Joseph G. Hovey and Martha A. Webster Hovey

Hovey, Joseph Grafton - picture

Joseph Grafton Hovey grew up in the Boston, Massachusetts area in the early 1800’s.  He was born on the 17th of November, 1812 in Cambridge to Thomas and Elizabeth (Seaver) Hovey.  Joseph was the youngest of ten children.

When he was just three years old, the family moved to a small farm near Newton, which was about seven miles outside of Boston.  The whole family worked and enjoyed the living on the farm for the next fifteen years.

Thomas, Joseph’s father, made a good cider that was in demand. Every fall he took his cider to Boston and returned with a wagon load of supplies.  In the fall of 1830, Thomas took his cider to town and loaded up his wagon with lumber for a barn that he was building.  During the return trip home, he fell asleep and fell off and under the wagon, which then passed over his neck and shoulders, killing him.  This was very hard on the family. Joseph’s mother took the lose of her husband especially hard.

Joseph was seventeen when his father died.  He decided that he wanted to learn a trade.  He took himself off to Boston and learned to be a carriage maker. Joseph did quite well in this business for the next few years until poor health made him take a break for some time at the age of twenty-two.

This same year, 1833, Joseph married Martha Ann Webster in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Martha was seventeen years old and the daughter of Josiah and Hannah (Grant) Webster.

Martha was born on the 24th of December, 1814 in Portsmouth.  The young couple married on July 2nd, 1833.  I know that while Joseph was sick, one of Martha’s uncles had been his doctor. This is purely speculation, but I’m imagining that is how the two met.

After the wedding, the couple moved to Boston and Joseph took up the carriage business again.  After a short time, he became ill again.  The couple then moved to Chelsea, Massachusetts where they stayed for the next couple of years.

Joseph and Martha’s first two children were born, twin girls, Elizabeth Woodville and Martha Ann, on the 11th of May in 1835.

Two of Joseph’s brothers, Orlando and Stephen, were living in Quincy, Illinois and wrote several times, encouraging their younger brother to join them.  On June 12th, 1837, the young family started off on their journey.  They went by railroad and steamboat. It took them twelve days to arrive at their destination.   One of the twins, Martha. was sick with consumption by the time that they arrived at Joseph brothers house.

Joseph’s brother, Orlando, was a doctor, practicing the Tomsonian system of medicine. This was an alternative medicine, herbalism, that Joseph was familiar with because it is how he had been treated during his illness back in 1833.  Orlando asked Joseph to join him in his practice.  Both the Hovey brothers worked as doctors for some years.

Tragedy struck the small family on the 11th of October, 1837 when little Martha died of consumption.  Two months later, Martha gave birth to the couples first son. They named the little boy Grafton Wallace, but he only lived to be eight months old, dying on August 26th of 1838.

In 1839, the Joseph Hovey family moved about 50 miles away to Pike county, Illinois.  Joseph continued to practice medicine there for the next two years.

On June 8th of 1839, Martha gave birth to a second son, Joseph Grafton II. (Who became my 2nd great grandfather!)

Some of the Mormons who had been run out of Missouri were living in this same area.  One day, an elder of the church came to the Hovey house for medicine. Martha knew that he was one of the newcomers, so started to question him on his religion.  Joseph and Martha liked what they were hearing and begin to study the Book of Mormon.  On the 4th of July, 1839, the couple were both baptized into the Mormon religion.

A call was put out for the people of this religion to gather at Nauvoo, Illinois, about eighty miles from where the Hovey family lived.  They decided to go, selling their possessions in preparation.

Arriving in Nauvoo in early November, the family found that there were few houses to take shelter in. It was bitterly cold and the only place they could find to stay was a stable that was partly falling down. It rained so hard that night that they had to find a tent instead.  Joseph soon received a one acre lot from the church and built a small log cabin. In the meantime, the family lived in the tent for two months until the cabin was ready.

The Saints were not left to live here peacefully. Some were kidnapped, houses were burnt down, people arrested and hanged. The locals did not want them there.  The people went ahead with their plans to build a city and a temple.  Joseph continued helping people with his medicine and soon found himself working as a stone cutter in the quarry as well.

By 1842, things had settled down. The village was thriving, the temple in progress, the farmland providing food.  Martha had another son, Thomas Josiah, named after both Martha and Joseph’s fathers. Just seven months later, little Thomas took sick while he was teething and died on August 2nd of 1843.   Three of their five children have now passed away. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been.

There was more turmoil, more hatred and arrests of some of the Mormon leaders.

During this tumultuous time, Martha gave birth to another son on June 13th, 1844.  This poor babe only lived a month. That poor mama.  How heartbreaking for her.

