Monday, April 27, 2009

Asea in 1859

From the book Ships, Saints and Mariners, A Maritime Encyclopedia of Mormon Migration 1830-1890 by Conway B. Sonne (University of Utah Press 1987) we learn this of the ship William Tapscott which 150 years ago today was carrying our common ancestors toward America, Utah, Lehi and us.

1525 Tons: 195' x 41' x 21'
Built 1852 by William Drummond at Bath, Maine

"In three voyages this square rigger William Tapscott transported 2262 Mormon emigrants- the greatest number of any sailing craft. Captain James B Bell was master during these passages. The first began at Liverpool on April 11, 1859..."

"...The William Tapscott was one of the largest full-rigged ships built in Maine in the 1850s. She was a typical 'Down Easter'-sturdy, moneymaking, moderately sparred and designed for carrying capacity. She was a three-decker with a square stern and billethead...After plying the oceans for about forty years the William Tapscott was lost in the English Channel in the early 1890s."

After reading the Kirkham history reported at the George Kirkham Family Organization website, I needed to go back and look at E. Kay Kirkham's book again. I had not recorded the births of two daughters, Maryanne Eliza and Frances, in Utah. These children did not survive the rigors of pioneer life in Utah. When we think of that life can we take a reflective moment for gratitude that we are here at all! All along the way there were opportunities for tragedy between Liverpool and Lehi, between 1859 and 2009. We need celebrate that we made our way.

Roger Kirkham, a descendant of pioneer Joseph asks if there are other Kirkham histories beyond that book by E. Kay Kirkham. I know of JMK: the Life of James Mercer Kirkham,The Journal of George Kirkham that Connie Nielsen brought to the JMK reunion in 2007, a history of May Boyle Anderson Evans. Was there a history of Francis Washington Kirkham? I know that family produced a wonderful book of his descendants. Alan Kirkham took on the task of transcribing and publishing the journal of James Kirkham that E. Kay refers to. I am not sure of his timeline. Rich Kirkham set up the George Kirkham website, is there any other? Bruce Kirkham has asked for copies to pass on- do we hear from anyone wishing to take on a task for us all?

As always you can reach me at Ked Kirkham,
364 W. 825 North, Sunset Utah, 84015-3120

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Events on Friday September 4, 2009

One of the brochures at the LDS FamilySearch Center asks: Who do you think you are? It quickly suggests that you are more than you think. I picked up this handout yesterday while doing a walk about of the Family History Library, Church Museum, Temple Square, Joseph Smith Memorial Building and Conference Center. I have made arrangements for those of us wishing to learn a little more about using the LDS Church resources for our family research and a group tour of the LDS Conference Center.
This was the first time I have taken a tour of the whole center, which included the roof- well worth the 45-60 minutes it took. Of course I wish I could have you all come in right now as Spring has so much charm here. So will September!
Legacy, a 55 minute film that "depicts the joys, sacrifices, hopes and trials of early Latter-day Saints" from Nauvoo, Illinois to the Great Basin is shown in the North Visitors Center on Temple Square at various times through evening. I have not seen this film but hear good reports. The LDS Church Museum has an incredible installation about the Tabernacle especially related to the restoration project that was recently completed. At the Conference Center, through October is the 8th International Art Competition; very satisfying. All these venues have much to reflect on the Kirkham heritage and legacy. A few minutes walk will also get you to the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum, the new Church History Library and other downtown Salt Lake City sights and transportation.
Lets take some time to become acquainted before the big event Saturday in Lehi. Soon I will need to know how many to look for, when and where. But just now I want you to figure out your travel plans for getting here!

Monday, April 13, 2009

From Six in 1859 to...

In 1859 our Kirkham family consisted of the six pioneers. Generations 1 and 2. George (Wm) Kirkham and Mary Ann Astington would have 55 grandchildren (Gen. 3). The next generation- their great-grand children numbered 91; in my line through grandson James Mercer Kirkham there are now members of generation 8. What is our number now? How many do you know?

For these numbers I am using my PAF file. What that means is that I might not have identified all the descendants so that my numbers may not be exact. Well, who's surprised? I try to realize every time I read a name, or family group sheet in my Kirkham file that this is family. Some have passed before I got to know them, others will. I want you to know that if I have not identified you, I want to. I want to have a record of our family that includes all people sharing this heritage, that reflects the many paths we have taken in building up the legacy of the 1859 Kirkhams.

Do you enjoy a mystery? Puzzle? Challenge? One of Rock M Kirkham's sons told me he was searching for information of Ann Jeatt, George (Wm) Kirkham's mother. Has anyone else found information on this ancester? Mary Ann Astington Kirkham had a sister Eliza on the ship William Tapscott. From her we have Smuin cousins. Any other kin on that ship? How many sets of twins have we had? Who is the oldest living descendant? Do you have a question- or mystery or puzzle- about our family?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Counting Down, 1859 to 2009

This information comes from the Mormon Immigration Index- Voyages section of Databases at the Family History Library:

Ship: William Tapscott
Date of Departure: 11 April 1859 Port of Departure: Liverpool, England
LDS Immigrants: 725 Church Leader: Robert F Neslen

Among the notes we find this:
On Monday Apr 11 1859 the ship William Tapscott sailed from Liverpool with 725 British, Scandinavian and Swiss Saints on board. . . Elder Robert F Neslen was appointed president of the company with Henry H Harris and George Rowley as counselors. . . the company was blessed with a most pleasant and agreeable voyage. . . Elder Neslen writes that he felt it quite a task when he was appointed to take charge of a company composed of people from so many countries, speaking nine different languages anad having different manners, customs and peculiarities and thrown together under such close circumstances.

Among the passengers we locate the names George Kirkham, Mary Ann Kirkham, James Kirkham, George Kirkham, Hyrum Kirkham and Joseph Kirkham with their approximate year of birth (based on age given in passenger ledger). There is a painting among the artworks in the LDS holdings that represents the shipping docks of Liverpool, England. It is not of a Carnival Cruise advertisement for sure. I will do my best to have a copy of that painting available to help you imagine Monday April 11, 1859 when we meet to recognize and honor these six ancestors.