Monday, November 8, 2010

We Say Good-by to These

Ora Hall Kirkham, wife of Milo E Kirkham, died in Farmington; Jan Kirkham Duncan, daughter of Jim and Joan Kirkham, died while hiking with husband Howard near Big Timber, Montana; Brent G Laws, son of Melba Kirkham and Kenneth Laws, died Huntsville, Utah.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Celebration in Lehi: Hard Work Done Well!

It appeared that all seats were sat in. I wondered if there were any SUP members who were not Kirkhams attending. Connie organized the program regarding the Kirkham Family with obvious effort and time put in. Thank you, Connie and also thanks to your troops. Connie's sister Margie lead the musical program with both her voice and her talent for music. The William Kirkham family comprised most of the chorus- and they showed their love for the tunes, the purpose of the evening and the family they represent.

I met Kirkhams I had not before, happily saw some I met first in September last and got to visit with important near Kirkhams that I just don't get to see often enough. And I missed some very special Kirkham kin that I am certain shored us up with their spirits.

I was delighted to learn of a site I think we will all enjoy. When I opened it up I was immediately embarrassed by my humble efforts (which is wholly unnecessary, I know, and the feeling passed as I was again filled with pride for the family we are, where we came from and where we are going). Give yourself the gift of seeing this blog:

And keep in touch.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Community Celebration in Lehi

That celebration that we have always thought an idea worth pursuing has come to fruition with the apt enthusiasm of Connie Kirkham Nielsen and the brigade she has mustered.

Sons of Utah Pioneers is fundraising to be able to place historical plaques at remaining sites of the original Kirkham family. Connie would like us all to feel the sense of pride she does and to come help accomplish this goal. It will be a celebration bearing Kirkham hallmarks of song, music and patriotism. Contact information is listed below in previous blogs.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Passages and Advances

We release with love Emerson Dale Kirkham and Joy Marsh Kirkham.
Joy, wife of Hugh P. Kirkham passed away in Price, Utah May 17, 2010. She leaves also six children, 21 grandchildren and a great-grandson. Her obit was carried in the Sun Advocate Hugh and Joy's family were under the second pavilion at the reunion in Lehi. Perhaps you tasted the home brew root beer they had. Hugh is a grandson of James Mercer and Kate Woodhouse Kirkham and it was through 'cousin' parties I got to know my dad's and grandfather's Kirkhams. Hugh's father Elbert Charles and my grandfather James Arno were brothers.
Dale was represented at the reunion by his son and daughter-in-law Richard and Joyce Kirkham. A son of Hyrum Kirkham and Mabel Lenora Woolf, his Kirkham grandparents were George and Mary Russon.
Dale was one of the fourthers I have been grateful to get to know. When I visited his room on Thursday he was shedding this world where he has been loved deeply and slipping into his rest with those he loved deeply and has missed so keenly.

I try to keep aware of the many changes a family as ours experiences. We have the fortune of watching our children walk aisles of graduation ceremonies, and aisles of marriage ceremonies; not all events make it into news releases and I am not on everybody's guest list (which is not a hint) so I know there are passages and advances that I rely on others to inform. Rock J Kirkham has done just that this past week.

Rock and his brothers were before us in September to talk about Ann Jeatt Kirkham. They have been diligent in their search for more information on this ancestor, the mother of George (Wm) Kirkham.
Rock sent me an image copy of a 'family pedigree with details' page from the LDS Church New Family Search program showing Ann Jeatt with parents William and Mary, paternal grandparents, maternal grandmother and her parents. Additional generations are indicated.
This online resource is currently restricted to members of that church with membership number required to access it. I do not have such a number. I look forward to hearing more on this research and am glad to relay it. Rock tells me that the submitter is one Mike Kirkham whose research he has seen before. I send him my deep - and excited- appreciation for his research and sharing. I have also sent Rock my thanks.
Share your history. This was the thesis of a talk I heard a while back when I sat in on a Sacrament meeting at the Veterans' Nursing Home Branch. Sharing is our history, isn't it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sons of Utah Pioneers Honor Our Kirkhams

Connie Kirkham Nielsen sends updated information on the honor the Lehi SUP is showing the families of George and Mary Ann Kirkham:
"Announcing 2010 Lehi Sons of the Utah Pioneers Annual Fundraiser Event, Monday July 19 at 6:30 p.m. Event will be held at Mellor Hidden Meadows, 877 N. 100 East, Lehi.
"This year we will focus on Mary Ann Astington and George Kirkham, their four sons and all living Kirkham descendants.
  1. We will be placing historical plaques on selected still-standing buildings in historic pioneer Lehi.
  2. The final decision on concepts on the plaques will be determined by the SUP Board.

