Kindred Dead

    “Kindred Dead,” Ensign, Aug. 1975, inside front cover

    Kindred Dead

    Thomas Frazier,

    Son of William K. and Mary Frazier.

    Two short lines on a tombstone—

    the sum total of the brief life of a male child,

    a son,

    a brother,

    an embryo spirit sent earthward

    to fulfill God’s eternal plan.

    I seek to identify him

    in compliance with certain guidelines

    but can only deduce from a census record

    that a male child,

    five years and under in 1840

    son of William Frazier and wife,

    was no longer living in 1849

    when, father dead,

    the children of William K. Frazier

    were listed in the Orphans Court records.

    And there, in the bill of sale,

    among the schedule of property taken by the widow

    (his second wife),

    is one family bible

    and a lot of family pictures

    clues, perhaps, to the short life,

    the ever so necessary birthdate,


    and parentage

    of Thomas Frazier;

    records which are now lost to me

    tucked away perhaps in some unknown’s bureau drawer

    or stored away on a bookshelf.

    And oh, the frustration I feel

    as his spirit calls to mine—

    I was here.

    I am kin.

    Please don’t forget.

    Illustrated by Jerry Harston