thegenealogygirl


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Ellis Album, Photo 4 – Darwin & Beth

 

ELLIS, Beth, and Darwin Shupe

Darwin Henry Shupe & Beth Louise Ellis

Isn’t this portrait lovely?  Beth is my GrandAunt.  She is the sister of my Grandma, Mary Margaret Ellis.  This photo wasn’t dated so I can’t be certain, but doesn’t it look like an engagement photo?  Darwin and Beth were married in 1938.

I generally don’t say much about living people, but today is a day worth mentioning for these two.  Darwin turns 100 today!  Aunt Beth passed away in 2011 at the age of 91.  That is 73 years of marriage!!  They have a wonderful posterity of 53.

 

 

 

This photo comes from the second page of the album.  Here are pages two and three to give context for this photo:

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This post is part of a series sharing this wonderful old family photo album.  You can learn more about the album here.  Living descendants of Darwin & Beth, please feel free to contact me to obtain scans of the photos that contain living family members.  My email address is on the sidebar.  🙂

 

 


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Ellis Album, Photo 3 – All Four Ellis Children

 

ELLIS, children of Claude & Blanche, WWII

The four children of Claude Albert Ellis & Blanche Octavia Huband.  Back, l-r:  Mary Margaret Ellis, Dale Huband Ellis, Beth Louise Ellis; front: Claudia Ellis.

I have so many questions when I look at this photo.  My Grandma is on the left.  She is wearing a corsage made of gardenias.  It appears to be three gardenias.  For their entire married lives, my Grandpa would buy her a double gardenia corsage for Mother’s Day.  In fact, it was such a habit, that the first Mother’s Day after my Grandpa died, the florist delivered a double gardenia corsage to my Grandma.  She called her boys to thank them who then called the florist to thank him.  They took care of it for the remaining Mother’s Days of her life.  When she passed, the florist made her one last double gardenia corsage.  Was the gardenia corsage in this photo from my Grandpa?  Did the tradition start before their first Mother’s Day as a married couple?

Uncle Dale was in the Navy during WWII.  Was this photo taken when he was on leave?  About to ship out?  There is nothing written on the back.  I know that his ship went down and the family spent some uncertain time – weeks? – hoping to hear from him.  In the end, he made it home safely.  Now that I look at this beautiful photograph, I want to know more!!  Hopefully, I find more details in the letters from this time period.

Isn’t Claudia so adorable?  She was born more than a decade after my Grandma, the next youngest sibling.

I love the way that photos cause me to ask questions I hadn’t thought about before.  Studying old photos can be a great way to prompt new research questions.

 

 

 

ps – I’ve been deep cleaning/organizing my office.  I found three more Ellis photo albums.  I may need to rename this series.  Maybe – Red Ellis Album…?  😯😍

 

 

Here are the first two pages of the album to give context for this photo:

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This post is part of a series sharing this wonderful old family photo album.  You can learn more about the album here.


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Ellis Album, Photo 2 – A Trio of Little Darlings

 

ELLIS, Beth Margaret Dale - smaller

Beth, Margaret – my grandmother, & Dale Ellis, likely 1929

Oh my goodness!  Isn’t my Grandma absolutely adorable?!  She is the wee one in the middle.  Really, they are all adorable.  I love all of the details in this beautiful portrait, one of my favorites has to be Grandma’s shoes.  I’ve never seen shoes quite like them before – so many cute little straps.

Beth was born in 1919, Dale in 1922, and Grandma in 1927.  All three have passed.  Grandma went first in 2004, then Beth in 2011, then Dale in 2014.  I had never seen this photo before.  What a treasure!

 

 

Here are the first two pages of the album to give context for this photo:

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This post is part of a series sharing this wonderful old family photo album.  You can learn more about the album here.

 


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Treasures: Penitentiary Letter

 

 

These are my 2nd great-grandparents, Susan Kaziah Davis and Frederick William Ellis.  They were both born in England.  They each joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and immigrated to America.  They made their way to Utah where they met.  In 1869, they were married in Salt Lake City.  They had ten children.  Their youngest son, Claude Albert Ellis, is my great-grandfather.  His daughter, Mary Margaret Ellis, is my grandmother.  In 1930, Frederick was a widower and is found living in the home of his son Claude.  This means that my Grandma spent some of her growing up years with her Grandpa Ellis living in her home.  She knew him well.  And, that is probably why I have so many Ellis family treasures.

