Monday, August 31, 2009

Correction to Last Post

I wonder if one should ever trust a blogger who writes after bedtime. My last post is evidence for why not to. Sometime in the early morning my brain told me, "hey! that doesn't fit! If the missionary was O Ned Kirkham it could not be WWI, it has to be WWII."
So, here is the correct information, which I had-but not in my head. go to past posts of June 2009 and read the post titled 'Who were the First Missionaries...' I believe I wrote it down correctly as Jun 28. When I opened it, surely enough it speaks of the year 1940. I don't think I gave that information in last night's post, did I? If you tried to locate the story without it you had a very pleasant trip to the West Indies but gained nothing about Kirkhams. My apologies for the latter.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

For Kirkhams of 2009 ...One week- no, less

Things have begun to hop around here. Some related to the reunion, others related to Kirkhams generally.

Please take some time to visit This is the web-site for Brigham Young High School, which I believed was ancient history, but is not. One Larry Christensen made contact with one of us and through that was able to represent Francis Washington Kirkham in a nicely done biography. Go to Biographies on the left hand side of the BY High homepage, it is an alphabetical index, and scroll down to the "K"s.

Douglas Kirkham, of Texas sent in a website for the West Indies mission: that tells of a group of missionaries returning from South Africa because the shipping lanes were closing due to WWI and stopping in the West Indies.

Connie Nielson called tonight and reminds you all to bring folding lawn chairs and umbrellas (for Sun, not rain) Connie will present on our heritage in the early Kirkhams- the band, the homes and other items.

Rock J Kirkham has researched Ann Jeatt and will give a report on that effort.

I hope that the 'stuff' I am working on this week will be sufficient, but I do promise that afterwards I will use this space to report back for those of us at great distances who needed to forgo this activity.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For the Kirkhams of 1859, one month out.

A cousin recently wrote and pointed out that the Kirkhams did not factually arrive in Lehi until 1860. This is true: they wintered in the area of Sugarhouse, on the east bench of the Great Salt Lake City. (Was this the place of the snake eyes shining between the adobe, does anyone recall off the top your head?) I selected this year- 2009- as significant to their arriving to what was to be their Zion, their refuge in the valleys of the mountains. I have a 60 page descendant list of George (Wm) Kirkham families, so we could do it again next year to give more people a chance to come!

This is a time I wish I could just open up an account and learn where the Kirkhams were, on the trail. That may be possible with the Mormon History Library: that is, each immigrant company had someone keeping track of such things and I believe that this new library was to serve the purpose of making them available. I have not asked them yet. After we here in the inter-mountain region received 3-plus inches of snow last week (o.k., it was pretty high up but it was still August!) I wondered, would Londoners be prepared for that? Would weary travelers? This was the Independent Company, captained by Robert Neslen. The William Tapscott company was composed of English, Danish and Swiss saints, many of whom continued together in the wagon company and were not a group unfamiliar with snow.

Last Monday evening I was in the neighborhood of the North Visitors Center on Temple Square and thought I would catch a screening of Legacy, the film reflecting the trials of the early LDS membership and their movement west. After it was introduced by two sister missionaries, one from Nigeria and the other El Salvador I watched the nearly 1 hour film with the theater to myself. A touching recounting of that saga.

On Thursday I stopped by the conference center to confirm our tour of that building, but unable to do so (Thursday evening the Tabernacle Choir rehearses for their Sunday performance with the Spoken Word broadcast) I did learn that everyone is welcome to attend the Spoken Word broadcast, but must be in their seats by 9:15 AM Sunday. If you are traveling a great distance to the reunion this may give you an activity to enjoy on Sunday before the bustle of travel.

For the Kirkhams of 2009, it is less than 3 weeks out. I think: I should try to fix everything that seems out of kilter. And then I think: it will be what it will be: new faces to meet, new memories to create, a legacy to continue and new generations to appreciate their heritage. Our heritage.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fretting in Advance

I picked up a copy of National Geographic, vol.145 no.4 of April 1974- clear last century! What caught my attention was the article The England of Charles Dickens. I am not suggesting you read Charles Dickens prior to the reunion- but if you have any of the author's writings near to hand you can see the England the Kirkhams were leaving. I am aware that Dickens drew from the extremes of English society- and I do not know where the Kirkhams would have been found in any of his works, but the English cities, conflicts and concerns were there outside the Kirkhams' windows just as they were outside Dickens'.

