dee_burris: (Default)
I've used Personal Ancestral File (PAF) For. Ever.

As of July of this year, it is no longer supported or updated.

So I knew I'd inevitably have to bite the bullet, and get new.

I went with RootsMagic 6.

My GEDCOM imported beautifully, and all my html links appeared to have survived intact.

Thought I'd try out the ability to attach images from my computer or flash drive.

That failed miserably.

So for posting of photos - I upload to Rootsweb and not the LDS website - I'm back to attaching photos from Photobucket using the html link.

PAF had the same flaw. I suspect my photos would display wonderfully if I uploaded my GEDCOM to the LDS site.

The jury is still out on how much of an improvement there is. RootsMagic already uses more keystrokes on individual records than PAF did.

And then, all my Southern and Missionary Baptist and Presbyterian ancestors would come haunt my ass when they were baptized as Mormons. Plus, we have that nasty massacre of some of my Wharton kin (and the permanent injury to others) at Mountain Meadows, UT on what some historians have called the first 9/11.

So, thanks very much for the offer,

Now, I'm wondering if the much touted ability of RootsMagic to create files to publish to web pages will work for posting blog entries here, OR...only on the LDS website.

We shall see.
dee_burris: (Default)
Today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has a story about the Department of the Interior finally making the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre a National Historic Landmark.

Descendants of massacre victims at a Utah site say the elevation of the Mountain Meadows area to national landmark status offers some healing.

The 760-acre site marks the spot where 120 members of an Arkansas wagon train were shot and killed Sept. 11, 1857, by a Mormon militia.

The Baker-Fancher wagon train, consisting of 121 men, women and children from Benton, Carroll, Johnson and Marion counties in Northwest Arkansas, was on a stopover in the meadows on its way to California when it was attacked.

Fifty-four members of the Iron County Militia swooped down on the wagon train and killed everyone except 17 children, who were taken into Mormon homes. The children were later returned to relatives.

Only one of the 54 members of the Iron County Militia was ever brought to justice. He was executed at the site of the massacre 20 years later.

The meadows site, which sits 30 miles north of St. George, was elevated to a National Historic Landmark on Thursday by the U.S. Interior Department...

The groups have also fought for years to wrestle an apology for the massacre from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which for decades denied or downplayed the faith’s role in the massacre, with explanations that church leaders did not have any advance knowledge of the attack.

No apology has ever come, but in 2008, a year after a church official expressed “regret” for the Mountain Meadows event, the church joined forces with the descendant groups to pursue the landmark status designation.

For association President Terry Fancher, those efforts speak louder than any words.

“Words wouldn’t be as strong as the actions they’ve taken and I think will continue to take in the future,” said Fancher, of Braintree, Mass., whose father and grandfather had talked about national recognition for the meadows as far back as the 1950s.

Fancher said he finds evidence of healing in the unanimous decision to ask the church’s assistant historian, Richard Turley, to lead a dedication ceremony of the bronze national landmark plaques that is planned for September.

“That wouldn’t have been possible years ago,” Fancher said.
dee_burris: (Default)
In my extended family, we have our own version of a murder conspiracy.

John D Lee, one of the leaders of the Mormon Church, was executed for the 1857 massacre at Mountain Meadows UT, in which several members of my Wharton family were murdered.

From the Southern Standard, 31 Mar 1877:

John D Lee, the Mormon leader who participated in the murder of 120 men, women and children, nearly 20 years ago, who were emigrants from Arkansas to California, was shot last Friday. He was executed upon the grounds known as Mountain Meadows, the very grounds where the people he helped to murder were encamped when the ruffians attacked them. He made a confession implicating others and excuplating himself. He was given his choice as to the manner of his death by the court that sentenced him and prefered to be shot.

A fair number of historians see Brigham Young's hands firmly in the mix of the massacre - with followers committed to covering up his culpability.

Today's LDS Church would just like to see the whole thing fade away, without having to acknowledge the innocent blood on the hands of its leaders so long ago.
dee_burris: (Default)
I have five special cousins in my family tree - Sarah Elizabeth Dunlap, her sisters Rebecca Jane and Louisa, and their first cousins (double cousins, they were), Prudence Angeline and Georgiana Dunlap.

They are my second cousins, three times removed.

But that's not why they are special.

They were the only members of their 20 member extended family to survive the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a mass murder on 11 Sep 1857 that some current day historians call the first 9/11.

I have seen photos of my survivor cousins as adults, and read accounts of the night terrors and problems with readjustment that the 17 surviving children had when they were rescued and returned to their families in Carroll County, AR by Capt. James Lynch and the United States Army. Some of them had been abused and neglected by the Mormon families with whom they were living after the massacre.

Sarah's story just tore at my heart.

She was not thirteen months old when her entire family over the age of 7 was murdered. During the melee, she was shot in the arm, and seated close to her father in the wagon, received gunpowder burns to her eyes as he tried to save his family.

Since she, her sisters, and two young cousins were thought by the Mormons to be too young to identify their attackers, they were spared for a life as servants to Mormon families into which John Lee placed them.

The wounds to her flesh were never treated properly, and as a result, Sarah never regained full use of her arm. Due to untreated infection from the gunpowder burns to her eyes, she also was blind.

It was the wounds to her spirit that scarred even more deeply.

Capt. James Lynch is credited with the rescue of the children of the Baker/Fancher wagon party, a year after the massacre.

What he witnessed moved him deeply, and he stayed in touch with and visited the survivors for the rest of their lives.

When the Dunlap sisters heard that Capt. Lynch had become seriously ill, they were concerned, and Sarah Dunlap wrote to him, offering to come help him and be his nurse. In the meantime, Lynch's health improved but the correspondence continued. The couple were married on December 30, 1893, when the groom was 74 and the bride 37.

Capt. James Lynch

James Lynch took care of Sarah for the rest of her life. She died on 13 Nov 1901, and was buried in the Hampton Church of Christ Cemetery in Calhoun Co., AR.

Lynch died nine years later in 1910, and was buried beside her.


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Dee Burris Blakley

August 2017

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