23 May 1856 – Cast off from Liverpool – Mary Taylor

From the Diary of Samuel Openshaw:

May 23 – About two o’clock we were tugged out into the river. The rain poured down pretty freely.

From the Journal of Henry Hamilton:

Friday, 23rd – I commenced to work in the galley. This morning got the fire started &c but it was very smoky. I was over with just as if I had been the funnel myself. We sailed out of the docks.

From the Journal of Joseph Beecroft:

Friday 23rd The day appointed for our sailing. I arose about 4. The seamen were early at work getting the vessel out of dock. At about half past 9, we were getting into the river and before noon we were at anchor opposite Liverpool. We enjoyed ourselves here in getting our food and in passing up and down deck looking at one another and the different vessels that crossed the river. Retired early to rest.

Letter from James and Elizabeth Bleake:

Ship Horizon Liverpool

May 23rd/56

Dear Father and Mother:

We have arrived safely and are all well so far. We have a very comfortable place on board and go out of dock today. Liverpool is the dirtiest place we ever saw. London is exceedingly clean in comparison.[p. 1]

Provisions on board are of first rate quality and plenty for us but we have 15 pounds of Indian meal, 10 pounds of flour, 4 quarter loaves and cheese, raisins, spice, etc. etc. besides. So we have not faith to starve.

Remember us kindly to all inquirers. Farewell and may God our Father bless you both is the earnest [p.2] prayer of your son and daughter, James and Elizabeth Bleak [Bleake]. [p.3]

From Life History of John Jaques:

Fri. 23: About midday moved out of dock into the river. Fine morning . Stiff breeze. Soon after this a little belligerent display occurred between the mates and some of the crew. I did not see the commencement of the affair, but I learned that some of the crew had demurred to obeying orders, and a regular fist cuffing took place. Two or three bloody faces figured in the scene. I was on deck in time to witness a little not very civil jaw between the first mate and one or two of the crew. The mate paced the deck flourishing a Colt’s revolver, and swearing and threatening grandly but did not use the weapon. If necessary use them, and over with it. Threatening and bragging are the business of bullies. Several of the crew were sent ashore, and other men came on board in their place. The mate complained of the refractory ones that they were a set of “blacklegs,” and that they came on board to plunder the passengers and the rest of the crew. They charged him being drunk and “no man.” Meat, peas, biscuits, flour, oatmeal, sugar and tea were served out today.

21 May 1856 – Boarding the Horizon – Mary Taylor

The Horizon by Kenneth L. Rasmussen

On May 21st and 22nd 1856 the passengers boarded the Horizon in preparation for sailing to Boston Harbor. This included my great-great-grandmother Mary Taylor, her husband, William Upton, her parents and an aunt. I’ll be posting info about her journey for the next 5 months.

From the Journal of Henry Hamilton:

Wednesday, May 21st – Landed at 11 a.m. As soon as we got upon the pier, there was men, lots of them that come to us, we’ll take your things &c &c. Aren’t you some of the brethren? What brethren say I. So they told me they would go on that way to get [-] boxes to carry. I & Joseph then went to see about the porter that Pastor Parks told us about, but could not find him. We returned to the boat, saw a Brother Jessie [Jesse] Haven. We then got a porter to take our chests off to the Horizon, the vessel that we was to go with. We then went & had some dinner & went to the office to see about our going away. We got that settled that I was to go as passenger cook. So we went & got mattresses bought &c. Slept on board the vessel all night.

From the Journal of Joseph Beecroft:

Wed. 22nd [May 21, 1856] We arose soon and I wrote and after breakfast we got our luggage [to] our office in Islington Street and got names signed to the ship and then the luggage to the ship in Bramley Moore Dock and our tickets for our certificates. [At] night I got my certificate for my birth and had a walk in Liverpool, retired to bed.

We came on board in the afternoon and of all the sights that I ever saw, it was the most astonishing. Luggage was piled on a piece of ground in front of the ship to a considerable, and hundreds were busy in getting in their [p.8] luggage. And about half past 10 or 11 I went to bed , where my wife and son already were, but I did not sleep until the noise of talking and laughing had subsided. I then slept better than I had done for some time and awoke refreshed in body and mind, grateful to my Father in Heaven for his blessings and favors.

From the Life History of John Jaques:

Thurs. 22: About 7 o’clock I sent my wife, her sister, Tamar, and my daughter, Flora, in a cab to the Horizon, 2/6. I went with our luggage in the cart 4/, and 6 demies to the man. Got Brother Thomas Dodd to assist me in getting our things on board. Paid him 1/0. We engaged berth number 401 for myself and wife, and the half of number 400 for her sister, Tamar, both on the second or lower deck. Ann Johnson, servant of Brother Linforth was to have the other half of 400. Brother W. Paul and wife engaged the berth next to mine. Brother William Taylor and wife from Stratfordshire had engaged one next to theirs. We did not get out of dock this day. The ship had 856 passengers on board, 635 of whom were P.[Perpetual] E.[Emigrant] Fund emigrants, 212 ordinary , and 7 cabin passengers. Elder Edward Martin, president of the company, assisted by Elder Jesse W. Haven and George P. Waugh; steward, John Thompson; cook, Henry Hamilton and Joseph Jackson; historian, myself; sergeant of the guard, Elder F.C. Robinson. We made our beds of our spare clothing, bought a pound of molasses 3 demies, a pound of marine soap 6 demies, some round lamp wick, six one penny packets of violet powder, and six one penny boxes of wax lights and six red herrings.

