Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Langford Family in Nauvoo, Illinois and Salt Lake City, Utah

Another day, another amazing discovery in the Langford family tree.
Yesterday evening, I decided to try to look for connections in a new place. The website Familysearch.com is run by the Mormon Church and is free. I have used it many times in the past. Recently, they launched improvements to the site which make it easier to navigate. One of the areas that I had not been able to search before were family trees submitted by others. With the new navigation, I decided to take a peek. Was I ever surprised!

I have used family trees submitted by others as a derivative source. These trees are not factual, necessarily, but they are indicators that there may be facts available to support their conclusions. I use these as a signpost for directions while I pursue the primary sources that would provide necessary genealogical proof.

I found thousands of Langfords in family trees on familysearch, several that included Northrop Holderbee Langford, Oscar's great grandfather. With a name like that unusual mouthful, I was looking at a pretty good indication of a connection.

So I looked deeper and found that, on this tree, Phebe Langford, a sister to Oscar's grandfather had married Abraham Morton, a fact which I already had corroborated. What caught my eye was that Phebe Langford Morton had been buried in historic Nauvoo, Illinois, not far from where I live.

Phebe and Abraham Morton were converts to Mormonism. Historic Nauvoo, Illinois, was a stopping point for the followers of Joseph Smith as they fled persecution, before finally settling on Salt Lake City.

It turns out that the following people are related to the Langfords as descendants of Phebe Langford Morton and Abraham Morton:

Their daughter Phebe Morton, married James Angell and had at least eight children.

                 Phebe Morton Angell and two of her daughters, Mary Ann and Jemima, all became plural wives of Brigham Young. Mary Ann was his second wife, after his first wife died. It was Mary Ann who first approved of Brigham Young's addition of other wives and who was the mother of Brigham Young, Jr.. He had a total of 55 marriages, many of which were not conjugal. He married Phebe and Jemima on the same day in 1846 when Phebe was 59 and Jemima was 42.
                  Truman Osborn Angell was a son of Phebe Morton Angell, brother to Mary Ann and Jemima and brother-in-law to Brigham Young. He learned architecture while building temples in Nauvoo Illinois, Kirtland, Ohio, Logan, Utah and Manti, Utah. He refined these skills when sent by Brigham Young to study in Europe. He was instrumental within the Mormon Church as the Chief Architect. He was the moving force behind the building of the Salt Lake Tabernacle. His son Truman Osborn Angell, Jr., continued in his father's footsteps. He is credited with resolving the problem of the acoustics of that building.



10 comments:

  1. This info blew me away when I discovered it...why, with two genealogists in the family, was this fascinating connection left unmentioned? Have to say most LDS information I have come across have Phebe being born in Guildhall, Windham Co, VT. but her mother didn't move there untill she remarried after Phebe's father died in 1790....in MLT Alden's genealogy, Phebe married "Ross" and had one daughter...

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    1. The Langford Genealogy published in 1936 does show Phoebe marrying a Ross and having one child.If she married twice, once in her teens,as they often did back then, these would not be in conflict. That is what I believe happened.

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  2. I have a trip planned to Nauvoo in July, and in August I am going to a conference that includes a session on early Mormon genealogy. I hope to learn a lot more but I have no doubt that this is our Phebe. I may not have enough proof yet but the circumstantial evidence is substantial. Thanks for your comments.

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  3. I just found your blog. I am a descendant of Phebe Langford, and am trying to find more information. This blog is wonderful! Thank you for your time and effort putting this together. I look forward to reading though it and find out more about the Langford line.

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    1. Hi Tara-sorry I didn't notice your comment sooner. We have been on vacation out west. Are you on ancestry.com? Reply to my email address at danshp@q.com.
      Thanks,
      Dan

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  4. I'm descended from Phebe and Abraham Morton and just recently ran into this problem of identity. I can't figure out how she could have been born in Vermont (this according to US & International Marriage Records, not necessarily accurate) if her parents were Northrop and Mary Langford, who lived in Massachusetts. Also, the only mention of Northrop's daughter Phebe that I can find is in "Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs (1911)," which, as mentioned above, says she married someone named Ross and gave up their daughter... (Excerpt at http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/families/hmgfm/alden.html). I would love to confirm Phebe Morton's parents, but I'm stymied at the moment! Thanks for the blog!

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    1. Jen- Yes, there is some confusion about Phebe Langford's place of birth. She was clearly living in Vermont and in New York. According to family history done by the two genealogists that did studies on this, George Langford (1936) and Mary Langford Taylor Alden, Phebe's mother, Mary Sanford, moved to Vermont after Phebe's father died in 1780. There she remarried to a Noah Weld, in Guilford. This family tree is posted by George Langford's grandson on georgesbasement.com. Thats how I put Phebe in Vermont, to answer your question. Dan

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    2. Thanks for your reply (and email). I did a bit of digging and turned up Anna Langford, b. circa 1775, m. Ephraim Hoyt about 1799. They were either married in Trenton, Oneida, NY, or moved there shortly after. Sometime after 1830 they moved to Marshall County, Illinois, where Ephraim died 1844/5. His grave is at Find A Grave Memorial# 98707824. Anna is supposed to have died in 1849, but I don't know where she's buried. Anyway, this at least confirms an Anna Langford married to a Hoyt. Onward...

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  5. Abraham Morton, husband of Phebe Langford did not convert to Mormonism. His grandchildren: Mary Ann Angell, Truman Angell and Joseph Holbrook all speak of his opposition to their conversions. Abraham is buried in the Morton Cemetery located behind his son Joseph's homestead on Bell St. in Newbury Twp., Geauga County, Ohio. Only Phebe went on to Nauvoo after his death. They also spoke of their Uncle Benjamin's opposition. He is buried in Burton, Geauga, Ohio.

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  6. Tradition or legend in Newbury is that Mary Ann and Brigham Young were married by Justice of the Peace Joseph Morton, who would have been Mary Ann's uncle. She had come to Newbury to help out her aunt, Joseph's wife who was blind. Her uncle opposed the marriage and so would not allow Young into the house and so performed the ceremony on the steps of the house. *This is my own interpretation of the tradition as the History in which it was recorded had it skewed in a couple of ways. However descendants can point to the steps where they were married as the house is still standing. Only thing that can be proved is that they made application for marriage in Geauga County.

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