Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Posted by Carolyn J. Christensen, 30 Jun 2010 - 5th Great Grand Daugher and great admirer of Hannah Hardy Eckersley Crompton.

(Third husband of Adah Lucy Steel Wrigley Job ; sealing line)

Robert Stoddart, son of William and Margaret Alpine Stoddart, was born in Brampton, England, July 9, 1839. He was the 2nd child in a family of thirteen children.

Robert’s parent accepted the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which were brought to them by missionaries in England. The family was part of a company of Latter-day Saints who left Liverpool England on the sailing vessel “Caravan” on February 18, 1856 under the leadership of Daniel Tyler. Robert was 17 at the time. They arrived in New York March 25, 1856. (1) They were seven months and eight days being tossed upon the ocean waves, riding half-way across the American continent on railroad cars, waiting in Iowa City for supplies and handcarts in order to walk, pull and push their food, clothing and supplies the remaining 1300 miles to the Valleys of the Mountains. They arrived in Salt Lake City on September 26, 1856.

These first handcart companies, composed of children, women and men were to demonstrate the feasibility of walking across the plains. The result of their trip was heralded among the Saints on both continents. Near the site of the “This is the Place” monument, they were met by a delegation from the city, with Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and other authorities, led by a band; they were escorted to their destination.

The Stoddart family came in the first handcart company to reach Salt Lake City. They left Iowa City Jun 9, under the captaincy of Edmund Ellsworth. They, William age 43 and Margaret age 38, had with them seven children, Caleb (19), Robert (17), Jane (13), Sarah (11), Hannah (9), Mary (4), and Margaret (2). The rest of the thirteen children were born in Utah.

Robert was seventeen years old when he had the daily task of assisting in pushing the handcart 1300 miles. He enjoyed the handcart trip; the traveling, the adventures, his duties and the fellowship of the other young men. He experienced the wading of rivers in transporting luggage from shore to shore. It was his job to rustle wood and buffalo chips for the camp fires. There were two cows in the company and there were only two boys who could milk and Robert was one of them. He was given a pint of Milk each meal for doing the milking and his mother said that was their salvation.
Starting the journey in the early summer they did not suffer from the cold, but they didn’t have enough provisions. They were allowed a quarter of a pound of flour a day for each one so they made it into biscuits and divided them into three parts for breakfast, dinner, and supper. That was not much flour, 2 ¼ pounds for nine people.

They had many narrow escapes from the danger on the way. At one time stampeding buffalo were coming toward the train (of handcarts). It appeared to be certain death, but all had prayers in their hearts and on their lips and the herd divided, part going one way and part the other. Robert said the earth rocked with the weight of them. During the journey they encountered some severe storms from which they had little protection. One man was skilled and Mrs. Stoddart and her son Caleb were knocked down by lightening. One young man came near drowning and Robert went into the river and saved him.

One of Robert’s uncles who was in the company died at Green River. They said he starved to death. He would not eat until he saw that his children had had enough. When he did eat a little meat, it gave him dysentery and he died.

The company arrived in Salt Lake City the latter part of September and was met by President Brigham Young and others of the church leaders and a band. This was no small feat they had accomplished – to cross 1300 miles of wilderness with handcarts. (1)

Robert had walked barefooted most of the way across the plains and his feet were so hard they would turn a prickly pear. The opportunity of immigrating to America was considered a rare privilege. He had been in the valley but a few weeks when he volunteered to return and assist the much belated Willey and Martin companies. He crossed the plains either five or seven times. He came home just before President Abraham Lincoln was killed. Robert loved the experience of being on the plains, and all that it entailed.

The Stoddart family settled in Springtown, Sanpete Co. Robert took part in the Black Haws Indian War, being one of three men who volunteered from Spring City, then known as Springtown. In the year 1868, under the command of Colonel John L. Ivie, he was with some other members of the company who were sent down into Paiute County to rescue a number of men who were mining in the locality and were surrounded by Indians. The heroic efforts of the rescuers saved the men and they were brought back safely to the settlements. Robert was what might be called a minute-main and rode on several occasions to warn people and to take them to places of safety, risking his own life in so doing.

Robert Stoddart was a likeable man; he was easy and pliable in the company of friends as well at strangers. He excelled in his vocation as cook and hotel proprietor, and became well known along the Union Pacific line.

September 8, 1874 (age 25) he married Ada Lucy Steel, and that fall they moved to Lehi, Utah Co. The next year they moved to York, Juab Co., which was then the terminus of the Union Pacific railroad. The railroad moved its terminus to Juab and the Stoddart family followed. They later moved to Provo and lived at the station when the Denver and Rio Grande line was built. Mrs. Stoddart’s health was not good in Provo so they moved to American Fork and ran the boarding house at the Lehi sugar Factory during its second run. In 1893 (age 54), Mr. Stoddart was asked to manage the Union Hotel in Lehi. Although he died just a few months later, his wife continued to manage the hotel for 13 years.