Back to Frederick and Susan.  And Sarah.  In 1881, Frederick married Sarah Jane Barker.  Frederick was a polygamist.  He and Sarah had six children.  It wasn’t long after his marriage to Sarah that polygamy became a felony.  LDS polygamists were forced to make a choice.  Frederick was not willing to divorce Sarah.  And so, on two occasions, he spent time in the Utah Penitentiary.

Growing up, my Grandma only had happy, positive things to say about her grandparents.  She had a framed picture hanging on her wall of the Frederick William Ellis family.  At the time it was taken, Sarah was no longer living.  Front and center are Frederick and Susan, surrounded by 12 of the children from both wives.  (One had died, I’m not sure why the other three were not in the photo, maybe they lived too far away at the time it was taken.)  Grandma seemed to have no negative feelings about polygamy.  And since it was so close to her, generationally speaking, it had an impact on my perspective.  I just really didn’t think much about it.  It just was.  And now that I am older, I wish I had thought to ask my Grandma more questions about what polygamy was like for her grandparents.  But I did not ask.  And so I am left to try to glean what I can from the bits of their lives they left behind.

This letter, was among the treasures in my Grandma’s boxes.  It was written by Frederick to Susan on 1 January 1887.  It is 131 years old.  What a treasure!

 

 

Transcription:

Utah Penitentiary

Jan 1st 1887

Dear Susey,

I recived your letter yesterday and wase very glad to hear from you and to know you wase feeling better, I have been watching for a letter evry day for a week, Mother and Father sent me up a cake and a Pie and apples and candy for Christmas, I expect thay well come up and see me before thay go Back,

We had a concert on Christmas eve and we had a good time, being on of the committee you know what part I have to take, We have one evry week, I feal a little more at home now I have on my my new close, I do not feal

-page 2-

so much like a black sheep thay say I look good in them

Bro Tracey Left here the other day and I expect he will call on you some day

I have got one of the school arithmetic now but I do not know wether I well go to school or not yet, as Bro Butler is in this Cell he his willing to tell me all I want to know

I have sent to Father to get me some Books and some over shoe’s and you can fix it with him when he comes home

I sent to you the other day for a few things I expect you have recived the letter before this

Pleas tell Fredy not to do anything to the hay Rack before I come home as I well be home in time then I well make a new one tell him

-page 3-

to get some good strate stakes about 3 or 4 feet long to go around the rack if he has time

I would like the children to write to me at any time as it well be all the news I well get from home and tell them to be good children and I well see them again some day

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a happy new year remember me to the Bishop and tell him I well write to him some day this is about all I have to say at Present

Hoping this will find you all well

I Remane yours

Truly

F. W. Ellis

If I had my slippers I would like it

 

That last line may be my very favorite part.  There is something so gentle and understated about it as well as the fact that it just catches me off guard each time I read it and I usually laugh out loud a bit.

There is something so cool about holding a letter this old.  What a joy to be the current steward of this family treasure.

 

Happy Monday!  Do you have any old family letters?  If so, what is the oldest letter you have?

 

 

ps – If you are curious about polygamy in my tree, let me tell you a bit.  My Dad descends from all LDS pioneers.  In his part of my tree, I counted 19 pioneer men and only 4 were definitely polygamists and 2 might have been (more research is needed on those men).  Additionally, I have one female ancestor, Sarah Jane Marler, who was married to a man who was not a polygamist (from whom I descend) and then when he was killed she married his best friend who was already married.  Many people are under the impression that polygamy was practiced by all members of the LDS church.  That is not true.  Many LDS men were never polygamists.  The church issued what was known as the Manifesto in 1890, officially ending the practice of polygamy.  Of course, that wasn’t something that could be followed immediately.  But it did mean that no more men entered into the practice of polygamy.  I have heard that a few more marriages somehow happened, but generally speaking, no more polygamous marriages occurred after 1890.

 


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Ellis Album, Photo 1 – Blanche & Luella

 

HUBAND, Blanche on right, Luella Orton on left

l-r:  Luella Orton & Blanche Octavia Huband

This beautiful photo is affixed to the inside cover of the Old Ellis Family Photo Album.  Grandma Ellis labeled it as:

“Luella Orton

Blanche Huband”

Blanche is my great-grandmother and the creator of this photo album.  She was born in 1895.  I asked my GrandAunt Claudia, Blanche’s daughter, about Luella.  She shared that Luella was a friend.  If you are a descendant of Luella, please let me know, I would love to know a bit about her.

