Thomas John Tew Jr. was born in Birmingham, England on June 27, 1833. His history written by himself states that he embraced the gospel on October 21, 1849.
Thomas also states in his history that he left his home on January 1st, 1851 with his best friend Walter Bird when 18 years of age for the land of Zion. Thomas and Walter were the first two boys to leave the Birmingham Conference. They left their families behind with plans to earn money in Zion and bring their families to join them as soon as possible. After being on the ocean for 9 weeks and 3 days, they arrived in New Orleans. The passenger list from the ship "Ellen" shows Thomas' age as 17 and Walter's age as 18.
After arriving in Salt Lake Valley they worked for eight months making adobes. They left for the Sanpete valley with packs on their backs on March 30th, 1851. However, they changed their minds and settled in Springville, Utah "for the scenery was so enchanting to our view and we could not help doing so.
Kanani and I have a special love for Thomas Tew and Walter Bird. Thomas Tew is my 2nd Great Grandfather, and Walter Bird is Kanani's 2nd Great Grandfather. Our ancestors were best friends! What is even more fun, is that Thomas married Walter's sister, Rebecca Bird. Which means that Kanani and I share the same 3rd Great Grandparents, Rebecca and Walter's father and mother, John Bird and Ann Russon, making us 4th cousins. We like to think that Thomas and Walter sometimes look down at us and smile that we found each other.
Thomas Tew died August 6, 1904 and is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Springville, Utah next to his wife and near his lifelong friend Walter Bird.
The coordinates of his headstone are N 40° 08.412 W 111° 36.172. The location is marked on the map with a green arrow. Thomas John Tew Jr. is my 2nd Great Grandfather from the Mendenhall side of the family.