Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Spirit of Elijah, Family History and Halloween in England.


Dear Family and Friends,

In Elder David A. Bednar’s Saturday morning conference talk he said to the youth,”The Lord has made available in our day remarkable resources that enable you to learn about and love this work that is sparked by the Spirit of Elijah. It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation.”

I saw this at work, first hand, when a grandmother and her 2 granddaughters came into our Centre last week. It was fall break in England for the school children just like it was for our grandchildren in Utah. This grandmother had brought her 13 and 10 year old granddaughters to The National Archives to introduce them to family history work. They sat at two of our computers and after a little instruction the girls were finding their family on census records and parish records. They turned out to be the teachers in showing their grandmother how to use the computer to find the documents they were searching for. They stayed for several hours and thoroughly enjoyed working together.

Family History

This is probably not going to hold interest to many people beyond myself, my children and cousin, Lynn, but I have to write about an experience I have been having sorting our a ‘mystery’ in our family. I have a third great grandmother, Arrilla Brown Hewitt who lived in a Huston, Clearfield, Pennsylvania in the 1800’s.

Over the years there had been many spellings of Arrilla’s name and there are different variations of the spelling in other generations of the family. At first glance you would put this down to the fact that many people in older times were not literate and it is common to find variations in spellings on censuses and all sorts of documents. I thought this was the case until I was looking closely at an 1860 federal census for Pennsylvania.


The 1850 and 1870 censuses show exactly the same thing. There is another person named Arvilla, likely a widow, and her son, living with John and Arrilla. It turns out that Arrilla and Arvilla were twins and the story becomes even more complicated when Arrilla died in 1870 and Arvilla married her sister’s husband. I found photos of their headstones in the Hewitt Cemetery.


Arrilla’s daughter Martha Arvilla is shown in the photo below with her husband John Philip Hevener and their three children. The little girl is Martha Arvilla Hevener, my great grandmother.

Parents Martha Arvilla Hewitt and John Philip Hevener, children Elsie, Martha Arvilla,James

In the photo below, Martha Arvilla Hevener Lucore, the youngest child in the photo above, is the mother and the youngest child is my Grandma Rose Lucore Bennett.

J W Lucore Family<br />This is an original portrait of John Wesley Lucore and Martha Arvilla Hevener and their 11 children. <br />Back row from the left-Mant, Alice, Minnie, Belle. <br />Middle row-Roy, Lowell, Harp, Howard, Sim.<br />Front row-Rose, Grandma Lucore, Grandpa Lucore, Abbie.<br /> John Wesley served in the Civil War.

I love the connections we form with our ancestors. Even thought I never met Arrilla or Arvilla Brown, Martha Arvilla Hewitt or Martha Arvilla Hevener, I feel like I almost know them. In the course of my search I have been in contact with my cousin, Lynn and two distant cousins who also come from these lines. It’s been excited to compare stories and help each other in this wonderful work.


Halloween in England

I put up Halloween decorations a couple of weeks ago. I found a garland and bought a small pumpkin for £2.50.


Our family loves Halloween and Kelly and Curtis always host an annual family Halloween party. Our invitation is on the  mirror over the fireplace but of course we didn’t attend this year. For the benefit of our little ghosts, vampires, greasers, hippies and other cute and scary trick-or-treaters, here are a few facts about Halloween in England.

It’s thought that Halloween likely had it’s origins in the pagan festivals held around the end of October in the Britishimage Isles. In the year 835 AD the Catholic Church made November 1, a church holiday to honor all the saints. Although it was a joyous holiday it was also the eve of All Souls Day, so in Medieval times it became the custom to pray for the dead on this date.

Another name for All Saints Day is 'All Hallows' (hallow is an the old English word for 'saint'). The festival began on All Hallows Eve, the last night of October.

According to an Irish legend, jack-o-lanterns were named after a man named Jack who couldn’t enter heaven because he was a miser. He couldn’t enter hell either because he played jokes on the devil. So he could only walk the earth with his jack-o-lantern until judgment day.

In England and Ireland lanterns were traditionally carved from turnips. In Scotland the thick stem of the cabbage plant was used.

The wearing of costumes originates in Celtic tradition. People thought that when they left their homes on Halloween night they would come across ghosts so they worn costumes to avoid being recognized by those ghosts. Halloween used to be a time for making mischief in parts of England so it was called Mischief Night.

Because I was talking about the twin sisters who were my ancestors I have to include a picture of our own twin granddaughters in their Halloween costumes.


Emily and Elizabeth were Thing 1 and Thing 2 from the Cat in the Hat- blue hair and all.