What a beautiful photo of Grandma Ellis, she is so lovely.  I especially love her hair – it’s so pretty and soft around her face.  And that sweet, subtle, barely-there smile, so much to love in this photo!

 

 

Here are the first two pages of the album to give context for this photo:

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This post is the first in a series as I share this wonderful old family photo album.  You can learn more about the album here.

 


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Treasures: The Old Ellis Family Photo Album

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Wow, isn’t she a beauty?

 

That lovely red album up there was created by my great-grandmother, Blanche Octavia Huband.  The cover of the album is very worn, in fact, the front cover is completely detached from the spine, but the inside of the album is in perfect condition.

The photos are pristine.  Many of them are 8x10s or 5x7s.   They are a wonderful collection of the best photos of Grandma Ellis’ children, grandchildren, and other family members.  It is exactly what a photo album should be – the best of the best, representing everyone you love.

Because the album is so well preserved and orderly, I will be scanning the photos in order and sharing the entire album one photo at a time in the order Grandma Ellis has arranged them in her album.

To that end, I’m going to be starting a new series of posts here entitled “Ellis Album”.  This post serves as an introduction to that series.  I think I’ll shoot for one post each week.  I’m so excited to preserve and share this wonderful album.  I hope my distant Ellis cousins will find it here and enjoy!

 

ps – Grandma Ellis was brilliant in her use of photo corners.  She picked good ones, they still work and are still attached to the pages.  ❤️

pps – I know I said I’m going to share every photo in the order she put them in the album, but I’m waffling on one thing, should I share the photos of living people…?  (With permission, of course.)  Or just acknowledge that I have skipped a photo(s) because some of the subjects are living and cousins should reach out if interested…?  Hmmm…

 

 


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Cousins All Around

Last week I had a very unexpected experience.  I met a cousin that I had never heard of before.  We were in the same place, I heard his last name, then where he was from and had to interrupt to ask if he was related to my GrandAunt Beth‘s husband, Uncle Darwin.  After all, they share the same last name, a last name I’ve only ever heard in my own family, and they are from the same city about 2 hours North of me.

He responded with, “Yes, I am related to Darwin and Beth.”  At first, I was thinking that he was acknowledging his relationship to Beth through marriage.  I was wrong.  As we talked it became clear that he is actually more closely related to Aunt Beth – and to me! – than to Uncle Darwin.  This man and I share the common ancestors of Frederick William Ellis & Susan Kaziah Davis, pictured above.  We are second cousins once removed!

As we talked, I mentioned that I have a few family treasures from Frederick & Susan and invited him to stop by my home the next day to have a look.  He was staying with his daughter who lives in the next town, just minutes from my home.

The very next day, my newly discovered cousin came to my home, so did my Uncle.  We looked at some family treasures, talked about our shared family members, and were in awe of some of the artifacts that have survived all these years.  He especially enjoyed going through the Family Record book kept by Frederick.  He lovingly stroked the pages as he saw the names of his mother, grandparents, and then his own name, and the names of some of his siblings handwritten by his great-grandfather.  It was a beautiful moment.  We had a mini-Ellis family reunion right in my piano room.  It was a wonderful two hours of sharing.

My cousin is in his upper 80s, yet he is a second cousin to my father who is in his mid-60s.  Despite the geographic distance, the age difference, and never having met before – nor even hearing of each other before, we discovered our connection at a very unexpected moment.

And now I can’t help but wonder, how many cousin connections are all around me as I go about my daily life?  How many cousins have I spoken with and not known they were my cousin?  How many treasures do I hold that would mean so much to my unknown loved ones if only I realized who they were, how we connect and invited them to stop by and spend a little time enjoying the treasures of our shared ancestors?

This wonderful cousin is the first one to ever take me up on an offer to stop by to see some family heirlooms.  I hope he won’t be the last.

And now, I fear, I will become that person who obsessively tries to analyze everyone’s tree in my head while I talk to them.  But that’s not a bad thing, right?  😉

Our visit has prompted me to review some treasures that I can’t wait any longer to share.  My next several posts will focus on this part of my tree.  I’ve already begun scanning.  Are you excited?!  I am.  ❤

 

ps – This means the several posts I have been working on for weeks are being pushed back again.  Do you ever find yourself experiencing genealogy ADHD?  That’s what I feel like this week.  So much to share – so little time!  Can’t focus or finish because of the wonderful interruptions.  And I suddenly feel even more sorry for my child with ADHD.  I feel it with genealogy, he feels it all the time.