Family History Moment: A Forgotten Book

Contributed By R. Scott Lloyd, Church News staff writer

  • 16 March 2016

The Lord will give you guidance in your search for long-lost ancestors and relatives within your family tree.

For more than a century a book that contained over 800 years of history about a large family in Yorkshire, England, remained forgotten and unavailable to most family members and relatives. However, that recently changed.

In 1910, Colonel Philip Saltmarshe “printed for private circulation only” limited copies of a book entitled the History of the Township and Family of Saltmarshe in the East Riding of Yorkshire, which described and listed many descendants of the Saltmarshe family from medieval times down to the 20th century. Unfortunately, this book had become largely forgotten and today the whereabouts of only a few copies are known—and most of these are not easily accessible.

In May 2015, relatives in England informed the Brough Family Organization of Utah that a Margaret Borough (or Brough) had married a John Saltmarshe in 1483 in Yorkshire and that their marriage and descendants had been recognized by a “vertically divided shield which portrayed both the Saltmarshe and Brough arms in a beautiful stained glass window pane within the Saltmarshe Chapel of the Minster Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Howden, Yorkshire.”

These relatives then contacted officials at Minster Church who graciously provided them with pictures of the window pane along with copies of selected pages from the Saltmarshe book still in their possession. These pages contained a large pedigree chart that showed the Saltmarshe and Brough ancestors and descendants from 1160 down to 1905.

Over the following months family researchers in Utah and England were able to use the pedigree chart in the Saltmarshe book to help them document and piece together other genealogical and historical information and sources about the ancestors and descendants of the Saltmarshe and Brough families of Yorkshire. Today this large Yorkshire family has been entered into FamilySearch, and many living relatives have now been able to connect their own lineages to these individuals and their ancestors.

Since the Saltmarshe publication has come to light, a number of family members have stated that they felt divinely “directed” or “inspired” while researching the people listed on the pedigree chart.

R. Clayton Brough, West Jordan Utah Sycamores Stake