Saturday, February 18, 2012

Family History Nathan Harris, Emer Harris and Emer's Daughter Rebecca Harris Taylor Yates

Living so close to many church history sites has been a blessing to our family. I especially have had the opportunity to research and search out my own Family History sites. Though I can't get a picture with my Great, Greats I guess their places of residence will have to do.

I would like to talk about another of my Great x4 Grandfathers Nathan Harris. Nathan's Son, Emer, married Solomon Chamberlin's daughter Polly. Nathan bought 600 acres of land from John Swift, most of that land is just a mile down Maple road from the four corner churches in Palmyra. While my brother Kyle was in town I searched out Nathan Harris's home and where this 600 acres would have been located. Thanks to Larry Porter and all his research that he did in a book titled "Sacred Places, New York and Pensylvania" I was able to locate the location of Nathan Harris's home this home is located just down the street from Martin Harris's home and is privately owned. Martin acquired 320 acres from his father Nathan, so it would make sense that his house would be so close. Here is a picture of the home that stands here now.

Site of Nathan Harris frame home, whether or not this is the actual Harris frame home, we don't know
When we visited the home, I asked the owners son if I could take some pictures and he said it was fine.

In Larry Porter's book he states: "Both Don Enders and Bob Lowe are of the opinion that this is the site where the Nathan Harris farm home stood, but they are reluctant to specify that the existing frame home is the original dwelling house without further research and proper verfication." The current owners son told me that the basement was built in the 1800's and he let me see that basement. If you take a good look at the entrance to the homes basement that was built in the 1800's one might believe that maybe this house, underneath all of it's modifications, could truly be the original frame home, but we may never know.

Enterance to the basement of the possible Nathan Harris frame home

What was so neat was that if it really was the basement that Nathan built, that his great x5 grandson who we named after him would later have a picture taken of him in there. Here I am holding him in the basement. Also, a picture of me, a couple of my kids and brother Kyle.
Lydia looking closely at the walls which were made mostly of large rocks and mudd in the Nathan Harris basement this area of the basement was very narrow
We do know that Nathan moved first into a log house which they built at the north end of Wintergreen Hill (now Walton Hill). In this picture you can see the edge of Wintergreen Hill and where his farm land is and the edge of the current frame home that stands there, so somewhere in this picture he built the log house first and then later the frame home.

Picture of Nathan Harris Farm in Palmyra NY. Panorama of the Edge of Wintergreen Hill and the edge of where the Nathan Harris frame home stood January 2012

Kyle Yost and Jan Yost West standing in front of the possible Nathan Harris frame home
On another one of our adventures seeking out the past was taking a trip to Kirtland, OH in April of 2011 more specifically Mentor Lake, Ohio where the home of Nathan's son Preserved lived. In Nathan Harris's history it states "moved to Ohio in 1831 along with some of his married children and their families, migrating with other followers of the newly formed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nathan lived to be quite an old man and died in November 1835 at Mentor Lake, Ohio. There is no record that indicates that he ever joined the Church.

In the Prophet Joseph Smith’s diary 18 Nov 1835 in Kirtland, he recorded, "I then went to Preserved Harris's, to preach his fathers funeral Sermon, by the request of the family I preached on the subject of the resurection, the congregation were very attentive My wife my mother and my scribe went with me to the funeral, we rode in a waggon, had a pleasant ride, the weather was pleasant, when we went, but cloudy and cool when we returned" In Nathan Harris's history it states "Preserved Harris' home still exists and is located on southwest corner of Rt. 84 and Chillicothe in Mentor." Exact address is approximately 8900 Johnnycake Ridge Rd. Mentor, Ohio. In Emer's history it states "In November of 1835 Emer´s father Nathan died at Menton Ohio, while living with Preserved, younger brother of Emer and Martin." So, we found another home that Nathan lived in, in Mentor, Ohio. Also, the fact that Joseph Smith preached the funeral sermon of Nathan Harris was facinating to me and so we searched out the home of Preserved and here it is in 2011 just after Nathan our 4th was born. It was neat to stand on the property and know that somewhere on that land Joseph stood and preached my great x4 grandfathers funeral sermon. I have not been able to locate Nathan's burial site though, if anyone knows where Nathan Harris son of Preserved Harris and Martha Mowry who was born March 23, 1758 in Smithfield, Rhode Island. He died on 11 Nov 1835 in Mentor, Lake, Ohio. 4 is that would be so helpful.

