Grave Stone

What does Elam Luddington look like?

What can we piece together to figure out what Elam Luddington looked like?

Sam and Karen2The investigation begins with Karen Bush.  She manages her family’s genealogical research.  Her husband Sam is the living descendent of Elam Luddington.  They are a meticulous couple who’ve scoured the country for puzzle pieces to Elam Luddington’s existence and story.

According to them, there are no known photos of Elam Luddington.  However, a Mormon Battalion pension application gives us a few clues as to what he looks like.Mexican War JPG

It reads, “The following was his description at the time of his enlistment, viz: Age, 40 years; height, 5 feet 8 inches; color of hair, dark brown; color of eyes, dark grey…”.

From studying sailing we learn that seamen assigned to reef the sails were generally stout because of the strength and size it took to pull up sails while hanging across the yard while in inclement weather.  Presumably the taller the seaman, the longer he dangled on the yard.

So in sum, Elam has dark brown hair, dark grey eyes, and is a stout 5’8” or about 1.8 meters.

Feature photo: Elam Luddington’s grave marker in the Salt Lake City cemetery

Photo to the Left: Sam and Karen Bush

Photo to the Right: A portion of his Mormon Battalion pension application

Photo below: Sam Bush, direct ancestor of Elam Luddington.  (Can you imagine Elam in Sam just a few generations back?)

Sam with Hat2

Source: Feature photo: Salt Lake City Cemetery.  Photo by Helen Horton. 
Source: Sam and Karen Bush photo by Audrey Bastian
Source: Mexican War: Claim of Soldier for Service Pension. and Karen Luddington
Source: Sam Bush photo with hat photo by Audrey Bastian


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