Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Laurel Bank Football Club - 1912

Laurel Bank Football Club - 1912 - Comber, Northern Ireland

This is such a great photo and it was a nearly miraculous way that it came to our attention and the subjects were identified.  Kim was surfing the net last weekend - he was on the Comber Historical Society website and was wishing that he could go back to Ireland again.  (That place really tugs on his heartstrings and calls him back.   Once you visit Ireland, I believe that you'll always want to return.)  Kim noticed that there were some new photos that had been posted. He was showing some of them to me and we chatted about them.  When he saw this photo, he remarked that he thought he saw his grandfather in the photo.  He said that his grandfather was on the top row.  

(The following incident can only be understood if you, too, have been married a long time and are getting older.)  I misunderstood and thought that he was referring to the person that was the second from the right.  I said that the person looked like a Todd, but it was most likely a brother of Kim's grandfather and not actually HIS grandfather.  We had a little discussion and I told him that maybe he was just wishing too hard and wanted it to be his grandfather - that sounds pretty mean of me - but I did say it.  Then I noticed that the man in the cap on the far right looked like a Barry.  Kim said that he would e-mail our cousin Sam in Ireland and get his opinion on the photo.  It wasn't until the next day when I actually read Kim's e-mail to Sam that I realized that the man who Kim thought was his grandfather was the THIRD person from the right!  When I finally focused on that person - YES - I could see that it HAD to be Kim's grandfather.  Sam e-mailed back that he thought the man at the far right was William Barry (Sam's grandfather) and that he would e-mail a contact at the Comber Historical Society to see if they had a way to identify the subjects.  We were very excited to have Sam's next e-mail saying there were 2 Todds in the photo and 1 Barry.  The 3 people on the back row at the right were J Todd (Kim's grandfather-John Todd), H Todd (John's brother Hugh Todd) and W Barry (Sam's grandfather William Barry).  Amazing!

This world is getting smaller all the time!  To think that a photo from a little Northern Ireland town would make its way to us, that Kim would look close enough to recognize his grandfather and that we could get confirmation of the identities of the subjects (thanks to Sam) is just amazing.

In this photo, John Todd is approximately 18 years old.  Hugh Todd is approximately 16 years old and William Barry is approximately 25 years old.  John Todd and William Barry certainly didn't know in 1912 when this photo was taken that in 11 years they would become brothers-in-law.  John Todd would marry Christina Barry (William's youngest sister) in 1923.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

John Elliott, 1825-1885, headstone then and now

Grave of John Elliott - photo taken approx 1895-1900

Grave of John Elliott as it appears currently

This headstone is in the St Peter's church cemetery, in Tankersley, Yorkshire, England.  Originally the stone stood upright, but it has either fallen or was moved to lie flat on the ground.  I'm guessing that mowing the grass is much easier with the headstone laying flat.  See my post from November 6, 2012, to see photos of John Elliott.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Heber James Wilson

Heber James Wilson

Many, many thanks to a distant cousin that I connected with on  She had a photo of Heber James Wilson that I have been looking for for a long, long time.  The image quality isn't very sharp, but it's as good as Lori had, and I'm so grateful that she shared what she had with me.  It's so nice to at least have an idea of his appearance.  Lori's husband is a descendant of Heber James Wilson's 2nd family.  Lori also share a photo of Heber's girls by his 2nd wife.

I'm so grateful that after a lifelong search a photo has surfaced!!!!

Follow Me to Zion

I was so excited when I saw that this book is now published and ready for me to purchase.  I haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet, but I will at the next possible opportunity.  Andrew Olsen and Jolene Allphin were in contact with me when they were working on the photos and text.  There is a section in the book dealing with our Mae McEwan Bain Smith family and I provided some histories and  facilitated getting the photo to the authors.  I can't wait to see what they've written!!  They always do a lovely, factual story and the paintings by Julie Rogers add so much.  If you are a Mae McEwan Bain Smith descendant, you will be interested in the book.  Here's a link to the website:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mable Virginia Speirs Hoskins and Mary Ann Hilton Speirs

Mable Virginia Speirs Hoskins and Mary Ann Hilton Speirs

The best birthday gift ever!!!  My mother sent me this picture (which I've never seen before and I wonder where it came from) along with cute quilts that she made for my upcoming birthday.  The two lovely ladies pictured here are my grandmother, Mable Virginia Speirs Hoskins and her mother, my great grandmother, Mary Ann Hilton Speirs.  Such a cool photo and I love the boots the very most!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

John Lyon

John Lyon
If you have 25 minutes to spare, you need to listen to this great audio tribute to John Lyon (my 4th great grandfather).  I especially love to hear the person whose voice narrates John's words - he has a wonderful Scottish brogue which would be accurate for the voice of John Lyon:

John Lyon

John Lyon
Writer, weaver, poet and ardent church worker, John Lyon was born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland on March 4, 1803.  He was the third of four children born to Thomas Lyon and Janet McArthur Lyon.

