faith, Family, Family History, inspiration, kindness, LDS, ldsmom, Monday's Posts, mother, motherhood

Look to the Past

Today’s post is an attempt to remind myself why I need to research my family.   When I take the time to learn about my ancestors, I am always strengthened and in awe of all that my relatives went through.  I hope that you will enjoy this story today.

Jane Ballantyne Taylor is my great-great-great grandmother from her son Richard.  This excerpt is from the Salt Lake City 14th Ward Quilt Album in 1957.  Jane’s daughter , Annie, founded the Daughter’s of Utah Pioneers. I’m grateful for Jane and her example to me.  I am grateful to those who post stories on Family Search.

“Jane Ballantyne Taylor was born April 11, 1818 in Scotland.  It was a place where she knew wealth as well as poverty.  Her father, David Ballantyne, once a wealthy landowner, died penniless-more the fault of his humanity than lack of industry.  He financially backed the debt of a friend who defaulted and brought them both demise.  Years earlier at the age of sixty, he married nineteen-year-old Ann Bannerman, who struggled on alone after his death with the assistance of her sons Peter and Richard and daughters Jane and Annie.  None of the children realized that their zealous effort to pay off debts would stand them in good stead for immigrating to Zion as converts to the new gospel subsequently preached in their homeland.  After two months travel across the Atlantic and up the Mississippi River, the family arrived in Nauvoo where Jane and her sister Annie ‘Tidied their hair, donned gay bonnets with bright ribbons, and appeared in crispy starched gingham’s.  The family were excited and anxious.  They traveled thousands of miles for a new religion in which they had complete faith and now they were to find out for themselves.’

In Nauvoo, Jane’s brother, Richard, had his first memorable encounter with John Taylor.  Jane’s encounter with John was likewise memorable.  They were married shortly thereafter on February 25, 1844.  Jane and John had three children: two sons, Richard James and David John, and a daughter Annie Maria Ballantyne.

Much of her life was spent without her husband because he was continually called to perform duties which called him away from home.  The truth of this statement written years after her death began days after her marriage.  ‘The story is told that her daughter Annie was born in a covered wagon while John Taylor was on his was east to fill one of his many missions.'{John Taylor waited as long as he could, but she was born the day after he left}  That was in 1849.

Latter-day Saints understand that John’s culminating service as third president of the church was forged by immeasurable sacrifices he and his families made along the way.  Jane used her time alone well.  She embroidered bees above and appliquéd butterflies below the Scottish Thistle, symbol of her homeland.  This was not an isolated act of service for she ‘was a woman of generous impulses and gave much to the needy, and she was especially charitable in her estimate of the character of others.’

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Jane resided with her daughter, Annie, the three years following John Taylor’s death.  On Jane’s eighty-fifth birthday, Annie gathered her mother’s pioneer friends, women she had known for more than fifty years, to celebrate her life.

Two years later on December 26, 1900 Jane died.  Beyond the tender musings of her grandchildren who reminisced her teaching courtesy and kindness and her endless bestowal of treats and candies, her daughter Annie Taylor Hyde immortalized her pioneer mother in a more significant way.  The next year on the date of her mother’s birthday, April 11, 1901, Annie founded the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, and organization to preserve and honor the pioneer heritage.  Mrs. Hyde’s foresight is gratefully acknowledged.  The pioneer daughters who heeded her admonition to preserve the stories of their pioneering ancestors have immeasurably contributed to this manuscript.  If more descendants embraced Mrs. Hyde’s vision, the stories of the Fourteenth Ward women would be as rich as their quilt.”

I loved reading about Jane.  I love that I love many things she loved.  I can relate to not having a husband home very much at times,  loving to give treats, and loving to help people.  I really wish I knew how to quilt though!  It has been on my list of things to learn for a long time.  I think I need to move that up!

This week, I hope that you will take a few moments as we honor our Pioneers in Utah on the 24th, to read at least one story about a loved one.

Life is Good.  Share the Good.

1 thought on “Look to the Past”

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