by Wesley W. Craig and Roberta Blake Barnum
Background and explanations:
The original intent of this compilation was to provide only an index of the names of the adult males (including spouses) who entered Washington County up to 1870. As the research progressed it was decided to add biographical information (birth, birthplace, spouse(s), and year in which they arrived in Washington County); later, to include a separate index based on female maiden surnames, as this information is seldom available to family researchers in index form.
Unknown to each other at the time, the authors independently were working on a similar task. Roberta had been compiling detailed information on the St. George Pioneers as part of the Sesquicentennial celebration of the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers to St. George. Wes had started with the 1870 Census for the County and was working his way down an alphabetical listing of communities (not having arrived at St. George), when they discovered their complementary interests. They decided to join forces to produce this county-wide index with Roberta providing the St. George information (about half of the total names) and Wes, the balance of the county.
Pioneers (definition and criteria):
The year “1870” was arbitrarily chosen, as the latest limit, to define pioneers to the region (rather than the Sons of the Utah Pioneers. and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers definition of 1869--which was determined by the arrival of the railroad in Utah). The 1870 Federal Population Census for Washington County provided an excellent referent point. Thus, every adult in the Census of 1870 is considered, for this compilation, as a Pioneer. “Adults” are defined as those who were eighteen years old by 1870 (born prior to 1853). There are a few exceptions to this rule where the individuals were married, though under eighteen years of age, by 1870. The fact that all had to travel at least some three hundred miles by foot, horse or wagon to reach Southern Utah, adds additional support to this definition of a “Pioneer”. As the Mormon Pioneers began arriving in Utah in 1847, a number of those included as adults in these indexes were born while crossing the plains and in the early northern settlements of Utah,
While the 1870 Census provided the outer limit for defining who was in “Dixie” (used interchangeably with Washington County for this study), further information had to be secured to define all those who had come before 1870 and either had died, or left the area by 1870. There was much mobility during this early period as many of the early pioneers moved on to other newly developing colonies outside of Dixie: Kane County (Utah), Arizona, Nevada, etc. Some had moved back to the more hospitable and settled areas of northern Utah.
A number of the early pioneer families moved from community to community within Washington County during these early years. Because of space limitations the decision was made to select the earliest community of record of the pioneer for this index category. Thus, if families moved from town to town, the first town of record is given as the “community” in the indexes, even though families may be better known (and of longer duration) in later communities of settlement within the County.
Research process and sources:
To obtain the names of all families that might qualify, the sources consulted for the information in these Indexes includes the U.S. 1860 and 1870 Population Censes, early L.D.S. Ward membership records (available on microfilm), cemetery record information, local histories, third and fourth generation family group sheets (available on microfilm), and indexes of land deeds.(see the “Sources” at the end of this introduction).
Finally, after qualifying adult immigrants as having been in Washington County between 1852 and 1870, then a review of the LDS Ancestral File was undertaken to provide additional identifying information on each individual and family, where available. This source was especially helpful.
The issue of providing citation of source for each piece of information was given serious consideration, recognizing the value this could have for family history research. However, because of space limitations the decision was made not to cite sources for these Indexes. Nevertheless, the available information should be helpful in orienting the interested researcher more specifically to the appropriate geographical area(s), where original sources can then be consulted. Roberta has compiled sources for much of her information on the St. George pioneers, which will become available in a separate publication.
The authors readily acknowledge the probability of a number of unintentional errors and omissions. For example, the orthography of the 1870 census interviewers provided a real challenge of interpretation. The near illegibility of some microfilm pages added more difficulty. Names, especially of non-English speaking immigrants, were often just guessed at phonetically and spelled “creatively” by some census takers. Some of these errors and changes were clarified and corrected from other sources. But, in some cases, the census data was the only source. Also, some of the immigrants names started with the original spelling and then changed to an Anglicized form in other records. We have attempted to maintain the original spelling, where known from the records.
Male and Female indexes - distinctions:
Both Indexes derive from the same data base. However, the Male Index includes all adult females (Female/Wife column) associated with the male pioneer. This includes females from the 1860 and 1870 census records who are listed with the “male head of household”. In some cases, rather than wives, these may be a mother, sister, or other non-related female living in the household. Given the fact that polygamy was practiced by many of the families in the region, some of them were plural wives. A review of the 1860 and the 1870 census records (which do not define relationships to the head of household) will sometimes reveal these polygynous relationships by the order in which the older females and the children are listed by the census taker. Other records specifically define some relationships as husband/wife.
Those females having a different surname from the head of household were then selected as possible spouses and compiled into a separate female index. These were then checked against information obtained primarily from the LDS Ancestral File (and other records) in order to ascertain conjugal relationships. If a woman was married to several men, serially, these relationships are provided in the female index.
In many cases the census data provided only a given name for the female. Unless corroborated with a surname from other sources these names are not included in the female index.
