Saturday, July 13, 2013

Land of the Lockes

Robert Locke

The River Tweed at Coldstream on the Scottish Border is near Robert Locke's birthplace in East Ord, Northumberland, England. East Ord is a civil parish in the borough of Berwick-upon-Tweed which is just 2.5 miles from Scotland; and although it has been English since 1482, it still has strong Scottish ties. It is to this place Robert was born a twin, on 15 July 1815, the fourth or fifth of the eleven children of Matthew Locke and Margaret Turnbull.

Just 12 miles southwest is the little village of Ford, where Robert married Elizabeth Allen on 13 Mar 1842. They had twelve children at Ford Moss, with their youngest child, Catherine, being our line. Robert died 23 January 1884, having lived in Northumberland all his life.

Ford is just 4 miles from the Scottish Border in the Till River valley. The River Till is the only English tributary of the more famous River Tweed.The Cheviot Hills are to the south and the Tweed is north. The estate contains 15,000 acres of farmlands and villages, including Ford and Etal which are about 3 miles apart. This peaceful-appearing area was the scene of great conflict as a borderland fought over by the English and the Scots who were like two dogs quarreling over a bone.

There are more castles and ruins in this area than any other place in the UK. Ford Castle, which is located in the village of Ford, is just one of several. It was originally a 13th century fortified manor house.

Etal also has its own castle which was originally a 12th century fortified manor house.

For a look at some truly beautiful photos of the areas mentioned that are guaranteed to make you want to visit, go here -- You will want to look at these!

And finally, a little piece of more recent history can be seen in this excerpt from the Parson and White Trade Directory for Ford in 1827 showing a Robert Lock was a shoe maker at the time that our Robert was about twelve years old. You can click on the paper to enlarge it.

To view it online go to

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Life Well Lived

Sitting quietly in her home, and such an attractive cozy one it is, too; sitting quietly there this very minute is a dear little old lady 82 years old. She is, in all probability, just resting from her housework so far. You see, even though she is 82, she still manages the house where she lives and plays an active part in the family life.

I know you're very curious about her name, so I am going to tell you. It is Mary Hannah Swaby Baggs, and her home is in Ogden, Utah. She was born on 3 July 1857, in Hull, Yorkshire, England, where she lived until she was twenty years of age. Her parents were Thomas Swaby and Asenath Greensides. When she was twenty, she came to the United States, and made her home in Salt Lake City. It was just three years later, on 13 March 1880, that she married Andrew Baggs.

Married life was wonderful to her. She was very happy for she had one of the finest husbands in the world, and they had a little farm all their own. Here she worked and planned, dreamed of the future, and it was here that her first two children were born; John Henry who lived only three months, and Emily Swaby.

However, in 1884, the call came to them from the LDS Church to fulfill a mission in Arizona. Unquestioningly, unhesitatingly, they accepted that call, prepared for the trip, and moved to St. Johns, Arizona. They remained there for seven years, serving their fellowman, working and learning so much that was to prove helpful to them in their later years. Those years in Arizona were really hardship and struggle for the family. Also, three more children were born to them, to bless the home of this happy couple; May Cummings, Asenath Swaby, and Arthur Cummings.

When they returned again to Utah they made their home in Ogden and here there were three more children born to them -- you see, they had eight in all -- Andrew Thomas, James William, and Edwin Swaby. Mrs. Baggs not only had the rearing of her own family, but she undertook the care and supervision of her cousin's two children, a responsibility which she bore lightly and cheerfully. Indeed, she derived much joy and happiness for this further service to her family.

It was in 1917 tragedy entered the little home of Andrew Baggs. The husband and father passed away, and for a time it seemed almost more sorrow than they could bear. Then later, the second eldest daughter, May, and her husband died. May's husband had previously been called on a mission without her. A year or so later he unexpectedly developed a disease which took his life; and within two weeks of his death, although she had been in seemingly good health, May also passed away. It was testimony to the family that she was accompanying him on another mission as he had promised she would. Mary Hannah raised her four granddaughters who were left behind.

Sorrow has served to mellow Mary Baggs. The dear lines in her face are mute testimony to suffering and hardships. But the glow of life and serenity in her eyes, are glorious evidence of the fact that she has achieved success in the face of these obstacles. We are proud of the fact that we today can salute Mary Hannah Swaby Baggs of Ogden, Utah and we take this opportunity to say to her --

"Among the many treasures of living which you possess, are your friends.

You have so many.
They love you, honor you, and speak your name with love and tenderness.
You have your children’s deep respect -- their love, their sweet devotion.
You have the memory of happiness beyond compare.
There are so many things among the precious treasures you possess."

Mary Hannah Swaby Baggs died 21 September 1942, at Salt Lake City, Utah, and was buried in Ogden, Utah.

The main body of this sketch was taken from an address given over radio station KSL on 4 April 1939. Other significant family facts were filled in by Janice White Tenney.