Family Organization


A Christmas Wish Comes True (2014)

by R. Clayton Brough, OFO Family Genealogist
December 2014

     Donny Osmond's message to his older brother, Alan, was brief but specific: "Before the end of the year I wish we could find a close cousin of our Welch ancestor [John Martin] who still lives in the United Kingdom." Unknown to Donny was that inspiration, time, and technology were quickly coming together to make his Christmas wish come true.
     John Martin (1846-1900) is Donny and Alan's great-great-grandfather (through their mother's lineage). John was a coal miner in Wales and married Anna Jenkins in 1866. They immigrated to Utah in 1868, eventually settling in Samaria, Idaho, where John farmed and he and his wife raised ten children. Interestingly, John played the violin and organ, and he and Anna taught their children how to sing four part harmony. This musical tradition was later passed down and magnified by their famous descendants--the Osmond family singers of Utah.
     Donny's wish soon became known to other family members within the Osmond Family Organization of Utah. Two of them contacted Mark Gardner, a British consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, who voluntarily helped them track down John Martin's "first cousin twice removed": Charles Edward Capel Martin (1913-1998)--who had served in the British Royal Navy during World War II and was a well-known sports car racer. Feeling inspired, family researchers then contacted Simon Collier, Donny's fourth cousin who lives in England, and asked him to try and find a distant family relative living in the United Kingdom who might have information about Charles descendants. A short time later, Simon found the relative who informed him that Charles had a grandson who was "alive and well" and living in Europe.
     Within a few days after receiving Simon's information, family researchers in Utah located Charles grandson: Charles Richard Lloyd Martin, who lives in England and is a fifth cousin to Donny and Alan Osmond. Upon hearing that he was related to the Osmond's, Charles said, "I must admit this is the weirdest thing to think that we are in some way related to Donny and Marie Osmond. As soon as my first [child] was born I became interested in my roots and worked on [my Martin] family tree…which now contains nearly 700 persons dating back to 1540." When Donny heard about Charles being found in England, he texted family members, saying, "It's so great to see how everything can come together today to help us quickly find family and relatives. Thanks everyone for making a Christmas wish come true."
     Alan Osmond has summarized the discovery of finding his Martin cousin this way: "Finding cousins like Charles Martin would have been very difficult a few decades ago. My mother and father, George and Olive Osmond, spent years trying to find living Martin cousins in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, but met with little success. Today, using inspiration and the tools of technology which the Lord has blessed us with-such as FamilySearch, online indexes and sources, and social media sites--we can more quickly find our deceased and living relatives and thereby 'hasten the work'."

     (Click here to view Martin Family genealogies, histories and photos.)

You can contact the OFO through its email address at: officer@osmondfamily.org

OFO Email: officer@osmondfamily.org