Monday, February 23, 2015

Zilpha Zobedia (Curtis) Hancock

Zilpha Zobedia Curtis was born on 13 November 1851, the fifth child born in the new town of Payson, Utah. She was the third child of nine born to Joseph and Sally Ann (Reed) Curtis. She had two older sisters, Sarah Jane who was born in Cag Creek, Iowa (1847-1939) and Delia Prisinda who was born in Salt Lake City, Utah (1849 -1929). Other siblings born in Payson were: Joseph Hyrum, (1853-1936), Heber John (1856-1931), Mary Sophronia (1858-1906), Naham Tillison (1863-1944), Frederick Reed (1866-1940) and Edward Alma (1870-1872).

Zilpha's mother, Sally, was a tall, slender woman with large gray eyes and auburn hair. In her history, she said that Joseph was a very happy man and sang merrily from morning until night.

Life must have been hard in the new little town, where most families lived within a fort for several years. Joseph was a counselor in the Bishopric, a councilman, and an alderman in the town. Sally Ann was secretary of the first Relief Society in Payson. The Indians were friendly to the new settlers at first, but the Indian wars started in July 1853 and continued until 1866. So Zilpha must have lived in the fort until she was about fifteen.

At times the Indians were troublesome. One time when Zilpha's father was away, some Indians came begging for flour. Her mother, Sally, gave them what she thought she could spare. Later she saw them returning, so she made a mask of dough, and stood by the house with a white blanket over her. They were frightened and ran away.

In talking of her childhood, Zilpha told of the dark stripped long stockings she used to wear. She also talked of when Charles Hancock was courting her, and how, when she saw him ride into the yard while she was outside washing clothes in a tub with a washboard, she quickly pulled her hands out of the water and pulled her sleeves down, because 'it wasn't proper for a girl to show her arms above the wrists', or her legs above the ankles.

Charles Hancock and Zilpha Curtis were married on 23 July 1871. He was born at Pottawatamie, Iowa on 24 March 1849, the first child of George Washington and Betsy Jane (Fackrell) Hancock. He had one sister, Betsy Jane Hancock born in 1851. Their mother died three weeks after Betsy's birth.
Charles and Zilpha lived in Payson for several years, where their first six children were born: Charles Edward (1872-1963), Zilpha Clarissa (1874-1961), Emma Jane (1877-1954), Delia Ann (1880-1890), Mary Millicent (1882-1925), and Betsy Sophronia (1885-1976).

In the early years of their marriage, Charles built a room on their home for his widowed, crippled sister, Betsy and her little daughter, Annie. Betsy would go out sewing by day to support herself and child. In 1878 she became the second wife of Francis M. Shurtliff.

During the winter of 1874-1875 Charles worked on the St. George Temple. It is believed Zilpha and two children accompanied him. The next four children were born in Payson.

In 1887, because of mismanagement of business, Charles lost their home, and he moved his family to Burrville, Sevier County, Utah. There on 17 January 1890 their dear little daughter, Delia Ann passed away. Two more children were born to them, Joseph Washington (1890-1974), and Curtis who was stillborn (1892). Charles served as Assistant, then Superintendent of the Sunday School at Burrville. His oldest son, Ed, served a mission in the Southern States and returned to Burrville and served as ward clerk and choir leader.

Ed said that his parents were both good, honest, respectable, and could be placed among the honorable men and women of their day. They taught their children to be honest, and to work hard. His parents had a great desire to have their children educated, so they were kept in school regularly until they moved to Burrville. There the schools were poor, and with limited means, schooling was limited somewhat. Ed returned to Payson to attend some school, and also in 1893 attended Sevier Stake Academy in Richfield, and in 1896 the Brigham Young Academy in Provo.

In 1903 Charles moved his family to Raymond, Alberta, Canada which was known at that time as the Northwest Territories. Charles and two sons-in-law, James S. Anderson and Henry S. Burr, came to Raymond in February 1903. They liked the place, bought land, and started to build homes for their families. Henry returned to Bunville to help the families move in July. Ed's new bride, Celia May Keyes, accompanied the families to Raymond. Sons, Ed and Joe came at the same time with two freight cars of livestock, farm machinery, and household furnishings, including an organ.

Charles built his own home and engaged in farming and carpentry, helping many others to build their homes in the new town. Clara's husband was a mason and also farmed. Henry Burr, Emma's husband, also farmed. Mary and Bessie found work in the new stores of the town. Bessie married Clarence E. Allred in 1907 and he was also a farmer.

Zilpha's husband, Charles, passed away on 12 February 1912 from a cancer on this throat. Son, Joe, married Grace E. Shields on 23 December 1914. Zilpha and her daughter, Mary, lived in her own home until Mary passed away on 11 April 1925.

