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Ellis Album, Photo 51 – Blanche Lenore Cheney

CHENEY, Blanche Lenore

Blanche Lenore Cheney

Blanche Lenore Cheney is my 2nd great-grandaunt.  She was born 5 January 1886 in Laketown, Utah.  She was the youngest of eight children born to Joseph Thompson Cheney and Louise Maria Austin, my 3rd great-grandparents.  In 1921, she married Farrel Andrew Whitlock.  They had four children that I know of.  Blanche passed away 15 February 1971 in Fullerton, California.  Blanche was the maternal aunt of my great-grandmother, Blanche Octavia Huband, the creator of this wonderful album.  Isn’t this a lovely portrait?

 

 

This photo comes from the twenty-seventh page of the album.  Here are pages twenty-six and twenty-seven 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: A Pioneer Letter

Today is a very loved holiday in the state of Utah – the 24th of July.  It’s the day we celebrate the first Mormon Pioneers arriving in the Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847.  After years of persecution and being driven from place to place, those pioneers finally fled Nauvoo and began the difficult journey to Utah.  Some traveled by ox cart, many walked alongside the wagons, others traveled by handcart which meant a lot of walking, and a very small group of Saints traveled on the Ship Brooklyn sailing from New York, around Cape Horn, and arriving in Yerba Buena, California six months later.  My own ancestors were among each of those groups.

In honor of my pioneer ancestors, on this 24th of July, I have a special treasure to share.  I just discovered this gem last week while going through some more of my Grandma’s collection.

Pictured above you can see my 4th great-grandfather, Julius Augustus Caesar Austin, then the headstone for his wife, my 4th great-grandmother Octavia Ann Lane, and then their daughter, Louise Maria Austin, my 3rd great-grandmother.  In my searching, so far I have not found any photos of Octavia.

In 1846, Julius, Octavia, and their three surviving children, Louise – age 7, Edwin – age 5, and Newton – age 2, all began their journey to Utah on the Ship Brooklyn.  I’ve known that was the case for many years, but discovering this transcription of a letter written by Octavia during that journey was such a cool find.  The transcription was completed by Julius and Octavia’s granddaughter, Louise Delina Cheney in 1934.  What a treasure!

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transcription:

“Copy of

Photostat of a letter written by grand mother Austin to her parents while on Ship Brooklyn.

Honolula, Oahu

June 29 – 1846

Dear Parents and Brothers & Sisters

I take this time to write a few lines, but one sheet of paper to communicate one’s thots  If you knew my feelings for your eternal happiness.  I want you to come where we are to live – and die with the Saints of God.

Give my love to Sister King and enquering friends.  One thing more we met some. relatives on board Brother Nathan Burr married Chloe Clarke, grandchild of Thomas Pratt grandmother’s brother; she was acquainted with Aunt Stocking, has been to Uncle Stannard’s house   they are first rate folks, she looks some like your mother

Julius sends love

Octavia A. Austin.

To you all.

431

Copied at Genealogical Office From Mss.  Oct 15 – 1934 by Delina Willis.  There is also copy of another letter written by grandmother dated 29 Sept 1846″

 

The details about Chloe Clarke, Thomas Pratt, and Aunt Stocking have got me curious.  This is a line I haven’t spent any time on.  I’ve got to see where these clues lead me!  Also, Aunt Stocking?  I love that name.

I was also curious to see if the original letter was viewable on the LDS Church History Library website.  The image is not, but I discovered that this note from Octavia was a postscript to a letter written by her sister, Emeline Lane, as seen here.  Emeline wrote an additional letter that is also held there, as seen here.  I can’t see any trace of the letter Delina mentions from 29 September 1846.  That letter must be in a private collection, or in another department.  I have some digging to do!  AND, I think a trip to Salt Lake is in order to view the two Emeline letters.  I can’t wait to see Octavia’s handwriting!!  I better make a list of other treasures in the Church History Library about my family.  I found that at least one letter written by Emeline is included in the book Scoundrel’s Tale: The Samuel Brannan Papers by, Will Bagley.  I ordered a copy.

 

Happy 24th of July!  It’s a day that honors Mormon Pioneers and their sacrifices so that LDS church members would be able to live what they believed in peace and safety.  I am thankful for them, so many of whom reside in my very own tree.

 


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Ellis Album, Photo 49 – Four Cheney Sisters

CHENEY, four sisters

Back, l-r:  Louise Delina Cheney, Blanche Lenore Cheney.  Front, l-r:  Hattie Margaret Cheney, Della Maude Cheney.

This photo is one I am very familiar with.  There is a copy in my Dad’s book of remembrance.  I looked through that book so many times growing up, often at the side of my Grandmother who had created it.  Even though the photo was familiar, the women were not.  It was much later in life that I understood the significance of this photo.

The woman at the bottom left is my 2nd great-grandmother, Hattie Margaret Cheney.  Hattie is the daughter of Joseph Thompson Cheney and Louise Maria Austin.  Hattie was born in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho on 9 July 1866.  She was the third of eight children.  She had four sisters and three brothers.

Here she is seen with three of her sisters – Louise Delina (who went by Delina), Blanche Lenore, and Della Maude. At the time this photo would have been taken, the fifth sister, Octavia Achsa, was no longer living.  Hattie would go on to name her own daughter Blanche Octavia – who was my great-grandmother and the creator of this wonderful photo album.  Della was the only sibling who never married or had any children.

What a treasure to have a photo of these four elderly sisters together!  What makes it even more remarkable is that the four sisters lived in three different states – Idaho, Utah, and California.  I wonder what event brought them together?  I wonder whose idea it was to have this photograph taken?  I would like to thank them.  😉

 

 

This photo comes from the twenty-sixth page of the album.  Here are pages twenty-six and twenty-seven 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.  Pages seventeen through twenty-five were filled with twenty-two wonderful photos that all contained at least one living person.  Descendants of Paul & Claudia Nye – email me if you would like files of those photos.  My address is on the sidebar.