Sunday, May 29, 2011

Visitors from Home, Henry VIII and Family History



Dear Family and Family and Friends,

Last Sunday we went out to Heathrow to meet our son Jeff and granddaughter Kayleigh!


We had a wonderful week together and were even able to spend a couple of days being tourists with them.









This morning we took bus 14 to South Kensington Station where Jeff and Kayleigh took the tube to Heathrow and we walked on to the Hyde Park Chapel for our Regional Conference. It was wonderful to be able to spend some time with our family!


Henry VIII again…

We can’t seem to get away from Henry VIII. Two of the places we visited on P-day with Jeff and Kayleigh were Leeds Castle and Canterbury Cathedral. Both have connections to Henry VIII. Leeds Castle was built in 857 AD for the Saxon royal family. After the Norman conquest a stone castle was built on the site and it became home of Edward I. The castle was home to six medieval queens:

Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I

Isabella of France, wife of Edward II

Philippa, wife of Edward III

Joan of Navarre, wife of Henry IV

Catherine de Valois, wife of Henry V

File:Catherine aragon.jpgCatherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII



Leeds castle is called “The loveliest castle in the world”.



There were two interesting portraits of Henry in the castle.


Sheila, one of our staff at the Family History Centre told me how to remember what happened to Henry’s wives: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, lived. Henry VIII, founded the Church of England and made himself its head when the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church wouldn’t let him divorce Catherine of Argon to marry Anne Boleyn.

At Canterbury Cathedral we again came across mention of Henry.



Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral in 1170 by knights of King Henry II. After his death, Thomas was canonized by the Catholic Church and a shrine was built in the Cathedral. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer portrays the hundreds of thousands who travelled to the Cathedral to pray, repent or be healed at Thomas Becket’s shrine. The Catholic shrine was destroyed in 1538 on the orders of King Henry VIII.  Now a  candle marks the place where it once stood and the stone in front of it bears the imprint of of pilgrims' knees.


On to Family History…

We  gave our second power point presentation on Tuesday. GENUKI is a virtual library of genealogical information for the UK and Ireland. We used an ancestor of Ken’s, George Burch, to see what information we could find about his birth place, Sherborne, Dorset. It was actually a lot of fun putting it together and presenting it.




I was doing the scan of a Jamaican birth record for a lady who frequently comes into the centre to do research. I noticed that the record had ‘cancelled’ written across it. I asked why it said cancelled. She said let me tell you the story of this birth. She had recently attended a wedding and met an elderly family friend, named Percy, who had come from Jamaica for the wedding. He told her that he didn’t know very much about his family but did know that he had had a brother named George and that he had died. He said he really needed to start searching records in Jamaica for information about this family. The lady told him that she could find information on his family at the London Family History Centre. He didn’t really believe that she could do that.  She came to the Centre to see what she could find. As she was looking through birth records she found an entry for twin boys. It said cancelled because there needed to be two separate entries for the children. Later she found the birth entries separately. On the same film she found the death record for George. He had died when he was 9 days old. The lady said she was so excited to email these images to her elderly friend who had returned to Jamaica. She wondered what he would say. I asked her to let me know what happened. She came back in the very next day and let me know that she had a phone call from Percy right after he had received her email. He was so touched to have the information about the twin brother that he never knew.

I love this quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“There are millions across the world who are working on family history records. Why? Why are they doing it? I believe it is because they have been touched by the spirit of this work, a thing which we call the spirit of Elijah. It is a turning of the hearts of the children to their fathers. Most of them do not understand any real purpose in this, other than perhaps a strong and motivating curiosity.”

Every day we see people with this ‘strong and motivating curiosity’, searching our records.




Our best to all of you!

Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom  and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)

PS Jeff and Kayleigh, thanks for the wonderful visit!



Monday, May 16, 2011

Bedlam and Bligh

Dear Family and Friends,
Friday evening the three senior missionary couples (Crandalls, Robertsons and Fugals) fed the Hyde Park missionaries at our flat.
From the left: Sisters Santos (Portugal) and Johnson (Ohio), Elders Krebs (Kentucky), Kennedy (Indiana), Healey (Lehi), Gillespie (Texas), and De Oliviera (Brazil). Elders Healey, Kennedy and Gillespie are the AP’s to President Patch.
We made them traditional American sloppy Joes, fruit salad, chips and dip and chocolate brownie trifle. Being able to associate with the young missionaries is one of the highlights of our mission. Having had 3 of our own children, Jeff(Seattle), Megan(Venezuela) and Andrew(Guatemala) and 4 of our children’s spouses Steve(Venezuela), Amy(Paraguay), Mark(Scotland) and Curtis(Australia), serve missions, makes it so wonderful to be able to associate with these young brothers and sisters as they serve the way our children did.
Saturday, on our P-day we went across the Thames to the Imperial War Museum.
The mission of the museum is "to enable people to have an informed understanding of modern war and its impact on individuals and society". After reading World's End: a memoir of a Blitz childhood by Donald James Wheal about his experience living through the Blitz as an 11 year old, the part of the museum that interested me the most was an exhibit that looked at World War II through children’s eyes, called The Children’s War.
The little child on the left has his gas mask holder decorated with a teddy bear. Many of the children were separated from their parents and sent away from London into the country. During the Blitz, London was attacked on 57 consecutive nights between 7 September and 2 November 1940. Over 41,000 British civilians were killed and 137,000 injured.
It seems almost fitting, an illustration of the craziness of war, that this museum is housed in the former Royal Bethlam Hospital known as “the Bedlam asylum”. Hence a new word for chaos came about- bedlam. Back in Victorian times people paid one pence to come to this hospital for entertainment.
One other interesting note about our P-day. As we were walking down the street across from the museum, Ken noticed a blue plaque on one of the houses.
The plaque reads:
At the Family History entre this week, I was helping one of our patrons find information about her Father’s family. Her Father had died many years ago. On Ancestry we were able to find family photos. One photo was of her aunt who had died at age 15.  The patron was overcome with emotion. Another lady I was helping said she was very familiar with our church history. She was a retired history teacher and explained when she was teaching in east London, her students came from very disadvantaged families. She was able to teach a unit to them on the Mormons and how many of them joined the church in Great Britain and eventually made their way to the western United States where the cowboys lived. She said her students loved learning about this.
I love this work!
You’ve probably all heard the ‘Mind the Gap’ warning when you step off the tube. Well, here’s the English version of the ice cream truck.
Our love to all of you!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom  and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)  

