Dear Family and Friends,
Last year on the 4th of July our family had a picnic and went swimming at Scera Park. Later that day we went out to eat. It was a typical hot Utah County 4th of July . This year was unusual. We are in a country where the 4th is just another work day but it turned out to be an American holiday we will always remember. Of course, it’s not a holiday here in England but we did have a few of our British patrons mention it to us. Because the 4th was on a Monday and every other Monday the senior missionaries get together for Family Home Evening, we decided to have a barbecue at our flat. We have a grill and a back garden and the weather was fabulous- sunny in the low 70’s.
The Fugals, Crandalls, Robertsons, Sprouses and Sisters Dewsnup and Groves celebrate the holiday.
After everyone had gone home and we had cleaned up, I got on the computer and noticed an email from the Sunset 2nd Ward Newsletter. It had a link to a presentation by the scouts in our Orem ward that is done every 4th of July. We watched the video of the scouts, including 2 of our grandsons, presenting each flag that had flown over our country. Two of those flags we now have in our flat representing Great Britain and England. The presentation was very touching and helped to make our 4th of July in England a very special one.
As missionaries in the Family History Centre one of our assignments is to make time to work on our own family history. I had recently been thinking about a family I have been researching for many years, my great grandfather and grandmother. Frank Henry Yartz and Eva Ruppert had come from Germany to the United States in the latter part of the 19th century. They both lived for a time in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, where they met, married and moved to Erie, Pennsylvania to raise their family of 3 boys and 2 girls. Henrietta Eva Yartz, the youngest daughter, was my Grandmother. She was a funny vibrant personality who survived 3 husbands and had one son, my father Herbert.
Frank Henry and Eva Yartz Henrietta Eva Yartz
It’s interesting that sometimes you just can’t stop thinking about a family you are researching. I was discouraged because I had made so little progress finding the marriage certificate for Frank Henry and Eva. My grandmother Henrietta had given me the marriage date years ago so I knew when and where the marriage took place but if I could find the certificate I could possible find the names of their parents. I had been searching for this for over 30 years. In passing, I expressed my frustration to Barbara Robertson and she said that she knew of a marriage index for Germans in Brooklyn during the time period I was looking for. We tried the groom’s index for Frank Henry Yartz- no results. Then we tried the bride’s index for Eva Ruppert. There were results! The index shows that she married Franz H Jartz on the exact date my grandmother had given me. The name was Jartz on the certificate. Now I know the film number we can find the certificate. One thing I am learning about family history- you never give up and sometimes things happen in ways you don’t expect. I guess I had to come all the way to London to find the marriage certificate for my great grandparents who were married in Brooklyn, New York.
Public transportation in London is amazing. One of the benefits in the UK of being over 60 years old and paying a council tax is that you get public transportation without an additional charge. So we have a pass called the Freedom Pass that enables us to ride on the buses and underground with no charge. Since it’s very costly to keep a car in London and parking is hard to find, the majority of people rely on public transportation. Children take the bus to school, young mothers bring their baby carriages on the bus and the buses make it possible for a lot of elderly people to be able to get around. To go to the grocery you bring along your trolley on the bus or the tube.
Last Saturday Ken and I wanted to go to a larger grocery so we took bus 328 to Earls Court Station and then the tube to Gloucester Station where there is a large Waitrose grocery. We had our trolley that the Prices gave us before they left to go home from their mission. The store is very nice with so many good things to eat and large grocery carts and we got carried away. As we walked away with a very full trolley and another large grocery bag, Ken said I don’t know how I’m going to get this thing down the steps to get on the tube. I made an executive decision and said we’re taking a cab. So we walked out on to Gloucester Road and flagged a cab. The black cabs are all over the city. It was worth the 8 pounds.
Bus stops are everywhere but tube stations are more spaced out. The tube is where you head if you want to avoid the London traffic which can sometimes be very slow. There are 12 different tube lines in London. When we go to the Centre every morning we take bus 14 or 414 to South Kensington Station and then walk the rest of the way. We can go into the tube station and walk in the tunnel that runs under Exhibition Road or just walk above ground. The tunnel is interesting because there are usually musicians playing their instruments or singing. Some of them are quite good.
I prefer riding on the bus, even with the traffic. I like to see the sights and the people. From the upper deck of the double deckers I took these pictures- even one of Ken and I.
On a couple of bus routes there are some older types of buses for the tourists.
And so ends another week. Ken has been battling food poisoning for the past few days but is on the mend. We are staying at home this weekend so he can get back on his feet.
Our best to everyone. We do so appreciate the sweet emails and words of encouragement we are receiving from home. We also want our children and grandchildren to know how much the messages from our wicker basket mean to us. Kelly said in one to me, “I remember a snow storm we had in Indiana. We were outside sledding and you were inside making fudge. I thought, it doesn’t get better than this.”
We love you family and friends!
Elder and Sister Fugal (aka Cheryl and Ken, Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa)