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a website for the descendants of william jefferies
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The William Jefferies Home Needs Your Help!

For those descendants of William Jefferies interested in preserving an important part of our heritage, now is the time to act. We have until 21 March to raise $35,000 to purchase William’s pioneer home he built in 1867 for him and his family, and in which they lived for 40 years. It is one of only a few remaining adobe structures in Grantsville, and when restored as a historic home museum, will be a key part of our and other Grantsville historic preservation groups’ efforts to create an historic district.

Contributions should be made out to the Wm. Jefferies Historic Home Assn. and mailed to our treasurer, c/o Trent Jefferies, 3987 Oregon Dune Ct., S. Jordan, UT 84095. I will send you a receipt for tax records.

If you wish to contribute, please email me at colj2@sbcglobal.net with a note to that effect, or call me at 580-658-3944 if you have any questions.

Thank you.
Chris Jefferies, President
The William Jefferies Historical Home Association

William Jefferies Home Great news about the William Jefferies Home in Grantsville. The following is from cousin Chris Jefferies:

We now have a real possibility to purchase the 1867 original William Jefferies home in Grantsville. The city of Grantsville has negotiated with the owners of the property, including the old house and about 3 acres, to purchase the land for the cemetery expansion. They are willing to sell the house and lot on which it stands for $30,000. That’s much less than the appraised value in 2008 when I first had the property appraised.

Here’s the challenge, of course; we need to raise the money. In 2008, several of us descendants organized the non-profit William Jefferies Historic Home Association with the objective to purchase the property, stabilize it, then restore it to its original condition. We also applied for and received tax exempt status from the IRS, so contributions to the Association to buy and restore the property will be tax deductible. I’m willing to put up $10,000 toward the purchase, but that leaves $20,000 more. So this is an appeal to Wm. Jefferies’ many descendants who would like to see his home preserved as a memorial to both him and his fellow pioneers of the era, and the important role they played in the settlement of the Territory. Please let me know if you are willing to help.

Chris Jefferies, Great-Great Grandson through William O. Jefferies

Jennie Jefferies Callister passed away William Jefferies' last surviving grandchild, Jennie Jefferies Callister passed away a couple of weeks ago. One of the highlights of my first visit to Grantsville was meeting Jennie and talking about my Jefferies ancestors with her. You can read the obituary from the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jennie's children and her many descendants.

Zion's Promise Sequel Cousin Chris Jefferies' sequel to his Zion's Promise, a historical novel based largely on William Jefferies' journal, is now published and available. Go to his website, www.zionspromise.com, and look for volume 3, Amidst War's Alarms. Volumes 1 & 2 are the same as the original yellow-covered edition, so if you've read that, you won't need these. Site Redesign I have redesigned the website, in order to make it easier for me to keep things updated, as well as allow any member of the family to make their own additions and edits to the genealogy database. In order to do this you need to visit the website and register for an account.
The Journal and Gallery sections still need to be converted over to the new website, and if you want to see the old website, just go to old.williamjefferies.org.
If you have any questions let me know.
My Grandpa Jefferies passed away A couple of weeks ago, my grandpa, Marvin Chester Jefferies, passed away.   He lived a good life, and I feel blessed to have been close to him, and for the chance my children had to meet and visit with him.   Last weekend I attended his funeral in Nyssa, Oregon, and it was good to see all of the family there.   We all shed tears, of course, but behind the sorrow was the joy of knowing that death is not the end, and that someday we would be together again.   I have added to the website my grandpa's obituary and the funeral program.

My grandpa's cousin, Ynez Diaz Eskelson, also passed away a week and a half ago.   They were only a year a part in age and they both attended East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah at the same time.   I have added his obituary to the website as well. Back From Utah Well I made it back from Utah safe and sound, and now I'm just trying to get back into the normal schedule.   We had lots of fun in Utah visiting with family, and the picnic and reunions all went really well.

The William Jefferies picnic in Grantsville was a success.   We had about 50 people there, and I want to thank Val Smith for setting everything up with the park.   After the picnic we walked around the outside of the William Jefferies home, and then we visited the headstones of all our ancestors at the Grantsville Cemetery. Thank you again for all the people who were able to make it.   I have added a gallery of pictures from the picnic, and you can add your names and comments to the pictures there.

