John H Redd and Elizabeth Hancock Family Organization

President Message

by Gordon Wilson


What a blessing it was to read about one of our own dear ancestors, Solomon Chamberlain, in the April First Presidency message of the Ensign by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf!  I hope you all have had a chance to read it.  Sure made me proud.  And how about the recent novel released this spring:  Undaunted, which heralds the courage and faith of many Redds.  Again, we have a great heritage! 


In order to help you understand where I fit:  my mother is Jacqueline Redd, daughter of Parley Redd who was the ninth child of Lemuel Hardison Redd and Sariah Louisa Chamberlain.  I live in Salt Lake City, near Ensign Peak.  The blood in my veins runs 'redd'; I am so proud to be a part of this organization!


I humbly approach this opportunity to help lead the Redd Family Organization for the next two years.  I have some questions that maybe you can help me answer in more depth:  Why do we exist?  What are we about?  What are we hoping to accomplish?  These answers and others can be found in the objectives set out in our bylaws:


Section 1.  The objectives of this Organization shall be to promote, strengthen, and perpetuate the common bond of the Redd family through social, research, recreational and spiritual activities.

Section 2.  To seek out and encourage those individual descendants of Redd heritage to become active participants in the Organization and its purposes and goals.


Those purposes as stated above are broad and daunting and certainly can't be accomplished by one or even several of us.  We must all help and all must pull together in order to accomplish these.  Moreover, even many of us could not accomplish all of those goals in a lifetime.  But, we can accomplish some of them and I propose that we set out to accomplish a few high-priority, meaningful and impactful goals over the course of the next two years.  I'm hereby soliciting your help in determining a course of action that would be most meaningful.  Here are some ideas I have and I welcome any ideas you have:


1.  Recruit More Members.  We have a great start on this one, but how wonderful it would be to actively identify more members--particularly those of the next generations.  I'm 57, and while that's not ancient, I'm no spring chicken.  We must begin now to add more Redd family members to our mailing list and family organization membership.  My own Redd mother is now 81 has over 400 first cousins; many of them, of course, have graduated to the other side.  But, their descendants have not and we must find them!  I believe we are barely scratching the surface of potential members.

2.  A Reunion!  This is a huge undertaking, I understand.  But how wonderful it would be to put together even a "park pavilion" reunion by the summer of 2011!  And what a great way to connect with many new members.

3.  Quarterly Membership Meetings.  We can do this.  How great it would be to have regularly scheduled quarterly membership meetings where we can all receive updates on research, renew friendships, and share inspiring stories of our Redd ancestry.


So, those are just a few ideas.  I think you can see how these three objectives really are symbiotic with each other, i.e., as we work on one, we'll simultaneously make progress on the others.  


I welcome your input for more ideas.  I also welcome your offers to help in any way you think consistent with the objectives form our bylaws as stated above.  


As printed in the program from the 1956 Redd Family Reunion:  "Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend, Before we too into the Dust decend." --Omar Khayyam





Searching for John Redd's Plantation 

by Jan Snyder 

My mother was Mary Redd; sister to Lura Redd.  Lura did a lot of genealogy research, so when she came to visit us she would share stories about our ancestors.  For many years I remember hearing stories from my mother and Aunt Lura about John Hardison Redd. 
John Hardison Redd was born in 1799, in Stump Sound, near Sneads Ferry, Onslow County, North Carolina.  He had a large plantation, slaves, and was captain of a sailing ship. He moved to Tennessee where he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sold his property, freed his slaves and eventually traveled to Utah. I have always been proud to be a descendent of this man.

When my wife, Ruth, retired in February 2010 she wanted to visit Paula Deen’s restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.  As a treat, I made travel arrangements for one week in Georgia and the South.  I scheduled one day in North Carolina to look for grandfather, John Hardison Redd’s plantation. 
In preparation, I began to research John Hardison Redd.  Ephraim and Verena Hatch had photos of the area.  Jan Garbett found land records for John and Sigley Redd in the Family history library in Salt Lake City.  I found maps maps from Savannah, Georgia, to Sneads Ferry, NC.  Our friends Stan and Andrea Gibb are serving a mission near Goldsboro, NC.  I called them and solicited their assistance in locating Onslow County records.  

Unable to do more, I telephoned Onslow County records Friday, March 6.  Friday night, in my prayers, I confided in the Lord.  I couldn’t find grandpa’s plantation.  I had such a miraculous experience in Zurich, Switzerland, when we found Hans Ulrich Bryner’s who was father-in-law to William Alexander Redd.  I didn’t feel I could expect anything like that.  If the Lord could help me find any evidence of John Hardison Redd near Sneads Ferry I would be satisfied.   You will see that the Lord is quick to answer prayers even in small things like this.  
We drove to Sneads Ferry Saturday morning.  As we drove into town I pulled into a real estate office hoping to find a local map.  I found a map that shows Stump Sound, Sneads Ferry, and Hardison Road.  They made me copies of telephone book pages for Hardisons and Redds.  I talked with Ricky Hardison, Sneads Ferry fire chief.  He thought Redd’s Cove might be nearby.  We did find Hardison Road but there was no way of identifying Redd’s Cove.  Somewhat disappointed we stopped at Food Lyon for lunch.  While Ruth went to order I decided to phone some Redds.

I began to call one number but stopped.  I had a feeling I should call Fern Redd.  She looked like a widow; perhaps she might know more history about the Redds.  I called her.  Her daughter Retha answered.  They were not only descendants of Sigley Redd, John’s brother, but they had a copy of The Utah Redds book signed and with a note from Lura Redd.  I hurried over to visit them and by the time we found Fern’s little house on the shore of the bay, her son Joseph Franklin Redd, Jr. had come to see us.  We visited and shared stories about both families.  Ruth took notes.  They asked, “Are you members of the Mormon church in Utah?”  Joe told us we were lucky we had called them.  All other Redds in the phone book are black descendants of slaves who took their master’s names.  
I asked Joe Frank if he knew where John Hardison Redd’s plantation might be.  He said, “Follow me,” and led me outdoors.  Pointing across the bay to (Marine) Camp Lejeune at a pronounced bluff, Joe Frank said, “That’s where John’s plantation was located and the land on this side of the bay belonged to his brother, Sigley Redd.”  

Help Us Find Redd Family Members
forward this email to invite others to join us or send contact information to
Gordon Wilson at 
166 Ensign Vista Drive
Salt Lake City, UT  84103.

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