Let’s Find Out if We Are Cousins!

AP Winsor II and Sarah Alydia Terry Winsor, 1886

This photo shows my 2nd great grandmother, Sarah Alydia Terry Winsor. She’s the mom. She looks like a sturdy, good-looking pioneer woman doesn’t she? She was born in Salt Lake City in 1857, the daughter of Thomas Searles Terry and Mary Ann Pulsipher. Thomas was born in 1825 in Pennsylvania. He heard about the Mormons and got baptized, and as a single young man in his early 20s he came across the plains as a pioneer in the Daniel Spencer/Perregrine Sessions company that arrived in Salt Lake City in September 1847. He settled in the Fort Union area of the Salt Lake Valley and married Mary Ann Pulsipher, daughter of Zera Pulsipher.

Sarah Alydia Terry was their fourth daughter. Brigham Young called her father to go help settle southern Utah, and to this day the Terry Ranch in Enterprise Utah still stands. At only 16 years of age, she was a telegraph operator at the Winsor Castle in Pipe Springs, AZ. where she met Anson Perry Winsor Jr. (the dad in the photo). They courted in the red rocks of the deserts, riding horses together, and they married in St. George. I got to  visit Winsor Castle two summers ago, it is now a national monument. It’s such an amazing place!

Sarah Alydia named the baby on her lap in the photo above Joseph Smith Winsor. Sadly, he died a year or so later. But the cute little girl in the photo is my great grandmother, Ethel Winsor Simkins. The other two little boys in the photo are Anson Perry Winsor III and Luther Murkins Winsor. I found out last summer that one of my friends shares this great-grandmother, Ethel Winsor Simkins. I’ve known my friend for 9 years or so through homeschooling, but it wasn’t until last summer that I found out that our grandmothers are sisters! Now that I know that this friend is my second cousin, I feel a “cousin-y” feeling towards her. How does a “cousiny” feeling feel? It’s this blood connection, like, hey, we can rely on each other a little more and watch out for each other more than if we were just friends or even sisters in spirit.

The LDS Church is asking us to find our cousins! Why? I can’t speak officially for the Church, but I like to think that it’s so we can create that cousin-y feeling among all of us, to give us a network of support for these perilous last days. I’ve had various road trips in my life, and it always feel so awesome to realize I have a cousin in whatever destination of my trip whom I can call up and say, “Hey cousin, is it OK if we stay at your place for a night or two while we attend such and such event?” Knowing you have a cousin expands your resources! 


Let’s find out if we are cousins! I have created a group called “Tree of Life Moms” at BYU’s Relative Finder. What is the Relative Finder? It’s a cool website where you can go and find out what famous people, in and out of the church, that you are related to, like signers of the Declaration of Independence, the prophets, apostles, scientists, and movie stars. You can create Relative Finder Groups to help you see if you and your friends share a common ancestor. A high school classmate of mine created a group for our high school, and I have found out that I am distant cousins to about 80 of my classmates (out of the ones who have joined the group, there are probably more out there). Watch the video below to see more how it works. You can create a group for your ward or stake or whatever you want. It’s a great way to get people around you who aren’t that interested in family history a lot more interested. The information is only as good as the sources, so you can’t take it as absolute truth, but it is a great launch into learning more about your ancestry so you can discover the absolute truth about your family tree.

Please login to Relative Finder,

Then click on “groups”, then click on “join.” Then in the search box type in “tree of life moms.” Then click on “ADD.” then it will ask for the password for the group, so enter “tolm2015”.
Then you will click on “Relatives” on the top bar. Then check the group “tree of life moms” along with any of the other groups it shows that you want to see if you have connections to, like “prophets” or “Declaration Signers.” Then click on “show relatives.” Then it will list any ancestral connections. You can then click on “view chart” on the far right to see the connection diagrammed.
We can share connections in the comment box below! Odds are, if you have LDS pioneer heritage, or any New England, Danish, or Swedish heritage, we are related. I am so excited to meet more of my cousins!
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