Sunday, January 5, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

What did we do to celebrate? New Years Eve was the day we drove from St. George back to our mission in Los Angeles after our Christmas break to visit family in Salt Lake City. We (meaning Max) drove for about 7 hours, then we did a little grocery shopping, unpacked and put stuff away. To celebrate we went to bed at 9:30. We don't go to bed that early on a regular day, but as a kind of reverse celebration, we did.

Float from Indonesia, stuck behind broken-down float
Why? Because we had to get ready for New Years Day! We got up at 4:00 am, got dressed and ready to leave in the mission van with a group of senior missionaries at 5:00 am. We went to Pasadena, to the 125th Rose Parade! We needed to take our reserved places at the Pasadena City College Institute of Religion building on the parade route by 7:00; the parade started at 8:00. Pasadena is not two hours away, but we took nearly that long, most of the time getting off the freeway and making our way through city streets to our parking place. It was a fun thing to do. We had a wonderful location. It was cool at first, then warmed up a lot as the sun came up and out from behind some shady trees.

All of these animals are antimated!
We were tired when we got home, so after a rest we went out to dinner with Brother and Sister Shakespear, one of the senior couples who will be going home in a couple of weeks. He is the Visitors' Center director, and he was one of Max's college roommates at Utah State, 1965-1966. That was our P-day.

Thursday was the day we do the evening shift, so Mary did the laundry in the morning while Max shopped for and bought a storage rack for the kitchen, and put it together. It was quiet at the library that evening. Friday is usually quiet as well. We went to the Temple Friday evening for dinner and for an endowment session. Saturday was pretty busy. Max was helping people right up to closing time. We keep busy when we are not helping people. Mary makes the staff schedule and handles e-mails and the calendar of classes, and Max catalogs books and keeps the electronic marquee up-to-date and fresh. We each work on our family tree. Mary finds names for the temple and Max tries to find sources and tries to fix problems in his line.

This morning, Sunday, we went to sacrament meeting at 9:00, then came to the library to open it for a Sunday School class on family history that was to be taught. The teacher didn't show up, but neither did the students. We missed our second and third hour lessons. We had dinner and a relaxing afternoon, then we opened the library for an evening class. This time, both the teacher and some students came.

We are having a good time here, working together, enjoying the weather and the people. We had a great time at Christmas visiting with family and friends. We miss you all. We had Laura's family for supper Christmas Eve and went to their house Christmas Morning. We went to David's for dinner Christmas day, but missed Sam's Skype session. The report is he is doing well and looking good. We love his weekly e-letters. Joe performed at the cathedral Christmas eve and day, so he and Mari came for supper in the evening. We also visited with Joe again on Saturday evening and David's family came over for games on Sunday, the day before we left. And of course, we saw a lot of Emily, when she wasn't working.

We also had dinner with Max's sisters and their husbands and another evening with a group from the old Church Historian's Office from 40 years ago; lunch with one of Max's high school buddies, Wayne Clark (they share ancestors; see below) and his wife; and did a sealing session and had lunch at the Jordan River temple with our children and their spouses and Mary's brother, John and his wife, Kathy.

Our trip to St. George and then to LA was, thankfully, uneventful. So here we are: busy, blessed, and blissful.

Love you all,
Sister and Elder Evans

Here is Max's answer to the unasked question, "Tell me about your ancestors."

William Clark and Jane Stevenson
Most of Max’s Mormon pioneer ancestors were born in Britain or northern Europe. The only exception is Jane Stevenson, born 5 December 1820, in Upper Canada (Ontario), daughter of Samuel Stevenson and Sarah Lusk.

Samuel, Jane's father, was from Upper Canada and her mother, Sarah, from Sussex County, New Jersey, where they met and married in 1808. Jane was the fourth child in a family of seven, including three older sisters, two younger sisters and a brother, all born between 1810 and 1826. An older sister and the brother were born in Sussex County; the others were born in Canada.  Jane’s father was born either in Canada or New Jersey; his ancestors lived in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Jane’s mother and her family were from New Jersey. Given the date of Samuel’s birth, 1785, and if it was in Canada, then it is possible Samuel’s father was either a loyalist, or a Quaker, who fled the United States during the American Revolution (1776-1783). New Jersey was a hot-bed for loyalists and the family lived in what seem to be Quaker communities.

Whatever their motives, they clearly had close ties to family in New Jersey as well as business or family interests in Upper Canada.

Jane Stevenson
Jane Stevenson married Steven Weeks Ross on 2 March 1836, in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, where they became parents to five children, each born between 1840 and 1850. The family story is that they met Mormon missionaries and joined the LDS Church and that Steven became a local branch president in New Jersey.  Church records show that Jane was confirmed a member of the Church in January 1840, shortly before the birth of her first child. The record does not show her husband’s baptism. The two youngest children, born in 1846 and 1850, died in New Jersey in 1849 and 1850.

Some believe that Steven became disenchanted with Mormonism and left the faith. Steven died in March 1849, not long after the death of his fourth child. By November 1851 Jane was in Council Point, Pottawatamie County, Iowa, shown in a list of Latter-day Saints willing to depart the next year to join the Mormons in Utah. She is listed as "Jane Ross, 4 in family, 1 hog, 2 young stock, United to Wm. Clark.” William, a widower, married Jane soon after, on 29 January 1852, at Council Point.

William Clark
William Clark was born 26 June 1825, in Worcestershire, England, to John Wheeler Clarke and Mary Hill. William is the second of five children, each born between 1820 and 1833. William married Emily Knowles Bryant 20 September 1842, in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, England.

William Clark’s youngest sister, Martha, joined the LDS Church on 30 December 1844; William on 1 July 1846; and Emily, his wife, on 1 January 1849. William’s parents apparently also joined, because they were with William and Emily in Missouri in 1850. William’s mother, Mary Hill Clark died in Lehi, Utah Territory, August 1953.

Tragically, William Clark's first wife Emily Knowles Bryant Clark and her new-born baby girl died on the way to Iowa, 20 September 1850, at St. Joseph, Missouri. William’s father, John Wheeler Clark, died nine days later at the same place. They may have been victims of one of the many cholera epidemics that raged on the Missouri River at that time, and that took the lives of many Mormon immigrants.

Two lines about the entry on the company list for Jane Ross mentioned above is this one for “William Clark, 3 in family, 1 horse, 5 cows, 2 hogs, 3 young stock, Went on.” The three in the family would be William and his mother, and …perhaps his sister, Martha. Or did his first wife, Emily, have another child not listed?
William and Jane together raised the three Ross children, seven of their own, and one adopted. Their third child, Martha Geneva Clark married William Samuel Evans whose sixth child was Hyrum Clark Evans, Max’s grandfather. William Clark took three more wives in polygamy; two of them bore him three and two more children each.  William supported his large family as a farmer. The 1870 census shows he owned $800 in real estate and $700 in personal estate. Jane died 21 September 1895, in Lehi, Utah, at the age of 74. William died 7 May 1910, also in Lehi when he was 84.
William Samuel Evans
Martha Geneva Clark
Hyrum Clark Evans