Friday, April 26, 2019

The truth about William Sherwill, revised

The truth about William Sherwill, the Conestoga Fur Trader, as of June 2011, at least until another document is found changing everything. Other documents have been found as of 25 April 2019 which do change some things as shown below.
Copyright June 2011 LaRae Free Kerr M Ed. Revised 25 April 2019
When I started this project, my family group record on William Sherrill the Fur Trader, gave his wife as Mary Egford/Higford with a question mark. His proven children were Mary, Margery, William Jr and Adam. Children with question marks were Avington, two Samuels born in different years, John, Ute/Uriah/Yont, David, Amanda and Reuben. The family group record was full of errors; however, perusing available records left a streamlined, solid family as shown below.
After carefully reading this document, if you have any true sources that support, refute or enhance the following information, I would appreciate your sharing them with me. Please do not quote “family sources,” “’s familytree [unless there are real sources],” “ [unless sources are attached]” or any other cut-and-paste resource, for they are not sources. But do share court and land records, family Bibles, diaries, letters, etc. To follow our discoveries about the Sherrills, Perkins and Frees, please follow the blog at You may email me at
Also, please, do not commit plagiarism by cutting and pasting this document into other sites, especially in pieces that leave out supporting data. When quoting this document, give complete sourcing: Kerr, LaRae Free. “The truth about William Sherwill, the Conestoga Fur Trader, as of June 2011, and April 2019, at least until another document is found changing everything.” 20 Jun 2011. 25 Apr 2019. 2027l
Further, I reserve the right to modify anything and everything in this document as you send me new information, and as Jill, Michael and I find new information. Look for the book: the working title is Richard Perkins and William Sherrill: American Ancestors of Mary Pennington Free.
Names are funny things. No matter how unusual the name you are searching may be, there will be other people with the same or similar names in the same or similar time periods and places. Remember, too, please, that all spelling must be done phonetically. The surname Sherrill has been found in varying documents as well as sometimes in the same documents spelled in these and other ways: Sherrill /Shirwell/Sherrel/Sherwill/Shearwell/Sherel/ Sherett/Cheril/ Sherville/Sheral/Shurl/Cherral/Sarill/Sherrerd, pronounced Sherry in parts of England
Documents are funny things, too. Thousands of records are destroyed each year, yet many make it through the natural disasters, the mice and rats, the burned house or courthouse, the trips to the dump, and end up in a library or on a microfilm or book or even onto the Internet.
Consequently, the appearance of just one record can change all that a family believed about their family heretofore. Such is the case with the William Sherrill pedigree. Please remember these three things as you peruse the following much abbreviated information: no name is unique; names must be read phonetically; and with the advent of digital technology, “lost” or at least previously unfound, ancient records are coming to light.
Why William Sherrill has only four children.
The four children of William Sherrill can be proven by court and church records. The St George Parish Register by Reamy p 60 includes this entry: “Mary Perkins daughter of Richard Perkins Sr [Jr in this book] and Mary his wife and granddaughter to William Sheerwill Senior born 1 Dec 1739.” This shows that Mary the mother was the daughter of William Sherrill Sr, and her daughter Mary was his granddaughter. This is an unusual entry in that it mentions the grandfather, and it proves that Mary the mother, the wife of Richard Perkins Jr, was William Sherrill Sr’s daughter.
Deeds show that in 1729 William Sherrill Sr sold 100 acres to each of his two sons, Adam and his wife Elizabeth, and William Jr and his wife Margaret. This proves that William Sherrill Sr had two sons, Adam and William Jr.
Margery is proven to be the child of William Sherrill Sr by a line in the will of Christopher Hoomes wherein he wrote: “I give and bequeath to my reputed son and whom I have raised from infancy, William Sherrill, son of Margaret Sherrill, alias Margery Perkins.” This Margery Perkins is the wife of Elisha Perkins, brother to Richard Perkins Jr who married Margery’s sister, Mary. This gives her maiden name as Sherrill, and includes the common form of her given name, Margery. Note that she named her son by Christopher Hoomes after her father, William Sherrill.
Why Long Island, New York’s Samuel Sherrill [identified as Shipwreck Sam] is not William Sherrill, the Conestoga Fur Trader’s, father.
