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Letter of Lavon E. Darley to Mrs. Robert A. Leishman

Mrs. Robert A. Leishman,

Box 72

Wellsville, Utah 84339


Dear Sister Leishman,


            I have a letter copied from a letter sent by the Genealogical Society of Utah to Mrs. Jack H. Lewis of Rexburg, Idaho. I will give you some of the contents of this letter dealing with the Lewis genealogy. Quoting the letter “We have made a survey of our sources for information to extend your Lewis line, and submit our report and recommendations. A brief check was also made of our files for additional data we may have relating to your Griffis and Lewis families, but due to the limited time of a Research Survey this was not followed by an examination of out early Church records, Etc.”


            “When Ivan Lewis received his endowments in the Endowment House, he gave his data and place of birth as 1853, South Wales. His parents, Thomas Lewis and Mary Ann Griffis, were endowed in the Logan Temple, 4 Apr. 1917, under the heirship of their daughter, Esther L. Gunnell; at the time their dates and places of birth were given as 1823 and 1825, respectively, Cardiganshire, Wales.


            Several charts are filed in our Archives for the Lewis family, but none of them did we find information in addition to that on your chart.


            The next step of your search, as we see it, is to obtain a definite locality in Cardiganshire, for the residences or birthplaces of the Lewises and their mother, Mary Ann Griffiss [sic]. A search cannot be commenced in a country without information regarding a town or parish to localize it. With this in mind we made a thorough examination of our early Church baptisms, patriarchal blessings, emigration lists, and biographies and histories of the first Utah settlers for a clue to the origin of the Thomas Lewis Family in Wales.


            As Evan Lewis was endowed in the Endowment House, we checked the Endowment House baptisms for the dead for any ordinances work he may have done for his relatives, but without success. We endeavored to examine the Logan Temple baptisms for the dead, administered 4 April 1917, for additional work performed under the heirship of Esther L. Gunnell, but were unable to preceed as the Logan records of that recent date are not filmed and in our Society, but are kept in the Logan Temple Archieves [sic].


            Inasmuch as we did not have a locality in Cardiganshire for the residence of your family, we could not check the conference records for early baptisms in the time permitted by your remittance. However, under emigration lists we did find the family were seeking who sailed on the ship “Golconda” 4 Feb. 1854; namely,

Thomas Lewis, Age 32

Mary A. Lewis, Age 36

David, Age 9

Esther, Age 6

Eleanor, Age 4

Evan, Age 3

Margaret, Age 1 month


            With the names of the children of Thomas Lewis and Mary Ann, we rechecked our endowment and early Church records, but in no instance did any of them give their complete place of birth.


            Unless you are able to obtain the information necessary to continue the search from family, death and possibly Bible records, we suggest an examination of all the Cardiganshire conference records for the baptisms of Thomas and his family, and possibly a search of the 1851 census returns of Wales and Welsh vital records filed at Somerset House, London. The conference records of Wales in some instance are very complete and in others very meager; therefore, we cannot assure you that they will disclose the desired data, but recommend that they be considered before correspondence is undertaken to England. The 1851 census of England and Wales is an invaluable source for genealogical research; it gives the ages and birthplaces of all the individuals listed, and records the population according to districts and families. However, the place of residence of the Lewises in 1851 must be determined before the search can be undertaken. The birth certificates of the children of Thomas and Mary Ann may be obtained from Somerset House when their definite birth dates and approximate birthplaces are known. This last step, however, will not be necessary if we are able to find information concerning the family in the conference records.”


            On the records it said Evan Lewis gave his time of birth as 1853 at the time he was Endowed, that couldn’t be if he was three years old when he came over on the ship in 1854 he would have to be born in 1851.


            Only one of his sons married the other one died in 1918 with the flew [sic]. The other son has six children they are all married, last time I checked There were as follows

Jack Lewis has 5 boys and one girl

Rulon Lewis has 2 boys

Wava Lewis Olsen has 4 girls and 3 boys

Devesta Lewis Wilson has one boy

Arch Lewis has 2 boys

Leatrice Lewis Lush has 1 boy

            This Mary Hill is a sister to Arch Hill that lives there  in Wellsville, who married one of Alex Hill daughter.

            It seem nice to hear from you to know that you are interested in Genealogy. I hope this will help you with this family of Lewis. We are working onour [sic] Fourth generations of our Pedigree.

            I’ll see you the next time I come to Wellsville, trusting to hear from you at any time I remain,

Sincerely Your’s,

Lavon E. Darley

Route #4

Rupert, Idaho



Lewis, Thomas

Jones, Mary Ann


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