A year later, on July 17th, 1845, a baby girl was born.  They named her Hannah Adelaide. It was the easiest labor Martha had ever had.  The two living older kids, Elizabeth and Joseph, both had the whooping cough.

More houses and properties are being burnt by the mob. Two hundred buildings and a lot of grain went up in flames.  It must have been such a scary time.  About this time, the Saints decided that they needed to move on, to go into the Wilderness and find another place.

On December 1st, 1845, Joseph finished his stone work on the baptismal fount and agreed to build a shop and begin to build wagons for the journey into the wilderness.

His diary tells how he worked himself night and day to get all of the work done. How he didn’t get the provisions that he was promised for his family but he worked himself sick anyway.  How his constitution was broken down before the trip even begin. How he drove his family in the wagon while he was sick and shaky, how he could barely stand.

They left Nauvoo on June 28, 1946.  Joseph had to secure a boat to get their wagon, cattle, and their oxen to the other side. Martha was afraid that the boat was so heavy that they would all drown, so she kept the children and stayed on the ground.  Joseph came back for her and the kids once he got the rest of their load situated on the far side of the river.

Joseph wasn’t the only one sick.  He was called on to doctor about ten people on the first few days out on the Mormon Trail.  They traveled for for a month and a half before Martha finally had to admit that she too was ill.  She hadn’t wanted to admit it to Joseph because she thought he might get too discouraged and not want to go on.   Brigham Young drove their wagon for a time because Joseph and Martha were both to sick.

By the time the party had reached winter quarters, Martha was extremely sick.  Joseph wasn’t much better and baby Hannah was sick as well.  Martha was very concerned for her husband and baby and asked for someone to please go care for her husband.  Those were the last words Martha spoke. She slipped into what seems like a coma from Joseph’s description in his diary.  He was able to sit with her for her last few hours and mentioned how peaceful she looked. It was the 16th of September, 1846.

Martha is buried in the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery in Florence, Nebraska.

Hovey, Martha Ann - Omaha, Nebraska

After she passed away, Joseph renamed their youngest daughter in her honor. He changed her name from Hannah to Martha Jane.  Joseph was still so sick that he boarded the baby with another family at winter quarters for $1 a week.

Sadly, baby Martha contacted the measles and passed away on January 19th, 1848.  She was 2-1/2 years old and is buried in the same plot as her mother.

Joseph married for a second time.  Sarah Currier was his second wife and they married at Winter Quarters.  The couple had a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth born in 1850 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A third marriage was to Sarah Louise Goodridge.  Sarah and Joseph had a son but both the mother and the baby died in childbirth.

In 1852, Joseph married for the fourth time to Lusanna Goodridge.  They married in Utah and went on to have eight more children.

Once in Utah, Joseph was one of the first settlers in Millville, about eighty miles north of Salt Lake City.  In 1860, Joseph was chosen as the Bishop of the Millville ward. He served there for three years. Back in Salt Lake City, he helped to build the temple.

Salt Lake City Temple

Joseph Grafton Hovey was a stone cutter on the temple and other buildings in temple square.

Salt Lake City Temple Information

Salt Lake Temple Information sign says that the stone was granite and was hauled 23 miles by ox-drawn wagon from Little Cottonwood Canyon to build the temple. That would have been Joseph doing some of that work since he was a stone cutter.

Joseph passed away on May 6th of 1868 in Salt Lake City. He was 55 years old.

Joseph is buried in the Kimball-Whitney Cemetery in Salt Lake City.

Engravings on the grave marker - Joseph Grafton Hovey

Stacey Roth and Paula Niziolek with 3rd great grandfather - Joseph Grafton Hovey

Finding our third great-grandfather’s grave. I’m on the left and my sister, Stacey Roth, is on the right.

Kimball Cemetery Sign - Salt Lake City


(Joseph and Martha are my 3rd great-grandparents on my maternal side.)

Hovey, Joseph Grafton Line












Laurena Winifred Kennison Vance

Laurena Kennison High School - 1948

Laurena Winifred Kennison was born on April 24th, 1930 to Harry Alvin and Edna Winifred (Weaver) Kennison in Wallowa, Oregon. She was named after her Uncle Billy Kennison’s wife. (Billy had passed away in 1922.) Laurena was the youngest of three children, joining her sister Shirley and her brother Harry in the family.

When Laurena was only four years old, her dad passed away of a sudden heart attack in December of 1934.  The family struggled on until 1940 when Laurena’s mom married Trell Coleman.  Laurena was almost ten years old at the time and Trell was a wonderful stepdad.

Laurena Winnifred Kennison

(Laurena, age 13)

Laurena went to Wallowa High School, graduating in 1948.  I think that the first photo above is her senior picture. I love that her signature is on it.

