The First Date


It was a Friday, December 11, 1964. The occasion was BYU’s Preference Ball. Lucile, who had no intention of asking someone herself, agreed to go to the dance with her roommate Gloria (whom everyone called Glo), Glo’s fiancee Norm and Norm’s roommate Eric. Lucile and Eric were in the same ward, but they hadn’t ever spoken to each other before.

The Preference Ball was a rather fancy event, so Lucile had her mother send the dress she had worn as a bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding. The group went to dinner in Springville first, then to the dance, which was held on campus.

The next day, Saturday, Eric had a date with someone else.

On Sunday, Eric and Lucile attended a fireside together. As they walked to the fireside, Eric decided to test Lucile with a riddle. It was a riddle that he had read in an IQ book. He had already tested several people with it, but no one had been able to give him the correct answer. So, he asked Lucile, “What’s one more than half of what 30 is 10 less than?”

Lucile paused for just a moment, then said, “21.” Eric was extremely impressed and the two of them have been inseparable ever since.




In 1720, John Fillmore, having at last received his mother’s permission to embark on a voyage at sea, left his home in Norwich, Connecticut and set sail on a fishing vessel, the Dolphin. John Fillmore was 17 years old.

Shortly after arriving at the fishing ground, the Dolphin was captured by the notorious pirate, Captain Phillips. Among the crew members on the pirate ship Revenge was a young man by the name of White, who was acquainted with John Fillmore. White convinced Captain Phillips that Fillmore would make a good hand and persuaded him to make him a part of his crew.

Upon learning of the pirate’s intentions toward him, John Fillmore initially refused. Phillips was incensed and swore that he would take John, dead or alive, and threatened to kill the rest of the Dolphin’s crew as well. John agreed to sacrifice his liberty for the lives of his crew mates and joined the crew of the Revenge, but he adamantly refused to sign their piratical articles.


During the next few months, John Fillmore remained on the Revenge where he repeatedly witnessed the cruelty and lawlessness of Captain Phillips. After about seven months, John and a couple of other captives successfully plotted against the pirates and captured the ship. Phillips was killed and thrown overboard. Several of the other pirates were also killed. Fillmore and the others sailed the ship to Boston, where the remainder of the crew (including White) were executed for piracy.

More than 250 years later, Linda, a descendant of John Fillmore, bid farewell to her husband, Steve, as he embarked on his deployment as an officer in the United States Navy.  During Steve’s absence, Linda stayed with her parents in Burley, Idaho. A few months later, on December 8, 1971, Linda Wright gave birth to her third child, a daughter, and named her Kimberly.


In the tiny town of Burley, Idaho, Kim had surgery to repair a cleft lip when she was just two months old. Kim’s dad was able to go back to Idaho in February for Kim’s surgery and to give her a blessing. He then returned to the ship until the spring. Linda and the kids stayed in Utah with the other set of grandparents for the last couple months of Steve’s deployment. Kim’s Grandma Fillmore often told Kim that one of the few times she ever saw her husband cry was the day he had to say goodbye to his granddaughter Kim.

Throughout her life, Kim has spoken to many medical professionals who have complimented her on the results of her surgery. Kim is thankful for the doctor in Burley who did such a great job with her.

After Steve’s deployment, the Wrights moved to San Diego where Kim’s dad attended law school at the University of San Diego School of Law. Kim went to kindergarten in San Diego. The Wrights then moved to Oak Harbor in Washington State.

A few years ago, Kim went back to the Seattle area on vacation with her family. She visited her old elementary school and remembered the day her dad came to the school to take her out to lunch. Kim also took her family to Deception Pass, one of her family’s favorite camping spots. They skipped rocks, like Kim used to do. Kim remembers that there was a tree house behind the Wrights’ home in Oak Harbor. She says the tree house was carpeted and always damp and it smelled awful. But, she and her siblings loved to play in it. Kim also remembers watching, fascinated, as her mom poured salt on the slugs that were so prevalent in that area.


Before Kim started the fourth grade, her parents loaded six kids and a dog into their brown and cream colored van and moved to Burke, Virginia. Kim remembers making that cross-country trip several times when the Wrights would go to visit family. Kim says that, for the most part, rather than staying in hotels during the trip, her family would camp in different spots along the way.

While the Wrights were in Virginia, they enjoyed visiting historic sites in the area. They also had fun camping and picnicking. Kim attended grades 4-9 in Burke. Starting in the seventh grade, she attended a massive secondary school (grades 7-12) which had nearly 5,000 students.

