Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847-1868, Forsyth
Contributor: cindykay1 Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel, 1847–1868
Stephen Markham Company (1850)
Departure: 20-27 June 1850
Arrival: 1-3 October 1850
50 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa
(present day Council Bluffs).
Birth Date: 20 Sep. 1813
Death Date: 25 Mar. 1898
Sources: Forsyth, Thomas R., Reminiscences [ca. 1922], 2-3, 25-27.
Johnson, Susan Ellen, Record of Susan Ellen Johnson, 5-9, BX 8670 .M82 vol. 11.
Journal History, Supp. after 31 Dec. 1850, p. 19
Pioneer Information: Captain of 2nd Ten
Forsyth, Isabella Donald
Birth Date: 17 Mar. 1819
Death Date: 23 Dec. 1852
Sources: Journal History, Supp. after 31 Dec. 1850, p.19
Forsyth, George James
Birth Date: 23 May 1844
Death Date: 6 Feb. 1927
Sources: Journal History, Supp. after 31 Dec. 1850, p. 19
Forsyth, Thomas (36)
Forsyth, Isabella Donald (31)
Forsyth, Thomas Robert (9)
Forsyth, Jennett (8)
Forsyth, George James (6)
Forsyth, Isabella Jane Bell (4)
Forsyth, Mariamne [or Minnie] (2)
Forsyth, Neil Donald (infant)
History of Thomas Forsyth
Contributor: cindykay1 Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
Thomas Robert Forsyth
I, Thomas R. Forsyth, having in mind, a statement of my father’s early life, wish to make a statement to the best of my recollection.
My father’s name was Thomas Forsyth He was born in Roxboro, Scotland Sept. 20 AD 1813 and came to Canada AD 1820 with his father and mother. They had 6 children as follows: Robert, Christina, Henry and Agness who was born in Kelso, Rocksburyshire, Scotland and also 2 younger sisters born in Glasgow, Isabella and Jane. My mother’s name was Isabella Jackson. She was born in the Parrish of Nanthorn, Rocksburyshire, Scotland. My father’s name was Thomas, my grandfather’s name was James, and my g grandfather’s name was Thomas.
Now I am the son of Thomas and Isabella Donald whose names ware George Donald and Janet Taylor of Glasgow, Scotland coming over to Canada in the year AD 1820 in the same ship with My Father’s Folks all settling in Canada west as Neighbors. My Father married My Mother AD 1839 and I was borene Sept 10th AD 1840 in Plimtigen the township of Poart sarney as I thought I had learned of my Mother but As she died when I was 12 years old But later my Father said I was bone in Porthuron Michigan so when I was 38 years old I took out my Naturelisation Paper so as To be sure that I was allright
Now my Father and Mother Joined the Chirch in Canada in 1844 and Came to Navoo (Nauvoo, Ill.)In the spring of 1845 My Mother was born March the 17 AD 18 19 in Glasgow Mother’s name was Janet Taylor we lived in Navoo Untill March 1846 when we came west with the saints crossing the Maissipa River (Mississippi) In March My Uncle Neal Donald Driving our team My Father staying in Navoo as a gard (guard) an wagonmaker and repare of old wagons
My Mother Brother Drove out team one yoke oxen untill my Father overtook us somewhere on the way. Mothers Brothers name was Neal Donald And he went west with the Batalion Company C (Mormon Battalion) and died in Sandage (San Diego) California in the hospitle
Whiloe my Father and family went to Missouri for the winter of 1846 Coming Back up into cag creek 20 miles below knesvill or whare we Left the fall before In 1846 and located in a French setemant or mostly so As he couls speak french and worked At his triad repairing houses or building And by this means obtained corn and bacon And such things as we needed for the Winter In the spring of 1847 we moved back up to what was called Cag Crick whare Thare was a few famielyes of the saints who had settled This was 20 miles below Canesvill on the Missouri river on the east side while florence (Florence)or winter quarters Winter Quarters)was on the west side whare the body of the saints were located which was afterword called Florence
Thair being sawmill on this cag crik my Father wooked some at the mill and at farming until he got some wagon timber seasoned when we again commenced making new and reapairing old wagons by putting new wood to the old iron, untill the Spring of 1850 crossing the Misouri 20 or 25 miles below Florence at sarpeas Point so knowen by the Emigrating saints We left the Misouri river some time in June and reached salt Lake valley the 1 of Oct 1850 after staying on the campground a few days we moved to Bingham Kanion whare my Father Took the job of cutting and hauling Logs for Archie Gardners saw mill Located at West Jordan about 15 or 16 miles East
From the timber two the mill we lived Thare all winter then moved back to the citty In the spring of 1851 and Locating In the west part of town on 2nd south 5 fifth west or near The Old doby yard in the spring of 1851 April the 1 I think I was then in my 11 year up two then I had Only attended two schools $ they ware In the years that we lived on Cag Creek One taught By Miss Bishop & one by Mrs Owens a widow
Now I Thomas R Forsyth son of Thomas Forsyth spent the Greater part of the summer of 1851 In the knion with my Father as he followed That Business get out square timber and Getting lumber In a Jeneraly way as the public Required as will as shingles & staves for cooper To make Tubs and Barels And he made the square timber For mill and Barnes & Bridges the winter of 1851 & 2 I spent mostely In school taught by a Mr Cushen on his way to Calafornia