The Marvin and Blanche Jefferies Reunion was a lot of fun and it was good to see everyone there, too.   We did a challenge course that had us walking along a wire and then sliding down a zip line.   Then there was a hilarious talent show complete with a panel of "American Idol" style judges.   We also had fun with games and a campfire program.   And no one will forget our orientation from the camp staff lady!   I have added a gallery of pictures from the reunion.   Please add some comments to this gallery also.

I made it to the end of the William Chester Jefferies reunion in Lehi, but most people had left by then.   I did get to talk with a few cousins and see Bob and Linda, but I didn't take any pictures.

If anyone else has some pictures from the picnic or the reunions that they would like to share, just send them to me. William Jefferies family picnic details The final information for the William Jefferies family picnic is as follows:

What:   William Jefferies Family Picnic
When:   July 6th, 2006 at 6:00 p.m.
Where:   Grantsville City Park, Cherry St. and Quirk St., Grantsville, Utah
Who:   William Jefferies descendants and their family and friends
There will not be any organized program or food provided.   Just bring food for yourselves and something to share if you would like, and visit with some of your distant cousins! William Jefferies family picnic I am planning on having a picnic in Grantsville for all members and friends of the William Jefferies family.   The picnic will be held in Grantsville, Utah, on July 6th, 2006 at 6:00 p.m.   I am not sure where the best place in Grantsville would be for the picnic, but let me know if you are able to come so that I can find a place that would work for the amount of people that will be attending.   This will not be a reunion with a program or anything, just bring your own food, and maybe something to share and get to know some of your distant cousins.   If you have any questions, just email me at . 175th Anniversary of William Jefferies Birth Today marks the 175th anniversary of the birth of William Jefferies!   To celebrate, you could transcribe a page from William's journal, get to know a Jefferies cousin by emailing them, or send in any photos or biographies that you might want to share with the rest of the family.

I have been informed of another family reunion happening this summer, this one for the James Ratcliffe Williams and Alta Ann Jefferies family.   It will be held on June 16th and 17th in St. George, Utah at the David Wilkey residence.

I will be in Utah this July for the William Chester and Marvin Chester Jefferies reunions, and I will probably go out to Grantsville for another visit.   Last time I was able to meet a few of you, but this time it would be nice to visit with a few more.   If you are interested in meeting up for a picnic in Grantsville sometime in July, please send me email, and we will come up with a date and time that will work the best. Contact With All Branches of the Jefferies Family Tree Shortly after hearing from Kandace Prisbrey, the first contact I had made with a descendant of William's son Albert, she put me in contact with her nieghbor, Sheila Loomis, who also happens to be a descendant of William's son Henry.   So now I have heard from at least one descendant of each of William's surviving children!   It's amazing how the technology of the Internet has brought such a large and spread out group together.  

I have updated the site with additional information in the Genealogy section for these cousins and others who have sent me information.   Also I have added an obituary for William Martin Jefferies, who passed away last November.   Another article is a summary of newspaper articles from the Tooele Transcript Bulletin that can be accessed online from the University of Utah.   These articles are all about descendants of William Jefferies and include news items form William Ould Jefferies, Richard Jefferies, Henry Jefferies, Murray Jefferies, William Clark Jefferies, Frank Clark Jefferies, Alta Ann Jefferies, William Chester Jefferies, John Walter Jefferies, and others.

There are two Jefferies reunions that I know about that are planned for the summer. The Marvin Chester Jefferies and Blanche Moss Reunion will be held July 7th and 8th in Heber Valley, Utah, and the William Chester Jefferies and Sarah Elizabeth Flinders Reunion will be held July 8th in Lehi, Utah.   If you need more information or know about another reunion taking place, please let me know. Updates on the William Jefferies Home and More Cousins I received the following email from cousin Chris Jefferies:

Good news for the William Jefferies (1831) Historic Home Association.   Effective 17 October 2005, the Association has been designated a 501(c)(3) public charity.   That means contributions to the Association will be tax deductible!   More information to come about acquiring the home as it develops.  