Then Zilpha lived alone until 1940. Granddaughters, Betty and Alta (Joe's girls) slept with her sometimes, in case she should have health problems during the night, because she had no phone. Others helped her with cleaning her house, and yard work. Ed's daughter, Lillis, remembers doing so. Her home was always neat, clean, and quiet, except for the clock ticking. 

In her home she had a little pantry off the kitchen, where all food was kept. In the kitchen there was also a coal stove, with a warming oven above it, and a water reservoir on one end. Pipes through the reservoir helped to warm the hot water heater which was in the bathroom, through the wall. There was also a kitchen sink with hot and cold water taps, with a cupboard above for her dishes. There was also a free standing cupboard with glass windows, for her pretty dishes, and a wooden table and chairs. In the bathroom was a bathtub supported by feet, a real curio to some of the grandchildren. A black pot-bellied coal heater in the living room supplied heat for the home. Stairs behind the front door led from the living room to the two bedrooms above and one small room between, which were heated by the chimney from the heater. Grandma Zilpha's bedroom was next to the bathroom and living room. Her bed was rather old fashioned, with feather quilts. Under the bed she had a zither, a wonderful stringed musical instrument. There was also a book cupboard, with glass doors, full of interesting looking books. She also had a hide-a-bed that looked like a book cupboard. It was fun to visit Grandma and see her interesting things, but one had to be quiet in her home. Her children and grandchildren were taught that 'children were to be seen and not heard'. 

During the summer of 1936, a Hancock Family Reunion was held in Grandma's back yard, with wooden tables built between the trees. There must have been about sixty people there. It was fun to meet cousins we didn't know and to have pictures taken. 

In 1940, Ed and May and their two youngest children moved in with Grandma Zilpha. She was early ninety years old, in good health, but needed some help. After a few months, Zilpha moved next door, to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Clare and Jim Anderson. She passed away on 12 February 1948 in her ninety-seventh year. She left five living children, and about twenty-two grandchildren and seventy-five great grandchildren. She was well loved and greatly missed. 

Written by Pearl (Hancock) Conrad, granddaughter, May 1999. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Betsy Jane Fackrell: Letter 2 January 1848

Letter written by Betsey Jane Fackrell, 2 January 1848

Camp of Israel, January 2nd/48

Dear Brother,

I suppose by this time you want to hear from home, at least I should like to hear from you. We
have heard nothing from you since you left home and only Harvy Allred told us he saw Dowe
and heard you was at Jackson’s Mill hauling logs.

We are all well at present and hope these few lines will find you in possession of the same
great blessing. We have been well the most of the time since you left. Father has had a lame
back some two weeks but is now well. Mother has a bad cold now but that wont hurt anybody,
but I must tell you some of the things that have transpired. Since you left here there has been
__________ except ________ Tremane who married a little girl names Julia ________ down
by the River. They live at Clifts. Mr. Bemus and Solomon Hancock have died. Mr. Gould came
here the same day you went away, he says John went back to the valley when he met the Camp.
James Myler and Russel Brownell came home two weeks ago yesterday, also George Hancock.
His brother Charles and Uncle Levi are in the valley and going to raise a crop.

You must know there was a great rejoicing in the Camp to see the soldiers returning. Sprague has
reenlisted for another year. so has Hawk. Some of them have gone to the Bay to work where they
got big wages.

On the third day of December last Jonathan Smith came home. Mar. Cox and family, except
Mary Jane came with him. also Mrs Burns and her youngest girl, Maria. Mr. B. died last Feb.
Samuel married one of the Garwood girls. Mary lives with her mother and is yet single. Sally
married a man that lives in Niles. Maria, the one that is here, is quite a good looking girl, is
nearly 13 years old and almost as large as I am. They live at Harmisons.

Mr. Cox has built a house joining Thomas Smith’s. They christened it last Thursday night by
dancing all night, the next night after you must know was what we used to call Watch Night
or the night before New Years, so to improve the time in a proper manner they made a party in
Willy Norton’s house. They moved their beds out and had a first rate time. William Henry Cox
played the fiddle, he is a good hand at it you had better believe. Richard Smith was up with him,
he played the flute some and called off the rest of the time. You have ought to have been here,
you might have seen your Mother dance a French 4, the Scotch Reel and a Cotillion for instance.
They danced till about one or two o’clock and they sung songs two or three hours longer. After
the rest of them had gone home Richard Wm. Melissa and myself went into the other house and
took supper. it was then nearly bed time. The week before I was at Wm. Allred’s to a party being
soon after Redick got home; they handed round some good pies.

I think I said enough about parties only they have built a big meeting house ________ Henry
Millen hollow and christened it. They held a conference of four days length in it. The meeting
commenced the day before Christmas. Father and Mother went to the whole of it. Relief Cram
came here the night after they left and stayed with me three nights and two days. We went over

to Me Harmisons and got a good Christmas supper.

