THE NAY FAMILY IN UTAH AND THE WEST
ORMUS BATES NAY and LOUISA ANN EARL NAY
by Beth Breinholt
great great granddaughter
I would like to say something about the history that follows this page. Just a short time ago I knew very little about Ormus and Louisa. In the last year I have been intensively studying the life of John and Thirza, Ormus’ parents, and subsequently learning more about all four of them. At the beginning of the search, I asked several family members for any information about Ormus, with little result. An article about Ormus and the “famous” Montello Robbery came to light, and it put Ormus in a very unfavorable position. Further research turned up other articles and references to Ormus and the robbery, and after reading each of them it was obvious that there was conflicting information circulating about. I was able to talk to a couple of the authors, and Walter Averett sent me his book and copies of the documents that he had used in his research, and it opened up much information for our family history.
One of the documents that became the most meaningful was a copy of a letter written by Thirza, Ormus’ mother, to the Board of Pardons in his behalf while imprisoned in Carson City. The date on the letter far surpassed the time that our family records estimated the death of Thirza. A new search began in her behalf and much information was eventually gleaned, “re-writing” the history of Thirza.
Now back to this history. As I was collecting information from census records and little pieces of memories from my grandmother’s histories, a story line began to form and my heart was touched by their trials and the courage this family showed through all of it. I have a great deal of admiration for these people, and in my attempt to understand them and their lives, I have traveled to and wandered through the towns that they lived in. My sister and genealogy trainer, supervisor and partner, Joy Stubbs, has been by my side during this time, traveling alongside me, coaching me and reflecting on the past with me. It’s been a fun and rewarding trip, and I appreciate her very much.
As I was researching the genealogical and ordinance information for this couple and their family, I kept coming across the name of my grandmother, Doris Elizabeth Nay Whitney. I have to say that she has “provoked” me into this project and is seeing me through, and although she is not physically present, her spirit is encouraging me often. I hope she is satisfied with the finished product, this continuation of the work she began.
P.S. Family tradition says that Louisa’s name was pronounced “Low-I-za.”
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