I have also just received an email from Kandace Olson Prisbrey, a descendant of William's son Albert.   This is the first contact that I have made with a descendant of Albert Jefferies, and would like to welcome that branch of the family to the website.   The only branch of the family I have yet to hear from are descendants of Henry Jefferies.   So if you know of any of Henry's descendants, let them know about the website, and have them send me an email.   Save The William Jefferies Home! I received the following email from cousin Chris Jefferies:

Helen Aldridge's recent articles about the William Jefferies and William O Jefferies homes prompt me to make this appeal.   At the end of her article on William Jefferies' home, she quotes the present owners of the house and property, the Wooten family, as saying that they anticipate selling their property and expect that the house will have to be torn down.  

Last December, my brother Bruce, sister Denise Hokanson, and I incorporated a non-profit corporation in the State of Utah, THE WILLIAM JEFFERIES (1831) HISTORIC HOME ASSOCIATION.   Subsequently, we applied to the IRS for designation as a public non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation exempt from federal income tax.   The designation would allow the Association to accept tax-deductable contributions.   Approval is pending as of now, but I expect it soon.   Our intent is to acquire, preserve, and restore the William Jefferies home in Grantsville.  

In the meantime I have been in contact with the Wooten family, three brothers, who own the house and 3.7 acres adjacent.   George, who lives in Grantsville, appears willing to sell and I expect if we can agree on a price the other brothers will also.   Consequently, I commissioned a local appraiser, Robyn Quarnberg, to appraise the value of the property.   Her appraisal came in at $85,000 for the house and the 3.7 acres.   I forwarded a copy of the appraisal to George Wooten and asked him if they'd be willing to sell at that amount.   I'm awaiting a response.  

As of now we're not sure how we will finance the purchase and subsequent restoration.   Our hope is we can raise the funding from interested descendents of William and Mary Frances through contributions or loans.   For the restoration, we intend to apply for historic preservation grants and continue to solicit contributions.  

Our current Board of Directors are Chris Jefferies, Byron Anderson, Denise Hokanson, Marlene Caldwell, and Carol Henderson.   For IRS purposes, we list Chris Jefferies as president, Byron Anderson as vice president, and Denise Hokanson as secretary/treasurer.   These individuals have agreed to serve to get the organization going, but we welcome any and all interested individuals to participate.   At our first meeting, not yet scheduled, we will select and vote upon Board members and Officers.  

I know all of William's descendents are interested in preserving this important part of our heritage.   Even more, the home is one of only a few two-story pioneer era adobe houses remaining in Utah.   Please contact me either by phone or email to indicate your interest in participating in this project.  

Phone: 580-252-8803;   fax: 580-252-8804;   email: colj2@sbcglobal.net

Chris Jefferies
Great-great grandson through William O. Jefferies

Click here to see the Articles of Incorporation (Microsoft Word document)
Click here to see the House Appraisal (PDF document) CAUTION: 888 KB
New Articles on Jefferies Homes, Biographies, and Obituaries Some new articles have been added to the website along with the regular updates to the genealogical information.  

First are two articles from Helen Aldridge, a resident of Grantsville who has an interest in the local old buildings.   She has written an article for the William Jefferies home, and another for the William Ould Jefferies home.

William Jefferies home informaton
William Ould Jefferies home information

Also added are some biographies of William Jefferies, Richard Jefferies, and Murray Jefferies from various books on LDS and Utah history.   The biography on William Jefferies was written while William was still living and has some new information William serving part time as a teacher in Grantsville, and about William's father's occupation.

William Jefferies - biography from 'History of Utah'
Richard Jefferies - biography from 'Utah Since Statehood'
Richard Jefferies - biography from 'LDS Biographical Encyclopedia'
Murray Jefferies - biography from 'LDS Biographical Encyclopedia'

Last is an obituary for Don Henning Johnson, husband of Jeanine Jefferies, who passed away this last April.

