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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Special Dec 2013 prices for family history books, especially the George Allen Wadsworth 30th anniversary book

“Put your history back in your family.” LaRae Free Kerr                                                         PRICE LIST
For our 2012 Lafe Wadsworth family reunion, I was asked to reprint our family histories. And since 2013 is the 30th anniversary of the George Allen Wadsworth – Pilley to Panaca book, I was urged to get that revision with it’s amazing and significant revelations regarding our Wadsworth family printed as well. It has taken much work, effort, materials, computer expertise, knowledge, time, etc. to get these done. Since we love our ancestors and our cousins, even those we don’t yet know, we are offering these books to anyone interested.

Please go to to order in the simplest possible way. Click on the Buy Now button, enter the number of books you want to purchase and follow the instructions. We are having a special in November/December 2013 for those who would like these books for Christmas giving. It works this way: Send a check to Mark Wadsworth at HC 74 Box 304 Pioche, NV 89042 at the lower price below.  If Mark receives orders for 100 books at the lower price, he will order them and deliver them. If orders do not reach 100 books, Mark will destroy the checks, and you will still be able to order from at these frightfully low regular prices. Or you can send him the additional $3, and he will still get the book to you.

TITLE                                                                                REGULAR PRICE                100-ORDER PRICE [NOV/DEC]
George Allen Wadsworth – Pilley to Panaca                $44.99                                 $41.99                  Wow
Dollie                                                                                $7.99                                   $6.99                    What Prices
The Hollingshead Rollins Family                                  $19.99                                 $17.99
The Samuel Lee Family History                                   $14.99                                 $12.99
History of Thomas Sirls Terry                                       $16.99                                 $14.99
Pulsipher Family History                                               $11.99                                 $10.99
Rachel Dibley Wheeler Free: Her Story                         $7.99                                   $6.99
It’s All Relatives Columns                                             $14.99                                 $12.99

We want you to have these histories and believe they will change your lives for good. So if there is any problem please contact us:

The history of the world is not complete until it includes yours. LaRae Free Kerr 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Histories now available

The really great, miraculous news is that eight family history books are now available to bless people’s lives at The George Allen Wadsworth – Pilley to Panaca book which included information about the 1856 and 1857 handcart treks felt like a handcart trek in and of itself. It is a miracle, maybe several, that it is up and ready to bless lives. [The modern digital printing capabilities and the older, 1983 fonts, were incompatible for just one problem. Our wonderful computer man solved that for us at great sacrifice for us. So much thanks to him. And it is through the generosity of Margo that the simple yet functional website is up and ready to go. Here again there were many problems including the original provider not providing though paid. Thank you.]

  My mantra is: Put your family history back in your family!

The George Allen Wadsworth - Pilley to Panaca book, all 600+ pages of it, is ready for purchase. It includes all of the old 1983 book plus new information and updates on the kidnapping, Wadsworth genealogy, Broadbent genealogy, English relatives, and research reports so those of you who desire to continue this great work will not have to redo the last 60 years worth of research.
Buy this 30th anniversary edition of the book now. Read and use the information for talks, family home evenings, school reports, etc. This is a great gift for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, even missionaries. All our recently called/returned/serving missionaries were asked to bring information on their families to their missions.
The recommended price for this book was $49.99.  You can purchase it for $44.99 at And there is a pre-Christmas special I will explain in the next entry.
You can get the George Allen Wadsworth - Pilley to Panaca book for $41.99 if you send a check for that amount to Mark Wadsworth at HC 74 Box 304 Pioche NV 89043 in October and November.  He will collect the checks, and if there are orders for 100 books or more and Mark places the order of 100 or more at one time, voila!, you have great gifts for a great price.
The books will then be sent to Mark who will disperse them in December. Thanks to all who aided me in this uncomprehendingly complex project. This and 7 additional family history books are also available at

The historical titles include these names in the titles and include many, many more names in the texts.
George Allen Wadsworth, Alice Allen and Elizabeth Broadbent
Zera Pulsipher and Mary Ann Brown
Thomas Sirls Terry, Eliza Jane Pulsipher, Mary Ann Pulsipher and Hannah Leavitt
Samuel Lee and Elizabeth Gilham, ancestors of Harold B Lee
Rachel Wheeler and Wenlock Free
Dollie Hollingshead and Lafe Wadsworth
Many others

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2013 is the 30th anniversary of the George Allen Wadsworth book

