Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thomas Cracroft

Thomas appears to be a Cracroft family name, the earliest Thomas being eight generations removed from this Thomas, who was the son of Luke Cracroft and his wife, Ann Dent. He was the youngest child of his family of six sons and a daughter. He was christened at Epworth, Lincolnshire, England on 19 September 1773, as were his brothers and sister. His parents were both from Gainsborough, about 14 miles south of Epworth. Epworth is noted for being the birthplace of John Wesley, one of the founders of the Methodist Church, an event that preceded our ancestor's birth by 70 years.

Thomas married Phoebe Hornby on 29 November 1793 at Epworth. They chose to make their home in Gainsborough, where they had a large family of nine children. Their sixth child, Mary Ann, was our ancestor. Thomas worked as a weaver.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bengeworth in the Vale of Evesham

Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England was the home of the Jenks, Dowswell and Cox families. Joseph Dowswell, the son of Thomas Dowswell and his wife, was born there on 18 September 1738. In about 1763, he married a local girl named Mary Cox, and raised a family there. Their children were Hannah, James, Sarah, Ann and Thomas. Thomas, their youngest, married Mary Jenks there in 1798. It is likely that in a small place like Bengeworth, the three families knew each other.

Bengeworth adjoins Evesham in Worcestershire, England. Less than two miles apart, they are located on opposite sides of the River Avon which flows through the Vale of Evesham. The Vale of Evesham is a flat area with unusually fertile soil surrounding Evesham. Well watered by the Avon, it is known for its fruit and garden produce. With its fertile soil, farming and fruit growing were important occupations, and every family would have had the benefit of a good garden to keep it well supplied with good things to eat.

Evesham has the remains of a Benedictine abbey founded in 701 AD by Saint Egwin. 1265 was the year of the Battle of Evesham. It resulted in the defeat of Simon deMontfort, regarded as one of the progenitors of modern parliamentary democracy. He is buried at the abbey. At that time, it was the third richest abbey in the country. The remaining bell tower was added in the 16th century. For Joseph Dowswell, these events were a part of his area's history.

Joseph was buried 8 August 1786, at the age of 48. His youngest son, Thomas, was just nine years old at the time. has some nice photos including the one at the top of this posting.

Richard Jenks

Richard Jenks was christened 18 September 1719 at Codsall, Staffordshire, England. His parents were Jonathan Jenks and his wife, Mary Stringer, who were also of Codsall. It was there they raised their family. In addition to Richard, who was the oldest and named for his grandfather, there were also Thomas, Ann, Sarah, Jonathan, William and Mary.

Staffordshire is a landlocked county. Codsall is a large village in its South district. It is about five miles NW of Wolverhampton. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as having a population of six. The Church of St. Nicholas is the oldest building and has a Norman doorway thought to date from the 11th century and a tower from the 13th century. The rest of the church was renovated in 1847, which is after the time of Richard and his family. Since medieval times the area around the church was the hub of the village with a windmill, village pond, forge, bakery and public house. The people who lived there were farmers. Codsall was a quiet place.

On 28 May 1751 Richard married Elizabeth Webb at Wyre Piddle, Worcestershire, England, which is about 50 miles south of Codsall and just two miles from her birthplace of Throckmorton, another small place. Worcestershire is adjacent to Staffordshire, also landlocked, and Wyre Piddle is located at the place where Piddle Brook meets the River Avon. Their son, Moses was born at Throckmorton in 1754, and is our ancestor. Sometime before Phoebe was born in 1757, the family moved to Bengeworth, a distance of eight miles. Bengeworth is a part of Evesham, which was a rural market town and probably had greater possibilities for the family.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Grandma McKinley - Winifred Elizabeth Ann Stawart

When George's mother, Bea, died at our home at Thanksgiving, we made the trip to California for a funeral, and to ready the house for sale. It was a big job and exhausting. They spent 40 years in that house, so there was a lot to go through. Along the way, I got the job of going through an old desk in the back bedroom. I found the following, which I consider to be a treasure we would not have had if I had just dumped the contents of that desk into the dumpster.

I was born September 13, 1886 at Alnwick, County of Northumberland, England, and given the name Winifred Elizabeth Ann Stawart. I lived there for one year, then moved to Alnmouth. When six years of age, I went to the village school until I was seven and a half.

Then Father thought I was old enough to travel alone, so I went to school in Alnwick. I had to go by train every morning and come home at night again. When I was ten, we moved to a big town named Gateshead-on-Tyne. I was through school by the time I was thirteen, but according to school rules I had to stay until I was fourteen. I helped in kindergarten for the last year. I went and learned dressmaking for two years, then stayed at home until I got married at the age of 21 years.