John’s father, Thomas Lyon, was a Doctor and was Inspector of Hospitals in Britain.  He died in 1812 when John was only nine years old.  John went to live with an Uncle.  His mother died in 1831 in Glasgow.

John had a good education and an intellectual mind which was manifest when he was very young.  He devoted all of his energies to the acquirement of knowledge.  His efforts in the direction of education were so successful that very early in life he had achieved quite a literary reputation through the publication of poems and articles in the local press.
The real commencement of his literary career began, however, when he was engaged as a reporter for a local newspaper.  In 1822 a great stagnation took place in the commercial world, especially was this so in Scotland, where thousands of people were out of work.  The destitution was so widespread that a committee of twelve was appointed to investigate and report upon the worse cases.  John Lyon was appointed to one of these committees, and was requested to draw up a paper on the unparalled destitution prevailing at that time, creating a decided sensation.  From this time on the young reporter had no difficulty in securing employment at his chosen calling.
When a young man of twenty two, John met Janet Thomson, a pretty girl of sixteen.  She was the daughter of Robert Thomson and Janet Lamont and was born on March 15, 1809 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.  The young couple was married February 23, 1826 in Kilmarnock.
John and Janet became the parents of twelve children, six boys and six girls.  John’s earnings as a writer and reporter was not sufficient to keep his large family.  To supplement their income two looms were installed in their home for weaving.  Janet supervised the looms while John gathered material for his writing and for the weaving.  The two oldest children, Thomas and Janet, were trained to work the looms.  Young Janet would much rather weave than help tend the younger children.  She enjoyed talking with her father who always had such interesting things to tell.  Thomas became a proficient weaver.  They made woolen plaids, paisley and tartan.  Their material was in demand as John insisted on perfection in their work.  Paisley seemed to be their specialty and they were reported to be especially beautiful.  Four more looms were added so more help was needed.  George Speirs was hired and he became an expert weaver.  He lived with the family and fell in love with young Janet.  They were married November 15, 1848.
In 1844 John heard elder William Gibson preach the doctrines of “Mormonism” and immediately became convinced of its truth.  He was baptized into the Church March 30, 1844.  In April of 1844 he was ordained an Elder and appointed to preside over the local branch.  Later he was called as a traveling Elder and labored for some time in that capacity, after which he was appointed president of the Worchestershire (England) conference, where he labored for three years.  In 1852 he was called to preside over the Glasgow Conference where he continued one year and was then released to gather to Utah.
During his missionary labors, John Lyon wrote many poems, some of which were published in the Millennial Star.  So favorable were they received that in 1853 just before embarking for America, he published the first volume of poems ever issued by a member of the Mormon Church, under the title of The Harp of Zion.  The book was donated to the Perpetual Emigration Fund and thousands of copies were printed and sold.  Several of the selections in the collection were set to music and included in the early Latter Day Saint’s hymn book and often sung.
John and Janet with children, Ann, John Jr., Lillias, Matthew and Mary, began the final preparations for their journey to America.
On February 21, 1853, they put their first luggage on board the ship International  The ship did not sail until February 28, 1853 because of unfavorable weather.  They were “tugged” out by a steamer for twenty miles and were on their way to a new country and a new way of life.  They encountered the usual early spring storms and at times conditions were very difficult with many being ill.  They sailed from Liverpool to New Orleans.
John wrote in his journal: “We stopped in New Orleans for four days, then started in two companies to St. Louis…..where we arrived eight days thereafter, and the same evening embarked on the Jeannie Dene, and in 24 hours landed in Keokuk all in good health and spirits, and joined the Camp of Israel.”
John and his family immediately began preparations for crossing the plains.  They arrived in Salt Lake City on Friday, September 26, 1853, with the Jacob Gates Company.

They made their home in the 20th Ward where they purchased a full block between First and Second Avenue and F & G Streets.  They had two homes on the block with a large stable.
After his arrival in the Valley, John wrote articles and poems for the Deseret News, Tullidges Utah Magazine, The Mountaineer and other publications.  He also acted as critic of the Salt Lake Theater for several years.  He served for a time as Territorial Librarian under William Carter Staines.  He was ordained a Seventy (37th Quorum) on January 12, 1854.
Three years after coming to the Salt Lake Valley, John married sixteen year old Caroline Holland.  They were the parents of seven children.  For more than thirty years John was Superintendent of the Endowment House in Salt Lake City in which capacity he enjoyed the confidence of all who knew him.  He would wend his way daily, except when detained by illness, to his post in the Endowment House, then located in the northwest corner of the Temple Block.
John Lyon was ordained a Patriarch by President Wilford Woodruff on May 7, 1872.
 He died at the age of eighty six on November 24, 1889, and was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery on November 28, 1889.  His tombstone is engraved with the following lines:
                        We’ll meet together yet
                        Where the sun shall never set
                        With a welcome of the hand
                        And a love without regret.