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LFA Newsletter Volume 34, Issue 2 (November 2007)

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1283 Logan Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Volume: 34 Issue: 2 Date: November 2007


2007 Livingston Family Reunion - "Back to the Beginning"

Despain Ranch, Birch Creek

Anyone with Livingston blood in their veins has a special feeling in their heart for Birch Creek. This was the location of the 2007 reunion and the valley where many of our ancestors settled.

Friday (June 15, 2007) was a day of gathering at Donley Despain's 30 acres, a central location of what was once Birch Creek. The foundation of the old school house is there and you can look to the south where James' place was. Two miles north was William's place.

Tents dotted the landscape, a large campfire was started, David Cook brought his horses for all to ride and Dutch oven desserts were on the briquettes.

David Cook brought a hay wagon and a tractor which was used to tour William's old homestead. Ann Macdonald conducted a campfire program of family history stories which many relatives participated in.

Saturday morning (June 16, 2007) was greeted with the smell of a campfire and breakfast put together by Blaine and LuJean Livingston. Breakfast was cooked and served by Livingston Board members.

Lynne Herring conducted the business meeting while Dick Cook arrived with more horses and children activities were aplenty.

The highlight of the reunion was organized by Enid Cox, a field trip to Fountain Green Cemetery. The following ancestors rose from the grave, role played by relatives, and told their stories:

David Willard and Jean Bain Livingston Cook (by Stott Cook and Carol Jean Coombs)
Orson Augustus and Janet Russell Despain (by Tommy Despain and Vonda Despain Bowles)
William and Lillias Dick Livingston (by Dick and Donna Livingston)
James Campbell and Agnes Widdison Livingston (by Stephen and Mendy Livingston)

Lunch was provided at the Donley Despain Ranch. As camp broke that afternoon, one could only reflect on how proud we are to be a part of this great family and the heritage that is ours.

Reunion Snapshots

You may view more pictures of the reunion here.

2008 Reunion Announced

Plans are well underway for another "not to miss" reunion!

What: Annual Livingston Family Reunion

Where: Pineview Reservoir, Huntsville, Utah; Anderson Cove Campground off Highway 39

When: Friday & Saturday, June 13 & 14, 2008

Arrive on Friday anytime after 2:00 pm. There will be camping, campfire and visiting.
Saturday will include a Business Meeting, program, tour of the Railroad Museum in Ogden, Utah.

Who: Every In Law, Outlaw, fullblood, halfblood, wannabee, Livingston that wants to meet more of the same!

Why: We have selected "Railroads" as the 2008 reunion theme. The joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads included our ancestors. When both railroads reached the boarders of Utah, Brigham Young sent men to help complete the job. This included James and Charles Livingston. The reunion will include railroad stories Friday night around a campfire and a tour of the Railroad Museum in Ogden on Saturday

Mark your calendars now!

Up to date reunion information

Family History Research Report

Some interesting facts came out of a recent visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City by two of our board members. We would like to know if anyone reading this report can shed more light. This is a little lengthy, but please read it through so you can help us with whatever you know about the issues we raise…

First of all, because our Livingston ancestors were coal miners they probably didn’t have much money, were likely landless, and we would likely not find a tombstone or a will. The list of tombstones in Fife from the 1700’s showed no Livingstons.

We looked at the website ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk. There are civil and parish records, census records and wills along with other interesting tidbits of information on Scotland. There is no charge for registering and searching the records. You can key in any surname and learn where it shows up in the various datasets. You would then be expected to pay for detail information, but once you determine which town a surname is found in you can use the Family History Library for free to locate the records.

Our earliest proven ancestor in the Livingston (Livingstoune) line is Archibald, born in 1702, either on 1 June or 4 June, depending on which submission you examine. Ancestry.com lists John Livingston and Margaret Callander as his parents. There is no other information about them, and we have emailed the submitter to see if he has a source for this information.

We will continue to explore the options of being able to extend the research past Archibald. We also want to explore his descendants and verify the temple ordinances. They are our people, and we need to carefully determine the status of their ordinance work, which leads to the following matters.

We have always been somewhat puzzled over Archibald Livingston (Livingstoune), married to Christian Muir (Mure, More, etc.), having two sons whom they named William, the first born in 1726 and the second in 1731. During our visit, under the tutorship of a Scottish missionary, we learned that the first William was christened on 2 October in either 1726 or 1727. The original parish record is a little vague about the year, but we’re still working on that.

