Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Day in Ely, Nevada - August 2018



In mid-July of 2018, many of the descendants of
Orson and Shirley Rhoades Lauritzen
gathered at the birthplace of Orson
in Preston, White Pine, Nevada.

Orson and Shirley Rhoades Lauritzen

Kerry and I were unable to attend, due to some prior commitments, so a few weeks later we drove through the area
on our way to another destination.

Kerry had never been there, but I had attended a reunion of the
surviving siblings of Orson
close to thirty years ago.

Here are some things I saw and learned about on this trip.

First of all, why in the world were they there?
Most had lived in and/or been born in Utah.
So, what brought them to Nevada?

This, I believe, may be the answer:  The Edmunds-Tucker Act

It basically boiled down to plural marriage,
otherwise known as polygamy.

Senator George F. Edmunds of Vermont, and
John Randolph Tucker of Virginia, 
presented what was to be known 
as the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887.

The main focus was the practice of plural marriage,
and the many immigrants entering the country who would be
engaging in this practice.

"Since the people upholding polygamy in our Territories are reenforced by immigration from other lands, I recommend that a law be passed to prevent the importation of Mormons into the country."

It passed by a vote of 38-7,
and even though President Cleveland refused to sign the bill, 
he did not veto it.

It became law on 3 March 1887.
It was not repealed until 1978.

Many who were engaging in the practice of polygamy moved to other areas.

This act meant:
1.  The Church was disincorporated, as well as the
Perpetual Emigration Fund (used to pay forward for those emigrating to the United States).
2.  Public officials, and those who would be willing to serve as a juror, or vote, required an anti-polygamy oath.
3.  Spousal privilege was revoked, requiring wives be able to testify against their husbands.
4.  Replaced local judges with federal judges.

It also meant LDS Chapels were already taken over by the government,
with the threat of the Holy Temples also being confiscated, too.

It was during this time period that the family moved to Nevada.

Whether it was because of the turmoil,
or in spite of it...
I'm not sure yet.

What I do know is that a very good family moved 
to the desert country of Nevada 
where it's hot, and dry, and very forlorn.

I had never quite seen a cow sign like this one.


This beauty just seemed to be posing for us.


Kerry's father, Orson was named for his uncle James Orson Lauritzen.  I believe this is his mother on the right.

Metropolis, Nevada is not really a Metropolis by today's standards.


Mary Elizabeth Baker Terry was born in New Jersey. 
Her parents were both born in England,
and are buried in St. George, Utah
I can only imagine the stark reality of settling in the west after coming from the east, where it is much more green and verdant.

Peter Lauritzen and Mary Loanna Terry,
who were Kerry's grandparents.
Peter was born in Moroni, Utah,
which is in the central part of the state.
Mary was born in St. George, Utah,
which is in the southwest part of Utah.

I am going to assume the above photo was taken in Nevada,
for it matches up with others from that time period

The old school in Preston, Nevada.

I can't even imagine living in this little log cabin
in Preston, Nevada.

The chapel in Lund, Nevada.




 The above four photos are a representation of what 
Kerry's sister, Content Maxwell did
to honor the ancestors who were from this area.

Cemeteries were located both in Preston and Lund.
These contain the ancestors of the Orson William Lauritzen family
when they lived in Nevada.

A reunion was held in mid-July 2018, 
which Kerry and I were unable to attend.
So, a few weeks later, we made a trip there ourselves
on our way to some of my speaking assignments.

Content wrote up some wonderful histories of the family who lived there, and had them covered in very thick lamination.
They are bound with one ring,
and are either hung or laid on the graves.

This is one of the best ideas I have ever seen.

She also had some green indoor/outdoor carpet stretched over the graves, since it's not very green there.

 Little Lauris Elden Lauritzen was the firstborn child of 
Peter and Mary Loanna Terry Lauritzen's twelve children.
And, he only lived 13 days.
Their feelings of losing their oldest child wouldn't have been any different than their son, Orson, who would lose his oldest son.
Nor, of Orson's son Kerry,
who would also lose his oldest son.

Orson William Lauritzen, Kerry's father, was born in this tiny town in 1918.

