I thought that everyone would enjoy reading a letter sent to the website by Sheri Bowen Libutti. Thanks Sheri for sharing your family history fun with the rest of us. Maybe our next reunion could be held at Martin's Cove.
I was so excited when I found this website. I have a great love for anything that involves connecting to ancestors! Thank you for your great work with this website. I'm so excited for the ongoing opportunity to connect with family this way! I am related to the Craners through my Dad, Merlin Bowen, who is a son of Lewis Bowen, who is the son of John Bowen and Eliza Elizabeth Craner, who is the daughter of George Craner and Sara Emma Jenkins. I have had some fun projects with family history. In 1997, during the Pioneer Sesquicentennial, I wrote two children's book about my twelve direct ancestors who were pioneers. The one that included George Craner and his Mom and Dad was titled, "My Pioneer Ancestors--for the Great-grandchildren of Lewis John Bowen". Two of my sisters helped out and we had so much fun reading accounts of people that came with our ancestors that filled in some feeling of their journeys because we couldn't find any first-hand accounts from our ancestors. While doing that, I found that George Craner was one of the rescuers of the Hodgett wagon train that came with the Martin Handcart Company. When our family went to Martin's Cove, we noticed his name wasn't included there with the other rescuers, so I went to work contacting the ones involved there, documenting what I could and sending it to them and they accepted that, just in time (I found out later) to be included in that wonderful book, "Sweetwater Rescue: The Willie and Martin Handcart Story” compiled by Heidi Swinton and Lee Groberg. When I picked up that book in Seagull Book and looked at the list in the inside back cover and saw George Craner's name I cried. It meant so much to me to have him included there! (They also promised that his name would be included when the monument if updated at Martin's Cove. I haven't been there lately to see if that happened.)
I was so fascinated by this part of George Craner's life that during 2006, the Sesquicentennial of the 1856 Handcart Experience, I wrote a book "George Craner, A Rescuer of the Hodgett Wagon Company that accompanied the Martin Handcart Company December 1856". That was such a fun project! I found out all the details I could about his experience and then wrote about some of the other many ways he was a "rescuer" throughout his life. I have some extra copies if you would like me to send you one. We had a fun time as a family honoring George Craner for the Sesquicentennial. I wrote a little "acted-out reader's theater" complete with adventure and romance that we put on with costumes and props. That was a fun experience! Our family had a few trips to Nauvoo and one sweet blessing was discovering the name of George Tripp, a distant relative that is related through Sara Emma Jenkins sister. He led me to some great family history about the Jenkins family and I was able to write another book about my four ancestors who lived in Nauvoo, including Sara Emma Jenkins (George Craner's wife), titled "My Nauvoo Ancestors Thomas and Edward Jenkins, Hannah Eliza Barber Jenkins Rowberry and Sara Emma Jenkins Craner". (I found out some wonderful things about her Grandfather Thomas Jenkins, who was one of the United Brethren who was baptized by Wilford Woodruff at Benbow pond in Herefordshire, England, came to Nauvoo, received a Patriarchal blessing from Hyrum Smith....so exciting!) I know I have probably overdone this part of telling you all this. Family History people often get carried away, don't they!!!! It would have been quicker to just tell you that I love every bit of family history that I can get my hands on!!!! We have such a great heritage. Thank you for what you are doing to keep that alive!!! I would love to be a part of the Craner family organization.
Sheri Bowen Libutti,
2238 West 850 North, Provo, Utah, 84601,
Thanks again for all you do!!!!