Tiffanie L. Wride and Professor Kip Sperry, Church History and Doctrine
William Francis Butt served a Genealogical Mission to Great Britain from November 1894 to February of 1895. During these months he researched his ancestry among parishes of Wiltshire, England. In the Harold B. Lee Library Special Collections, there is a collection by William Francis Butt titled Papers, 1881-1940 (Special Collections call number MSS 1397). This collection includes several journals in which Butt kept his mission records while in England. My project was to index the names in these journals so that they would be accessible to family history researchers.
As I began my research, I could see that much of the information in each journal was repeated in the other journals. As I searched for a more effective way to obtain the data, I found one large notebook in Box 2, Folder 6, which was a Temple Record book of LDS baptisms, endowments, and sealings. I decided to index this single book rather than all the journals, because this book appears to be Butt=s own compilation of the genealogy he researched. In this book, each name was listed in the order the temple work was performed. With a laptop computer, I typed each of the names into a database. There were 418 names; each was listed with the date and place of birth, marriage, or death.
I encountered some difficulty during my transcription of the names due to poor handwriting. Butt did not always write his letter “a” clearly, making it difficult to tell the difference between the months “Jan” and “Jun” in some entries. I also had difficulty interpreting between the months “Mar” and “May” because of the way he made his cursive “r”. Another problem was that in some entries, the original date written in pen was written over with another date in pencil. In these cases, I did my best to decide which entry it appeared that Butt meant to be used as the correct date. Also, the notebook had printed columns for names, birth dates and places, and death dates and places. On some entries “married” was written by the name, which caused me to assume that the date written in the “born” column was a marriage date.
Because of these difficulties I encountered and assumptions I had to make, I fear that there are some errors in the information I compiled. At the beginning of the index I will note that the original journal is contained in the Special Collections at the Harold B. Lee Library. This way those who wish to see or verify the information in the primary source may do so.
I will be finished with the index by the end of September 2000. I will have the names listed by number as they appear in the original Temple book, and will organize them alphabetically by surname. The finished index will be approximately 60 pages. I plan to donate a copy of this index to the Harold B. Lee Library, to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and to the Church Historical Department Library. This index will be a beneficial secondary source to those doing family history research on the names in this journal.