Monday, May 26, 2014

Earliest Foys to Join the Saints

Memorial Day

Yesterday the cashier at Staples politely asked me what my plans were for the Memorial Day weekend. I told her I would be going to the cemetery to decorate the graves. She smiled at me pityingly and then continued to ring up my purchases. Since Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the summer vacation season, she must have felt sorry that I had no barbeque or boating trip planned. When I was growing up, I would meet Grandma Barker early in the morning to help her fill the large funeral baskets with blooms freshly picked from her garden. She would cut and I would arrange and then we would take them to the Kaysville Cemetery where we would findwhole families out cleaning the headstones and arranging peonies.

I can't speak for the rest of the country, but in Utah the cemeteries are filled with pots of mums and vases of iris placed on graves of all the ancestors. We called it Decoration Day and may have roots in the southern tradition of holding a religious service and eating a potluck picnic at family grave sites after decorating the grave.  That's my Memorial Weekend.

As my grandchildren help me locate the graves in a bit-too-rambunctious treasure hunt - there is always one grave site that will not be easily located, I remember the earliest family members to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. Some sailed from Liverpool or Bristol, some migrated from New England. I think of them crossing the plains and the words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic come to mind. Were they not Christian soldiers, marching on to war? Can you not picture them gathered around a hundred circling camps in the fire and lamp light? My grandson, Brooks, who is on a church mission in West Virginia, challenged his mom to search out the first members in each family and find where and when they were baptized. For you, Brooks:

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on. 

None of the Foys, Finks, Binghams, Freemans, Gates, Farrs, or Plumleys were buried in the Kaysville or Bountiful cemeteries so I was not able to visit their graves this year. They traveled to the Salt Lake Valley and then were called to settle Zion throughout the west.

                   Foy & Fink

William Bosley Foy 1837-1920; Born in Pennsylvania; Baptized 1845; Pioneered in 1850 with Snow-Young Co. – age 12. Died in Colorado.
Thomas Birk Foy [father of William Bosley Foy] 1802-1873; Baptized 1842 in  Pennsylvania by Erastus Snow & William Bosley – Endowed in 1846 in Nauvoo; Patriarchal blessings from Hyrum Smith, John Smith & Isaac Morley; Pioneered in 1850 with Snow-Young Company age 47. Died in Washington County, Utah.

Catherine Fink [wife of Thomas Birk Foy] 1809-1870; Baptism probably 1842 at the same time as husband. Pennsylvania - Endowed 1846 Nauvoo; Couple sealed by Heber C. Kimball in the home of Willard Richards, Winter Quarters. Received patriarchal blessing from Hyrum Smith; Pioneered in 1850 with Snow -Young Company - age 40 - when she contracted cholera. Died in Minersville, Utah.

Bingham & Gates


Lucinda Maria Bingham [wife of William Bosley Foy]. 1849-1924; Born into church membership in Salt Lake City, Utah. Died in Colorado.

 Erastus Bingham, Jr. [father of Lucinda Maria Bingham] 1822-1906; Baptized 1833; Called to build roads for the trek west. Joined Mormon Battalion to California and then back to Salt Lake Valley soon after the advanced company arrived. Met his wife and parents in Wyoming on the way west. Died in Arizona.

Olive Hovey Freeman [wife of Erastus Bingham, Jr.] 1820-1905; Born in Vermont; Baptized ;Endowed 1846 Nauvoo; Pioneer 1847 Spencer-Eldredge Co. – age 27 - being ill when husband found her on the plains of Wyoming. Died in Idaho.

Erastus Bingham, Sr. [father of Erastus Bingham, Jr.] 1798-1882; Born Vermont ; Baptized 1833; Brought family to Far West, Missouri. In 1846 driven from Missouri to Illinois where they lived until 1846. Pioneered in 1847 with the Spencer-Eldredge Co. – age 49. Died in Weber County, Utah.
Lucinda Gates [wife of Erastus Bingham, Sr.] 1797-1874; Born New Hampshire ; Baptized 1833; Pioneer 1847 with the Spencer-Eldredge Co. with extended family – age 49. Died in Ogden, Utah.

