Sunday, September 18, 2005

A Note on Pioneers

I have spoken only in the comments section of this blog about my pioneer ancestry and a little bit here and there in posts, but today I am preparing a lesson to teach church about the Mormon Pioneer trek across the country, and I thought I should dedicate a bit more time to it here.

I come from a healthy stock of Welsh miners that came to the United States in the mid-1800s and came across the plains in handcarts to settle in Salt Lake City. Because of their skills as miners they were sent by Brigham Young from Salt Lake City south to Iron County, Utah to the towns of Parowan and Cedar City where several iron mines had begun operation. They were not wealthy men and women but they were hard workers and they soon accumulated a modest amount of wealth.

During the late 1850s and early 1860s, the Mormon pioneers were trying to establish a good rapport with the Native Americans of the area with mixed results. One of the areas of concern was the area of the Navajo homeland. Because of its sheer population, Brigham Young felt that the Saints needed to be in the good graces of the Navajos so he called a group of Welsh miners (my ancestors) to travel from Iron County across the area now known as Lake Powell and settle the area near the Abajo Mountains and the San Juan River.

The trek these pioneers took has been known in history as the Hole in the Rock Expedition and its leaders were all in some distant way related to me. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest and most daring treks of all time and I am proud to call those people my ancestors. One of their leaders, Kumen Jones was my Great great grandfather. He was a scout and a leader for the expedition is considered by my family to be the first one to descend the Hole in the Rock.

It is with the recollection of this history that I ask you.

Who were the pioneers in your history?
How did they shape your world?


Blogger Theo said...

Pioneers...hummm...without researching WAY back, my folks are simple farmers and laborors (sp?). we where some of the first to settle at Myrtle Beach, SC, but if that means we are responsible for what is there now...i'm begging forgiveness! lol.

here via Michele's

10:08 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Well, I'm a convert so I don't have any Mormon pioneer heritage. My mothers father came over from Molravia (Chec country) in 1906 and their ship came in to Galveston, Texas, six years after the great hurricane. They settled in Houston, Texas where I was born and am still to this day. My dad's family came from the European contient and in through New York. They settled in the north and then scattered in different directions. Dad's family moved south and he ended up in Houston where he met my mom. They were both Baptist and that is how I was raised. I married at 21 and joined the Mormon church when I was 28, been there ever since.

We talked about the Mormon hand cart trek today.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous MissMeliss said...

My family is all cooks and tailors. Can you be a pioneer by running a pizzeria? I didn't think so.

But, what I learned from all of them, especially my mother, is that ultimately, you have to find the path that's right for you.

3:49 PM  
Blogger TC said...

My ancestry is English and Scottish. If I am not mistaken even as recently as My Great Grandfather.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Indigo said...

The pioneers of my history? Well ... we've got good old Leonard on my dad's side. He couldn't decide for sure if he was polish or russian, but I'm betting he was 100% polish. Thank God he found a cute german lady to marry so that his children could tone down a bit. ;-)

8:15 PM  
Anonymous john cowart said...

Cowarts have lived in NE Florida since the Indians. All have been dirt farmers.

Back when uncouth, vicious barbarians from the bleak frozen north over ran all culture, refinement and civilization in the Sunny South, my ancestors battled the vile invaders -- Alas, unsuccessfully. We have lived in enemy occupied territory ever since.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Joseph Smith, Jr. said...

Interesting blog. Enjoyed reading it.


Joseph Smith Jr.
Mormon Ward

7:12 AM  

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