In the year 1852 I commenced to drive team In company with brother John Thomas who worked for my Father haweling lumber Tools wood In the fall I got kicked with a horse and was laid up for some time I went to school this winter 1852-3 but did not go all the time As my Mother died Dec 23 1852 and my Father was in lumbering Business and Had to hire a girl to take care of us children we did not do much at It Father being away most of the time and my father had started to build a great big house It was 20 by 40 ft with a tea 16 by 18 In the clear And he was quite a little in Det and These conditions with a hired girl that Had to be changed Tow or three time during the next year Did not help him much much
So my father was in this condition until Aug 20 1853 when he married Marry Browett and English lady durin this summer I drove team hawling lumber shingles staves & wood until the fall I fell from a scaffold on the upper floor & went through two Pair of Jois In two the celor or basement and was laid Up for a long time but attended schoole this winter IN the Earley spring of 1854 I comenesed Halling logs to the mill from Brigham Kanion and during the summer halled some posts & pools to fence a peacs of land near Whites fort of 20 achors As my father had taken up 160 acers thare In the winter of 1854 & 1855 I attend school but as my Hom surroundings had changed I Did Not have much Intrest In school who when
St. George, Utah May 26 1896
I was born in the town and Parrish of Kelso, in Rocksburyshire, Scotland on the 2oth day of September 1818. My father’s name was Thomas, my grandfather’s name was James, and my great grandfather’s name was Thomas. My mother’s name was Isabella Jackson. My mother was born in the Parrish of Menthorn, Rocksburyshire, Scotland. My father was a carpenter by trade. My oldest brother Robert was born in Kelso, Rocksburyshire also my sister Christina & Henry and Agness and an Agness that died in infancy and a William that died in infancy. I had two younger sisters that were born in Glasgow, Isabella and Jean. I can remember my grandfather Jackson coming to see us with granma with him just before we moved from Kelso to Glasgow. I can see him in my minds eye today. Although I was about two years old then we lived in Glasgow about four years. My father superintended what they called then a secret works at a place called ruglenbridge. The works was close to the bridge. I remember well I used to go to the works often. We lived not far from the works. I can remember in the fall and winter of 1819 of seeing the rebbles or those they called the rebbles marching past our house in great numbers mostly after dark. They wanted to put royal Charlie on the throne. My mother kept a grocery store. She was very sickly and the doctors advised my father that a change of climet was the only thing that would do her any good so he concluded to go to America. And in the spring of 1820 we sailed from Greenock in the ship Commerc and we were 14 weeks and 4 days in getting to quebeck the steamboat came along side and tuck the pasangers up the st. clarns river to montreail from which place we were taken by carts to Brockville and then north to pearth town 20 mills from Lenerk the country town our distanation, all the imagrants that came that year were brought at the expence of the goverment and every male over 21 years old were given 100 acres of land, provisions for one year for every family. Every adult over 14 years old got one pain of blankets and to all under 14 a single blanket and a certin amount of money. I think it LB 5.00 for those under 14 and lb 10 for all those over 14 paid in instalments the first year. Every family was funished with all kinds of farming loots. They were also funished with all kinds of macanacle loots for a certin number of familys. And Macanics were sent to do all kinds of labor. To make us self supporting in the near future and all this expence together with the price of the land was paid back to the government in twenty years. But when the twenty years was expired or about to expire the people petitioned the goverment to forgive the debt or take the land with there improvements for it. So the goverment chose the formen, forgive the debt and issued the ___. Now when we landed in perth or very shortly after my mother died in that town. Late that fall my father and brothers Robert and Henry put up a very good log house and moved us on to our land which was 7 miles from Lenerk the county sete. There were no roads yet mead from the county sete consaquantly our lougage had to be packed on the backs of those that were able to pack it. And all young and old had to do thair part of this labor. But the more bulkey things had to be left til winter when a pathway could be mead the brush cut out of the way and the snow tramped down through the woods and on the ice on the creeks and lakes wide anuf for a hand sledge to be drawn along. My father and my brother Robert went to work and mead a number of hand slays in the forepart of the winter and as soon as the ice was strong anuf on the creek and lake and deep a nuff to make a good track for the slays my father got all the young men he could and went for the heavy part of our lougage my father objected to my brother henry going as he said he was too young and could not stand the trip, but he, henry, would go whether or not. And that was the last day for him he expired with sight of our house some time in the night. His death was caused by fatige and cold. My oldest brother and sister went out to work as soon as they got the family seteled and a little land cleared off for father to put in some crop. This was I think in 1821 or 1822but our family misfortuns had not ceased yet for my father was kiled by a tree faling on him. He was buraid on his farm at the root of a large white pine tree that stude a short distance from the house. The only pine tree there was for mils around. My father would not have it cut down and when I left that part of the country in 1839 it was stil