Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1867-68 (age 19-20), Watson (Neville), Alice E.

I, Alice E. Neville was born September 14, 1848, at Ramsgate Kent, England, a seaport town about forty miles from London. My father, George John Watson, was a merchant and a stone mason by trade.

When I was very young I went to live with my grandmother Watson and continued to make my home with her until I came to America in 1867. I attended the public school at Ramsgate and was christened into the Church of England. Later I was very anxious to visit my relatives and see something beyond the town of Ramsgate. Consequently I went on a visit to my uncle James Marsh, who lived in London. It was here I first heard the joyful sound of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Being raised under a very religious influence and having always been taught to read the Bible, I visited the different churches but none of their teachings seemed to satisfy the yearnings of my heart. I heard of the Mormon Elders and after attending several of their meetings, the spirit of God burned into my very soul. I had a complete testimony of the Gospel and was ready for baptism.

My people were very much opposed to Mormonism so I was unable to live at home after I became a Mormon. My one great desire was to gather with the Saints in Zion. I soon found a position as a lady's maid and in this way I was able to earn enough money to pay my way to Salt Lake City. When I bade my mother goodbye she said, "If you do go, Alice, I would rather know you had a watery grave than for you to ever reach Salt Lake City" My answer was to sing, "If I should die before my journey's through, Happy day! All is well"

In the spring of 1867 in company with some elders and Latter-day Saints, I boarded the ship Hudson at the London Docks, for our happy journey to Zion. It was while on this journey I met my husband, James W. Neville, whom I married July 19, 1868. The Hudson was just a sailing vessel and owing to the severe storms we were seven weeks on the water. A company of Saints waited for us in New York City, but thinking we were lost came on to Zion and we had to remain in New York City one year before continuing our journey. From New York to Laramie, Wyoming, we traveled by rail and from there to Salt Lake City by oxteam. We passed through many of the trying experiences incident to the lives of the pioneers of this country. My husband" and I had to move several places in order to make a living for our little family, but finally settled in Bountiful, our present home. I am the mother of twelve children, six of whom are living. They are all married and have families of their own. I also have twenty-six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. I gave birth to three pairs of twins.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.