A better question than this is: Why did anyone think Samuel Sherrill was William Sherrill’s father in the first place?
It was because of proximity. Those wonderful early researchers who gave us such great genealogical heritages had very few records to work with, so their modus operandi was to look around for the closest person with the same or similar last name. Still works today, but it must be accompanied by records, and it must fit known dates.
In addition, consider that genealogy rule that if you can’t prove a relationship, attempt to disprove it. The wills of Samuel Sherrill of Long Island and his wife disproved any connection to William.
Neither Samuel Sherrill’s will nor that of his wife mentioned a son named William Sherrill. In fact, the only son mentioned is Recompence. There were some daughters.
Sometimes sons are not mentioned in probates because they have already received their inheritances or are cut off. My Perkins line has examples of both. Still there are other records connecting the father and son. In the case of Samuel and William there are no connecting records found thus far, not one. Further, William lived in Maryland and just across the border into Pennsylvania while Samuel lived in Long Island, New York.
In Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, Vol III, edited by Cuyler Reynolds and published in 1911, in an article titled “The Sherrill Line,” p 1065, it says “Recompence, only son of Samuel and ______(Parsons) Sherrill, was born in Easthampton, Long Island, about 1678 [underlining is my own].” So for at least one hundred years, Sherrill researchers have known Samuel was the father of Recompence, NOT William Sr.
Wanda Clark, in her Sherrill Saga,p 17 in my version, says, “There is no doubt that William Sherrill, the Conestoga fur trader pre-dated the Long Island Samuel Sherrill.” Therefore, Samuel Sherrill could not be William’s father just simply because he was too young to be.
Further, there were other Sherrills in the Americas: Samuel Shewell, Samuel Share, John Sherle, Thomas Shirle, Thomas Sherwill, William Sherrill/Sheriff who immigrated in 1659, for example, from Virginia to New Hampshire to list just a few. See Clark, Wanda L. The Sherrill Saga. Photocopy of rough draft in possession of LaRae Free Kerr, p/s 27. McAlester, OK. 1 Jan 1987. p 26. and Shoemaker, Jill. June Research, email 17 June 2011 10:48 pmSee also Sherrill immigrants/emigrants on
A new-found record seems to indicate William Sherrill, the Fur Trader, was the emigrant and is not the son of any colonial Sherrill by any spelling or domicile.
Why neither Maryland Samuel Sherrill is the Fur Trader’s father.
If proximity sent early researchers into Long Island, New York in search of William Sherrill’s parents, it sent some researchers even closer to William’s domicile when a Samuel Sherrill was found in Maryland itself. One of William Andrew Sherrill’s thousands of Sherrill note cards said: “Samuel Sherrill d. Charles County, Md 1676. B. England 1635. Married an Ashbrook. Supposed to be the father of William Sherrill. B. Charles County, Maryland, 1675.” Clark. Saga. P 36 Please note there is NO source for this information and neither of those great Sherrill researchers, William Andrew Sherrill or Wanda L Clark credit it, though in his thoroughness, Bill recorded it. The source for the death year is shown below.
Nor is there any known document connecting William Sherrill to this Samuel Sherrill of Charles County, Maryland. Records indicate this Samuel Sherrill was in Charles County, MD in 1663. Deed records then jump to 1674-1677 when this Samuel was dead. But none of these deeds, nor the estate appraisement seem to mention wife or children. Clark, Saga pp 23-25. See notes below:
Samuel Sherrill
1670 9 Aug. Samuel Serrell of Charles Co also Samuel Serell of Petuxent River in Calvert Co MD was pd 1000 lbs tobacco to cut and mail 14 foot logs.
1673. Samuell Sherrell sells Ashbrooks Rest to John Boyden
1674, 6 Nov. Samuell Sherrell of Charles Co MD? Swears about William Lewis
1676 24 Jul. Benjamin Roger (Roser?) adm his estate. Samuel Sherrill is of Charles, MD.
1678 13 Apr Robert Benjar of Baltimore Co MD administers Margaret's estate.
Why would these non-related people administer the estates of Samuel and Margaret, his wife, if they had living children? Especially since William Sherrill, the Fur Trader, was nearby? Kerr, LaRae Free. Notes and Timeline. Personal Ancestral File under Samuel Sherrill d 1676 Md.
Still another Samuel Shewell/Showell can be found in Maryland records, in Somerset County. This one’s wife was Mary; his children were Johnathan, Mary and Charles, and his will was drawn 18 Apr 1695 and proved 13 Oct 1698 through 18 Jul 1713. Clark, Saga. P 38. No known record connects this man to William Sherrill, the Fur Trader.