Flowers were blooming at the edge of the property
where Orson was born.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

BYU Conference on Genealogy and Family History - Day #1

BYU Conference - Day #1
I love this conference.
This year marks the 50 year anniversary of this conference, and I feel so very honored to have been to so many of them. My first one was in 1994 when I had no idea where my life would be leading me. I was a mother of a young family, and was trying to do my best to raise them, and keep on doing my passion - genealogy work.
It was also where Neal A. Maxwell asked those of us in attendance how many had been asked how far back we had gone in our research.
All of us raised our hands.
He then issued the charge that it doesn't matter how far back we've gone. Perhaps we should concentrate on cleaning up what we already have.
I have taken that charge quite seriously.
Elder Bradley Foster was the plenary speaker this morning, and a few of the videos that were shown at RootsTech were also shown here. And, they get me every time. When I think of the billions of people who have lived on this earth wondering if they ever mattered...they matter.
I took an excellent class from Jim Beidler on German research. Then, Kory Meyerink, Jill Woodbury, and a rep from FamilySearch completed the lineup before my presentation on Ohio - the Great Land Experiment. I do believe it was well received.
In the evening, Kerry and I attended a reception to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this conference. He and I sat and talked with Curt Witcher for quite awhile as we ate and listened to some of the most beautiful music emanating from a harpist. We could have left at any time, but we all stayed to listen to the harp.
It's been a wonderful first day. And, I'm thrilled to run into friends that I dearly respect and love.

Steve Young, Curt Witcher, Jim Beidler

Lisa Louise Cooke and Janet Havorka

Michael Hall and Mary Kozy

Michael Strauss and Don Snow

BYU Conference on Genealogy and Family History - Day #2

BYU Conference - Day #2
I loved the comments in the opening session this morning. David E. Rencheralways does such a stellar job in bringing the world of genealogy to the forefront.
Today, I purposely concentrated on attending classes from people I had never heard before. And, not letting them know who I was. Not that I'm important, or anything like that at all...but, sometimes people can get rattled when a seasoned person is sitting in the audience.
Me? I'm grateful; for they're there when I stumble.
But, I was also grateful to sit in on two classes taught by men I have respected for awhile. Curt Witcher taught one of the best classes ever on Native American ancestry. I have a particular interest in this subject, and was madly taking notes. He was one of the first speakers I ever heard when I first started out, and he is still just as relaxed and informative as ever. I wish I could hear it twice.
I also heard a marvelous class on railroad research by Michael Strauss. All I can say is double wow! This presentation was the maiden voyage for him on this topic, and I wish I could hear it twice, also. He is another excellent presenter whose classes are filled with evidence of the massive amount of research he has done.
I am so fortunate to be able to hear such wonderful people. Someone once asked me what I do at conferences when I'm not speaking. Are you kidding me? I'm taking classes! Yes, especially me! From one end of this country to the other, through many venues, I have been taught by the masters of the field.
Kerry spends the mornings and afternoons at the Harold B. Lee Library here on the campus. There are many who do their research at this facility instead of making the trip 40 miles north to Salt Lake City. He has been enjoying his time alone there.
I still have work to do in the evenings, for I have a few preparations to do before going to visit Jordan and Erik, going north to Portland to visit Harmony, and eventually arriving in Arlington, Washington for the Northwest Genealogy Conference.
I have spent the evening catching up with sisters, children, friends from home, and relishing all of the new things I've learned today.


