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    Genealogical research about Ephraim Knowlton Hanks, his family, and his ancestors.
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Jane Capener's scrapbook
31 August 2007 20:10

Another set of images I've uploaded to the Raw Data section of the website are high-resolution scans of a scrapbook kept by Jane Maria Capener Giles.

Several years ago while looking through Teton Jackman's "Big Red Book" on the descendants of Ephraim Hanks I noticed a handful of recipes that had been transcribed from a "scrapbook belonging to Jane Capener Hanks, now in the posession of Lela Morris of Shelley, Idaho"--or something to that effect. I was intrigued. Where was this scrapbook now? If it still existed it would be quite the treasure.

I traced Lela's lines into Shelly, Idaho, and made a few calls to some of her relatives. One of the Hanks cousins I talked to there, Lisa Spells, said she remembered seeing the scrapbook when she was little but hadn't seen it for a while and didn't know where it was. I left it pretty much at that, but always kept it in the back of my mind to contine to look for the scrapbook.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. While visiting my parents prior to their leaving to serve a mission, I was talking with the wife of a cousin on my Mom's side, Irene Murdock. She said she was from Shelley, and little bells started going off in my head. I told her of my interest in the scrapbook, and we pulled out Teton's book to look over the lines of my Hanks cousins in Shelley. She knew a number of these people, and would be in the area in the following days. She said she would ask around.

I got a call from Irene not too long after that. She had bumped into Lisa Spells at church while in Shelley that week, and Lisa mentioned they had found the scrapbook in the bottom of a box of things belonging to Lisa's mother. They were also having a reunion that weekend in Shelley, where the scrapbook would be on display. How exciting! My wife and I (bless her heart) quickly made plans to be in Shelley that weekend.

We drove the long trek to Shelley (around 4 hours from Orem, UT with 4 kids) and found a wonderful branch of Eph and Jane's family (descendants of their son Ephraim Knowlton Hanks, Jr.) gathered together. Some of the folks I recognized from the reunion last summer. It was good to meet them and to rub shoulders with them. They had the scrapbook along with a lot of other interesting artifacts from EKH Jr. and their side of the family. I'll need to follow up to get photos of those items to put up on the website.

The scrapbook is mostly filled with clippings of articles from old newspapers, many of which are about the men Jane had been married to earlier in life. The scrapbook also has a number of recipes (some of which ended up in Teton's book), as well as some of Jane's handwriting.

We had come armed with a scanner and a digital camera in hopes of getting a digital copy of the scrapbook, but a cousin (by marriage), Sherry Hanks of Idaho Falls, had spent some quality time previously with Lisa and the scrapbook, and had it scanned at high resolution (see the link above). She was good enough to send me a copy of all the images on CD, and graciously gave her permission for me to put them online. As the book was falling apart she had all the pages put into archival-quality plastic sleeves so as to better preserve the old book for years to come.

The long drive made for a very long day, but it was well worth it to connect with this branch of the family, and to form one more special connection to my great-grandmother Jane Maria Capener (Hanks, Taylor) Giles. Many thanks to Lisa Spells and her family for their efforts to locate and display the scrapbook, to Sherry Hanks for her time to digitize the contents and help preserve the book, and to Irene Murdock, for being in the right places at the right times!

I hope you all enjoy the scrapbook!


On 01 September 2007 02:29 Kathy wrote:
Dan you are the MAN! This is so absolutely awesome. It's wonderful that you have the drive to do this and can share with the rest of the family. Keep it up, please!

© 2008, Daniel C. Hanks