Don Henning Johnson - obituary The William Jefferies Website Celebrates It's First Birthday As of the middle of this past month this website has been online for a whole year.   It's actually quite amazing the number of relatives that I have been in contact with this past year, and I am so glad to have met, talked, and corresponded with all of you!   I cannot thank you all enough for your interest and support of the website.  

With the website turning one year old, if everyone could take a moment to email me at with any changes to your family or email addresses so that I can keep the content on the website current, that would be helpful.  

Now for some statistics.   In the past year the website has had a total of 2,853 unique visitors, viewing 20,490 pages, for a total transfer of 1,613 megabytes of data.  

Here is an email I recived from a recent visitor to the website:  

In “googling” today I discovered your website and William Jefferies’ journal, which contains references to Mrs. Criddle (p. 42), Mary Criddle (p. 42), and Mr. Criddle (p. 49). Henry Criddle and Mary Bull Criddle are my 2nd great grandparents. William Jefferies baptized both of them in Taunton, Somerset, England. I have attached a history, which you may find interesting about their lives. Take a look at Mary Criddle’s obituary (at the end), which also mentions William Jefferies as the person who baptized her. As a result of William Jeffries’ efforts, my ancestors joined the LDS church, later immigrated to Utah (Henry died on the plains in 1866), and left a large posterity.

You have a great website. I’ve enjoyed viewing the material you have put into it.

Marlin G Criddle

So it's not just Jefferies relatives that are enjoying the website!  
Help Identify This Portrait Cousin Ila Johanson sent me this email.  
In my dad's house is a picture of a young woman.   There is nothing written to identify her, but this picture is a large portrait which means that it was someone important.   Also these old pictures were either of Jefferies or Clark family members.   The more I look at the picture, the more I really wonder if it isn't Mary Francis Ould Jefferies when she was young.   I am sending a copy of it for you to see.   Let me know what you think.   I don't want to just destroy the picture or leave it in obscurity if it may be her.  

Please let me know if you recognize the portrait, or agree with Ila and my guess that this is Mary Francis Ould.   Here are some other pictures I have on the website of Mary Francis Ould for comparison.  

Update: The consensus seems to be that this is a portrait of Mary Ould, so I have added it to the appropriate page in the genealogy section.  

Ila also mentioned that she has some portraits of various Clark family members, and if you are interested about them you might want to contact her.   She said she has portraits of Thomas Henry Clark and Charlotte Gailey, and John William Clark and Ann Micklewright.   She also said that she has pictures of Emma Jane Clark and all her siblings who lived to maturity.   A Few Updates It has been a while since I have sent out a notice that the website has been updated, even though I have continually added things to the website as they come in.   Things have been busy for me, as I am sure they have been for everyone else.  

Most recently the following items have been added:

  • William Jefferies biography written by son, Murray
  • Poem written by William Jefferies
  • Marriage certificate of Joseph R. Olsen and Mary F. Jefferies
  • Richard Blaine Anderson obituary
  • Katherine Judd obituary
  • Dorothy May Wilkins obituary

On the technical side, I noticed some problems that the website had with the Firefox browser.   If you encounter anything that looks odd on the website, especially if your web browser is not Internet Explorer, please let me know about it so that I can fix it.   New Section, Photos, Articles, and Headstones Once again a big update to the website.  

I added a new section called Links that has a list of website links that may be of interest to family members.   If you know of a website that might be interesting to the family, just let me know and I will add it to the list.  

Thanks to those who have sent in photos, there are several new items in the Photos section.   Of particular interest are two new photos of William Jefferies and Mary Francis Ould.   The first shows them with two of their children, Henry and Murray. The second shows them with what I originally thought was one of their children, but after further inspection, I belive the child is Albert Jefferies Olsen.   You can see that Mary is wearing a brooch that has a picture on it.   It looks like the portrait of her daughter Mary who passed away in 1896, shortly after Albert was born.   He then lived with William and Mary and so that is my guess as to who the child is.  

