Mike St. Clair's Family History

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Although my ancestry includes families from Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, and Switzerland, there is mostly Scotch in my veins. Since I don't drink, it must come from my many Scottish ancestors: Belshe, Cameron, Dunbar, Greenup, Hendrie, McKenzie, McPhail, McTaggart, Steele and probably St. Clair. Some other family names in my pedigree are Cecil, Cook, Evans, Hansen, Hochstrasser, Lanz, and Witten. After arriving in this country, my ancestors lived predominantly in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Utah. One branch of the family actually emigrated from the United States to Canada before the turn of the century, where many cousins remain to this day in the Cardston area. I am an enthusiastic genealogist with great affection for my ancestors and a constantly growing appreciation for my heritage.

To give you a quick snapshot of my ancestry, I've posted four generation pedigree charts starting with my father and my mother. These were produced using PAF*Mate, a Windows utility for PAF 2.x by Progeny Software of Nova Scotia. Similar capabilities are available for PAF version 3 using PAF Companion and are built into PAF version 4. A future revision of this page will probably connect to a more detailed version of my personal ancestry after I've decided how to deal with the privacy and security issues involved.

I'm the proud descendant of several individuals with roots in Cache Valley straddling the border of Utah and Idaho. For some materials related to this area, see my Cache Valley page.

Family History Photo and Information Archive

This is the beginning of an archive that will grow over time. Where there are photos, click on the tiny thumbnail pictures to view a larger one. If you share my ancestry and have ancestral photos or stories that you would like to share with the rest of the family, I'd be delighted to post copies. You can send me scanned images electronically, or mail hard copy to Mike St. Clair, 327 North 800 East, American Fork, Utah 84003.

In honor of Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, I have under construction a summary of heros within my family who have served in the military. It presently focuses on the Civil War, but also includes a few who have served in World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. I haven't yet started to add those from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. You can see it at: http://www.saintclair.org/stories/Family_Participants_in_the_Military.pdf.

Mary Leota (Hansen) Steele and Eva Leota (Hochstrasser) Hansen
Mary (my maternal grandmother) was born 30 Jan 1892 in Aetna, Alberta, Canada (near Cardston) and married Oswald Alexander Steele 28 Jun 1907 in Alberta. Eva (Mary's mother) was born 8 May 1869 in Salt Lake City, Utah and married Niels Hansen on 14 March 1887 in Logan, Cache, Utah.

Niels Hansen
Niels (my great grandfather) was born 11 Aug 1832 in Trostrup Korup on the Island of Fyen, Denmark. He was an early convert to the Mormon church in Denmark, serving as a missionary several times during his life, in Norway and Denmark, in the United States, and in Manitoba. Niels was a polygamist with several wives, of whom my great grandmother Eva Leota Hochstrasser was the last, and he left many descendents. Niels and Eva married 14 Mar 1887 in Logan, Cache, Utah shortly before emigrating to southwestern Alberta, Canada.

My wife and I have written a short biography of Niels Hansen that is available online as http://www.saintclair.org/stories/Niels_Hansen_Family.pdf which you can read using Adobe's® free Acrobat® Reader. This biography includes an extensive bibliography and also discusses his parents, and some of his siblings, wives, and children. In printed form it is 42 pages and about 300k in size. (when originally posted) We plan to improve and revise it from time to time. You can also review a "family timeline" created during this project as http://www.saintclair.org/stories/timeline_niels_hansen.html and a map showing the places important in his live after emigrating from Denmark as http://www.saintclair.org/stories/Utah-Idaho-Alberta_Niels_Hansen_Locales.jpg. There has been some confusion over time about how many wives Niels really had, and with which he had children. I have been studying this problem, and have written a brief analysis of it which can be reviewed here at http://www.saintclair.org/stories/Niels_Hansen_Wives.pdf.

Niels parents, Hans Jorgensen and Maren Christensen, were members of the first large company of Danish Saints to emigrate from Denmark to the U.S., with Maren dying during the voyage. An unknown member of the company kept a journal which covered almost every day of the trip from Denmark to the Salt Lake Valley, and which gives great insights into the trials they faced and the experiences they had. There is an English transcription of this journal online at the Tracing Mormon Pioneers website. I'm working on a version which will be easier to read and to print and will notify you all here when it's complete. There is also some good information about many of the members of this company at: in the Church History portion of the LDS Church Website. I welcome feedback about any of these documents about Niels Hansen, which you can send to me at: mike@saintclair.org.

Versions of the Acrobat® Reader are available for most computers, including Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Unix, and OS/2. To download the latest version, click the "Get Acrobat Reader" icon. Get Acrobat Reader

Rudolph Hochstrasser
Rudolph (my 2nd great grandfather and father of Eva above) was born 2 Sep 1839 in Fahrwangen, Aargau, Switzerland. He was an early convert to the Mormon church in the German-speaking portion of Switzerland where he also later returned as a missionary. Rudolph was also was a polygamist with several wives, of whom Mary Ann Lanz (my 2nd great grandmother) was the 2nd. They married 1 Nov 1861 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rudolph and Mary Ann lived for most of their lives in Providence, Cache, Utah (near Logan).