It is getting nearly dark, I must cut my work short. Mr. Cox does not at present seem to be
satisfied. I think he will get over it by Spring and go on with the Church. M. J. went to J.
Damont’s to live. James Vanderhoof sold his place and got almost ready to come but was coaxed
off by his folks. They expect a good many from there to come here some time if not before.

Daniel Rowe wrote you a letter. There is not much news in it. He says it is painful to you as
well as to him. Matilda is married to Samuel Melcum, Laura waits yet. Uncle John Crumb died
about a year ago. Uncle Joseph lives in Ohio, his son Harvy was out to Mich. the next Spring
after we left. Daniel writes he is almost a mind to come and go with us, but his father would
never give his consent. He wants you to write to him. We received a letter from Joseph a week
ago dated July the 18th he wrote he wanted to come and thought he should be ready to start by
the first of Oct., he wanted company. Clarissa wrote she wanted company through the dangerous
parts. I have written them a letter to let them know there was no danger on the way and there
was settlements all the way. If we had got the letter last fall when we ought to you could have
gone after them, but now it is too late now and I have written for them to come immediately and
expect them to start as soon as they get the letter. You had better believe I wrote a good one. I do
not know where that letter was that you did not get it when you went down, but perhaps it is just
as well they can come on frozen ground better than muddy roads.

James you must try and content yourself as well as you can. Take good care of yourself and
team. Be a good boy. We will meet again some time, then we will talk it all over. Write to us as
soon as you can. Excuse me for not filling this full as I am in a big hurry. When we all meet in
the valley I hope it will not be parting all time.

Melissa and Susan send their best respects to you. Now I wish you to accept the best wishes and
sincere love of your sister.

B. J. Fackrell

I suppose you would like to know how we get along. Duke __________ dime were brought
home two or three weeks after you left. We have bought two tons of hay of Mason and pay in
work. We can get along for hay without paying or promising any money. We milk three cows
and make what butter we want to eat a present. We should like to have you send us a little port if
you have a chance. If not I expect we can get along some way. Father wants you to get some iron
for a shovel plow and if you can get some iron that will do to make ox shoes, they say the oxen
and cows will all have to be shod.

Nahum Curtis: Patriarchal Blessing

Naham Curtis
Blessing given age 59, died age 62

The patriarchal blessing of Naham Curtis, son of Moses and Molly Curtis, born in the town of New Salem, Franklin County, Massachusetts, July 7th 1784:

Brother Naham, I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus to seal the blessings of the covenant upon your head according to the desires and integrity of your heart, for you are an Ephraimite and shall be numbered wit the first born from whom and unto whom cometh the Shepherd of the Stone of Israel upon whose heads are the crown of the priesthood and by whom shall the tribes and nations of Israel be crowned. Therefore, I seal upon your head the blessings of the everlasting covenant even the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, even the blessings of the priesthood. The same shall be a blessing upon the heads of your posterity, and to be continued in their lineage unto the latest generation.

And your name shall be had in hornorable remembrance and perpetuated by them and for your sacrifices, spiritual blessings shall be multiplied upon your head, and for the honest integrity of your heart in which there is no guile.

You shall enter into the rest, and your children after you, that remains for the people of God, and be numbered with the sanctified and with those that shall come up upon Mount Zion with the hundred and forty and four thousand (144,000) and with innumerable multitude that had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. This is a blessing by promise upon you and upon your children after you.

Therefore, I seal you up unto eternal life, that your mind may be at rest, and that your heart may rejoice and that joy may spring up in your heart, henceforth, and that you may go down to your grave in peace, and your works to continue and you shall be blest spiritually and temporally according to your faith as it hath hitherto been multiplied upon your head, notwithstanding your sufferings and your sacrifices and your name shall be remembered and your name and acts shall be written in the chronicles of your brethren and your days and years shall be multiplied upon your head, and be many. These blessings I seal upon your head, even so. Amen.

Given by Hyrum Smith at Nauvoo, Illinois, March 28th 1843.

James Sloan, Clerk

Delia Deliverance Byam Curtis: Patriarchal Blessing II

Delia Deliverance Byam Curtis
Blessing given age 67, died age 82

Patriarchal blessing given in Payson, February 20, 1856 by John Young upon the head of Delia Curtis, born December 4, 1789, Chenlford (Chelmsford), Massachusetts, daughter of John and Sarah Byham (Byam).

Sister Delia, I now lay my hands upon your head and give you a father’s blessing and to seal upon your head the blessings of the everlasting gospel, and in as much as thou art one of those that He has spoken to for He had said blessed are those that hear the joyful sound whose heart shall be made glad with the everlasting gospel. Thou hast left thy native land and obeyed the gospel, therefore, thou art entitled to the same for thou art a daughter of Abraham through Ephraim and entitled to all the blessings of the everlasting covenant and thou art and shall be blest.

