Getting started with my research

One of the first things beginning genealogists are told to do is to start with what they have. In the case of Levi Savage, I have an edited transcription of his diary, an edited transcription of his son’s diary, a Savage genealogy book, biographies, and a Kindle book about Levi Savage. The transcription of the diary is very long, so it will take me a while to get through.

Let’s start with a timeline of the things that are mentioned in these books. As a first pass, I will list the basics, and some of the burning questions I would like answered. As I continue our research, I will continually add to this timeline. It will be accessible in the “Timeline” tab at the top of the website.


My burning questions:

  • Although not shown here, the Savage genealogy lists 11 live children that were born to Levi’s parents (plus two sets of still-born twins). Yet, when Levi’s father went west with the pioneers, only one son went with him (Levi was in the Mormon Battalion). What happened to the other children, many of whom were too young to have been living separately as adults?
  • Levi married 2 sisters, Mary Ann & Adelaide. He had 3 children with Mary Ann, but none with Adelaide. A newspaper article states that Adelaide divorced him, although census records show she always lived either in the same house or next door to Levi. Did she really divorce him? What was life like in a polygamous family?
  • What was life like living in southern Utah? Were there problems with Indians? Was it hard to have a good living in the desert and far from Salt Lake?
  • What was the significance of the Mormon Battalion in Mormon and American history? What did they do?

What are some questions you would like answered?


About bridgingthepast

Welcome to Bridging the Past. We help genealogists connect to their colonial New England ancestors by sharing with them information about the lives of their ancestors. What did they eat? What did they wear? What was a typical day like? Did my ancestor fight in a war? What was life like for that ancestor, and for the loved ones he left at home? Why did they move? Was it part of a larger movement? By answering these questions, and many more, you can bring your ancestors to life and feel closer to them. We design lectures to answer these questions and give genealogists the tools and resources to personally connect with their ancestors by fleshing out the lives of their ancestors so they are more than names, dates and places on a piece of paper.
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3 Responses to Getting started with my research

  1. I watched a documentary about the Mormons who settled in Mexico on BYUTV once and the journal of Levi Savage was used in this documentary (if I remember correctly). I was a little surprised to read your timeline and not find the Mormon colonies in it. Now I am curious if there is another Levi Savage. I was impressed that Levi Savage kept journals and that is why he has been featured in films. You keep a journal and you will be the one they make the movie about. 🙂

  2. Hi Jeanette–I am wondering if the documentary referred to his son Levi Mathers Savage. Levi Jr (the main character in this blog) never lived in the Mormon colonies (although he was a polygamist), but his son Levi Mathers moved with his family to the Mormon colonies to practice polygamy. Levi M kept a pretty good journal. With so many Levi’s (including Levi Sr. father of Levi Jr and grandfather of Levi Mathers), it’s easy to mix them up!

    • Thank you for clarifying that. You are probably right. It probably was Levi Mathers Savage that provided the journal entries for the documentary about the Mormon colonies. He would be a better fit because of being in the next generation. I am judging by the birthdates and ages of my own great grandfathers who helped settle the Mormon colonies. Both Levis are a testimony to the importance of keeping journals.

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