THOMAS AND ALBERT WIGGLESWORTH.
RAILROAD BUILDER,
DOCTOR TO THE NAVAJO

A MEMOIR


By Dr. A. M. Wigglesworth
(1872 - 1964)

With additional commentary by
Russ Wigglesworth, Jack Wright and Dennis Jensen

Edited by Dennis Jensen


As you probably know, Dr. Albert M. Wigglesworth wrote a memoir in 1956. In 1986 Al's son Jack Wigglesworth suggested that his cousin, Jack Wright, create a context for the memoir that would give some perspective on the Doctor's life and the contribution he made to the Navajos and to medicine. The Doctor's father, the 19th Century railroad construction engineer, Thomas Hudson Wigglesworth, was also worthy of note and so his story was also presented.

Working with a Commodore 128 (a very early personal computer) Jack Wright converted the original memoir from cursive script to typed text and added information about the Navajos and the Normans and the Wigglesworth family genealogy. He then printed it and, literally, pasted in pictures from the "Wigglesworth Family Collection," put the whole thing in a simple cardboard binder, of which he made a few copies, and gave one (at least) to Jack Wigglesworth.

As I have rewritten the original chapters that Jack Wright wrote, I have posted the new versions here. Two chapters have been added (IX and X). They are all in pdf format, so you will need to have Acrobat Reader to read them. They can be printed if you wish, since the pdf format ensures that your printer won't change their layout.

In rewriting the Memoir I have reformatted text so that the paragraphs are shorter and will suit the modern reader's expectation. Toward that end I have split Chapter I into two Chapters, the first addressing the Navajos and the second the Normans.

I have also added pictures that illustrate the text. The pictures are drawn from the "Wigglesworth Family Collection" or from the web. The web pictures I have used are pictures from the Library of Congress, Wikipedia, or some other source that is in the public domain.

I have changed the text only for the sake of clarity and brevity and appropriateness. I have also sometimes added interpretive comments that will, I hope, make the memoir easier to understand by the young reader. I have also removed information about the current generations to improve cyber security.

My first objective in this project was to rewrite the Memoir so that it has the form of a conventional book with pages. (As opposed to a website like this webpage.) That way the approximately 370 pages can be printed from your computer and when all the pages are stacked up, they will have the form of a book. Whether this Memoir will ever actually be printed in mass or even small quantities depends on many variables too numerous to contemplate at this time. So far I have obtained an ISBN.

Another objective is to draw in to this project members of the Wigglesworth family, especially those in the younger generation, so that they will have a better understanding of where and who they come from and so they will perhaps get involved in the work that's needed to extend the genealogical record. So far Sophia and Max Barbieri have made a contribution by scanning many of the pictures that you will see. Claire Wigglesworth has also helped by scanning 150 images and capturing their captions. Andrea Wigglesworth has contributed photos done by Brother Simeon.

Why me? you may ask, (and I have, since I am not actually a Wigglesworth). Well, for a number of reasons: Starting in 1998 I created a website for my own family genealogy and had a lot of fun doing it. You may want to look at it to see for yourself (I'd be pleased if you did.) Then also I have been a librarian since 1970 and I guess I just like finding information and putting it in order. And, incidentally, I do the website for Ann's artwork. I have found this project extremely interesting and even fascinating. And then there are the many times Jack Wigglesworth visited us down here in Delaware and fascinated us with his many stories. It was sad early in 2013 when he passed a few weeks short of his centenary. So I want to do what I can.

You can look at my website here: DennisJensen.us

Here is Ann's website: Annbarbieri.com

The Memoir:

Introduction and Forewords

Chapter I. Origins: How the Navajos Came to North America

Chapter II. Origins: How the Wigglesworths Came to Yorkshire and then to Palmyra, New York

Chapter III. Forebears
Some notes about the Wright Family. Extensive notes about the Wigglesworths, especially Thomas Hudson.

Chapter IV. Railroad
About Thomas Hudson and the building of the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge.

Chapter V. Kid
Al's memories of his early years.

Chapter VI. Doctor
Al's education and early years as a young doctor.

Chapter VII. Progeny

Chapter VIII. Easterner

Chapter IX. The Trip to Walpi to See the Hopi Snake Dance Ceremony

Chapter X. Brother Simeon and Sister Kate

Chapter XI. Epilogue