CONCLUSION: No records connect William Sherrill the fur trader to any Samuel Sherrill. Both the Long Island, NY Samuel Sherrill and the Somerset County, MD Samuel Sherrill were too young to be William’s father. The Charles County, MD Samuel Sherrill is of an age where he might be William Sherrill’s father, but it appears from both his and his wife Margaret’s estates, that there were no children. No document has yet been found connecting this Samuel Sherrill with William Sherrill the Fur Trader.
Why William Sherrill the Fur Trader’s wife is not Margaret, Rudisil or Reutzel.
The bottom line on William Sherrill’s wife is that she is not mentioned in any record found thus far. That William did have children he claimed as his own and met the requirements to be considered “English” therefore qualifying for land ownership and taxation, can be found in Maryland and Pennsylvania land records where he deeded parcels to his sons Adam and William Jr. The much litigated Margery Sherrill is listed as William Jr’s sister in court records. Mary Sherrill’s daughter is given as the granddaughter of William Sheerwill, senior, in the parish registers. But there is no evidence of marriages or wives for William, though obviously there was at least one. So for the time being, his wife must be called by that ubiquitous and meaningless name, Mrs. William Sherrill.
To understand why neither the forename Margaret nor the surname Rudicil or Reutzel can belong to her [except coincidentally and outside the following parameters], consider the source of those names.
First, the Long Island Samuel Sherrill’s wife, first name unknown by the editor, Reynolds, of the entry above, has often been given as Margaret Parsons. When Sherrill researchers were compelled to remove “Shipwreck” Samuel Sherrill from their pedigree charts as William’s father for lack of evidence, they might have forgotten to also remove Samuel Sherrill’s wife as his mother. Hence the name Margaret Parsons stayed on some records even though she almost certainly never met the William Sherrill she was supposed to have birthed.
Second, there is a Margaret Therrell/Sherrell/Thurrold, who left a will mentioning daughters and a grandson, nothing concerning a son William, yet her name comes up as a possible mother to William. See Clark, Wanda L. The Sherrill Saga. Photocopy of rough draft in possession of LaRae Free Kerr, p/s 27. McAlester, OK. 1 Jan 1987. Pp 8, 18-22.
Third, William Sherrill Jr’s wife’s name was listed as Margaret in various deeds. He was not always, nor even often called Jr in the land records, and it is difficult to tell which William Sherrill is which. However, deeds make it clear that the wife of William Sherrill, the son of William Sherrill the Indian trader, was named Margaret.
Fourth, someone once read the name Samuel as Rudil in one or more early documents – old cursive is often confusing, and then someone assumed it was his mother’s surname; hence Rudisil. As near as I can tell, the supposition about Rudil began in 1957. However, the Rudicel family claims no one by that surname was in the Americas early enough to be William Sherrill’s wife. In other words, and I really hate to say this, but someone made Margaret Rudicell up. She did not exist.
Fifth, the William Sherrill 1702 deed transferring land from William Price to William Sherrill contains information about Margaret, but it is Margaret Price that is named, not Margaret Sherrill.
And finally, William Sherrill’s known daughters are Mary and Margery, a shortening of Margaret. Surely one of those daughters would be named for their mother? Perhaps. But in the old Scotch-Irish naming pattern, the first daughter would be named for the mother’s mother, and the second for the father’s mother. So it is more likely that their mother’s mother was named Mary, and their father’s mother was named Margery; the latter turns out to be true.
Some have claimed a Margaretha Reutzel, daughter of Elias, as his wife. However, the original researchers for the family of Elias do not list a daughter named Margaret or any of its variations. All of the children of this family have complete birth [chr?] dates from church records [?] in Wolferborn, Germany, except the oldest purported child, Margaretha,. She has been plunked in with only a birth year and the place as Cecil, MD. Further, the ship that brought them is supposed to be the US Butler. The US didn’t even exist at that time. The only source is oneworldtree at ancestry. Of course, oneworldtree is not a source. After checking this family, I am convinced Margaretha Reutzel is another person who never did exist.
The earliest Rudisil I noticed as I worked on this information was: A Philip Rudisili appeared in Anson Co NC in a 28 Jun 1756 deed. Clark, Saga, p 64.Thank you, dear Wanda Clark, for your hard work.