standing there to mark my father’s Last resting place. The death of my father called my brother and sister home, but in those days it tuck a long time to get the news to them. There was no tilegraph then. There was scarcely any horses to be seen and very bad road and in my part no roads at all. But only trees marked or blased (?)as we call it in sight of each other often from one place to another through the woods. Well in a few years my brother and sister got marriedeach taken two of us young ones. It fel to my lot to go with my brother and shortly after he married he moved to montrail where he worked at his trade on the grat catholic church in that city being superentendent of one half of the building. The main building covered one acre of ground. It required one month labor of one of the best mecanics to make one window sash. I hear went to school for the best part of two years and in 1826 my brother was engeaged as superentendent of public works for the goverment to go up the grand ottawa river to connect the two provinces of canada east and canada west. He had a grat part of the time three years 360 men to work after he completed the bridges and other works connected with them. He then tuck contracts from the govrment on the construction of the riddo (?) canal from bytown to Kingston. When the canal was finished he and mr Robert drummond went in partnership building and moning steamboats from bytown to the head of lake ontereo and continued in that busness until the year 1834when they both died of colera withing 20 days of each other. In the fall of 1837 I went up the grand ottowa river to lumber or get out square timber for quebeck market. This was 300 miles above on northwest of any settlements. The next year I went up the madawasky river about 200 mils a tributary of the grand ottowa. I went to quebeck in the summer of 1838. on the way back I stayed at Sorel a port on the st Lawrence river 45 mils below montrail where two of my sisters were living. There names were Agness the older and Jane the younger. They married two brothers ship carpenters by trad. There names were hugh and Mitchel Convery. Hugh married Agness about the year 1828. Jane did not get married for several years after that. In the spring 1839 I married Isabella Donald daughter of george and Jennet Taylor Donald both of Lenark Canada west. They crossed the ocion with us and was my fathers nearest nabor at the time of his death. My wife Isabella bore me 7 children 3 sons and four daughters. My wife Isabella was born in Glasgow on the 17th of march 1819. she died of a cold which settled in her lungs in Salt Lake City in May 1851. I moved in company with my mother in law and family to London, district of Kent Canada west. Took up 200 acres of land and afterwords I bought another 100 acres. I ran a saw mill (a mully mill) at port sirnia for Durant during surplus water session two years in 1841. I went back to sorel to collect money I loaned in 1838 but failed to get it. I went to work in a shipyard to get money to take me back home. Before I left home I had agreed with a mr smith to bring his family back with me. She was living with her folks a little way from montrial. I called and brought her along. She had two children but she had very little money and I had to take our passage on a saling vessel to save money & coming up lake ontario the captain had to call at oswago & we were wind. bound for several days there. As soon as the weather would admet the captain put to sea near night but we had not been out to sea long befor a heavy gaile struck us and the vessel roled & picked terable. I slept in the hold. Mrs smith slept in the cabin. In the night the ___ and asked me if I was striped and if I was not afraid. I said no. Some times I was nearly on my feet in my bed & then on my head or nearly so. But towards morning mrs smith came out of her cabin into the hole & came right into my bed without asking me any questions. I got up and went on deck and found the captain alone trying to manage the vessel alone. He was glad to see me & and asked can you manage the wheel or take the boom for his salors were all sea sick. I could not come on deck. We were very near the canada shore and running as close to the wind as possible. We had hard work to keep of land. It was runing almost on her broadside to keep of the land. Shortly after day light the wind fell considerable & we mead port hamilton the next day. I found out that the main mast was sprung and we had to lay by to put in another one which tuck 2 or 3 days. Then we went through the wellenton canal into lake earia and I had a plesant time til we landed at port sirnia near the outlet of lake huron. 7 mils from my home. That fall or next spring my sister Christina wrote me a letter that she had receved a letter from my uncle James in Scotland. I wrote to her to send me his letter. When I receved it I wrote him all the particulars about our family from the time we left Scotland upto that time. I also for all of our agese as we non of us knew our age. & in due time I receved his answer with all of our agese but one in it. & also his request for me to let him know what the latterday saints were doing. He said you will know them. Joseph smith is the head one of them. I nover hard heard of the latterday saints til he asked me that question in his letter. In order to answer all his questions I began to enquire how these latterday saint were and where they were. I could find out but very little about them but all I could learn of them I wrote him. But the next year 1843 there was amormon elder came to my motherinlaws place about 7 mils from my place & gave out notic he would hold a meeting there. I was at the time very