Walter Simmons Robb Family

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Robb Family Reunion August 5, 2017

Old Rock Church
90 South Main Parowan, Utah

A Robb Family Reunion is planned for August 5, 2017 to be held in the Old Rock Church in Parowan, Utah.  Instructions are to bring your own lunch.  We will eat in the basement, then go upstairs and tour the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum.  Please share with family members.
I hope to see you there.

Monday, December 16, 2013

George Drummond and Susannah Jenkins

Susanah Drummond Robb
The story as their grandson, Samuel Robb told it to his granddaughter, Mabel Robb: George Drummond was the son of an English gentleman, and Susannah Jenkins was the beautiful daughter of country folk, from the poor labor class. One day as George was out riding (hunting) along the countryside with a party of his friends they became thirsty. Arriving at a cottage with a well nearby they stopped to ask for a drink of water from the well. When Susannah gave each man a dipper full of that clear, cool water to drink, George discovered how beautiful she was. He returned to Susannah's home many times and “wooed and won her for his bride”.

They made their home near Susannah's folks and there their first daughter was born on 13 November 1837, after they had been married about two years. They called her “Little Susannah”. They were very happy together. George had a private income from his family (“or some other source”, said Grandpa) which he received each month by going to the city to collect it in person. All seemed well. They were expecting their second child when George made his usual trip to the city for funds and did not return. Family members and friends tried to find out what had become of him with no success.

After Sarah Ann, their second daughter was born, 14 September 1838, Susannah didn't not recover her strength. Auntie Hawkins told Grandpa that she “just grieved herself to death.” Again the family tried to find George Drummond with no better luck than at first. Relatives took the two little girls to raise. When Auntie and Uncle Hawkins (Eliza Wakefield and William Hawkins) emigrated to Australia, they took the two girls with them.

Years later in an English newspaper, there was an advertisement asking for information of the girls, Sarah and Susannah Drummond, daughters of George and Susannah Drummond. They were to inherit from some relative who had died in England. William Robb (Susannah's husband) would not let the family answer. He said, “No Drummond would help the girls when they were young and needed help, now be dommed to them, no one needs nor wants their money.”

We find in the 1851 census of Hatherop, Gloucestershire, England (film #087,368) on page 751, Sarah Hawkins, widow, 55, and her sons, Henry age 25 and John age 23, grooms, Susannah Drummond age 13 yrs and Sarah Drummond age 12. On page 748 of the same record we find, living at Hatherop Mill, William Hawkins, Head of house, married, age 31, a farm laborer and Eliza Hawkins, his wife, age 24, a dressmaker.

William and Eliza eventually decided to move to Australia, and when they left they took the Drummond girls with them. Some say they made the move out of fear that the Drummond family would one day try to claim the girls. We don't know for sure their reasons for leaving England, or the year they left, but the girls would have been in their mid to late teens at the time. Although the Hawkins' were the girls' cousins, they were like parents to them. Susannah and Sarah called them “Auntie and Uncle Hawkins”.

Eliza Wakefield Hawkins Monument
1827-1898 Beaver Utah Cemetery
William Hawkins Monument
1819-1890 Beaver Utah Cemetery

George Drummond & Susannah Jenkins
The story as it is unfolding: George Drummond was the son of an English gentleman, a man of high social standing and wealth. Susannah Jenkins was the pretty daughter of country folk, from the poor labor class. One day as George was out riding or hunting along the countryside with a party of his friends, they became thirsty. They saw a cottage with a well nearby and stopped to ask for a drink of water. The cottage belonged to the Jenkins family, and their daughter Susannah, or Hannah as she was called, gave each man a dipper full of water to drink. George immediately took notice of Hannah's beauty. The hunting party moved on, but George's mind stayed with Hannah. He later returned to the Jenkins home and began courting Hannah, eventually winning her for his bride. They were married about 1835 in __________. George's family was against the marriage however, because of the difference in social class, and so the couple settled near Hannah's parents.

The first years of their married life were mostly happy ones, although Hannah was snubbed by George's family and friends because of her low birth status. She was never allowed to attend the rich society socials, despite her marriage to a Drummond. As the son of a gentleman, George had a private income which he acquired each month by traveling into the city, and so they didn't suffer materially. He also ran a Public House, where food and drink were likely served.

Their first daughter was born around two years later, on 13 November 1837, in Lansdown, Bath, Somerset. They named her Susannah, after her mother. All seemed well, and they were expecting their second child, when one month George made his usual trip to the city for his funds and never returned. Hannah's family and friends tried to find out what had become of him with no success.

As the birth of her second child neared, Hannah went to live in the nearby town of Bibury, in Gloucester County. Here she gave birth to her second daughter on 14 November 1839. She named her Sarah Ann. Hannah became consumed with grief over the disappearance of her husband, and lost her will to live. Again her family tried to find out what had happened to George, with no better luck than at first.