Before Kim started her sophomore year, the Wrights moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Kim attended tenth and eleventh grades in Colorado. After that, Kim’s dad retired from the Navy after 20 years and the family moved to Bountiful, Utah. Kim graduated from Bountiful High School.

The Wright kids didn’t spend a lot of time watching television. In fact, they weren’t allowed to watch too much of it. They were not, for example, allowed to watch The Love Boat. Kim does remember watching Knight Rider, Grizzly Adams and The Greatest American Hero.

Kim enjoyed close relationships with all of her grandparents, all of whom traced their heritage back to Scandinavia. Many of Kim’s ancestors were pioneers. Her third great grandfather, Jonathan Calkins Wright was a Methodist minister in Illinois when a Mormon missionary asked permission to preach in his church. Jonathan gave permission, but was determined to sit in the back of the church and not listen to anything the missionary said. After the missionary had spoken for a few minutes, however, Jonathan became interested and listened to every word. After the meeting, Jonathan asked the missionary where he might meet Joseph Smith and learn more about the Book of Mormon. He was told that Joseph Smith lived in Nauvoo.

When Jonathan arrived in Nauvoo a few days later, he saw a man driving some cows and asked him where Joseph Smith lived. The man told him that Joseph was away from Nauvoo at that time and asked him what he wanted. Jonathan told him he wanted to talk about the Book of Mormon and the revelations Joseph had received. The man told Jonathan that he was Joseph’s brother, Hyrum, and invited him to spend the night in his house. Jonathan and Hyrum talked all night. In the morning, Hyrum baptized Jonathan in the Mississippi River.

After high school, Kim attended Ricks College. After she graduated from Ricks, she transferred to BYU. She decided to live in the Liberty Square apartments in Provo, because a boy she thought was cute was already living there. (That boy got engaged to someone else shortly thereafter.) In her Liberty Square ward, Kim attended a Sunday School class taught by a guy named Matt.

In those days, the most direct route to campus from Liberty Square was via a steep hill. One day, Kim was walking up the hill on her way to campus. She passed Matt, who was walking down. At this point, Matt and Kim hadn’t really spoken to each other except to exchange an occasional hello. When she saw him that day, she felt an inexplicable, electric-type charge in the air. Kim calls it a tingle. Many years later, when discussing this incident with Matt, Kim learned that he had felt a tingle that day, too.

The first time Matt called Kim to ask her out, she already had other plans. After getting confirmation from Kim’s roommate that he was not “barking up the wrong tree,” Matt tried again. Their first date was a double date with Matt’s friend Dennis. They went to Tony Roma’s for dinner, then went to the comedy club Johnny B’s. One thing quickly led to another. Matt and Kim were married on April 23, 1993.

As a wife and mother, Kim strives to keep her family close. One way she tries to do this is by focusing on and maintaining strong family traditions. Some traditions are centered on common family activities. The Eastmans eat dinner together as regularly as possible. They also take a fun vacation together every year. Other traditions have been handed down through generations. Kim’s mom is the one who passed on the tradition of three Christmas gifts every year.


Some traditions happen spontaneously. During conference weekend, the Eastmans shut the blinds, bundle up in blankets and watch every session of conference. It’s something they just decided to do and they all love to do it. Another example is the blessing chair. When it came time for Chelsea to start kindergarten, Matt wanted to give her a blessing and helped her into a chair he called “the blessing chair.” After her blessing, Chelsea wrote her name on the underside of the chair. Since that time, every blessing is given using that chair and the recipient always writes the date of the blessing on the underside. The chair isn’t part of a set anymore and it doesn’t match the decor, but they hang onto it as a special reminder of all of those moments together.


Some traditions require careful planning. One of Kim’s favorite traditions is 12 Days of Christmas. She started doing this in 2008 and begins her planning for it in September each year. Each 12 Days is centered on a different theme, but there are common elements every year. There is always a new book, a new ornament for the Christmas tree and a trip to volunteer at a local food bank.

Planning family vacations and 12 Days of Christmas are among Kim’s favorite things to do. She also enjoys cooking and collects cook books. Before there were digital photos, Kim kept scrapbooks. Now, with digital photos, she enjoys keeping all her pictures organized. Kim also enjoys yoga and running.

