ans Sam is doing well there and I no you are from what you write[.] You are among civilized people and a Christian people[.]  While I consider that we are allmost in heathendom and it seems to me that they are getting worse instiad of better and if we could get the rest of the children
to go it would not be long before we would be with you all[.] I Jim would like the best in the world to come to see you all and see the country if I was only able to do so and I have regretted and regret that I was not brought into your church while I had the opportunity to do so[.] My mind has never changed as that being the only true church is the Latter day Saints and I would like so much to see some or all of the Elders that used to visit us so I could have them preach to us on true scripture but I live where they was not allowed to preach but I hope some day and that soon that we can come and see all of you, give our love to all and the children and to all the Elders and tell them to write to me. And may God bless them and you all is my best wishes[.]  Write soon and from now on I will try to write often[.] Tell son & dick and daisy hoddy for us all.

Yours as ever J. J. & Jane Facundus

This letter seems pretty standard. Something that I would write to my son, sans the grammar and spelling mistakes, thanks to modern computers and spell check. What makes this letter something I wanted to blog about was the two pages included with it that contain information about the family history.

It is no secret that Mormons have been gathering family history information for over 160 years. This included information by be in answer to questions about the family genealogy. I am glad to see that the love of family history extends further than myself and my cousin Mark.
No 1.
Jane Wall now Facundus
I was born and raised and married at Gillsburg, Amite county, Miss. My maiden name was Jane Wall[.] My age is from sixty five to sixty seven[.] I don't no exactly. My mother was Patsy Sibley her parents came from North Carolina[.] My father was Charles Wall his parents came from South Carolina when he was small. J.J. Facundus was born in Livingston Parish near Springfield La on March 5th 1837 and was 63 years old last March[.]  My father George Facundus was born and raised in Livingston Parish La but my grandfather Jacob Facundus I cannot tell where he came from or his nationality as I was left an orphan and new nothing of his origone but my mother was Mary Ann Mckie she was born and raised and married in Livingston Parish La her father Ja[me]s. Mckie came from South Carolina[.]
-over-
No 2. his mother was Ann Bookter she came from South Carolina but I can't tell you their ages as I have not got any record as to any further information I can't give it.


I can see the echo of this letter in the many family trees and accounts of our family. What a treasure it is to have this 114 year old letter and be able to read it. The account of the corn crop being ruined by rain and hogs, of the missionaries, and the knowledge of our families past being passed from generation to generation.

From the data provided it has confirmed a lot of the information I already had but caused me to have a few questions. How is there a birth date on Jane Wall Facundus' headstone when even she didn't know when her birth date was or how old she was? J. J. Facundus' birth date is also listed as 4th of March instead of the 5th like mentioned in the letter. It looks like I have more investigating to do.

05 October 2014

Autobiography of John Tidwell (1807-1887)


John Tidwell, son of William Tidwell and Sarah Goben, born January 14, 1807 in Shelby County, Kentucky. From there my father moved to Henry County in the same state and there near the fork of the Kentucky river and there he was called on to go and in defense of his country in the time of the War of 1812 and 1813. And on his return home he was taken sick from much exposure and died from which he underwent and others underwent. He died at a place then called Fort Ball.
Fort Ball, Ohio
This war was between the United States and Canada. Soon after which the war the news came to my mother of the death of my father, afrer [sic] whcih [sic] she moved to her fathers who lived in the State of Indiana. Her Father’s name was William Goben and her mother's name was Rebecca Goben. Some little time after my mother moved to Indiana, she married a man by the name of John Conner a half brother to my wife Jane Smith. I will say here that my mother had five children by her first husband, my father, Namely: John, Littleton, Kaney [Nancy], Mariah, and William. These five were born in the State of Kentucky. After she married John Conner, her second husband, she had eight children, Namely: James, Lewis, Mary, Isaac, Wesley, Alexander, Robert, and John [jr.].

December 18, 1828, I was married to Jane Smith, Clark County, Indiana. September 25, 1835, I was baptized into the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by Levi Bracken in connection with Uriah Curtis. These two was on a mission to Belher at that time. I was living at this time of my life in Clark County, Indiana. November 20, 1835, I was ordained an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ and left in charge of a small branch of Saints which had been baptized previous to this time. Say about twelve in number, which increased to about 22 or 23.

September 11, 1839, I left together with the Church at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. I reached there November 6, 1839; where I remained till after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith which took place June 27, 1844, by a mob while they was in charge of the law at Carthage and in the jail.

In the fall of 1844, I was ordained a seventy and organized the [ninth] quorum of the Seventies.

I must say in connection without stay in Nauvoo, which was not six years, we had a great deal of sickness and trouble by out-laws of the State of Illinois, who continually sought to disturb the Saints. June 10, 1844 the Nauvoo Expositor a libilous [sic] paper edited by the Laws and Fosters was considered a nuisance by the City Council of Nauvoo and was destroyed by the Marshall of the City, John P. Green. Great excitement arose about this time in the county of Hancock, by the mobbers [sic] of the state of Illinois so that the Governor of the State, Thomas Ford, with pretense of protection came to Carthage, the county seat of Hancock on the 27th day of June, 1844. While Ford was in Nauvoo with pretense of friendship, a mob broke into the jail where Joseph Smith, the prophet and Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch, and Willard Richards and John Taylor was confined under pretense of a law and martyred Joseph and Hyrum Smith and wounded John Taylor. These days of trouble for the Saints in the County of Hancock, Illinois, were unforgettable.


June 5, 1852, I left for Salt Lake Valley, from Council Point, southwest of Kanesville, Iowa, crossed the Missouri river June 8, 1852. The fifth company was organized for crossing the plains the present season by Ezra T. Benson. I was appointed Captain of the fifth company for crossing the plains. The journey of the company will be found in another book kept by the clerk of the company. The record of the Fifth Company of 1852 shows the rest of that journey. September 5, we arrived at Salt Lake City. After a few days I moved to Utah County, to a place called Pleasant Grove, July 14, 1853.  I was ordained to President of Seventies at Provo, by Joseph Young, Andrew Moore, Uriah Curtis, and David Hunt. Joseph Young took the lead and afterwards [I was] assigned to the Thirty-fourth Quorum of Seventies and appointed to preside over the Mass Quorum of Pleasant Grove, Utah County.

I lived at that place from September 20, 1852 until June 9, 1859, when I concluded to go to some place where I could get land enough for farming and grass. So as to provide for my family and also on account of things being in such a bad state that I feared my family would get into bad habits such as I did not wish them to do. I thought I would move to some other place, so I moved to Sanpete County, where I arrived June 13, 1859, a distance of about 80 miles to Mount Pleasant.

On the 19th of June, I was appointed to take charge of the building of the East wall of the Fort. Twenty six rods long and twelve feet high, four feet thick at the bottom and two feet at top, which was completed before the 24th day of July the same year. This was on account of the Indians.

(John Tidwell died January 24, 1887 at Mount Pleasant and was buried there. His wife died May 20, 1893.)

Richard Junior Trotter

In 1995 my uncle Darce and his wife Nancy video taped an interview with my grandfather Richard Junior Trotter. At the time of the interview I was self absorbed with a relatively new marriage and the birth of my first son. I am so grateful that my aunt, uncle and grandparents had the foresight to see the value of such an interview. A few years ago I transcribed the recording and added both to my genealogical records.

I was 19 years old, I was close to being drafted so I volunteered [April 1943]. Then I volunteered for the paratroopers because it was $50 extra per month. Three of us left Provo together. We went to Fort Douglas to join and they shipped us to Georgia--Fort June Georgia. We were split up and they put the three of us into Artillery and shipped us to Camp McCall in North Carolina on the outskirts of Fort Bragg. We started to fill out the 17th airborne division. They got our regiment ready to go, through Jump School in Fort Benning.  517th combat team regiment in Italy.