This is where the story gets confusing. Susannah and Sarah were told that their mother died of grief soon after Sarah's birth, and their father was never seen again. They were raised by their Aunt Sarah Hawkins, Hannah's sister, in Hatherop, Gloucester. However we now know that wasn't exactly the case. The 1841 census finds Hannah still living a few miles away in a wealthy home in Bath, without her children. Her daughters would have been 3 and 4 years old. We find a death certificate for Hannah two years later. She passed away in the town of Stowmarket, Suffolk County, all the way on the other side of the country. Her husband, George, was present, and was the one who reported her death. He claims she died on 14 September, 1843, of Hydrothorax, which is fluid around the lungs. She was 32 years old.

What happened to George? Where had he been, and why did he return for Hannah but not his daughters? Susannah and Sarah continued to be raised by their Aunt until their teens, when they immigrated to Australia with their older cousins, William and Eliza Hawkins, who acted as parents to them for the remainder of their lives. In each official record George gives a little different occupational title. In Susannah's birth record he's called a Publican – someone who runs a Public House, or Pub. In her Baptismal record he's called a Victualler, which is a food shop keeper or seller. When Hannah filled out Sarah's birth certificate she states George's occupation as Gentleman, with Service written in below. A Gentleman was a man of high birth who didn't need to work. Could Service mean that he was in the army? On Hannah's death certificate George states his occupation as a Pensioner. This title had several different meanings. It could be he was a member of a formerly ruling family who is paid compensation money by the government after giving up ancestral claim to a native throne. That could be where his monthly income had come from, instead of an inheritance from his father. The word was also used for a retired soldier. Did George join the army, and that's where he disappeared to before Sarah was born? Did she wait in Bath for him, knowing that he would come for her when his service was completed?

And what happened to George after Hannah's death? He was still quite young, and was probably remarried. Some family members think that the Hawkins' took the Drummond girls to Australia out of fear that the Drummond family would try to take them one day. Was George looking for them, or content to let his late wife's family finish raising them? I don't know if we'll ever find the answers to these questions.

Publisher's Note: 
Richard Rillstone, Sarah Ann's husband died 1869 in Albion, NSW, Australia and
Sarah Ann died in 1917 in Waverley, NSW, Australia 
Mabel Robb Robinson, as told to her by her grandfather, Samuel Robb, the son of Susannah Drummond Robb. film# 087,368 – 1851 England census, film #1517606 item #15-16 – 1837 Baptism record Certified copies of original records: birth of Susannah Drummond, birth of Sarah Drummond, death of Susannah Jenkins Drummond

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Alexander Robb History

Alexander Robb

ALEXANDER ROBB  (History on file with Daughters of Utah Pioneers.  Reproduced with editing of spelling/typing errors only)
DUP Preview Page:

Born:     January 21, 1853
Where:  Sidney Australia
Parents: William Robb - Ellen Bell
Arrived in Utah 1857 - Pioneer to Paragonah
Died:      January 15, 1926
               Paragonah, Iron County, Utah

History facts - Alice Robb Robinson - 1949
Sent in by Nora Lund - 1959
Betsy Topham Camp - D.U.P.
Paragonah, Iron County, Utah

History of Alexander Robb
Facts supplied by a daughter - Alice R. Robinson
Arranged by Nora Lund

Alexander Robb was born Jan. 21, 1853 at Sidney Australia, son of William Robb and Ellen Bell Robb.  they were both natives of Scotland and had come to Australia to make their home about 1839 or 40.

They went into the mercantile business and were very successful in this venture.  They were also of a religious turn of mind, and when humble missionaries from Utah preached the gospel of Mormonism to them they believed and were baptized.  From then on they were very active in the Church.

A large group of Saints in Sidney were desirous of coming to "Zion", so when Alex was 4 years old his family had disposed of their property and were ready to set sail for Utah.  A family history is told that William and Ellen brought either one or two trunks of gold pieces with them to Utah, and that Ellen wore a wide belt around her waist that had a complete inner-lining of gold pieces.

On June 27, 1857, the shop "Lucas" on which little Alex and his family were aboard, set sail from Sidney with Captain J.C. Daggett in command, bound for America and Utah.  William M. Wall was President of the Mormon group.  The voyage was quite perilous at times, but Alex, at his tender age wouldn't sense the danger and inconveniences that his parents and older members of the family did.

On Oct. 12, 1857, the 'Lucas' anchored in San Pedro Bay, California.  The trip over land to Utah is given more detail in other family sketches.  After landing, Alex's people, with the rest, made their way over the Southern route, intending to join the main body of the Church in Utah.  They stayed awhile in Cedar City, when they finally reached there, and then came on to the new town of Paragonah, 25 miles north where people were being invited to settle.

Alex's childhood was much the same as other pioneer youths' of this locality.  His duties were to herd cows, and do other farm chores, of course they had to be ever on the alert for Indians who were bad in those days.

Alex's education was limited.  In his later life he did lots of reading from news papers and other things, but he was never known to do much writings.  However, was well educated in the 'school of experience'.

