Tag Archives: genealogy

Book of The Pioneers Celebrating 1897 Jubilee Now Online

Book of the Pioneers

The 116-year-old “Book of the Pioneers” is now available with a full-text search on Utah State Archives web site at archives.utah.gov/digital/14107.htm. The Archives collaborated with the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library for conservation and repair of the one-of-a-kind book. In addition, the library created high-quality digital images for viewing online.

The “Book of the Pioneers” is “a record of those who arrived in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake during the year 1847; including the names, ages, autographs and places of residence of all known survivors on July 24, 1897.” The Semi-Centennial Commission compiled the book in two volumes for the Pioneer Jubilee of 1897, in order to document and memorialize the pioneers of 1847. The members of the commission were appointed by the State of Utah’s first governor, Heber M. Wells, who spoke on the subject in his first address to the Utah State Legislature on January 8, 1896, a mere four days after statehood was granted.

The names of men and women who came in 1847 are recorded along with 727 questionnaires answered in their own hand by those still alive fifty years later, creating a “work unique in character and of universal interest.”


Death Certificates for 1961 Indexed by Name

Researchers may now search for death certificates by name for 1961. Previously, images have been available for browsing. Thanks to our volunteers and staff, you may look for a death record by name, date, or county.

The death certificate collection was first released online in December 2006, covering 1904-1956 through a partnership with FamilySearch.  Since then, the Utah State Archives has added more years when they become public 50 years after the date of death. This may be done initially with browsing by county and date, similar to traditional research on microfilm. The final goal is always to be able to search by name and retrieve for free a digital copy of the death certificate record. The Archives updates the index continually based on comments and suggestions from users, ensuring that it is complete and accurate.


Death Certificates for 1959-1960 Indexed by Name

Researchers may now search for death certificates by name for 1959-1960. Previously, images have been available for browsing. Thanks to one of our volunteer indexers, one may look for a death record by name, date, or county.


Beginnings and Endings: The Family of Frank and Iku Arima

The birth certificates of three different children from one set of parents in one year is liable to catch one’s attention. It turned out that in July 1905, when Frank and Iku Arima filed for birth certificates for twins Estella and Orville born July 18, 1905, they also filed for their first son, Clarence, born February 8, 1904.

Birth Certificate for Estella Arima (Utah State Archives Series 81443)

Birth Certificate for Orville Arima (Utah State Archives Series 81443)

Birth Certificate for Clarence Arima (Utah State Archives Series 81443)

Further research revealed more about this family. According to documents available on Ancestry.com, Frank Arima immigrated from Japan in 1891 (Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920, Rexburg, Madison, Idaho) while his wife Iku is listed on the ship Indrapura in Portland, Oregon arriving December 30, 1902. (Oregon Passenger and Crew Lists, 1888-1957).

Frank is listed in the Salt Lake City R.L. Polk Directories as a cook at Harry Murata (1903) and Fort Douglas (1904).

Sadly, the family would be interacting with the Office of Vital Records and Statistics once again, but this time to register the deaths of the twins born in 1905. On September 29, 1905 Estella died of cholera and on December 30, 1905 Orville (written as Orbear) died of “convulsions,” two and five months old, respectively. They are buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Death Certificate for Estella Arima (Utah State Archives Series 81448)

Death Certificate for Orbear (Orville) Arima (Utah State Archives Series 81448)

Clarence Arima would go on to apply for a U.S. passport in 1925 while a student for a trip to Japan. The application even includes a presumed photograph of Frank and Iku’s remaining son.

Clarence Arima (Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925)

Iku Arima died in Los Angeles, California in November 1967 (Ancestry.com. Social Security Death Index).

How did this family exemplify the Japanese immigrant experience? Perhaps Estella and Orville were, as speculated in the article “Japanese Life in Utah” the first Nisei born in Utah.  These documents provide a bit more to that story, but there is always more to learn about people in the past.


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