When we came out the rest of the division wasn't ready so they pulled us out of the 17th airborne and sent us overseas to the

http://www.517prct.org/logos.htm
[15 August 1944 - Operation Dragoon] The fighting was hot and heavy then. They sent us in as artillery ground troops. In that area the largest artillery barrage in the history of the world, until that time, was laid down there. We fought there for a while and that was the first time some of our guys were killed. When they first formed the airborne they had to drop jeeps with six parachutes. They came in parts that were daisy chained together. You don't make many jumps behind the German lines and live to tell about it. We knew we would be behind the lines. We jumped about 4:40 in the morning. It wasn't daylight yet. There was a cloud cover and I thought I'd seen the ocean. In those days the shoots and that, if you hit that water you were done for. I was coming down sitting like a swing and I dropped through the clouds and hit a stone wall. I twisted my knee… I think I pulled it out of joint because it hurt so bad. I was so damn scared I got it back in I think but it was sore for a long time.

They dropped us a little bit short of the DZ zone; we had a guy in our sortie they put in charge that was a doctor. A sortie of planes you know… I think he was high on pills and had us jump early. We only had about 12 men in our plane. I was only a sergeant and jump master then.
 We had our belly loads; you know, but no artillery, machine guns. In the door of the plane we always had a machine gun cart with rubber tires but the tires were all flat. The first man out had kicked a cart of machine guns out and followed it down… We got about a dozen of us together and we were way short of the zone. You can't do much fighting when there is only a half a dozen of you against the German army. So we crawled around in ditches and that, we damn near got killed one time by our own planes. They spotted us one time, some Mustangs, and they turned loose and raked the devil out of us. We got through that hiding most of the time, you know, trying to work back into Chateau Rosalee in the DZ zone.

This one place we came to had lots of trees for hiding from airplanes. There was an old well there and we got some water out of it. Old Asvito (name sp?) and the end of the break says, "Come on guys it's time to go." He had left his Carbine in his machine gun car. He lifted it up and it shifted some damn way and pulled the trigger on his carbine and it hit him right though (pointing to his chest about at the bottom rib). We were hiding out and he got shot through the lung, I thought he was going to die before he could even get a breath. We had to leave him, all we had, he wasn't bleeding externally but we didn't know what had happened inside. We dumped some old salcum [sulfa] powder and wrapped a bandage around him and left him under a bush there. That same day they brought the gliders in, a bunch of English paratroopers and gliders had come in and they got some jeeps in there. They run with a red cross, English, and we told them where Asvito was. We went on and I never heard another thing for months. We were clear up in Belgium and one day here he came up the road and (raising his hand), "Hi guys." They had got him and taken him back to Italy and patched him up. They didn't send him home but they sent him up to Van Wines.

Then we got with the outfit, well before I actually got all the way back, we kind of set up with some British. We kind of sat on the outskirts and let them do the fighting. They pushed some Germans out for a kind of headquarter outfit. They let them out and we went in to look around and there were some bicycles. We thought, hell let's get us some bicycles because we still had a ways to go. We got around in back and they had an old 1936 Ford convertible. Of course in 1943 that wasn't too old of a car. It had a wood burner on the back. You could run a car on wood, hell I could build a car that would run on wood in nothing flat. I was a motor Sergeant, we got around there and cranked her up and got her perking good. We had a big red call there and we came out of there with two gunnysacks full of liquor and a convertible. We drove into Chateau La Rue, a cross roads, our unit was there. They got in there and held it; and that's how I got back to my unit. I thought I had a car until the officers saw it and they took it away in a hurry because we was hurting so bad for transportation. We used that old car clear until we got into the maritime Alp Mountains. I was a Motor sergeant, but after we got the ships in we would get our vehicles but we were always short of vehicles. One time in southern France, I walked 20 some miles in one day because they had blew a damn bridge out. What few vehicles we had had come in on the gliders and that but we didn't have enough. Each vehicle has an assigned driver and the rest of us walked because when they started making us we was an airborne unit.

Once we got into France, then we swung south back towards the Italian border through the maritime Alp Mountains. We went into old Fort Sospel,
 an old French fort right on the Italian border. The damn Germans had it and it was all underground. We called the air corps in and they bombed it, they couldn't scratch it, not even the big Navy guns off the coast in the Mediterranean. Those bunkers, at the top of them, was concrete bunkers [at a steep angle leaning in towards one another]. It was 18 feet at the top [sloping down on either side] and they had, I can't remember the millimeter at the time but it was on a big hydraulic hoist and they would come up [out of the bunker] and BOOM, then they would sink back down. Those old shells you could hear them coming like a freight train. I think you could run a city block before they got there. They was not effective because we was right in the mountains and it was too heavy. We couldn't blast them out so we set our guns around there and even a little motorcycle come loose out of there they would turn the whole battery loose at it. We finally forced them back out, pushed them into Italy, to the coal valley and we took Fort Sospel. Then they moved a mechanized unit up there to take over and they lost it. The Germans came back and regained it but by that time they had moved us out. Then everything broke loose.

They [the Germans] got going and were moving across the wheat fields there, they had broke through the head rows there in Normandy. Old Patton had run his, he was a… there weren't any other serviceman like him, old blood and guts. They ran their dang tanks out of Gaston, Belgium and the Germans counterattacked with the bulge. By that time I had had so much time on the lines, I was supposed to go to England on furlough and that was in December. When the bulge come about in the middle of December, they backed us up; every airborne unit we had. The Germans came through like… the whole bunch of them, you remember the bulge. They threw us into the lines in the middle of December.

[15 December 1944 - Battle of the Bulge]
The 82nd airborne, at the time I was still in the combat team the 517th combat team. They attached us to 82nd airborne division and threw us up into the bulge. The 82nd and 101st airborne was there, plus a lot of the others, but that was the two main airborne units. We was on the left flank and the 101st was on the right flank, where the spearhead had come through. It was pretty rough fighting. If you remember the 101st was at Gaston. Where the general said nuts to, "will you surrender?" They surrounded the 101st airborne and they wanted them to surrender and the general sent back the word "Nuts"; they wouldn't surrender. They held Gaston but I was right on the other side of the spearhead. We didn't get surrounded. I didn't have a change of clothes, I had a duffel bag, I had one change of clothes and I put it in that bag; from the middle of December until the first of March. That was the coldest weather in Belgium in 30 years. It got 10 below zero, you didn't dare go in a building because they would target them. You didn't dare get around trees for fear of shell burst. The safest place was in a gully or to dig a hole.

They took some pallets out into a field on the snow. Hung a six foot tarp around it and run some pipes from some old trucks, we hadn't had a shower either. They strung the pipes up and had some old pump truck with heaters in them and they had a little trickle. You'd start out on the pallets and strip off your clothes and you'd walk right through. The guys would get in that water and the guys would not get out. They had to send in the officers to kick the guys out. When you got through they had clean clothes in a big pile. All the underwear had been laundered and thrown in a big pile. This was the middle of the winter so the uniform was wool. They didn't have dry cleaners and it was filthy so the washed them. Everybody was out there trying to stretch a pair of pants out big enough to get in… but it was clean.

You are afraid you won't jump, they instill that into you, you know damn well you are afraid. Before you get that far you have made several jumps. You have to make five jumps to even qualify. Then you go on to your training jumps after that. Now a-days we go down and watch the para-sail now and they are so much improved. They still use the old round shoots in the military because the others are too expensive. You always carry two shoots when you jump. You have a chest pack that is in emergency.

They had a points system. If you were married you got five points. If you were wounded you got five points. Herald was married and ???? wasn't but you got five points for being wounded. Well Herald had got shot over there, a damn German sniper had got him. ???? got hit by one of those damn big shells coming down the canyon, by shrapnel. So they both had more points. I could come home then if I signed up to go to the Pacific but no more war for me, I had all I wanted. So I stayed with the 82nd and ???? and Herald came home and we moved into Berlin.

The second army division was moved into the occupation of Berlin in the first 30 days. Then we moved in. It was kind of an honor to move in. They let the 2nd army go in then the 82nd airborne. So I was in Berlin 30 days after the end of the war. I was in Hitler's headquarters, the Reichstag. In fact, I have that old picture of it in there. That was before… of course there was no such thing as the iron wall. I've got pictures, you'd fraternize with the Russians, drank their Vodka. Where the iron wall is, or was, they had put a great big billboard. They had Stalin, they had Roosevelt, Truman. But someplace in there it shows before the iron wall was ever built in Berlin.