When he was old enough to find him a wife, he and his brother Tom courted the ladies of their choice in Parowan.  Alex keeping company with Ellen Benson and Thomas Alice Tattersal, a cousin whose mother was a Benson.  Eventually both girls were brought to Paragonah as wives of these Robb boys.

Alex and Ellen were married July 9, 1877 in Paragonah ? (or perhaps Parowan) and later sealed in the St. George Temple May 25, 1925.  Alice standing proxy for her Mother.  they lived awhile at his father's home then he bought the lot now owned by a grandson, Revere Robinson, from Samuel P. Horsley.  On this lot was a little log house which the couple lived in first.  One or two of their older children were born there.  As soon as possible the large spacious adobe house was built and the rest of their children, numbering, altogether, 5-one boy and 4 girls, were born.

Alex turned his hand at many things as a means of making a livelihood for his family.  He secured farming land here in the Valley where he raised hay, grain and different things.  He had livestock of different kinds.  With the other men of this locality, he freighted to the mining camps at Delemar, and Pioche in Nevada, and Silver Reef in Utah.  By this method they could receive cash for the surplus grain, butter, cheese, eggs and the like, that they produced.

Alex was ever on the look out to better his condition, so he and his brother Tom saw the possibilities of a fine cattle ranch up in Horse Valley, some 18 miles south east of Paragonah.  so they used their Homestead right to secure this land.  Later Alex lost his because he let it be known that he hadn't lived on it the required time.  Bro. Mayhew Dalley, the assessor, of Cedar City told him there was such a thing as being too honest, and telling more than he need to have done.  However, that could be mentioned in this sketch as one of Alex's strong points of character.  All his life he was scrupulously honest in his dealings with his fellow men.

After losing his homestead right he bought land from the State and ranched Horse Valley many years.   They carried on a dairy business in the summer.  Alex loved cattle and it was a source of joy and satisfaction to see his fine cattle feeding on the lush meadow grass in the valley and roaming over the near-by hills.  However, he had no patience with sheep, often they were a menace to his ranch lands, grubbing the grass too close, etc.  He was rather disgusted when 3 of his daughters married sheep men.

Alex Robb will always be remembered for the fine systematic way in which he kept his corrals and out-buildings.  Every pole of his fence was in line and kept well repaired.  The locks on his granary and gates were intact.  He was very particular with his tools and machinery, he was a great hand to have a place for everything and everything in its place.  His animals were well fed and sheltered.  He took special pride in driving a well groomed team of horses.

He was very ambitious, he never had time or cared to loaf.  Even in his declining years when he wasn't able to do active work, he always kept busy puttering at some small chore that needed doing.  He loved to dance and enjoyed that entertainment along with theaters.

One little incident which was rather humorous might be related here.  His false teeth didn't fit very good and was a source of annoyance to him.  He would unconsciously take them out of his mouth and forget where he put them.  One day he was shocking grain in the field, and his mouth hurt him so he took his teeth out and laid them on the top of a shock of grain and went on about his work.  When the job was completed and he was ready to leave for home he remembered his teeth.  You can imagine what a sad time he had trying to find his teeth when every shock of grain looked the same.  Fortunately a friend came along with some kids who aided in the search and the lost was found.

Alex was cared for by his daughters for the 4 years that he lived after the death of his wife, Feb. 20, 1922.  The immediate cause of his death was Cancer which occurred Jan. 15, 1926.

Source: DUP History sent to me by Judy Cripps.

Monday, September 12, 2011

William Edwards

William Edwards
Birth: Jul. 12, 1844

Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
Death: Nov. 2, 1927
Paragonah, Iron County, Utah, USA

William was the son of Sarah Morgan and David Edwards. He was the husband of Ann Elizabeth Robb Edwards. They were parents to nine children: William Robert Monroe, Sarah Ellen, Ann Caroline, David James, John Edward, Thomas Alexander, Morgan Bell, Horace Norman, and Norah Gladys.

Parowan Times


Special to the Times

Funeral services were held Sunday, November 6th, 1927 at Paragonah for William Edwards, who passed away on Friday before at the age of 83 years. There was a large attendence and an impressive meeting was held.

Born at Myrthirtydville, Glenmorganshire, Wales, Brother Edwards was among the first settlers to come to Paragonah, making his home there from the time he came to this country. He has always taken an active part in both Church and civic affairs, being a member of the first board of trustees after having helped to promote the incorporation of the town of Paragonah.

He took charge, as chorrister, of the Paragonah Ward Choir for about 35 years; was a good citizen and helped in every way possible for the progression and advancement of his community. He was an Indian War veteran. During the early settlement of Paragonah, a lot of his time was given for the defense of the settlers against Indian depredations.

Surviving him are his aged wife, Ann Edwards, six sons, William, David, John, Thomas, Morgan, and Horace, and one daughter, Mrs. Sarah E. Barton all of Paragonah. There are 24 grand children and six great grand children.