anguios to find out wheter there was a God or not & there was anyway to worship him. For all I could hear in that w line was a mass of confussion to me. So when I heard of this mormon elder going to preach the next day (sunday) I said I would go hear him. ,y wife’s youngest brother was at my house that night & was going home the next morning so I mead up my mind to go with him & as soon as breakfast was over I went to fix to go. My wife was in the act of puting a neck tie on me. Her brother stood close by & my oldest and only son at the time he was twenty months old & was sitting on his little chair with a peace of past board in his hands. We were not talking about the mormons nor about what they preached for we did not know anything about them yet. But all of a sudent commenced to read from the past board he held in his hands & moving his head as if her was following the lines of reading & repeted these words. The mormons preaches Jesus’ gospel & repeting these word some 3 or 4 times as plain as I or any one else could say them. When we heard him say these words we were stuck with astonishment for we knew he had never heard these words spoken bye any one. When he noticed looking at him he laughed & through the past board away. We went to the meeting heard the elders preach & I knoew then and there that he preached the truth. I commenced to investigate it & soon was convinced that there was a God & I had found that that I had been looking for & praying for. For I had truly been praying for about two years for this very thing. And no one knows the joy that filed my bosom only those that has experienced this same feeling that the finding of the gospel brings to them. There was great opposition to that elder in this place how ever I mead preparations to move west& I came to kalamazoo co, Michigan at a place caled gailsburg 9 mils east of kalamazoo & went to work there. I could not hear of any latterday saints for a long time. At last on the 4th of Aug 1844 I told my wife I was going to hunt up some mormons if there was any in the country. So I started south not knowing where I was going. I traveled til I came to where the road forked seeing a team coming on the road I went on to met and asked the driver if knew of any mormon meetings in that part. He said yes said he but what do you want with mormon meeting. I said that was my busness not yours. He said take the first road leading to your rite hand & go on about 2 mils & you will find a meeting there. But when I came to the road going to the rite I only had to go about 50 or 60 rods to find the place I was hunten for. I was baptized that day by M.E. Webb Aug 4 1844. I got a book of mormon and voice of warning which I prised very much. But but when the people of gailsburg found out that I had joined the mormons they were very much excited & some came to perswed me not to go to navoo. When I came home from being baptized I brought with me a bundle of Joseph Smith verses of the powers and polacies of the united states goverment & distribute them. Which caused very conciderable excitment some very much in favor of them saying they were the best thing had ever seen. Others condeming them only ___ the __ of mormon religion. I had been working for nearly a yearfor two firms. The first for Mills & co. & the later for ransom & gray making potash. They were to pay me the money for my work on the first of June 1845. all went nicly til some time in the winter of 1844 or 45 when when they elders were sent out form navoo to collect tithing to finish the temple ___. H. D. Richards came to the district where I live on that busness & Bishop David Evens going to pen. Stoped with me a few days to ___ himself. I paid to bro. Richards one tenth of all I was worth to the shirt on my back. I let him draw the amount out of the two stores I was working for as I could not demand the money until the first of June 1845 acording to agreement. Now this mead my employer very mad & would have discharged me if they could have found any one to fil my place but they could not do. My son george james was quite sick at the time with a gathering as big as a goos ege on his juglar vein. I had bro. Richards & bro. Webb lay hands on him & he was heald. This also excited the people & many came to see for themselves for they did not beleve the boy could be cured. Bro. Richards also laid his hands on my & blessed me & said I was the only man in all his district that paid a full tithing, there never would be a principle reviled but what I would receve & up to this time every principle I have heard from the proffets of God has been plain to me & nothing from that day to this weakened my faith in the gospel. I have been offered many inducments postatiza but I all way, told them that ___such that I embrased the gospel for the love of the truth & I was going to see the end of it God being my helper I urged in Navoo not to go west with the church for if I did I would see my children crying for bread & heave none to give them. I would see the red men bucher us on the plains. I refused all thaire offers. I said I knew the gospel was true & I would never forsake itcome life or death it all one to me. I never take the back track well. When the 1st of June 1845 came I went to mr. ransom and asked him for my pay. He said he would pay me out of the store in goods but no money. I declined to take good as my contract said I was to be paid in money. I went to see if I could not compel him to pay me the money. I told I could but the law would alow him to keep me out of it for a year or so. I went I went back __ ofened to take the goods but he said if I had taken the goods at first I could heave had them but now he would not pay me the goods.
