by Grace Utley

I would like to dedicate my work on this family history to our ancestors who converged from the misty isle of Ireland, from Scotland the isle of heather and bagpipes and from the majestic mother island of England to America, the beautiful, the land of the free. The golden thread in their tapestry of life was a deep, unwavering faith in God our Heavenly Father and a recognition and strong conviction in the authenticity of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thank you, dear ancestors for your rich heritage. May it be our privilege and joy to know you and to live with you throughout eternity.


About names

During the course of research, we have come upon the usual misspellings and transposing of names. In many sources Nay is frequently misspelled, “Ney.” It is also mis-written as “Nary,” and mis-filed as “Nag.” The name of John’s first wife, Thirza Angelina is spelled a variety of ways, including Thirza, Thurza, Therza, Thyrza, Thirsa, Thursa, Thersa, Theresa, and even Tressa. In the Nauvoo Temple Register of Endowments performed on February 7, 1848, John and Thirza Angelina Nay are listed and her name is spelled with an “i” as in Thirza. We have chosen this instance as the official spelling of her name, and have standardized it thus throughout the book.

Other spellings of family names have likewise been in question, but have been decided by descendants of the family member where ever possible. Thus we spell “Matilda” without the “h” and “Myron Windslo” with a “d” and no “w.”  The name “Ormus” has been spelled in many ways, even by family members, but we have his testimony in court that “Ormus Bates” spelled it as we have.

John’s second wife, Lucy Thankful, frequently has her name transposed to Thankful Lucy. She was often referred to as Lucy throughout her life and even her headstone in the Monroe, Utah cemetery has her name etched in granite as “Lucy Thankful.” Her extant letters are signed with the name “Lucy.” However, her some of her descendants still believe “Thankful Lucy” is correct. Thus the name appears both ways in this volume.

Grace Utley’s Daughters of the Utah Pioneers history

For many years, the history of John Nay, Jr. and William Edwin Nay, written by Grace Utley, has been the definitive work on John Nay, Jr. and his family. Her heritage of writing about this family was our starting point as an editorial committee. The sparkle in her eye and her love for a great “turn of phrase” have been our constant inspiration as we met together and pondered the work we had undertaken. Her original history has been widely distributed. As we contacted cousins from many different lines, they pulled out those pages to show us, and they spoke of her with respect. Some asked, “Is she still alive?” Yes, she certainly is, as bright and cheery, helpful and kind as ever. The chapter on William Edwin, her grandfather, is her adaptation of the original work she did years ago.

Joseph Brigham, George John and Ormun Russell “Tim” Nay

In compiling this book, we tried to find descendants of each of John Nay, Jr.’s children to write about that person and gather information about their family. In the case of Joseph Brigham Nay,  this process  took some time and extensive searching. During that time, Joy Stubbs took the assignment to write about him and his family. It was in fulfilling that assignment that we were finally able to make contact with some wonderful people who were from this branch of the family. However the chapter was not written from their perspective.

Likewise, Luella Faucett, descendant of Elmer Carr Nay, has done the research on George John Nay  and Ormun Russell “Tim” Nay. As seems to be always true in family history research, Joy and Luella have both developed a special interest for these particular families. They submit their work on them with apologies for any errors and knowing them to be incomplete, but with much love and appreciation.

Additional information available

The scope of this book lies primarily with John Nay, Jr., Thirza Angelina Hale, Thankful Lucy Pine and their children. We have tried to limit descendants’ information to John’s grandchildren and the descendants’ list in each chapter. However Luella Faucett has done much more continuing historical research on Elmer Carr Nay, son of John, Jr. and Thankful Lucy Nay. She has an extended timeline and more photos that amplify our knowledge of this family. Please contact her directly for additional information. (Mrs. Luella M. Faucett, 3340 Bybrook Lane, Woodbridge, VA 22192-4403,

Where do we go from here?

After spending almost two years putting this book together, we feel that, in some respects, we have just begun. In other words, the more we know, the more we know there is to know. Our research has opened many doors, and we can see more doors opening. Making contact with various members of the family, we see that there are treasures and clues waiting in trunks, closets and memories that will continue to put these stories together and to expand the histories of other generations of people. We encourage the readers of this volume to share what they have and know,  to contact family members and to record their insights and experiences for the edification of others as well as themselves.  More information can be gathered and published on the lives of all of John’s children. These were interesting, intrepid pioneer folk. We have just touched the surface of their lives.

We see the value of organizing as a family. There is the continuing puzzle of where Grandmother Thirza was buried (and exactly when she died). It would be nice to mark the spot. Little Angelina Relief’s grave in St. George is known, but likewise unmarked as of the publication of this book. A family organization could accomplish much. Our experiences in compiling this book could continue to bless the lives of others as this work continues. We pray that it may.


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