Friday, April 6, 2012

1940 Census - John William Mendenhall Family

Wilma Mendenhall in 6th Grade about 1940.

The 1940 census was made available on April 2nd at 12:01am.  The census is not indexed yet, so it takes a little bit of research to find the person that you are interested in locating.  My first search was for my mother, Wilma Mendenhall.  I knew that she lived in Cedar City in 1940.  I first looked at the 1930 census and found that she lived in ED 11-2.  ED stands for Enumeration District.  The US Census is split into enumeration districts - geographical areas designed to allow a census taker or enumerator to visit every house in the district within a two week period.  I browsed the 34 pages of  ED 11-2 without success.

Because I didn't know the house address where the Mendenhall family lived, I next tried Steve Morse's conversion tools and discovered that ED 11-2 in 1930 could be ED 11-4, 11-5A or 11-5B or 11-6 in the 1940 census. I worked through ED 11-4, ED 11-5A and 11-5B without any luck. My last hope was ED 11-6. I found what I was looking for on image 33 of 55. After reviewing 136 census pages, I found my Mother in the 1940 census. 

1940 Census Header

1940 Census Mendenhall Family

 My mother was 12 years old in the 1940 census.  My grandfather, John William Mendenhall was 58 and worked as a mail carrier.  He worked 52 weeks in 1939 and earned $900.  He worked 48 hours the week before the census was taken. My Grandmother, Elsa Mendenhall was 51 years old and was the person that spoke with the census enumerator.  She worked as a housemaid at a hotel.  She worked 32 weeks of 1939 and earned $600.  She also worked 48 hours the week before the census was taken.  They owned their home (as opposed to renting) and it was valued at $1500.  The house address was 1633 6 West.  There were 3 children living at home ages 12 to 19.

This is an amazing glimpse into the lives of my mother and grandparents in 1940.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Junius Crossland

Junius Crossland was born October 14, 1820 at London, Middlesex, England, the son of Nathaniel Valentine Crossland and Eleanor West.

Junius married Francis Ann Otten at the Parrish Church in London England on May 29, 1841.  This is the marriage certificate with what appears to be their actual signatures.

The family heard the gospel preached and was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They were baptized May 16, 1851.  Junius was baptized by Elder McCaughie at the Holbron London Conference in the British Mission.  Junius was ordained a Teacher in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  December 19, 1851 at the Theobald’s Road, London Conference.  On March 22, 1852, Junius was ordained an Elder in the Church at Holborn.

In 1853, the Crosslands sold their possessions in London and left England against the wishes of her (Frances Ann Otton) parents and seven brothers, and came to America.

The passenger list of the ship International shows the family as passengers.  The ships arrived in New Orleans on April 25 1853.

Information regarding the ship International can be found at the BYU Library Mormon Migration website.  The Crossland family is listed as passengers, but Junius is listed as "James."

The Crosslands crossed the plains with the Jacob Gates company.  More information about the Jacob Gates company can be found here.  They traveled in what was known as a 10 Pound Company.  The plan allowed the pioneers to travel from England for only 10 British Pounds.

This was a very difficult journey for the Crossland family.  The company had little food and the food that Junius was alotted, he gave up for his children.  James Ririe's journal mentions the final acts of Junius Crossland:
The only man in the wagon with me, a Brother [Junius] Crossland from London, was took sick on Green River with Mountain Fever and died west of Bridger. He was buried at the crossing of Bear River and Evanston.

I had a rough time of it then, having to take care of the cattle, get wood and water for the wagon, stand guard half the night each fourth night. When Brother Crossland was unmanageable by his wife, he being light headed with the fever, I had to have the sent close to the wagon to be ready to help Mrs. Crossland to calm her husband.

He said to me one day, "If I die, I should like to write my own Epitaph."

"What would you write Brother Crossland?"

"I should writh [write] , I am murdered by the unwise prosedure of the Ten Pound Company." He had pinched himself to save it for his children.


The October 3, 1931 edition of the Deseret News tells of a grave found near Evanston, Wyoming that could be Junius Crossland.

Junius Crossland is my 3rd Great Grandfather on the Goodman side of my family.  It is unknown exactly where he is buried, but it is somewhere on the plains near Evanston Wyoming.  He is remembered on the headstone of his wife Francis in Pleasant Grove, Utah.  The coordinates of Francis Ann Otten's headstone is N 40 22.131 W 111 44.458 and marked with the green arrow on the map.

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