Gift Idea #2 – Family History Conference

If someone in you family would love to expand their knowledge on how to do family history why not give register them for a conference or a class on family history. If you are the one, then why not give it to yourself for Christmas! There is a great one here in Utah in March called RootsTech. I went last year and loved it because it has so many different kinds of classes from the technology side to traditional research. They have added a new “Getting Started” that is only $19 for a one-day pass. Full 3-day Passes are now $149 with the early bird discount. If Salt Lake is too far away for the budget, then do some research and find a local class or conference you can give. What better way to help tell your families tales than to learn how to find more family members to tell stories about. Maybe I’ll see you at RootsTech.


This Week in 1856 – Fort Laramie – Mary Taylor

8 October 1856: (near Salt Lake City)

Rescuers moved out from their meeting spot at Big Mountain.

8 October 1856:

Mary Taylor’s father, Joseph Taylor (age 44) died, probably from the combination of not enough food and dehydration or heat prostration. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the campground.

From John Jacques:

The company arrived at Fort Laramie October 8th, and camped east of Laramie For, about a mile from the fort. Before reaching Laramie, the company met a fine looking and finely dressed friendly Indian chief on a fine American horse, and soon after, two dragoons on horseback, gave some sweetmeats to the children of the company and appeared immensely pleased to see the people.

On the 9th many of the company went to the fort to sell watches or other things they could spare and buy provisions. The commandant kindly allowed them to buy from the military stores at reasonable prices, biscuits at 15 1/2 cents; bacon at 15 cents, rice at 17 cents per pound, and so on. Some bought a few things at the sutler’s, but much higher prices rule at his store.

I believe the company left Fort Laramie the next day. Thenceforth, until the close of the journey, although noteworthy events were on the increase and some of them were indelibly impressed on the minds of the emigrants, yet they were so fully occupied in taking care of themselves that they had little time to spare to note details with exactness, and many notes that we made at the time, were lost and cannot now be found.

Up to this time, the daily pound of flour ration had been regularly served, but it was never enough to stay the stomachs of the emigrants and the longer they were on the plains, and in the mountains, the hungrier they grew. Most persons who traveled the plains with ox teams or handcarts, know well enough the enormous appetite which that kind of life gives. It is an appetite that cannot be satisfied. At least, such was the experience of the handcart people. You feel as if you could almost eat a rusty nail or gnaw a file. You are ten times as hungry as a hunter, yea, as ten hunters, all the day long and every time you wake in the night. And so you continue to your journey’s end, and for some time after. Eating is the grand passion of a pedestrian on the plains, an insatiable passion, for her never get enough to eat. . .

Well, at the time when this great appetite was fully roused up and had put on its strength, it was further sharpened by the increasing coldness of the weather.

Soon after Fort Laramie was passed, it was deemed advisable to curtail the rations in order to make the hold out as long as possible. The pound of flour fell to 3/4 a pound, then to half a pound, and subsequently yet lower. Still the company toiled on through the Black Hills, where the feed grew scarcer for the cattle. As the necessities of man and beast increased, their daily flour diminished. In the Black Hills, the roads were harder, more rocky and more hilly, and this told upon the handcars, causing them to become rickety and need more frequent repairing.

60 Years Ago Today

Europe 1952 Cover

60 years ago today my mom left on a three-month trip to tour Europe with a group from Brigham Young University. I recently finished a 440 page book incorporating her journals from the trip, 100’s of photos and lots of brochures and other memorabilia. It is the biggest project of that kind that I’ve tackled so far and I’m really happy with the results. I’ll post the finished pages over the next 3 months as she progresses through her journey.

The cover was inspired by a suit case that my mom used on the trip. It had an alligator texture and she add stickers from the hotels they stayed in. I printed this book using in their large landscape size.

Transportation by special Burlington Bus. The bus is scheduled to leave Knight Hall in Provo at 3:30 p.m., Friday, May 30. It will pick up students from Ogden and Salt Lake in front of the Salt Lake City and County Building at approximately 4:30 p.m.

We leave Salt Lake City by way of Parley’s Canyon and travel via Cheyenne, Omaha, and Chicago to Washington D.C.