New articles added to the Articles section include the following:

  • Richard Jefferies obituary
  • Donaldine Jefferies funeral program
  • Marvin Chester Jefferies autobiography
  • Information about the Jefferies from James L Wrathall
  • William Jefferies family headstone photos
  • William Jefferies family reunion 1957 minutes
  • William Chester Jefferies family reunion 1973 report

I took photos of the Jefferies family headstones in Grantsville, but I know there are more headstones in Tooele and other places.   If someone wants to send in some more headstone photos, I will add it to the article.  

The two articles about the family reunions are fun to read.   The William Chester Jefferies reunion in 1973 was the first Jefferies reunion I attended, but I don't remember it because I wasn't even a year old at the time.   Many of you have mentioned that it would have been nice to meet me while I was up in Utah this past summer, but I just wasn't able to get to everyone.   But that is what reunions are for.   Now I think our family might be a little big for one giant reunion, but I know that the Alta Ann Jefferies, William Chester Jefferies, and Richard Calbert Jefferies families all had reunions this past summer.   Perhaps we could just coordinate everyone's reunions to be the same weekend so that we could keep the traditions of our own reunions, but still be able to visit with some of our more distant cousins.   Maybe not next summer, but the summer of 2006, since that would be the 175th anniversary of William Jefferies' birth.   I'm just thinking out loud here, so let me know what you think, or add an entry to the Guestbook to let everyone know how you think.   My Visit to Grantsville, Utah While on vacation in Utah, Idaho, and Oregon I took a day to visit the town where William Jefferies settled in Utah -- Grantsville.   This was my first visit to Grantsville, but will definately not be my last.

I started the day by visiting the Grantsville Cemetery.   I had a list of all of my ancestors as well as all of the descendants of William Jefferies who are buried there.   While dodging the sprinklers, I took pictures of all the headstones from the list and will eventually be posting those pictures to the website.   It was amazing to think that so many of my relatives thought of Grantsville as their home, that they would choose this town for their final resting place.   It made it feel like my hometown, too.

Next, I wanted to visit my great grandfather's only living sibling, Jennie Callister.   In true small town fashion, I didn't look up her address, but instead went to the grocery store - Soelberg's - to ask if anyone knew where she lived.   When I told the cashier I was a Jefferies, she sent me back to the meat department to talk with Dave Jefferies.   Dave was nice enough to give Jennie a call, and give me directions over to her house.  

The visit with Aunt Jennie was very nice, as we shared pictures and talked about our common relatives.   The best was when I told her I was a grandson of Marvin Jefferies, to which she replied "Oh, little Marvin!"   I just never thought of my grandpa as "little Marvin" before.  

I also stopped by the drug store and and talked to Bob Halladay who gave me a "Tour Historical Grantsville" guide from the 1984 Old Folks Sociable.

There was some confusion as to where William Jefferies first home was.   Dave Jefferies didn't know where it was, or thought that it was no longer standing.   Jennie Callister said it was three doors east of Center, on the south side of Clark.   And Bob Halladay said it was at the Northwest corner of Clark and Hale.   On top of all this I had the picture of William Jefferies in front of his house that I received from Chris Jefferies that is on the website.   None of the houses seemed to match the picture.   I stopped by the house that Jennie pointed out to me, but that turned out to be the Stromberg house which oddly enough is being fixed up by our cousins Todd & Jessie Beacham.   I or Jennie may have counted the doors wrong as there is a house on the corner facing Hale that I didn't count.   Anyway, if some people familiar with Grantsville can straighten this up for me, I would appreciate it.  

I did see other buildings such as the old LDS Church building and the co-op, as well as the store and home of John T Flinders who is my ancestor.   I know there were a lot of other people I would have liked to visit with both in Grantsville and the rest of Utah, but you know how it can be when you are on vacation - there's just never enough time to do everything that you want to.  

Also while on vacation I visited the LDS Church History archives and viewed William Jefferies journal in person.   I also went through some boxes of genealogy at my grandfather's house and found some new photos of William Jefferies and his family.  

These and other items will be on the website soon, but I just wanted everyone to know how my trip went. Newspaper articles, an interview, and more cousins The latest update covers a wide variety of items.