Francis Tufts Whitney

In April 1815, Mount Tambora, a volcano on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia, erupted. The largest volcanic eruption since 180 A.D., this supercolossal event ejected immense amounts of volcanic ash into the upper atmosphere. The Mount Tambora eruption was the fifth in a series of major volcanic eruptions between 1812-1815. The result was a substantial amount of atmospheric dust that drastically altered climate conditions in the northern hemisphere.

Mt. Tambora

Mt. Tambora

The summer of 1816, known by many as The Year Without a Summer, the Summer that Never Was or Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death, was an agricultural disaster. Severe frosts and summer snows led to crop failures, food shortages and a dramatic increase in food prices. Famine, flooding and disease were major problems in many parts of the world, including Great Britain, China and Germany.

In Switzerland, incessant raining during the summer of 1816 forced Mary Shelley and her friends to stay indoors for most of their holiday. They decided to have a contest to see who could write the scariest story.

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

In New England, thousands of families, suffering from hunger and poverty, were compelled to leave their homes in search of better conditions. In Vermont alone, between 10,000-15,000 people moved away. Among those was a man named Joseph Smith who moved his family from Sharon, Vermont to Palmyra, New York.

In Phillips, Maine, Joseph and Rebecca Whitney joined a large group of their neighbors who moved to Ohio. Their son, Francis Tufts Whitney, was around 10 years old at the time.

When he was 22 years old, Francis Tufts Whitney married Abigail Blanchard. They eventually had 10 children. When missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preached in the area, Francis was baptized. His wife, children and friends were angry. The situation became tense. Believing it would be better for his family–and because he felt it was his duty to join the rest of the church members in Nauvoo–he left. Francis wrote a very long poem, expressing his feelings. The following is an excerpt:

In eighteen hundred and forty five

The word of the gathering did arrive,

And to obey the Lord’s command

I started for the gathering Land.

I left the 18th of July,

O how my wife did weep and cry.

To think her husband should depart,

It almost broke her tender heart.

I left them in the hands of God

Believing it was for their good.

Not knowing when I should return,

It caused my heart to burn.

I left my relatives behind.

To me they were so good and kind.

Although the Gospel they did slight,

I prayed for them both day and night.

On foot alone I did go.

Francis went to Nauvoo and from there to Council Bluffs in Iowa. In Council Bluffs, he volunteered to serve as a member of the Mormon Battalion. He was forty-one years old.

After his military service, Francis lived in Salt Lake City where he earned his living as a blacksmith. There, he met Clarissa Alger, the daughter of Samuel and Clarissa Alger. Shortly after Francis and Clarissa were married, they accompanied a group of about 30 families to Southern Utah to establish a new settlement. The name of the settlement was Parowan.

Francis Tufts Whitney

Francis Tufts Whitney

During the next twenty years, Francis and Clarissa remained in Parowan. They had five children. They were active in the community. Sometime in the 1850s, Francis became the superintendent of the Sunday School in Parowan. Francis led the Sunday School with kindness and grace. A talented singer and gifted dancer, he also taught his fellow church members proper ballroom etiquette .

During this time, Francis received a letter from his brother-in-law, John Blanchard. John was very angry with Francis for joining the Mormon Church and for deserting his family. “You need never expect to come back here,” he wrote, “for if you do, you would grace one of the highest trees in the forest.”

In 1868, Francis did return to Ohio. There, he hoped to convince his first family to return to Utah with him. Francis stayed in Ohio for 14 years. His first wife, Abigail, died during that time. Francis stayed in Ohio for five years after the death of Abigail, but was not able to convince any of his family to go with him. He returned to Utah in 1883.

Soon after his return to Utah, Francis became ill. He died on April 6, 1883.

The connection between Francis Tufts Whitney and my dad is as follows: Eric Eastman – Blanche Savilla Jones – Amy Sophronia Whitney –  Job Hall Whitney – Francis Tufts Whitney

For more information about Francis Tufts Whitney, visit his page at Another interesting source is a video about the history of Parowan found here:

More information about the Year Without a Summer can be found on Wikipedia.

There’s a great article here about those who left Maine and settled in Ohio. (The article is found on pages 1A and 4A). This article includes some great information about Francis Tufts, the leader of a church congregation in the area of Phillips, Maine who also relocated to Ohio. (I’m thinking that Francis Tufts Whitney must have been named after Francis Tufts).



Samuel Alger & Clarissa Hancock

Samuel Alger was born in 1786 in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Clarissa Hancock was born in 1790 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Samuel and Clarissa were married in Ohio in 1808.

