Long, long before my grandparents came Missouri persecuted the Mormons. One governor, Governor Boggs, even issued Executive Order Number 44 allowing Missourians to shoot Mormons on sight! Fortunately, I don't think there is a single recorded instance of the citizenry taking advantage of that outrageous law. Nevertheless, it was in effect for 137 years. My daughter's former employer, Christopher S. "Kit" Bond, rescinded the order immediately upon being elected governor in 1975. On my many, many trips to Utah I heard Kit Bond's name mentioned over and over as one of the most popular and respected politicians in America (from the Mormon point of view). And can you blame them?
That said, ourneighboringstate of Illinois treated them much worse than Missouri. Partly because their city of Naveau, Illinois overlooking the Mississippi River was the largest city in the state--even larger than Chicago. Politicians in Illinois could not tolerate their growing numbers and drove them out. A few Mormon caretakers were left behind in an effort to sell their entire city (larger than Chicago) to interested buyers. A few weeks later a ship landed in New Orleans bearing the first of many immigrants from a sect of French socialists called the Icarians. They saw an ad in the local newspaper advertising a complete city with finely crafted houses, stores, public buildings, empty factories, libraries, publishing houses and a fairly new Temple for sale. It was something, I suppose, you wouldn't expect to see just every day! The Icarians bought the city and set about creating utopia.
I quite believe it that there were that many Welsh in the choir. My relations in Utah have certainly done their bit for the population. One of my cousins died there a couple of years ago and left 21 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren!
Poor Jane Seymour (queen, not actress!) - frankly, I think she was better off dying in childbirth than having to live with Henry. Harsh, but probably true. So sad that such an intelligent and thoughtful man became such a monster.
Just a couple of weeks ago we watched a Christmas special on PBS with Jane Seymour (the actress not the Queen) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I watched the credits at the end and I'd estimate about 60% of the choir, directors, producers, etc were Welsh.
That other Jane Seymour, the Queen, was a Tudor by marriage, Norman by blood. She died young but at at least it was a natural death plus she provided her husband, Henry VIII, an heir.
Another of the brothers, Bertie, went out to Utah later, in the 1920s, having married in Carmarthenshire. He was naturalised in Utah but then went on to live in San Joaquin, California. We are very much in touch with his daughter (now 81) who's a very active member of her community there and sings in a touring choir.
The Brigham Young University have information on their website: www.welshmormon.byu.edu/Default.aspx about Welsh immigration, along with a list of names. Apparently about 20% of the population of Utah is descended from Welsh immigrants. On the list are three members of the Maddocks (Maddox) family, Eben, Davy and Mary Jane (my great aunt) who also married before going out there.
To be honest, I'm not sure what they're doing! They must be clearing some land on the farm; there seem to be a lot of stones there so perhaps they were getting rid of those to plant something. I think this photo came from a cousin who does research into our ancestry.
I believe there was a Mormon recruitment drive as several of the Maddocks family are listed on a Mormon immigrant list. I suppose they were told there was opportunity for farmers in Utah. Both were married in a local church in Carmarthenshire before they went though.
Harold is right about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; that owes its fame to the Welsh, certainly.
Gaynor, I once spent several weeks in Utah shopping for real estate for my company. After the fourth or fifth day touring country lanes riding around with the estate agent, I said, "Man! You sure have a lot of Welsh people living here!" He said, "How did you know that?" I said, "All these names on the mailboxes! Jones, Evans, Roberts, Morgan, Griffith, Davies....I'm Welsh and those are Welsh names." He laughed and said, "Yep...where do you think the Mormon Tabernacle Choir came from? It was founded by Welsh converts."
Great photo Gaynor. Had to ask....what occupation are they engaged in here and why did they pick Utah?