Two great Sherrill researchers have independently discounted both Samuel Sherrill and Margaret Rudisil [by any spelling] as William Sherrill’s parents and wife as shown by this quote: “This Ermington Parish family is the strongest candidate so far for our William, the conestoga fur traders line. Bill Sherrill of Arizona had discounted Samuel Sherrill whom he called ‘Sinking Sam’ as our ancestor & in his book on Jacob which he put out just before he died he removed Margaret Rudisil as William’s wife…Note that I show no wife’s name [for the fur trader] & show only 4 children as proven William Jr, Adam Sr; Margeret Perkins; & Mary Perkins – and while I list Wm Sherwell & Margery Upright as his parents I show this as “not proven” Clark, Wanda. Letter to Helen VanderBeek dated 13 Sep 1991 from McAlester, OK. In p/s 27, handwritten, tan lined paper.
Why William Sherrill’s wife is not Mary Egford/Higford [or sometimes given as Gregory].
The William Sherrill/Mary Egford marriage took place 11 May 1693 in Exeter, Devon, England. This is about the time William Sherrill married, but he lived in Maryland not England. It is possible he returned to England with the express purpose of acquiring a wife.  But, as shown elsewhere, his wife’s name is not given in any known new world document.
Why Rudil Sherrill is not William Sherrill’s son.
The name Rudil Sherrill was a misreading of the name Rydall Furrill in the original. Both Rydall [Rudil] and John Furrill were named in the Pennsylvania tax lists. There never was a Rudil Sherrill; he couldn’t be anyone’s son because he did not exist.
Wanda Clark wrote on page 8 of her Sherrill Saga: "Adam, Rudil and Samuel join William Sherrill in Lancaster County tax records in 1720." Her hand-written note in the margin states: "read original microfilm - this appears to be a mis-reading of Samuel." This is the complete quote.
Why Samuel Sherrill is not William Sherrill’s son.
Please note that the first documented Samuel Sherrill in the family is the son of Adam Sherrill. Gray, William grandson of William and Sarah Sherrill Gray copied these entries in 1860., Old Sherrill Bible., Mrs Richard W Harris Rt 3 Oxford, NC donated these papers as part of the Allen/Laney Papers. Paine to H V/B 24 Jan 1979., copy in poss LaRae Free Kerr, 2969 East Somerset Drive, Spanish Fork, UT 84660.
Why is Ute/Uriah/Yont Sherrill listed as a child of William Sherrill, the Indian trader?
The short answer is there is no Ute/Uriah b 1705, but the man of that name born 1728 is the son of Adam Sherrill. Adam’s son Uriah was born 1 Mar 1728 and fits all known deeds. Further he is listed in the Sherrill Family Bible records as Adam’s son.
After reviewing the literature about William Sherrill as well as newly noticed records, I have yet to find him even in the same place as a Ute/Uriah/Yont Sherrill. William Sherrill does have a grandson named Uriah b 1728, a son of Adam [some claim this Uriah is the son of Samuel]; plus a great grandson named Uriah b 1757, son of Jacob.
Why Aventon/Avington/Abenton/Abraham Sherrill is not William Sherrill, the Fur Trader’s, son.
Avington is another story. He does not appear in Pennsylvania records with the William Sherrill family. He does appear on the Catawba River with the Sherrills in North Carolina, meaning that he would have been, most likely, 21 or older by 1748, thus born before 1727. He is a son of William Sherrill Jr, a grandson of William. See the following deed abstract for more about Avington.
“Anson County, North Carolina Deeds, Vol A.
Page 103: 1 May 1752, WILLIAM SHERRILL [Jr], to his son ABBENTON SHERRILL…cattle other half to son in law JAMES ROBINSON…WILLIAM SHERRILL [X] [SEAL]. Wit: JOHN WODSON, JOHN CLARK, JAMES HUTCHINS.” Abstract in Clark, Wanda, The Sherrill Saga, p 63.
Important identifiers in this deed show that Aventon must meet these requirements:
1. He was born before 1731 – would probably be 21 or older in 1752 or the deed’s language would have been different.
2. His father’s name was William Sherrill
3. William Sherrill Jr was alive in 1752
4. Half of William Sherrill’s cattle went to Aventon’s sister, via her husband James Robinson
5. There were not other children in the family, since the cattle were divided into two herds only
6. William Sherrill Jr lived in Anson Co NC in 1752
These criteria define the family of William Sherrill Jr thusly:
1. Avington Sherrill’s birth is estimated at about 1730 in Virginia.
2. His father’s name was William Sherrill [Jr]; his mother was, perhaps, Margaret who later married a Mr Wilson [another Margaret!].
3. His father, William Sherrill Jr, died 14 Jan 1774 in Sherrill’s Fort, GA; he was killed by Indians. So he was alive in 1752, thus able to bequeath his children these cattle.
