All Aboard– 25th Anniversary of the Smith Family Cemetery Dedication
We have filled all of our original reserved spots on the train, but we have secured a second contract with Amtrak. We are very excited about the number of reservations we have received. There’s still time to join us on the Train/Bus trip to Nauvoo. We will take reservations until it fills. We have only 14 more spots available.
Here are the dates for traveling by train for the family reunion:
Train seating is more spacious and more comfortable than airline seating. You will spend a night on the train each direction. Consider these tips for traveling in coach class on the train and these tips for first-time train-travelers.read more
By Nancy Fontaine
Descendants of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, have created a scholarship at the Geisel School of Medicine to honor and give thanks for a pioneering surgery that Dartmouth’s Dr. Nathan Smith performed on young Joseph.
Two hundred years ago, a surgeon in rural New Hampshire saved a young boy’s leg and possibly his life. This was no ordinary treatment, however. The surgeon was Dr. Nathan Smith, founder of Dartmouth’s medical school; the child was Joseph Smith, who later founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and the surgery was far ahead of its time.read more
This year we would like to collect pictures of family treasures and heirlooms that we can share through slides and post online. By sharing these treasures, we will gain additional knowledge of our family history.
As you send these pictures, please explain important information about the item and how it came to you. This would be the ideal way to send it. If there are concerns about safety and protection, we can post photos o f treasures anonymously.
Quoting Doctrine & Covenants 21:1, noted LDS Historian Marlin K. Jensen said, “’Behold, there shall be a record kept.’ There are many ways to keep that record, and one of the ways is to preserve a place, a building, an artifact that represents history.”
He noted that an artifact can be powerful “because it is tangible, tactile, something that can be lived and experienced.”
Quoting Alma, who taught that records “enlarged the memory of this people,” Jensen explained that it can also deepen and solidify our faith.
“There’s something very fundamental about reflecting back on where we’ve been in God’s economy of things,” he said. “If we have the stability of history, if we can enter into the peace of the Lord, the rest of the Lord, that can come from a knowledge that our history is secure and solid.”
To share an heirloom with the family or ask questions, contact Frances Orton (email@example.com).
- History and background of the Smith Family Cemetery by Lachlan Mackay, Karl Anderson, and Daniel Larsen.
- Placing headstone for Lewis Bidamon grave.
- Martyrdom – at Carthage Jail by Susan Easton Black Durrant.
- Family service project at cemetery.
- Family picnic between the cemetery and the Red Brick Store overlooking the beautiful Mississippi River.
The 2016 Reunion marks 25 years since the Smith Family Nauvoo Cemetery was improved, beautified, and dedicated. It also means that for the last 25 years, Smith family members have helped pay for cemetery maintenance and upkeep. What a blessing it is for us to care for this hallowed ground and honor our beloved ancestors. Each year many thousands visit our sacred family cemetery. Meet your Smith family cousins this year in Nauvoo for a wonderful reunion that includes socializing, presentations, historical insights, sightseeing, service projects, food, and fun!
Register online at www.JosephSmithSr.org/reunion/registrationread more
By Julie Maddox, Joseph Sr & Lucy Mack Smith Family Association Newsletter Editor
For many years, the Smith Family Nauvoo Cemetery was almost forgotten. Few graves were marked, all Smith family was gone from Nauvoo by 1879, rising waters threatened to submerge gravesites, and communication between descendants had faded.
As family and close friends were buried in the Homestead yard beginning in 1844, “none of these graves were marked except by lilacs which Emma planted nearby.”1 Even the location of Father and Mother Smith became lost. Caring for the yard became challenging as Joseph III, Alexander, Julia, and David Hyrum moved from Nauvoo. In 1867 Emma wrote Joseph III:
Joseph, I should like if you are willing to extend that fence so as to enclose the graves of your two little brothers. I have got twenty five dollars that no one has any right to but myself…. I feel anxious to apply that money on that graveyard, after I have done that… I think I can ask our Smith relatives to help mark Fathers and Mothers graves if no more.
Although no action took place at this time, this letter became significant many years after Emma’s death. Joseph, Alexander, and Julia buried their beloved mother on May 2, 1879, and Joseph III erected a tombstone for Emma.
Lewis Bidamon was the last to be buried in the Homestead ground in 1891, and by 1900, tenants occupied the property. Four gravestones and a scraggly lilac bush were the only evidence of a graveyard.read more