Monday, March 25, 2013

Nicholas Mears & Mary Ann Browning

Biography of Mary Ann Browning, possibly written by a family member (but not me)

Mary Ann Browning was born on April 3rd in the Year of Our Lord Seventeen Hundred and Ninety-Seven (3 April 1797). Her birthplace was at Hernhill, Kent, England. She was born during the reign of King George III.

When she was 16 years old and was married to Nicholas Mears [son of Nicholas and Ann Medlam Mears; christened 3 October 1792 in Ashford, Kent, England] and later they became the parents of eight children [including Mary Ann Mears, born 1815]. Her husband Nicholas was a Constable and when he was just 33 years old he was killed in a riot called the Battle of Bosenden Wood [Click HERE to see Wikipedia entry on this battle, including mention of Nicholas. Note that the article states that Nicholas was the brother of the constable. Either way, he was killed at the battle. There is also conflicting information about the date. Wikipedia says the battle was 31 May 1838. Nicholas would have been about 46 years old. FamilySearch says he died 10 December 1831. Hmmm.]

Later she married again. Her new husband's name was William Lewington Jemmett. At the time of their marriage he was 23 years old and she was 37 years old. She was 14 years older than William. He became the step-father of her 8 children and later they had five children of their own. Their names were William George, Henry George, Edward, Julia Jane, and Rosina Kathleen.

Mary Ann was baptized into the LDS Church when she was 52 years old [FamilySearch shows 1851, in which case she would have been 54] . For a time the LDS Mission Home was at her home. Her husband was a pious man and a strict observer of the Sabbath Day.

In 1857 her son William Henry became the first of her family to immigrate to America. He settled in St. Louis Mo. Julia Jane left for America in 1852. When she came to leave her father hugged her and said: "Julia, if it were not for the gospel's sake, and I didn't know we would meet again somewhere I could never stand this parting." This was the last time they were to ever see each other in this world. William Lewington died two years later when his boat was blown up on the Thames River. William had been the master of a sailing barge named the "Good Design." His occupation was mainly that of an oyster dredger. His boat also hauled freight and on his last trip it was hauling gun powder.

That night when he did not come home Mary Ann thought she heard his little dog scratching at the door she went to check, but there was no dog there. She had a feeling something had happened, and soon the terrible news was brought to her that her husband was killed when his boat was exploded by the gun powder on board. His little dog who would have been with him, also never came home again.

One year after William died Mary Ann decided to journey to America. By this time her son Henry George was also there. In the year 1865 when Mary Ann was 68 years old she and
her daughter , Rosina Kathleen, set sail for America. They sailed on the ship "Bell Wood" out of Liverpool.

They came to America the year the Civil War ended. Rosina and Mary Ann traveled across the planes with the Miner Grant Atwood Co., and had many adventures with Indians who stampeded cattle and Army soldiers who played tricks. They traveled approximately 5-15 miles in one day.

Rosina married Charles Johnson who operated the Sand Hole Stage Station in Kamas Idaho. For a time Mary Ann lived with them. All in all she lived to be 86 years old and died on April 28th of 1883 at Woodland, Utah.

If you visit the Heber City Cemetery in Utah you can see her tombstone.
A grandson was later to write of Mary Ann: "she was kindness itself."

OK, it's Robyn writing now. :)

This above history along with more information on he second husband, click HERE to view a PDF.

Click HERE to see Mary Ann's gravestone on Find-A-Grave.

Click HERE to see Mary Ann's name on the register for the ship the Hudson, which she and her husband were planning on sailing on but did not.

William and Mary Ann on register for Hudson, which sailed without them before William died.
Click HERE to see Mary Ann's name on the register for the ship the Belle Wood, which Mary Ann and her daughter actually DID sail on.

Belle Wood register
Belle Wood register, cropped

Listed in the Miner G. Atwood company, click HERE.
1880 Census showing Mary Ann with a Powell family in Idaho.
1880 Census, cropped

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Christian Andersen and Ann Kathrine (Katrine) Pedersen

(Disclaimer: This couple needs more research. I am not sure about much of the information that I have gathered because I haven't seen any primary sources except the register from the boat that they traveled to the US on, so please be patient with me. This couple is one that I plan on researching more in depth in the future.)

Christian Andersen was born on 15 May 1796 in Skiellet, Voer, Hjorring, Denmark. His parents were Anders Jacobsen and Maren Madsen.

