Saturday, April 27, 2013

Elizabeth Bull

Written by Guest Contributor: Karen

Elizabeth Bull and I were born on the same day exactly 177 years apart. I think this is pretty cool and worthy of a post. I thought it would be kind of fun to find out more about her life and who she was; or at least a little about the time she lived. Elizabeth was the sixth child of Mary Hillier and Abraham Bull. She was born in the village of Broughton Gifford, Wiltshire, England.


Elizabeth was born on April 27th 1799. She was christened on September 14th of the same year. The picture to right is of the St. Mary the Virgin church in Broughton Gifford. I think it's likely that she was christened here.

Wouldn't this be a interesting place to visit?! I think so too. And as long as we're going, we should stay at Honeysuckle cottage (pictured to the right), built in the 18th Century. Since Elizabeth was born in the last year of the 18th century, this seems fitting. I'm not suggesting that this is the house she lived in. But this house was in her village. She may have walked past it or known who did live here.
Broughton Gifford is a smallish village in Wiltshire county (today it boasts about 700 people). It's just east of Bath and about 30 miles northwest of Stonehenge. I don't know how often people travelled in Elizabeth's lifetime, of course we can't know if she ever saw this landmark, but it was definitely there so we can imagine that she may have heard of it even if she never saw it. Some things we do know:
  • She was born in the same village as her Great-Great Grandparents.
  • She married John Baggs also of Broughton Gifford, on Christmas Day, 1820, when she was 21 and he was 22. Together they had 13 children.
  • About six years after their marriage it appears that they moved to Wales as many of their children were born in Caerleon, and they were both buried in Aberdare. (click on both the maps above and below to experience interactive exploration )
  • Maybe they moved to Caerleon to find work? John's occupation was listed as a Tallow Chandler. A chandler is someone who makes or sells candles. Wax candles were customary in churches, while tallow (animal fat) candles were used in homes. Someone who makes candles from wax would have been known as a Wax Chandler. Interesting, huh?
  • Sadly, Elizabeth survived many of her children. Her oldest daughter, Elizabeth, died when she was just 4. A few months after her death, another daughter, given the same name, died at birth. A third daughter named Elizabeth was born the next year. This Elizabeth lived to adulthood but died when she was 25, eight years before her mother. Two more children died in infancy and one son at 20. It's a heartbreaking story. One that may have been too common at the time, but I don't believe that its commonness made it any less tragic. My heart goes out to her.
  • Elizabeth and John's oldest son, John, is my Great-Great-Great Grandfather. In 1844, at 21, he was baptized and became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. About 10 years later he joined the saints is Missouri and eventually moved to Arizona, where he died on Christmas Day in 1885. Although he lived near Elizabeth until he moved, it's possible that they did not see each other again after he left.
  • Elizabeth died in 1860, 10 years after her husband John, at the age of 61. Both are buried in Aberdare, Wales.
  • On May 11, 1972, John and Elizabeth were sealed together for all eternity.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Goar, Baggs, and the 13th of April


This is the church of St. Mary the Virgin at Broughton Gifford, Wiltshire, England; which is where Margaret Goar was christened on 13 April 1680 (at Broughton Gifford, not necessarily this church). Her parents were Nicholas and Elizabeth, and she was the sixth child in her family of seven children. On 23 August 1713, she married John Baggs. They had a son, John Baggs, in 1717. He had a son, John Baggs, in 1740. He had a son, John Baggs, in 1768. This John Baggs had a son, John Baggs, in 1798, and he married Elizabeth Bull and had a son named John.

On 13 April 1823, John Baggs was born at Shaw Hill, near Melksham, Wiltshire, England, which is just about eight miles SW of Calne, the market town. He was christened 17 August 1823 at Broughton Gifford, a distance of 1.9 miles S of his birthplace. His parents, as mentioned above, were John and Elizabeth Baggs. John was the second child and oldest son of a very large family of 13 children. Shaw is a little over two miles NW of Melksham, which has a nice website, with a picture of what looks like a lovely town center. Its description of Melksham says, "Melksham is a small market town (population 23,000) in Western Wiltshire on the banks of the Bristol Avon. . . It appears in the Domesday (Doomsday) Book and its prosperity was founded on agriculture and the woollen cloth making industry. . . The town still retains its old nucleus of houses grouped around the beautiful parish church just away from the busy shopping centre."