I, Paula Hirschi Arriola, have tried my best to transcribe this correctly. It is written in Thomas Forsth’s own hand writing. I have put periods where I thought they should go. (He did not have but just a few.) He capitalized hardly anything. I left that as he wrote it as well as his spelling. I could have changed it but then I would rob him of who he really is. I will send you a copy of his hand written copy soon and maybe you can make some changes as you see them. If you are able to, please share with me.
Contributor: cindykay1 Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago
From Washington County Historical Society (http://www.wchsutah.org/people/thomas-forsyth.php)
Thomas Forsyth was born September 20, 1813 at Kelso, Roxburyshire, Scotland.
In April of 1839, Thomas was married to Isabella Donald and came to the United States, settling in Port Huron, Michigan.
On August 4, 1844, Thomas was baptized a member of the LDS Church. It was shortly after his baptism that the family moved to Nauvoo. The family migrated west with the Steven Markham Company and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1850.
In December, 1852, Isabella died at Salt Lake City. Thomas married Mary Browett Holmes on August 20, 1853, in Salt Lake.
By 1865, the Forsyths had moved to Washington County where Thomas operated a shingle mill and a saw mill. The mills were located at the foot of the Pine Valley Mountains, in Forsyth Canyon. It was at the shingle mill that shingles were made for the cotton factory at Washington.
The family eventually settled in Toquerville about 1868.
Thomas died in Toquerville on March 25, 1898 and is buried in the Toquerville City Cemetery.
There is a group picnic site at the foot of Forsyth Canyon in the Pine Valley area of the Dixie National Forest named for Thomas Forsyth.
Parents and Siblings:
Isabel Jackson Forsyth
First Wife and Children:
Isabella Donald Forsyth- (3/17/1819-12/15/1852) (married 4/1/1839)
Thomas Robert Forsyth - (9/10/1840-3/14/1928) (married Fredonia Melissa Goheen)
Jennett Agnes Forsyth - (9/29/1842-7/28/1894) (married James Alma Cunningham)
George James Forsyth - (5/23/1844-2/6/1927) (married Sarah Sophronia Snow)
Isabella Jean Forsyth - (1/2/1846-2/6/1933) (married John Sneddon Barnard)
Marianne "Minnie" Forsyth - (4/6/1848-7/30/1912) (married Charles William Seegmiller)
Cornelius "Neil" Donald Forsyth - (8/4/1849-6/2/1922) (married Sophia Elizabeth Harrison)
Savilla Delina Forsyth - (9/25/1851-11/28/1852)
Second Wife and Children:
Mary Browett Forsyth1 - (6/25/1823-6/18/1915) (married 8/20/1853)
George Joseph Holmes Browett Forsyth - (3/17/1855-3/21/1947) (married Mary Ellen Watts)
Mary Forsyth - (3/28/1857-11/27/1938) (married Brigham Young Jarvis)
Baby Forsyth - (xx/xx/1857-xx/xx/1857)
Christina Forsyth - (12/9/1858-9/12/1950) (married Issac Chauncey MacFarlane)
William Browett Holmes Forsyth - (11/8/1860-3/12/1898) (married Xxxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxx)
Helenora "Ellenora" Forsyth - (10/10/1863-3/3/1865)
Agnes Browett Forsyth - (10/10/1865-2/1/1953) (married Jedediah Foss Woolley)
Benjamin Henry Forsyth - (11/18/1868-7/19/1948) (married Barbara Ann Lamb and Sarah Adelaide
1 Mary Browett was previously married to George Holmes who died in 1851.