Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lilac Branches and Family Trees

The small, old branch shown here is taken from a giant lilac bush in the Francis Cemetery, about 20 miles East from Park City, Utah.  We, George and LaRee, went to this cemetery a while back searching for any ancestors who might be buried here.  Imagine our surprise when we found not one but 14 relatives!

Willet Shave Harder 7 June 1822 - 13 May 1902
The picture of the tombstone is that of Willet Shave Harder, LaRee's great-great maternal grandfather.  He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints while he lived in England and soon met his companion, Sarah Spicer. 

As written by Ora May Anderson, LaRee's mother and Willet and Sarah's great-granddaughter: "Willet S Harder was a traveling Elder for over 10 years in England before he saild for Utah in 1861.  He was bishop of a ward that was organized on the ship of the immigrants there.  He was overseer of the company as the traveled to Florence and was gaurd all the way across the plains.  He came in the Ira Eldredge Company and reached Coallville on September 11, 1861.  Sarah Spicer sailed 4th of June, 1863.  When they reached New York, the Civil War was on in the States and they had to go up through Canada then to Omaha.  From there she travelled with the Rosel Hydes Company to Utah, reaching Coalvill October 12, 1863.  She married Willet Harder on November 21, 1863."   

Anderson Family Plot, Francis Cemetery, Francis, UT
Other ancestors of our immigrated to Salt Lake City throughh the church to the same area.  William Ove Anderson and his wife Dorothe came from Denmark. One of the Harder's daughters, Pamillia Ann, met one of Ove Anderson's many sons (he had 4 wives), Alma Gilbert.  Alam and Pamillia married in1885.  One of their children was Gilbert Willet Anderson, who fathered Ora May Anderson, LaRee's mother.  The picture of the grounds of the cemetery grounds shows the Anderson family plot in Francis, Utah.  The cemetry is abandoned today.  But you can still see the overgrown lilac bush that was planted when Alma and Pamilla's three daughters were buried here next to their grandpa, William Ove, and their grandma, Dorothe, more than 100 years ago. The lilac bush had an old, dead and withered branch that we cut and displayed in a vase in our home.  It is literally our "Family Tree."

Willet Shave Harder's headstone reads:
"We miss thee from our homeland,
We miss thee from thy place.
Our home is dark without thee,
We miss the sunshine of thy face."

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