The more interesting fact is the recording of the father as ffrancis Livingstoune, and the mother as Christian More. The missionary said that the use of two lower case letters signified a capital letter, and he is certain that the father’s name is Francis rather than Archibald. We tend to agree with him. We studied the handwriting and could not come up with any other explanation.

Our Scot is conducting more research on the handwriting to see if he can turn any other explanation to “ffrancis” and will get back to us, or us to him.

This record is found in microfilm Batch No. C114222, if anyone else would like to take a crack at it. The frame numbers are 1185 and 1186.

Second interesting item is that the second William was baptized (christened) on 28 March 1731. We have not had the birth date for him in the past, but the parish entry clearly gives his birth as 20 March 1731. So now we have it and you can enter that in your records. Same batch number, frame 1197.

Being stuck on the above William so long we didn’t get very far, but have verified other dates on Archibald’s children. Our continuing research will be concentrated on coming to specific conclusions. We will either confirm the older William as one of ours or remove him from our records. The idea is then that we will begin working forward toward our own generation to identify Archibald’s grandchildren, run records checks for temple ordinances on all of them, then continue one generation at a time.

As mentioned above we will also continue to hammer on Archie’s parents to see if we can identify them for certain. We should accordingly begin seeing some results.

We have two requests: please send donations into the association. If we can increase our funding we can then pay professional researchers to do this work.

The second request is for you to join us in this research. It’s tedious, but rewarding, and will take more hands than we now have. So cousins, please send us an email telling us that you are ready to “lock and load” by taking an assignment.

Submitted by Dana Rogers and Ted Livingston

Transcontinental Railroad

Route of the first American transcontinental railroad from Sacramento, California, to Council Bluffs, Iowa.

On May 10, 1869, after six years of work by the Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad, the first transcontinental railroad between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean was completed and celebrated by the driving of the golden spike.

Clearly, the railroad would play an important role in the expansion of the west, including further settling of Utah. A number of Livingstons were involved in building this important link from east to west. Workers on the railroad were paid between $1 and $3 per day.[1]

From James Campbell Livingston's Autobiography we learn about the work on the Union Pacific line, and the kind of sacrifices that were made:

In the year 1868, I went with about one hundred men and started grading for the Union Pacific Railroad at Devil's Gate in Weber Canyon. Under the direction of Bishop Sharp I organized four camps between Strawberry ford and the mouth of Weber Canyon. After getting them started I was again called to go to Lost Creek and start work on the two tunnels near that point. We finished up the work to the mouth of Weber Canyon in February 1869. I again took about three hundred men to the Promontory on a heavy rock contract for Bishop Sharp, and was very successful at that place in our labors. I used about eight tons of nitroglycerine, handled and exploded it myself, individually. Also at this place I had the misfortune to have my right hand and arm badly shattered by a blast, and one year later had it amputated. In the year 1870 I was again called by President Young to take a few men and start getting rock for the Temple, and from that time until the capstone was quarried I was in full control of the Salt Lake Temple Quarry.[2]

The Salt Lake City Deseret Evening News of March 25, 1869, reported that:

Sharp and Young's blasters are jarring the earth every few minutes with their glycerine and powder, lifting whole ledges of limestone rock from their long resting places, hurling them hundreds of feet in the air and scattering them around for a half mile in every direction. Mr. T. E. Ticks showed me a boulder of three or four hundred pounds weight that was thrown over a half mile and completely buried itself in the ground within twenty yards of his cook room. I ate a hearty breakfast and left that spot sine dine. At Carlisle's works a few days ago, four men were preparing a blast by filling a large crevice in a ledge with powder. After pouring in the powder they undertook to work it down with iron bars, the bars striking the rocks caused an explosion; one of the men was blown two or three hundred feet in the air, breaking every bone in his body, the other three were terribly burnt and wounded with flying stones ....
From what I can observe and hear from others, there is considerable opposition between the two railroad companies, both lines run near each other, so near that in one place the UP are taking a four feet cut out of the CP fill to finish their grade, leaving the CP to fill the cut thus made in the formation of their grade.
The two companies' blasters work very near each other and when Sharp & Young's men first began work, the CP would give them no warning when they fired their fuse. Jim Livingston, Sharp's able foreman, said nothing but went to work and loaded a point of rock with nitro-glycerine, and without saying anything to the CP "let her rip." The explosion was terrific. The report was heard on the Dry Tortugas, and the foreman of the CP came down to confer with Mr. Livingston about the necessity of each party notifying the other when ready for a blast. The matter was speedily arranged to the satisfaction of both parties.