4-5. There may have been only the two children or the cattle would have been divided into smaller groups. [There are also reasons why this may not be true, but looking at the most obvious circumstance first can be helpful.] The family record I have of William Sherrill Jr shows only two children: Aventon, and Catherine.  Catherine was married to James Robinson. It is entirely possible that the name James Robinson originated with this deed since I do not have a marriage record for Catherine. 
 7. Even though this William Sherrill Jr was with his father and brother Adam in MD and PA, there are deeds for him in Anson Co NC 1750, 1750, 1752, 1752, 1757, 1762. He and other family members later went to GA for a time where he was killed. Clark. Saga. Pp 63-4.
8. Deeds for James Robinson and Aventon Sherrill, and Aventon’s wife Pershanna Sherrill can also be found in Anson Co NC. Clark, Saga, pp 63-4.
CONCLUSION: This Avington Sherrill is the son of William Sherrill, Jr.
Why David, Amanda and Reuben Sherrill are not William Sherrill the Fur Trader’s children.
There is no evidence, no source, nada. These names were taken from a website that is fraught with errors, and though source names are scattered throughout they don’t seem to bear any relationship to the information listed nearby.
Where did the other children come from?
Some family group records list as many as 11 children for William Sherrill, the Indian trader. I’ve looked hard for days without finding a single source that would make me add a name to the four known children given above. Further, I’ve seen no source of any kind for any of the other names. Where did they come from?
CONCLUSION: Only Mary, William Jr, Adam, and Margery should be listed as William Sherrill’s and Mrs. William Sherrill’s children.
So, as of June 2011, and April 2019, feel free to make the following changes to your William Sherrill the Fur Trader family group record.
1. Remove both Samuel Sherrill and any Margaret as his parents. The book reveals those most likely to be his parents.
2. Remove Mary Egford/Higford/Gregory as his wife. Also remove any Margaret and any surname. Remember that Margaret Rudicil did not exist, at least as William Sherwill’s wife. So don’t even keep her in the database. The only name we have at this time is Mrs. William Sherrill [use any Sherrill spelling that works in your database.]
Margaretha Reutzel is another apparently made up name. This woman also does not appear to have existed.
3. Put the four known children in this order, if you choose to follow the traditional naming order: the first daughter will be Mary, named after her mother’s mother [whose name we don’t actually yet know and may never know]; the second daughter will be Margery, named after her father’s mother [this turns out to be true]; the first son will be named William after the father’s father [which is also true]; the second son will be named after the mother’s father. However, in this case, Mary is named after her great grandmother on her father’s side and Adam is named after his great grandfather on his father’s side. [Of course, it’s always possible Mary and Adam are indeed their mother’s parents’ names.] However, there is a reason the mother’s name was never used in any of the records: she died young; she was all or part Indian and could not legally be included; she was of another nationality whose names were difficult; she was not married to William Sherrill but a common law wife. Who knows?
The most likely answer is that she died young and therefore did not need to be named in the deeds and court records.
4. As I’ve done this analysis, it has become clear that Mary, William, Adam and Margery, who can all be documented as William Sherrill the Fur Trader’s children with court and land records were born in MD and/or PA. The other children attributed to him appear only in VA or NC records where he may never have gone. This analysis has made it clear that those erstwhile children belong in other families. William Sherrill the Fur Trader probably died in VA.
5. Move Aventon to his proper position as the grandchild of William Sherrill and the son of William Sherrill Jr.
6. Delete David, Amanda and Reuben outright. They do not belong in this family if they even existed.
7. I find no document mentioning John Sherrill in the MD/PA area or the right time period. So delete him.
8. Match/merge Ute/Uriah/Yont Sherrill with the Uriah b 1728, son of Adam the pioneer or Uriah the son of Samuel the son of Adam the pioneer b 1757, depending on the event.
9. The Samuel Sherrill who has been assigned the birth date of 1709 did not exist. So what Sherrill family has sons named Samuel and Adam? That would be the family of Adam Sherrill and Elizabeth Corzine. The deed dates assigned to Samuel Sherrill b 1709 work even better for the Samuel Sherrill b 1725. So match/merge Samuel Sherrill whose birth is given as 1709 with Adam’s son Samuel b 1 Oct 1725. The Samuel Sherrill b 1709 never did exist. All his references were actually for those of 1725.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

