The Winegars and the Early Mormon Church

August 13, 2010
I have been working on a project to create an extensive Winegar data base by adding to my existing files information from the Winegar Tree newsletters.  In this effort, I have found several articles that describe the involvement of the Winegar family in the history of the Mormon Church.  I have found these stories very interesting and I have decided to briefly share this information.

Individuals involved are the family and descendants of Samuel Thomas Winegar (1773-1874).  Samuel’s line is Ulrich(1), Garrett (2), Samuel S. (3), Samuel Thomas (4).  Samuel Thomas and his wife, Rhoda Cummings, as well as their children Alvin, Almira, and John received Latter-Day-Saints baptism in January of 1833 in Springfield, Pennsylvania.  Springfield was only a short distance from Kirkland, Ohio, then the headquarters of the Mormon Church.  Samuel, Rhoda, and the three children joined other members of the church in Far West, Missouri.

Zion's Camp, painting by C.C.A. Christensen. Copyright expired.

In 1835, Samuel Thomas, Alvin and a daughter of Samuel, either Almira or Sarah, were called by Joseph Smith, the founder of the church known as the Prophet, to go with a group of Saints to Zions Camp.  Their purpose was to relieve the suffering of members of the church there.  While in Far West Alvin married Mary Judd and Almira married William Stoker.  When the church moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, the Winegars and the Stokers moved there as well. Marriage records from Henry County, Indiana show Alvin and Mary were married there, August 31, 1837.  See comment below.

Alvin’s wife, Mary, helped Joseph Smith’s wife in her home and was present when a mob came for Joseph.  Fortunately, he was not there.

Lois Smith, who later would marry Stephen Samuel,  the youngest son of Samuel Thomas, lived in the home of Joseph Smith.  Lois and her family had immigrated to Nauvoo from Canada.  When her parents and all her siblings all died of cholera, Lois, an orphan,was taken into Joseph Smith’s home.  She was baptized by him two days after her eighth birthday.  One of her relatives related that she would repeat that she had been baptized by the Prophet as many as 20 times per day.  She also liked to tell of how she would ride with him on his horse, Joe Duncan.  After Joseph Smith was assassinated, she lived in the home of Brigham Young until her marriage.

Balconies and pillars of the Old Mormon Tabernacle.

The Winegar family traveled by wagon train to Utah.  Lois Smith and possible her future husband Stephen, traveled in 1848.  They were married in Utah in 1850.  Stephen cut lumber for the building of the Temple and the Tabernacle.  The pillars that hold up the balcony of the Tabernacle were cut and hauled by ox teams driven by Stephen Winegar.  William Stoker and Almira Winegar Stoker started for Utah in June of 1852.  Alvin Winegar and his family left about the same time but traveled in a different company.  In Utah, William Stoker took a second wife, Christina Emily Madsen.  Living with both wives, he had nine children by Almira and five by Emily.

Alvin Winegar and Mary Judd had nine children.  Stephen Samuel Winegar and Lois Smith had eight.  A large number of the Winegars living in Utah today are descended from these two brothers.

In putting together this post I have relied heavily on a paper, The Family of Samuel Winegar and Susanna Thomas by Helen Beazer presented at the 1984 meeting in Salt Lake City and The Story of Smith Winegar by Orla L. Coltrin-Pratt -Hillhouse from The Winegar Tree, January 1981.


The Will of John Would

August 10, 2010


Copy of the Will of John Would, 1825

Today I received copies of two wills that I ordered from the Lincolnshire Archives several weeks ago.  One of the wills was that of John Would who died in 1825 in Kirkby on Bain, Lincolnshire.  I thought at first that this John Would was the father of Elizabeth Wold Stephenson and my 4th great grandfather, but it was not to be.  What a coincidence that a small town such as Kirkby on Bain would have two John Woulds who both died in 1825!

For the benefit of other researchers, here is the information that I was able to gather on the John Would of the will. 

John Would married Ann Lusby 13 May 1766 in Kirkby on Bain.  They had three children: Thomas (born 1767), Joseph (born 1769), and Susanna (born 1778).  John’s will does not mention his wife, Thomas, or Joseph, so presumably they were deceased at the time of John’s death.

John’s daughter Susanna Would married William Greetham 7 May 1795 in Kirkby on Bain.  They had three children: Mary, Thomas, and Elizabeth, all of whom were remembered in their grandfather John’s will.