Thomas Gates [father of Lucinda Gates]  1776-1851; Born in New Hampshire; Married in Vermont; Baptized 1833 and then went with family to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1836. Subsequently moved to Far West, Missouri, in 1836, but was evicted by mob rule, escaping to Illinois 1839; Endowed 1845 in Nauvoo; Pioneered in 1847 with the Spencer- Eldredge Co. – age 71, widower. Died in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory.
Patty "Lucy" Plumbley [wife of Thomas Gates] 1776-1845; Born in Vermont. Baptized 1833; Her son, Jacob, became one of the first seven presidents of the Seventy and was imprisoned in Richmond for three weeks. She was called with husband to serve a mission as branch president, location unknown. Died in Nauvoo. 
Isaac Farwell Freeman [father of Olive Hovey Freeman] 1795-1843; Born New Hampshire ; Baptized prior to 1846 when he was sealed to spouse in Nauvoo; Died in Nauvoo  before making trek west.
Lydia Farr [wife of Isaac Farwell Freeman] 1799-1827; Born and married in Vermont; Died in Vermont prior to meeting missionaries.

Family Search and Ancestry online family trees

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

High Water on the Colorado

This post is to satisfy the curiosity of my nephew, Pete Webb.

This month Google Earth just launched a street view of a ride down the Colorado River. Since Pete used to work on a rafting crew near Moab, he posted the link to Facebook where I offered him the story of Grandma and Grandpa Foy's death-defying trip down the Colorado in 1936. Here it is, Pete, and those adventurous types in our family.

Left to Right: Leslie, Inez, Lola, Jean, Julia, Florence on the red rocks of southern Utah

From Florence Foy’s history:

 "One day [Leslie] was going to take a man and Grandpa (Tommy) down the river to blast some rock off the cattle trail to make it wider. Jean and Lola were in Bountiful picking cherries. Florence said, 'Oh! Let me and the little ones go with you.' He said the mosquitoes were too bad, but Florence said she would dress them so as to protect them. Soon as the boat pulled out of Millcreek onto the river, she knew she had made a mistake. The river was high and one big whirlpool after another.

"They made it down to home base and landed and had dinner. When they started back, the river was rising fast and the current took them right into the middle of the stream and the motor stopped. The most terrified look was on Leslie’s face, as he was the only one that could swim. The boat was going with the current. They had no oars, just a pole to push the boat off sandbars. He said, 'Don’t panic.' Then he pushed and pulled everything on the motor. He then  began poling to get them out of the current. When they got near the shore, he said, 'if you can read a willow, work your way up it hand over hand.' Florence did this until the boat was close in to shore. Then Leslie finally go the motor started, but they stayed close to the bank the rest of the way."

From History of Leslie Thomas Foy by Florence Howard Tuttle Foy

"The children were now getting older and he would take them down the Colorado River from Moab for our cattle on the Winter Range. The only way we had of getting to the ranch was by boat, or by horse back which was over slick rock and cliffs of sand stone which was very dangerous.

Petroglyph panel along Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway (U-279)
 "I had never been down the river and was anxious to go as the Indian Hieroglyphics and Cliff Dwellings were quite a sight to those who were interested in that line - and I was. Well, one morning in June - the river was at its very highest having risen 7 ft. the night before. My husband was taking a man down to the ranch to blast off a ledge and some great desire made me want to go along. So I said, "Daddy, let me take the children and go too." He said alright as he was a man who never saw danger. We got into the motor boat with our little family of four children ranging from 8 months to 8 years [Julia, Inez, Leslie, Sarah.] As we left the side stream and started down the muddy Colorado I realized the mistake I had made as it looked like nothing but a large black whirlpool. We arrived okay, spent the day, and started back home in the evening leaving the man behind.
Photograph during an expedition down the Colorado River in 1909.
"As we got about 3 miles upstream the motor stopped. One look at my husband's face and I realized our danger. He told us not to get panicky and to sit still. We had no oars, just a pole to shove off from the bank and the river was so high he couldn't reach the bottom with it. At this place the current changed to the other side of the river thus throwing us out into mid-stream. You can imagine our feelings with four helpless babies and us in the middle of the great Colorado River during high-water. Under some miraculous or supreme power my husband managed, after what seemed hours, to get us poled close enough to the bank for me to reach out and get hold of the willows along the bank. Then he got hold and together we pulled the boat close enough that I could hold it while he fixed the motor. That fall a boat with 8 passengers was capsized during a cloud-burst and was sunk."