I've always had skin trouble but of course if you have a little stuff wrong with your skin you don't get out, if you could walk they used you. Well I ended up in the hospital in Berlin, because of my skin; thin skin, allergy. I got in a C-47 and flew from Berlin to Paris. They were flying a few home but it was pretty slow. Then they sent me to Brincks, France to a hospital ship. Well that was all right. Big wide isles, two bunks high, sheets on your bed, all you could eat. You could even go down in the middle of the night and the cooks would cook you a steak, in the middle of the night. We went over with hammocks, 5 high, isles (holding hands less than three feet apart) with your duffel bag and have a guy get sea sick above you. They started feeding at four in the morning until ten at night. If you could eat it, they served two meals a day. It was a mess… terrible. I came all the way home from Berlin to the state of Washington in a bath robe. They sent me from Fort Lewis to Fort Douglas and I was discharged from there.

When I came over that hill and saw Utah valley I decided I would never leave again. People don't realize what World War II was. What did they kill 10,000,000 people? It was huge; it was like Gloria was talking about. You couldn't go down and buy a tire. You couldn't buy a pound of butter. You couldn't buy steak unless you had rations for it. No Sugar, no coffee and that was for civilians. No gasoline without ration stamps, that was in this country. When this country got together and went all out. They say the gulf war in the desert, hell that wasn't even a skirmish. Vietnam was a policing action it wasn't an all out war. It wasn't a war it was a policing action, we never declared war. If it had been an all out war we would have annihilated them….

Links/Resources
517th Parachute Infantry Regiment unit history - http://www.ww2-airborne.us/units/517/517.html
The Battling Buzzards Home Page - http://www.517prct.org/
WW2 Airborne Historical Company - http://www.battlingbuzzards.org/
Paratroopers' Odyssey - A History of the 517th Parachute Combat Team - http://517prct.org/documents/odyssey/odyssey_history.htm

Sarah Jane Tidwell Johnson (1846-1931)

SARAH JANE TIDWELL JOHNSON, as remembered by her granddaughter, Elma Taylor Haws. [Annotated by Mat Trotter October 2014]

My grandmother, Sarah Jane Tidwell Johnson, was born August 26, 1846 in a small camp named Zarahemly, Nebraska, [actually Zarahemla, Iowa named in Doctrine and Covenants 125:1-3] as her parents, John and Jane Smith Tidwell were crossing the plains. They had left Nauvoo with a company [The John Tidwell Company] of the Mormon Church, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley Sept. 5, 1853 [1852]. They moved to Pleasant Grove, Utah in June 1859 and then went south to Sanpete County, where they acquired enough land to  make a sufficient living.

Grandmother was the 9th child of the Tidwell family. She married Benjamin H. Johnson on April 10, 1865 and they moved to Scipio, Utah. Her husband was also married to her older sister Mary. They had two sons, Dan and Will, and four daughters, Loretta, Ida, Martha, and Rose who died as a small child. They had a cute little house built in the center of Scipio. There were three big rooms and a summer kitchen. Grandmother loved pretty dishes which were displayed on a shelf in her dining room and in her cupboards. She had a long shaped heater stove, which had a which had a hearth in front and a door you could open to put long pieces of wood into. She often used this stove in winter for cooking as there were lids on the top. Her living room had a pretty carpet, a stove, a platform rocker, a marble top table, and a beautiful china closet full of her precious dishes. There were two small bedrooms. The beds were high wooden beds with ticks so full of straw that we had to use a chain to get in them. The walls were white-washed every year and fresh straw was put in the ticks often. There was a long porch on the west side that grandfather always sat on in his wooden rocking chair.

Uncle Dan and Will, her sons, were very good to her and grandfather, but money was hard to get in those days. Grandmother never bought many grocery items with cash as she had to be very saving and her buying power was eggs. She would often give one or two to us when we came for doing errands for her and we would run to the store and spend them. My grandfathers big barn was always full of hay, horses, a cow, and chickens that laid eggs in the hay and the mangers. I also remember the big yellow and green squash that were stacked in the barn in the fall. At one time, he owned half of a block in Scipio. I think their house is still standing.

When my grandmother did the laundry she put a big black kettle out in the yard and filled it with water from the ditch. It was then put on a wood fire to heat. She would scrub the clothes on the wash board and then boil them, scrub them again, rinse, and hang them on the line to dry. It would take all day to do this. She had the first sewing machine in Scipio and everyone was welcome to come and use it.

Aunt Mary has two sons, Ben and Jim, and three daughters, Ann, Rose, and Etta. I cannot ever remember going to Scipio that all of these girls didn't come to grandmothers to visit. She would put chairs out under the trees, or if was stormy we all went inside the house. All of the children were very friendly and kind to each other. Grandmother was just as sweet to Aunt Mary's children as her own. In fact, I was a grown woman before I knew they weren't all grandmothers children. I never knew Aunt Mary as she died before my time.

I loved to go to Scipio and visit. I had many cousins and friends there. Dad would hitch up the horse, Old Jane, to the little one-seated buggy, and with the unbrella [sic] over our heads we would spend a whole day driving over from Juab. Uncle Dan lived next door to my grandparents and was always there to take care of the horse and buggy and get them ready for us to drive back home again. On every Fourth of July there was a parade and the band rode on the big hay wagon. There was also a program and entertainment in the upper part of the school house. I remember one Fourth of July I took my sister, Emma, with me and she was on the program and sang "Old Glory", while I played for her on the piano. She was about 7 or 8 years old. She looked so cute in her "Marthy Washington" dress that I had made for her, and she sang so sweet she pleased all the people very much. The road by my grandparents house was blocked off for the Fourth of July celebration so that Don Probert could ride the wild horses. The high board fence around their lot was lined with spectators and their lawn and porch was always full of people who came to Ben Johnson's corner for the occasion which was always a big event.

My grandmother was a sweet, kind, understanding, and humble person who loved life and people. In her older years when she would go to the dances, everyone had to come and say "hello" to Sarah. They all loved her, especially the young people. She never missed going to the town dances to visit with friends and watch the dancers. She often made cookies or apple pie and invited the young people over to her home to have refreshments and a cold drink of water that she had carried from the Thompson well. There was a long handled dipper everyone used. In her younger years she had a pair of shoes that she wore to the dances and after wearing them for the dance, they were loaned out to anyone who wished to wear them. She was a very generous person and I loved her dearly.

She lost her eyesight to cataracts and suffered kidney problems. I don't suppose she ever want to a doctor for proper care. She died on Feb. 28 [25], 1931, at the age of 84, and was buried in Scipio cemetary [sic].

03 September 2014

Dropbox has changed the way I use computers.... for genealogy

I don't want to burden anyone with tech talk. Buzzwords like the cloud and  freemium are sometimes confusing and ambiguous. I do want to talk about Dropbox and the way that I use it. I was introduced to Dropbox on a genealogy blog called Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. Although because I do not subscribe to his newsletter, I cannot read all of the articles, Dick Eastman covers a broad range of genealogy topics including technology. I can then search out the topics that interest me myself.

I first installed Dropbox on my home computer, my work computer, and my iPhone. It was a great way to share documents between the three devices. Once I was having a conversation about a picture I took on my Nikon camera. I wanted to show the person I was talking to the picture. I called my wife at home and asked her to drag the photo into the Dropbox and within a minute I was showing them the picture on my phone. Then I emailed it from my phone to the person I was talking to and it ended up being used in the newspaper.



Dropbox runs in the application tray in the bottom right corner of my PC or top right corner on my Mac.



When I click the icon and then the Dropbox folder it opens a window on my desktop just like any other directory window. I am able to drag and drop as-well-as cut and paste into the folder.


The same files are also synced to my Iphone where I can view and use them.