As soon as Laurena graduated from high school, she married Ray Thomas Vance. The wedding took place on the 23rd of May, 1948.  Laurena was eighteen years old.

Laurena Kennison and her cat

Nine years later the couple was blessed a son, Kenton.

Vance, Ray and Laurena Kennison 15th wedding anniversary

(Ray and Laurena celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary.)

The couple had moved to Alaska fairly early in their marriage, I believe.

I did find two little mentions of her in the Sitka, Alaska newspaper.

From the Sitka Daily Sentinel, Sitka Alaska – September 1, 1982

Laurena Vance will speak on the importance of nutrition in the treatment of alcoholism. 

Then, May 5th, 1983:

Discussion leader will be Laurena Vance, SCAODA outpatient supervisor.

SCAODA is the State Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Laurena and Ray divorced at some point, but I’m not sure the dates on that either.

Laurena was living in Salem, Oregon when she passed away.  She had a form a leukemia and I remember that she had been tired, bone weary, really. She went to the doctor and was diagnosed with leukemia only a couple of short weeks before she passed away. She was 72 years old and passed away on the 16th of March, 2003 just shy of her 73rd birthday.

I personally barely remember Laurena and Ray, except for some reason I can clearly remember the raspy sound of my Aunt Laurena’s voice and her laugh. There are a lot of holes that I’m hoping family members can fill in with Laurena’s story.  Can you help?  Please either leave a comment here or send me a private message. Thank you!

Kennison, Laurena Line

(Laurena is my great-aunt. She is my dad’s mother’s sister.)


“Her hair was naturally curly as was Edna Weaver Kennison’s hair.” ~ Kara Kennison

Weaver Family Photo – 1978

Weaver, Remaining children of Elijah and Mary 1978 - photo


Weaver, Remaining Children of Elijah and Mary 1978

August 13th, 1978

This picture was taken of the remaining children of Elijah Daniel and Mary Pearl (Hulse) Weaver.

Left to Right: Martin Tucker Weaver, 56; Selby Granville Weaver, 60; Kenneth Weldon Weaver, 63; Leona Myrtle Marie Weaver Armon, 59; Wilbur Gregory Weaver, 65; Lloyd Wallace Weaver, 67; Robert Wayne Weaver, 69.

Taken at Chuck’s Home. (Chuck was Lloyd.  His home was in Wallowa, Oregon.)

I want to graciously thank my 2nd cousin, Lorrie Goebel Wade for sharing it with me so that I could share it with all of you. What a family treasure!  Lorrie thinks that it was possibly taken after her grandmother Blanche’s funeral. Blanche was one of the Weaver kids as was my own great-grandmother, Edna, who had passed away in 1970.

The Weavers - Siblings 1978

Shannon Weaver Erm saw this post and sent along two other wonderful pictures taken on the same day.  She went a step further and sent close-ups that really show the expressions on their faces. Enjoy!

Thank you so much, Shannon. These are fantastic!

Weaver, Kenneth Weldon

Kenneth Weldon Weaver

Weaver, Leona Myrtle Marie Armon - 1978

Leona “Myrtle” Marie Weaver Armon

Weaver, Lloyd Wallace - Chuck - 1978

Lloyd “Chuck” Wallace Weaver

Weaver, Martin Tucker - Brother 1978

Martin “Doc” Tucker Weaver

Weaver, Robert Wayne - 1978

Robert Wayne Weaver

Weaver, Selby Granville- 1978 -

Selby Granville Weaver

Weaver, Wilbur Gregory - 1978

Wilbur Gregory Weaver

The Weavers - Siblings 1978 - Shot 2

(All of these wonderful people are my 2nd great uncles and one 2nd great aunt. My great-grandmother, Edna Winifred Weaver was their sister.)

Weaver, Edna Kennison Coleman Line


Elijah and Mary Weaver’s Children Photo

Weaver, Edna in the middle holding the baby

In this picture are the five oldest children of Elijah and Mary Weaver.

Back Row, left to right:  Jay and Ellis

Front Row, left to right: Wayne, Edna, Lloyd, and Blanche

Lloyd was born in February of 1911, so I’m guessing that this picture was taken in the summer of 1912.  That would have made the kids the following ages, (again back row front to left, then front row:  Jay – 7; Ellis – 12; Wayne – 3; Edna – 9; Lloyd – 1-1/2; Blanche – 5.

What a treasure this picture is!  Thank you so much to Lorrie Goebel Wade and Kara Kennison for sharing it!

(Edna is my great-grandmother. The mother of Shirley Marcilee Kennison, who is the mother of my dad, Thomas Alvin Sannar.)

Wilbur Weaver and Francis Armon Photo

Weaver, Wilbur and Armon, Francis

Wilbur Weaver is on the left and Francis Armon is on the right.

