Local chapter of Daughters of the Utah Pioneers finds strength in learning about ancestors

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Each of the women in the Daughters of Utah Pioneers is a descendant of pioneers who came across the plains to Utah.

“I have learned more about all the different names, I’ve got Bishops, I’ve got Snyders, I’ve got Twitchells, Davises. You learn so much that you didn’t know before,” Carrie Dart, a long-time member, said.

It was the first time for some of the women to attend a DUP meeting; others have made coming a tradition passed down through generations.

“I have a lot of ancestors in DUP and I knew that my mom was in DUP,” Jennifer Hendricks, a newer member, said.

Members said learning about their ancestors is very important to them.

“We talk about a variety of things in Daughters of Pioneers, not only about them coming across the plains, but their lifestyle, the qualities that they had … they did have fun at times,” Ann Nielsen, the Salem chapter captain, said.

“Just helps you appreciate all the things that our ancestors did so we can live here,” Hendricks said.

The women said their pioneer ancestors help them connect to their past. They rely on their ancestors’ experiences as a source of strength during challenging times.

“We think we have hard choices to make — theirs were life and death … it’s so neat to see their strength and their faith and their courage and their fortitude to do what had to be done,” Hendricks said.

In addition to monthly meetings and lessons, the DUP owns and maintains an original pioneer cabin and several other pioneer monuments in Salem. New members can submit an application online.

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