Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Emigration to Zion after 1868

Mormons are great record keepers. The Mormon Overland Travel, 1847-1868 is one example. It lists the Mormon pioneers across the plains and covers up to the advent of rail travel to Utah. It is pretty good but it isn't complete, so they are always looking for help improving it. Check to see if your pioneer ancestor is on it. If not, let them know. But emigration to Zion didn't end until the 20th century. There are thirty years of people coming to Utah, and the surrounding areas to join the saints in Zion. The record for that is less documented.

In late October or early November of 1884, shortly after the Cane Creek Massacre, many of the saints from Cane Creek who had not left already, followed John Morgan to Manassa, Colorado. According to B. H. Roberts, the church heavily subsidized this particular emigrant company. But neither the Family History Library nor the Church Archives have an official record available showing who was in the group. An online account said that 177 saints were in that group, but it did not quote the source. Arrgggh.

While in Salt Lake Last week I stopped in at the Family History Library. I thought perhaps I would have better luck in person. After a fruitless search I made my way over to the Archive. (I was able to to put some faces with the names I have come to know.) One of the archivists suggested looking at the Stake History that include the Manassa, Colorado Ward. Perhaps they will have a record of who arrived and where they were from. So I took five minutes and found it. Quickly I wrote down the number of the microfilm and took it up to the reference desk. Unfortunately I was there on New Year's Eve. They were closing early (at 4:00) and not taking any more requests from the stacks after 3:30 (it was 3:35). I had spent too much time at the Family History Library.

I'll be back. My next trip may be in August, and the Archives will be in their new home by then. Another excuse for a visit.

No comments: