Find a Piece of History

May 30 – June 25, 2016

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Share Your Treasure – Share Your Story

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, abuilding, 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.

Theres something very fundamental about reflecting back on where weve been in Gods 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 (

Emma received a lock of Josephs hair during a reburial at the Homestead. It is possible Mary Fielding also received this lock of Hyrums hair [hair at the top of the book] at the same time.

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Reunion Highlights

  • 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.
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Nauvoo Reunion: 25th Anniversary of Cemetery Dedication

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 ourbeloved 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

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Sacred Ground: The Smith Family Cemetery in Old Nauvoo, Part II

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 Emmas 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.

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Walking in their Shoes

By Steve & Frances Orton and Joy Ercanbrack

We extend a heartfelt thank you to the many family members who went the extra mile to help make the 2014 Reunion such agreat success! Please log on to the website tosee pictures and read the full account of thereunion.

The family gained a deeper respect for ourancestors who lived in the Independence,Missouri area as we toured Far West, Adamondi-Ahman, and the sacred Liberty Jail.We learned that God does not abandonus, just as he did not abandon Joseph andHyrum when they were unjustly imprisonedin the Liberty Jail. Truth does prevail and themercies of God will be revealed.

The family met in the beautiful Community of Christ Stone Church and received graciouswelcomes and family news, history,website, iDig info and news of upcoming events. Lach Mackay read a welcome letter to thefamily from Cousin Wallace B. Smithwho was recovering from surgery.

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