Francis married Wilbur’s sister, Myrtle.  I bet that was some foot stomping mountain music the two of them were playing!  This was taken in Wallowa county, Oregon, year unknown.  (If anyone knows the year or has some knowledge of their music, please leave a comment!)

This picture is courtesy of Lorrie Goebel Wade. Thank you, Lorrie!

(Wilbur Weaver is my 2nd great uncle and Francis Armon is the husband of my 2nd great aunt.)


“This was before my time ! I do know almost every Sunday after Church we would go down to Myrtle and Francis’ place and they would all play. Aunt Myrtle on the accordion,  Mom would sing and yodel, oh could she yodel, Marsh and Carmen, Lonnie Joe. I know they use to play for dances at the upstairs of the Minam motel. It was all Country music! They all were “self taught” musicians. No one, the men, could read music. They just “picked” it up. That is about all I know. Thank you for this picture. Not only did Francis marry Dad’s sister Myrtle, but Dad married Francis’ sister Charlotte, Dad’s brother Marshall married Francis’ other sister Carmen. I have 7 first double cousins and we all grew up in Wallowa. ”  ~ Lynda Weaver Mattson



Adah Gertrude (Hescock) Sannar

Adah and James Sannar

Adah was a tiny woman, standing less than 5′ tall, but with a big spirit.  She was my great-grandmother and I remember her as always smiling. So happy to see us when we would drive across the rickety wooden bridge in her driveway and pull up to the little white cottage where her and her son Jimmy lived.

Great-Grandma’s house was on the outskirts of Milton-Freewater, Oregon, up against a large grass covered dike.  Her husband, Frank, had been gone for many years before I was born so I only knew the place as great-grandma’s house.  She had an orchard, or at least quite a few apple tree’s that I remember and a large chicken coop with what seemed like to me as hundreds of white birds.  I always liked when she would get a basket and go out to the chicken coop with us kids to gather eggs.

Grandma had a little dog named Clementine.  I don’t know what breed she was but she was a little white dog with some black on her ears and face.  That little dog was old and blind but I loved her.  I remember being heartbroken when she died and was no longer there to greet us when we came.

There was an irrigation ditch that ran behind grandma’s house.  It was fun to play around the ditch in the summertime, betting each other to hop over it and try not to splash in.  It always smelled wonderful out there because wild mint grew all over the place.  We always picked some to chew on while we played.

Sannar, James Orval

Uncle Jimmy, James Orval Sannar, always lived with great grandma.  Like I mentioned, she was a tiny lady and had a hard time giving birth.  When Jimmy was born, forceps had to be used and the procedure caused brain damage. Jimmy was simple but I sure loved him.  He helped grandma around the place and raised his own flock of chickens.  When I think of Uncle Jimmy, I always picture him in his favorite old rocking chair. It was a wooden Mission-style chair with a leather seat.  In my mind, Jimmy is sitting there rocking with that wonderful grin on his face that he always wore.

Great-grandma baked quite often and would freeze the pies that she made from the fruit on her tree’s.  She always had a freezer full of pies and when we would come to visit, each of us kids would take turns picking the kind of pie that we wanted for dessert. What a treat that was!  Another thing I always remember from grandma’s kitchen was her green beans. I call that kind “cooked-to-death green beans” now and still love them.  They are cooked in a saucepan on top of the stove with bacon or even just bacon grease in them and boiled almost to death. So good!

My mom didn’t really like eating at great-grandma’s house because Uncle Jimmy was in charge of washing the dishes so they were never very clean. Jimmy also didn’t have very good table manners and would burp and fart whenever the urge took him.  I was a kid and didn’t mind at all. Of course in my eyes, Uncle Jimmy couldn’t do much wrong.

Great-Grandma’s full name was Adah Gertrude Hescock.  She was born on September 16th, 1895 in Nelson Township, Ohio to Ward Beacher Hescock and Ida June (Goodsell) Hescock.  Adah was the third of four children born to the couple, though her oldest brother had died at birth.  Her sister, Anna May was two years older.  In 1899, the girls welcomed another little sister, Mildred.

In the 1900 census, the Hescock family was living with Irad Goodsell, Adah’s grandfather, on the family farm in Nelson, Ohio.  Ward, Adah’s father was farming the land with his father-in-law.  There were two hired hands at the time, one 19 year old girl who was helping in the house and one 19 year old boy who was a farm laborer.

Very soon, the Hescock family pulled up stakes and moved West.  Sadly in 1902, Adah’s mother passed away.  She is buried in Dixie, Washington.