"Significant contributions to Lehi from the Kirkham history:

  1. Mary Ann Astington had many spiritual experiences in England including dreams, visions, and speaking in tongues; George was told by 18 medical specialists in England that he was on his death bed and would die. Charles W Penrose administered to him and he lived to settle in Lehi.
  2. Mary Ann was blessed with the talent for music, which she said was a gift from God.
  3. All four of the boys were gifted in music. In Lehi the four performed together 4 to 5 times a week, from Tremonton to St George. George played seventeen instruments. For years they provided musical entertainment in the first Recreation Hall in Lehi.
  4. The Kirkhams have always been involved in the media and writing history. George wrote an 800 page journal covering 69 years. He witnessed the stage coach massacre west of Lehi.
  5. George was a master carpenter and his hand work can be seen on dozens of pioneer homes in Lehi.

"This year we will limit the fundraiser to 240 ticket holders. Tickets will cost $20.00 per person. Individual tables will be reserved for ten people, costing $200.00 per table. Reservations will sell fast. Call Carl at 801-768-8665. "

Connie adds that additional donations will be accepted. Contact Connie for more specifics. Her phone is 801-768-9624. She says a lovely meal will be served and as well as the program honoring the Kirkham Family. Our appreciation to Connie for letting us know about this special event.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Resource for Your Research

While at the Salt Lake Family History Library I wanted to locate a book that was off the shelf to be digitized. The FHL Missionary directed me to this site. It was like sending a ten-year-old into the Fun House at Lagoon. I wanted to try every name and names-combination I could think of. (And I am not finished yet!)

But I found that E. Kay Kirkham's book on which the 2009 Family reunion and this blog are based. I inputted E. Kay Kirkham in the author as well as Kirkham in all three search boxes, it came up in all. At first I thought this must the manuscript, but it seems it is the final book- digitized.

This is a resource I am sure I will mention again.

Grandchildren of Joseph anad Tyresha C. Kirkham

These sketches come from published obituaries of three fourthers that I drew out of my files after exchanging a few e-mails with Dawn Hair, of the fifth generation from George and Mary Ann Astington Kirkham.

Dawn's father Joseph Stoddart Kirkham comes first of these in my descendants chart for Joseph and Tryphena. Born April 11, 1912 in Garland, Utah, to Joseph Hyrum and Birdie Maude Stoddart. Like so many of our clan he was musical and civic minded, remembered for his loving service to others. Joseph Stoddart Kirkham had a career with the Workers Compensation Fund of Utah, which has had an impact on many lives, but more memorable was his music with the Horst Fidel and Bavarian Band, the Deseret Male Chorus and other groups at public and personal venues. Joseph served as announcer for the Days of '47 committee.

Joseph was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as you will see also was true of his cousins highlighted below, this faithfulness rooted I am sure in the heritage and times of their lives.

Joseph was survived by his wife Doris Stamos Kirkham, who still lives in the Salt Lake Area and their two children Jeffrey Forrest (wife Mari McGregor and two sons) and Dawn (husband Brad Hair and four daughters). At the time of his death his brother and sister Robert Stoddart Kirkham and Venna K Gaddie survived him, but have both since passed away. Two sons from an earlier marriage, Edgar and Stephen Kirkham I have been unable to locate.

Joseph Stoddart Kirkham is buried at Mt Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City.

Ina Webb Richardson, daughter of Tyresha Kirkham and George Jesse Webb. She was the sole daughter, with three older and younger brothers. Ina was born in Lehi December 2, 1908 and was laid to her rest there April 22, 1991. Her husband Arthur Merle Richardson followed her on January 13, 1992.

Ina received her higher education at BYU, USU, George Washington University, and the McCune School of Music and Art in Salt Lake City. From BYU she received B.A. and M.A. degrees. from 1931 to 1946 she taught school in Provo and Salt Lake schools and served students in other ways through her involvement with KSL broadcast programs and panels and organizations devoted to enriching the lives of children through music and the arts. Her efforts here reflect what I hope all Kirkhams claim as our family traits: sharing what blessings we have been granted in talent, skill, time and beliefs.

Ina, like her cousin Joseph was active in the LDS Church through ward and stake music activities as well teaching in Primary, Sunday School and YWMIA. Can it surprise anyone that she taught genealogy classes as well! Ina served her sisters in the Relief Society, co-edited the ward newsletter, served a stake mission and as a Temple Square guide.

Ina and Merle did not have children of their own; it is evident that there was love enough for them to share freely with the children they served. At her death Ina was survived by her brother and sister-in-law Fred and Marie Call Webb and their daughter Alyson.

Ralph Nathan Kirkham, son of Nathan and Clara Smith Kirkham was born in Garland, Utah March 20, 1916. He passed away after a short illness in Salt Lake City on January 9, 1975.