Anne Catrine (Katrine) Pedersdatter (sometimes recorded Pedersen) was born on 14 June 1805 in Als, Aalborg, Denmark. She was the daughter of Peder Nielsen and Maren Christensdatter.

Christian and Anne were married on 23 October 1825 in Dronninglund, Hjorring, Denmark. (There is another date for their marriage: 7 October 1821. Not sure which one is right.)

The couple had 7 children: Ane Margrethe, Peder, Maren, Christine, Anne Marie, Niels, and Else Marie.

Christan was possibly baptized in January 1853. There is a confirmation date of 1 January 1853, but I am not positive.

We do know that the couple, along with four children, sailed from Liverpool to New Orleans on the ship “James Nesmith” which left England in January 1855.  Another daughter, Ane, was on the ship with her husband and 2 children. Their older son Peder came to America later and it is unsure if their daughter Maren came to America at all.
Christan and Anne on register of “James Nesmith.” Their children are on the next page of the register. See Christine Andersen’s post.

Closer view, showing Christen was 58 and Anne was 49 when they boarded the ship. Also shows that Christan was a joiner (type of carpenter) by trade.

Christian died on 11 October 1855 in Mormon Grove, Atchison, Kansas according to FamilySearch. I have also seen that they died in Iowa City.

Anne died on 30 December 1855 in Mormon Grove, Atchison, Kansas (?).

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Richard Melvin Rowley

Richard Melvin Rowley was born March 3, 1919 to GeorgeSamuel and Cora May Morris Rowley in Parowan, Utah. He was the third in a family of five. He struggled to come into the world, but a prayerful family and a persistent nurse pulled him through. He was having a hard time breathing, and his nurse had to dunk him alternately into warm and then cold water until he gasped and began crying (The Roots and Branches of the Rowley-Morris Union, by Leonard Rowley).
 He was named after his grandfather, Richard Rowley, who had traveled from England to Utah at the age of twelve. Grandfather Richard was a proper Englishman, and his grandson tried to emulate that. Richard was bright, talented and full of energy as a child. He grew up in a humble home where he learned the value of hard work and education, the joy of family time and most of all, the importance of the Gospel.
 As a child, Richard was known as Melvin or Mel. As an adult, he was known to most as Dick.
 When Richard was a toddler, his mother found him scribbling on the table with a pencil. When she took the pencil away from him, he protested, “Wite a set a mustoo. Surley Melvy can!” Apparently a “set” was the table and “mustoo” was the pencil, or a list of what he “must do.”  His mother gave him a fresh sheet of paper and said, “You surely can!” He grew to be a writer and teacher (The Roots and Branches…, by Leonard Rowley).
1927 at the age of 8.
Richard was also an artist, actor, journalist, comedian and inventor. As a young man, he acted and directed plays put on by the Mutual Improvement Association (MIA, the youth program of the LDS church during that time). He also learned to paint and taught himself to sculpt using iron-rich, red clay from the Parowan Valley. He made vases, urns and lifelike busts. According to his brother, Leonard, Richard had a good singing voice with a large range. He would surprise his family by alternately singing either bass, tenor or alto. (The Roots and Branches…, by Leonard Rowley).
About 1937.
Richard was very smart and did well in school. When he was a young man, he learned to type and bought his own portable typewriter. In 1937, Richard graduated from high school with honors and a scholarship to BAC (now SUU). While in high school and college, he served as the local correspondent for The Deseret News. Richard worked his way through college as well as expecting perfect grades.
 Turkey farming in 1939 with nephew Roger.
He was called into military service during World War II. He passed his initial physical exam and was sent to basic training. After a few days, he had another exam and was rejected for health reasons. He had Rheumatic Fever as a child which affected his heart.
Instead he decided to serve a mission. Although the doctors were reluctant to agree, after a long series of examinations and tests, the papers were signed and he was called to the California Mission. He left in November 1941 at the age of 22. His brother, Leonard, wrote: “It was not easy to wear the uniform of a missionary when it was considered unpatriotic for any young man not to be in military uniform. Painful as this was, he rose above it, and was an effective and honorable missionary” (The Roots and Branches…, by Leonard Rowley).
Elder Rowley, 1942.
On his mission. 1943.
It was during his mission that Richard decided to go by his first name instead of Melvin. He finished his mission in the fall of 1943. He continued his education at BAC, working to earn his own way. One of his jobs during college was working as a DJ at the local radio station, KSUB.  In the fall of 1945, Richard attended BYU. During this time he worked at the BYU News Bureau, sending news releases about campus events to major papers. He also worked for KOVO, Provo’s radio station.
Although he was busy with his education, Richard spearheaded the remodeling and painting of his parents’ home in Parowan as well as the landscaping.
Family home, before...
...and after.
At BYU he studied journalism as part of a composite major. In 1946, he met Lois Pearl Robison who was majoring in Home Economics. Lois wrote in her life history: “I was attending a Delta Phi dinner dance with Harold Call and at the dinner he introduced me to Dick. I’m afraid I did more conversing with Dick that evening than with my date” (The Life History of Lois Robison Rowley, pg. 8). During the next few months, the couple spent time together and during the summer they exchanged letters. Also during this summer (1946), Lois traveled to Parowan to meet Richard’s family and he traveled to the Robison’s home in Nevada to meet her parents.