Dates of arrival:
Dates of entry into Dixie have been established in a variety of ways. Some dates are given specifically in histories (such as the Cotton Misson calls of the LDS Church). Others were determined by the date of the birth of the couple’s first child born in Dixie (e.g. “by 1861”). Others were estimated from contextual historical information. Additional dates are based on the age given in the Census record (by 1870). Because wives often were not mentioned specifically in the historical records, many of these dates have been estimated to be concurrent with those of their husbands (this is the “softest” part of our data). Age of the wife was also considered--those who were obviously too young to have been married in 1870--below 13-14 years of age) have not been included in these pioneer indexes.Some wives (especially of polygamous relationships) may have remained in the harsh Dixie area only for a short time and then returned to Northern Utah to set up separate households. In some cases the wives may never have left Northern Utah. Further research will be needed to clearly substantiate these possible exceptions, especially outside of St. George.
The compilers wish to express their sincere appreciation to the St. George Family History Center for providing access to their records and also providing support for copying microfilms and other records necessary for this study. The encouragement of its management and staff have greatly facilitated this work. Also, we thank Brandon S. Plewe for permission to use his map of Washington County (with our name-place inserts).
In addition to copies held by the St. George Family History Center and the Salt Lake Family History Library, the data in this publication is being made available on the Internet through the USGENWEB program and will be accessed under the “State of Utah, Washington County”: www.lofthouse.com/USA/utah/, or, alternatively, under: www.infowest.com/w/wcraig/
Two additional related Washington County Indexes are now available to the interested researcher: 1) Master Cemetery Burial Index (1852 -1996) for Washington County, Utah. 2) Cemetery Indexes for Washington County, Utah (1852 - 1996). The first will also be available on Internet in the USGENWEB Archives. The second may be accessed under the specific locality in the Washington County, Utah, USGENWEB site.
Chronology of Mormon Settlement - Washington County
- (First Mormon expedition under Parley P. Pratt to explore Southern Utah - 50 men))
- HARMONY (established by John D. Lee)
- Washington County established by territorial legislature
- Mormon Indian Mission established (Fort Harmony - Santa Clara)
- Fort Harmony established
-TONAQUINT (Lower Clara)
- VIRGIN CITY
- ADVENTURE (Rockville)
- ST. GEORGE -
(309 heads of household called to settle in Dixie (Cotton Mission) and to build St. George; Swiss immigrants called to Santa Clara; great storm of Jan-Feb 1862)
- DUNCAN’S RETREAT
- MOUNTAIN DELL
- NEW HARMONY
- ASHTON (Bellvue & Pintura)
- MOUNTAIN MEADOWS
- FORT HAMBLIN
- PINE VALLEY
- SILVER REEF
Bleak, James Godson. Annals of Southern Utah Mission. (no date)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. “L.D.S. ANCESTRAL FILE” (computer data-base program in the L.D.S. Family Search Program)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (third and fourth generation family group sheets on microfilm--various)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Ward Membership Records (various, microfilm)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - St. George Summer Census, 1862.
Craig, Wesley W. Master Cemetery Burial Index (1852 - 1996) for Washington County, Utah. Family History Research Series No. 1, St. George, Utah, 1997
Craig, Wesley W. Cemetery Indexes for Washington, Utah (1852 - 1996). Family History Research Series No. 2, St. George, Utah.1997
Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (Wash. Co. Chapter). Under Dixie Sun
Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah (2 vols.). Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah Pioneers Book Pub. Co., 1913.
Grant, Sheldon. Harmony, Fort Harmony, New Harmony and Surrounding Area. Privately copied, 1994.
Hafen, A.K. Devoted Empire Builders (Pioneers of St. George. St. George, Utah): Sun Pub. Co., 1969
Hafner, Arabell Lee, First One Hundred Years on the Muddy. Springville, Utah. Art City Pub. Co., 1967
Larson, Andrew Karl. I Was Called to Dixie: The Virgin River Basin: Unique Experiences In Mormon Pioneering. The Deseret News Press, 1961. 681 pp.
Larson, Andrew Karl. The Red Hills of November: A Pioneer Biography of Utah’s Cotton Town. Deseret News Press, 1957, 330 pp.
Larson, Andrew Karl. Toquerville (various volumes)
L.D.S. Historian, Office Journal. History of Brigham Young for the Year 1861
L.D.S. Biographical Encyclopedia (4 vols.)
Miller, Albert E. The Immortal Pioneers: Founders of City of St. George, Utah. 1946
Miller, Albert E. Pioneer Map: City of St. George. Compiled by Nicholas G. Morgan, Sr. (no date)
Rio Virgin Times, The. Newspaper published in St. George, Utah in 1868 by Joseph E. Johnson
Snow, Bess & Beckstrom, Elizabeth S. O’ Ye Mountains High: The Story of Pine Valley. St. George, Utah: Heritage Press, Pubs., 1980 (with an update to 1994).
United States, 1860 Federal Population Census for Washington County, Utah (L.D.S. microfilm)
United States, 1870 Federal Population Census for Washington County, Utah (L.D.S. microfilm)
Washington County, Utah. Land Grant Records (at County Court House)
(Various family histories, biographical and auto-biographical books)
Copyright © 1998 by Wesley W. Craig and Roberta Blake Barnum
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