Ralph and his sister Melba were the only children of Nathan and Clara to reach adulthood and have families. Ralph left two sons, Richard Nathan and Roger Leslie Kirkham and at the time of his death 7 grandchildren. Ralph was married to Cora Mary Barkdull October 12, 1938 in the Salt Lake Temple.

Ralph retired from the Internal Revenue Service, Salt Lake Division. He was a member of the Top Hatters dance band of Salt Lake City, evidence again of the impact of music upon a child.

My recollection is that Mary Ann Astington Kirkham was steady in wanting music in her home and these three great-grandchildren shared that legacy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Celebration of Family History

This was the title of the program held tonight at the Conference Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Speakers were Henry B Eyring and David McCullough, whose remarks I was especially touched by even while being unable to cite but one. Musical numbers were presented by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square as well as a number of moving video vignettes of interest to all genealogists and family historians.

I do not recall such an experience recently. What I have come away with is a renewal of my belief- which David McCullough put to words- that if not forgotten, not gone.

Each time we reflect on the lives or activities of ancestors they are present- something I have been aware of as I read a name, or add a bit of data, or find a record previously unknown to me that for that moment that kinsman, relation, ancestor is as near as the chair beside me! OH! That we could speak!

But you and I could speak- can speak. We are here together now. I am delighted to have had such a chance with Dawn Kirkham Hair, daughter of Joseph Stoddard Kirkham (fourther). I have to ask again how she found me, but I came home Monday last, checked my e-mail and here was a note from her. Because we have -at the very least- the Family History Library in common we may be able to sit together and speak, or type n speak: but we have it in our power to do. ( I am at the FHL as I write; I could not wait to get home to make this note!)

As tonight's speakers, and musical and visual messages confirmed, our family's history is not written in the past but in the present. WE are writing it and if we are not then the history is not. What history we have to read today was bequeathed us- what will we leave for tomorrow's relations?

Let's talk sometime. Soon.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Events, Past Present and Future

Connie Kirkham Nielsen called recently and also sent an electronic note informing of the Lehi area Sons of Utah Pioneers proposal to install plaques commemorating the families of George and Mary Ann Kirkham, and their four sons. A program is scheduled for May 2010. Connie is stirring up enthusiasm and participation from us all and she wants ALL of us enthused. Those who heard her educated and insightful presentations at the 2009 reunion in Lehi will remember her own enthusiasm for Kirkham history. She can be reached: Connie Nielsen 801-768-9624 and for more information. The program in May is a fundraiser for the plaques as well as program to honor the Kirkhams being recognized. Connie especially is thinking there could be a Kirkham Orchestra as in our common history. Do you fiddle around? [Sorry! I have always wanted to ask that of a group, saw my chance.] Musicians and enthusiasts wanted, please get in touch with Connie.

We have had the loss recently of LeLa Christensen Hansen, fourther through George and Mary Russon Kirkham. Her mother was Daisy Bell Kirkham and father Louis Christensen. LeLa passed away in Orem, March 5, 2010, survived by husband Gordon Emil and their four children and families, including 23 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren. LeLa served her community and family through many church callings, especially with Primary and Young Women. Her obituary was carried in the Daily Herald (Utah County). We mindfully remember LeLa's close family in their loss.

I was stopped in a salad bar line recently by visitors to our area for the International Dutch-oven Convention in Farmington, who seeing my name badge from work commented that they had been involved in scouting with- and I jumped the gun to say "Oscar Kirkham". No. This couple remembers Rock Kirkham of the Mission Council of BSA and working locally in the Santa Barbara area of California. Scouting is in our heritage- proudly. That organization has just celebrated 100 years. Rock M Kirkham was son of Oscar, but I should have kept my lips still all the same. In scouting it may well have been about half if not all the Kirkham households! Scouting continues today as a Kirkham contribution to our various communities.

A headline from the Salt Lake Tribune: Writ Restrains Judge in Kirkham Case with the additional 'Stays Hearing Set for Monday in Court at Price' under the date Saturday December 16, 1944. Francis Washington Kirkham appears to have been cited by a judge he had upset with a political tract in an election of that time. I have not had the chance to look for the outcome of this- are there any FWK readers that can inform?

In research recently I came upon the Mountain West Digital Library, and while I did not find my objective information did find Kirkhams well represented. Check it out!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Fourth Generation Through Joseph and Hyrum

I have been reviewing the fourth generation through Joseph and Hyrum Kirkham, the twin brothers of the pioneer family. We cannot deny the hardships of that period.

Childbearing and raising children from birth to adulthood were filled with obstacles and challenges. From these two there were about 36 children born in the fourth generation. One fourth did not survive childhood. Joseph's wife Tyresha Cragun succumbed a month after her last child was born- and died in 1894.