In the fall of 1830, Samuel and Clarissa were living in Chagrin, Ohio. There, along with all the members of Clarissa’s family, they were converted by the preaching of Parley P. Pratt and Oliver Cowdery. Clarissa was baptized on November 16, 1830, making her the first of my ancestors to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Algers were participants in all of the historic events that took place in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois and Council Bluffs. In 1848, Samuel and Clarissa traveled in Brigham Young’s second company, arriving in the Salt Lake valley on September 22.

wagon train

Samuel and Clarissa lived in Salt Lake City until 1850, when they were called to explore and settle Southern Utah. Under the leadership of George A. Smith, they arrived in Iron County in January 1851. They lived there until they were released as missionaries, then returned to Salt Lake City.

In October 1853, Samuel Alger was called as Patriarch and sustained during General Conference. He served in that calling until he and Clarissa moved back to Iron County to live close to their children.


In May 1868, Samuel delivered a speech at a meeting in Parowan. In that speech, he said that at the age of 81, he quit chewing tobacco after using it for 59 years and that he felt better after doing so.

Clarissa Alger died in Parowan on July 22, 1870.

clarissa hancock

After his wife’s death, Samuel moved to St. George to live with his son. Samuel was an expert cabinet maker and joiner and made hundreds of coffins for his deceased friends. He also built coffins for himself and kept them under his bed, but gave them away whenever there was an emergency. When he died in 1874, he was buried in a coffin that he hadn’t built himself.

The connection between my dad and Samuel and Clarissa Alger is: Eric Eastman – Blanche Savilla Jones – Amy Sophronia Whitney – Job Hall Whitney – Clarissa Alger – Samuel Alger & Clarissa Hancock

Sources: A lot of good information can be found on Samuel’s Family Search page. Another excellent source is the journal of Levi Hancock (Clarissa’s brother), the text of which can be found in multiple places by doing a simple internet search. Pages of Levi’s journal are on display at the Church History Museum.


Home Again

Editor’s Note: The material for this post was provided by Anna Hartvigsen and was originally posted on Family Tree.

Home Again by Blanche Jones


I stop the car before the sagging gate

I leave the engine running, set the brake

And run to tinker with the makeshift latch,

Swing wide the gate, my breath I catch.

I’m home again.


I hurry up the narrow path

Beneath the spreading, low-limbed tree.

I note the lilac bush in bloom,

The iris bunched and green along the wall,

The rosebush sprawled beneath the window sill.

My heart leaps with a sudden thrill.

I’m home again.


I push the key impatient in the lock

And swing the door wide in my haste to see

The old familiar things of couch and chest

And easy chairs and pictures hanging

On a wall of rock.

I’m home again.


The days go quickly, sped on wings of song.

The time has come for me to go once more.

I put each precious thing into its place,

Go quietly out and close the door.

And wonder will it be so very long before I’m home again.

“Mom had to leave her precious home in Leeds to live at Grand Canyon, Arizona (South Rim) when Dad’s work moved there. She longed for eight years to return to live in Leeds, coming home as often as time would allow.”  -Anna


This is the first of a series of posts about spouses. Many thanks to Ken for being such an awesome interview subject. 

Kenneth David Moore was born on December 5, 1960 in Macon, Georgia. The son of Howard David and Imogene, Ken is the third in a family of eight children.

When Ken was about two years old, his dad, who worked as an engineer for the US government, accepted a post in Alaska and moved his family to Anchorage.

At 5:36 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 1964, the Moores’ dining room table started shaking. Ken, who describes his dad as an incurable prankster, thought it was a joke. His brother and sister thought so, too. They laughed, thinking they were enjoying a silly moment with their dad. Then, the jar of mayonnaise fell to the floor and broke. Ken also describes his dad as someone who never wastes a thing and that jar of mayonnaise cost 38 cents. That’s when they knew that it was no joke.

It was the Great Alaska Earthquake, as it came to be known, the most powerful recorded earthquake in North American history. A 9.2 on the seismic scale, it was the second most powerful earthquake in recorded history. The earthquake, which was centered near Prince William Sound, 78 miles east of Anchorage, lasted for four minutes and 38 seconds. Thousands of aftershocks were felt for the next three weeks, 11 in the first day alone. Tsunamis produced by the earthquake were noted in over 20 countries, including Peru, New Zealand and Japan. As a result of the earthquake, 139 people died.


