Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
|I believe this was Hannah Comish Hall|
These are some more photos that were in the possession of cousin Bruce. It took me a while to realize that some of the photos were taken on the same day, or at least in the same place.
|Axline Gymnasium in the background|
I have no idea who are in these photos, well except for aunt Lillian who has a big circle around her face. I hadn't a clue where the photos were taken either, but I was bound and determined to put on my detective cap and find out.
First, I realized I needed to know more about aunt Lillian. That's when I realized that I didn't even have her obituary. Thanks to the Digital Archives of Bear Lake County Library I found it. It was published in the News Examiner on August 31, 1989. Unfortunately, I can't post it, but if you follow the above link you will find it.
From her obituary I learned that she received her teaching certificate from the Albion Normal School in 1929. I was even able to find the 1929 yearbook on Mocavo. Unfortunately I am not a paid member and can't view the image in high definition so I can't even pick her out of the group, or see if any of these unidentified faces are also there. She is listed as Lillian Langford as a Senior Emersonian on page 70, and a Senior Philo on page 72.
So I have been googling the school for about two days now and have found enough photos of the campus to feel certain that these photos were indeed taken at the Albion Normal School located in Albion, Idaho.
I have also noticed that some of the ladies besides my aunt are in more than one of these photos. And I also realized that this photo I posted earlier must also have been taken on the campus.
You can see photos of all the buildings here.
The campus has been turned into a retreat, a great place for family reunions and stuff. It also turns out the Albion has a reputation of being haunted. Check out all the spooky links:
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
This photo was among those that were in my second cousin Bruce Langford's possession. It is the headstone of Heber Charles Smedley in the Paris City Cemetery, Paris, Idaho. Heber was my great-uncle.
I can't be certain when the photo was taken, but obviously it was sometime after August 1937 when he died.
The photo below is from his Find A Grave Memorial.
|Image credit: Wes & Debi Grosnickle|
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Yeah! I finally received the marriage certificate I was telling you about. It took long enough.
The writing is kind of faint in places so it took awhile to read correctly, however there are still two words I can't make out.
1841 Marriage solemnized by Banns in the parish of Sheffield in the County of York
When married: June 13
Name and Surname: Thomas Smedley, Elizabeth Joynes
Age: 38, 33
Condition: Bachelor, Spinster
Rank or Profession: Victualler
Residence at the Time of Marriage: Nursery, Wicker
Father's Name and Surname: Jno. Smedley, Thos. Joynes
Profession of father: Stockiner, Lace Man
Married in parish church by Thos. Sutton vicar
I still can't read who the witnesses are. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
And of course this certificate causes me to ask a couple of questions.
- Why was he listed as a bachelor when he was previously married?
- They were counted in the 1841 census on June 6, 1841 with their 3 year old son in Wombwell, Darfield, Yorkshire. Were they really living in Wicker, Yorkshire 7 days later?
- Why wait until 1841 to get married when they were living together and had a child in 1837?
See how Elizabeth is shown with the last name "Smedley formerly Tainey"? I think it should actually say "Joynes" and whoever recorded this information in 1964 misread it as Tainey. Anyway, were they really married at this time, or possibly waiting for his marriage with Martha Mitchell to be legally dissolved? Or, was that first marriage ever really dissolved?
So there you have it, more knowledge brings more mysteries.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Friday, June 27, 2014
This is another photo that my cousin inherited. Obviously we know which one is Lillian. With the input of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - RAOGK USA and one of my aunts I think I can say that the women in front of her is my grandmother Grace Ellen Poulsen Smedley.
If you compare this photo to one of her and grandpa, you can see the resemblance. And my aunt agrees with me that there is no other relative that looks like my grandma (well except for my dad and me).
As for the identity of the other women in the photo, I have no idea. I am not sure if they are relatives or not. So once again I am calling on Bear Lake county, Idaho researchers for a possibility of identifying them.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
|Mansfield branch record|
My grandmother who was his daughter-in-law wrote a history about him primarily based on her memory of him and information from my great-aunt Lillian (T. J. Smedley's daughter). I remember her telling me how he lived in Delaware and did business with Quakers.
Aunt Lillian also wrote a history about him that was published in the History of Bear Lake Pioneers. When it came to Thomas Joynes' father, Thomas Cotton Smedley, neither one of them got it quite right. They both reported his death as 1851. Further research by two Smedley cousins and myself revealed that he immigrated in 1857 with his son and daughter-in-law.
After finding the passenger list and knowing that Thomas Joynes Smedley went back to England in 1896 to obtain genealogical information, I couldn't understand how the 1851 death date came about. Why wouldn't aunt Lillian know that her grandfather came to America with her father?
Just recently I finally discovered where that death date came from, thanks to my cousin and FamilySearch. She added a story on FamilySearch that was also written by Lillian Smedley Beck. It's not just a story, but more like research notes within the history. This writing is probably where the history published in the History of Bear Lake Pioneers came from. The following excerpt explains where the myth of Thomas Cotton Smedley's death came from:
"The last mention I found of Thomas Smedley Sr. was May 1852 in the Mansfield Branch Record. So he must have died shortly after that date."The image above is a copy of the Mansfield Branch Record she was referring to. And the "last mention" she found was March 27, 1852, the date he was cut off from the church:
Since Lillian couldn't find anything else on T. J.'s father, it looks like she just assumed his death happened shortly after. However, for some reason the baptism date of 1851 became the death date in the histories (an error, or attempt to deny the fact that he was cut off from the church?) and then naturally from there into numerous family trees. Thankfully some of them have been updated.
With help from some of the folks from the Facebook group Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - RAOGK USA I was able to decipher the reason for his cut off.
|"for immoral like conduct"|
Referring to Thomas Joynes and his bride Ann Eaton, Lillian wrote the following:
"He was married to Ann Eaton and came to America sometime in 1857. I have not found their shipping record, but in the New Radford Branch Record it gives the record of Ann Eaton born 5 October 1834, Oxtow, baptized 11 Jun 1849, Mansfield. She emigrated March 26, 1857. So he must have emigrated at the same time."So we know that she was never able to find a passenger list for her father's first passage to America, but for the life of me I still can't understand why he wouldn't tell her himself of such an eventful part of his life which would include the fact that her grandfather shared this voyage!
From reading her words it is clear that he shared a story or two of his childhood as well as from his time in New Jersey and Delaware, but nothing from a 24 day voyage across the Atlantic?! Maybe he relayed some stories to his older children with Ann and grew tired of retelling. Or maybe he was so out of sorts with his father and/or the trip that he never wanted to bring it up. I don't know. It just eats at me!
As for Thomas Cotton Smedley's actual death date, that remains a mystery.
So tell me, have any of you discovered the beginnings of any of your family lores?
Friday, June 20, 2014
This photo was among a few that one of my second cousins inherited when her uncle passed last year. She graciously sent me over some copies. As you can see cousin Bruce has defaced the photo by circling his grandma's face and pointing to her. I think a note in the margin would have been much nicer. I guess I shouldn't complain. Grandma Smedley noted above is actually my great-grandma Ida Buck Smedley.
I have no idea who the other women are, or the three little children for that matter. The photo was probably taken in Bear Lake County, Idaho somewhere. It was probably taken some time in the 1940s and it's quite possibly a group of Relief Society Women.
If you are a Bear Laker, or have ancestors from that area, it's possible that you may know some of these ladies. Please let me know if you do.