Then I changed my name to McKinley. My husband's name is Duncan Greenshields McKinley. Our first child was born June 13, 1909. We sure were happy that the Lord blessed us with a girl as that was our wish. Her name is Beatrice M. White.
In 1914 my mother had a cousin come from the USA and he preached the Mormon Gospel to us. He stayed for three months. But after he left our faith was very weak. There was a lot of persecution going on with the elders, so we thought we did not want to belong to that kind of church. But the cousin came back the following year. He sent a letter saying he was coming, but we just received it as he was about to sail and we did not have time to write back to him and tell him not to come as we did not want anything to do with him. It happened at the time, my husband was not at work and every day for a week he used to go and meet the trains coming in from Liverpool. He never said where he had been. So on the Saturday, I said he had been going out plenty for the week by himself and I thought it was time for him to take our girl, Beatrice, and I out as we always did go out together on Saturday nights. That was the night Cousin Matthew Barnes landed. It was quite a joke on us.
He could not find his way to Mother's, but he did remember how to get to a cousin of mine. She did not want him either but she let him stay for the night and on the Sunday morning, he landed at Mother's at 7:00. Then he started and preached to us again, so Sunday night we all had to go to church with him. The following Sunday he got a lot more relations to go. We were seated in the two front rows of the meeting house and he talked to just us. He told the rest it was no use talking to them as they knew the Gospel. So that is how we gained the Church.
I was baptized August 19, 1912. I was assistant organist for the rest of my stay in England and secretary-treasurer for the Relief Society.
On November 10, 1919 our son was born, which was another blessing the Lord gave us. November 27, 1920 Father died, which was a big loss to me. Two days before he died I had a vision. I thought Father, Mother, Beatrice and I were walking through an avenue of trees in the USA and at the end of the road we could see a very bright light. Father was very anxious to get there before the light went out. He kept telling us to hurry. When we got to the end, he made us look up and there was three lights, one big and bright and two smaller. While we were looking up the big light went out and when we looked down, father was gone. This vision came to me in the middle of the day while I was having my noon rest. I never told anyone until after he was dead, but I have often thought of it since and wondered if God was trying to prepare me for what was going to happen. Everybody loved Father. He blessed our boy when he was a month and administered to him four days before he died. I was awful sick a short time after he died and we sent for the elders, but they were all at work so I prayed to our Heavenly Father and asked Him to relieve me of the pain I had and after a while my Father came and laid his hands on me. I did not hear him say anything but in a while I was relieved of the awful pain and I was able to get up and attend to my baby and help Beatrice to get the dinner ready for Daddy coming home.
Our home has always been a happy home and we sure have enjoyed our two children. In 1922 we made up our minds to come to Utah. One of the Elders that lived with us said that if we came we could live in his house. He was Ray M. Jones of Ogden. We got here on June 12, 1922. We lived in Ogden until January 1923, then went to Lovelock where my husband got work on the Southern Pacific Railroad. In May the children and I came back to Ogden, as Duncan got sent out to the desert to a rock quarry to work, and there were no women and children. We lived with a Scotch lady in North Ogden for a while. Then we got a house away up beside the mountains. Now those mountains are about covered with houses.
November 24, 1926 we went to the temple and were sealed and had our children sealed to us. I was sealed to my parents the same day.
Shortly after that Duncan left the railroad and we came to Salt Lake City. Then I got busy in the church. I have been in Relief Society, Primary and Sunday School. I enjoyed them all very much and was sorry when I had to give them up on account of my health. I did four years of missionary work in England before our son was born.
We lived in Salt Lake City until October 28, 1960 when we came here (California) to live with our daughter, husband and family, which we are enjoying very much. They are all so good to us. When my husband got sick he was too much for me to look after. He has now been sick for five years, past March 18, 1957. We have been married 54 years, August past.
We left a lot of very good friends in Salt Lake City and they often write to us. We have made a lot of nice friends here and both my husband and I thank you all for the prayer you have said for us. And we specially thank the high priests for coming on Sundays and administering the sacrament to us in our room. May the Lord bless us all that we will try to put forth this good work for we know it is the only true church on the earth.

This Stawart family photo includes Winnie's mother, Catherine Locke Stawart seated at the left. Winnifred is seated at the right, with her husband, Duncan McKinley, directly behind her. Their daughter Beatrice is at the left, and Thomas Henry is the baby. Winnie's brother, Robert is also in the photo, standing between Beatrice and Duncan. It would have been taken after Catharine's husband died in 1920, and before the family immigrated to the United States in 1922.

Winnie outlived her husband, Duncan, who died in 1962 in Palo Alto. She spent her last years in a nursing home at Menlo Park because her care needs increased. She died on 5 December 1971 at Menlo Park, Santa Clara, California. George visited the nursing home on Sunday, the 6th, only to be told that she had "expired," a term George does not like. Then he went straight to his parents' home to offer comfort to his mother, who was sad at the passing of her own mother.

