Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another Document for Charles Law (1832-1862)

It looks as if Charles Law appeared in the Deseret News, 26 Oct 1859, page 8. The "article" was entitled "Save the Cost!" and reports Charles Law among many others who are delinquent on their territorial and county taxes. The list indicates that he was in the Salt Lake 13th Ward in 1858 and was delinquent to the amount of $2.00.

If this is our Charles Law, this would indicate that upon arrival in Salt Lake City, Charles lived in the 13th Ward until the removal to Springville. Charles arrived in Salt Lake on September 26, 1857, subsequently married Hannah Bocock (and a little later, Elizabeth Bocock), and did not relocate to Springville until April 1857.

Link to the file in the Utah Digital Newspapers

Link to copy of the file posted to "The Law Family in Cyberspace"

More on Isaac's Birth

Ok. I went and checked the Church History Archives' records and found that the two record sets I thought were the same are not the same at all. Turns out that the Archives' "Record of members" for most wards are not listed individually in their catalog--they have to be looked up in a set of binders there in the Archives.

So the following item does not include membership records at all--it is more of an organizational record for the ward. There is mention of Robert Price (Isaac's father-in-law) but no mention of Isaac.

Author: Paris 2nd Ward, Bear Lake Stake
Title: Manuscript history and historical reports 1877-1970
Call Number: LR 6740 2

The "Record of members, [1877?]-1941" of the Paris 2nd Ward includes a variety of record types. There is "A Record of Births, Blessings, Baptisms, Confirmations, Re-Baptisms, Re-Confirmations, Ordinations, Received, Removed, Died, and Cut Off". In this record, Isaac appears on page 6 (entry no. 132) and we are provided the following:

Name: Law, Isaac B.
Parents: Charles Law - Hannah Bocock
Birth: 17 May 1862, Springville, Utah
Baptism: July 1873 by Wm Budge
Received: 21 Nov 1865
Removed: 20 Oct 1886
Remarks: withdrawn from Church membership by his own request

As some of you know, Isaac had his membership withdrawn due to the law at the time that disenfranchised members of the Mormon church (Mormons could not vote). He was re-instated at some unknown later date (if the withdrawn membership was ever considered official), and served as a missionary in the Central States Mission 1899-1902.

Moving farther into the records there is "B Record of the Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of the Paris Second Ward, Bear Lake Stake of Zion, Part I". Coming to entry no. 62 we find:

Name: Isaac Brough Law
Parents: Charles Law - Hannah Bocock
Birth: Springville, Utah 18 May 1862
Blessed by George Gardner, 1862
Baptized by Wm Budge, July 1873
Married Susan Price, 17 Sep 1885
Received from Springville Utah, 21 Nov 1865
Ordained an Elder by Bp R Price, 24 Aug 1885

Next we come to the "Record of Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Paris 2nd Ward, Bear Lake Stake of Zion" where he appears in entry no. 35:

Name: Isaac Brough Law
Parents: Charles - Hannah Bocock
Birth: 18 May 1862, Springville, Utah
Baptism: July 1873, by William Budge
Died: 11 Jun 1910

The next section is the "Record of Ordinations", where entry no. 3 indicates that Isaac Brough Law was ordained an Elder by Robert Price on 24 Aug 1885. A reference on the line sends the reader to entry no. 108. Entry no. 108 indicates only that Isaac was ordained a Seventy, it doesn't indicate when or by whom the ordination was performed.

I also checked for mention of Isaac in the Springville Ward records to no avail. While I did not find Isaac, I did spot his father, Charles Law, and his half-sister, Sarah Elizabeth Law, in the small section labeled "Deaths in Springville". The following information is given:

Law, Charles
Date of birth: 19 Dec 1832
Date of death:

Law, Sarah Elizabeth
Date of birth: 7 Jul 1860
Date of death: 11 Jun 1861

Funny that there is not so much as the year recorded for Charles' death, which occurred 20 Sep 1862.

So where does this leave us on the question of Isaac's birth and associated documentation? Here is what we have:

Source 1: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Record of members collection 1836-1970", CF 375 8, reel no. 5220 (Paris 2nd Ward, Bear Lake Stake).

In this source Isaac's date of birth is provided 3 times: once as 17 May 1862 and twice as 18 May 1862.

"Record of births, blessings ...", page 6, entry 132 - 17 May 1862, Springville, Utah
"B Record of Members of the ... Paris Second Ward ... part I", entry 62 - 18 May 1862, Springville, Utah
"Record of Members of the ... Paris 2nd Ward ...", entry 35 - 18 May 1862, Springville, Utah

In 1862 May 17th fell on a Saturday and the 18th on Sunday--I'm not sure that this helps determine which day is correct, but it could, if we had some more clues ...

