Thursday, September 20, 2012

Darling Whelpley

Darling Whelpley is my great great great great great great great grandfather.

1.Christopher—2.Robert—3.George—4.Aubrey—5.George F—6.George W J—7.Andrew—8.Elizabeth Weldon—9.Elizabeth Whelpley—10.Darling Whelpley.

He was born in either Greenwich or Stamford, Connecticut around 1739. The details of his life are sketchy, and many of the records that would tell us more about him have been destroyed, but Darling Whelpley is one of the ancestors that I have worked with and searched out the most, trying to figure him out and gather his family together. I know now that Darling was named after his grandmother, Mary Darling Whelpley. His great grandfather, Henry Whelpley, came to New England in the early 1600s from England. His father was Jonathan Whelpley, Jr. and his mother was Martha Pennoyer.

Darling fought on the British side of the Revolutionary War. He fought at Lloyd’s Neck on Long Island, NY and was defeated by the American Revolutionaries. I am unsure of the details of the raids and skirmishes that he participated in, but one source I have states that in retaliation for this, Darling and the other British soldiers made a raid on Greenwich(?) where he burnt buildings including the church, likely the same church where the family’s records were held. The loss of those records made it hard for me to put together his family.

After losing the war, he was convicted to death by the victorious revolutionaries because of his actions. Before he could be executed, however, it was decided that he would be exchanged for an American prisoner (thankfully), perhaps because they had mercy on him because of his large family. The family did, however, lose all their land and property, which was given over to the American side. I often wonder how that would have been for his wife, Abigail Peck and their ten children. The horror and anxiety of having your husband and father sentenced to death, and then the relief of having him returned, but losing all your property and land and being forced to leave to a new country.

Darling Whelpley left the United States and sailed for New Brunswick on board the ship called “Hope” in 1783, along with his wife and nine of their children, according to the passenger lists. They settled in Upper Saint John and Kingston area with many other British loyalists.  Another son, Jonathan, probably came later.

I like that little fact that they came to Canada on the ship “Hope.” After surviving the war, losing all their property and most of their possessions, forsaking a land they had worked hard to build, and narrowly escaping execution, they came to Canada, their new promised land.

Sitting in the sealing room with my sister and wife, I felt their presence and their overwhelming acceptance of the gospel as they were sealed together for eternity. After over two hundred years, the family had finally reached their destination with plenty of hope.

     Darling Whelpley
     Abigail Peck
          1. Oliver Whelpley
          2. David Whelpley
          3. Jonathan Whelpley
          4. Martha Whelpley
          5. Abigail Whelpley
          *6. Elizabeth Whelpley
          7. Jeremiah Whelpley
          8. Richard Whelpley
          9. Joseph Whelpley
          10. William Whelpley

Friday, September 7, 2012

Zina Prescinda Young Williams Card

Zina Prescinda Young Card is my great great grandmother. I have strong memories looking at her photograph beside my great great grandfather, Charles Ora Card. She looked so beautiful and pleasant in that photograph, and intelligent. I loved her.

She was the daughter of Brigham Young and Zina Diantha Huntington Young, who were respectively president of the Church and president of the Relief Society.

Zina grew up in the Lion House in Salt Lake City with Brigham Young. She wrote about him saying:

“President Young was so just, so tender, so noble, and his children were taught by their mothers to obey him implicitly. But his rules were few. The time for instruction and association with him was found when evening came and he would ring the old prayer bell that would bring the whole family together for prayers in the spacious parlor. Oh, those prayers! It seemed as if he talked face to face with God. They have been a tie that bound the family with sacredness and devotion that is rarely found. … He used to have his children sing and dance for him. They had a music teacher, dancing master, and a governess, for he appreciated an education and did all in his power to give everyone in his family an opportunity for knowledge and improvement and culture.”1

Growing up in the Lion House meant she had the rare opportunity of a private tutor and a fine arts education. Brigham Young, if nothing else, was a great champion for education and the arts. Zina was an actress in her young life, and she had refined tastes in art, literature and music that was uncommon in the unruly frontiers of the United States and even Utah, where most people did not have much of an education at all.

One interesting tidbit about her is that Zina P Young was chosen by John Taylor as a delegate in Washington D.C., where she represented Mormons and defended polygamy before the first women’s congress. There she met Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I wonder what they thought of her. I think she must have represented a strange and perhaps conflicted flavor of feminism during that time.

After the death of her first husband, Thomas Williams (she was the second wife) she became the polygamous wife of Charles Ora Card, who fled the government because of his wives and sought refuge in Canada, where he founded the town of Cardston and oversaw the construction of the Cardston temple.

Zina Prescinda Young Williams Card was the wife chosen to accompany C.O. Card to Canada mostly because she was the youngest, and therefore more physically up to the difficult task of carving out a new community near the Rocky Mountains. Talking to my grandmother about her, she remembers well sitting on her lap and hearing her “pleasing alto voice” and feeling her refined, cultured personality. My grandmother tells me that Zina P Y Card took an informal charge over the youth of Cardston from the beginning, teaching them proper grammar and manners. She was affectionately called “Aunt Zina” by many that knew her.

Her home was the cultural center of the community for many years, and many came there to hear music, poetry recitals and to dance. She worked as a midwife and was leader of the Young Women`s Mutual Improvement Association, and when she moved back to Utah she was the matron of the LDS University and worked in the temple where she gave talks to the brides. She brought manners, culture, and refinement to an otherwise rugged place. My grandmother believes that Zina’s fine arts education in the Lion House was an important force in shaping the community of Cardston.

Zina was a prominent and influential woman in the church and the community. Her legacy comes down to me, and I want to understand and appreciate it. She believed in the vision that was given to her about eternal families in heaven, and she believed in giving herself up to build Zion.

I am her great-great grandson. I would like to capture in my life some remnant of her faith and refinement, her love of truth and education, and her dedication to marriage and family.

1 Much of my information is gleaned from the Church history website page on Zina Prescinda Young Card,