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

1 comment:

  1. Just a little note...Dale and Virginia's 3rd daughters' name is Julee!