As far as the Wadsworth genealogy goes, I believe we are dealing with some basic genealogical procedures. One of the reasons we publish what we discover about our families is so family members can read and enjoy their heritage. Another reason is to invite others to join the discussion, to make additions and corrections. This has been true for the 1983 Wadsworth book. Had it not been published we would never have known that Uncle James Wadsworth stopped off and stayed in Iowa, for no one would have made that connection and contacted us. There was certainly nothing on our side to indicate Uncle James had not completed his return journey to England. In fact, the whole kidnapping story seemed like a fairy tale at first. Then only some very secondary family legends and two other documents gave any indication that a kidnapping might have taken place: the 1860 census and the note from Bishop Willis which are in the book.
But because the book was written, some really great connections have been made – with you for one, with the Hutchinson and Eckles families, and with others. Great people with great information who were willing to share. The other innovation that has changed the whole face of genealogy is, of course, the Internet. Even had we had an inkling Uncle James did not return to England, where would we have looked for him? Until we could do major Internet searches, it would have been impossible to find him. So two of the new chapters added to the end of the revised book cover many new events for 1856 and 1857 even though Uncle James is not our direct ancestor. It’s such a great true story.
Another genealogy research issue we may be dealing with here is that of primary versus secondary sources. Primary sources, as you well know, are those created near the time and place of the event by someone deeply involved in the event. By this measure, Elder Edwards’ journal is as primary as it is possible to get, for he wrote the entries when and where they happened. Further, when he reported on the visit to “James Wadsworth” in England others were with him. He had witnesses. The paragraph from his journal mentioning this visit with ”James Wadsworth” is duplicated in the new section of the book, and the name is clearly James Wadsworth. We now know it is NOT Uncle James Wadsworth. I leave it to others to discover which James Wadsworth he visited.
On the other hand, the newspaper articles of 1856 and 1857 are secondary, NOT written near the time of the event by people closely involved, not only because they were reproduced several times but also because they are so biased. In the timeline I have created for 1856 and 1857, I have attempted mightily to sort out the events with their times and places. Whether it is possible to be completely correct from the content of the newspaper articles is doubtful. Still I’ve done my best as well as checked primary sources – the records of John Pulsipher and Dan Jones, for example, as well as wagon company records, Utah court records, etc.
Though I had looked for official records back in the early 1980s in the Utah Archives, neither I nor the archivist could find anything about the kidnapping. However, a few months ago, thanks to an Internet entry, Walter and I visited the Utah State Archives, located and copied the actual indictment Uncle James made against his nephew George. What a coup.
Now that I have all of my mother’s Wadsworth research materials from the professionals my parents hired as well as my own, I was able to determine with wills that the Anne Stead/Wadsworth family could not be ancestral. I also showed that the Haxworth line is not ancestral. But we have added more generations that appear to be correct than we have taken away. This information is in the book in the form of Research Reports, so that others can start where we left off rather than having to start at the beginning as we did.
Hopefully, the book, George Allen Wadsworth – Pilley to Panaca as revised and republished in its 30th year will continue to bring relatives together as well as to provide new-found data about the family.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Annie Hicks Free and the handcart

Sorry this does not copy as I wrote it. The items from Annie's notes are numbered. The points below the line are also numbered with each item having its own explanation. How stupid is this that it won't transfer as I wrote it?  HELP.