My oldest sister, Susan, went to stay with our great-grandmother for a couple of months in the spring of 1981.  Grandma was 86 years old, had suffered a heart attack and needed help remembering when to take her medications.  Susan had graduated from high school and was waiting for the job that she had taken in Wyoming to start, so she was able to go and help grandma out.  During this time, great-grandma shared a few stories with Susan.  One of them is about the time that her mother had passed away.  Grandma was six years old and sent back to Ohio to stay with relatives.  We’re not sure if her sisters were sent with her or if she went alone, or who she actually stayed with.

She talked about her aunts making picalilli, which is a relish of pickled vegetables and spices.  Susan remembers that great-grandma thought it was tart and didn’t care for it very much.

When Adah’s dad remarried about a year later, he sent for her to join them in Oregon.  She was seven years old and rode a train out, then her dad picked her up in a surrey from the station in La Grande.  They drove over Minam/Smith Mountain and on into Promise. She remembered there being fringe on the top of the buggy.

Adah’s father had married a widow by the name of Maryanne Swearingen Griffith.  Maryanne had three children of her own, so it would have been a large blended family of six kids right from the beginning.  When the couple had met, Maryanne told Ward that she would marry him if he would build a house big enough for all of their children and big enough for more kids to come.  He did, building it by hand and presenting it to her as a wedding gift.  Adah would welcome three half brothers as the years went by – Wilbur, Verne, and Glenn.  She was 13 years old when the oldest, Wilbur was born. 9 siblings in all!

On November 28th, 1912 Adah married James Franklin Sannar, “Frank”, in Wallowa, Oregon.  Just seven short months later — yikes! —- the couple welcomed their first daughter, Ida Ann, on the 30th of June 1913 in Promise, Oregon where they lived.

Several children were to follow – some dying in childbirth and one little boy, Woodrow, passed away from pneumonia when he was only 3-1/2 years old.  You can read more about the children and Adah’s husband, Frank, here.

I have mentioned that Adah was a tiny lady.  She said that each of her babies was bigger than the last.  When Jimmy was born the doctor advised them to not have any more children as it might possibly kill her.  She shared with Susan that there was one more baby after Jimmy but she wasn’t able to deliver it and the baby died in childbirth.  The doctor had to remove the baby after it died.  I can’t imagine what a terrible and heartbreaking experience that must have been.

Great-grandma also told Susan a story about a day that the dogs were chasing a grouse.  The grouse flew through the open door right into the house to get away from the dogs.  Grandma caught it and wrung it’s neck, then cooked it up for dinner. It was a blessing, because she wasn’t sure what they were going to eat that particular day.

The years passed and the children grew.  In 1944, Frank and Adah sold their home on Diamond Prairie Road in Wallowa and moved to Milton in Umatilla. This is the place that I remember and loved.

On the 16th of December, 1950 Adah became a widow at the age of 55.  Her father, Ward Hescock, lived in a small house on the same property, so Adah had help around the place.

My own personal stories of Adah take place in the 1970’s, when I was a child.  I remember at one point, when she was 80 years old, saying how she just wasn’t any good for anything anymore because she could no longer get clear up on the top rung of her old rickety wooden orchard ladders to pick fruit.  No one should have ever been on top of those ladders, especially an eighty year old woman!

Adah and Jimmy were both admitted to a long-term care center sometime in 1981.  Adah passed away on the 27th of December, 1982 at the age of 87.  She is buried in the Milton-Freewater IOOF Cemetery next to Jimmy and Frank.

Sannar, James Franklin and Adah Gertrude Headstone - Milton Oregon


Please please share your memories and picture of Adah with us!  Either leave them in the comments here or send me a private message or an email.  I would love to add your memories to this story!


Great Grandma Sannar would probably be the oldest relative that I remember. She lived in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. She lived on a small farm.  Her and Uncle Jimmy.  He raised Banty chickens and they had a fruit orchard with apricots and little fruit tree’s with an irrigation ditch running through the property with little bridges over it.  It was fun to go play on the farm. ”  ~ Stacey Sannar Roth

“Jimmy and his little wooden slat coops around the yard where he would pen his banties up every night. Grandma’s white house with the red trim, big flower beds in front and massive trees shading the yard was always a welcoming sight. And yes, grins on both Grandma’s and Jimmy’s faces a mile wide. Sweet Clementine was a little terrier of some sort. Grandma’s green beans were her own variety, saved from previous generations of green beans. I once asked Grandpa what type of beans she grew because i haven’t found any that taste so good. He didn’t know either as she’d always dried and saved some of the seeds back to plant again in the spring. And she really did have hundreds of white leghorn hens. Two chicken houses were on the property, but she cut back to only one house with 100 hens later on.
And Jimmy’s boxing gloves he’d gotten as a gift years ago. Always dug them out when we showed up – “Tommy, wanna fight?”.
Sweet, sweet memories.”  ~ Susan Sannar Pawley


(Adah is my great-grandmother.  She is the mother of Charles Alvin Sannar.)

