thegenealogygirl


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Photograph Showcase: Two Brothers, for Nancy

PETERSON, Peter and Thomas, sons of Peter B & Ann Powell Peterson

Peter Powell Peterson & Thomas William Peterson, brothers

Thomas William Peterson is my 2nd great-grandfather.  He was born 27 August 1872 in Huntsville, Weber, Utah to Peter “B” Peterson & Ann Powell.  Peter Powell Peterson is Thomas’ next younger brother.  Peter Powell Peterson was born 14 September 1874 in Hooper, Weber, Utah.

Both brothers are seen here with Peter on the left and Thomas on the right.

Their parents, Peter “B” & Ann, were immigrants.  He from Denmark, she from Wales.  When they met, they did not speak the same language.  Their love story is a favorite of mine.  This comes from a history of Peter “B” Peterson written by his granddaughter-in-law, Mabel Alice Green:

“About this time {early spring 1869} he met Ann Powell, daughter of Bishop Thomas and Margaret Powell of Marriott, Weber County, Utah, but it was quite a challenge to court the young lady. At that time there was no bridge across the Weber River, so Peter would remove his clothing and swim his horse across, holding his bundle of clothing high over his head to keep it dry. Upon reaching the opposite side, he would dress quickly, hidden by the willows growing on the banks and then proceed to the Powell residence. Neither could converse in English. She was Welsh and he was Danish, but as he said, “We know we loved each other.” They were married December 12, 1870.”

The back of this wonderful photo is labeled with the brother’s names, but I wish I knew the date and the occasion.  I’m wondering if they were both about to depart to serve LDS missions.  I know that Thomas served a mission for one year in California from April 1901 to April 1902.  You can find him in the “Early Mormon Missionaries” database here.  I cannot find Peter in that same database.

Interestingly, Thomas was married the day after he was officially a missionary.  Now I am super curious about whether his wife, Lettie Taylor, went with him or stayed home.  I need to learn more about these 2nd great-grandparents!

 

Photo back:

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This post is for my cousin Nancy.  Thomas is also one of her ancestors.  Nancy, maybe you know, what did Grandma Peterson do while Grandpa was serving his mission…?

 

 

Happy Thursday, I hope you make a wonderful photo discovery today!!  xoxo

 

 


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Ancestor Story – Peter “B” Peterson – 52 Ancestors

Peter B & Ann Powell Peterson FamilyPeter B & Ann Powell Peterson Family – back row, l-r: Margaret Elizabeth Peterson, Thomas William Peterson, John David Peterson, front row, l-r: Hans Christian Peterson, Ann Powell Peterson, Peter B Peterson, Mary Ann Peterson, & Peter Powell Peterson

Peter B Peterson is my 3rd great grandfather.  Let me tell you about him.

Peter was born 11 January 1841 in Denmark.  I have been fascinated by him for years.  He is the first Peterson, of my line, to come to America.  He came alone at the age of 18 traveling by ship, steamer and then handcart to Utah.  He was a hard working man who was dedicated to his family, faith and community.

A history of his life was complied by one of his granddaughters-in-law.  From it come these stories that I love:

“Peter worked in Salt Lake City until the spring of 1861 when he traveled north to Farmington, Davis County. Here he worked four years for a Mr. Anson Call. It was a happy day for Peter when he was reunited with his father, mother and two brothers Hans and Christian at Farmington. (1862) Lars was unable to come at this time because of military service, but followed his family to America as soon as he was discharged.”

“About this time {early spring 1869} he met Ann Powell, daughter of Bishop Thomas and Margaret Powell of Marriott, Weber County, Utah, but it was quite a challenge to court the young lady. At that time there was no bridge across the Weber River, so Peter would remove his clothing and swim his horse across, holding his bundle of clothing high over his head to keep it dry. Upon reaching the opposite side, he would dress quickly, hidden by the willows growing on the banks and then proceed to the Powell residence. Neither could converse in English. She was Welsh and he was Danish, but as he said, “We know we loved each other.” They were married December 12, 1870.”