curent email

I can be reached at or via my website at As of this month, Jun 2017, I am writing the history of the Sherrills and Perkins after years of deep research. My gratitude to Michael Harlan for all his help is incalculable. Contributions are welcome.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What we were doing in 1981

In the 1970s the descendants of Lafe and Dollie Wadsworth wrote, and I compiled a newsletter each year where we all shared the most important things that happened that year.  The 1981 letter never did get compiled and sent.  But Linda Lee found the original from our family, and I presume others, which I reproduce below.  Note that the research trips were for the George Allen Wadsworth book which would be published in 1983 with the updated 30th anniversary edition in 2013. Of course, we always looked for information on all our ancestors on these trips, so we found some interesting Free data as well. I seem to remember that it was in the archives in Reno that we found information on the Walker family as well as much other great stuff. LFK

Keep reading, because this includes a most scary experience from my Mom and Dad as well.  Well, it was really scary for all of us.

1981 30 Nov        The Most Important Thing[s] that have happened to me this year
By the VanderBeeks
RON:     This year has been very eventful – from minor events such as extracting Margo’s tooth, to exciting events such as a genealogy trip to Reno, Nevada, to an adventure trip to Ghost Towns in Montana and the Jordan Temple Open House, to major decision events such as changing jobs. The major decision was the most difficult. The job that I had was designing control systems for the nuclear reactors at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.
                Although I enjoyed the work, it was slowing down because one of the reactors was going to be shut down after its last experimental test, and funding was not appropriated for another existing reactor. There was still work but the outlook was not promising. Although engineering jobs elsewhere were plentiful, the economy being the way it is – mortgage rates 18% and a buyer rather than seller market – it did not lend well to the decision of moving to another area. I interviewed in the company and found a job in the engineering field but not in the design end. It is in the licensing of nuclear reactors for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission [NRC].
                It was a big step I feel from engineering design to the new job, but I feel now that it will benefit me in the engineering career that I chose in college. Since I’ve been at my new job I have traveled to Washington, DC to meet with the NRS and will be going back again this December. I will also be visiting a nuclear reactor plant in Massachusetts in December.
                A spiritual event has been my calling as the Ward Clerk of Osgood Ward, Idaho Falls West Stake.

HELEN [LaRae]: On the 10th of Oct Mary Ann Smith [my bodyguard] and I were in Paradise to attend the baptism of Pat Whiting and her sons Michael [10] and Mark [15].
                Pat and I have been working long distance on a genealogical publication, Born Free, for three years. I had sent a Book of Mormon about a year ago. In Sept she called because she was blue; she still hadn’t found a job. So in the course of our conversation she said she wanted to know something about my church. I sent the missionaries to her, and she and her boys listened.
                Sat morning [Oct 10] Mary Ann and I flew to San Francisco, rented a car and drove to Paradise, California. When we arrived at Pat’s, she and I hugged. It was the first time we had ever seen each other.
                On the plane home, I was surprised to find my mission president, Robert Backman. It was wonderful to be able to tell him why were in midair with him.

SIMONE [age 12]: In Nov we went to the Jordan Temple. It was real nice and warm. I never have been in all parts of a temple before. It was real special. I saw all the rooms; they’re real pretty. We went through all of the floors, so we could see all the rooms, like the sealing rooms, baptismal font and the Celestial room, etc. The chandeliers were really pretty.  I couldn’t find a fingerprint on anything.
                I also got on the eighth grade first string basketball team. I really like to play basketball.

MARGO [age 10]: This summer we went to Reno, Lake Tahoe and Provo. On Labor Day we went to Virginia City and Silver City, Montana which are ghost towns. Other places we went are Panaca, Salt Lake and Boise. I’m in fifth grade. I’m on the school basketball team. At Reno we went to Circus Circus. We saw some acrobats. I won two toys by throwing balls in a straight line. It didn’t matter which way the line went.

DAVID [age 6, just barely]: Jordan Temple Oct 1981:  I liked the big round light with the diamonds hanging down. I like the baptism with the cows’ heads stuck out.
Kindergarten Aug 1981: I like when I started school. We got a new store from doing all our ABCs good. I love Mrs. Chappell [his teacher who was also a Pulsipher relative].
Lagoon Summer 1981: I liked the fair on the way to Provo. I like the haunted house – the pictures they show and how they pretend to break stuff. I like the kid roller coaster.
                I have chicken pox.
                I want to tell my jokes:
Q. Where was Johnny when the lights went out?
A. In the dark.
Q. Why is a horse like a leaky barrel?
A. Because they both run.