Joseph's eldest grandchildren were Donald Kirkham, born February 8, 1898 and Jesse Webb born March 20 1898. These cousins lived into their eighties with Donal passing away in Sacramento in 1986 and Jesse in 1985 in Utah. I have not located families of either of these Fourthers.

Joseph's youngest grandchild, in my record was Melba Kirkham Laws, born 1922, who passed away in Bountiful in 2007. I met Melba through my parents who square danced with her and her husband Kenneth. I may have danced in a square with her myself! It seems odd to write it but I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the cousin I had not known at her funeral, but wish I had gotten to know more while she was with us. I think this is part of my drive for the reunion: that we Kirkham kin are great people to get to know!

Hyrum's eldest grandchild- the Fourther Venola Hansen was born in 1909 and his youngest Rondo Hoglund who passed away in 1996 in Ilwaco, Washington. I was unable to locate children of these for the 2009 reunion but want to add them to my address book if anyone of my readers can let them know. I do not recall that any of Hyrum's descendants were in attendance in September.

I have some queries from earlier posts that I am researching and for which I am grateful to receive. One, about Thomas Isom I will search again, having tried to locate the probate/will that E Kay referred to in his Kirkham history without success.

I have been slow to continue this work, but hope you will find it of value. if you are in the Salt Lake area I have been involved with a family history class that meets at the Family History Library, main floor, Thursdays 7 to 8 pm. It has given me some helpful insight on organizing my research. I invite you to join us.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A New Year in Our Kirkham Family History

I have had a long stretch of spiritlessness. I will try not to let that keep me from this work for so long again.
In the 7th generation I know of Sophia Lynn Kirkham, born Dec 31, 2009. She is the second granddaughter of my brother Kee, who passed away November 2007. I would count nothing more meaningful than if I could give this child and her cousin (Kee's first granddaughter) some idea of his- and their heritage. So I will get back up, set my focus and climb on.

This morning I did a google search for any obituaries I may have missed recently. There were several. One was pretty close to home, geographically and another personally. I also found much to please me in the vein of Kirkham impact on our communities, nation and our world. With these let me return to my task of identifying and informing on the fourth generation of the George (Wm) and Mary Ann Astington families.

Because my grandfather James Arno Kirkham was born in the 1800s I have always thought the rest of that generation must have been as well. This ignored the understanding that he was among the oldest of the eldest, and as we are a large family the youngest of the youngest really are pretty young! I was amazed at the number of Fourths attended the reunion in Lehi, September 2009. Four from the same family: Aunt Winnie Kirkham Thomas' children.

We met Iris Neill, Cleo Devereaux, Ruth Howe and Gary 'Bud' Thomas. I have longed to meet them as they are double cousins through my Daniel Stillwell Thomas line, and Iris' late husband and I are connected in my maternal Pollard lines. I was so glad to learn that they had gotten word through the work of Janette Kirkham's Diabetes education.

A sister of these four who was unable to attend was Lucile Beth Thomas Brownfield McArtor, who succumbed just before Thanksgiving on November 21. Born August 7, 1917 in Lehi, Lucile was the third child of ten, a daughter of Rose Winnifred Kirkham and John Jay Thomas. She grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from Granite High School. She is survived by three sons. A memorial was held in Layton, Utah on November 27, virtually blocks from my home but I was unable to attend.

I hope I can learn more of the lives of these cousins, and bring that to this page.

Also from the fourth generation we learn of the passing of Renee Shephard Kirkham, wife of Oscar Ned Kirkham who died in Chico California on January 7, 2010. She is survived by Ned and their children Dan and Jennifer Kirkham. O. Ned Kirkham had a long career with Bank of America throughout California including Chico, where the family home now is. I met this couple while I lived in Fresno. Several times I was asked if I was related to a Ned Kirkham, and finally it was asked by a B of A teller who pointed him out across the lobby. He sure did look like the Kirkhams I had known (did I?). We did meet after a time and Ned and Renee welcomed me to their ward service one Sunday. I attended after working a graves shift in a psych facility and must have smelled strongly of the smokey day room (also my own car)and had red tired eyes as well. I recall the warmth with which I was welcomed still.

Others of the Fourth generation at the reunion were Marge Russell Mower, born 1917, whom I expected to be the eldest as we approached the reunion, but was wrong. (In some ways she was one of the youngest!) from Arizona and Mark Mercer Kirkham, born 1915, of Salt Lake City.

Please go to for a delightful biography of Dale B Kirkham, a cousin of Marge. Dale's son Rich was the young man in blue t-shirt running around with a camera and whom we owe many thanks for posting them at .

For another Fourther check out