Jeaneva Steele
Known as Jean or Jeanie to her friends and family, my mother was born 9 May 1914 in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. She was only three years old when her father, Oswald, died during the world-wide flu epidemic in 1919. Her mother, Mary Leota, later married the widowed Moroni "Ronnie" Allen who I knew as "grandpa." They moved to Southern Idaho where Jeaneva grew up, married and lived during the time her nine children were born. A lovely and sweet woman, she was afflicted from a fairly young age by an insidious, rare disorder called Huntington's Disease that gradually took away her mobility and ability to communicate with others. I rejoice in my knowledge that she no longer suffers these handicaps and that she will (in the resurrection) regain all her faculties and be able to fully participate with her family once again.

Noah M. St. Clair, Sr.
Noah (my father) was born 3 March 1914 in Day, Taney, Missouri, just a hop, skip and a jump from Branson where everyone goes to listen to country music. During the depression, my father would travel west during the summers with his father to participate in agricultural harvests, to thereby produce a little badly needed hard cash. The summer of 1936, during the potato harvest in Idaho he met a lovely young girl at a church dance in Weiser, Idaho. He and Jeaneva Steele fell in love, then married 7 October 1936 and settled in Idaho to raise their family. After the first half of the family was raised, they moved to southern California, where they lived the remainder of their lives. The summer before Noah died, he spent the summer with my family, at which time this picture was taken with his five year old granddaughter, Heidi.

I have recently obtained copies of two short autobiographies written about his childhood and youth by my father. I've converted them to PDF files named http://www.saintclair.org/stories/Autobiography_of_Noah_St_Clair_1.pdf and http://www.saintclair.org/stories/Autobiography_of_Noah_St_Clair_2.pdf (see above if you need a PDF reader) so I can share them with the rest of the family and others who might be interested. If you are aware of anything else written by or about Noah, his parents, or his siblings, I would appreciate your letting me know.

Oswald Alexander Steele
Oswald (my maternal grandfather) was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, in Middlesex county, not too far from London. His ancestors on both the paternal and maternal side came from Scotland in the mid-1800s. After finishing school and receiving his teaching credentials, Oswald took a long adventerous trip west and took a teaching job in the small Alberta hamlet of Aetna where he initially boarded with the family of my great grandfather, Niels Hansen. While teaching there in a small two room schoolhouse he helped teach Nathan Eldon Tanner, who was later to become a prominent business and government leader in Canada and a member of the leading council of the Mormon church. He also fell in love with one of his students, married her, and started a family. He died of the flu during the winter of 1918 just before the massive worldwide flu epidemic and didn't have the opportunity to raise his five young children to adulthood.

James Alvis St. Clair and Lillian Lucettie Evans
My paternal grandparents were born, lived, and died in the great state of Missouri where their ancestors had come during the early 1800s. James was born in the Ozarks, a third generation resident of Taney/Christian counties on 30 November 1872. Lillian was born 8 November 1881 in Miller county, up near the central Missouri capital city. Her family relocated to the southwestern Ozark region when she was a young child. They married in Taney county, 1 April 1900. Based on what I've learned (and inherited) of the St. Clair sense of humour, it must have been a challenge for her to have a wedding anniversary occur on April Fool's Day! They had a large family of 14 (one stillborn and a set of twins who died as infants), raised them in southwest Missouri, and remained their entire lives within a few county area.

William Cook and Mary Jane White
William Cook is my great great-grandfather, pictured here with his second wife, Mary Jane White. Born in Tennessee, and rumored to have married and lived for a time in southern Illinois, William had most of his children and lived most of his life in Christian and Taney counties in the Missouri Ozarks. He must have been quite intense in his politics as in the picture (he was at least age 72, when he married his second wife as a widower) he is proudly wearing a campaign ribbon reading "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!" William Henry Harrison, the hero of "Tippecanoe," had been elected president in 1840 when William was but 27. Almost fifty years later he still had that campaign ribbon and made sure he was wearing it for the portrait. Do you think he was a Whig perhaps?

William Franklin St. Clair and Ailcey Cook
William Franklin St. Clair and Ailcey Cook (to the right in this picture) are my great grandparents. He was born in the vicinity of Sparta (now Christian county) Missouri, shortly after his parents arrived in the area in the late 1840s. Here in the beautiful Ozarks he grew up, married, raised his family and died, and as near as I can determine he never even traveled far from his home. His sweetheart, Ailcey Cook, was born near Sparta just a couple of months later. They must have had a firm commitment to their family and each other right from the beginning because their ornate, colorful, wall-sized wedding certificate which could only be kept on the wall for all to see, has been preserved. To the left in this picture is their eldest daughter, Margaret Evangeline and her husband, Ed West.

This is part of the personal home page of Mike St. Clair. It is located on the Web at http://www.saintclair.org/famhist.html
and was last updated on 4 July 2012.

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