From an autobiography of Charles Livingston we learn about how the railroad brought diversity to the state:

When the Union Pacific Railroad was being constructed there was a very great amount of crime such as murders, garreters, gamblers, hurdy-gurdy harasses and all the worst criminal element in the country. There had been a riot at Bear River for several days and it was decided that there would have to be a check put upon such lawlessness, and I was selected and commissioned by the Governor and appointed by the County Court of Summit County as Justice of the Peace and sent out there to stop all lawlessness and to enforce the law of the Territory.[3]

If you have information or knowledge of any other Livingstons who worked on the railroads, we'd love to include it. Please send it in.

For More Information

Livingston Family Board

2007-2008 Board of Directors

The current board of directors of the Livingston Family Association is as follows:

Name Assignment Term Expires
Ted Livingston Ancestry Co-Chair 2008
Ross Livingston Website 2008
Lynne Herring 2008
Stott Cook Reunion Co-Chair 2009
Blaine Livingston Descendancy Chair 2009
Ann Macdonald Reunion Co-Chair 2009
Charlene Clark Chairperson, Newsletter & Mailing List 2010
Enid Cox Secretary/Treasurer 2010
Dana Rogers Ancestry Co-Chair 2010
Livingston Family Association Board of Directors

Lynne Herring has found it necessary to resign from the Board for personal reasons. Her position on the Board will be filled at our Reunion in 2008.

Contact us at 801-484-2678 (Enid's) or email us all at board@livingstonfamily.org. Please use this family resource for family-related business only.

Tax Deductible Status for Livingston Family Donations

The Livingston Family Association has applied and received approval from the Internal Revenue Service for tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the code. This means that contributions to our organization are deductible under section 170 of the Code. We are qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.

In other words, contributions of all types to the Livingston Family Association are officially tax deductible.

This is very good news to you and to us. When you do your income tax this year, you can take credit for what you have donated to our organization (consult with your accountant for specific details). A special thank you to Dwight Epperson who handled all the paperwork and filing for this application.

We appreciate the donations we receive regularly. They keep our organization functioning by funding the newsletters, reunions, and we are gearing up to do more research. $20 per family per year is not a lot, but makes it possible to keep our organization going. Some give more, some less. It all helps.

Thank you all.

So, mail your dues in today to:

Livingston Family Association
1283 Logan Avenue
Salt Lake City, Utah 84105

Livingston Family Descendency Project

Livingston Coat of Arms Patch

Once again we extend our heartfelt thanks to those of you who have submitted your descendancy information to us.

We are pleased to report to you that the Descendancy Project of entering in all the names of the “Green Book”, Archibald Livingston of 1808 is about ¾ complete, over 6,100 names have been entered. We are shooting to get all the information from this book into the PAF data base by next Spring. But when that is done, it will only represent a substantial portion of our Livingston descendancy up to about 1980.

We still need you to send in your updated sheets, and encourage your married children to do the same, that will complete the recent marriages and births of all the descendants of Archibald Livingston of 1808. This will continue our growing family lines from the 1980 completion of the book to the present. Please use the Chart that is included in this newsletter or go to the website and fill it out online and submit it to:

Blaine T Livingston
655 Greystone Way
Tooele, UT 84074

Thanks again for helping us with this important project.

(MS Word or PDF)

Histories Wanted

Hey all you Livingstons, we are looking for some new histories to publish in our newsletters. So, if you have some laying around, or have just written one, send it in! We would like to include an ancestral history and a living history in each newsletter, so get busy.


We want to thank all of you who have recently agreed to receive the Newsletter via email. We have been working on contacting all 570 cousins on our mailing list. If we haven't called you, it's because your contact information has changed -- we've tried :) So, if you could contact us and update your information, it would be very helpful. Thanks! Call us at 801-484-2678; or email us at board@livingstonfamily.org.


  1. "First Transcontinental Railroad". Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Wikimedia Foundation.
  2. (1980) Archibald Livingston - Descendants and Ancestors. Livingston Family Association, Page 154. 
  3. (1980) Archibald Livingston - Descendants and Ancestors. Livingston Family Association, Page 205. 

© 2007 Livingston Family Association
Comments to board@livingstonfamily.org

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