Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Book Of Pioneers & Peggy not Margaret Ann

Every once in a while you are in the right place at the right time. The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers scheduled a lesson in 2010 on the celebration of the 50-year mark or Jubilee of when the pioneers had entered the valley in 1847 and I was randomly assigned to teach the lesson. The stars were already lining up. Knowing that our family had pioneers that came that first year I knew it would be a great opportunity to learn more and once I started digging into extra material I found myself at the Utah State Historical Society looking at the original Book of Pioneers.

This book is made up of forms that were filled out by all original 1847 pioneers that could be located and still living in 1897. Armed with my list of ancestors I was put into a room to view the “book” via microfilm. I’m not certain if it was because of the Rio Grande historical nature or the work I was engaged in alone, but it wasn’t long until I felt the room fill up with others looking at the book with me, others from another dimension. Imagine, I was looking at information that may not have been looked at for over 100 years! It was a gift just to see their handwriting, to see how they worded an answer to a simple question and to search the page for any extra information about the family.

These papers and the feelings I got while looking at them made our ancestors come to life more than ever. One specific example that we can learn from is Margaret Ann Sidwell. I searched for her on the General Immigration list but didn’t find her until I looked a little deeper. She was listed as “Sidwell, Peggy A.”. Well, who would have thought she was known as Peggy?And she had a sister Rebecca who filled out a paper as well who went by . . . Rebecca.

If you click on the image you will be able to read the information about where they were born, when they arrived in the valley, whose company they were in, who their captain of 100, 50 and 10 were. Also at the very bottom of the page there is a place for relics that were donated to the state.

The only reclics donated were by Charles Sperry (hopefully he donated on behalf of the entire Sperry Family). It states "One roleing pinn, and one potato masher. They were turned in the spring of 1848 in the South part."

I only put a few of the images of our family up on this post. I have the others stored up for another time. If you find yourself in downtown Salt Lake with nothing to do, head over to the Rio Grande Depot and look them up yourself. You won't be sorry.

1 comment:

  1. that's cool mom! I bet Peggy is glad we will finally start calling her by her nickname--we are family after all.