Lois Robison, about 1944.
Lois wrote: “In the fall of my senior year [1946], I again returned to BYU and Dick invited me to attend his missionary reunion and General Conference with him in Salt Lake. It was after the missionary reunion that Dick proposed and I accepted his Delta Phi pin” (The Life History of Lois Robison Rowley, pg. 8).
On 4 June 1947, both received their bachelor’s degrees and on 27 June, they were married in the St. George Temple. He was 28 and she was 22.
The picture of their wedding cake is the only photographic evidence of the wedding.
The couple wanted to keep the event “simple.” The couple also decided not to hold a reception, but they did have a wedding breakfast at the Escalante Hotel in Cedar City. The couple honeymooned in Cedar Canyon, staying at the Navajo Lake Lodge and at the Cedar Breaks Lodge.
 Richard and Lois in the summer of 1947.

That summer, the couple lived in Provo where Richard was still working for the BYU News Bureau and KOVO.
 In September 1947, they moved to Cedar City where he had taken a teaching position at BAC as well as publicity for the school. They lived in Cedar the rest of their lives. Richard taught many subjects at BAC such as drama, photography, journalism, English, speech, and debate. He would retire from then SUSC in 1983.
 Richard was also involved at Church. Lois wrote: “Through the years Dick was Sunday School Superintendent, Gospel Doctrine teacher – three different times – in a bishopric, Ward Clerk, Teacher Development teacher and always a Home Teacher” (The Life History of Lois Robison Rowley, pg. 14).
Even with his busy teaching career, Richard found time to take his family on outings in the mountains near their home, many camping trips and several vacations throughout the years.
In the early 1950s, Richard occasionally wrote for The Deseret News. During these years there was atomic testing in Nevada and Richard would often be seen with his Geiger counter, which calculated radiation and he would report the readings to the paper.
 During his teaching years, Richard wrote and published one textbook and collaborated with other facility members on another. He also wrote, produced and directed a play, “Beyond the Typha.”
 Richard built a home, which was completed in May 1951, for the family which eventually included four boys: Dennis, Don, Glenn and Mark. Richard also landscaped the yard and began a garden, which would provide hard work and delicious food for the family for decades.
Richard Rowley family, early 1960s.
In the fall of 1953, the family moved for a year to California where Richard worked on his master’s degree, which he received in October 1954. Several times throughout the next years, Richard returned to Stanford in the summers to continue his graduate studies.
 Richard and Lois, 1987
In the early 1980s the family began their annual Rowley Campout. During these retirement years, Richard and Lois spent two days a week in St. George where they served as ordinance workers at the temple for 6 years (1984-1990). During this time, Richard’s mother Cora lived in St. George so they would help her with any chores she needed.
In 1990, Richard was not feeling well and in May went to Las Vegas, NV for tests. He had a cancerous brain tumor. He went through treatment for the cancer, but it was ineffective.
Leonard wrote of an experience their sister Ramona had with him when he was sick. “Ramona told of a day when she came to be with Dick while Lois ran some urgent errands. His ability to speak was very limited, but he took her hand, smiled and said, “Good morning.” For some time, he sat and listened as she talked. Then, he walked to the window and stood watching for Lois to come home. Ramona said she realized how much he depended on Lois- how much she meant to him” (Leonard).  
On 4 August 1990, Richard died of cancer in his home in Cedar City. His entire family, including grandchildren were in town and had been able to see him and hug him before he passed.