To read more about the Colorado River:
History of Grand County
Read about the first river running recreation sport trip.
Whitewater rafting in the 30s
Powell Expedition - National Park Service site

*History of Leslie Thomas Foy by Florence Howard Tuttle Foy. © You may use text for educational or family history purposes with attribution only. Changing any portion is prohibited. 
*Photo of boat in rapids taken from the Featured Articles in Grandview This Week Newspaper Weekly Moment in Time Column.  Grandview Heights resident Julius F. Stone is shown here.
*Photo of petroglyphs from the Discover Moab site.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Salem Witchcraft

Halloween was just two days ago. The school library where I work sponsored face painting at lunchtime and a zombie apocalypse game over 48 hours. Simultaneously some of the junior English Language classes were completing study of the play The Crucible. From our vantage point of the 21st Century we look back to a superstitious age, but I'm not too sure that those living in the 1600s in Salem, Massachusetts wouldn't think the same of us if they glimpsed our celebration.

Puritan Fears

Many of our Bingham ancestors were Puritans who came to New England to practice their religion in a purified form which had been relieved of "popish" ritual. They were not relieved of the burdens and superstitions of their age, however. The Abbey/Abbey family were very much people of their culture and times. When you prepare your costumes for Halloween parties be sure to teach your families how to distinguish between fantasy and reality, between truth and superstition. Gratefully, we have the restored truth to guide us. Still, most of us will at times be tempted to judge others based on our own experiences, beliefs, prejudices and fears. Let their story be a lesson to us to withhold pronouncements of guilt based on our latter-day knowledge. They did not have that luxury.

Samuel and Mary Abbe

Ebenezer Abbey is our ancestor born July 31, 1683 in Danvers (Salem Village), Essex, Massachusetts, and died December 5, 1758 in Windham, Connecticut. He would have been nine years old and very impressionable at the height of the witchcraft trials. His parents, Samuel and Mary Knowlton Abbe testified during the proceedings. They were living in Salem during the days of witchcraft, Samuel being on record as one of those opposed to its fanaticisms. One Rebecca Nourse, on trial as a witch, produced a paper signed by several "respectable inhabitants" of Salem, among whom was Samuel Abbe. This document as to her good character caused her to be set at liberty but the sentence was later changed for some reason and she was put to death as a witch. Only a few years ago a monument to her memory was erected by her descendants. (Abby Genealogy, 1916)

Testimony at The Trials

Both Samuel and Mary were witnesses in a witch trial in Salem in 1692 against Sarah Snow [Good], a woman of vicious temper who had lived in their home for a time but was dismissed on account of her disagreeable ways. She vowed vengeance upon them and when several of their cows and hogs were taken sick, the blame was laid to her as a witch. A warrant for Sarah Good was given at Salem, February 29, 1691-2, in response to complaints of Sarah Vibber, Abigail Williams, Elizabeth Hubbard, Ann Putnam, and Jno. Vibber. Among the many depositions in witness to her malign practices were those of Samuel Abbey and wife. When called to testify they stated under oath that Sarah Goode  “hath behaveed her selfe very crossely & Mallitiously, to them & their Children calling their Children vile Names and hath-threetened them often.”  Sarah Good was executed July 19, 1692.