Sannar, Adah Gertrude Hescock Line





Mary Ann Hulse Hovey

Hovey, Mary Ann Hulse

Mary Ann Hulse was born in an area of Manchester, England called Ardwick on the 26th of November in 1848.  Her parents were Charles Wesley and Ann (Smith) Hulse.  Mary had one big brother, Henry Edward. She was the second born of thirteen children.  The rest of Mary’s siblings would be born in the United States.

Ardwick was a factory town at this time, full of railroad’s, factories, and terraced housing.

Manchester Napier St. (2) - Ardwick

(This picture comes from the Manchester Photographic Archives and would have been very similar to the housing of the village at the time Mary Ann was born.)

Little Mary Ann was baptized on the 23rd of May. 1849 in the parish of St. Simon and St. Jude on Granby Row in Manchester.  This parish was part of The Church of England and was founded in 1842 but closed in 1906.

Shortly after Mary’s baptism, the family left England bound for the United States of America.  They landed in New York where they stayed with a cousin of Charles’ for a couple of weeks before moving on to Tiverton, Rhode Island where Mary’s dad had found work.  The Hulse family stayed in this area for five or six years.  It is my understanding that while here, they had joined the Mormon religion.  Around 1858, they moved to an area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania due to persecution of their religious beliefs.

In 1862, when Mary was 13 years old, the family traveled to Omaha, Nebraska and joined up with other Mormon pioneers traveling to Salt Lake City under the guidance of Henry W. Miller.

Mary got a new baby brother while they were on the trail, but a two year old little sister, Amelia Emma, died along the way.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have to bury her and leave her behind.

The company reached Salt Lake City in mid-October of 1862.  The Hulse family settled in Millville, Utah, about 80 miles north of Salt Lake.

Mary was just 17 years old when she married Joseph Grafton Hovey II on June 8th, 1866 right there in the couple’s hometown of Millville.

A little over a year later, the couple’s first child was born, a daughter, Martha Ann.  Over the next thirty years, twelve children would be born. Two little girls would die while still small.  Mary Ann was 48 years old when their youngest daughter, Nesta was born. Holy cow! She had to have been exhausted by then.


(The Joseph and Mary Ann Hovey Family)

Joseph and Mary Ann raised a large family.  They were active within their church and farmed their land.  Both Joseph’s and Mary Ann’s families lived nearby and were all active in their community.

On April 14th, 1908 Joseph passed away.  Mary Ann was a widow at 59 years old. The couple had been married for just short of 42 years.

In the 1910 census, Mary is now listed as a farmer, farming the land where the couple raised their family.

I can’t find her in the 1920 census, but she shows up again in 1930 at the age of 82.  Mary is now living in Hyrum, Utah with her daughter and son-in-law, John and Nesta Lauritzen.  Hyrum is just about 5 miles away from Millville, so she didn’t go too far.

Mary Ann passed away on the 15th of April in 1934 at the age of 85 years old.  Her cause of death is listed as bronchitis on her death certificate.

Hovey, Mary Ann Headstone - Millville, Utah City Cemetery

Mary Ann and Joseph are buried next to each other in the Millville City Cemetery in Millville, Utah.


(Mary Ann is my 2nd great-grandmother.)

Hovey, Mary Ann Hulse Line

Amy Mae Hovey Dallas


Amy grew up in the heart of Mormon country.  Her daddy had traveled over the Mormon Trail in an oxen drawn wagon and arrived in Utah when he was only 9 years old.

When Amy Mae Hovey was born on the 26th of August in 1885, the Hovey family lived in Millville, which is about 80 miles north of Salt Lake City.  Most families in the area were farmers or worked at one of the two local sawmills.  Amy’s father, Joseph, was listed on various census’ as both “Farmer” and “Woodcutter”, so I think we can safely bet that he not only farmed the land but also worked at one of the sawmills to supplement the families income.

Amy’s parents were Joseph Grafton Hovey II and Mary Ann Hulse Hovey.  Amy was the 8th born of twelve children. It must have been a busy and bustling family!  They were part of the LDS faith.  Home life would have been centered around family, work, school, and church.

When Amy was 22, her father passed away from an enlarged heart. Her youngest sister was only 10 years old.

On December 22, 1909, Amy married Walter Clark Dallas in Clawson, Idaho.  Clawson is a small town in Teton county, Idaho.  Amy’s life would be full of excitement and adventure as Walter’s wife.  The first year of their marriage, the couple lived as boarders in Jackson, Wyoming where Walter was working as a government fur trapper.

