Thursday, April 12, 2012

We have been very busy in class since I last posted. I have just created a website, which is available at .
I look forward to having members of the family contact me to make our research as correct as possible.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

This past week, we have worked on creating a PowerPoint presentation related to our blogs. I chose to do a story written about the family of Matthew Galland Casto, a younger brother of my Great Great Grandfather, William Casto. Matthew faced a very large challenge in his life. He was living in Nauvoo and was working on building the Nauvoo Temple. He fell off the building, and was severely injured. He was at home recuperating when the mobs came through Nauvoo, and Matthew was pulled out of his sick-bed and into the streets where he was beaten and left for dead. The injuries from the beating on top of the injuries from his fall damaged his legs so badly that they were amputated. He did recover, and came to Utah, where he wound up settling in Manti, which is where the story takes place.
What I particularly love about the story is that William has a role in the story, as the original giver of "The Strange Ornament." I know a fair amount about William, but I have not had any stories about his life to let me know more about his character. My father did not tell me a lot of stories about the Castos. The only one he did tell was the family legend about how the Castos came to America--and his version has been disproved by research in the last 20 years. I will discuss the family legends in another post.
I believe that my father didn't have stories about William simply because William died when his daughter Rosa May was still a young woman, newly married. He was about 55 years old when May was born, and he was a polygamist. Her mother, Jane Watson, died when she was only 4 years old, leaving Diadamia (11), May (4 1/2), and Abel (1 1/2). I don't know which of the other wives raised the children for certain, but they were both older: Racheline Cornog was past 60 when Jane died, and Annie Cole was about 50, if she was still living (I am still trying to locate her death date). William's first wife, Diademia McFall had died in Nauvoo, and his fifth wife, Petrie Sena Neilsen died before May and Abel were born. Racheline was the second wife, and had already raised four of her own six children (two died before they were 8). They may even have been passed around between some of their older siblings. I just have not been able to find that information yet and I did not know I needed to ask this information before my cousin Roy died.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I have created a podcast about Mary (Polly) Galland Casto.
The biography was written by Ina Hunt Tuft, a great granddaughter of Polly's, about 20 years ago.
In about 1995, at a family reunion, Ina dressed in a costume identical to what Polly is wearing in the photo I am posting today, and read from the biography. We videotaped this performance, but I have been unable to locate the tape at this time. If and when I do locate it, I will look into posting it on this blog.
As I recall, Ina was wearing the same cap and jewelry that Polly is wearing, but I believe she made the dress she wore out of very similar fabric.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I was able to complete editing the Wikipedia article about Isaac Galland. This was really challenging, because the photograph of the George Caleb Bingham portrait is copyrighted by the photographer, and Wikipedia has blocked the website where it is hosted. The website link goes to a gallery and it is difficult to find the exact photo you are looking for; also they apparently have had several broken links referring to images on the website.
Isaac Galland was a very complex person. He did many great things, yet he had a dark side.
Susan Easton Black wrote an article called "Isaac Galland: Both Sides of the River, found at, which shows Isaac's both sides.

Monday, January 23, 2012

On Friday January 20th during our class, we had as a guest lecturer BYU's Wikipedia Ambassador, who was giving us pointers on how to edit a Wikipedia entry. When he asked for a hint from the class as to an article one of us would be interested in editing, I suggested Isaac Galland. During the demonstration, we were able to add the photograph of Isaac Galland, which was taken a few years before his death.
The link at the bottom of this page sends you to a photograph of a portrait of Isaac painted about 1836 by George Caleb Bingham, when Isaac was about 45 years old.
The photograph was taken about 1850, when Isaac was 60 or older.
Isaac Galland was born in 1790 in Pennsylvania, and shortly after his birth the family moved near Marietta, Ohio, on Donation Tract lands.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This blog has been created as an assignment for a History class at BYU.
I am descended from Abel Casto (1790-1840) and Mary (Polly) Galland (1795-1870)
Abel's parents are Azariah Casto and Hannah Golden; Polly's parents are Matthew Galland and Hannah Fenno. For a previous class, I wrote a paper on Polly's brother, Isaac Galland, and I will be concentrating on Isaac for the duration of the class, as well as on the Abel Casto family.
Please comment on my posts, and if you are related, please let me know.