When summoned, Samuel also testified during the trial against Mary Easty.  He testified as to Mercy Lewis, May 20, 1692, she being at the house of her neighbor, John Putnam, jr., and accused of witchcraft.  He was about 45 years at the time of his deposition. “I went to the house of Constable Jno putnam about 9 a clock in the morning and when J came there: Mircy lewes lay on the bed in a sad condition and continuing speachless for about an hour: the man not being at whom: the woman desired me to goe to Tho: putnams to bring Ann putnam to se if she could se who it was that hurt Mercy lewes: accordingly J went: and found Abigail williams along with Ann putnam and brought them both to se mercy lewes: and as they ware a goeing along the way both of them said that they saw the Apperishtion of Goody Estick and said it was the same woman that was sent whom the other day: and said also that they saw the Apperishtion of the other woman that appered with gooddy Estick the Other day, and both of them allso said that the Apperishtion of gooddy Estick tould them that now she was afflecting of mircy lewes…” Mary Easty was executed, September 22, 1692.

Arresting a Witch by Howard Pyle

Real People Living During Incredible Times

Our ancestors were real people with the strengths and foibles of others of their particular time and place.  Think about them when you read The Crucible or study the history and psychology of the trial.

Ebenezer Abbe relocated with his father, Samuel Abbe, to the locality known as "Bricktop" in 1698. It's easy to imagine that they wanted to escape the memories of the witchcraft trials.  Ebenezer was 16 when his father died in 1699 after which he worked in Norwich for a time, about 1705, was in Windham in 1706 and later lived at North Winham and Mansfield.  In November 1705 two deeds were recorded showing an exchange of property between Samuel Abbe and Ebenezer of Norwich -- a lot on Bushnell's Plain. Ebenezer received another deed from Samuel on 17 July, 1707, and sold land to Abraham Mitchell and William Slate in 1709 and 1711. He married Mary Allen October 28, 1707, in Mansfield, Connecticut, daughter of Joshua Allen and Mary Rowell, who was born in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, about 1686 and died 1766.

Ebenezer Abbey

On 29 October 1713, John Abbe, "now resident at Hartford," sold his brother Ebenezer land he had received from his father. In 1715, Ebenezer settled at Hampton Hill in the northeast part of Windham County. On 9 May 1717, he signed a petition asking the General Assembly to authorize the formation of Canada parish, and the following October he put his name to a second petition to use the property taxes of the parish to establish its church. On 8 September, 1743, Ebenezer sold land in Windham, on the east side of Nauchaug River, to his son Samuel. In his will, dated 3 June 1750, and probated 14 December 1758, he named his wife Mary; children Ebenezer, Joshua, Nathan, Gideon, Samuel, Elizabeth Cross, Zeruiah Marsh, Jerusha Wood, Abigail Cary, Miriam Cross; grandson Jonathan Bingham, only surviving son and heir of his daughter Mary, deceased. (Windham Probate Records, Vol. 5, p. 513).

Ebenezer Abbe had twelve children. One of his sons, Joshua Abbey, was a large land-owner. His extensive holdings at North Windham, Connecticut, were generally called his "Kingtom, while he was known as King Abbe". Joshua Abbe was a man of large heart, generous impulses and liberal opinions; of great vigor of both mind and body and a match for anyone in shrewdness and wit. His strong religious feelings made him a conspicuous leader in a sect which arose from the Baptist denomination in Windham, Connecticut, and became known as Abbe - ites. His home was ever open for religious meetings or for the entertainment of guests. Among celebrated guests is the name of "Mother" Ann Lee, founder of the sect of shakers.

Ebenezer and Mary’s fourth child, Mary Abbey, was born September 21, 1712, in Windham, Connecticut. She married Jonathan Bingham May 9, 1734 in Windham, Connecticut. She died March 4, 1735 in Windham, Connecticut, less than two weeks after giving birth to her son, Jonathan. Grandpa Leslie Foy was their 6thgreat grandson.


Salem Map and Pictures in the public domain: Found on Craig White's Literature Courses site.

To learn more about the Bingham line go to