On the 24th of April, 1911, Amy and Walter welcomed their first child, Irma Ann followed by a son, Walter Hovey in 1912.  All told, they would have eleven children.  My own grandmother, Leoma Nesta was born on April 28th, 1920.  She was the 7th of the twelve kids.

One family story is about the birth of the eleventh child, Mary Ireta.  Mary came too quickly and it seems that Walter helped Amy to deliver her right on the floor of their kitchen in Vinyard, Utah.  It was 1925 and Amy was 39 years old.

Their youngest son, Billy, was born two years later when the family had moved to Oregon.  The Dallas family was living in Jerome Prairie, Oregon and Walter was a gold miner.

By 1940, Walter and Amy had moved their family once again. They were living in rural Plumas county, California.  Walter was once again mining.

From everything we know, listening to my grandmother talk about her parents, it seems that Walter and Amy had a deep love for each other.  I’m sure that made it easier for her to uproot her family time and again to move on to the next adventure.  From Utah, to Idaho, to Wyoming, back to Utah, on to Oregon, and finally California.  They never stayed in one place for too long.

Walter died on June 7th, 1943.  They had been married for 34 years.

I remember seeing pictures of my great-grandmother Amy, pictures that I don’t have copies of, where the large goiter that she had was visible.  She was a beautiful lady, even with the goiter.  Grandma always said it was caused from an iodine deficiency, but knowing what I know now, Amy had severe thyroid problems.

Amy died on the 26th of November, 1944.  She passed away in the University of California Hospital in San Francisco, California.  I believe her death was due to complications of her thyroid disorder.  From family accounts, the doctors had wanted to remove it, but she was too afraid and did not have the surgery.

Dallas, Amy Mae Headstone - Oroville, California

Both Amy and Walter are buried in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Oroville, California.


(Amy is my great-grandmother. She is the mother of Leoma Nesta Dallas Simmons, who is my own mom’s mother.)




Mary Berry Kenison

Kenison, Mary Berry

Mary Berry was born on September 30th, 1776 in Candia, New Hampshire, according to her obituary.  There are some people on ancestry that think she was born in Quebec, Canada though the only thing that I have to go on at this time is what her obituary says.  I haven’t yet be able to determine who Mary’s parents were, either.

Mary married Jacob Kenison, (the spelling of Kenison has changed several times over the years. It seems a second n was added in the next generation to make it Kennison, which is how my own Grandmothers family spelled it.)

The couple had twelve children. Most of them were born in Quebec, Canada.  That could indicate that maybe Mary was originally from Quebec.

From a letter to her son David in 1847, it seems that Mary was a very religious woman.  The letter is transcribed below.

From Mary’s obituary, we see that the family moved west.  They were living in Iowa when Jacob passed away on November 16th, 1855.  The couple had been married for over 60 years.

Mary passed away when she was just a few weeks shy of 81 years old, on September 15th, 1857.

She is buried in the Ion Methodist Cemetery in Ion, Iowa.

Mary Berry Kenison Headstone - Iowa

At the top of Mary’s headstone is a carving of a Weeping Willow tree.  The inscription reads:  Mary Wife of Jacob Kenison – Died Sep 15, 1857  Age 80 Yrs, 11 mos.


Letter from Mary Berry Kenison to her son David

(Blank lines indicate where I couldn’t make out the word.)

Belmont New York
June 22, 1847

My Dear David,
I send you these few lines to inform you that I am well as is also your father.
Abraham & Wife & Children are well. Peter, Hariett and his family are well.
Jonathon, Wife and Family are well. Benjamin C.__ Wife and Family are well. William Collins Wife & Family are well and in good health. There are no distempers with any of our friends and neighbors only that of sin. I want you Dear David to send me word by letter that you may inform me what state your Uncle John is in and Country and Town, that I may write to him and inform him of your Aunt Doras death. I feel much in trouble of mis respecting her preperations for her Eternal State on accord of her being taken so suddenly. I warn you David and Polly to have __ the Wedding garments and Oil in your Lamps to go forth to meet Jesus at his comming for the time draweth near. Prepare to meet they god and if on this earth we meet no more, I hope we shall meet in the eternal state in Christs Kingdom. I want you to give my love to John and hope he will live close to god that he may reign here upon this earth with Christ Jesus our lord and his halo horse. And let John know he went away from here in a manner which caused me trouble of mind. I want you to gife my love to all _________ friends and to write me a letter as soon as you possibly can and let me know every thing respecting the family. Now Dear David I want you to be watchful and prayerful and look forward to a comming and ease all your cares on Christ who careth for all in the praise of god.
Mother Mary Kenison


Obit appeared in “The North Iowa Times,” M’Gregor, [Clayton Co., Iowa], Wednesday, October 7, 1857. Transcription rec’d by MAK from Elaine Mershon, Grants Pass, OR; 17 Nov 2004.

