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29 July 2008

Tuesday Tales From the Road - Salt Lake City

Imagine going on the genealogy trip of a lifetime - weeks spent traveling the country with nary a family or work commitment - just loads of time to spend searching for ancestors. Sound like a dream?

It is a dream-come-true for CGS member, Mary Mettler, who is on a three-and-a-half month trek from Salt Lake City to Vermont, with stops in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Connecticut, and Massachusetts along the way. The best news is that Mary offered to send some reports so we can share in her adventure. This is Mary's first installment:

I am finishing up my very short three days in Salt Lake City. I knew I had a 2nd great-granduncle and a 2nd great-grandaunt, who were Mormons. I decided to do a little digging on my ancestor's siblings. Wow, six Farnsworths were Mormons, while my 2nd Great-Grandfather, Reuben Farnsworth remained a staunch Congregationalist. Philo Taylor Farnsworth was the first one to make the trip to Utah in 1848 and rose to become a Bishop. His son, Philo Taylor Farnsworth, Jr. was the inventor of the television. As he was plowing the field in Utah one day, he looked at the rows and thought he might be able to transmit pictures by using multiple lines.

In 1852, Stephen Martindale Farnsworth and his family and Laura Farnsworth Frampton Owen and her son, William Frampton, made the journey. Stephen was one of the "captains" of the wagon train - a leader of ten families. Moses Franklin Farnsworth and two other sisters followed. Moses rose to become a High Priest and also wrote the definitive book on the Farnsworths, The Farnsworth Memorial II. His autobiography was in a book in the Family History Library (FHL), while Laura had one in the Church Archives. Turns out the Church Archives are in the Mormon Office Building, a few blocks from the FHL. To my delight, I was allowed access to her original document because I was a descendant. I now have a much greater appreciation of what the early Mormon pioneers went through. If any CGS members have any Mormons in their family, here is a Web site which will give you quite a bit of detail: This site covers all the early pioneers who came to Utah.

On a lighter note, I want to share a couple of "secrets" in Salt Lake City for walkers and runners. Although there are parks all around the temple, I have some favorites close by. If you walk up North Temple Street along Temple Square, take the fork to the left and take a left on Canyon Road. On the left is City Creek Park and on the right is the part of it with the creek flowing through. It has a couple of picnic tables if you want to bring your lunch and review your findings. For you morning runners or walkers, continue up Canyon Road to a second park, Memory Grove Park, a long narrow park that runs up the Canyon. It is a wonderful run or power walk and a great way to start the morning. Even though the days were in the 90's, my runs at 6:30 a.m. were at 65 degrees.

I'm off to Wyoming tomorrow on my way to my next genealogy stop in Rock Island, Cordova and Morrison, Illinois. Hopefully, the Mississippi River has settled down a bit. I have my hiking shoes for walking through muddy graveyards!

Your Roving Reporter,

Mary Mettler

Read the entire series:
Part One: Salt Lake City
Part Two: Indiana
Part Three: Pennsylvania
Part Four: More From Pennsylvania
Part Five: Washington D.C.
Part Six: Suffield, Connecticut
Part Seven: Vermont
Part Eight: Dorset, Vermont
Part Nine: West Point and Back to Pennsylvania
Part Ten: Some Final Thoughts From Home