Annie Hicks                        by LaRae Free Kerr M ED  12/12/2012                      Item 537l in LFK file drawers
Notes from Grandma Rachel Free taken 7 Nov 1967 probably by my Mom, Myrtle Joy Wadsworth Free, because I was still on my mission on that date and rewritten by me.
1.      Annie Hicks shared handcart.
2.      Edward Martin handcart Company – Annie and Jemima Nightingale saw Brother Blake, whose feet were frozen, crawl off to die. In evening Brother Blake was missing, so Annie and Jemima went back, cutting across the trail and found him. They pulled him to where they were met by wagons.
3.      In SLC Annie had very tattered clothes. Skirt in ribbons and had black quilted horsehair [stiff and shiny] [alpaca?] petticoat, stayed in wagon on arrival till finally someone remembered her.
4.      She worked at various homes 5 am- 12 pm for 50 cents a week, such a good worker.
5.      All the men wanted to marry her, but she wouldn’t because there were too many people in the houses already.
6.      Had to knit by fire and gump, a bowl with rag through holes and lit.
7.      Finally to Brigham Young. He took her to Grandpa Free’s and former wife went to keep house for son Oliver and Annie married him. A week later a fellow who had followed her from England came to claim her – too late.
8.      She could knit really fast, very efficient. People said she was uppity. Grandpa Free always called her, “my lady.”
After just having written the chapter on the 1856 handcart and baggage trains for the revised Wadsworth history, the above notes make all kinds of sense as shown below.
1.      Everyone shared handcarts. The young single women regularly shared one handcart among five of them. They could each have a maximum of 70 pounds as I recall. But that meant there would be 350 pounds on each handcart plus their ration of foodstuffs. The wagons that accompanied the handcart companies carried more flour and food plus the tents, so they were never to have had more than that much weight per handcart.  However, it was a tough pull, and everyone was very tired.  When 35 buffalo robes were provided, the handcart pioneers jettisoned them as well as many other items to lighten the load – just before they hit the snows the robes would have saved them from.
2.      There was a Jemima Nightingale, age 21, in the Martin Handcart Company along with Jane Nightingale, age 57, and Sarah Ann Nightingale, age 31, and Joseph Nightingale, age 16. Jane Nightingale is the mother-in-law of Ann Barlow’s oldest son, Oswald, already in the SL valley.  Jane Barlow “left at Ft Bridger to recuperate, married John Long there, Mar 15, 1857.” Could this be a member of the John Verah Long family? The connections just astound me. See the Wadsworth revision. All these people were born in England, as was Annie. Would like to know more about Jemima Nightingale, but except for her name, nothing more is given about her in Allphin, Jolene S. Tell My Story, Too. Dingman Professional Printing. 8th Edition. Jul 2012.
The event of saving Brother Bleak is attributed to Maria Jackson Normington in the book Tell My Story, Too by Allphin 8th edition. p 179. But the information about Annie Hicks is so specific and correct I suspect Annie and Jemima assisted with the finding and saving of Brother Bleak, especially as I see no other way Grandma Free could have known of this event in 1967 – certainly not from any current handcart books.
Brother Bleak, age 26 in 1856, kept a trail diary as well as other records which can be found online in the Mormon Pioneer Overland Trail database. Knowing that Annie Hicks knew him should make reading his diary interesting and useful to Annie’s biography. [Is he the Brother Bleak of southern Utah? Yes, he is the James Godson Bleak who settled in St George. Allphin p180.]
3.      As the ragged, hungry, handcart and baggage train pioneers entered Salt Lake City in Dec 1856, people lined the streets to welcome them and to be assigned to take them home and care for them. The people in Salt Lake City had literally taken the clothes off their backs and thrown them into the rescue wagons. So if all of Annie’s clothes were her own, they would have been in tatters. If she were wearing some of the clothes donated by Salt Lake City citizens, they could have been ill-fitting. It’s entirely possible that she did not have the strength to get out of the wagon unassisted. In addition, the pioneers were so crowded into the wagons, that some of the rescuers were afraid they would suffocate.
4.      Fifty cents a week was a huge sum at the time. The Utah pioneers were so poor themselves, that when the 1856 pioneers first looked over the valley they saw only snow-covered hovels. This was the Great Salt Lake?  This was their salvation? Their dream?  By 1856, the Utah citizens had suffered drought and several terribly destructive cricket infestations. They had very little coinage and dealt in barter. And yes, the seagulls did rescue them but not until substantial losses had occurred. In other words, it was out of extreme poverty and with no place to get more supplies that the Utah Saints gave their all to save the handcart and baggage train Saints.  This included healing them, feeding and housing them, teaching them how to live in the desert and providing jobs for them.
5.      That many wanted to marry Annie is almost certainly true. It is another eternal gift the Utah Saints gave the “handcart” girls.  After saving them, nursing them to health, teaching them to live in the unhospitable environment of Utah, many of the rescuers, their neighbors and friends took handcart girls as their second or third, etc. wives. Thus the first wives essentially “cared” for the handcart girls for eternity. How grateful I am that Betsy Strait Free, Absalom Pennington’s wife, was willing to welcome Annie Hicks as her husband’s new wife.  After polygamy was abolished, Betsy Strait did live with her son and care for him. From time to time, Absalom P Free would visit her, sitting on the porch in their rocking [?] chairs. After all, APF was forty years older than Annie, and our Grandpa, Wen, was born when he was 75.  So with all those little kids around, he probably needed a few moments of peace.
6.      Other sources indicate Annie made her living in England by knitting socks.
7.      See item 5 above.  The story of her sweetheart has several twists.  The one I’ve heard most often is that he was a member of the Martin handcart company and died on the way. I see no way to verify this.
8.      Annie Hicks Free was aware she was a Wenlock on her mother’s side and seemed to believe she was connected to gentry at the least if not nobililty, even though her family lived in extreme poverty. Her father and mother both died in the Romford poor house. See this story in one of my newspaper articles in the book It’s All Relatives Columns. However, Frank Smith and other professional researchers not only could not find any connection to any upper crust Wenlocks, they had a very difficult time making any headway on the Wenlock line. With all the additional data available online, it might be possible to do so now.
So, as Uncle James Wadsworth’s family in the Hunt Baggage Company was fulfilling it’s assignment to stay behind the handcart companies and help them, Annie was doing what she could to help others within the Martin Handcart Company, including helping to save Brother Bleak’s life.