May 6th is Rose Hannah Smith England’s 160th birthday

Rose Hannah was born to parents George A. Smith and Sarah Hughes in 1854.  The family joined the church in England and emigrated to America in 1869. Their steam ship sunk on the way back to England. They crossed the plains on the first passenger train to reach Salt Lake. The track was built in front of them as they came. At age 16 Rose married James England who was 19 years old. Both were very religious people. They eventually had 15 children, but back when he was the father of only two, James went to California to work in the gold mines. 


Here is a story from “Find a grave” that shows how heavenly warnings, when listened to, can spare one’s life. “While he (James) was there (Calif.) he was warned and at the same time Rose was warned. She was with her parents in Plain City, Utah at the time.  She was doing chores outside and saw a vision of James in his temple clothes standing nearby. Of course this scared her and she screamed “Jim”!  She ran to the house and told her parents and they said it was a warning. At that same time in California James heard her voice. He was the only one in the mine at the time and he said the voice was plain. He ran out of the mine to see if she was there just as it caved in. He got on the train and returned to Plain City. He said he thought something had happened to her. When he told them what he had experienced, they found out that it all had happened at the same time that Rose had seen a vision of him.”


This couple had a son also named James with Henry as a middle name born in 1875.  He married Harriet Eliz. Draper.  The sad story here is that Harriet died shortly after the birth of her first child- Harriet Larilda England (1896).  This is the ancestor who my husband descended from.  She is Maxine Holder Flaner’s mother.  People in Dixon know Maxine as the sister who always called friends and family on their birthday.  She passed away on Christmas day in 2012.  An interesting tidbit is that James Henry remarried and one of Harriet Larilda’s step siblings, Walter Henry England (1912), had a son who married my father’s sister Arnie Lane.  So even before I married Dennis, we had ancestors who had tied the family lines of Lanes to that of the Englands. It really is a small world. Whether your fate is to die at the age of 20, like Maxine’s grandma, or live to age 92 like Maxine did, there is a great deal of good to be done in one’s lifetime.  Sometimes that life is extended through divine intervention, or we are called home early.  Either way God knows what we need to accomplish while living, and He will give us sufficient opportunity to fulfill our destiny. What we need to do is recognize and respond to his guidance as he provides us daily with heavenly whispers, known to some as the Holy Ghost or the spirit of Christ. Listen to that still small voice and trust in His care


Samuel Bonner Kersey’s 182th birthday is today- May 5th

Samuel Bonner Kersey was born in 1832 to Samuel B. Keazey and Mary Jenks.  Mary died 5 years later.  By the time he turned 8 years old little Sam was listed as a resident in a work house for the poor.  It is doubtful that he ever learned to read and write.  Later he is listed in a census as a stoker at a paper mill. This job was tending to and feeding coal to a boiler- hard work with a lot of heat. There are no pictures of Sam- probably because he was too poor to afford them. But he did find the restored gospel and joined the church on Nov 13th 1854. He married Jane Powell in 1855 and they had 4 kids. When the youngest, James B. Kersey, was still an infant, Samuel died of Bright’s disease (kidney problems that causes fever, vomiting and edema). He died in 1868 in Birmingham, England. Just 5 years later his widow and her 4 kids migrated to America with help from the Perpetual immigration Fund of the LDS church.  It was 1873 and our ancestor, James was just 5 years old. The ship that they sailed on was called the “Idaho” and later they took a train to Salt Lake City.  By coming this late, they avoided the walking that so many pioneers previously had to endure.  Samuel’s widow, Jane, remarried then and they eventually moved to Jerome Idaho.  That is were this picture is taken. James is now a young man and he owns a Harness and Blacksmith shop there. The shop will burn to the ground in 1918, but this family is no stranger to adversity and they pick themselves up and move forward, as usual. ;Image

My grandfather, Robert Harold Kersey, is the last born of James Kersey and his wife, Sarah Leigh.  Robert only had an 8th grade education and so he too was relatively poor most of his life.

 A poor widow and 4 small children left England with just a hope and a prayer that life would be better for them with the saints in the U.S.  Years later, my grandfather, left Idaho for California with a wife and two small children in a sidecar attached to his motorcycle. All they owned was in that small vehicle.  More prayers and a great deal of hope helped them establish themselves here were I grew up.  My mother, Marilyn, was the babe in arms when my grandparents left Idaho.

I am proud of my ancestors for overcoming obstacles to move ahead and provide for their families, but most of all I am grateful for the sacrifices that they made to stay true to their religious convictions. Thank You Samuel for joining the church. Thank you Jane for bringing your kids to America without the help of a spouse. Thank you James for trying to get ahead as a business owner and for not turning your back on God when it seemed like everything was going wrong and you had to start all over.  Thank you Robert for picking up roots and transplanting to California where my father could meet my mother as the cute little red head next door.  Thank you mom for staying on track with the gospel when you couldn’t marry in the temple initially, yet you did so in time for 7 of your 8 children to be born in the covenant. I am truly blessed.


Percy Edwin Lane’s 132nd Birthday is May 3rd

Lane percy close up_0002_NEW

Percy’s birth resulted in the death of his mother, Annie Andrews in 1882. She was only 21 years old. His Father, Willard E. Lane (who had his own drugstore) let his wife’s parents raise little Percy. They(the Andrews grandparents) had recently lost their last born of 8 kids, a little boy, as well. So Percy grew up on a farm in Webster, Maine helping with all the work that such a life entails. Once he was grown, he became a hired hand for his mother’s best friend and cousin, Emma Paine Chipman. The boss’ daughter, who was named after Percy’s mother, caught his eye and they took a liking to each other. They were married on Annie’s birthday on May 29, 1904.
Although he had previously worked as a conductor on the Trolley Line, Percy wanted a farm of his own to make a living for his new family. He bought the White Farm in Bowdoin, Maine with a very big mortgage. He and Annie had 2 daughters and 5 sons. Sadly, they lost Alberta when she was only 20 months old. Subsequently, they joined the LDS faith. They worked hard and many times went without, especially during the Great depression of the 1920’s. Percy taught his kids a great work ethic that his son, Edwin taught to my dad, Firsteen, who taught it to all 8 of us kids. Percy went through bankrupcy, but still managed to pay back all his debts 100% (although the law did not require it) by the time he was in his fifties. From this his descendants have learned to keep their debts to a minimum and be honest in all our financial dealings. From Percy we learn how dangerous it is to overextend ourselves and to discipline ourselves to live within a budget. My father passed this lesson on to us and thanks to Percy, many of his descendants today are free of the burden of excessive debt.
My tough New England grandparents understood the need to live frugally and to teach your kids to do the same. I am grateful for these lessons, as I believe that they are the reason that I was able to be a stay-at-home mom while my children were little. Thank you Percy for living an honorable, hard working life. For welcoming the gospel into your home and passing on to your children great moral lessons that have trickled down to the modern day. I am looking forward to meeting you someday.