26 August 2015

Where is your family from? 52Q W12

This week we will focus on the question -

Where is your family from?

Good follow-up questions that easily go with this questions are:
Does your family identify with a specific culture?
Do you follow customs or traditions that were passed down to you?
Can you identify a family members who emigrated to your country?
Do you have family groups in other parts of the country and world?
Do you know the family members who migrated to your area?


Immigration is the movement of people into a country to which they are not native in order to settle there, especially as permanent residents or future citizens. Emigration is the act of leaving one's native country with the intent to settle elsewhere. Migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intention of settling temporarily or permanently in the new location.

The usage of family in this question refers to your family in general and not necessarily your immediate family. Family groups form over time and through marriage. Families also migrate and emigrate to different areas. Following these groups of families can help you to trace your family history.

Where is my family from?
This is a question that is based on perspective. My wife and children live in Ogden, Utah. My mother and father also live in Utah but live just over an hour away in Provo. They live in my paternal grandparents, home. Both sets of my grandparents lived and died in Utah during my lifetime. I can safely say that my family is from Utah.

How did they get here?
This for me is the bigger question. As we trace our family history is it important to understand how they arrived where in the location they or their records are found. The four main branches of my family are a great example.

Samuel and Emma Facundus Trotter

The Trotter family came to Utah in 1899 from Louisiana. Samuel Trotter and Emma Irene Facundus investigated and were baptized members if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormons in Saint Helena Parish, Louisiana in 1896. almost four years later they boarded a train that brought them west to Utah. They had eight children, one dying as an infant, who were all raised and lived in Utah. I have record of 243 of their descendants in my personal database, most of whom live in Utah.


Benjamin Franklin Taylor migrated twice. First in 1817 with his parents to Lorain County, Ohio from Berkshire County, Massachusetts. In 1840, Benjamin and his wife Ann were baptized members of the L.D.S. Church and started migrating with the Saints in 1843 as they were persecuted in the Midwest and by wagon train to Utah in 1850.

Joseph and Polly Benson Bartholomew
The Bartholomew family came to Utah in 1820 from Indiana. Joseph Bartholomew was raised by his grandfather after his father died when he was 7 and his mother followed in death when he was ten. A family history tells that Joseph was not treated well by his uncles and his grandfather was consumed by political and land dealings. Joseph followed his older sister Christina who had been baptized a Mormon and was leaving Illinois because of persecution. Christina died on the journey and Joseph was taken in by a Mormon family named Benson. Joseph later married Polly Benson and they settled in Fayette Utah.

Alfred and Henrietta Moler Merrian

The Merrian/Marriam family came to Utah when my grandmother Wilberta Merrian Bartholomew moved here with my grandfather to settle and raise their family. They met in Reno, Nevada. I mentioned them in my W6 grandparents post as well as the W2 Where were you born? post. My great-grandfather died in Nevada in 1947 and then my great-grandmother moved to Utah and married again.

The Merrian/Merriam family story is a complicated one. I hope I have documented it correctly and I will review this line as I take classes at BYU Idaho in the Family History program. I believe that they changed their name as they moved back to the United States from Canada in the 1880s. I say back because the Merriam's were loyalists during the Revolutionary War and fled to Canada when the war ended.

Where is my family from?
I understand how my family arrived in Utah. Most of the migration was because of the LDS church and its Westward migration. In the case of the Merrian's, they came to Utah for through marriage. But how did these families come to be in the United States.

How did they get here?
I am at a brick wall with the Trotter line in Louisiana. Although Samuel's travel to Utah is documented little is known about his father. I have information about his mother but nothing about her relationship with Samuel's father.

It looks like the Taylor family came to Connecticut from England around 1640. I have not documented this line so this may not be the truth. However, several family histories have this line as their story.

The Bartholomew family emigrated to Philadelphia aboard the ship William and Sarah from the Netherlands in 1727. Johan and Dorothy Endt Bartholomew had 16 children. I cannot image how many descendants they have.

I found success in tracking the Merriam family across Canada from Connecticut but I am at a brick wall beyond this loyalist ancestor and his wife, John and Susanna Johnson Merriam.