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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Ann Jane Willden (Johnson), 1849, Boat Experience, 1849 (age 4)

I was born in Sheffield, England, May 15, 1845. When I was three years old I was at my grandmother's. My mother was milking a cow; noticing the streams of milk I asked if they were knitting needles. One day a lady gave me an English penny, and I was sure I could get a fine large doll with it, so I gave it to my father to buy me a doll, and he bought one that was worth a penny. It was only a rudely carved wooden doll with a painted face and no legs. My disappointment was very great, for I expected that my penny would buy one of the beautiful for I expected that my penny would buy one of the beautiful show dolls in the shop windows.

In the year of 1849, my parents decided to leave England and go to America. While on shipboard, we children were bathed in big tubs and barrels of sea water, which we did not fancy. Many people were on board, and the weather was very cold.

One day I was sitting on a little stool near a stove. A woman with a baby wanted the stool, so she pulled it from under me, causing me to fall against the stove and my hand was so badly burned that the scar remains to this day.

We arrived in the "States" in the year 1849, and as we were going up the river to Iowa, my little sister died, and we were forced to land that we might bury her. I was about five years old, and the burial service made a deep impression upon me.

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.