"I was born on July 20, 1925 at Roosevelt, Duchesne,Utah as the fourth child of six born to Arthur and Blanch Clark Wiscombe.
Our farm was located in Uintah County, Utah. Our small "Alterra" Hight School was a blessing. SInce we were a small school we had to be in everything in order to make school a success. After graduating from high school, myself and most of my male classmates entered military training in World War II. We lost one fourth of our senior class that first year due to the war.
My service in the U.S. Navy Seabees included time at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Samar Island, Philippines, and ending in Japan. After 2 1/2 years in the military I served as an L.D.S. missionary in the North Central States Mission serving at Thunder Bay, Ontario, Winnipeg, Manitoba and Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Brigham Young University occupied the next four years of my life getting a degree in History, Geography, and Sociology, also a dual certification to teach in both elementary and secondary schools.
After teaching three years in an elementary school at Logan, Utah, I transferred to the U.S. Military Dependent Schools in Europe, teaching two years in Germany and two years in England.
While in England I was able to gather names of about twenty thousand relatives on my father's family.
Since the Federal School System paid better than the Utah schools I transferred to the Federal School at Intermountain Indian School at Brigham City, Utah. This was one of five off reservation boarding schools for Navajo Indian students.
I had attended schools in my youth with many students of the Ute Indian Tribe, I discovered there is as much difference between Indian Tribes as there is between French, English, Dutch, and Germans.
The last five years at this school we taught fifty different tribes and some Eskimos. I really enjoyed working with Indian students. I taught here twenty-one years.
While attending B.Y.U., I married Phyllis Emily Kmetzsch on August 15, 1949 at Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. Phyllis was born on November 3, 1925 at Salt Lake City, a daughter of Leopold Wilhelm Kmetzsch and Gertrude Maria Magdeline Brock. Phyliss had served in Southern Minnesota while I was in Canada.
Together we raised seven children.: Craig Wiscombe, Rem Wiscombe, Nathan Wiscombe, Bart Wiscombe, Mara Wiscombe, Joan Wiscombe, and Dal Wiscombe. Five sons and two daughters.
Phyllis died on November 29, 1987, just after her 62nd birthday, in Ogden, Weber, Utah, and after 36 years of marriage. Since the children were grown I went to Salt Lake City and served a two year Family History Mission.
After directing the Family History Library in Brigham City for three years. I returned to Salt Lake City and married a widow, Bertha "Bertie" May Merrill. Together we served in the Family History Library for about nine years. I gathered several thousand names of her relatives for her, out of the German Parish Records at the Salt Lake Family History Library. Our marriage lasted ten years.
Since I had written ten books on my family history I thought I would help my extended Brown family by gathering some of the descendants of Captain James Brown. In the past year and one half I was able to gather nearly 6,000 of his descendants. This is probably only about one half of the actual descendants of this great man. This will be my last book. So many people now fear identity theft that they are very reluctant to give out family information to a stranger.
It has been a great experience to meet so many wonderful members of this Brown family.
Daniel Brown, a brother of Captain James Brown is my ancestor. Daniel Brown's wife, Elizabeth Stephens was a sister to Martha Stephens, Captain Brown's first wife, so that makes me a double cousin to almost half of Captain James Brown's descendants. We have a special heritage."
Erold Clark Wiscombe is the author of many family history books including:
The Brock - Stelter - Reich Family
Includes Isaac, Kmetzsch, Pieper, Winberg and related families. Johann Friedrich Reich (1850-1936) married Louise Hanna Krecklow in 1874, they became Mormon converts in 1890. They migrated from Germany to Piedmont, Wyoming in 1905 then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1906. Descendants lived in Utah, Montana, California, and elsewhere. (929.273 A1 no. 2963) Published in Brigham City , Utah by P.K. & E. Wiscombe , c.1980.
The Brown Family: Descendants of Daniel Brown (1804-1875) and Elizabeth Stephens (1809-1890), published in 1986, pgs 691; revised in 2006, pgs 717.
Biography of Daniel & Elizabeth Stephens Brown, 1804-1875, published 1986
Biography of Captain James Brown, 1801, & Martha Stephens Brown along with twelve other wives. Published in 2009
A Treatise on Polygamy in the Brown Family, c. 1994.
Descendants of James Otis Barnett and Elizabeth Betsy Keller, Early Settlers of Harrison, Clay, and Putnam Counties, Indiana Descendants of James H. Smith & Hannah Van Wagoner. James Otis Barnett was born in 1774 in Virginia. James Otis Barnett married Elizabeth Keller (born 1776 in North Carolina) in 1797 in Washington County, Kentucky. They later moved to Indiana. Their descendants lived in Indiana, Iowa, California, and elsewhere. Family names include Deal, Killion, Perigo, Earnest, Lister, Vickers, Clark, and related families. (929.273 B264w) Published in Brigham City, Utah by E.C. Wiscombe, 1968, 70 pages.
Second Book about James Otis Barnett
The Descendants of Maria Burr [Maria Burr Clark Lane 1806-1852], John W. Clark [1808-1839]and William West Lane 1797-1852] by Erold Clark Wiscombe. John W. Clark was born 13 April 1808 in Durham, Connecticut, married Maria Burr, 24 July 1826 and died 9 August 1839 near Warsaw, Illinois. Maria Burr Clark married (2) William West Lane. Includes Dunham, Oakley, Smith, Storrs, Wiscombe and related families. US/CAN Book- 929.273 C548wi. Also on Microfilm# 0908700 item 3.
