Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Shadow Wife

I recently found another copy of a newspaper obituary for my Great-grandmother, Mary Ann Linton Morgan. I got this copy because of the searches done by on my family tree. Here is a screenshot of the obituary as it appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune on Saturday, March 17, 1951.

This particular obituary clears up several issues about her life that I did not understand fully concerning the timing of some of the events in her life. One very interesting omission from this obituary is the reason why she moved to St. Johns, Apache, Arizona with her three sons, "shortly after the turn of the century."

Here is a transcription of the obituary:
LDS Matron’s Death Ends Life-Long Service at 86
 Mrs. Mary Linton Morgan, 86, 57 W. South Temple, widow of John Hamilton Morgan, former member of the first Council of the 70 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday at 4 p.m. in the Salt Lake hospital of causes incident to age.
 This is Morgan was born in Nephi, Juab County, Feb. 11, 1865, a daughter of Samuel and Mary Ellen Sutton Linton. She attended Nephi schools and was a teacher in Sunday schools and Primary Assn. of the LDS church and was a member of the Juab stake Primary Assn. board for a number of years. She was a lifelong worker in LDS organizations.
 Following her marriage to Mr. Morgan, June 7, 1888 she lived at Preston, Ida. Until the death of her husband there in 1894. She then returned to Nephi, where she was employed as a clerk and Nephi stores. Shortly after the turn-of-the-century she moved to St. Johns, Ariz. with her three sons, living there for more than 10 years.
 She then made her home in Provo for three years, then moved to Washington, D.C. to be with a son, R.L. Morgan, who was studying law. She had lived in Salt Lake City for more than 20 years prior to the time of her death.
 She was active in the Relief society of the Fourteenth LDS ward and genealogical work. She was a member of the American Genealogical society and the Utah Genealogical Society.
 She is survived by three sons, R. L. and Mathias C. Morgan, Oakland, Cal., and Harold Morgan, member of the Salt Lake Tribune editorial staff, Salt Lake City. Also surviving are a niece and a nephew who lived with her for many years, Mrs. Samuel Blackburn, Whittier, Ca., and Lionel Dean Ovard, Los Angeles.
 The accompanying photograph was taken a number of years ago.
The title to this post is taken from the fact that after the death of her first husband, John Morgan, she married a prominent LDS Church leader in Arizona named David King Udall. This was her reason for moving to Arizona with her three young boys. The fact missing from this account and many other accounts, including biographies of David King Udall, is her marriage on 9 April 1903 to David King Udall in Preston, Oneida County, Idaho. She has been essentially written out of history as a wife.

I wonder how many times this has happened to other people in my genealogy files?


  1. I think it happens a lot to everyone; the missing information was something "everyone" knew.

    1. In this case, very few people knew, even those in the family.

  2. This makes no sense to me. If she were a polygamous or second wife, wouldn't the file account for her?

    1. I am writing a Part Two to explain why she was written out of the family. Yes, we have her in FamilySearch Family Tree.