Speakers at the funeral were: Wm. P. Barton, Daniel Stones, Samuel Robb, Thomas Robinson, David Matheson (of Parowan), and Thomas W. Jones. Ethel Robb read his life's history; Ralph O. Jensen and Mary Orton of the Parowan Schools sang a duet, and Ray Stones played a violin solo.

William Edward Brand TE as recorded in "Marks and Brands"

Close up of Edwards Brand

Death Certificate for William Edwards

Monument for Ann Elizabeth Robb and William Edwards
Paragonah Cemetery, Paragonah, Utah

Sarah Ann Morgan Edwards

William Edwards mother, Sarah Ann Morgan Edwards.  I saw her gravesite while visiting the Paragonah Cemetery, and it always held my interest partially because of the enclosure, but I did not realize there was a family connection until recently. 

Burial Site of Sarah Ann Morgan Edwards
Paragonah Cemetery, Paragonah, Utah. 
 Birth: Jan. 14, 1819, Wales

Death: Nov. 7, 1901
Paragonah, Iron County, Utah, USA
Sarah Ann Morgan Edwards
1863 Glamorganshire, Wales
Husband: David Morgan
died 18 September 1863

May 1864 128th Sailing General B McClellan
Original pioneer, crossed the plains 1864
Traveled with young children from Wales to Utah Territory.
She did not stop at Brady's Bend, Pennsylvania to visit her parents who had immigrated the the Pennsylvania coal fields before 1856.

Arrived Salt Lake City 4 October 1864

1870 Census Paragonah, Iron, Utah Terr.
Sarah Edward 51, housework
Edward Edwards 28, farming
David Edwards 12
Sarah A Edwards 10

1880 Census Paragonah, Iron, Utah
Sarah Edwards 61
Edward Edwards 38, laborer
David Edwards 22, laborer

--Also living with family
Sarah Ann Robb 20
Ellen J Robb 3
Sarah Ann Robb, 8 months born Oct.

1900 Census Paragonah, Iron, Utah
Elizabeth Hanks 50, 8 children, 5 living
William D Hanks 26, day labor
Heber T Hanks 23, school teacher
John S Hanks 19
Sarah Edwards 81, 8 children, 5 living

Notes about Sarah Ann Morgan:

Sarah Ann was a strength and an inspiration to her to all her posterity for her bravery and courage as a young widow to bring her young family of two daughters and three sons across the vast waters and the wide American continent because of her belief in God.

At about the age of 75, Sarah went completely blind. She was given a blessing that containing a promise that she would see again. At about the age of 82 she regained enough of her eye sight to again see her daughter remarking how white her hair had turned.

Sarah Morgan Edwards Monument
Paragonah Cemetery, Paragonah Utah

Ann Elizabeth Robb - Pioneer Lady of 1857

Ann Elizabeth Robb Edwards

Birth: Jun. 27, 1846
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Death: Jun. 16, 1928
Paragonah, Iron County, Utah, USA

Ann Elizabeth was the daughter of Helen Bell and William Robb. She was the wife of William Edwards. Together they had nine children: William Robert Monroe, Sarah Ellen, Ann Caroline, David James, John Edward, Thomas Alexander, Morgan Bell, Horace Norman, and Nora Gladys.

Pioneer Lady of 1857 Passes Away At Paragonah

Mrs. Ann Robb Edwards of Paragonah, pioneer of 1857 to this city and one of the first white people to make her home in Paragonah, passed away at the family residence the first of last week and was buried on the 20th. Had she lived until today she would have been eighty two years old. She was born June 27th, 1846 at Sidney, Australia, from which place she emigrated at the age of eleven years with her parents after having become a member of the Latter Day Saints church. They were about four months in an old time sailing vessel crossing the ocean from Sidney to San Pedro, California, and though she was very young at the time she retained until her death a very vivid recollection of that voyage.

Arriving in San Pedro her father bought teams and wagons and the fmily made the trip to Utah, arriving her about December, 1857. Because of the menace of the savages at the time they made their home in the old fort where they lived for two or three years, being the first family to move out of the fort into a home of thier own. They experienced all the hardships incident to pioneer life in this locality. Her life was one of service to her family and to the community in which she lived, and at the time of her death was a faithful Latter Day Saint.

Her husband Wm. Edwards, proceeded her from this life by less than a year. She is survived by six sons, Wm. R., David J., John E., Thomas, Morgan and Horace, and one daughter, Mrs. Sarah E. Barton, all of Paragonah, together with twenty-four grandchildren, six great grandchildren, two brothers, Thomas Robb and George Robb, the latter of Price, Utah. All her children except Horace were at the funeral. He was in Montana and could not be reached in time to get here.

Speakers at the funeral were Simon A. Matheson of Parowan, Richard Robinson, Jr. of Los Angeles, Wm. P. Barton and Bishop Thomas W. Jones of Paragonah. Mrs. Richard N. Lund read a history of her life and musical numbers included a solo by L.J. Adams of Parowan, and songs by Unice Edwards Anderson and her little daughters of Los Angeles. (Mrs. Anderson is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Edwards, former residents of Paragonah where she lived until she was three years old).