When we got our new computer for my wife's job we only had one printer but wanted to have the kids use the older computer for there homework and other computing needs. With Dropbox having only one printer is not an issue. The kids do what they need to on their computer and then put the files into Dropbox and can print them from the new computer. [I know I need a newer printer].

I also use Dropbox for genealogy. I got a hold of some family photos of my wife's relatives and I scanned them to use in my genealogy program. When I was finished I added all of the images to a folder in Dropbox and then sent a link of that folder all to the relatives in that family. They could follow the link and access only that folder in my Dropbox and get the photos without having to got through kids homework, church talks, and letters to my missionary. It was also safe and secure.

I also use Dropbox to backup my Legacy database files [you can see the files in the folder image above]. Since Dropbox works like any other folder on my computer I point the backup tool in legacy to the Dropbox folder and the rest is easy. The added advantage to using this to backup my files is that I also run Legacy on my laptop, so I can open the backup files on my laptop and update my legacy folders and then both of my computers are in sync.

I currently have 4.25 GB of free storage on Dropbox. They have a referral program where if users get their friends to sign up then you get more space. So if you decide to try Dropbox please use this link and I will get even more space.

22 August 2014

James Lowell Trotter (1926-1926)

In my post, History of My Life by Emma Irene Facundus Trotter, Emma mentioned a grandson named James Lowell Trotter. James is the fifth son of Arnold DeWitt and Louisa Price Trotter. He is also my grandfather's brother.

I do not know a lot about James. The majority of what I know comes from his death certificate.
This record can be found here
James lived for 9 months and 28 days. He was born January 7th and died November 5th in Goshen, Utah in 1926. I am not sure what was determined to be his cause of death. This document also says he was buried in the Goshen City Cemetery.

A quick check of both Find-A-Grave and Billiongraves results in a headstone image for James.
Headstone in Goshen City Cemetery

So far the story seems very straight forward. As I was updating my legacy database I changed his burial place from Eureka, Utah to Goshen Utah. Sadly, in my early days of assembling my family history I did not source a lot of the information I entered into my database. When there isn't a source for the information, I make not of the entry but replace the entry with one that has a source.

I did a search in ancestry.com to find the find-a-grave index to link to James' profile page and came across an older entry. This page is for a J. Lowell Trotter who was born January 7th and had an unknown death date.
Headstone in Eureka Cemetery
A closer look at this headstone tells a story. It appears to be cemented into place by a large mound of cement. The area around the grave appears to be a field and not a groomed lawn. Right below the letters JAN you can see the top of the letters NOV. A look back at the headstone in Goshen reveals a more modern concrete headstone, not work that could have been done in 1926. The Eureka headstone appears to be the correct age for a headstone for James Lowell Trotter. It appears I have found two headstones for the same infant, born the same day who both died in November.

Why is this headstone in a field in Eureka, Utah?

29 April 2014

Dempsey Boyd Trotter Facundus (1899-1960), part 1

Dempsey Boyd Facundus is a mystery in some ways.  I am not sure I will ever find all the answers. Here are documents I have found in order of chronology.

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The 1900 U.S. Census has Dempsey B. Trotter in Greensburg, St. Helena, Louisiana in the family of William and Nancy (Narmie) Trotter. He is listed as 'son'. His age is listed as 7/12. The census was taken on June 6th so his birth date listed fits a November birth date, however the census has him being born October 1899 in Louisiana. Both of his parents were also born in Louisiana.

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The 1910 U.S. Census has Demsy Troter in Kern County, California with Walter and Kate Facunduz (Facunduz). He is listed as 'Boarder'. His age is listed as 9, since the census was taken on September 12 this also fits a November birth date. The census taker lists his and his parents birthplaces as unknown. He attended school in 1909.


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His 12 September 1918 World War I Draft registration card has him living in McKittrick, Kern County, California. His signature on the card reads Dempsey Boyd Facundus. His birth date is listed as 16 July 1899 making him 19 on the paperwork. His occupation is listed as Oil Worker for the Standard Oil Company. His Nearest relative is listed as Mrs. Kate Facundus, 'Aunt' living in Taft, Kern, California. He is medium height and build with blue eyes and dark hair.


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The 1920 U.S. Census has Dempsey Facundus in McKittrick, Kern County, California,  a boarder in a residence with four other boarders. His age is listed as 21 and he is single. Since the census was taken on January 29th he would actually be a year younger. He can read and write. He and his parents were all born in Louisiana. His occupation is listed as Oil Worker at St Oil.

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His 28 November 1925 Marriage License and Certificate has his name as Dempsey Boyd Facundus native of Louisiana, age 25. This age is accurate because it is five days after his 25th birthday. He is listed as a resident of Long Beach, Orange County, California. His wife is listed as Minnie Catherina a native of Arkansas, age 18, resident of Long Beach, Orange, California. The License was issued 27 November 1925 and the wedding was preformed 28 November 1925 in Santa Ana, Orange, California.

1926 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 1519 E. 10th Street in Long Beach, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minnie G. Facundus.

1927 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 421 Rose Pl. Street in Long Beach, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus.

1930 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 1919 Alamitos Ave. Street in Long Beach, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus.


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The 1930 U.S. Census has Dempsey Facundus (Denprey Facgundas) in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, as head of household. He rents his home, he is age 30 and is listed as 26 at age of first marriage. He was born in Louisiana and his parents were both born in Indiana. His occupation is listed as Rotary man at Ext?? Oil Fields. He is enumerated with his wife Minerva and son Edward ages 22 and 2 4/12.

1935 City Directory has Dempsey Facundus living at 55 Lincoln in Fresno, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva Facundus.

1936 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 55 Lincoln in Fresno, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva Facundus.

1935 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 76 Buchanan in Fresno, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva Facundus.

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A 21-26 April 1937 Passenger and Crew List for the S.S. Carabobo shows Dempsey B Facundus traveled roundtrip from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico thru to La Guaira, Venezuela. Lists his birth date as 23 December 1899 in Greensburg La.

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A 12-17 May 1939 Passenger and Crew List for the S.S. Uruguay shows Dempsey Facundus traveled roundtrip from Trinidad to New York. Lists his place of birth Guinsburg La. on 12 December 1899. His address is listed as 3213 Calla Rosebus St. Santa Barbara, Cal.

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The 1940 U.S. Census has Dempsey B Facundus in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California, as an absent head of household. He is age 40, born in Louisiana. In 1935 he lived in Coalinga, Fresno, California. His occupation is listed as Oil Driller and he did this job all of last year. He is enumerated with wife Minerva and sons Edward and William.

1941 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 450 Paseo Del Descanso in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus.

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A 21-29 July 1941 Passenger and Crew List for the Motorship Gulfwing shows Dempsey Boyd Facundus traveled roundtrip from Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela to Philadelphia, Pa. Lists his place of birth Greensburg, Louisiana on 23 December 1899. His address is listed as Box 16, Galeta, California.

1942 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 450 Paseo Del Descanso in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus.

1956 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 5757 Armitos Ave in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation sanitarian at the Goleta Sanitary District. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus. Also listed on the page are his sons Edward, a well driller, and William, an attendant at the Goleta Service Station, and their wives.

1957 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 5757 Armitos Ave in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an employee at the Goleta Sanitary District. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus. Also listed on the page are his sons Edward, a well driller, and William, an attendant at the Goleta Service Station, and their wives.

1958 City Directory has Dempsey Facundus living at 120f Magnolia in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an employee at the Goleta Sanitary District. His spouse is Minerva Facundus. Also listed on the page are his sons Edward (Don B.), a mechanic, and William L., an attendant at the Goleta Service Station, and their wives.

1959 City Directory has Dempsey D Facundus living at 70 Tecolote Ave in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an inspector at the Goleta Sanitary District. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus. Also listed on the page is his son William L., an attendant at the Goleta Service Station, and his wife.

The California Death Index lists Dempsey B Facundus. His Social Security Number is 546-03-9678. His birth date is listed as 20 November 1899, in Louisiana. His death date is 14 July 1960, in Santa Barbara.