BYU Conference on Genealogy and Family History - Day #3

BYU Conference - Day #3
Just when I think my brain is saturated and I can't learn one more thing...I learn one more thing.
This morning's plenary session was given by Curt Witcher, who has never disappointed me in any class where I've had the opportunity to listen to him. I'm not going to go into detail as to the content of his talk, for it was one you just had to be in attendance to listen to. And, perhaps he will give it in a venue you may be attending.
Let's just say that I walked out of that session a different person than when I walked in. Kerry sat beside me hanging on to his every word. It was that good.
It was on to more classes! I listened to a great talk on Civil War pension files, followed by Michael Strauss giving one of his great talks on World War II. He is one of those "must see" speakers when it comes to talks on anything military.
After lunch, I went straight out of the chute with my Amish/Mennonite presentation. I think I gave some things for people to think about in tracing their German heritage. I finished up the day with a class on Ohio.
But, in between those last two classes, I had a chance to sit and talk with some of the finest people I know. Pat Richley-EricksonMarie Andersen, Don Snow and I sat and caught up with each others' lives. How I loved talking with them! They have been involved in genealogy longer than many people have been alive, and their dedication to good research is profound.
Don is one of those men who always sounds like he's smiling when he talks. He's the happiest man! And, he maintains a website with a vast amount of handouts that you can find here:
http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html
This evening was spent at the home of one of the organizers of this conference. I have been to his home before when he hosted many of the speakers, as well as locals, who have spent the day or on their feet, or have traveled a distance to be here. It was a warm and inviting evening with all of us just kicking back and relaxing.
A couple of people have asked me about this conference, which is in its 50th year. I believe I heard there are over 600 registered. That is quite manageable. The conference center is perfect, for the rooms are not spaced too far apart and the halls are wide. Because of its location, it is a mostly LDS audience. But, it's not limited to LDS, either by attendees or speakers.
Tomorrow is the last day, and I have two more classes to present. And, I'm one of those kinds of people who stay until the last class of the conference. That's a tough class to teach, for people have been absorbing information all week. But, I hang out until the end, because it's the right thing to do.

Kerry and Peggy with the "Y" behind us.

A reminder to us all.

Pat Erickson, Peggy, Marie Andersen, Don Snow

Friday, August 3, 2018

BYU Conference on Genealogy and Family History - Day #4

BYU Conference - Day #4
It's the final day of the BYU Conference on Genealogy and Family History. And, I'm a wee bit tired. And yes, I woke up with someone singing to me that I needed to arise and get out of bed. And yes, it was Kerry.
The plenary speaker today hit it out of the park. Wow. Todd Hansen is a local celebrity and star of BYU's "Story Trek". He was one of those people that you wanted to just keep on speaking and not stop. Actually, all of the plenary speakers had that effect on me.
Todd told the story of his being bullied while a young boy. This led to extreme shyness that took him years to overcome. Now, he knocks on strangers doors and asks them to tell him their story, for he feels every person has one. The clips from his shows were difficult to see through many moist eyes.
If you are fortunate enough to have BYU TV, then I would suggest tuning in to watch his remarkable show. You can read about him here:https://www.deseretnews.com/…/The-story-behind-Todd-Hansens…
The final day of breakout sessions soon followed, and I did my final two classes, making a total of five for this conference. On the first day, they announced they would no longer be printing paper syllabi as they have for the past fifty years. All come on a flash drive. Actually, it costs the same to print one off at the UPS Store as it does to order one here. I wonder if other conferences will follow suit.
I must say the lunches at this conferences are worth every bite! Utah is king of breads! Each day, they were ordered from a different vendor, and Kerry and I wolfed them down.
However, today was a different day. It was the ICAPGen luncheon, of which I am a member. It was over twenty years ago that I received the credential of AG, and it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I thought I was good. But, working toward that credential polished me up in ways I didn't know I needed polishing. Every five years, I recertify...both to the credentialing body, and to my own self.
It was so satisfying to see so many of these good men and women who are credentialed, and those who are on the path toward becoming an AG. They have three time the number of applicants than they did last year.
I stayed until the very last class was over. Don Snow, one of the people I sat and talked to for about an hour, along with Pat Richley-Erickson and Marie Andersen, is about one of the smartest men I know. He is one year older than my oldest sister, and was a former Math Professor at BYU. His wife taught Humanities.
He just amazes me. Oftentimes, we make the mistake of thinking those younger than us possess the brilliant and quick minds. Well, I do. But, in that, I am wrong. Some of the best advice I have received in research and technology have come from those who blazed the trails long before I came along.
After bidding goodbye to the many attendees and presenters that were left, Kerry and I left to go visit a friend who has been in either a rehab center, a nursing home, or the hospital for the past several years. Laura Leigh Moorewas quietly sleeping when we walked in, but it didn't take long for her infectious smile to light up the room. We only stayed a short time, and she only had one request. She wanted to hear what Kerry sings to me to wake me up.
I stood there with head down, wagging it back and forth as he sang to her. I can't get away from it.
Then, we drove to the chapel that Marie Andersen attends each week. For the longest time, she has been wanting me to come and see the organ in their building. Today was the day.
My.gosh.
I have never seen an organ like this! I was thunderstruck when I walked into the chapel and saw the pipes and the ornate carving from a distance. I reverently walked toward it, for an instrument of this magnitude had me standing in awe.
The lady who let us into the building turned it on, and left so I could have some fun. I was almost scared to touch it, but I finally sat down and played "Hallelujah". There were few stops on it, but the sound took my breath away.Laura Prescott, this was the organ played by Doug Bush. There are youtube videos and even CD's of him playing it.
Here is how a tracker organ works by wind:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tracker_action
Now, we will visit with some family tomorrow, and begin our trek to visit more family.
BYU Conference on Genealogy and Family History, you did it again!


