Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Henry Free Young, Ray D Free, Abbie Wells, etc.

I'm just finding such great stuff in these old Free files we pulled out of boxes in the garage and am excited to share the information.

Since I was living in Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1974 and Mom and Dad were living in Provo, Utah, I asked them to visit some Free relatives. They did, and this is part of their report from a letter dated 15 Jan 1974:

"...I am delighted to report that DAD did go with me to Salt Lake City Friday evening [or rather - I went with him] and we went to visit Henry Free Young, age 82 in fact, but looks and acts more like his late 60's or early 70's...except for his eyesight. His glasses are very heavy. He is a very handsome and distinguished looking man, and was dressed well complete with tie - as if he were expecting company [we hadn't notified him we were coming]. His wife must be 12 to 20 years younger than he is, but she lost her voice some years ago and has to speak by holding an appliance to her throat. She is easy to understand, but the sound vibrations come through without expression. Very attractive woman. I think her family group sheet showed their children being born in the 30's, so Henry must have married late in life. Both well educated and refined. This is a thing that seems to stand out with most of the Free's we have met -- they are well groomed, in general well educated and handsome people. Henry is the son of Emmiline Free (sic) [half sister of your own grandfather] who married Brigham Young. So he and Dad [Lory] are first cousins on the Free line..."

"Ray D Free...was a Bishop when Dad was. I remember going in to discuss Genealogy one day with our Genealogist Brother Frank Smith. He knew Ray Free and Dad and that they were both Bishops, and while speaking most respectfully of both of them, commented on their looking somewhat alike and being such tall men...with such big noses."

"Yesterday we went to see Abbie Wells...She is 92 years of age. Very alert, also very bad eyesight..."
"Abbie says: Helena ...Fobes [wife of Junius F Wells] remembered going to old farm and a little bit of a woman [Betsy Free] running around the yard catching chickens, and then they would have chicken dinner [at the corner of what is now Liberty Park]...Abbie tells us the Free reunion program [this would be the 1908 reunion program] is very accurate because her father, Junius F Wells did it."

Abbie Wells also told this famous story that has been passed down through the family: "Absalom Pennington Free was a true gentleman. Joseph Smith said to him, 'Bro Free, you are a true Ephraimite,' and went on to say that his seed would be as the sands of the seashore..."

Are you excited about this history yet? I hope so. LFK


  1. How old would Absalom have been when he knew Joseph Smith?

  2. A P Free would have known Joseph Smith in Missouri and in Nauvoo, so they would have known each other between about 1838 and 1844 when A P Free was between 40 and 46 years old.