George remembers visiting her during the day at their home in Salt Lake City, Utah; and he remembers many naps on her couch with the famous "green wool afghan" which we still have, and which he wants when he doesn't feel well. They always had ginger ale at her house and she made a delicious angel food cake with lemon drizzle frosting that he loved. As a teenager, George remembers them living in the back bedroom and being old. That particular room was an addition with a bath, which was slated to be the master bedroom. Instead, Grandma and Gampy were its first occupants. Ken once said that he built that room for himself and Bea, and they were the last to use it. Even George had it for a while before they did.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Charles Cracroft of Lincolnshire

Charles Cracroft was christened on 10 September 1648 at Alford, Lincolnshire, England where he was raised. Alford is near the Lincolnshire Wolds and just six miles from the sea on the east. His parents were Charles Cracroft and his wife, Jane Skegness, who were married at Alford on 11 December 1645. The church at Alford is called St. Wilfrid's and dates back to the 14th century. You can click on the photos here to see the church. Perhaps the Cracrafts used this very church. His two older sisters were Elizabeth and Anne. He also had a younger brother named John. Lincolnshire Life describes Alford, "With its windmill, thatched manor house and attractive Georgian and Victorian buildings lining a partly cobbled market place, Alford is one of the county's prettiest market towns." The article has a lovely photo and nice description of Alford.

Charles and Ellen Smith were married on 20 April 1667 at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England, located on the River Trent. It was there the family made their home. They had a large family of eight sons. Three of them were named Charles because the first two didn't survive infancy. Our ancestor, Luke, was the oldest of this busy family of boys.

Gainsborough has an interesting history, including one of the best preserved medieval strong houses in Britain, dating back to 1460. That and other attractions, make Gainsborough an interesting place to visit.

Charles was buried 30 August 1712 at Gainsborough.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Elizabeth Bailey's Road to Zion

The oldest daughter of James and Ann Bailey was born on 8 September 1818 at Southampton, Hampshire, England. Her name was Elizabeth. Her siblings were Emily, George and Harriet. Southampton is a port city on the SW coast of England.

On 5 February 1848, she married Francis Oliver. Elizabeth's first two children Emily (our ancestor)and Elizabeth, were born in Hampshire. By the time her third daughter, Ann, was born, they were living in Wales, where her husband worked as a laborer on the turnpike at Llandaff, Glamorgan. The trip to Llandaff was about 118 miles, NW of their home. Francis was paid two shillings and two pence a day. While living there, Francis learned of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which he joined in 1852.

After their son, Francis George, was born in 1855 and died in 1856, the family decided to immigrate to America. They set sail in November, 1856, on the ship "Columbia," the ocean crossing lasting six weeks and two days. The Columbia landed in New York on 1 January 1857. Francis found employment in Hensonville, New York in a hat factory where he learned to make men's hats by hand. While they were living in New York, Mary Jane was born. Their last child was William who lived about a year.

The family left New York about 1861 and made their home in Danbury, Connecticut where Francis again found employment making hats. Daughter Emily worked at the same factory sewing silk lining into the hats. Natic, Massachusetts was their next home and from there they moved to St. Joseph, Missouri. A two day sail up the river got them to a place called "Wyoming" where the wagon companies assembled to take Saints across the plains. The Francis Oliver family was a part of the John Halliday and Andrew Patterson Company (67 wagons) that started for Utah in July, 1866. After one month on the trail, daughter Elizabeth, who was sixteeh, fell ill to mountain fever and died. She was wrapped in a sheet and buried by the roadside. One month later, Elizabeth followed her daughter. She died on 18 September 1866, just ten days after her 48th birthday. Her coffin was a rough box, and she was put into a grave by the roadside at a place known as "the Muddy" in Wyoming.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Everything Walworth

In honor of the birthday of James Walworth in September 1734, we are exploring the Walworth family history. The place to look is in a book dedicated to the Walworth family. Fortunately for us, it can be found at the following link, and if you have a little time, it is an interesting read, loaded with all of the information needed to give you a good picture of life in colonial America.

James Walworth, of Rome, New York, the third son and sixth child of William Walworth and his wife, Mary Avery, was born in September of 1734, at Groton, New London, Connecticut. He married Eunice Packer. James was a farmer, and after having lived at various places, settled at Rome, where he died about 1795. After his death, Eunice, his widow, lived with her daughter, Mrs. Brewster, at Ellisburg, New York, where she died, age 95 years. They had 8 sons and 4 daughters--James, Jesse, Eunice, William, Elisha, Daniel, Abigail, Susannah, Avery, Asa, Lucy and Elijah. Susannah, our ancestor, married Elihu Pettingill.

Here is the link--
The Walworths of America by Clarence Augustus Walworth.