Martha Jane Tonks was born January 18, 1861 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Martha's parents were William Tonks and Martha Derricott Tonks. She was the fourth of eight children in her family. Her mother's first daughter and Martha's half-sister, Elizabeth, joined the family in Utah in 1868. She had stayed behind with her grandparents when her parents had left England and now came to live with her mother and step-father. Martha was a great admirer of her oldest sister. Martha married Thomas F. Welch in the Salt Lake City Endowment House April 10, 1879. Thomas was born in Brighton, England in 1856. Martha and Thomas had eleven children: Charles Josiah, Beatrice, Henry Thomas, Richard Garland, Jessie Evard, Martha Lillie, Harriet Louise, Thomas George, William Orson, Jane Rebecca, and Ethel Isabelle. All but two lived to adulthood. In 1890 Thomas was called to serve a mission in England. He died from diphtheria on July 29, 1902. In 1915 Martha married James Peter Fransen, a widower, who died of cancer on February 5, 1938. Martha died on November 2, 1947 in Salt Lake City and is buried in the Morgan City cemetery.
The fifth folder of this collection contains biographical information for several members of the Tonks family including Martha Jane Tonks Welch. It consists of four typed pages written by Martha in 1947. She details several of her early memories. One is her memory of the first train that came to town and how everyone in town went to see it. She documents the 1873 incident of locusts and seagulls. She recalls how they had to 'switch' the grasshoppers away from her grandfather's wheat and that they came in huge black clouds. Then later seagulls arrived and ate the grasshoppers and locust. Martha also writes how while she was young she went out with only two boys. The first was Samuel Francis from Morgan but that ended shortly. The second was Thomas F. Welch. She met Thomas when she went to work in Morgan and the two were soon married. Martha also included in her reminiscences her testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and her love for her family.