thegenealogygirl


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Ellis Album, Photo 27 – Ronald & Margaret

PETERSON, Ronald Skeen & Mary Margaret Ellis, 27 June 1949

Mary Margaret Ellis & Ronald Skeen Peterson, they were married 27 June 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

These are my grandparents.  They were married 27 June 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah after a very long courtship that spanned several months in high school, Grandpa’s 2 years of service in the Marine Corps during WWII, a few months afterward, and then Grandpa’s 2 1/2 year LDS mission to New Zealand.  Grandma also served a mission in California while Grandpa was serving his mission.

Several years ago I received a 5×7 of this photo from Grandpa’s Uncle Evan.  It is in excellent condition.  It is framed and sitting on my piano.  This copy, from Grandma’s mother’s photo album, is also in excellent condition.

 

 

This photo comes from the fifteenth page of the album.  Here are pages fourteen and fifteen 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 26 – Margaret, the Graduate – Part Two

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Mary Margaret Ellis

There is something about a scroll that I really love.  Maybe it’s the fragile nature and the need to handle the scroll with care.  My Grandmother is definitely handling this scroll gently.

When I graduated, I was handed an empty diploma case.  No care required.  How about you?  Scroll or case?

Also, that cap looks quite substantial.  A lot sturdier than the one I had.  I’m no fabric expert, but when I was editing this photo I had zoomed way in on the cap and it looked like it was made of wool.

 

 

This photo comes from the fourteenth page of the album.  Here are pages fourteen and fifteen 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 25 – Margaret, the Graduate

ELLIS, Mary Margaret

Mary Margaret Ellis

I love this graduation photo of my Grandmother.  But, it’s a bit puzzling.  There is a photographer stamp on the back of this photo with the date, 27 June 1947 in Ogden, Utah.  My Grandmother was born in 1927.  I am fairly certain that she graduated in 1945.  I know that she also graduated from Weber College with a degree in Science.  Possibly in 1947…?  Or, is there an even simpler explanation?  Did her parents order the print of this photo two years after her High School graduation?  I have so many boxes from Grandma that I am positive the answer is somewhere in there.  Now I just have to decide if I interrupt my current work to dig around or if I just accept that for now, I don’t know when and why this photo was taken.  Hmmm…

 

 

This photo comes from the thirteenth page of the album.  Here are pages twelve and thirteen 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 24 – Mary Margaret Ellis

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Mary Margaret Ellis

This is my grandmother.  Isn’t she lovely?

I miss her.  ❤️

 

 

This photo comes from the thirteenth page of the album.  Here are pages twelve and thirteen 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.  I skipped album pages eight, nine, ten, and eleven as every photo contained living people.  They were all descendants of Dale & Jean Ellis.  If you happen to be a descendant of Dale & Jean, feel free to email me (address on sidebar) and I will gladly share.  The coolest photo I skipped is a 5 generation photo.

 


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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

 

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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

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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

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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.