Posted in Forts, Indian Wars, Library of Congress, Maps, Military, National Archives

Hold the Fort! …or at least stick around and learn a little more about it

Out West, early on, it was lawless and rugged and full of guys who wanted land, gold, and water rights, and sometimes did not get along with the Native Americans who came first.  So Out West is also where forts and the United States Army Cavalry could be found.  Maybe your ancestor lived near a fort, or maybe he lived in one as a soldier.

Fort Laramie, Wyoming
Fort Laramie, Wyoming

Walters Art Museum {{Commons:File:Alfred Jacob Miller – Fort Laramie – Walters 37194049.jpg}} at Wikimedia Commons

You will probably be surprised to know how many forts actually existed in the 19th century Out West.  I don’t have an exact number, but I have some resources that will help you track them down, and also find the records created by the U.S. Army at those forts. Continue reading “Hold the Fort! …or at least stick around and learn a little more about it”

Posted in Archives and Libraries, Civil War, Family History Library, Indian Wars, Mexican War, Military, National Archives, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Websites, World War 1, World War 2

Looking for military records? You are gonna like this!

military 1

Want to find your ancestor in military records? Here is an efficient way to identify all military records on FamilySearch, and to narrow your search by collection. It is then easy to search within a single collection.

On the FamilySearch home screen click “Search” and then “Records” in the dropdown menu.

FamilySearch Military 1

Do NOT enter a name to search, but instead click on “Browse All Published Collections.” Continue reading “Looking for military records? You are gonna like this!”

Posted in Indian Wars, Obituaries, Utah pioneers

Alexander Matheson Obituary

Copied From the Parowan Times, 19 Aug 1932, p1, col 3

Alexander Matheson Goes To Final Rest

Was Prominent In Affairs of Community For More Than Half A Century

Alexander Matheson, 89, pioneer and Indian war veteran who was prominent in the affairs of this community for more than half a century, passed from this life on Monday evening at the home of his son Owen at Midvalley. General debility incident to old age is given as the cause of his death.

Funeral services were held for him at Enoch on Wednesday afternoon. Speakers at the services were Edward G. Matheson, a grandson, Rodney Cox, Stake President William R. Palmer and David Matheson. Grace Jones Smith sang a solo. Gordon Matheson sang, Randolph Grimshaw and Grace Smith sang a duet and a tribute was read by Mrs. Estella J. Grimshaw. Numbers were sung by the Enoch choir, the opening prayer was offered by Hyrum Jones, the closing one by Francis Matheson. He was brought to Parowan for burial, the grave being dedicated by James N. Connell. Many relatives and friends from here attended the funeral.

The deceased was born in Dundee, Scotland, September 7, 1843, a son of Daniel and Katherine Treasurer Matheson. His father was educated for the Presbyterian Ministry but was converted to the L. D. S. faith and brought his family to Utah in 1862. They crossed the ocean on the John Boyd. During the voyage he met Lydia Evans who was emigrating from Wales and who later became his wife.

He drove an ox team across the plains that year for Erastus Snow and the next season, 1863, he again crossed the plains for emigrants in what was commonly known as the hell-roaring Dixie train of which Dan McArthur was captain. He was employed by Erastus Snow when he first came to Utah, which accounts for his going to Dixie and being a member of that company.

On his return that fall Mr. Matheson was married in the Endowment House at Salt Lake City to Lydia Evans.  The next year they went with other people from here to settle Paguitch but were compelled to abandon the attempt a couple of years later on account of the Indians.  Their oldest son, Alexander G. Matheson, who passed away a few months ago in Cedar City was born in Panguitch.

Returning to Parowan they made their home here.  Eight other sons were born to them, 2 of whom died in infancy and six survive him.  His wife passed away a number of years ago, following which he had a couple of other unsuccessful matrimonial ventures and then made his home with his son Owen’s family at Midvalley.

His surviving sons are Simon A., Hugh E., and Lorenzo of Parowan, Daniel E. and Owen of Midvalley and Wm. J. of Duncan, Arizona.  All were here for the funeral except the latter.

He was an indian war veteran, having seen service under Captain John Lowder;  he was the first president of the young Mens’ Mutual Improvement Association in Iron County, was assessor, city treasurer, justice of the peace, school trustee, president of the Seventies quorum for a number of years;  he was a staunch Democrat and was otherwise prominent in the affairs of the community.  He was mechanically inclined and for a number of years he operated the burr flour mill here during which time he invented a hand operated elevator for use in it.  He was a fearless defender of the right and always outspoken for his convictions.

The sympathy of the community is extended to his sons in the loss of a kind and devoted father.