News From Home 

We are so proud of our grandson Joseph who just completed his Eagle Scout project. Joseph collected 166 new stuffed animals for the Christmas Box House, a short-term crisis shelter and assessment center for children. A stuffed animal is offered to each child as soon as they enter the house as a source of comfort to them. You are awesome Joseph!


We are also very proud of our grandson Drew, who will be celebrating his 8th birthday, November 5. Happy Birthday Drew!


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

PS  We are anxiously awaiting the birth of our newest grandson, Landon Robins. He is expected to make his appearance this Friday, 28 October 2011!

Oops, correction! Landon arrived Tuesday evening, 25 October 2011, at 6 PM Utah time. His was 6 pounds 8 ounces- a beautiful baby!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Working at The National Archives, The Royal Albert Hall and Jabs and Plasters


Dear Family and Friends,

Working at The National Archives is a bit different from working in our family history centre in the Hyde Park building. imageWe do have some of the same patrons but there are more that we have never seen before. The help desks at TNA frequently send patrons to us that need help that they can’t give. TNA computers only have documents on their computers of records that they hold and don’t have all of the web sites that we have.  Also, patrons are able to download images from our computers and  to go on the internet. We are also able to give more individual help.


The staff at TNA has been so kind and helpful. We share a back office with one of the groups that work there. There are about 600 employees that work in the building. We are the ones in the blue shirts with the FamilySearch logos.



One morning on the train coming to Kew there was a group of American students. We learned that they were on a semester abroad from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. One of the students saw Ken’s missionary badge and remarked that her previous boyfriend was now on a mission. None of the students were LDS but were interested in what we were doing on our mission. We explained that we help people search out their family history. One of the students said that she knew family history was important to members of our church. Ken answered that it is important for everyone to know of those family members who went before. As Ken was speaking, I noticed a gentleman, listening to our conversation, shake his head to say he didn’t agree at all. He saw that I observed his gesture and when we got off the train he hurried ahead of us. I saw him enter TNA and later I saw him stroll up to our area with a book he had picked up from a shelf and pretend to read the book as he looked us over.

Last week a lady walked up to the desk, smiled and reminded me that we had talked a few weeks ago on a bus. She had asked where I was from and what I was doing in London. I had explained to her about our family history work and told her that our Centre was now located out at The National Archives. She had told me  about a mystery concerning her grandfather who went to the US in 1870, leaving his young wife and 2 small children in England and was never heard from again. I had invited her out to Kew to see if she could find out any additional information and she came.

Although we couldn’t track down her grandfather in the US as he had a fairly common name, we were able to trace the young family he had left in England. As we looked at this family on the census records, she was delighted to see their names and learn more about their circumstances.

A lady came to us and said that it had been recommended by the British Library, that she come and see us. She was searching for the marriage, in India, of her great grandparents and was told that we might have microfilms of those records. I showed her the data bases in FamilySearch where she could look. She found a film and was able to locate the marriage. Ken did a scan of the record for her. She was so excited because it had been a family ‘legend’ that the couple had never married because no record had ever been  found.

We love helping these people!

image  image


The Royal Albert Hall

Ever since we saw the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much, we have wanted to see the Royal Albert Hall which was featured in the movie. We were able to go on a tour and learn a little about its history and the history of South Kensington.

The Royal Albert Hall was the vision of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. A tract of land was developed to create a cultural and educational district in London.Today three museums,the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), Natural History Museum and the Science Museum all are found in south-west London at South Kensington. Just north of the museums are Imperial College London(the MIT of England) and the Royal College of Photograph of Queen Victoria, 1882Music. Beyond these is the Royal Albert Hall, one of the main concert halls in London.

Because Albert died of typhoid before the concert hall was completed, Queen Victoria named it the Royal Albert Hall after her late husband. She also had a memorial to Albert constructed across the street from the Royal Albert Hall in Hyde Park.

Victoria then went into mourning for the rest of her life and disappeared from the public view. 

As a side note, the Hyde Park Chapel is next to the V&A and directly across the street from the Science museum.

We arranged to go on a tour of the Royal Albert Hall on our P day this past week. A guide led us through parts of the building and we were able to see the Queen’s box and private reception room as well as the various levels inside the auditorium.

It was interesting that one of the others on the tour, an American tourist, asked the guide, “Where is the parking for the people who come to concerts here?”  She answered, “This is London, there is no parking”. I guess that we are familiar enough with London now to know it was a really silly question.

We had tickets to see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and it was an amazing experience.