At the cemetery Mrs. Anderson and Amasa Stones, accompanied by the choir, sang "Lead Me Gentley Home". the grave was dedicated by Elder Amenzo Topham.

Parowan Times

Ann Elizabeth Robb Edwards Death Certificate

Cemetery Marker for Ann Elizabeth Robb and William Edwards
Paragonah Cemetery, Paragonah, Utah


Monday, August 15, 2011

Henry Holyoak and Sarah Ann Robinson

Henry Holyoak
 Henry Holyoak was born March 5, 1839, in Yardley, Worcestershire, England, the seventh child of George and Sarah Green Holyoak of that place. His brothers and sisters are: William, Mary, George, Anne, Sarah, Henry and Hannah.

The Holyoak family had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints June 24, 1841 and like all the saints, lived for the day they could accumulate enough money to come to America, sailing in February 1854, and landing April 1854. They came immediately on to Utah, arriving in October 1854. The trek across the plains was hard and also saddened by the loss of Mother Sarah and sisters Mary and Anne. Henry settled in Parowan, Utah, with his father and sisters. In 1863 and later he made three trips back East with ox-team for freight and immigrants.

In 1865 on January 29, he married Sarah Ann Robinson, daughter of English Immigrants. She was born in Nauvoo, Illinois December 22, 1842, and came to Utah with her parents settling in Paragonah. [Sarah Ann Robinson Holyoak, who was JR Robinson’s half sister. His son JR Robinson Jr. was also called to San Juan. Her mother & father were married on the ship to America in 1842, Alice Coupe Robinson died in Pottatattamie County, Iowa May 30, 1847, and left Sarah and her brother Richard. J R Robinson Sr married her sister Jane, at his first wife’s request, who was traveling with them, on August 24, 1847, They had 15 children, including the two from her sister. ]

They later went to the temple when it was ready for sealings and had their work done. It is interesting to note that all their children have been married in the temples; also the big majority, if not all of their grandchildren.

Children of this union are Alice Jane (Thomson), Henry John, Mary Luella (Young), Eliza Ellen (McConkie), Albert Daniel, Richard James, and Sarah Ann. (died at 13 years of age). James died at 8 years of age. The other five have contributed to the 29 grandchildren and over 200 great and great, great grandchildren.

When the church called colonizers for San Juan, the Henry Holyoak family were among those who were called from Parowan, 1879-80, (probably the 69th quorum of seventies) [According to J R Robinson's story, at the quarterly conference of the Parowan Stake, held Dec. 28 and 29, 1878 Holyoak was one of the names called to serve as a missionary "to settle where directed." Others who went from Paragonah were William Robb, James R. Robinson Jr, James Dunton.]

Sarah Ann drove her own wagon most of the way. She had a bed in it as well as a stove to keep her young children comfortable, the baby being very young. Henry John and Alice Jane drove the livestock, (which consisted of about 100 head of cattle, a yoke of oxen and some horses, at the time they moved on to Moab). The calves were tied up at night and in the morning the dairy cows were milked. The milk put in the barrel churn on back of the wagon would, by night, supply the family with fresh butter as well as milk. Many others shared in these dairy products (Carlile History).

The four years spent on the San Juan were wasted so far as crops were concerned because the rising river ruined the farming land, also took out the water wheel and washed it to the other side of the river. This left them with no way to get water onto crops not washed away.

"The Holyoak family moved to Bluff for a short time, but much of the land at Bluff had been washed away also, and it seemed there was no place for them. They decided to accept the mission release, and search for a more hospitable location. This would be their seventh move in just over four years. The wagon they brought through the Hole-in-the-Rock had been their home, much of the past four years.

During October of 1884, the Holyoak family followed the tracks left by the eight wagons, which, just a few weeks earlier, had carried the Harriman and Davis refugees north. They camped for a few days east of Blue Mountain near where the town of Monticello is now located. They then continued their journey past the spot where the Old Spanish trail intercepted Coyote Wash and finally to the location now called Kane Springs. The old wagon broke a wheel, and they were stranded. This was probably the low point for the Holyoak family. They were out of food; the wagon had serious damage; and they really didn’t even know where they were going. Fortunately, they still had a few cattle left from the fine herd they had brought from Parowan.

Henry left his family at Kane Springs, and rode all the way to Castle Dale in search of food. This trip took two weeks and the family hunted and ate rabbits until his return. He had procured some pig feed, with the chaff, bran and all, mixed together, which was the only thing he was able to buy. Henry went to work repairing their wagon. Near the end of February, they arrived and pitched a tent at a place a little east of the present town of Moab.

Henry traded nine cows and ten steer to Lester Taylor for eighty acres of land in an area, which appropriately became known as Poverty Flats, and still carries the name to this day. They had found their permanent location and there would be no more moves other than local ones. Things gradually began to improve. The Holyoaks were among the first settlers in the area. Someone said they were the seventh family to settle in the area. They helped build the town of Moab.