LORY AND MYRTLE JOY FREE                                                       CHRISTMAS 1981

One of the days that stands out most in 1981 for Lory and I is April 16th. He and Matt and Mark had been working with his little horse, Hickory, and Lory had been injured. He and Matt came in Grandma’s house. Matt looked sort of scared and Lory looked, well, sort of “beat up.”  They told us about the accident and Lory showed us his hand that had a huge swelled up black and blue bruise on it. I said, “Lory, I think you had better go to the Doctor.”  He said, “No, I think it will be alright.” So we hurried and got it in cold water. In a few minutes Aunt Helen said, “Lory, I think you had better go to the Doctor.” He said, “I’ll be okay.”  A few minutes more passed by, then Lory said, “I think I had better go see the Doctor.”  It turned out that in addition to many bruises he had three injured ribs and a separated shoulder that required major surgery. That was bad, but the really frightening time came five days after he had been released from the hospital. I came up stairs and found him writhing in pain and struggling to breath. We rushed him to the emergency. We saw on the screen the huge blood clot that had gone through his heart and lodged in his left artery. Then it was that his life hung in the balance. Nick and David administered to him while he was in the semi-intensive care having pain shots every hour and pain pills every other hour in addition to make it possible for him to breath. Nick in the prayer said, “Your family needs you,” and he did get well. It’s hard to explain how grateful one can feel to have her companion still here when the opposite possibility was so close.  I am so thankful for this blessing. Myrtle Joy

Mamma [Dollie] had her surgery, and it was not malignant.  We are so thankful. Aunt Rae [Empie] passed away after much suffering. There was the really fun Wadsworth Family Reunion on the 25th of July in Panaca. Helen Rae and I worked very hard on it along with some other folks. The rest of the 24th of July celebration was very special also. We surely saw a lot of dear and loved friends and relatives. There are so many good things like grandson Sammy receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and little granddaughter Charlotte learning to walk and long walks with Andy and Nicky and I together, Sam and Simone coming for the BYU basketball clinics and others of the family being with us here in Provo, our trips to Panaca, etc. We are so grateful for our association with each one of you and that YOU are our relative. We wish you all a happy Christmas and a wonderful year/years ahead. Love and God bless you each one. Uncle Lory and Aunt Myrtle Joy

I dreamed I found a gold mine and there by the burned out fire was a frying pan and a can full of gold nuggets…Uncle Lory…

I love my family. I’m happier where you all are. Thank you for helping me and being so kind when I need it. Grandma [Dollie] Wadsworth

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


SOMZ: Saviors on Mt Zion
The Second Rescue: A Plan to “rescue” our relatives and friends mentioned in our history books to ensure all of them have received all temple blessings.
Temple Project 23 April 2014                                                                                       LaRae Free Kerr, M ED      801.885.8468        2969 East Somerset Drive, Spanish Fork, UT 84660
This is an invitation to all family members to complete and correct temple work for all relatives and friends found in our history books:
Find Your Actual, Factual Ancestors [There are relatives mentioned throughout.]
George Allen Wadsworth – Pilley to Panaca 30th anniversary edition
Hollingshead/Rollins Family
It’s All Relatives Columns [There are relatives mentioned throughout.]
Pulsipher Family History Books
Rachel Dibley Wheeler Free
Samuel Lee Family History and Genealogy
Thomas Sirls Terry Family