Michael Hall, Curt Witcher, David Rencher.  Kerry is behind them.

With Debbie Shurtz Gurtler

With Diana Elder






Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Through Fifty Years of Genealogy


What a wonderful walk 

down memory lane!

I am very fortunate to be both attending and presenting at the BYU Conference on Genealogy and Family History, which is celebrating 50 years on this campus.

BYU assembled a wonderful display of genealogy through the past 50 years.  Located near the Vendor Hall, it was frequently filled with people exclaiming, "Oh, I remember those!"

So, let me show you some of this wonderful display...


The Entrance


This old card catalog brought a flood of memories to my mind.  I have spent hours hunched over drawers, where the items I was looking for were usually on the bottom.


We were each given a card like the one above.
If we completed three activities, we were awarded a BYU brownie - the best in the world.


The above two cards are given to each patron. 
They outline the services that are available from BYU.


 Now, this is where I literally got a lump in my throat.  I used to spend hours and hours copying information from pedigree charts and family group sheets that my parents had painstakingly recorded.  Those copies would be sent to Salt Lake City, or given to relatives who may have asked for them.
 My dad was so excited when he could finally afford a wide-carriage typewriter!  He only typed with his two index fingers, but he was as fast as me!
 Kerry had to try his hand at the old standard typewriter.  When I helped my parents fill out their information, part of the pedigree chart had to be folded under.
 Paper!  We used lots and lots of paper!  Actually, I still do.  I miss those old Research Outlines that were sold for twenty-five cents at Family History Centers.  And, I still have them for ever state.
 Oh, the reference books.  I actually own every single one of the books on this chart.  Some of them were printed when my parents were first beginning their research in the late 1940's and early 1950's.
 I still have my overhead projector and my slides.  When I first began speaking back in the 1980's, I actually lugged it around with me, along with 3-ring notebooks filled with my overhead "slides" that were in sheet protectors.

I learned early on that they needed to be housed in a notebook in sheet protectors after dropping a stack of them.  They went sliding like they were on ice.
 Displays are often found on charts in living rooms as people proudly display their heritage.

 Oh, my aching right arm!  I, along with hundreds of thousands of other genealogists, can remember the cranking of the microfilm reels.  They even had readers for left-handed people.

When patrons in the Family History Center would ask for advice for their first visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I told them to bring along a bottle of Tylenol for their back and arms and shoulders.

Before the advent of Family History Centers, all microfilm had to be viewed in Salt Lake City.  None could be sent anywhere.
 With the advent of computers, processing became faster.  I used to own a computer similar to the one above.

Just look at that screen!

 Studies have shown that children do better in life when the feel a connection with their past.  I have never seen such a time when so many children have been involved!

I was raised going to cemeteries and courthouses, and I'm grateful to see the younger generation getting on board.
 Family history now takes center stage in people's homes.  Or rather, it can take center stage.  There are many tools and apps available at our fingertips to sharpen our knowledge and skills.

The home base for genealogy and family history is now our own home.  The days for travel to the actual place where our ancestors lived have lessened.  Research and processing and recording can be done in a quiet corner of our home as we recall the stories associated with our ancestors.

This display was such a delight to walk through.  It brought back memories and "aha" moments as I realized I have used every one of these tools to get to where we are today.

What about you?

Do these spur some memories in your life?