Excerpts taken from the Family Bibles of Thomas Johnston, and Archibald Johnston, both of Indiana
The Newland Family of England and America : Descendants of George Francis Newland [1813-1880] and Amelia Knight. Published 1973 in Brigham City, by E.C. Wiscombe
A Wiscombe Family History: The Wiscombe Family of England and America, Descendants of James [1815-1894] and Mary Ann Fleet Wiscombe. Published 1973 in Brigham City, Utah by E.C. Wiscombe.
Descendants of James Henry Smith and Hannah Van Wagoner. Published by James H. Smith Family Organization, 1980. Illustrated by Kalei. Erold Clark Wiscombe, editor.
Descendants of Captain James Brown and his son, Orson Pratt Brown; to be published in 2007.
Erold Clark Wiscombe is the researcher and author of the majority of the biographies on the www.brownhistory.org site and to many on this site.
THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING SHEEPSKIN DEED
By Genevieve Van Wagenen
In 1964 family representatives from the descendants of John Halmagh Van Wagoner met in Salt Lake City, at the home of Loree Van Wagoner Orullian. The purpose of this meeting was to make preparations for compiling and publishing a history of the Van Wagenen and Van Wagoner families. During this meeting the question arose as to what materials should be included in this precious book. Many interesting and valuable items were suggested: Histories, pictures; the genealogy of our noble and courageous forebears was a must, as also was the delightful story of their conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"We must have a picture of the monument at Winter Quarters. The names of Mary Van Houten and Halmagh Van Wagoner, our valiant ancestors, are engraved on it. They are honored among those who made the supreme sacrifice for the Gospel." Everyone agreed that a picture of "The Tragedy at Winter Quarters" should be included.
Then someone said, "By all means the book should have a picture of the old sheepskin deed."
"What sheepskin deed?" asked several.
"The deed showing the purchase of land from the Indians by our early ancestors when they came to America," chorused several who had seen the interesting deed, or heard of it.
The sheepskin deed was truly a topic of interest and excitement. Those who had not seen it were curious, delighted, and anxious to hear all about this ancient legal document. Those who had seen it were just as eager to describe it and tell everything they remembered about the rare and unique deed.
"The sheepskin deed was about the size of a piece of legal paper," said one. "It was smooth and white and pliable. It was rolled up like a parchment. The mark of the Indian Chief attesting to the sale was made in one corner."
"I saw the deed once when I was just a kid," said another, ‘but if my memory serves me right, it was much larger and still had the wool on the back of the deed." There seemed to be a difference of opinion as to its description, but there was no doubt of its existence.
"Where is the deed now?" everyone wanted to know. But nobody had any idea where the deed could be. Speculations were made and rumors aired. It had not been seen in many a long year. Several present were appointed to look into the matter. A search was begun. Inquiries were made, but the whereabouts of the sheepskin deed seemed to be a complete mystery. It was as if it had vanished into thin air. Time was running out. This intriguing deed seemed destined to remain a mystery. Our book would have to go to press without a picture or mention of it. Then something wonderful occurred. Destiny stepped in, removed the mystery, and changed the story.
In 1966, Lucile Smith of Monterey Park, California, came to Provo, Utah to attend a Smith family reunion. Lucile Smith is the grand-daughter of Hannah Van Wagoner Smith. Now Hannah was the eldest daughter of Mary Van Houten and Halmagh Van Wagoner. Our progenitor, John Helmagh Van Wagoner, was the brother of Hannah.
In 1967, Lucile Smith came to Salt lake City to attend the October General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. While in her motel one day, she was surprised when a representative of the Smith family from Provo called on her and brought a collection of family records and papers. These family valuables were entrusted to her care for one day only. As she began to examine them, therebefore her very eyes, was the ancient sheepskin deed. A deed which was drawn up and written in 1684.
She was thrilled at the sight of it. She was fascinated with the style of penmanship. The deed was neatly written in ink. There were places where the ink had faded with time, but most of it was clearly legible. Lucile was overjoyed. What a discovery she had made! Her first thought was to get in touch with Loree Van Wagoner Orullian, whom she knew was inquiring after this ancient document.
Lucile telephoned Loree. "I have the sheepskin deed-but only for a day. What shall I do with it?"
Between gasps of amazement and pure delight Loree directed her to take the deed to Leland Van Wagoner, the photographer, and have him photograph it immediately. Leland’s wife, Irene, fastened it in position to be photographed. Then, adjusting his lighting, Leland photographed this 283-year-old deed for our book. While Erold Wiscombe, who had brought the sheepskin, carefully read the deed, Irene typed the information word for word.
So at last the mystery of the missing sheepskin deed was solved. It was only natural that the eldest daughter, Hannah, would be interested in preserving this ancient heirloom among her heirs. We are indebted to them for its safe keeping. We are grateful that the Lord opened the way so that the deed came into our hands long enough to be photographed for your enjoyment.
PAF - Archer files = Captain James Brown's younger brother is Daniel Brown + Elizabeth Stephens > Williams Brown + Mary Coon > Lovinia [Lavinia] Jannett Brown + Lewis Scott Barnett > Mary Alepha [Aleapha] Barnett + James Henry Clark > Blanch Clark + Arthur Newland Wiscombe > Erold Clark Wiscombe.
PAF - Archer files = Captain James Brown's younger brother is Daniel Brown + Elizabeth Stephens, Elizabeth is Captain James Brown's wife's sister, Martha Stephens and Elizabeth Stephens < daughters of Alexander Stephens + Mary or Polly Daily [Daley]