After doing some sightseeing in Washington during the morning and early afternoon of Monday, June 2, we continue on our way to New York arriving there at approximately 8 p.m.

Friday, 30 May 1952:

Can you believe it? It was 3:30 p.m. and I was still disorganized for the trip. However, I had plenty of help with Aunt Mary, Lynette, Marion Allen, Doris Hermansen, and Maria Zamora assisting me. As time grew short, we just tossed the remaining equipment in the suitcase and gently closed the lid. I was given 3½ months ahead to get things organized. You would think I could’ve been better prepared!

By the time we arrived in front of Knight Hall, there was a big crowd that had already congregated. There were goodbyes and more goodbyes. Then Dr. Harold Glen Clark called us all into Knight Hall for prayer. President Wilkinson bid us God speed, and Dr. Harold W. Lee led us in prayer. With our heads hanging out the bus windows for last glimpses and final waves our big beautiful greyhound bus pulled out about an hour late.

Then the Give Us Some Money Committee hurried into quick action collecting money for the anticipated performance of Rigoletto in Paris. Our first stop at the Salt Lake City bus depot brought more excitement and new friends: Eloise Wilcox, Margaret Brown, Dick Myers (one of the sadly outnumbered boys on this tour), and Alene (my old friend).

Spirits were high in anticipation of the wonderful experiences ahead of us. I made an attempt to pick up some travelers cheques at American Express, but it was closed. Dr. Rogers called Paul Childs, who took us down to the Union Pacific Depot where I exchanged most of my money for 39 ten dollar cheques. Then we were ready to go when Herr Rogers discovered that he still had to sign his cheques. He had lots of money in large denominations though, so it didn’t take long.

At approximately 7 p.m., we went back to the bus depot where all goodbyers and well-wishers had departed. As we boarded the bus and headed east, things quieted down a little. All of us ate sandwiches and napped. Alicia and I had a huge box full of goodies that her family had fixed for us. We came to Evanston and went into the restaurant for a drink. Then we traveled on to Rock Springs and Laramie. The bus driver woke us up every two hours.

50 for 50 #18 – Japan Festival

Japan Festival - Salt Lake City

Today we took Trax downtown to the Japan Festival. It was sunny but cool and the festival was very crowded. In 1985 I went to got to Kobe, Japan to play volleyball in the World University Games. We just missed getting a medal by taking 4th place. That was a long time ago and it feels like another lifetime too. There wasn’t much of today’s festival that reminded me of that trip but I’m glad we went.

Yakira and the CCI dog

balloon artist with samurai warrior hat

As we got off Trax about a block from the festival we started to notice the costumes. Some people were dress in traditional Japanese dress. But more common were young people dressed in all kinds of fanciful ways, with cat ears, tails and other kinds of animals. There were a couple of booths about anime so we think that the costumes were from Japanese cartoons. Most of one side of the street were food booths. The other side of the street had booths with merchandise. The most popular items were colorful umbrellas and samurai swords. We saw several dogs including a working dog from CCI (Canine Companions for Independence). The CCI dog was a yellow lab, who showed interest in Yakira but was not distracted by her.They also had an open house at the local Buddhist temple, so we walked around it for a bit.

My favorite thing was a balloon artist. He had this amazing samurai warrior made of balloons on his head. There were also two stages with Japanese entertainment. One on each end of the street. It was too crowded for my comfort so we didn’t stay very long. Yakira didn’t love the crowds but she handled them just fine.

50 for 50 #8 – 2002 Winter Olympics

Raelyn and Yakira

The Gateway

Today we went to the Gateway in downtown Salt Lake City. They was a party for the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Winter Olympics. We didn’t go to any sporting events 10 years ago but we say the torch as it passed a couple of blocks from our home in Provo and we made the trek up to see the Olympic cauldron after it was lit. We also enjoyed the ice sculpture contest and the Dale Chihuly exhibit. We (Bill, Yakira & I) rode Trax in and walked around to see what was going on at the Gateway and took some photos. Then we wandered around the Clark Planetarium and finally had lunch at Rumbi. After we got back to Sandy we stopped at Costco to get some groceries. It was a fun and relaxing kind of day though all three of us where very tired by the time we got home, including Yakira. She was a very good pup and handled all the people and situations with ease.