Holyoak Family at Batchelor's Hall, Moab, Utah 1898
The photograph was taken a number of years after the Montezuma episode. The location was between Mill Creek and Pack Creek at Moab.

Left to right: Henry Holyoak, Richard Leroy Holyoak-child being held by Hattie Elizabeth Lutz Holyoak, Mary Luella Holyoak Young, Marion Thomson-child behind dog. (The dog was named Bob), Eliza Ellen Holyoak McConkie-inside cabin, Alice Jane Holyoak Thomson- center of doorway, James and Henry Thomson-children in basket, Sarah Ann Robinson Holyoak, Gurtie Thomson, Robert Thomson, Davenport.

Henry John Holyoak and Henry Holyoak 1890
Photo from Hole-in-the-Rock Remembered
Henry was called to serve a mission to England, his son, Henry John, served a mission to the southern states and Florida, where he contracted malaria, but survived. Albert Daniel also served a mission.
"The Holyoak history tells of the Indian friends they had made while living at Montezuma occasionally visiting them at Moab. There would be a happy reunion when they arrived, and Henry would kill the fatted calf and put on a feast. The friendship the Holyoak family had with the Indians was genuine. This is truly amazing, when considering the fact that just fifteen miles from the Holyoak place, there are graves of at least ten white cowboys, who were killed in a fight with those same Indians during the Pinhook War."

Henry Holyoak was a counselor to Bishop Stewart, first Bishop of Moab Ward. Sarah Ann was counselor in the Relief Society and later became President. Sarah Ann died on November 20, 1921 at Moab. Henry died on January 23, 1926 at Ogden, Utah and was buried at Moab. They were wonderful pioneers, who lived valiant lives, facing all their tribulations and adversity with faith and patience. They left a very impressive posterity. 

Henry was a young man at the time of the Hole-in-the-Rock expedition. Following is an interesting excerpt by Holyoak concerning the first part of their trip, heading towards Escalante.

While crossing the mountain snow fell until it was up to the axles of the wagons. I drove the loose stock, and got my feet frozen. While crossing the divide my mother drove one of the wagons, with a team of horses, while my father drove the wagon drawn by an ox team.

Holyoak remembers this about Cottonwood Hill;

The road was steep and the chain broke and the wagon turned over, the tongue went up in the air and lit upside down in the road so we had to take it to pieces and pack it up on top so we could put it together. We had a hive of bees and had to wait till we could sack the bees before we could start packing the pieces of the wagon and the load up the hill. That took a lot of work to get things together.

Taken from a Short History of Henry Holyoak.  Author Unknown

Henry Holyoak was a counselor to Bishop Stewart, first bishop of Moab ward.  Sarah Ann was counselor in Relief Society and later became President.

They took a prominent part in getting things started to build up the community, schools, and church.  They were considerate of others and shared their food, but stood for their own rights.  Squatter's built a shack over night, on part of their land in Moab while Henry took a trip by team and buggy to Salt Lake City to get title to the land.  Sarah Ann held the squatters of with an old gun, not loaded (and probably wouldn't have shot anyway), but said, Mr. Loveridge, years later, "We moved when she said to get off because we knew she meant what she said."

The blessings given Henry and Sarah Ann on the same day in 1875 must have been an inspiration tot them and they lived for them and fulfilled them, and surely will be inspiring to all who read them, so are being added to this history.  All who knew them well will tell you they were good, respected citizens, well loved by all, "Naturally of a kind disposition."  They fed the hungry and had plenty to set before their friends as Sarah Ann's blessing said.  They were friendly with the Indians and were able to feed them by the dozens when they passed through Moab.

Holyoke Coat of Arms

In his declining and lonely years after the passing of his good wife, Henry was very desirous that some one carry on the genealogy work he had pursued.  He was a life member of the Genealogical Society of Utah and sent money repeatedly for research work.  When on a mission to England in 1893, he searched for genealogy and he also secured the Holyoak Family Coat of Arms and placed it in the Society.  he always went to church and bore his testimony on fastday [sic].  Said he, "Even though I cannot hear, my presence will be there."

Henry Holyoak:
Birth: Mar. 5, 1839
Death: Jan. 23, 1926

Sarah Ann Robinson Holyoak:
Birth: Dec. 22, 1842
Death: Nov. 21, 1921

Grand Valley Cemetery
Moab, Grand County, Utah, USA

Sarah Ann and Henry Holyoak monument
Grand Valley Cemetery, Moab,Utah

(A Blessing given by Levi W. Hancock, July 2, 1875, upon the head of Henry Holyoak, the son of George and Sarah Holyoak.  Born March 5, 1839, at Worstershire, England.)

Brother Henry, I place my hands upon thy head and give thee a patriarchal blessing, which is a fatherly blessing confirmed upon the heads of the sons of men, who belong to the house of God.  That they may look upon the same and claim the blessings that are recorded.  That they may be handed down from generation to generation for the benefit of the whole family branch, that shall spring from them trhough all their generations.