“In the winter he cut blocks of ice from the river and stored them in sawdust in a special ice-house for use during the hot summer months. It is said that one hot summer day a woman stopped on her way home from Ogden. She had been riding in a wagon facing the sun and was almost overcome by the heat. She said, “Oh Bishop Peterson, may I have a little piece of ice.” He gave her a nice block to take home.”

“Peter B. was a good husband and father and tried to give his children every advantage possible. In his autobiography he said, “I have aimed to give my children as good an education as means and circumstances would permit.” To do this he sold several acres of his land and mortgaged his farm paying 8% interest. He paid this off and kept his place clear. He also purchased additional land so that eventually he owned one hundred forty acres. His sons all attended Brigham Young University at Provo. Peter Powell, the second son attended Stanford University for two years and received his masters degree. He then taught at the B.Y.U. for two years, then became Principal of the Oneida Stake Academy at Preston, Idaho. He left the academy to attend the University of Chicago and received his Ph.D. He then taught first in a Wisconsin University and later at Moscow, Idaho University. Hans became principal of Davis County High School. John David was the athlete of the family and while attending B.Y.U. played on the main team in quarterback position. He was a star player and was carried down the street on the shoulders of his classmates after a victorious game. Thomas William fulfilled a mission to California. He attended B.Y.U. for two to three seasons. Peter B. and his brother, Hans, would take the young people in a covered wagon from Ogden to Provo and with them supplies to care for them the greater part of the school season. The daughters, too, were not left out. Margaret Elizabeth attended the B.Y.U. for two years prior to her marriage. While attending this school she roomed with some of President Joseph Fielding Smith’s daughters. The youngest daughter, Mary Ann, attended Weber Stake Academy.”

“Both Peter B. and his wife, Ann, suffered strokes. His legs were involved so that he was confined to a wheel chair for three years. Ann’s left side was paralyzed and she, too, was confined to a wheel chair for eight years before her death. But, sweethearts to the end, he would sit and hold her hand as they sat in their wheel chairs side by side.”

Outline of Peter “B” Peterson’s life:

  • Born – 11 January 1842 in Bjørup, Systofte, Falsters Sønderherred, Maribo, Denmark.
  • Baptized – 1858 into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first in his family.
  • Departed for America – 20 March 1859, alone.
  • Reunited with his parents and two of his brothers in 1862.
  • Married – 12 December 1870, in Salt Lake, Salt Lake, Utah, USA  to Ann Powell, together they had 8 children.
  • Died – 3 December 1916 in Kanesville, Weber, Utah, USA.

A few details about Peter:

  • It is said that he added the “B” to his name to help distinguish him from the many other Peter Petersons.
  • He was 6 feet tall, had brown hair, very blue eyes and wore a beard.
  • He served as a Bishop in his church for 22 years.
  • He play an instrumental part in getting a Post Office in Kanesville, Utah.
  • He helped petition the county court for a school district.  The school was built just east of his home and the first teacher roomed with his family.
  • He believed in water conservation and water rights and chose to serve on the board of the Wilson Canal Company.
  • He served two terms as a Justice of the Peace.
The entire text of the history of Peter B. Peterson can be found here.


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What Are We?

Scanned Image 101240003

Several years ago my younger brother Derek asked me this very important question – ‘What are we?’

He was referring to our ethnic makeup.  I pulled out one of the many small, yellow legal pads my mom keeps around and began calculating.  I did have to refer to my tree to double check a few things but the result is this, I am:

  • 7/16 English
  • 3/16 French-Canadian
  • 1/8 Scottish
  • 3/32 Danish
  • 1/16 Spanish
  • 1/16 Italian
  • 1/32 Welsh

I still have that ratty yellow piece of paper.  I think I have hung onto it because it felt so concrete – this map of my fractions.  So many things are used to define us but this, this was a beautiful math problem that represented all of the people who came before me.  The people to whom I owe my very existence.  The people who I carry somewhere in my DNA and more importantly – my heart.

Have you taken the time to answer the question?

What are you?


