Thomas Davis Giles journals

Thomas Davis Giles journals

Dates: 1850-1856

Materials include a holograph journal and photocopies of two holograph journals. The original holograph item is in Welsh and dates from 1852-1856. This journal has been photocopied. Also includes a photocopy of a journal in English that dates from 1850-1856. Giles was an 1844 convert to the Mormon church and served as a local official in that organization in Great Britain. He was blind and his diary is believed to have been penned by William Lewis and others. Giles recounts many instances of his preaching and meeting with other Mormon Church leaders in Great Britain. Dated 1850-1856.

  • Extent: 3 folders (0.3 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Giles, Thomas Davis, 1820-1895
  • Call Number: MSS SC 959
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Materials are in Welsh and English.
Location of Originals
The originals of one photocopied diary are in the LDS Church Archives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Alternative Format
Photocopied in 1978. Photocopy of Welsh journal is in Folder 2. Photocopy of English journal (original in LDS Church Archives) is in Folder 3.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Thomas Davis Giles journals must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS SC 959; Thomas Davis Giles journals; 19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS SC 959, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Original Welsh diary donated by Helen Sharp Mandsen in 1977. Copy of English diary donated by LDS Church Archives in 1978.
Acquisition Information
Donated; LDS Church Archives; 1978. Donated; Helen Sharp Mandsen; 1977.
Subject Terms
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Wales; Giles, Thomas Davis, 1820-1895--Diaries; Religion; Missions and Missionaries; Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); Mormon Church--Wales--History; Mormons--Great Britain--Diaries; Mormons--Wales
Genre / Form
Diaries; Photocopies
Appraisal Information
Mormon diarists (The Archives of the Mormon Experience).
Finding Aid ID Number
UPB_MSSSC959
Finding Aid Title
Giles (Thomas Davis) journals
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Benjamin Sipes
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-10-09T11:05-0600
Finding Aid Language
English
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Thomas Davis Giles (1820-1895) was an early convert to Mormonism in Wales and became well-known as "Utah's blind harpist."

Thomas Davis Giles was born November 28, 1820, in Blan, Avon, South Wales, to Thomas Giles and Maria Davis. He married Margaret Thomas in 1843, and they had two sons. Giles was converted to Mormonism in 1844, and presided over the Monmouthshire (Wales) conference from 1848-1856. While working in a coal mine in 1852, he was injured and became blinded for life. In 1856 Giles and his family emigrated to Utah, but his wife and two sons died along the way. He married Hannah Evans in 1857 in Ogden, Utah, and they had one son. Giles had learned to play the harp prior to emigrating to Utah, and while in Utah he was well-known as "The Blind Harpist," and would travel to different settlements in Utah and perform in concerts. Giles died November 2, 1895, in Provo, Utah.



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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
ryan_lee@byu.edu