Sometimes treasures surface. This week something Wonderful came to me. A distant cousin I’d not met yet named H. Earl Bushman from Lehi, Utah, signed up for my Family History Class in January. Since meeting him, we’ve been corresponding and sharing information about our common family members. He is a great grandson of John Bushman, brother to Jacob. I’ve been thrilled as he has sent copies of different photos and documents that have been kept in his family.
I never expected to see the original photo of Elizabeth Degen Bushman, but here it is! Earl brought it to class this week and has let me borrow it. I am going to take it to the Church Archives in Salt Lake City and let them scan it and add it to their collection of Pioneer photos. What a thrill to see and hold the actual photo. It makes my heart pound and my fingers tremble.
He also shared with me copies of Elizabeth’s 1816 Indenture papers:
Elizabeth was 14 years old when she was bound to be a servant for 3 years and 10 months to Peter Aughenbaugh, which paid for her passage to America. In exchange, she was allowed to attend school for 6 weeks every year, and at the end of her service, she was to receive 2 outfits, one new. Amazing. I hope the Aughenbaugh family was kind to her.
I’m thrilled and feel one step closer to Elizabeth, my 3rd Great Grandmother. I am also very very grateful for family members who share their treasures with others. It keeps us all very happy!