Mary Greetham married John Motley 26 March 1818.  John Motley was a butcher.

Thomas Greetham married Elizabeth and had two children, Mary and Ann.

Elizabeth Greetham married George Taylor 13 May 1819.  George was a farmer.

John Would designated his daughter Susanna as Executrix of his will and grandson Thomas and grandson-in-law John Motley as Executors.

It is amazing how much information can be determined from a will and 30 minutes on a computer. 

Descendants of Ulrich Winegar Data Base

August 10, 2010

In my last post, I discussed my project of building a data base of the descendants of Ulrich Winegar.  I started with data that my father had collected, plus what I have added in the last few years.  Now, Sandra and I are working to add information from the Winegar Tree, a magazine produced during the late 70’s and early 80’s.  We have added data from the first two volumes and uploaded our file to  If you are an Ancestry subscriber, you can can reach this file by clicking the link below.  If this fails, contact me and give me your email address and I can give you guest privileges to this file.  The file is called Ulrich Winegar Descendants-August 2010.  The file contains some information I don’t think is available elsewhere, as well as a number of pictures and stories from this blog.  As I add new information from the Winegar Tree, I will upload new versions.  We are working in Family Tree Maker which is much more user-friendly for entering large amounts of data.

Descendants of Ulrich Winegar: The need for a complete database

July 30, 2010

Since I began writing this blog, I have had numerous queries from Winegar descendants seeking information on  their family background.  Sometimes I have information that helps, but often I do not.  There are a large number of trees on containing Winegar information, but these tend to focus on one line and other branches simply dead-end. 

In the late 1970’s Arthur Goold published the Wineinger/Winegar/Wininger Newsletter.  My father subscribed to this Newsletter, and I think I have a complete set.  Sometimes I can find information here that is not on-line or in my Family Tree Maker files, but it requires a laborious search.  At least two books have been published on the data from these newsletters, but both are out of print.  Margaret Harris Stover published The Descendants of Uldrich Winegar of Amenia, Dutches County, New York.  I understand that Helen Beazer has recently published a book on the subject.  If anyone knows how I can get a copy of either of these books, I would appreciate their help.

The Winegar Tree by Arthur Goold.

My current plan is to try to create a database containing the information from the old newsletters, starting with Volume One and working forward.  I am working in Family Tree Maker rather than because it is much more user-friendly.  As my work progresses, I will upload copies to Ancestry.  I have quickly decided not to try to follow all of the non-Winegar lines.  There is just too much data available.  I am also seeing that there is a lot of conflicting information, particularly with dates and places.  I hope that corrections in subsequent newsletters help clarify these issues.

I would welcome comments, suggestions, or assistance on this project.

The Lincolnshire Wolds

July 29, 2010

My last several posts have focused on our recent trip to Lincolnshire.  I have one picture left that didn’t fit in with pages about the different villages.  This is a picture looking out over the Lincolnshire Wolds.  It is a beautiful country.

The Wolds of Lincolnshire. Photo by Sandra Winegar.

Our Visit to Lincolnshire – Huttoft: Home of Frances Stephenson, Horse Thief

July 17, 2010

St Margaret's Church of Huttoft

The last that I will share with readers of our trip to Lincolnshire is our visit to the village of Huttoft.  I am not sure if any of my ancestors came from Huttoft, but we found an abundance of Stephenson graves here.  One theory holds that Thomas Stephenson, the son of Henry Stephenson and Mary Richardson, moved here, married Mary Badger, and raised a large family. We are working to confirm this.  If this is true, Frances Stephenson, described in the article below, would be his granddaughter.

From the Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury (

Frances STEPHENSON, aged 21, singlewoman, was charged with stealing a bay mare the property of Edward LINDSAY, at Raithby, on the 10th June (1828). The novelty of this case excited considerable attention, which was not at all diminished by the appearance of the prisoner, who was neatly dressed, and rather of an interesting appearance, but the strange situation in which she was placed seemed to excite no terrors in her, she gazed around with a considerable portion of effrontery, although the eyes of every person in the court were fixed with earnest curiosity upon her. The evidence for the prosecution, which was of considerable length, but not requiring a detailed notice, went plainly to prove that shortly after the robbery, the female had the mare in her possession, and employed a person to dispose of it, under the pretence that her master, the prosecutor, was distressed in his circumstances, and that he had commissioned her to dispose of the mare. – The Counsel for the prisoner insinuated that the mare had been given to her by Mr LINDSAY for certain favours which had been allowed by her. The prosecutor, in reply to a severe cross-examination upon this point, steadfastly denied that any thing of the kind had occurred. In her defence, the prisoner admitted taking the mare from the prosecutor’s stable, but asserted that it was with his license, as he resorted to this mode of requiting her for the favours already alluded to, and in consequence of which she declared that she was at that time far advanced in pregnancy. – Guilty, sentence of death recorded.