Here are some pictures of Preserved Harris home in Mentor, Ohio. A lady in Mentor told me that the house was yellow for a long time before they painted it this color. It is privately owned and currently the owner ownes 5 acres of land, but I do not know how much land Preserved owned at the time he lived there. I assume it was definatley 5 acres maybe even more?
Me and my 4 children standing in front of Preserved Harris home
Preserved Harris Home, Mentor, Ohio 2011
Front of Preserved Harris Home
Preserved Harris Farm Mentor, Ohio 2011
I haven't searched out Emer Harris and his places of residence yet, but I do have a picture of Emer Harris's daughter Rebecca Harris seen here on the bottom left (when facing the picture) sitting next her is her daughter Rebecca Harriet Taylor Tracy and two of Rebecca Tracy's daughters, though I don't know their names. David Samuel Tracy and Rebecca Harriet Tracy's daughters names in order are: Fanny Elizabeth, Mary Levina, Rosetta, Lydia Jane, Evelyn, Ida Lilly, and Nellie Rebecca. So it has to be two of these girls?? Rebecca had 6 sons as well. So 13 children in all. Someone responded to my post and now we know who the two daughters are, but we don't know the name of the baby.
Rebecca Harris Taylor Yates, Emer Harris and Polly Chamberlin daughter
From Left to Right Bottom: Rebecca Harris Taylor Yates and Rebecca Harriet TaylorTracy
Top: Left to Right Back
daughter Mary Livinia; baby?; daughter Fannie Elizabeth 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Little Family History Great x4 Grandfather Solomon Chamberlin

Ever since I moved to Buffalo, NY almost 5 years ago I have gotten the Family History bug, mostly because shortly after moving here I discovered I was a descendant of Solomon Chamberlin (sometimes spelled Chamberlain) and Nathan Harris, Father of Martin Harris. Solomon Chamberlin has been mentioned by Church history historians for years and I didn't know who he was, I just discovered his name by reading the book "The Martin Harris Story, with biographies of Emer Harris and Dennison Lott Harris ". Knowing that I was a descendant of Emer Harris, Martin's older brother I read this book and discovered in the book that Emer married a girl by the name of Polly Chamberlin, Solomon Chamberlins daughter. Polly was Emer's first polygamists wife and they had one child a daughter named Rebecca Harris who made it across the plains safely with her grandfather Solomon, and her father Emer, her mother Polly died at winter quarters.

Solomon Chamberlains life after and before gaining his testimony of the truth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was fascinating to me. My husband served his mission here in Western NY and served 6 months in Lyons, NY which is where the home of my great x 4 Grandfather Solomon lived. And that is when I learned that his home still stands today. It is located one mile NE of the village of Lyons at the three way junction of CR244 (Pilgrimport Road), CR 245 (Lock Berlin Road). and Bishop Rd. His home is a 1 1/2 story frame home (it was once a tavern). My brother Kyle and I had the opportunity to visit his home this past month. Here we are in front of the home that still stands in Lyons NY with the old Erie Canal across the street.

Here is a picture of his home with the old Erie canal across the street.

And here I am with my 4 children in front of the home.

In Solomon Chamberlins history he writes "About the time that Joseph Smith found the gold record, I began to feel that the time was drawing near, that the Lord would in some shape or other, bring forth his church. I made some inquiry through the country where I traveled if there was any strange work of God, such as had not been on the earth since the days of Christ. I could hear of none. I was living about 20 miles east of where the gold record was found, on the Erie Canal. I had occasion to go on a visit into Upper Canada. I took boat for Lockport, when the boat came to Palmyra, I felt as if some genie or good spirit told me to leave the boat. This was a few miles from where the record was found. After leaving the boat, the spirit manifested to me, to travel a south course. I did so for about 3 miles. I had not as yet heard of the Gold Bible (so called) [Book of Mormon] nor any of the [Joseph] Smith family. I was a stranger in that part of the country, a town where I never before had set my foot, and knew no one in the town."

Solomon was told of the Gold Bible and made his way to Joseph Smith's home and in his history he writes: "I soon made my way across lots, to Father Smith's and found Hyrum walking the floor. As I entered the door, I said, "Peace be to this house." He looked at me as one astonished, and said, "I hope it will be peace." I then said, "Is there anyone here that believes in visions or revelations?" He said, "Yes, we are a visionary house." I said, "Then I will give you one of my pamphlets, which was visionary, and of my own experience." They then called the people together, which consisted of five or six men who were out at the door. Father Smith was one and some of the Whitmer's. They then sat down and read my pamphlet. Hyrum read first, but was so affected he could not read it. He then gave it to a man, which I learned was Christian Whitmer, he finished reading it. I then opened my mouth and began to preach to them, in the words that the angel had made known to me in the vision, that all churches and denominations on the earth had become corrupt, and no church of God on the earth, but that he would shortly raise up a church that would never be confounded nor brought down and be like unto the Apostolic Church. They wondered greatly who had been telling me these things, for said they we have the same things wrote [written] down in our house, taken from the Gold record, that you are preaching to us. I said, "The Lord told me these things a number of years ago." I then said, "If you are a visionary house, I wish you would make known some of your discoveries, for I think I can bear them." They then made known to me that they had obtained a gold record, and just finished translating it here. Now, the Lord revealed to me by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost that this was the work I had been looking for.
Here I stayed 2 days and they instructed me, in the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. After I had been here two days, I went with Hyrum and some others to Palmyra printing office where they began to print the Book of Mormon, and as soon as they had printed 64 pages, I took them with their leave and pursued my journey to Canada, and I preached all that I knew concerning Mormonism, to all both high and low, rich and poor, and thus you see this was the first that ever printed Mormonism was preached to this generation."