Find-A-Grave record #68127864 shows Dempsey Boyd Facundus, birth November 23, 1899 in Livingston Parish, Louisiana; death July 14 1960 in Santa Barbara, California. There is also a link to his wife, Minerva Genieve Catherina Laskey. He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Santa Barbara.

25 April 2014

History of My Life by Emma Irene Facundus Trotter

History of My Life by Emma Irene Facundus Trotter
written [by Emma] in December 1942


I was born February 11, 1868 in Gillsburg, Amite County, Mississippi. My parents were James J. and Jane Wall Jones Facundus.


My father, James Jacob Facundus, was born the 8th of March, 1837, in Livingston Parish, Louisiana (near Springfield). He was the son of George and Mary Ann McKie Facundus. My grandfather, George Facundus, was born and raised in Livingston Parish, near Springfield, Louisiana, and was the son of Jacob Facundus. Where Jacob Facundus was born or what his nationality was, I do not know; because my father, James J. Facundus was left an orphan and he did not know much about his grandfather. Some said that he was a Spanish ship-builder and others said that he was of french-american descent.

My grandmother, Mary Ann McKie, who was born, raised and married in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, was the daughter of James McKie and Ann Bookter who came to Louisiana from South Carolina.

My mother, Jane Wall, the daughter of Charles Wall and Patsy [Ann] Sibly, was born, raised, and married in Gillsburg, Amite county, Mississippi (the exact date of her birth is unknown because a fire destroyed family records, but she thought that she was born about June 1835). Her father (and my grandfather), Charles Wall, came to Mississippi from South Carolina with his parents when he was a small lad. The parents of my grandmother, Patsy Sibly, came to Mississippi from North Carolina.

Charles Wall, my grandfather, was a cotton-plantation owner, He had a large plantation and many slaves. I can remember hearing my mother tell about him and her life on the plantation. My grandmother, Patsy Sibly Wall, died, leaving several small children. Although my grandfather remarried later, the care of the children and the house was given to Mammy Celia and Mammy Matilda, two good-hearted negresses. Their skins were black, but their teeth were white as ivory and they had hearts of gold and the children loved them. Even when the children were grown and married, these two good souls went to their homes to help them when they were needed and especially in times of sickness. I can remember very well when one of these Negro-mammys from my grandfather's plantation came to care for my mother when my sister, Cassie, was born and I was five years old.

Visiting my grandfather's plantation is one of my earliest recollections. It had a long lane down through it. I can still remember how it looked with the plantation-house on one side of it and the negro cabins on the other side. The white folks lived on one side of the long lane and the Negroes lived in small cabins on the other side. Grandfather Wall always treated his slaves kindly and many of them stayed with him and continued to live on the plantation after they were freed. Each married negro had his own cabin and garden spot for his family, The work to be done was assigned out: one negro was the plantation blacksmith, who kept all the tools in repair; one was the plantation fisher and hunter. He provided fish which were caught in the rivers nearby and had charge of the animals which were turned loose to run in the swamps. He had a hunting dog and a horn which when blown, brought the hogs together. Hog-killing was an exacting business, for often one hundred hogs were slaughtered at one time in the fall of the year. Their meat was cured with salt and then smoked in smoke houses and packed away in corn husks for winter use.

After the Civil War Grandfather's plantation, like many others, was devastated and he, saddened by the war and its after-effects, soon died. Later the plantation-house was purchased by the Gill brothers. They used it for a store and a Post Office, and the town became known as Gillsburg after them. I can remember when they had their store there. As a small girl, I was quite interested in their activities. Once they got a shipment of dry-goods which had been brought from Greensburg in wagons, without covers, in a rainstorm. Upon its arrival it was all wet, and the Gill brothers unwrapped the bolts of cloth and had them strung outside in the yard and on the fences to dry.

My mother, Jane Wall, married Josephus Jones. He was fatally stabbed in an Election Day fight. Election Days in the South were usually very exciting, and many times gun-play and fights at the polls resulted in death.
Pvt. Francis M. Carter - On October 4, 1858 (Election Day) Josephus Jones was stabbed in front of Wall's store in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Francis M. Carter was accused of this stabbing and the subsequent death of the victim on the following day. The Liberty Advocate published a report on the 14th of October, 1858 about this event. It was said that Mary Spurlock Jones spent $3,000 dollars trying to have him hanged. He was instead given a jail sentence, though it would appear to be a short one, from looking at the birth date of his second child — William Monroe Carter on September 7, 1860. Francis M. Carter served in the 33rd Mississippi, Company B.
To this union the following children were born: Mary Francis Jones, born October 2, 1852; Aldolphus Eugene Jones, born May 31, 1854; Charles Henry Jones, born April 29, 1856 - died August 28, 1859; and Jane Jones, born July 14, 1858 - died August 7, 1858.

On the 8th of March 1860 James J. Facundus and Jane Wall were married. After their marriage they lived on a farm in Amite County, Mississippi, where the following children, including myself, were born: Charlie Facundus, born May 17, 1861; James David Walton Facundus, born April 4, 1866; Emma Irene Facundus, born February 11, 1868; Rosa Ellen Facundus, born February 21, 1870; Cora Cassandra Facundus, born October 13, 1873; & Elzy Varner Facundus, born February 27, 1876.

When I became old enough to go to school I walked about three miles with my brothers to the one-roomed schoolhouse which we attended. Later we lived for two years at Amite City, Louisiana. Here I spent much time reading the Bible because it was one of few books we had in our home.

While we lived in Amity City, we children went to school in a larger building which had a double chimney in the middle of the room. We had two lady teachers. One of them, Mrs. Abbey, told me that I would have to have a reader. I told my father and he bought me one called "An Independent Reader". I always treasured this book because it had so many poems in it. I always loved poetry and I think I memorized every poem the book contained. I can still remember one called "The Acorn" as clearly as when I first learned it. It went like this:

The Acorn

Long ago in the changeful autumn,
When the leaves were turning brown,
From the very top-most branches
Fell a little acorn down.

And it tumbled by the pathway
And a chance foot trod it deep,
In its shell, where all the winter.
In the ground it lay asleep.

With the white snow lying over
And the frost to hold it fast;
Till there came the mild spring weather
When it burst its shell at last

First shot up a spangling tender,
Scarcely seen above the ground;
Then a mimic little oak tree
Spread its tiny arms around.

Many a rain and night dew nursed it,
Summer hot and winter long,
And the bright sun shone upon it
While it grew up tall and strong.

Now it stands like a giant
Casting shadows broad and high,
With huge trunk and leafy branches
Reaching up toward the sky.

Here the cattle come for shelter
In the noon-tide hot and bright,
And among its leafy branches
Is where the wild birds rest at night.

After we had lived in Amite City about two years, a yellow-fever epidemic broke out along the railroad so father moved us out to a farm where he felt we would be safer. Mr. Lock Boyd was our first man teacher there. We went to his school after we moved out to this farm which my father had rented. Later father bought his own farm which was near Greensburg. As children, we always did our part on the farm and helped with whatever work there was to be done.


I recall vividly the "log-rollings" which used to be held. When the heavily-timbered lands were cleared for farming, "log rolling" was given. Previously the landowner had chopped the bark off the trees. (Called "girdling", the farmer cut a band of bark off, which killed the tree.) When the trees were dead, all the neighbors were invited to help clear them from the land. Sometimes fifteen or twenty men came to help cut and roll the ten or twelve foot logs into piles and burn them. The women in the family would cook for three or four days to prepare food and on the day of the "log rolling" a hot dinner was served to the workers. In the evening a dance was held in the home and the people who weren't staunch Baptists danced to violin and accordion music - for dancing was forbidden in the Baptist Church.

I met Samuel Thomas Trotter, a young man who was staying with my friend, Helen Story. The Story family only lived a short distance from our home. We became good friends and later became engaged. Samuel went to work on the sugar farms for two winters before we were married. He was the son of James and Ruth Glasscock Trotter and was born February 15, 1860, in Greensburg, Louisiana. His father, James Trotter, was born about June 1813 and his mother, Ruth Glasscock, was born August 18, 1815.