Thou are one of the sons of those that were counted wise in the counsils [sic] that are among the Gods.  Thou has come in the time appointed to be one with thy brethern [sic] in this age of the world to help them promote the cause of truth, peace and prosperity among the offspring of Adam, the father of us all.  To be counted with him in the ties of friendship and love to bind the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to the children: that virtue and truth may prevail.  Thou are the pure blood of Ephriam [sic] and much of thy time should be spent in the pursuit of Manassa [sic] by encouraging the young me and the middle age and also those of thine own posterity to deal kindly and truly with the Lamanites.  That they may be brought to the knowledge of Christ, their Redeemer and learn to be one with Him.  That his spirit may rest upon them and commence binding their affections to each other, and cease hankering for blood.

Tough are capable of doing great work for the benefit of the House of Israel, not so much because of a great flow of words, but because of the uprightness of thy walk and proceedings.  From this time give thy mind to study and wisdom shall be given from on high.

And when thou hath been sufficiently tried as Abraham was thou shall have intelligence concerning the second comforter which thou has not as yet comprehended but in part.  When He comes thou will know it.  It will be a sudden impression upon thee and it will continue to instruct thy mind from hence forward.  Let thy heart be joyful.  Let the revibrating [sic] strokes of the sudden emotions of thy heart stimulate thee to work in the service of thy God.  And as for the riches of the world, thou shall be in possession of enough to make thee comfortable all thy days.  And thine offspring, with a numerous host of others of the different branches of the family of man, will give thee much honor.  Mind not what opposers [sic] may say.  Keep a straight onward course.  Do good for evil, remember the Son of God has set the pattern and they shall overcome all evil and have right to the tree of life in the Paradise of God.

These are the blessings that I seal upon thy head, and the blessings of Eternal Life, even so, Amen.

Find a Grave
Hole-in-the-Rock Remembered
Short History and Blessing of Henry Holyoak

Saturday, July 16, 2011

George and Sarah Green Holyoak

William Holyoak

Gleaning the Holyoak Field

-- by Holyoak Historian, Minnie Carlile
--Grammatical editions by Chad Nichols

Having been asked to glean the pages of the past for a history of George and Sarah Green Holyoak, I will begin with the words of their youngest child, Hannah. “My parents were prosperous farmers and truck gardeners. Quiet, industrious, religious, and methodical in their habits, and trained their children so thoroughly in those principals that governed their lives that none of them ever deviated there from.”

George Holyoak was born January 17, 1799, at Yardley, England. His wife, Sarah Green, was christened at Mosley, Warwick, England, July 16, 1797.

About the time their youngest child was born they learned of a new religion. This new religion was being taught by missionaries from America. People were talking about it. In fact, there had not been so much interest in religion in all of England since the reign of King Henry the Eighth. For George and Sarah Holyoak this new religion had a strange appeal. It was so different from the usual doctrines of the day. It had such a ring of truth yet it was so simple and easy to understand. The unanswered questions no longer haunted their minds. After much study and prayer George and Sarah were convinced that this new religion was the true and tried teachings of the Lord revealed anew and they asked for baptism at the hands of the missionaries. They were baptized June 24, 1841, and began to plan for the time when they could join the body of the Saints in Zion.

Their eldest son, William, born April 12, 1825, at the age of eleven was “bound out” to learn the butcher’s trade. This was during the reign of Queen Victoria. Young William’s heart yearned for the green grass and the climbing roses that grew about his home, called “Rose Cottage” and he just couldn’t like the butcher’s trade. At thirteen he was again set at learning a trade. This time, however, it was learning the trade of harness making from his Uncle John Green. This had more of an appeal and he remained with his Uncle until he was twenty-one years of age.

Romance captured young William and he lost his heart to a sweet young girl named Martha Green. They were married in the Church of England, on the outskirts of Birmingham. William and Martha owned and operated a grocery store. Martha ran the store and William worked in a harness factory. After a time Martha’s health failed and he took her to his parents’ home. There was born their little son Nemiah. Three days later Martha passed away. The loving arms of George and Sarah Holyoak reached out and took their little grandson and cared for him as their own.

William then sold his store and went to Leamington, where he learned the tanners and plasterers trades. While there he met and married Sarah Wilkins and was himself baptized in May, 1846. They were married December 27, 1849 and began to prepare for their voyage to America. When the forty-sixth company of Saints left England on January 10, 1850, William Holyoak and family were among the passengers. Jeter Clinton was president of the company. They sailed on the ship “Argo.” The Argo arrived at New Orleans March 8, 1850.

George Holyoak, Jr., sailed on the ship “Ellen Maria” leaving England February 1, 1851.

