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    Genealogical research about Ephraim Knowlton Hanks, his family, and his ancestors.
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Experiences and Life of Amy Kirby Orme
Posted on 06 January 2005 11:55 | Permalink

Experiences and Life of Amy Kirby Orme (PDF)

The Dayton Family of Utah has posted a history of Amy Kirbe Orme, prepared by Amy Orme Vowles. Amy Orme was a member of the Martin Handcart Company, and the history has a lot of information about Ephraim Hanks. What stands out to me, about the history, is the introduction to Eph's account of the handcart rescue. I have read from some sources that the account came from his journal (which I've never heard much more of), but according to this history, such is not the case. Rather, as the author recounts,

Anxious to find out more about the part Ephraim K. Hanks played in the survival of my ancestors, I went to the Church Historian's Office and found this account recorded in an early issue of the Juvenile Instructor, by Andrew Jensen, the Church Historian at that time.

June 1891 when visiting the Sevier Stake in the interest of Church History, I became acquainted with Elder Ephraim K. Hanks, who resides in Pleasant Creek (in the Blue Valley Ward) now in Wayne County, Utah. He related to me the following"

So the account apparently was dictated by Eph to Andrew Jensen for the Juvenille Instructor.

I found this while searching for "Ephraim Hanks" on Yahoo's search engine. I'm normally a Googler, but haven't come across this in my Google searching. Maybe I'll have to spend some more time in Yahoo's search engine.

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Pension request letter from Ephraim Hanks to the Navy
Posted on 28 December 2004 16:33 | Permalink

A while back I sent a request in to the National Archives (NARA) inquiring about any records relating to Eph's enlistment in the Navy, as well as any deck logs for the USS Columbus. NARA sent back a note indicating that no enlistment records for Eph could be found, but they did have a letter sent by an "E.C. Hanks" from that period saying "he was going to be transfered to the Columbus." They also indicated the availability of the deck logs I've mentioned previously here.

I sent back a response requesting copies of some of the deck logs, as well as a copy of the letter they mentioned.

Yesterday I found a large manila envelope in the mail from NARA, and opened it with rising excitement. Inside I found a copy of the letter from Ephraim K. Hanks, written in 1877, to the Secretary of the Navy asking about the possibility of a pension for his service in the Navy. I'm not sure whether the letter was written by Eph's hand or whether it was dictated, but it appears to be his own words. The only other document I know of in Eph's own words is a journal entry describing his involvement in the rescue of the Martin handcart company in 1856, so this is very exciting indeed. His letter goes as follows (I have preserved the spelling and grammar):

Teardale Feb 4th 1887

Secatary of the Navy

Dear Sir
I hope you will excuse me for taking the liberty of writing to you conserning Pensions of old Sailors as i am one of that number I inlisted in Boston abord of the old ship ohio but was transfered to the Columbus seventy four Guns in fact they both ware 74 gun Ships. Went on a cruse up the Mettranian was discharged in the Spring of 1844 in New York I am old and feeble and dependant please let me know if i can get a pension E. K. Hanks
Teardale Piute Co Utah

I have provided thumbnail images of these letter above. If you click on them you can see larger images of the letter and its "cover sheet." Update: A Hanks cousin sent me an email indicating the letter was sent from Teasdale, Utah, as Teardale, Utah doesn't exist. I went through the same thought process, but can't convince myself that the near-perfect cursive 'r' in the name of the town is an 's', so my only guess is that the writer of Eph's letter made a 'typo'?

Also included from NARA is the response to Eph's letter from the Navy Department. A transcription of that letter is provided below, and clicking on the thumbnails to the side here will take you to larger versions of those images.

2 01 a' 87
1 eval.
Feb'ry 19 7 [???]

Your letter of the d???ist to the Hon. Secretary of the Navy has been referred to this Bureau.

In reply the Bureau states that the only pensions under the cognizance of the Navy Department are those under Sections ?756-?757 Revised Statutes of the United States, which authorizes a pension to a disabled person who has served in the Navy or Marine Corps ten years or upwards, as will be seen by the enclosure.

If you have served at least ten years the Bureau will forward you the requisite blanks for an application for said pension upon receipt of your request for the same.

Pensions under the general pension laws, for disability originating in the line of duty, are adjudicated by the Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, D.C., to whom application should be made, in case you are entitled to any relief of that nature.

Very respectfully,
Your Obd't Serv't.
Chief of Bureau.

Hopefully some deck logs will be soon in coming. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!

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New feature: Blog entry comments
Posted on 22 December 2004 03:11 | Permalink

After some feverish hacking tonight (and staying up way too late, I might add...) you can now post comments on any of my blog entries. I'm eager to hear from those of you visiting my website. Got something you'd like to say about a particluar post? Click the "Reader comments" link at the bottom of any post and you will be able to see what other visitors have said about that particular post, as well as be able to add your own comments.

Hope to hear from many of you soon!