By 1838, the family was living in Wales. This must have been a huge event for a family whose roots went back in Broughton Gifford literally for generations. And not just the Baggs family, but also for the Bulls, as well. They already had a large family at the time of their move, so it was no small thing to pack up and relocate.

John was first married to Rachel Smith on 8 December 1845 at Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales. They had two sons, Edwin, and John. John died when he was a year old. Rachel died about five months after her son on 10 September 1849 at Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. Edwin followed his mother in 1852.

John was next married to Philippa Commin at Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales on 27 September 1851. She was from Cornwall. Aberdare is about seven miles SW of Merthyr Tydfil, and is located at the confluence of the Dar and Cynon rivers. From being, at the beginning of the 19th century, a mere village in an agricultural district, it grew rapidly in population owing to the abundance of its coal and iron ore, and the population of the whole parish which was only 1486 in 1801, increased tenfold during the first half of the century. It is possible they moved there to find employment. John and Philippa's first two children, Emily and Elizabeth, were born born in Aberdare in 1852 and 1854.

By 1857, when our ancestor Andrew was born, John was living in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States. Their son, John, was born there in 1859. Another son named Edwin is attributed to them, his birthdate being before Philippa's death in 1861.

John had two other wives, Catherine and Eliza. On the 1880 U. S. Census, John was living in Mill Creek, Salt Lake, Utah. He was married to Eliza at the time. Her son, John Bargery, was 25 years old and living with them.

John Baggs died on 25 December 1885, at St. Johns, Apache, Arizona.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

John Greensides

John Greensides, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Lowson Greensides, was christened 11 April 1623 at Kirkleatham, North Riding of Yorkshire, England. While we know his parents names, we do not know about his brothers and sisters. He married in about 1653 and raised a family at Kirkleatham. Known children were Isabell, Elisabeth, Isabell, and Robert. John's son, Robert, is our ancestor.


Kirkleatham is a village in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland, located in North Yorkshire. Click on the village name for a link to wonderful photos of this picturesque place. It is the site of the only known Anglo Saxon royal burial site in the North of England. Click here to see the lovely jewelry that was found, the archaeological site, and to read all about it. These finds are housed at the Kirkleatham Museum, which was built in 1709 as a free school.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First Date


It was a Friday night that Diana, my former BYU roommate, had both George and I to dinner, on what is known as a "blind date." I hated blind dates. On the few I'd gone on I had considered them disasters. So when Diana called and said she had my future husband for me, I laughed and refused; but Diana was persistent so I finally consented. George later told me that he kept trying to say no to her but she talked so fast he didn't get a chance--he said yes too.

So we were both there and I am sure that it was the Lord's guidance. You say, "A blind date is inspired?!?" This one was because Diana prayed a lot about it and felt we just had to meet.

I arrived a little early that night and got dressed there in a new dress I'd made for the Young Adult Conference I'd attended the weekend before. It was very Christmasy because it was meant for the upcoming holiday.

Diana gave me some good advice. She told me I couldn't be my regular shy self around George. I was very outgoing around my friends, but a real clam with members of the opposite sex. She insisted that I hold his hand and let him open doors, etc. What did I have to lose being "sweet 22 and never been kissed?" I may as well hold his hand, right?

I remember walking out into the living room after he arrived and seeing him for the first time. He stood when I entered and I thought how tall and handsome he was. (Most blind dates are 4 foot 11 inches.) He was very gentlemanly and to my amazement, I was able to act my crazy self.

The dinner was lovely, pork chops, I think. Then we went to the DeAnza Planetarium to see a star show. Somehwere during the nice dark show I got up enough courage to place my hand on his. I loved it. We went back to Peterson's for a dessert and I asked George if he could give me directions on how to get to the performance of the Messiah that the Palo Alto Stake was putting on the next evening. He, of course, offered to take me and would pick me up. Later Diana said that was a brilliant piece of plotting to get a second date; but it was totally innocent and I really just wanted to go to the Messiah.

Written by Lorrie on R. S. Day, 14 September 1977. Married 10 April 1974. Emily, 2 1/2, Karen 1 1/2, so my memory may be fuzzy.