First up is a collection of articles that appeared in the Deseret News that were either written by William Jefferies or have something to do with him.   To view the articles, click here.   For those that are new to the website, there is also a collection of articles concerning William Jefferies from the Millenial Star newspaper.   These can be found here.  

Next we have the transcript from an interview with R.B. Anderson and Donna Williams that was conducted in 1991.   They talk about a wide variety of subjects, including life in Grantsville.   This transcript is here: part 1, part 2, part 3.  

Last, I have been in contact with more cousins who have visited and contributed to the website.   Thanks to a Ila Johanson, I have contacted descendants of James Ratcliffe Williams and Alta Ann Jefferies about the website.   I have also exchanged a few emails with Noel Paul Stookey, a descendant of Matilda Jefferies.   Noel is better known as Paul from Peter, Paul & Mary, for those who don't know.  

I still have not been able to contact any descendants of William Jefferies's sons Albert and Henry.   So if anybody knows any of our cousins from these lines, please pass along the website address to them.   More photos and free email account The photos keep coming in!   Thanks to Ila Johanson and Dennis Nelson for sending in pictures of Jefferies family members.   See the Photos section for the new additions.  

When we signed up for our new web hosting service, new customers received a free domain for as long as they have the domain that they signed up for.   This new domain is jefferiesfamily.net.   If anyone would like to have their email address be like my new email address -> , just send me an email with the username you want (the part before the @jefferiesfamily.net).   The email account will be free for as long as I'm running the William Jefferies website, which will probably be for a long time.   You can use either a web mail interface or a POP3 mail client like Microsoft Outlook to access your mail, and we have 10MB per email account.   So if you are tired of an email address that ends in aol.com, juno.com, yahoo.com, etc., then sign up for a new email address hosted by jefferiesfamily.net!   If you have any questions concerning the email accounts then email me at or Changes to the Website We have found a permanent home for the William Jefferies website!   In moving to the new server some changes have been made to the sections in the website.

The Forum section has been replaced with the Guest Book section.   Over the past 6 months, the forum only had 12 messages posted, so I felt a guest book would fit better with the needs of the website.

The Biographies section has been renamed to the Articles section to more closely reflect that this section contains more than just biographies.

I have also added a Directory section that has email address of family members. Welcome to the William Jefferies website! My name is Michael Jefferies and my great-great-great grandfather is William Jefferies.   This website is dedicated to him and his legacy.   One of the main goals for this website is to connect the many descendant of William Jefferies to allow them to learn more about each other and about their common ancestors.  

Currently this site has the following sections:

Main
The main section contains entries concerning the changes to this website and other announcements that would be of interest to those who visit this website.

Directory
The directory section contains a list of email addresses of family members.

Journal
William Jefferies kept an extensive journal from 1858 - 1862, and wrote an autobiography in 1886.   This section contains images of this journal, as well as a project to transcribe the journal images into an electronic format.   This is an exciting project that anyone can help out with.

Genealogy
The genealogy section contains pedigree and descendancy charts for William Jefferies.   If you are a descendant of William Jefferies you may find your name here.   If you are missing, please let me know so that you can be added in to your proper place on our family tree.   Please note that if you object to having your name listed on the web, contact me and I will remove it.

Articles
William isn't the only member of our family that has a story to tell.   We have all had experiences that we would like to share with others, and we all want to learn of the experiences that you have had.   This section contains biographies, obituaries, census entries and articles about William Jefferies and his descendants.

Photos
The photos collection contains pictures of William Jefferies and his family, as well as pictures of several of his descendants.   Also included are pictures of other Jefferies related items such as homes, books and grave markers.

Serving the Lord
William Jefferies served in England as a full-time missionary representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   Many of his descendants have served in the same way in the past and currently.   This section contains a list of those who have served as missionaries of Jesus Christ, as well as addresses for those who are currently serving.

Guest Book
You can leave a message for everyone to see in the Guest Book.   Messages can be anything from comments about the webpage and family announcements, to anything that happens to be on your mind that you want to share with the rest of the family.

Links
A list of website links of interest to Jefferies family members.   If you find a website that would be of interest to the family, just send it to me and I will add it to the list.

If you have any questions or comments please contact me.