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What’s the best way to top off Thanksgiving dinner with the family? Pie, of course! And, what goes great with pie? — A sign-up session for the Redd Alert Newsletter (ice cream is good, too). Please take a moment to remind your loved ones about next summer’s reunion, and to enter their email address here. It’s a great way to strengthen family connections. 
2020 – Spanish Fork Reunion July 25, 2020
We are excited to announce the plans for next year’s quinquennial John Hardison Redd family Reunion July 25, 2020 in Spanish Fork, Utah. The Redd reunion is held in Utah every 5th year on July 25, rotating between New Harmony, Salt Lake City, and now Spanish Fork. One feature of the 2020 reunion will be an exhibit of art work by Lura Redd, a subject of this newsletter edition.

Lura Redd (1891-1991): Author of The Utah Redds and Their Progenitors to be honored at reunion.


  Lura Redd was a “vigorous and dynamic woman,” said Jan Garbett, her great-niece. “Aunt Lura had the strongest handshake of anybody — you kind of wanted to avoid it,” she added, with a laughing wince at the childhood memory. 

Garbett grew up a block-and-a-half away from Redd’s home in Millcreek, Utah, and — firm handshakes notwithstanding — she loved spending time there. Her memories include sewing lessons from Aunt Lura; attending lively Redd family parties after each General Conference; and observing the slant-board where her great-aunt napped, head-downward. 
  “I guess it kept all that Redd blood draining to that productive brain,” Garbett said.
  Lura Redd was a noted artist, teacher and writer. But the great focus of her life was her quest to discover the Redd family’s history, people and stories — and to preserve her findings for all of us. Her enthusiasm for the Redd family was contagious, and Garbett caught it. She gives Lura Redd the credit for sparking her desire to create the John Hardison Redd and Elizabeth Hancock Family Organization. 
 “I think she was so committed and passionate about this journey of trying to understand her family history,” Garbett said, “that she felt she had a sacred responsibility, and I feel that she was guided to find the things that she found.” 
  Redd was born in New Harmony, and knew Lemuel Harrison Redd Sr. She lived 100 years, becoming a bridge to the past. Her family history work was done in a time when such research required snail-mail correspondence and personal visits to view records and historical sites. 
 “She was continually on that search — gathering and gathering to accumulate all of that and put it into a book format for us,” Garbett said. “It has been such a life’s labor and sacrifice, giving us the ability to connect with our past and feel that pioneer heritage.”
  Despite Redd’s best efforts, efforts to trace the family’s past hit a Redd Brick Wall (Garbett’s term) that couldn’t be breached during her lifetime. Her search for the parents of Virginia resident William Redd (1765-1825) was unsuccessful, but family members hired professional genealogists to continue working on the line after Redd’s death.
  In 2003, Garbett spearheaded formation of Family Ties Research which now is called the John Harrison Redd and Elizabeth Hancock Family Organization, making it easier for family members to connect and work together on important projects. There have been many successes, including these:
 *Republication of “The Utah Redds and Their Progenitors” in 2007. Note that free podcasts of stories from the book are also available.
 *The 2011 Redd Family Reunion in New Harmony, Utah, followed by the 2016 reunion in Salt Lake City
 *The 2015 discovery that the Redd family line in Virginia reaches back to a Rudd  family that emigrated from England. DNA studies bolster this conclusion.
 *The discovery of a new family line descending from John Hardison Redd and enslaved members of his household who trace their roots to Africa (also verified by DNA).
 “It has been a thrilling thing to see people step up and take part in this family effort,” Garbett said. “We not only found ancestors going back, but we found descendants we were unaware of. It has opened doors coming and going. Work by Tonya Reiter gave us evidence that makes our history fuller and more complete, and is bringing people into the family that belong here. That’s pretty beautiful.”
 The next frontier, Garbett said, will be further research on the Rudd family in England, including more DNA studies. She gives credit to Lura Redd for laying the foundation for today’s work.
 “She had a commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and a commitment to family and understanding our place within that connection,” Garbett said. “She never had any children of her own, but we have all been nurtured and blessed because of her.” 

Holding Lura's painting of The Fingers of Kolob, Jan Garbett comments, "I treasure this reminder of Lura's birthplace in New Harmony, the home of many of our Redd ancestors."

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John H Redd & Elizabeth Hancock Family Organization · 273 N East Capitol Street · SALT LAKE CITY, Utah 84103 · USA

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