Utah pioneers

Harold B. Lee Library

Every year on Pioneer Day, we hear about the hardships and sacrifices made by Utah’s early Mormon settlers. But a new study from Brigham Young University shows most of those who made the trek arrived in good shape. 

Statistics professor Dennis Tolley wanted his students to work on an actuarial problem, like an insurance company calculating its rates. So he turned to a database compiled by the LDS church on Utah’s pioneer handcart companies and wagon trains.

  Descendants of a big pioneer family that came to Utah in the 1850’s are gathering Thursday to meet with a British genealogist.  Peter Cousins  comes from Leicestershire in the English Midlands.  His research on a British industrialist named Orson Wright led him to the Greenwell family, whose forebears joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1850’s and emigrated to Utah.

In just a few days in Utah, Cousins says he’s met dozens of people descended from Ambrose Greenwell, who had five wives and forty children.