Solomon had a vision or a dream many years before this and he wrote a pamphlet and had it published and Brigham Young University found a copy.

Solomon Chamberlain of Lyons, New York, was accompanied to the print shop by Hyrum Smith, who handed him 64 pages from the new volume  and as he stated took them into Canada to preach the gospel. This is when he came across Brigham Young and his brother Phineas and may have been the first missionary to come across Brigham Young. Brighams brothers Phineas and Joseph both visited Solomon at his home, the one pictured above, on their trips along the Erie Canal. After the church was organized, Solomon was one of the many that was baptized by Joseph Smith in Seneca Lake. Anyway, his history is fascinating and I loved learning all of the details.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jan Hosting Kaleidoscope on NBC

While I was in the hospital and recovering from C-section with Nathan, the Network of Religious Comunities President gave me a call and asked me to Host Kaleidoscope for Canesius College. So just 4 short weeks after he was born I went to the studio and the show was filmed. It aired on NBC in HD in July of this past year. I had so much fun!

Here is a still of me on our TV at home, I was mid sentence. Below you can watch the beginning portion of the show.

The Volume is low, so you might need to turn up your volume quite a bit to hear it and make sure the volume on the video box to the right of the play button is turned up.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Announcing Nathan Stewart West

We would like to welcome Nathan Stewart into the world and into our family. He was 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 19 1/2 inches long. Nathan decided that on a Friday night after I had, had 2 slices of pizza and some bread sticks for dinner that it was time for him to come. My water broke at about 6:45pm and Nathan was born at 9:26pm, who knew that you could have a c-section on a full stomach!

All of our children's names have significance and Nathan is no different. Nathan was named after his great, great, great grandfather Nathan Harris, father to Martin Harris who financed the printing of the Book of Mormon and was one of Three Witnesses who testified that they had seen the Golden Plates from which Joseph Smith said the Book of Mormon had been translated.

We decided to name him after Nathan Harris because he was born in upstate NY which is where Nathan raised his family. On the 3rd of February, 1794, Nathan bought six hundred acres of land from a man named John Swift for two shillings an acre (about $300 in New York currency). This area is now known as Palmyra, NY. History shows that providence had a hand in bringing Nathan Harris to this important area of New York and in purchasing this section of land. It became some of the best farm lands in the area and its value increased significantly. It was here he reared his large family of eight children. Nathan later deeded the farm to his son Martin and to his brother my great, great grandfather Emer Harris. Martin later became a friend to the Joseph Smith family and In 1829 Martin mortgaged his farm to finance the first publication of the Book of Mormon after its translation.

His middle name comes from John's family's Scottish family Crest which is Stewart.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2009 and into 2010 Gymnastics, New Mantle, Goodbye to Dear Friends, Emily Fisher Price, John Ski Day etc.

At long last here I am... Let's see this post should cover the end of 2009 and into the year 2010...

Last year the kids started gymnastics, Lydia absolutely loves it, Jack on the other hand well it is taking a little bit to get him excited about it, but I think he has some raw talent, we will see how long we can keep it up. Although, I think Lydia is in it for the long haul, she has the right personality for it and has some raw talent in it too :) This is Jack on the Bars.

It's crazy to think that Emily wasn't much bigger than a teddy bear back at the end of 2009. Here she is:
Not only was she so cute, but she successfully made it onto another box for Fisher Price, this
time the Activity Center. This was only sold in the UK and when I found out she was on the box, I tried to get it from the UK, which isn't easy to do. But, as luck would have it I had a friend that was visiting the UK and they were sweet enough to pick up a box and fly it home to me!! I was so grateful!
John and I went to Sodus Point, NY for our 9th Anniversary. It was wonderful, we went to a Bed and Breakfast called The Cliffs at Sodus Point on the shores of Lake Ontario that had some stunning views.