“Died on the 15th inst., at Ion in Allamakee County, MARY KENISON, widow of the late Jacob Kenison, in the 81st year of her age; leaving numerous descendants in the State of Iowa, and followed to her last resting place by a large number of children and grand children. She was a native of the State of New Hampshire but removed with her husband to the State of New York at an early age, and from thence followed the tide of emigration to the West, from State to State until she has at length found a resting place on the Western bank of the Mississippi. Having ever preserved and maintained a constant religious character as well as that of a gentle and affectionate mother, a kind and forbearing spirit towards her neighbors, her loss at her extreme age, though not altogether unexpected, is deeply deplored and regretted, not by her connexions (sic) only, but by her acquaintances generally. In full possession of her mental facilities, to the last she lived amoung friends and died instantaneously. G.S.”


Mary Berry Kennison was my 4th great-grandmother.

Kenison, Mary Berry Line


Chester Emery Dallas

Dallas, Chester Emery Headstone

Chester Emery Dallas was born on the 18th of November, 1850.  His parents were Dr. Leander J. and Nancy B. (Hood) Dallas and they lived in Belmont, Ohio at the time.  Chester was the sixth of eight children.

By 1860, the Dallas family had moved to Palmyra in Kansas territory.  It seems that Chester’s father had given up practicing medicine and was farming instead.  In January of 1861, Kansas became the 34th state in the union.  By the next year, the Civil War had started and Kansas was a really rough place.  It seems that one of the very first battles of the war was fought right here in the area that they lived.  Scary stuff.

When Chester was 20 in 1870, he was working as a laborer in Chetopa, Kansas, according to the 1870 census.  I have found that he had been a student at Baker University in Baldwin City.  Chester had gone to work on a newspaper in Chetopa that was owned an operated by a past president of the university.   Chetopa is down on the Kansas Oklahoma border and was in the heart of Osage country.  The first post office was established there in 1867, just a few years before Chester shows up in Chetopa on the census.

Chester’s father passed away in 1874 when Chester was 23 years old.  By 1880, he had moved back home and was farming.  He’s shown as living with his mother, so I’m guessing that when his father died, he went home to take care of things.

On the 24th of November, 1881 Chester married Margaret “Maggie” Harker.  He was 31 years old and Maggie was 24.  From notes that my grandmother left with my uncle, the Dallas family was Scotch-Irish and Maggie was French-Canadian.  I haven’t been able to find pictures yet of either of them.

The couple welcomed a son, Walter Clark Dallas, on the 25th of November, 1884.  They were still living in the Palmyra, Kansas area.

In 1886, Maggie filed for divorce in Franklin county, Kansas.

In the 1900 census, Chester was listed as a widower and living in a boarding house in Mound City, Kansas.  Was he embarrassed that he was actually a divorcee, or did someone just get it wrong? He was a newspaper man, the publisher and editor of the Linn County Democratic Herald.

On the 25th of December, 1906, Chester remarried.  His new wife was named Helen Corn.  Chester was 60 years old,  still running the newspaper and the couple owned a home on Pine Street in Mound City.

By the 1930 census, right before his death, Chester was working as a real estate agent in Mound City.  Interesting!

Chester passed away on the 21st of May 1930 at 79 years old.  He is buried in the cemetery at La Cygne, Kansas.

There is so much more that I want to know about Chester’s life.  I feel a research trip to Kansas coming up.


From:  Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society, Volumes 1-2

J.W. Horner – The Chetopa Advance was started January 4, 1869, by Corey & Horner.  Mr. Corey retired in May, 1869.  January 4, 1870, S.A. Fitch purchased a half-interest and became joint proprietor and editor. John W. Horner was born at Harrisiburg, Penn in 1834; in 1855 graduated from the State Normal School of Michigan, and in 1858 at the Michigan State University; served in the army from May, 1861, till July, 1865 in all the positions from Lieutenant to Colonel of the Eighteenth Michigan Volunteers; came to Kansas in 1865; became President of Baker University, and in the fall of 1867 a professor in the State University; resigning after one year to engage in establishing the Advance. Of J.M. Cavanass, foreman of his office, Col. Horner says:  “He is a graduate of Baker University; a young man of excellent literary tastes, who never looses an hour, never swears, never smokes, never chews, never gets drunk, never loses his patience, never goes to see the girls.”  Chester Dallas, another employee, also a Baker University pupil, was equally virtuous. January 4, 1870, the paper took the name of the Southern Kansas Advance.


(Chester is my 2nd great-grandfather on my mom’s side of the family.)

Dallas, Chester Emery Lineage