P.S. Ken celebrated his 68th birthday this past week. We went to Bryon’s Proper Hamburgers on the King’s Road for dinner. Ken  pointed out that at the end of this mission, he will have lived three and a half years of his life in the UK. That includes two years in Scotland as a young missionary and eighteen months months serving as a senior missionary in London.  Andrew, can you beat that?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

World’s End


Dear Family and Friends,

I just finished reading a book about the area of Chelsea where we live. World's End: a memoir of a Blitz childhood is Donald James Wheal’s story of growing up in World's End, Chelsea, during the Blitz years.



Let me quote Donald James Wheal’s from the first page of the book:

“I grew up in that riverside enclave of central London known as World’s End. The area takes its name from the old World’s End Tavern on the King’s private road through Chelsea, a tavern which has stood in the same spot since at least the seventeenth century and was rebuilt in Victorian times as a big roomy pub. Very roughly, World’s End as an area was, and remains, the lower reach of riverside Chelsea, the furthest point in the King’s Road from Sloane Square. Its southern limit is the river. In the 1930’s what locals recognized as the World’s End covered the streets and houses on both sides of the King’s Road and here the Chelsea of artists and aristocrats began. A Chelsea distinguished by a difference in accent from ours, by freshly painted houses, by art galleries and expensive antique shops, the ownership of motor cars and the employment of hundreds of cleaning women- from of course, World’s End.”

We now live in one of those original “freshly painted” houses that has been broken up into 3 flats on Fernshaw Road.chpk0228284_small-1

Donald James Wheal’s world was one of poverty. It was a hard life but a happy childhood until he was eight years old and the war came. He writes, “Some children spent the last month of peace running through grass meadows or swimming in shaded ponds. Some rode pony trails on Dartmoor or built sandcastles on the beach at Frinton. We had read about children like this in our comics. Some, no doubt, even played throughout that hot August unaware what was approaching. In the World’s End, we knew. There were the gas mask fittings, of course, when St John’s church hall reeked of the black rubber masks forced over our faces.”

Donald was among the children who were evacuated from London but later returned to live through the blitz and see his home and those of his friends and neighbors destroyed as the German’s tried to bomb the nearby Lots Road Power Station.


The station still stands today. We took a Sunday evening stroll by it and the newly developed upscale area called Imperial Wharf.


What a fascinating book! I loved reading how Donald and his friends, in those terrible war time years, had time for play in  bomb-damaged homes and invented fantasies about Nazi spies.

We have a patron at our Centre who comes in nearly every day. He is putting his family history on a “memory stick”  for his only grandchild.  He is in his 80’s and and lived in London during the blitz years, having some of those same adventures. I asked him what he was going to do for the weekend and he told me it was his annual “walk- about” with his friends who had also lived through the blitz. I was telling him about Donald James Wheal’s book and he said, “I don’t have to read that, I lived it.”

We have had a very busy week! We worked Saturday of this week so are looking forward to our P-day on Monday. I think our adventure for the week will be to clean the flat although we will go into the church for our Senior Missionary Family Home Evening Monday night. On Friday, Elder Allen F. Packer and his wife and Elder Patrick Kearon and his wife visited our Family History Centre. They were here representing Elder Boyd K. Packer for the Society of Genealogists meeting held this weekend. We had a luncheon for them at the church.

Elder Packer Luncheon

Senior missionaries: Sister Marilyn Crandall, Sister Barbara Robertson and Sister Cheryl Fugal.

As I mentioned, we worked Saturday and we had a Jamaican group come in to learn how to do their family history. We have a member, Sharon Tomlin, who is Jamaican and is a volunteer at the Centre. She is a skilled researcher. One of my jobs is to schedule and orient the groups that come in to our Centre. So I did the general orientation and Ken gave the ending-‘Why we do this’. Then Sharon took over to teach the class. Afterwards Sharon said the the Jamaican people were very much touched by Ken’s explanation of why we do family history work. As Mark would say, Ken has caught the Elijah virus!


Two of the sweet messages we had from our message box this week:

To Mom- You’re the best Mom ever!

To Dad- If you can’t sleep, don’t count sleep. Talk to the Shepard.

We love those messages!


Our best to all of you!
Love, Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom  and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)