Reader comments: 2

And yet more references to Ephraim Hanks
Posted on 12 December 2004 23:45 | Permalink

Now if only I could find this many references to my other ancestors . . . I guess Eph was illustrious enough of a character that he got his name in a lot of places. I sometimes worry that I spend a little too much time on Eph, at the expense of my other progenitors. But as a great-grandson bearing his surname, I also feel an obligation to do a lot of research about him. All these references help to paint a more complete picture of the man. That fact that there's so much out there begs that it be collected, and I hope I'm accomplishing that with this site. This site has certainly been a blessing to me in the large number of cousins I have had contact me as a result of finding it. It's a thrill to get to know each one of you, dear readers!

At any rate, here's another page that mentions Eph.
Autobiography of Nathaniel Leavitt Jr
Eph is mentioned in passing at the very end of the document.

While we like to focus on the more positive stories of our ancestors, the fact remains that they were human like us, and also made their share of mistakes. A while back while searching the Mountain West Digital Library, I came across this journal entry by James Lovett Bunting, in which we read, "Janry 12th 1861 Saturday One o'clock p m. I attended the w'kly concil of the Seventies held in their Hall. The subject of drunkenness was spoken upon at length & condemned in Strong terms -- Ephrem Hanks was droped from the presidency of the 21st quorum for drunkenness" (click the "page & text" button at the upper right for a transcription of the page)

I've heard a story told about Eph acting the drunk (or some such behavior) to avoid being called as a bishop or something like that. I'll have to see if I can dig it up in the material I have. Makes me wonder if that story is related somehow to the events in the journal entry.

Reader comments: 1

References to Ephraim Hanks
Posted on 08 December 2004 22:52 | Permalink

Sherry Smith sent me a copy of a Sketch of the Life of William Morley Black. If I count right, Ephraim Hanks is mentioned in the 16th paragraph of that document, in which the protagonist describes Ephraim's activities in helping to avoid a potentially deadly encounter with a group of Indians while journeying to Sanpete Valley. A nice description of Eph's influence with the Indians.

Also, this evening I found another account mentioning him, the Autobiography of George Washington Bean, who refers to Ephraim as a "messmate" of his brother-in-law William Casper, from the Mormon Battalion. George Washington Bean was a pioneer of 1847, and William and Ephraim boarded with him the first winter in the valley.

And finally, another. This PDF file mentions Eph meeting up with an old friend, Allen Taylor. Google has a web page version you can read also.

Reader comments: 1

More pictures of the USS Columbus
Posted on 05 December 2004 23:51 | Permalink

Some browsing this evening led me to some more images of the USS Columbus. They are found on a page about the USS Vicennes. After Eph got off the columbus in 1844, the ship took a voyage around the world, accompanied for much of the voyage by the USS Vicennes. This voyage is followed in some detail in the book Man of War Life, mentioned in an earlier post.

This image shows the Columbus in Tokyo Bay surrounded by Japanese boats with the Vicennes in the background.

This image from the same page, is of Japanese origin, showing the two vessels in the distance.

You can click on both images for larger versions.

On a related note, tomorrow I'll be sending away for copies of some of the Columbus deck logs from the time when Eph Hanks was on board the ship. If they prove interesting, I'll try to obtain copies of the logs (about 600 pages) for the entire voyage.

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Resting place of Jane Maria Capener
Posted on 18 October 2004 00:39 | Permalink

Back in November of 2003, my family and I took a vacation to San Diego. While there we stopped by the Greenwood Memorial Park, where Jane Capener (wife of Ephraim Hanks, and my great-grandmother) is interred. I've finally gotten around to scanning in some of the photos I took while there, and have started a page with some photos and commentary of our visit.

Update: 4 Nov, 2004. I've finished out the page now.

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Mention of Eph Hanks in a discourse by Heber C. Kimball
Posted on 26 September 2004 23:45 | Permalink

Sherry Smith sent me a copy of a talk given by Heber C. Kimball on 4 December, 1856. The event was the funeral of President Jedediah M. Grant. As this was shortly after the rescue of the handcart companies, President Kimball mentions the efforts of Eph Hanks and a few others who helped in the rescue.

You can find the talk in the Journal of Discourses Volume 4, page 135. But as I would assume most folks don't have the JD lying around on their shelves, the talk is given in its entirety in the link above. I've also placed a link to it from the Ephraim Hanks page. Eph is mentioned in paragraphs 22 and 23.

Reader comments: 1

House keeping
Posted on 26 September 2004 20:04 | Permalink

I think as I move items over from the old site, I'll mention them here. Today I brought over a few photos of Ephraim Hanks and his wives. You can find them at the bottom of the Ephraim Hanks page.

Reader comments: 0

Hanks Ancestry
Posted on 26 September 2004 19:03 | Permalink

I came across a couple of interesting (large) images showing Hanks lines going back to John Hanks of 1470. One of the images (the one on the right) ends with Ephraim Hanks' family. I mentioned the site before in this post. The site, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~hanks/ is a great resource for anyone doing Hanks genealogy research.

Reader comments: 6

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