The inspiration to make sure all the people named in the above books have temple privileges, along with their families, came about in this way: 
Some years ago a Stake President in Wyoming was inspired to “rescue” the members of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies a second time by making sure their temple work was done. Several times in the last months, and then again during a particular conference April 2014 conference talk, I felt very strongly that the temple work for these people needed to be completed.
“Rescuing” the above books and making them available to all was a tremendous endeavor I believe will save our families. But have all  the temple ordinances been done for every name in every one of those books?  I know that the Lory and Myrtle Joy Free family did much temple work for relatives. But the procedures and possibilities have changed several times over the years.  The extraction program, for example, made no effort to seal families together, only providing baptisms and endowments for those found in parish registers.  I do not know if any effort was made to provide temple ordinances for those in the Hollingshead, Pulsipher, Lee and Terry books.  In addition, I have made some major corrections in the Wadsworth and Broadbent pedigrees in the last two years.  I know those sealings have not yet been done. 
Therefore, there will be corrections to make in the temple work.  People will be sealed to the wrong parents, for example.  And though that cannot be undone, we can, at the very least, also offer sealings to the correct parents.  We can make sure all known children are sealed into families and do whatever temple work has been left undone.
The protocol for these temple ordinances would be as follows:
1.       Accept an assignment for one or more families out of one or more books. And let the administrator of this project know exactly which family from which book you will be working on.
2.       Take that information to the local family history center [or do it at home if you have the resources] and ask the kind people there to help you discover first what legitimate temple work has been done for each person in that family and add it to the database, and second, if anything is left undone:
3.       Prepare that name for temple work. Then arrange for the temple work to be done.
4.       Search the digitized documents on [and other sites you may have access to] for true sources on each family.  Digitized documents are as good as the originals. Such documents as birth and death certificates are primary sources [because they are original] and can generally be believed. Obituaries and censuses are actually secondary sources [because they are retold], but are often fairly factual. The published pedigrees found at and and on other such sites are not sources at all but guesses, and often very poor ones so should not be believed at all. Use these only as guides to prove or disprove.
5.       I highly recommend finding the family in one or more censuses at the family history library or on or another online source to double check the members of the family. [See census summary below to know some of the facts censuses do NOT provide.]
Further, there is a group of about 96 people who, similar to the handcart pioneers who were “rescued” a second time in Wyoming, were members of the Church in Pilley, England when Uncle James Wadsworth was the Branch President.  They were baptized, though for some the dates have been lost, so that ordinance will need to be repeated. But it looks to me like many of them never received temple blessings.  Only a few, apparently, crossed the plains. These early church members need to be “rescued” again by having their temple work done.
 [Part of our Wadsworth family was in the Hunt Baggage Train which was directed to follow the Martin and Willie handcart pioneers and help them. Annie Hicks who eventually married Absalom Pennington Free was in the Martin Company. Our Evans family was in a handcart company just preceeding these ill-fated companies.] 
You MUST know, understand and believe the following in order to prepare these names for salvation:
1.       The digitized documents found at and on other genealogical sites are as good as the originals. Use them.  Such documents are actual records recorded when the person lived by people who actually knew them.  Please get the difference between actual documents [which the Church has been indexing] clearly separated from lists and non-documents such as published pedigrees. Published pedigrees are NOT documents. They are NOT sources. See item 2 next.
2.       Published pedigrees such as those found on and are incorrect. Yes, they are. Do not ever cut and paste them or add their info to your databases. Use them as guides to research only.  Look at any given family in these internet pedigrees, and you will find children born many years after either the mother or father died. You will find children listed by their given names AND their nicknames as though they were two children. You will find grandparents listed as children. Yes, you will. So whoever takes on these projects will have to base their family data on the info in the books. True, the books are secondary unless the documents are included in the books. But the pedigrees are about tentiary.
For example. I had just done extensive research in parish records in the Family History Library in SLC on the wife of a John Wadsworth in England. I had found the correct wife and gone to a great deal of effort to remove the wrong wife from John’s family group record and pedigree.  In the same trip, I ran into a relative messing around in the library. She came up to me all excited to tell me she had found this John Wadsworth’s wife. You know what happened: She was excited about this wife I had just spent hours and dollars proving was the wrong wife - with documentation. And she had added the wrong wife back in. YIKES
3.       Read all names phonetically. Standardized spelling is a very recent phenomenon.  I’ve got many records where the person himself spelled his name several different ways in the same document. So Wadsworth is Wordsworth, Waddysworth, Waswort, even Asworth, etc. depending on the education of the writer and person, the accent of the area, etc.
4.       The Church standards prevent temple work being done for anyone less than 110 years old unless a death record is present.  This means that there should be many names in these books that were written in the 1950s and 1960s who did not meet that requirement but will be old enough now to be able to get their temple work done.
5.       Here is a wonderful and very brief description of what census records do and do not show.
1940 is the last available census at this time.

Facts you should know about the early census records -

All census records [1790 - 1840] prior to the 1850 census ONLY listed the head of household; whether male or female.

NO specific age was stated for any family member
NO place of birth was stated - city, state, or country
NO city, town, or village is stated - only the county; however some census takers listed the township
NO street address was stated
NO marital status was stated - single, married, widowed, or divorced
NO family relationship was stated - brother, sister, cousin, son, daughter, wife, inlaw, etc.
NO occupation was stated
NO parental birthplaces are stated
NO race was stated [but assume "white"]

1850, 1860 & 1870 census records do not show family relationships, marital status or parental birthplaces.

Step children are not enumerated as "step" children
Adopted children are not enumerated as "adopted"
Grand children are not enumerated as "grand children"
Orphaned children were not enumerated as "orphan"
Immigration date is not recorded

1850 is the 1st census that shows all family members with their birthplaces

1880 is the 1st census that shows parental birthplaces and family relationships
The above summary of census records is from thomasker2.

6.       Much more information is available in the Find Your Actual, Factual Ancestors ebook available at The first part of the book is free whether you buy the rest or not. But the whole thing is under $10.  I will be revising it soon because the technology has changed mightily since I wrote it. But the genealogical how tos are still spot on.

It is my hope that we will find and record whatever temple work has been done for those mentioned in these history books, that we will complete the work not yet done, and thereby bless our whole family, living and dead.

Thank you and God bless us every one, LaRae Free Kerr