In November, 1983 Robert Stoddart died leaving his wife with a family of ten children.

This is a brief history of my (Lucy Stoddart) parents. Many changes have taken place since their time, but I carry on a lot of happiness passed on to me by the folks who were young ninety years ago. Their love still shelters me; their way of life sustains me still. Odd how the years sift out the waste of life and save only the best for our inheritance.

1. Jensen: Chronology, p. 55

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Posted by C. J. Christensen, great grand daughter of George W. and Mary Ann Astington Kirkham.


The following was posted by Ked Kirkham on a Kirkham Blog Site:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sons of Utah Pioneers Honor Our Kirkhams

Connie Kirkham Nielsen sends updated information on the honor the Lehi SUP is showing the families of George and Mary Ann Kirkham:

"Announcing 2010 Lehi Sons of the Utah Pioneers Annual Fundraiser Event, Monday July 19 at 6:30 p.m. Event will be held at Mellor Hidden Meadows, 877 N. 100 East, Lehi.

"This year we will focus on Mary Ann Astington and George Kirkham, their four sons and all living Kirkham descendants.

We will be placing historical plaques on selected still-standing buildings in historic pioneer Lehi.

The final decision on concepts on the plaques will be determined by the SUP Board.

"Significant contributions to Lehi from the Kirkham history:

Mary Ann Astington had many spiritual experiences in England including dreams, visions, and speaking in tongues; George was told by 18 medical specialists in England that he was on his death bed and would die. Charles W Penrose administered to him and he lived to settle in Lehi.

Mary Ann was blessed with the talent for music, which she said was a gift from God.

All four of the boys were gifted in music. In Lehi the four performed together 4 to 5 times a week, from Tremonton to St George. George, the son of George W.,  played seventeen instruments. For years they provided musical entertainment in the first Recreation Hall in Lehi.

The Kirkhams have always been involved in the media and writing history. The son, George wrote an 800 page journal covering 69 years. He witnessed the stage coach massacre west of Lehi.

George was a master carpenter and his hand work can be seen on dozens of pioneer homes in Lehi.

"This year we will limit the fundraiser to 240 ticket holders. Tickets will cost $20.00 per person. Individual tables will be reserved for ten people, costing $200.00 per table. Reservations will sell fast. Call Carl at 801-768-8665. "

Connie adds that additional donations will be accepted. Contact Connie for more specifics. Her phone is 801-768-9624. She says a lovely meal will be served and as well as the program honoring the Kirkham Family. Our appreciation to Connie for letting us know about this special event.

Notes:  By CJC.   In another post on this blog is a picture of the home in England where these Kirkhams lived.    Also, attending the dinner will bee Von and Carolyn Christensen, and Kathy and Mark Reed, from the Lott Kirkham Family.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010



Posted by Carolyn J. Christensen, great-granddaughter of Edward Charles Wrigley

I wrote the following many years ago, some time after I returned from a six week genealogy trip to England when I was in my early twenties. One of the highlights there was to visit the village where our Wrigley line originated.

“There I was, doing the thing I had dreamed of so long. I was sitting behind the wheel of a Hillman Imp, a tiny English car, speeding along the road that cut through the beautiful countryside. The road sign said Barnby-Don was one mile away and my excitement grew in leaps and bounds. Barnby-Don. I had heard so much about it. My mind quickly flew through the thousands of mental images I had gleaned through the years as I searched for names of my Wrigley ancestors, knowing all the while, the town would be nothing like I imagined. Around the next corner and there it was. The moment overwhelmed me. I stopped the car a moment to compose myself before entering the quiet little village. It was one of England’s many mill towns. There was little left of the old buildings; new uniform apartment type building marked the growth of the village in the last one hundred years.
Later the village minister pointed out the lovely old church, and just down the road, the schoolhouse where my own ancestor had lived and taught school. Soon the minister left me alone in the church, the Parish Chest open before me, and I was free to slip back into the past. There on the pages, in faded, shaking writing was the record, the only record, of long dead ancestors. My happiness knew no bounds as I lovingly copied the information shown on the pages. As the sun slanted through the window, giving a glow to the books I was copying from, I knew I was experiencing a moment I would lock in my heart forever.”

Carolyn Johnson Christensen 1945
> Doris Kirkham Johnson 1923
> Sarah A. Wrigley Kirkham1888
> Edward Charles Wrigley 1864
> Joseph Wrigley 1840
> Thomas Wrigley 1816
> John Wrigley 1774
> John Wrigley 1737
> Jeremiah Wrigley 1709
> Jeremiah Wrigley 1683

                                                     The beautiful Barnby-Don Church

The Barnby-Don School