Frances was not executed, but was deported to Australia as a convict.  There she married Henry Sherwood, another convict.  According to our sources, being a convict deported to Australia conveyed considerable status, and a marriage of convicts was close to royalty.  Pat Stephenson has made contact with her descendants in Australia and is gathering more information.

Pat and Eve Stephenson talk with me as we search for Stephenson graves.

I have often heard that everyone has a horse thief in their background, so maybe Frances is ours.  It seems that most of my ancestors were law-abiding citizens, and I haven’t discovered any other criminals — unless you look at them from the British point of view, and then some of my colonial ancestors were pretty despicable.  I did have a cousin tried as a witch in early Massachusetts, but she was found innocent.  Anyway, if Frances is confirmed to be related, she would be my 2nd cousin 4 times removed.

Our Visit to Lincolnshire – Hogsthorpe and Mumby

July 9, 2010


Jim and Pat and Eve Stephenson examine a possible Stephenson gravestone at St Mary's church of Hogsthorpe.

I continue with the description of our trip to Lincolnshire with a visit to the small villages of Hogsthorpe and Mumby.  I was especially eager to visit Hogsthorpe because the earliest record that we have of the Stephenson family is in Hogsthorpe.  Henry Stephenson (1) was born in Hogsthorpe in 1666.  His son, Henry(2) and grandson, Henry(3) were also born in Hogsthorpe.  George Stephenson who married Elizabeth Would was the son of Henry (3).  There is evidence that William Stephenson and his wife Elizabeth were the parents of Henry (1) but we cannot confirm this at this time. 

St Mary's Church of Hogsthorpe.

We know a little about the Stephensons in Hogsthorpe.  We have discovered land records that show that William  Stephenson owned 39 acres in the “West End” in 1683.  Henry (1) and his wife Susannah Clark paid a poll tax to support the war in France in 1693, so they would have been land owners as well.  We also have found a record that says that Henry (2) was a staymaker.  Apparently, this was a tailor who made corsets.  Many of the Stephensons who settled in Horncastle were tailors, so they could be following in the occupation of their ancestors. 

Stained glass window in St Mary's church of Hogsthorpe.

St Mary’s Church in Hogsthorpe  was built in the 1300s.  The church registers date to 1558, and these registers are deposited in the Lincolnshire Archives.  Prior to 1813, the records were limited so that there are many questions that we cannot answer.  

In 1975, the churchyard was cleared of most of the gravestones.  Inscriptions on 307 stones were recorded and deposited in the Lincolnshire Archives.  To this date we have not found these records.  There was one very old stone at the church which appears to have the name Stephenson on it but that may be wishful thinking.  Behind the church are six small gravestones that are for six children of the same family, all of whom died of diphtheria in just one month. 

Pat Stephenson and I made a stop in the post office/general store for a brief chat with the proprietor.  In the late 1800’s, the post master was a Stephenson, but there are no Stephensons in Hogsthorpe today and have not been for quite a few years. 

The village of Mumby is located about three miles from Hogsthorpe.  Martha Richardson, the wife of Henry(2), and her family were from Mumby, just a short brisk walk from Hogsthorpe for Henry to court Martha. We ate lunch in the Red Lion Pub in Mumby and enjoyed English fish and chips and cottage pie.  I also was able to enjoy Sticky Toffee, my favorite English desert.  I was tempted to try Hanky-Panky Toffee Pie but was happy I stayed with my old favorite. 

Gravestone at St Mary's in Hogsthorpe. Is it inscribed "Stephenson?" It is hard to tell.

Saracens Head Pub in Hogsthorpe.

Street scene in Hogsthorpe. St Mary's Church is on the right behind the brick wall. The wall was built in less than a week in 1827 by two men.

St Thomas Church of Mumby.

Stained glass window in St Thomas Church of Mumby.