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Ancestor Story – Jane Zina Petrina Folkman Skeen – 52 Ancestors

Jane Zina Petrina FolkmanJane Zina Petrina Folkman – June 1897 – age 21

Jane Zina Petrina Folkman is my 2nd great grandmother.  Let me tell you about her.

Jane Zina Petrina Folkman

  • Born – 30 March 1876 in Plain City, Weber, Utah to Jens Peter Folkman and Maren Catherine Thomasen.
  • Married – 10 June 1897 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah to Joseph Skeen.
  • Mother of 8 children – Zina Electa Skeen, Lyman Lamont Skeen, Joseph Maurice Skeen, Naomi Skeen, Melba Trina Skeen, Mae Skeen, Elda Skeen, and Evan Folkman Skeen.
  • Died – 9 December 1953 in Ogden, Weber, Utah.

A few tid-bits about Grandma Skeen:

  • She was tiny, about 5 feet tall.
  • She kept her hair long, waist length, and pinned it up in a bun.
  • She went by Petrina.  Her husband called her Mother or Teenie.
  • She had an 8th grade education.
  • She loved to read and would stay up late at night reading.
  • She was an excellent cook – everyone says so.
  • She liked flowers, fruits, and vegetables and tried to have good gardens.
  • She was raised in poor circumstances.
  • She served as a Relief Society President for 14 years.

 

 

Seven months before her death she dictated her life story to her daughter Melba Trina Skeen Lee.  I am grateful this short document made it’s way to me.  From it come these gems:

“My father was a merchant and also had a small farm, but with this large family it was necessary for the older children to be employed in what work that was available.  I helped some of the neighbors with house work and also in Ogden.  The wages were from 35 cents a day to $2.50 a week.”

“Cosmetics were unknown to girls in my day, but I can remember using a little cornstarch on my nose for powder.  My cheeks were naturally rosy.  Our courting was done in horse and buggy and a group in a “white top”.  We mostly walked where we wanted to go.”

“One night at a dance Joe Skeen was home from school at the university.  He looked so nice in a suit and his hair combed in a pompadour and I felt proud when he asked me to dance.  From then on I dated with him.  I can recall how bashful he was and timid of the dark.  I would often hear his feet running down the hard walk after he had taken me home at night.”

She married Joe Skeen and they lived first near Rigby, Idaho; then in Plain City, Utah; then near Blackfoot, Idaho; then Tooele, Utah; then they bought a farm in Warren, Utah.  Of her daughter Naomi {my great-grandmother} she writes, “A baby girl, Naomi, was born April 27, 1905.  She was such a patient, good baby, that Father was often tempted to stick her with a pin so I would give her some attention.”

Of her children she wrote, “One would think I had lots of help with 5 daughters, but with only one older son living they were needed on the farm.  They started helping or bothering as soon as they could sit on horse, as young as the age of three.  They helped outside in the beets, hay, herding cows etc.”

Of Petrina’s eight children two died before their mother.  Lyman Lamont Skeen and Zina Electa Skeen.  Of their deaths she said, “Great sorrow came to our home when our son Lamont passed away with spinal meningitis on June 24, 1912 at the age of 10.  We mourned the death of our oldest daughter Zina in October 1925.  She had been left with a weak heart because of complications from Scarlet Fever in childhood.  She had been in poor health and her activities limited.”

One of my favorite stories about Petrina was shared at a family reunion by my grandfather.  “Grandma always took care of the chickens and there were quite a bunch of them – she’d clean the eggs and she’d take them into town and trade them for groceries at Central Market and she’d sell some so she’d have money.  I remember she bought an Ice Box from Boyles Furniture and they came out to deliver it (she hadn’t told Grandpa about it) and Grandpa, not being aware of it came as they were unloading it and told them to load it back up because he hadn’t ordered it.  Grandma came out and said, “Joe this is none of your business – I bought the Ice Box”, and she told the men to put it in the house.”  She sounds like a spunky little lady!

 

Many of the family stories I have come from Family Reunions.  Does your family have reunions?