Monday, October 13, 2014


Balloon man at farmers' market
Mary celebrated her birthday on Saturday, September 20. by going with Max to Cerritos, a nice community southwest of Los Angeles. The Cerritos Stake held a family history fair at one of the meetinghouses. Max was the keynote speaker at 10:00AM. They had breakout sessions at 11:00 and 12:00. Each breakout slot had a getting started class and a class on the family tree. They both also had two recorded sessions from the 2013 RootsTech conference. We noticed a farmers' market across the street from the church. We spent the 11:00 hour there and stocked up on nice, fresh fruits and vegetables. We attended the last session, a video on

Max sent Mary a bouquet of roses for her birthday. The ones in charge of the Cerritos fair also surprised her with a bouquet in a nice vase.

Max spoke about the importance of sources in family history. They are important to get the facts right, but just as importance to help us understand the lives of our ancestors. He used the life stories of William Clark and Jane Stevenson as his examples. William and his parents joined the Mormon church in England in the late 1840's. Their Worcestershire neighbors, the Bryants, also became Mormons just months before William and Emily Knowles Bryant were married on her 19th birthday, September 20th, 1848 . The two families sailed on the Henry Ware from Liverpool to New Orleans. The party consisted of William, his father, mother, a 16-year old sister; and his new bride and her parents.

They landed on American soil, April 9, 1849, and began the next stage of their journey: up the Mississippi to St. Louis and from there on to the Mormon encampments in Pottawattamie County,  western Iowa. William's parents and sister went on to Iowa, but we find William and Emily in the 1850 census, September 2, living next to Emily’s parents. Their baby girl, Mary Ann Esther Clark, would be born the next day. Sadly, less than three weeks later, both Emily and her newborn die, September 20, Emily’s 23rd birthday and the second anniversary of her wedding. 

John Wheeler Clark, William's father, returns to Missouri on a mission of mercy, only to be taken as well by whatever relentless sickness had afflicted the family. 

William, his mother and sister are soon found in the records of the Council Point, Iowa, emigration company, listed near a Jane Ross, and her three children.

Jane Stevenson had married Steven Weeks Ross in Sussex County, New Jersey, 1839. He was 27 years old and she was just 18. She joined the LDS Church January 1840. They became the parents of five children, two sons and a daughter born in 1840, 1841, and 1843; and two more sons, both who had been born and died between 1846 and 1850. Stephen also died, in December 1849, just weeks before the birth of his last child.  By July 1850, Jane was a 30-year old widow with three young children living with her mother-in-law in New Jersey. She would leave to join the saints in May 1851. The family arrived in Iowa, in July. The entry for Jane Ross  in the camp journal would include this note, "United to Wm. Clark.”

Preparing, using iPad, laptop, and desktop
Jane and William were to be married January 1852, in Council Point. They joined the John Tidwell emigration company, departing the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa, June 1852. They would arrive in Salt Lake City, three months later. The rest of the Clark and Bryant families also made the overland trek to Utah. 

William and Jane Clark made their home in Lehi, Utah. Together they had seven children and adopted one more. Each child survived to adulthood and married. Most lived long lives and had children of their own. One of them, Martha Geneva Clark, married William Samuel Evans and became the parents of Max's grandfather Hyrum Clark Evans.

Their story, discovered by studying the sources, touches our hearts.

We drove to Manhattan Beach and walked in the sand one lovely Friday morning.

Surfers near the pier

On another p-day we went to Virginia Robinson gardens in Beverly Hills. Mrs. Robinson died at age 99, leaving behind no children. She and her husband built the first mansion in Beverly Hills. She collected, planted, and maintained this six-acre site. It is now a county park, bequeathed by Mrs. Robinson in her will.
Us at the rose garden
Virginia Robinson's swimming pool and pool house

Last week, for General Conference, we drove to Indio, near Palm Springs. We stayed at the WorldMark resort where we watched conference Saturday and Sunday morning. We got it by wifi on the iPad, connected to the flat screen TV in the room. We listened to the Sunday afternoon session as we drove back to Los Angeles.
Indio, California

Sunday this week we helped staff a booth at the Brentwood community arts fair. We talked to visitors about family history. A lot of Jewish people stopped by to learn about the resources available at the LA Family History Library. Sister Hemming, from Public Affairs was with us. She introduced people to, a Church sponsored website to encourage volunteerism.
At the booth
We are enjoying our mission.  It is very fulfilling.  Love, Elder and Sister Evans