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:
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
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
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.
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.
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