There are no civil birth records during this period in Utah. The census records are our next best sources and they don't ever include the day. In fact, the census information is all over the calendar when it comes to Isaac's birth date:

Source 2: 1870 Census - age 8 - birth between 2 Jun 1861 and 1 Jun 1862 (supports the 17/18 May date)
Source 3: 1880 Census - have never found him in this record.
Source 4: 1900 Census - age 39 - birth in May 1861 (doesn't support)
Source 5: 1910 Census - age 47 - birth between 16 Apr 1862 and 15 Apr 1863 (supports)
Source 6: Isaac's cemetery headstone - 18 May 1862
Source 7: TIB Card for Isaac - 18 May 1862

So all told, we have no truly contemporary records. Of the later records we have 4 which support the 18 May 1862 date and only one which supports May 17th. In addition we have two census records which support a May 1862 date and one that does not. While there is nothing conclusive it does appear that May 18th is the more likely date of birth.

In Isaac's mission diary, I thought he might begin with a bit of biographical information--he does not. When the diary was reproduced and disseminated a birth date of May 18, 1862 was given in the brief biographical section which preceded the transcript of the diary proper.

Anyone have any further sources to suggest? Letters, diaries, family bibles?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Collaborative Research Logging & Documentation

Here begins an experiment in documenting genealogical research. This blog is intended as a spot where descendants of Isaac Brough Law can collaborate, discuss, and document the events of his life and then extend beyond his life to his ancestry and his descendants.

Let's begin with his birth. My records indicate the following:

Isaac Brough Law
birthdate: 17 May 1862
birthplace: Springville, Utah, Utah Territory, USA
father: Charles Law
mother: Susan Juchau Price

NOTE: LDS Church Historical Dept, Bear Lake Stake, Paris 2nd Ward Record of Mmber lib film #16245 shows date of birth 18 May 1862. Historical Department library film #16244 Part 1 pg 6 line 132, Bear Lake Stake, Paris 2nd Ward Record shows his date of birth as 17 May 1862. We have chosen to use 17 May 1862.

What sources should we cite for Isaac's birth?

The ward historical records referenced above are listed in the Church Archive's catalog and the Family History Library's catalog in two completely different ways (and neither agree with the note given above)

The LDS Church Archive's record for these films is given in the following manner:

Author: Paris 2nd Ward, Bear Lake Stake
Title: Manuscript history and historical reports 1877-1970
Call Number: LR 6740 2
Access Number: 287229-ARCH

The Family History Library also has a copy of this microfilm. Their catalog record looks like this:

Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Paris 2nd Ward (Idaho)
Title: Annual genealogical report, Form E, 1907-1948; record of members, [1877?]-1941
Record of members [1877]-1941 -- FHL US/CAN Film 7178
Form E 1907-1948 -- FHL US/CAN Film 7179

I have omitted a lot of extraneous data on each of these--just given the most salient details. It's interesting to me that nothing is the same: authors, titles, or call numbers. When citing this source, I am torn as to how to cite this item. I want to cite the Church Archive's form since they are the actual repository of the original documents; however, the FHL film is much more readily available (through 4,000 Family History Centers worldwide). Citing both would be an alternative but would also make the citation much larger, more unwieldy, and perhaps more confusing.

These ward records are not the best evidence of birth that one could hope for. This record was retrospectively compiled many years after the event. The birth occurred in Springville, Utah in 1862 and was recorded in Paris, Idaho in 1877 or sometime later. I'm sure that there have been searches in the Springville records for evidence of this birth (I seem to recall even doing this myself at one point or another). I think I'll undertake it one more time and record definitively what records I searched and what I did or didn't find concerning this birth.

Is anyone aware of any family bible or other family documents which might give Isaac's date of birth?

There are other documents which would provide Isaac's birthdate and/or place of birth:

1870 census indicates he was 8 years old in June of 1870 (placing his birth between 2 Jun 1861 and 1 Jun 1862).

1880 census would give a similar approximate year but I haven't been able to find him in this census.

1900 census indicates he was born in May 1861 and was 39 years old in June of 1900 (placing his birth between 2 Jun 1860 and 1 Jun 1861).

1910 census gives his age as 47 years in April 1910 (placing his birth between 16 Apr 1862 and 15 Apr 1863).

Anyone have a photo of his headstone?

Anyone know of other contemporary documents which might give his birthdate?