Having given cousin Connie Kirkham Nielson a completely new name in my last post of the volunteer needs I have also become aware that I have dragged some of our fair cities across county lines in my records, added or dropped letters, and invented geography. Who knows what will be next! All this to say that there will be a line- a long line perhaps- to correct Ked's records. so bring the records you have and we'll share, compare and update. Connie (and Glen), I am sorry for my error. Usually I can claim it is my typing, but not this one. It was the wrong name.

Connie recently gave Mike Jarvis and his wife a tour of Lehi/Kirkham sites. Mike told me it was extensive, meaningful and a pleasure to have that time with Connie, who is knowledgeable of both topics: Lehi and Kirkhams. I appreciate her asking if she could give a report at the reunion and I believe you will come away with good information and insight.

If it has been difficult to respond to this blog; please feel free to address any questions, comments and information to To make a comment, I believe that if you click on the link "comment" it will open the dialogue box. I appreciate the support you all have given me here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What can you do at the reunion?

I do not want you to worry about coming to the reunion and just enjoying the day. That is a very good reason to come. I do not want you to feel you don't know enough about the Kirkham family history to take part; that is a very good reason to come as well. And I really do not want you to worry that you won't know anyone there or that no one will know you. I know you! I know when and where you were born, who your parents are and just where to find you in my Kirkham File. For the others, well we'll give you a name tag and soon they will know you too. (If you doubt that I know you so well, then come prove me wrong- and that also is a very good reason to come!)
[Corrections to my information are: a. important, b. helpful and c. welcomed.]

What will you learn about the Kirkhams? Some of what we think about ourselves. And maybe some of what others think of us. Like this note from James Smuin:
" Fine morning, went to Kirkham's to get a news paper to read, and then I went to the adobe yard and I was talking to George Kirkham about a hive he made for me and did not finish. He wanted the money and was not willing to finish his work. I did not feel like paying him seeing that he did not finish his work." James writes this in his 1873 diary.

I do not find a resolution to the disagreement between these kinsmen. Was this the Kirkham & Sons store? Where was the adobe yard? Which George made bee hives? Is this the same George that gave opening prayer at Meeting the following Sunday? James Smuin and George Kirkham continued to live in the community of Lehi and have dealings: church, social, familial. James gives an account of the divorce between his sister-in-law Mary Ann and (George) William Kirkham.

What can you do at the reunion?
I hope we have entertainment in the Kirkham tradition:
Music- as in Kirkham Brothers Band
Singing-as in every Kirkham get together I have ever been to
Poetry and verse
Kirkham is a name in genealogy-
Show us what you have done in words, pictures, stories
Report on a project you are working on
Bring your children and teach them some Pioneer fun. Heck! Teach us all some pioneer fun!
Report on family Heritage:
James/Martha Mercer and Emma Wootton families
George/ Mary and Sarah Russon families - Connie K. Nielsen has stepped up for these
Joseph / Tyresha Cragun families
Hyrum/ Lizzie Ann Wanlass families
Report on family Legacy: Families that E Kay Kirkham ended his book with- the 4th generation
Are you familiar with Lehi? help the rest of us find our way around
Can you come early or stay late? Yeah, you're ahead of me there...
I have asked an Eagle Scout candidate if he could lead a Colors Presentation; willing, he is expecting to have surgery on the 1st- can anyone else step in there? (Scouting is another Kirkham hallmark)

The greatest thing you can do is come- come share yourself. Do you need floor space to sleep? Would you accept lawn space? Is there an obstacle others of us can help you over? You are family and we want you there!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Suddenly It is August 1st...

It is now the point of telling myself to believe that I have successfully reached each of the four lines- James, George, Joseph and Hyrum- of the pioneer Kirkham family about this proposed reunion. With that belief, I am better able to get now to nuts and bolts- literally.

I need to know what size a crowd to watch for. I am so thankful to those of you who have informed me already, as to whether you are or cannot be there. Those of you who will not be able to come to Lehi, I hope I can continue to include you.

I will be sending out e-mail information as well. If you are reading this blog but have not gotten other electronic information please contact me.

I do not think that I will post any further mailings, but I can- if you know someone I have missed. I have sent out roughly 150 different pieces. (and I have learned a few things along the way regarding that!)

I will make a plan to be in Lehi this month to walk through the venue there. I will post that schedule so that you can help with that if you wish. That occasion will include putting together registration packets, as well as getting to know a few more faces prior to the reunion.

Mike Jarvis has produced a great list of places and activities in the Salt Lake area for those wishing to spend more time there- and there is so much to see and do there.

Please let me know if you: a) can represent your branch of the family, b) are willing to or c) know who can and will. Slots are available!