Thursday, July 16, 2009


This is an image of a flyleaf in a journal given by Sara Russon Kirkham to one of her sons at Christmas, 1919. This image was sent to Carolyn Christensen by Donna O-Neil in order to show that Sara did not include an "H" on her first name when she wrote her own name. If you click on this image, it should enlarge and you can see it better.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Submitted by KIRKHAM SMITH, grandson of Lott and Sarah Kirkham, son of Karl and Adah Kirkham Smith.


FEBRUARY 4, 1989

I have heard papa tell this story many times about the peach stone and how it came to be. Just before I went on my mission, we were sitting around the dinner table and I asked papa why he got the peach stone? Did Grandpa Kirkham make one for everyone? He said “no”. I ask why? He said “I really don’t want to talk about it”. So mom said I’ll tell you about it, so she started to tell it and he said “No, that isn’t quite right”. So he said let me tell you what really happened. He told me how old he was and I really don’t know for sure, but probably 7 or 8 years old was all. He said “My dad was being tried for polygamy. The church had a test case. They let it be known . . . leaked it to the government officials that my dad was living polygamy. His family had been hiding out for two years.”

He told me they had lived in chicken coops, straw stacks (tunneled out straw stacks) and the people in the community had hid them out in Lehi and north towards Salt Lake and the Saratoga area for two years. Grandpa could go and see them, but could never meet with them in public. If you read Essentials in Church History, you’ll find that the church decided to have a couple of test cases to see if the government would try people for something they had done before the law was passed. So they decided to leak a few of them out. . . . Now the church tells about this, but it doesn’t say that my grandpa was one of them. This was done with the permission of the families. They wanted to get it out in the open so that they could either get their families back or something. It was too hard on the families and they didn’t complain. But grandpa Kirkham didn’t like it and shed a lot of tears over his wife and her family being hid out.

And so they arrested him. And they took him to court to try him on the charge of polygamy. I don’t know anything about the trial. Dad was just a little boy. He said that they went through the whole thing, and were coming to the end of the trial when papa got involved.

He said, “They came over home and got me and my mother and brought us over to court. My mother knew that I couldn’t testify against him if he was my father”. Papa said, “Dad knew that so he didn’t think they would bring me in. They didn’t think that the law enforcement officers would bring his own family in to testify against him because it was against the law”.

They broke three major laws when they took Grandpa Kirkham to court to try him for polygamy. Our dad was just a little boy and they took him in the court room and number 1. A child could not testify against his father. That was the first law they broke . . . so the lawyer went out and got him and brought him into the courtroom, He said he was standing in the back of the courtroom kind of. And the lawyer bent down, put his arm around his shoulder and said to him “Lotty, who’s that man up there on the stand?” He said “I was so proud, that I said ‘That’s my dad’”. Then the prosecuting attorney went over by his mother and she started to cry. That convicted him right there, because that was not his family supposedly, but it was the family that was in hiding.

So they took Grandpa Kirkham right out. . . Now my dad told me this dozens of times. . . Took him right out. Put him in a wagon to take him from Lehi to prison. My dad ram to follow the wagon until he couldn’t follow it any further and he fell to the ground exhausted crying. He was crying all the way for his dad. And his dad was crying too. . .

The second law they broke was that they convicted him of a crime that was not against the law when he started it. In other words, he was married when there was not law against polygamy. The third law they broke was if you go to prison you can no longer vote, you lose your citizenship. He had his right to vote when he came out. They still allowed him to vote when he came out of prison.

The reason he carved the peach stone was because of that experience in the courtroom. He felt so bad for our dad when found out what he had done . . . convicted his dad, sent him to prison and took him away . . . that it broke his heart. So in order to make Lott feel better, he carved a peach stone watch fob and gave it to him. It has a little hole in it for a chain, but it is small for a peach stone. On one side is carved an anchor and on the other are the initials “L.K.” It’s really unique, but nothing to anybody else.

I’ve heard this so many times, and it is absolutely accurate. I ask papa a number of times before he died to repeat it to me because I have the peach stone. I have no other details than that.

Monday, July 6, 2009


This tapestry was stitched between 1837 and 1862 while Martha Foreman Charles was Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria (who ascended the thrown of England in 1837).

The unfinished tapestry was brought to America by Lucy Charles Steel, daughter of Martha Charles.

Martha Foreman Charles - 1779-1862
Lucy Charles Steel - 1817-1923
Adah Lucy Steel Stoddart- 1847-1936
Edward Charles Wrigley - 1864-1929
Sarah Adelaide Wrigley Kirkham- 1888-1973
Doris Kirkham Johnson - 1923 -
Carolyn Johnson Christensen - 1945

Grandma Sarah Kirkham showed me this tapestry when I was young. For some reason, I felt an emotional attachment to it, and tried to determine how I could impress Grandma enough for her to leave it to me. In my early teens, I came up with the idea to give Grandma a gold painted frame for Christmas in which to hang the tapestry. At that point, she realized that it was important to me, and told me I could have the tapestry. If the picture is clicked on, the size increases and you can see better the stitching. You can also see that the tapestry was never finished. The information that Martha Charles was a Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria was given to me by Grandma Sarah Kirkham. I have not been able to prove this information.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I am the happy Keeper of this document. It is Lott Kirkham's first grade graduation certificate. Wouldn't it be fun to have a picture of him at this age. The back of the certificate was used by (probably) his mother, Sara Russon Kirkham, to plan out a quilt she was making.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


When I turned 8 years old, I was so excited because I knew one of my birthday presents would be a Book of Remembrance from My Grandma Kirkham, (Sarah), who gave one of these books to each of her grandchildren as they turned 8. I was fascinated with the picture pedigree she always included. I could see seven generations of women in my grandmother's family, and I loved those pictures, even though the ladies looked quite strange to me. This is a picture of my original pedigree. You can see how I added names, got mixed up, used whiteout, and generally handled this page a lot. Wondering why she short changed my father's side? We have no pictures back further than his parents.


I have some records for the Kirkham and Wrigley families that might interest others. I also think other have the same. I did inherit the family history records of Sarah Wrigley Kirkham and would like to share them. I am also hoping there are others who want to share records about these people and their ancestors. A blog seems like a good way for all interested to see records that would otherwise sit in files and boxes in storage. I hope this site works as a way to share records for the Kirkham and Wrigley families.


I am a granddaughter, through Doris Kirkham Johnson, of Lott and Sarah Wrigley Kirkham. Lott and Sarah were born in Lehi, Utah and later moved to Shelley, Idaho. Lott's parents were George and Sara Russon Kirkham.  Sarah Wrigley's parents were Edward Charles Steele Wrigley and Sarah Ann Robinson.