There was a tree on the property that had just been hit by lightening the night before and it was split down the middle, they were going to have to take the tree down isn't it so sad.
We spent time in the evening in the small fishing town. John served his mission in Upstate NY and this was one of his areas. On John's mission he would go down to the Sodus Point lighthouse with his mission companions, it was neat to be able to visit some of these places with him.
He still claims to this day that the best hamburger he ever had was on his mission at the Busy Bee in Wolcott, NY which is now the Red Apple and surprisingly he said it tasted the same.? On our way home, we drove along the shore of lake Ontario.

In October 2009, I took a quick trip to North Carolina to see my brother and his family and had the wonderful opportunity of being apart of my niece's sealing to my brother and sister-in-law and their family in the Raleigh, North Carolina temple. Here I am with my brothers family:

At the end of 2009 and into 2010, John finished the mantle above our fireplace, he did a fantastic job. Here are the before and afters.
He put mdf board up to cover the brick wall and then built the mantle onto that, we felt white would be the best fit for the room. After it was all built, John and I worked late into the night painting it and the bookshelves white. At some point, he would like to build cabinets at the base of each of the bookshelves.
The finished product:
We said goodbye to some dear friends in Buffalo, he had finished his nurse anesthesia program and they were headed off to PA to start work. Her family moved in to our ward at the same time we did and she was also one of the first ladies I met here in Buffalo. I miss them dearly.

John went skiing with the other residents at Holimont. He really looks forward to this day. What amazes me is that he can ski as well as he does with only 1 working ACL in his knee. John had previously blown both of his ACL's while skiing a boarder cross track and going off a downhill jump and landed on the back of his skiis, thus blowing both ACL's. He had one fixed and has chosen to fix the other one later, he hasn't had enough time in the past 11+ years to do it though.
Here he is with the other residents after they had finished skiing.

Friday, June 11, 2010

August 2009: Thousand Islands and the First Day of School

In August of last year our family went to Thousand Islands, NY. Thousand Islands, NY region that encompasses communities on both sides of the US and Canada border along the St. Lawrence River and the eastern shores of Lake Ontario. The region takes its name from the more than 1000 islands that dot the lake and river along this international waterway. The region extends from Kingson to Cornwall on the Canadian side, and from Oswego to Massena on the US side, reaching inland to the foothills of the Adirondack mountains to embrace the communities that are west and north of the Adirondack Park.
We stayed at the Edgewood resort and our hotel room was right on the St. Lawrence River. We were able to watch the boats, barges, and even canoes go by, it was amazing!

This is a panorama of our view from our balcony.

The Sunset at night was spectacular.

John spent a lot of the down time studying for his residency program and we all enjoyed the views and peace and quiet of the water on the St. Lawerence river.

One of the most amazing parts of the Thousand Islands region is Boldt Castle on Heart Island. At the turn-of-the-century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full size rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island. The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise. But, in 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegraphed the island and commanded the workers to immediately “stop all construction.” Louise had died suddenly. A broken hearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved. Boldt never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love. For 73 years, the castle and various stone structures were left vacant until Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property. Since then, several million dollars have been used to restor and rebuild the Castle.

This is our view of the Castle from our room.

Here is Boldt Castle close up.

We took a ferry to see a lot of the different islands, the kids loved the ride and they even let them drive the boat for a bit!
One of the many boat houses we saw.

This is the shortest international bridge. The small island is officially on the US side and the house is on the Canadian side!

There was a house on every island we saw, yes even this tiny one! Boldt Castle's yaught house sits behind it.

We were able to tour the Castle, here is a picture inside and out.

Here we are on the grounds of the Castle. Then on one of our final nights in Thousand Islands we drove up to Clayton, NY and enjoyed an evening there. Clayton was listed in Coastal Living Magazine as the best small town in the Great Lakes. It was gorgeous! Over 18 years ago John served his mission in upstate NY and Watertown, NY up in the Thousand Islands region was one of his areas he stayed in for a few months. It was fun for us to drive around and see where he lived and hear his stories of living there.

On our way home, we drove along the Lake Ontario shoreline and stopped to let the kids play by the water. Here are some shots from us on the shore of lake Ontario.

Lydia loves the water!

Shortly after returning from our vacation the kids started school and one of the highlights for our family this year was Lydia starting all day Kindergarten. She gets to start Kindergarten one year early than she would in any other state because New York’s cut off is December 1st rather than September 1st and with Lydia being a November birthday she barely makes the cut and she is officially the youngest in her class. But she has been able to keep up with her pears remarkably well and we are so proud of her; she is reading and doing math.

Here are their first days of school pictures!