More info on the Horizon: Liverpool to Boston.

My Current Projects: Goals and Progress

Evaluate Goals for last week:

+ Write blog posts ahead for Thursday, Friday and Saturday: I got Thursday and Friday done. Saturday’s post actually had to wait until I lived the week so I didn’t do it ahead. But it is now Monday and it still isn’t done. I have started it though.

++ Put Key West slides on to DVD for my dad: I got this done and even got it to my dad!

– Post to link to about each of my projects: no progress

0 Work on Mary text (take to Wood Badge): I prepped a half sheet booklet with the outline and space to write but there was no time at Wood Badge to work on it. They kept us very, very busy. So this was not a good plan.

Evaluate new approach at the end of the week: well it didn’t happen at the end of the week but I can do it now. I didn’t get my goals printed out. Total score +2 so not too bad considering the situation.

Progress on projects not on my goal list:

Talked with my dad about Kim’s current illustration. She will need some better reference material for the ship. Because my dad is a Navy man he noticed that she has some of the basic of the ship wrong.

Goals for this week:

  1. print goals for the week
  2. get 50 for 50 blog post caught up
  3. blog ahead for Thursday and Friday
  4. write 5 emails to family on Mary Taylor’s sailing on the Horizon
  5. figure out how to schedule emails to go off while I’m at Wood Badge
  6. rate my progress

I have so much to do in prep for the second half of Wood Badge that I’m not going to try to get anything but the basics done this week.


50 for 50 #21 – My Birthday

This week was my real 50th birthday! It was a wild and crazy week too. On Tuesday, I went to lunch with my mom and sister to Kneaders. I love their Key Lime Tart, not to sweet and light and refreshing.

Thursday through Saturday we were in Park City for Wood Badge training with the Boy Scouts of America. They sang a happy birthday to me twice and my troop (the Owls) got cup cakes from the quartermaster. I got to (or maybe had to) wear a pink stuffed birthday cake hat for the second rendering of happy birthday. The first time most of the group thought of me as Suzy. Let me try to explain. One of the traditions at Wood Badge is to circulate a Susan B. Anthony dollar among the participants by slipping it into someones pocket. Then when the Senior Patrol Leader starts singing “Where is Suzy” everyone looks in their pocket. Knowing that today was my birthday they planted the coin my pocket. I felt it go in but didn’t know what it was until they started talking about the “where is Suzy” thing. Then it all made sense and I wasn’t at all surprised to find it in my pocket. Who ever has the coin in their pocket gets to go up to the front and sing a song. They let me off the hook a bit by everyone singing happy birthday to me. It turns out that you can also lead the group in a song or you troop can join you in singing a song.

I don’t have photos from Wood Badge yet. But they have two people taking lots of photos and I’ll have access to them after the course is over. So I’ll add some photos of my birthday experience then. It was the most unusual birthday and birthday week I’ve ever had. But if you ever get theĀ  chance to take Wood Badge you really should take advantage of the opportunity.

Have any of you been to Wood Badge?

Banta and the Furry Scurry

Mark and Banta

Banta and Mark participated in the Furry Scurry Fund Raising walk recently. His retired guide Prestwick was also there. They had lots of fun and as usual Banta was a little superstar. She didn’t do much guide work on the walk because there were over 7000 dogs there. She was really good and got a lot of attention. A local news crew interview them at the end of the walk but their interview didn’t make it on the news. They news crew said they hadn’t seen any other guide dogs at the Furry Scurry but they did see a companion dog. Banta had struggled with a sore shoulder but it is doing just fine now. I love it when we get photos from our graduated pups. Banta looks so happy and healthy.

Walking at the Furry Scurry

A Suitcase Full of Letters

Nancy’s suitcase full of letters

Have you ever discovered a treasure trove of family documents or photos. NotSoFancyNancy found a suitcase full of letters from her dad to her mother. Here is what Nancy had to say about the find.

When my daughter Tania first told me about the letters I knew that something had to be done with them, after all they ARE our history. I took them home and put them all in chronological order. I scanned that first letter and looked at how many were left and I became overwhelmed. There are SO many of them, did I mention it is a suitcase full? There may be thousands, but I guess we will find out together if you want to join me for this adventure.

Nancy is sharing each letter on her blog. Many of them chronicle her dads experiences in World War II. I think that Nancy has come up with a great way to deal with the overwhelming task of saving and sharing these letters. She is taking them just a little at a time. She scans them and transcribes the text, preserving the letters. Nancy does some research about the information in each letter and posts it on her blog.

Down the road she can decide if she wants to put what she has gathered into a book or share it in some other ways, but for now she is taking a huge project and moving forward in a doable and sustainable way. Great job Nancy! I look forward to seeing how your project progresses. Thanks for setting a good example.

Do you have a huge family history project like this? Have you found a way to move forward with it? What is holding you back?

Olive Us

A new web TV series started this week that I want to share with you. I think it is a great example of another way to look at telling family tales. I really like the concept behind Olive Us and it got me thinking about new ways to look at sharing what matters to us. Stories aren’t just about events they are also about the values we live by. First watch Ben’s explanation of the concept behind the series and then watch the first episode.


Aren’t the Blair children amazing. Ben and Gabby live next door to us in Provo about 15 years ago when they were just starting their family. My, how grown-up they are now. Such a fun family. I’m looking forward to upcoming episodes of Olive Us.

What family values do you want to capture? Do you have any ideas on how you want to share them?