Family, Wednesday Stories

A Familiar Name

My third child’s name is Lydia.  My husband and I have always loved that name, so we knew one of our daughters would be named that.  Here she is just a few hours old back in 2008.:)

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It wasn’t until after she was a couple years old that I realized we had an ancestor named Lydia.  So today I want to share a little bit about this amazing lady.  I hope you will enjoy a bit of my family history.

“Taken from the Edward Partridge Family Association News Bulletin in August, 1955:

Lydia Clisbee (Partridge) is a daughter of Joseph Clisbee and Miriam Howe.  Lydia was born in Marlboro, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, on September 20, 1793.  They lived in eastern Massachusetts among the great sugar maples and orchards in Pittsfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts.  It was a rural hamlet with sheep and cows.  While she was very young, the family moved to New Hampshire, her mother dying when Lydia was about twenty-two years of age.  She and her sister Eliza went to Ohio where she became acquainted with Edward Partridge, to whom she was married in the year 1819.

They lived in Painesville, Ohio for several years and became identified with a religious organization effected by Sidney Rigdon, professing the doctrines taught by Alexander Campbell.  Both she and her husband were baptized at Mentor by Sidney Rigdon, one of the leaders of that religious sect.  Her husband was a hatter by trade and carried on quite a business in that line, and was in prosperous circumstances when the gospel found them.  The first Mormon Elders who visited them were Parley P. Pratt, Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer and Ziba Peterson.  She was baptized by Parley P. Pratt in 1830, her husband joining the church soon after.

On February 4, 1831, her husband was called by revelation to be a Bishop in the church and to go to Missouri and locate.  The following June, in company with others, he started for Missouri, and located in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.  Lydia was left in Ohio with the care of a sick family, and afterwards performed the journey with her children to Missouri, which in those days, without the protecting care of her husband, was no small undertaking.  She had $500 in money when starting from Painesville, Ohio, but it was thought unsafe for a woman to carry so much money.  Therefore she gave it into the care of another person for safe keeping.  She never received one dollar of it back again.

Her husband was required to devote his time to the duties of his office, and his property being used up or sold for little or nothing, they were brought into straightened circumstances and suffered in common with the rest of the saints, the hardships and persecutions endured by them, which have become a matter of history.  To them were born the following children: Eliza Maria, Emily Dow, Harriet Pamela, Caroline Ely, Clisbee (who died in infancy), and Edward.

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When the baby Edward was born, as Lydia was beginning to sit up and move cautiously from her bed to the chair, one night her husband was ruthlessly taken from the room by a mob and taken to the public square nearby, where he was stripped of his clothing and tarred and feathered.  The rest of that night Lydia and her daughters, with the help of the brethren was spent in taking off the tar and feathers and binding his wounds and bleeding limbs.

When the saints were expelled from Far West and Independence and fled to Clay County, Lydia and her family resided there until the fall of 1836.  During the years 1833 and 1836 her husband filled a mission to the Eastern States, leaving her with their children.  Lydia was again compelled to make a journey without her husband, for during the winter of 1838-39, in conformity with Governor Boggs exterminating order, having the care of six children, she arrived in Quincy, Illinois, where they were well received by the citizens of that place.

Here she was later joined by her husband after his release from prison in Ray County.  They continued to dwell here until the ensuing summer or fall.  After the purchase of lands and the settlement of the Saints at Commerce (afterwards Nauvoo), her husband was appointed a Bishop of one of the three Wards (the Upper Ward).  The family moved to Nauvoo.  The Saints were nearly all sick with fever and ague and Lydia and Edward’s daughters, Lydia and Harriet, had the ague about a year.  Harriet died with it on May 16, 1840, and her father was taken with pleurisy in his side and suffering from the persecutions through which he had passed which weakened his body, he passed away about ten days after the death of his daughter Harriet, on May 27, 1840.

Lydia was married to Father William Huntington, whose wife had likewise died.  To escape mob violence, they left Nauvoo with the first companies in February 1846, crossing the river on the ice with their teams and wagons.  At Mount Pisgah, Father Huntington was appointed to preside over those who were left there to raise a crop, and come on the next season, but he was taken sick and died on August 19, 1846.

In the spring of 1847, Lydia and family were moved to Winter Quarters on the Mississippi River by teams sent by President Brigham Young, and arrived in Salt Lake Valley with the Saints in 1848.  She lived in Salt Lake City for awhile with her daughter Emily Dow (who was married to Brigham Young), but later moved to Oak City and Fillmore with her other children.  Eliza Maria, Caroline and Lydia were married to Amasa Mason Lyman.

Although their property was sacrificed in becoming identified with the “Mormons” and her husband had labored for the people and worn himself out in the cause, yet Lydia was always loathe to ask for assistance, and labored diligently to support herself and family, and was always found earning something.  She was exemplary in her daily life, and never was known to be anything other than a true and faithful Latter-Day Saint, and it was known she never had a personal enemy.  In disposition she was quiet and unassuming, and her good works were performed without boasting, but from an innate love of the right, and the natural kindness of her heart.  She lived until she was nearly eighty-five years of age and up to within a few days of her death was busy constantly making quilt blocks, sewing carpet rags, braiding straw and making hats.  She was especially skilled in making buckskin gloves and when they were taking up donations for the Manti Temple, she donated seven pairs of home-made gloves, equivalent to about fourteen dollars.”

I just love learning about the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I can’t imagine the hardships Lydia went through especially moving six kids without the help of her husband.  In so many ways, my life is a piece of cake.

I hope my daughter will be able to look to her fifth great-grandmother for an example of faith and hard work.  I love that people said that she didn’t complain, but she kept busy serving others all the days of her life.  I hope I can be more like that.  I’m super good at complaining sometimes.

I hope that you will be inspired to dig into family search today and learn about one of your ancestors.

Life is Good.  Share the Good.

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