While living in Alaska, the Moores took at least one road trip to South Carolina to visit grandparents and relatives living in Columbia. Ken remembers that during the four-day journey his parents would alternate, driving through the night, then staying in a hotel room. Ken also remembers that the roads between Alaska and South Carolina were sometimes not much better than dirt roads.

Early in his childhood, Ken was diagnosed with a rare hip disease. The disease caused the bones in his hip to soften. The treatment, for Ken, was, first, a body cast stretching from his navel to his foot and then a brace, which kept his leg straight at all times. Ken went to see the doctor every six months for xrays. On what was supposed to be the last of the six-month visits, the doctor discovered the disease in Ken’s other hip.

Ken feels that spending so much of his childhood in casts or braces helped him to develop empathy for others. He also remembers how great it was to finally be able to play kickball or to ride a bike.

After about four years in Anchorage, Ken’s dad accepted a new post in Frederick, Maryland. Ken remembers that it was in Maryland that he first heard the Beatles on a friend’s record player.

While the Moores were in Frederick, Ken’s dad helped a builder build a home for the family. From that experience, he was able to gain enough expertise that he built the rest of the family homes from then on.

After Maryland, the Moores moved to Richmond, Virginia. They built a house on a 5-acre wooded lot. It was here that Ken says he smoked for the first time. (It was actually a case of inhaling too much cap gun smoke and feeling the pain of it in his lungs afterward. Ken says he never was tempted to try cigarettes because of that.)

Ken says he had such fond memories of living in Richmond that it seemed like a natural choice when he was looking for a place to raise his own family. After Richmond, the Moores moved to Augusta, Georgia.

Ken was a student at BYU, attending church one Sunday, when he became aware of a girl whom he hadn’t really noticed before. It seems this particular girl went home to Bountiful most weekends. She was there that day, though, and bore her testimony. Ken says he doesn’t really remember what she said, but he does remember thinking, “that’s the kind of girl I could marry.” It was a thought that frightened him. His parents had divorced when Ken was on his mission and the pain of that experience left him doubtful that he would ever want to get married himself. This girl had something special about her, though. Ken and Sam were married on April 22, 1988.


Within a few years, Ken and Sam had moved to St. Louis, Missouri. It was there that Ken participated in what he thinks was his best practical joke ever. An incurable prankster like his dad, (“the apple didn’t roll too far down that hill,”) Ken says the particulars don’t really translate very well, but it involved convincing a fellow researcher, someone Ken describes as “an over-the-top brown noser,” that the perfect birthday gift for their boss would be a jai alai face mask. It wasn’t. To make matters worse, Ken and his buddies had filled the face mask with little bags of a suspicious looking white powder. Ken says the look on the guy’s face was priceless.

After a few years in St. Louis, Ken and Sam moved their little family to Richmond, Virginia. Although they enjoyed Richmond very much, when Ken found himself in need of a job change after about two years, he considered applying in a couple of different cities. It was his wife who suggested that he limit his search to jobs in Richmond. So, they stayed put.

Ken currently lives in Richmond with his two brilliant and beautiful daughters, while missing his two gifted and good-looking boys. Ken also enjoys the company of his two dogs, one of whom (Linus!) is a particularly talented singer.




Sarah Mathias Evans Bake

Sarah Mathias was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales on January 9, 1824, the daughter of Daniel and Rachael Mathias. In about 1837, Daniel left for America. The rest of the family followed in 1839, when Sarah was 15 years old. They arrived in New York on September 5, 1839.


The family eventually settled near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, Sarah met David Evans, a shoemaker, who was also born in Wales. They were married on January 31, 1843. Sarah was 19 years old.

David and Sarah had four children: Anne, Daniel, Rachael and Sarah. David and Rachael died of cholera in September 1849. (Accounts differ on this. Some say that Rachael died as an infant in 1847.)

In 1851, Sarah married Henry Bake. They eventually had six more children. Sarah and Henry joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1856. They and their family traveled west in 1861.

After arriving in Salt Lake City, the family moved to Goshen, then Cache Valley and then to Bear Lake. They settled in Bloomington, Idaho, being among the first settlers there.


Sarah died on March 2, 1868. She was 44 years old.

The connection between Mom and Sarah is as follows: Lucile Brimley –  Lola Samantha Nelson – Heber Christian Nelson – Anne Josephine Evans – Sarah Mathias Evans Bake