April, 1851 found the people of England much excited. The government was going to take a census. Doubt and suspicion ran wild as people recalled the “Doomsday Book of William, the

Conqueror” and were afraid that this census would mean more taxes. Many refused to open their doors when the census taker called. Not so with George and Sarah Holyoak, when the census taker called at No 92 Mosley Wake, Green Common, Yardley, England – George was aged fifty-two. His occupation was given as an “agricultural labourer” and his birthplace was given as Yardley. His wife, Sarah, aged fifty-three and was stated to have been a laundress, also born at Yardley. Their daughter Sarah was fourteen years of age and listed as a house-servant. Henry was also born at Yardley and was twelve years of age and listed as a hostler. Their youngest child, Hannah, was ten years old and Nemiah was three.

William and George were on their way to America at this time and their oldest daughter, Mary, who was born May 10, 1827, was perhaps married to John Knowles at this time and had a home of her own. Ann, their second daughter, was probably away at work. Her birth is given in the early church record of Birmingham as January 6, 1832. On April 10, 1853 she was transferred to the Bristol Road branch of the church. She is stated on February 2, 1853, to have gone to the valley of the mountains. This is perhaps meant to have been February 22, 1854, because this is the date of sailing for the ship Windermere.

The youngest child, Hannah, was baptized when she was eight years of age. Because of ridicule by both adults and children alike, she was not permitted to go to school as her former associates were.

The seventy-second company of Saints sailed on the ship “Windermere.” There were four hundred seventy-seven Saints on board. Included on board were George and Sarah Holyoak and their children, Ann, Henry, Hannah, and Nemiah. The company was in charge of Elder Daniel Garn. The captain was Fairfield and among the passengers were seven ex-presidents of conferences namely Abraham Marchant, Robert Menziers, Job Smith, John T. Hardy, John A. Albiston, J. Long, and Graham Douglas.

The Windermere sailed from Liverpool on February 22 and arrived at New Orleans April 23, 1854. During the voyage the wind was contrary and often there were heavy gales that interfered with their progress, but at the end of five weeks a favorable wind set in and the ship made a thousand miles in four days. Fifteen days after leaving Liverpool the smallpox broke out on board the ship and spread rapidly as the vessel approached the tropics. Thirty seven passengers and two of the crew contracted the disease. The malady was suddenly checked by prayer. Then they reached New Orleans. Eleven patients were sent to Luzenburg Hospital through an agreement with the health officers at the port. Elder Long and five others were elected to remain at New Orleans to attend the sick until they were sufficiently well to go forward on their journey from New Orleans. The rest of the company continued the journey from New Orleans on the 27th of April on board a steamboat and arrived at St. Louis a few days later, then went on to Kansas City.

Hannah Holyoak, in her history states that they were nine weeks on water. After arriving at New Orleans they took a steamboat up the river to St. Louis where they were delayed because of the death of a sister. This sister may have been Mary Holyoak Knowles as her death date is given as May 1854.

Having inquired I have been told that as the family was sailing a romance had blossomed between Ann Holyoak and Joseph James. They may have married as there were six marriages, six births, and ten deaths on board the ship. At any rate Ann and Joseph were separated by the death of Ann which is given on the family group sheet as August 1854. Later Sarah Holyoak was married to Joseph James and Ann was sealed to him for time and eternity.

The trek across the plains was long and weary and as they were on the plains of Nebraska their hearts became wearier than their feet. They were called to sorrow for the death of their wife and mother, Sarah Green Holyoak. A grave was hastily dug. Her tired body was sewn in a quilt and she was laid to rest in the plains her weary feet had trod. George Holyoak and his children, Sarah, Henry, Hannah, and Nemiah lifted their tear stained faces unto the hills from whence cometh strength and they plodded on to the West.

When they reached Utah, Sarah Holyoak was married to Joseph James and went to Ogden to make their home. George and his son, Henry, and daughter, Hannah, went to Parowan to settle. There they were joined by William and his family, George, the family of Mary and John Knowles, and George Holyoak, Jr., who had married Eliza Moore.

Henry met and married Sarah Ann Robinson, who had been born at Nauvoo, Illinois. They were called to go help settle San Juan. They were among those that went down through the Hole in the Rock, and remained in the area.

Hannah married at the Christmas party, December 25, 1855, to William LeFevre, a young English convert, who had also crossed the plains and settled at Parowan with his mother. Nemiah went to live with his father. When he grew older he married Sarah Ann Harper.

With all his children married George was left alone. However, he found a companionship with Ann Gunn, widow of John Gunn. She had joined the church in London in 1854 and came to Utah with her family of six sons and two daughters. Her husband, John Gunn, had died in 1838 at Stortford, Hertfordshire, England and she had reached Utah in 1860. They lived at Parowan until she was eighty-four years and seventeen days old. After a lingering illness she passed away February 6, 1878. Three years later, October 27, 1881, George Holyoak passed away from this life. His earthly work was finished. He had been faithful to the end. Perhaps if we could have been with him at the end we might have looked on all that he loved, and all that he looked forward to and with satisfaction have used the words of the Savior when he said, “It is finished.”
Source: Gleaning the Holyoak Field
Gleaning the Holyoak Field

-- by Holyoak Historian, Minnie Carlile
--Grammatical editions by Chad Nichols