Samuel Thomas Trotter
We were married on February 4, 1886, in my home. Reverend Robert Stewart performed the marriage ceremony. After our marriage we made our home on a farm which my husband worked. While we lived there the following children were born: Samuel Adrian, born November 3, 1886; James Lloyd, born April 1, 1888, - died December 1, 1888; Arnold DeWitt, born October 12, 1889; Daisy Irene, born July 25, 1894; Maston Sitman, born August 29, 1897 - died November 21, 1921; and Arthur Dahl Swenson, born March 12, 1900.

During these years my father and brothers were given contracts to build houses on the land in Springfield, Louisiana, that had formerly been in the Facundus Farm. They worked under the name of the Facundus Brothers Contractors and Builders. I remember when Daisy was a baby, that Tom Easely, who was working with them, was reported to have dug up a pot of gold. For a time everyone was searching for, and hoping to uncover, some buried treasure along the river which was near the Facundus Property.

One day in 1896 I saw two men who traveled up and down on the country road that ran past our farm. They passed by our place several times and each time I saw them , my curiosity was aroused, I wondered what they were doing. Finally, one evening they came to our home and asked for a nights lodging. My husband wasn't home, but after I learned that they were missionaries. I invited them to come in and wait until he came form work.

We decided to give them lodging for the night and, being missionaries of the L.D.S. church, they told us of the principles and beliefs of their church. After that night they came to our home many times and we held fireside conversations in which we discussed the Gospel. They gave us a card bearing the Articles of Faith. When I read the 8th Article of Faith which states, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly, we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." I felt some doubts. This was because I was a staunch believer in the Bible. But when Elders Swen L. Swenson and William Martin explained the Article of Faith more fully to me, my testimony of the truthfulness of their message made me anxious to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [sic]. I think that I must have been converted from the very first, and I could hardly wait until the day I was baptized. On May 24, 1896, I was baptized by Elder Swenson and conferred a member of the LDS church by Elder Martin on the same day.

My husband took longer to consider this new-found faith but he too was baptized July 5, 1896 by Elder Martin and confirmed the same day by Elder Swenson. We found great joy in the Gospel even though we were the only ones of our families to accept it and join the Church. My folks were not bitter against the "Mormons" as so many people were in those days; yet they did not see fit to partake of the manifold blessings which have been ours since that day when we cast our lot with the saints.

After we had joined the Church we felt the spirit of gathering. I was especially desirous of coming to Utah, which was the gathering place of the saints. From this time on we always invited the Elders to stop with us. At one time I recall there were eight missionaries who come to our home. They were on their way to a conference. We could accommodate only four, so the other four went back to Brother Thomas' to stay. He  wasn't a member of the church but he was kindhearted and liberal. By the time we came to Utah there had been thirty-five different Elders who were entertained at various times in our home.

At last, in June of 1900, we left our home and dear ones and our friends and came to Utah to live. Elder Swenson, the man who had brought us the message of the gospel, wanted us to settle in Pleasant Grove, where he promised Mr. Trotter a job in his store. Elder Arthur Dahl, a missionary that we had grown to love before we came to Utah, influenced us to come to Goshen, the place where he lived. After we arrived here, Mr. Dahl, who was leasing the Ercanbrack Farm on the creek, gave my husband work on the farm. This kind of work was more to his liking. After we came to Goshen two more children were born. They were Core Estella (born June 28, 1902) and Hoyt Mocus (born November 13, 1905 - died November 19, 1942).


For a time we lived in a house at the top of town; later we moved to the home in which William Burraston now lives. When Mr. Dahl went to Canada to settle, my husband got other jobs. He drove the milk wagon for the Goshen Creamery, worked as watchman on the tracks, and drove a peddling-wagon to Eureka for William Finch while he was on his mission.

In 1907 I returned to Louisiana for a visit because my mother was seriously ill. She lived about one week after I reached there and died March 23, 1907. My father died a little over a year later on June 19, 1908.

In 1911 Mr. Trotter obtained the position of school custodian. He was the first man to put a fire in the Goshen school furnace and the custodianship of Goshen Buildings has been in the family ever since. From 1913 to 1925 we lived in the old schoolhouse which had been remodeled into a dwelling place.

On December 1, 1915, Mr. Trotter and I received our Endowments in the Salt Lake Temple and were sealed to each other. In the last few years I have done all the temple work for my family that has been possible for me to do.

On October 15, 1913 our oldest son, Samuel Adrian, and Maude Diana Hansen were married. They had the following children:
  1. Rene Charles Trotter - born September 19, 1914 at Provo, Utah; married Noreen Conley - has one son, Charles Rene Trotter, born January 14, 1940 at Payson, Utah.
  2. Della Trotter - born July 10, 1916 at Provo, Utah; married Albert Hudson - Two children, Raydel and Jollean.
  3. Wayne Thomas Trotter - born October 16, 1917 at Provo, Utah; married Delma Hines - two daughters, Charmane and Katherine, who died in infancy, one son Thomas Michael, born May 10, 1942 at Maywood, California.
  4. Stanley Howard Trotter - born July 7, 1920 at Castle Gate, Utah. Before being drafted into the army, he earned his civilian pilot's license at Spanish Fork & at Tucson, Arizona. At present, he is a Staff Sergeant, gunner & bombardier-navigator; stationed at Daniel Field, Augusta, Georgia. He also received training at Camp Kearns, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; & Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Our oldest daughter, Daisy Irene, was married to Emil Jacobson on October 22, 1913. They have made their home in Provo, Utah, and have the following children:
  1. Fawn Irene Jacobson Wyatt - born January 5, 1915 at Provo. Her husband is now in the Army and she and her son, David Neal Harris, born September 10, 1935, at Provo, are with her parents in Provo. She works at the Geneva Steel Plant.
  2. (Ensign) E. DeWitt Jacobson - born September 21, 1916 at Provo. He is a Naval Flier and is now attending college at Burlington, Vermont, for Northeast Airlines.
  3. Elder Keith T. Jacobson - born January 28, 1920 at Provo. He is serving a mission for the LDS church, laboring in the Southern Louisiana Mission, and is serving as a District President.
  4. Mack Arden Jacobson - born October 1, 1923 at  Provo. He entered the services November 17, 1942 and is presently stationed at the U.S. Naval Base at Farragut, Idaho.
  5. DeAnn Jacobson - born May 9, **** at Provo. She is in the fourth grade at the BYU Training School.

On June 14, 1916 our third son, Arnold DeWitt Trotter, was married to Louisa ("Louie") Price. They have the following children:
  1. Philip DeWitt Trotter - born March 2, 1917 at Goshen. He is now a clerk in the Intelligence Department, 25th Division, U.S. Coast Guard, Kodiak, Alaska.
  2. Dorothy Trotter - born October 6, 1919 at Provo. She married Virgil Pershing Howe and lives in Los Angeles. They have one son, Michael DeWitt.
  3. Edythe Trotter - born November 12, 1921 at Goshen. She is Head Floor Girl at the Kress Company.
  4. James Lowell Trotter - born January 7, 1926, died November 5, 1926.
  5. Richard Junior Trotter - born August 20, 1923 in Goshen. He is in the Armed Services.
  6. Paul Arnold Trotter - born September 25, **** at Huntsville, Weber County, Utah. He is attending Lincoln Junior High School and his hobbies are electronics and raising pets.
  7. Anna Louisa Trotter - born June 5, **** at Ogden, Weber county, Utah. She is attending Lincoln Junior High and is active in 4-H. Her name is a namesake for Louisiana, being Louisiana re-arranged.

When the United States entered World War I, our son, Maston, volunteered. He asked for a position as a truck driver and was assigned to company F, Fifth Supply Train in the 5th Division of the U.S. Army. Here he drove a truck which carried army supplies. He was sent across to France with this division in the Spring of 1918and saw months of active service there. My daughter, Cora, and I made a large U.S. flag and sent it to him. He was very pleased with it, and put it on his supply truck. Whenever the French people saw the flag they cheered loudly. After the war ended, a French family who had become his friends asked for a souvenir to remember him by, and he left this flag with them.