Jabs and Plasters

We got our flu shots this week. The National Archives was giving them to all the employees. The nurse asked Ken it he wanted a plaster and he was really puzzled. She laughed and asked if plaster was a British thing. A plaster is a bandage. They call shots, jabs. So we got jabs and plasters.

We have come a long way towards settling in, living in England, but there are always new things to learn.

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

PS  On one of our messages from home this week Drew asked, “Grandpa, do you miss me?” The answer is, “Yes, Drew, we miss all of you very much.”

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Ride to Kew, General Conference and English Canals



Dear Family and Friends,


Every day we ride the District line from Earl’s Court Station out to The National Archives at Kew where the London Family History Centre is now located. Most of the trip is above ground so we can see the city and green spaces as we pass by. Near the end of our journey we pass over the River Thames.

The Thames is a tidal river subject to the tides from the North Sea. The river level has a rise and fall of 23 feet near the North Sea. The difference diminishes as you go inland. There are 2 high tides and 2 low tides in a 24 hour period. These are caused by the gravitational put of the moon and sun on Earth’s waters.


The River Thames during low tide

Spring High tide on the Thames at Richmond

It’s interesting to see the differences in the level of the river as we cross twice each day. A few nights ago, as we passed over the river, we noticed that the tide was in and it was extremely high, flooding out some tables at an inn on the river. Since we just had a new moon, the moon and sun are pulling on Earth’s waters in unison and this causes the highest high tides which are called spring tides (no connection with the season). On the quarters of the moon we have the neap tides where there are the lowest high tides. This is because the moon and sun are not pulling in unison. Sorry about the earth science lesson, I can’t help it.

General Conference

Because there is a 7 hour time difference between the UK and Utah, we can see conference live on the internet but the 10 AM morning sessions begin at 5 PM and we are in bed by the time the afternoon session begins. So most of what we watch is after the fact. Ken and I were especially touched by Elder Bednar’s talk on family history because that’s what our mission is all about. We see the Spirit of Elijah working in our patrons all of the time. They don’t understand their compulsion to do family history but they know that it is real. I was talking with one of our patrons the other day about the Church. He has come in several times and always has questions about what we believe and especially how it relates to family history. I told him that it all goes back to our belief in the importance of the family and explained how that relates to our family members who came before us. I’m excited to share with him the web site mentioned by Elder David A. Bednar, https://lds.org/youth/family-history?lang=eng and have him listen to the experiences of 3 young people and family history.

We are so proud of our children's and grandchildren’s interest in doing family history work. Molly has been amazing at directing those efforts and everyone has done their part.

One of the other talks that impressed us was given by Elder Robert D. Hales. We missed hearing from him at the last conference. I have always loved the psalm,”joy cometh in the morning”  that Elder Hales quoted during his talk in connection with the trials that we all face in life. All of Elder Hales’ thoughts were heartfelt and touching . He was the first general authority who stayed at our home after Ken was called as Stake President of the South Bend, Indiana Stake. I was a young mother with 4 children and very nervous about hosting a general authority. He immediately put me at ease and was very good with our children. Elder Hales served as Mission President of our England London Mission from 1978-1979. His picture hangs on the wall in the mission office with the others who served as mission presidents.


  Mission Presidents of the England London Mission

I took this picture in the mission office before the building closed for refurbishing. Note in the first picture Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff. President Hales is on the bottom row, right of center. The empty space will be for President Renn M. Patch, the current mission president and our neighbor in Orem, Utah.

Of course, when Elder Jeffrey Holland’s talk at the Priesthood session mentioned senior missionaries, that made us smile. It’s interesting because his comment that one of the greatest gifts we can give to our grandchildren is the example we give as we serve a mission, is something we were talking about just the other day. In our family we do serve missions.

London Canals

When Andrew and Amy were here visiting we went to Little Venice and took a canal trip to the Camden Locks on the Regent’s canal.

Map of London's canals

Canals were established in England during the Industrial Revolution as a means of transporting goods from the interior to large cities.  The canals covered the south of England, the Midlands and parts of North England and Wales. Boats on the canals were drawn by horses who walked along a tow path. A horse could pull more than 10 times the load of what it could pull in a cart. Since the tow path did not go through the tunnels the workers would unhitch the horse and would get the narrow boat through the tunnel by”legging it.”

Today the boats are motorized but some still carry freight. Many are used for tourists and some are even lived in.













We are so proud of our sweet granddaughter, April, who will be baptized this coming Saturday.




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


PS  One cute message from home I’d like to share:

You are brave. Love, Lizzy