I pray that the Holy Comforter may rest down upon you in consequence of the blessings which the Lord has in reserve for you. You will be called to pass through many trials and difficulties. I seal the blessings of life and health upon you and say that you shall live until you are satisfied with life, and not withstanding you are well stricken in life and years. Yet, you can live many years to rejoice with the people of God, and see the cause of your Redeemer spread far and wide. Thy last days shall be thy best days and many shall rise up and call thee blessed because of thy integrity, and thou shalt dream dreams and see heavenly visions and holy messengers shall be sent unto thee, and thy mind shall expand to comprehend the great things of God. I confer these blessings upon thee and ask my Father to satisfy them in the heavens and I say if thou wilt be faithful to those set over thee and to the dictates of the Holy Spirit, thou shalt be blest indeed.

I seal thee up to eternal life and I pray my Father that no power may be permitted to destroy thee, but that your feet may stand in sure places and your pathway shall grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day and greater blessings no man can have than the Lord has for you. And I pray that you may live to realize those blessings and be prepared to be gathered with the saints wherever they shall be gathered and that you may be amongst that happy number which John saw having the palms in their hands and I say be faithful, and your mouth shall speak forth words of wisdom, and your name shall be had in honor among the saints of God.

All these blessings with all others which thou canst desire I seal upon thee in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, even so. Amen.

J. V. Long, Jr. S. A. B. Lory

Delia Deliverance Byam Curtis: Patriarchal Blessing

Delia Deliverance Byam Curtis
Blessing given age 54, died age 82

The patriarchal blessing of Delia Curtis, daughter of John and Sarah Byam, born in the town of Chelsford (Chelmsford), Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, December 4th 1789.

Sister Delia, I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and seal you up unto eternal life as a blessing upon your head and as a memorial for your for generations after you, for your name shall be recorded with the names of the blessed, and shall go down to generations after you with honor, even to be perpetuated unto the latest generation, for you are of Israelitish descent, and your lineage is through the loins of Jacob, whose offsprings are among the nations, and whose seed are among the Gentiles. Therefore, you shall be numbered with his seed, even the seed of Jacob, and be numbered with the blest and enter into the everlasting covenant, and receive and rejoice in its fullness.

And you shall be blest with the promise that shall reach your children, and that cometh upon your father’s house, and your inheritance shall be with your fathers. And as to your blessings temporally shall be in common with your husband, and your name shall be perpetuated through the lineage of the priesthood to go down with your posterity as a blessing according to the desires of your heart, and you shall be blest in days and in years, with seeing and hearing much of the salvation of God, and a crown of glory, celestial, in the mansion of your father, and a place with Sarah and Rachael.

These blessings I seal upon your head, even so. Amen.

Given by Hyrum Smith at Nauvoo, Illinois, March 28th 1843.
James Sloan, Clerk

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Delia Deliverance Byam's History

Here is a copy of Delia's life history, written by Helen Garrett. I will work on transcribing this later, unless anyone else wants to do that for me before I get there...

Here is Delia's Patriarchal Blessing:
The Patriarchal Blessing of Delia Curtis, daughter of John and Sarah Byam, born in the town of Chelsford, Middlesex Co. Massachusetts 4 Dec 1789.

Sister Delia, I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and seal you up unto Eternal Life as a blessing upon your head and as a memorial for your generations after, for you[r] name shall be recorded with the names of the blessed and shall go down to generations after you with honor, even to be perpetuated unto the latest generation, for you are of the Israelitish descent and your lineage is through the loins of Jaco, whose offsprings are among the nations, and whose seed are among the gentiles  therefore, you shall be numbered with his seed, even the seed of Jacob, and be numbered with the blest, ad enter into the everlasting covenant, and receive and rejoice in your children, and that cometh upon your father's house, and your inheritance shall be with your fathers, and as to your blessings temporally shall be in common with your husband, and your name shall be perpetuated through the lineage of the Priesthood to go down with your posterity as a blessing according to the desires of your heart and you shall be blest in days and in years with seeing and hearing much of the salvation of God, and A Crown of Glory, Celestial, in the mansion of your father, and a place with Sarah and Rachel. These blessings I seal upon your head, even so, Amen.

Given by Hyrum Smith, at Nauvoo, Ill. 28 March 1843
James Hoem (?), Clerk

(Copied from the original blessing by Larua Christensen Alger.)

And Delia's endowment record from the Nauvoo Temple:

Betsy Jane Hancock

Charles Edward Hancock (1872–1963)
Charles Hancock (1849–1912)
Betsy Jane Fackrell (1824–1851)

Betsy Jane (Fackrell) Hancock is one of those ancestors who left little trace—it's difficult to find information about her life story but we have a few tidbits here.

First, a letter she wrote to her brother on January 2, 1848.

Next is a picture of her tombstone in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.