He drove on the Fifth Division, or the Meuse Division as it was later called. This division laid its chief Claim to fame in its forced crossing of the Meuse River and the Canal de l'Est in the face of dominating heights that were almost impregnable and as I understand, was the first to cross the bridge after the bridgehead was established. Of the brave feat of this Meuse Division Commander-in-Cheif, John J. Pershing, wrote, "The feat of arms, however, which marks especially the Divisions ability as a fighting unit, was the crossing of the Meuse River and the establishing of a bridgehead on the eastern bank. This operation was one of the most brilliant military feats in the history of the American Army in France."

With the exception of a small piece of shrapnel which lodged in his knee, Maston was not injured; although the end of his truck was demolished and his captain, who was standing beside him, was killed. He reached the rank of Corporal when the Armistice was signed. He came home on the U.S.S. Agamemnon. He had a medal on which was written, "Defense Sector, St. Mihiel, Meuse Argonne."

On August 15, 1921, he and Zelda Steele were married. He took ill and died November 21 of that same year, leaving his bride of three months. Their son, Maston Lavelle Trotter, was born April 10, 1922 at Goshen, Utah. He is majoring in Civil Engineering at the Utah State Agricultural College.

The following Christmas we received the following lovely poem from our friend, Hattie J. Higginson:

Christmas in Heaven

Dear friends, I know your hearts are sad
Since Maston went away,
And you will miss him, oh so much,
This coming Christmas day.
You'll miss his bright and happy smile,
And all his joyous ways,
But he is spending Christmas now
In happy song and praise.

Just wanted on the other side,
He had a work to do;
Perhaps he's hunting up dear friends
Who were beloved by you.
Perhaps Out Father needed him
His gospel to proclaim,
The time is drawing very near
When all must name His name.

Yes, wanted on the other side,
So many of our young
Have passed away the last few years,
Their lives seemed scare begun,
We know not why Out father calls
The young, the brave, the true,
But sometime we will understand
And know our Father knew

I pray the Lord to comfort send
To every stricken heart,
Bind up the wounds, and dry the tears,
Sweet peace to each impart;
For He alone can send the balm
To heat the heart of pain,
So put your trust in Him, clear hearts,
You will not trust in vain.

I pray his parents may be blest,
His brothers, sisters too,
His dear young wife so soon bereft,
Her married days were few;
I pray the Lord to give you strength
To bravely bear the pain,
And trust in Him, with hearts of faith
Till you shall meet again.

So put your trust in God, dear friendly
The time will not be long,
Till you meet your boy again.
So beautiful and strong;
You'll thank the Lord for every gift
That unto you He's given,
When you shall meet, your loved ones greet,
Some Christmas up in Heaven.

Lines composed for Br & Sis. Trotter by Hattie J. Higgerson, Bancraft


Our daughter, Cora, and Leslie R. Olsen of Santaquin, Utah, were married June 28, 1924. They have made their home in Santaquin and have four children:
  1. Carl Dean Olsen - born March 26, 1926
  2. Leslie Lynn Olsen - born February 15, ****
  3. Jean Olsen - born August 4, 1934
  4. Richard Alan Olsen - born March 29, ****
On August 19, 1925, our son, Arthur Dahl Swenson ("Swen"), and LaVon Stewart were married. They have made their home in Provo and have two children:
  1. Dahl Stewart Trotter - born April 14, ****
  2. Carolyn Trotter - born April 10, ****
About twenty years after my father had died, my son, DeWitt, wrote to me asking for Genealogical information. I had very little that I could give him but I got out our family Bible. As I turned the page in search of a card which told of my mother's death, I picked up a paper. I could not remember ever having seen it before. On opening it I discovered that it was a letter that my father had written to me right after we came to Utah. On the back of it was the very genealogical information which I needed and which I had felt certain that I had no way of obtaining. I believe that this information was put there for me at this time, when I needed it. The letter read:

"Magnolia, Louisiana, November 17, 1900

"My Dear Children: I write you today for the first time and hope you do not think hard of us for not writing sooner, but we knew you was [sic] hearing from us all the time through Cassie. We are all well at this time and hope that you are enjoying the same blessing. We still live at the same place and are getting along as usual and I guess you know how that is.

"I hope you and Sam are doing well there and I know you are from what you write. You are among civilized and a Christian people while I consider that we are almost in heathendom and it seems to me that they are getting worse instead of better. And if we could get the rest of the children to go, it would not be long before we would be with you all. I, Jim, would like best in the world to come to see you all and see the country if only I was able to do so. And I have regretted and regret that I was not brought into your church while I had the opportunity to do so. My mind has never changed as that's being the only true church is the Latter Day Saints. And I would like so much to see some of the Elders or all of the Elders that used to visit us so that I could have them preach to us on true Scripture, but I live there they was [sic] not allowed to preach; but I hope that someday, and that soon, that we can come and see all of you. Give our love to all the children and to all the Elders and tell them to write to me. And may God bless them and you all is my best wishes. Write soon and from now on I will try to write often. Tell Sam and Dick (DeWitt) and Daisy howdy for us all.

 "Yours as ever, J.J. and Jane Facundus"
The following genealogical information, which I found on the back of my father's letter, reads:

"No I. Jane Wall now Facundus - I was born and raised and married at Amite County, Miss. My maiden name was Jane Wall. My age is from sixty-five to sixty-seven, I don't know exactly. my mother was Patsy Sibly, her parents came from North Carolina. My father was Charles Wall; his parents came from North Carolina when he was small.
"No. II. James J. Facundus was born in Livingston Parish near Springfield, La. on March 8, 1837 and was sixty-three years old last March. My father, George Facundus, was born and raised in Livingston Parish, La., but my grandfather, Jacob Facundus, I cannot tell where he came from or his nationality as I was left an Orphan and knew nothing of his origin. But my mother was Mary Ann McKie. She was born and raised and married in Livingston Parish, La. Her father, James McKie, came from South Carolina but I cannot tell you their ages as I have not got any record. As to further information, I cannot give it."
On June 23, 1930 I received the following Patriarchal Blessing; given by Patriarch Andrew Steadman:
"Sister Emma Irene, in the Authority of the Priesthood and the spirit of my calling, I lay my hands upon your head and confer upon you a blessing after the Patriarchal Order. The Lord is pleased when we seek His blessings that we may be comforted and buoyed up in the battle of life. You shall have His influence to guide in all your under-takings.

"In a pre-existent state you were valiant in defense of Christ's plan of Salvation, and granted the privilege of being born of goodly parents, and in this Gospel Dispensation when you could have the blessings of the Ever-lasting Gospel. You embraced the Gospel for the love of it, and its principles of truth appealed unto you, for you have always defended truth and sought after righteousness and avoided error.

"Thou hast been enabled to fulfill the measure of your creation with glory and honor, even as you kept your first estate you will keep your second and be added upon.

"Thou hast kept sacred the covenants entered into in the waters of baptism, and the Holy Ghost has testified of things pertaining to Eternal life, and thy soul has rejoiced and been made glad at the things that have been revealed unto thee by the whisperings of the still small voice. Thou hast kept thy covenants entered into in Holy Places, magnified thy calling, given heed to the counsel of the Priesthood, and thou shalt in no wise lose thy reward.

"Thou art of Ephraim and of the faithful house of Abraham and shall receive blessings of old were pronounced upon Sarah, Rachel and Rebecca through that royal lineage and the blessings of posterity shall grant you the richest joys of life. Joys that shall lead on to an eternal reward.

"Be prayerful and the Lord will bless you in every righteous desire.

"You will go up unto the house of the Lord as a savior on Mount Zion, for such a great and wise purposes have you been gathered to mingle with the daughters of Zion of whom much is expected. You shall have unspeakable joy in looking decline of life labor for the salvation of thy dead, for there are many behind the veil who look to thee for salvation.

