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.