"The powers of heaven shall protect thee from evil and lead you in paths of peace. And you will joy in looking back over a life well spent, with sacrifices for truth in the earth.

"I seal you up against the power of the adversary and no power seen or unseen shall prevail against thee, even unto the day of redemption. You will yet witness many great events pertaining to the establishing of truth in the earth. I seal you up unto eternal life to be clothed upon with glory and immortality and receive an exaltation in the Kingdom of God and live and reign as a queen and priestess to the most high, when the meek shall inherit the earth. These blessings I seal upon your head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."
My husband served as Goshen school-custodian from 1911 until his death on May 26, 1935. Injuries which he sustain in a fall while he was at work at the school caused his death.

He was always a conscientious worker, was well liked in the community and had many friends who loved and respected him. He was always faithful and active as a Latter Day Saint and was a member of the High Priests Quorum at the time of his death. He used to say, "It isn't difficult to live the principles of the Gospel, its only when you half-live them that you have difficulty." Since his death our son, Sam, has carried on his work as school custodian.

I would like the Patriarchal Blessing which my husband received on November 3, 190_ [date given is 1907, but William Price died in September 1906] under the hands of Patriarch William Price:

"Brother Trotter, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I place my hands upon your head and at your request confer upon you a Patriarchal blessing and I confer upon you the blessings of the new and ever-lasting covenant. Thou art a descendant of the house of Israel and if you are faithful to your covenants, keeping the commandments of the Lord, your God, you shall partake of the blessings promised to the covenant people of God and inasmuch as it is your desire to magnify the Holy Priesthood and bring others to a knowledge of the truth, the eyes of your understanding shall be opened and you shall be blessed with the ability to present the truth of the principles of the gospel to many that are yet in darkness.

"Your faith in the promises of the Lord shall increase and according to your faith desires of your heart, you shall be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in performing a great and glorious work of salvation for the living and for the dead. Therefore, try and obtain a knowledge of your progenitors for the Lord has chosen you to bring about their redemption and if you are faithful in the discharge of your duties you shall have great joy, you shall be blessed with a knowledge of principles and truths revealed by the God of Heaven, I bless you with the blessing of health and I bless you with the gift of salvation and eternal life, if you are faithful and prayerful, not one word of this blessing shall fail. I seal them upon you by virtue of my office as a Patriarch in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

On November 19, 1942, our son, Hoyt Mocus, died. I want his Patriarchal Blessing to be recorded here also. It was given to him at Goshen by William E. Potts, Patriarch, on November 4, 1917.

"Mocus Trotter, in accordance with the desires of your parents, I lay my hands upon your head and give unto you a blessing. Though you are afflicted in your body, this affliction is not eternal for the time shall come when you shall stand forth perfect in body. And through the blessings of patience and love given unto you by the constant care of your parents, they have done for you that which you have been unable  to do for your self. And in the Lord's own time and way there shall come unto them the full reward for their love and devotion. You are of Ephraim; and your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

"You, yourself, shall be led to rejoice in the Lord, God of Israel. I seal you up to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection relieved of all afflictions both of body and mind. And may the peaceful influence of the spirit of God be and abide with you, that you may have patience in your affliction. Unto this end I bless you and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Since I joined the Church I have memorized these truths, and they are very precious to me so I wish them included in my history:
  1. "We believe the Bible to be the word of God" (Article of Faith)
  2. "Search the Scriptures," said Jesus, "for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me."
  3. The Bible is a collection of scriptures written by many authors, and contains 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
  4. Many books and scriptures referred to in the Bible Narrative are lost to the world.
  5. In ancient times the Bible was divided into 54 divisions, one of which was read in the Jewish synagogue each Sabbath.
  6. The first translation of the scriptures was into Greek, about 1240 A.D. The Bible was translated into Latin & divided into chapters by a Catholic Friar named Hugo de Sancto Caro.
  7. The subdivision of chapters into verses was the work of a famous Jewish rabbi named Mordecai Nathan in about 1445.
  8. The first English Bible was translated by John Wycliffe, about 1380, but was never printed. Several manuscript copies are still in existence and are found in libraries.
  9. The first printed Bible was translated by William Tyndale, assisted by Miles Coverdale, between 1525 & 1530. From that time until 1611 there were many other translations.
  10. In 1604 King James of England called 54 of the learned men of his kingdom to make a new translation. In 1607, 47 of these commenced their work - King James Bible was printed in 1611 & is used today.
  11. The revised version, which is used quite extensively by students today, was revised from the King James version and original sources in 1881. There are many changes, but chiefly in grammar. Through all these many changes the Bible has come to us & we can readily understand why our article of faith reads, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." We can see the need of Jesus' admonition to "search the scriptures" and His words, "Whoso readeth, let him understand."
  12. We will need the spirit of the Lord and the gift of discernment, for the Master said, "If any man will do His will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself." Read the Bible with a prayerful heart and receive a testimony of its worth. It contains the history of the creation of the world & God's dealing with His Covenant people through many generations. The prophecies of the coming Savior and their internal fulfillment. The life of Jesus Christ on the earth & the history of the Gospel Dispensations. The many prophecies of the Great Apostasy, the Restoration of the Gospel, the gathering & the final consumption of all things at the end of this world.
  13. As literature the Bible is conceded by all authorities to be the best example in the world of scholarly, clean, exquisite English. It is a complete geography of the then-known work
  • For romance, what is more beautiful than the stories of Joseph, Ruth, Esther, David, Daniel and Jonah?
  • For historical drama we find: The reign of the Kings, Saul David, Solomon, and the King.
  • For stories of travel there are the lives of the early Patriarchs, journeying's of the children of Israel, Paul's missionary travels, etcetera.
  • Some of the most beautiful poetry in the world in contained in the Psalms of David the writings of Job, & the songs of Moses, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Simeon, & Mary.
  • For exposition we have the beautiful sermons of the Lord Jesus, and of Peter, James, Paul, and others.
  • For Relief Society work we have the story of Dorcas and the virtuous women in the Old Testament. When in trouble & affliction we can find comfort & consolation in the Bible. What is more beautiful than John 14:15-16?
  1. In order to understand & explain the principles of the Gospel we need ro be familiar with the Bible.
  2. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path", sang a Psalmist. Paul likened it to the "Sword of the spirit which is the word of God." We sometimes sing the iron rod, which is the word of God. Are we holding unto it? Does the word of God prove to us that it is indeed a lamp unto our feet? Can we use the sword of the Spirit to fight the battle of the Lord? Let us read the holy scriptures, both ancient and modern, and listen also to the living oracles, for in them, "Ye think ye have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me."

Besides caring for my family I have done dress-making for about thirty-five years of my life. Before I came to Utah I made tailored pants for the college boys who attended Johnson College, which was near where I lived. I did all types of sewing for different ladies who lived in my neighborhood until I became a very good judge of materials. I could tell the equality of goods by the wonderful sense of touch which developed in my fingers. After I came to Utah, I was agent for the Ladies Tailoring Co. and they trusted me with the finest goods for making ladies dresses & congratulated me on my excellent work.

As I was promised in my Patriarchal Blessing, I find increasing joy in my posterity. I am well-pleased with the interest my grandchildren have taken in seeking out the good & lasting things of life. I hope that the Gospel will mean as much in their lives & in the lives of my children as it does to me. I desire to leave my testimony of its truthfulness and to express my thankfulness to my Father in Heaven that I was counted worthy to be a recipient of His wonderful blessings.

I know that the Gospel is true, I think that I knew from the very first time that I heard its truths from the lips of Elders Swenson and Martin. I could hardly wait until I was baptized, for the desire to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints filled my heart. Before and after I was baptized I didn't have any doubt in my mind that this was the True Church; I have felt as satisfied as could be that I had done right. I have always been thankful that we came to Utah to join the body of the saints. My husband and I have always tried to live the teachings of the Gospel in so far as we understood them and to be true latter-Day Saints.

Emma Irene Facundus died on the 6th of August, 1945, in Santaquin, Utah county, Utah. She was buried in Goshen, Utah. She was 77 years of age.