John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger

by Historian, Luella Jones Downard

Historical facts are so hard to find on the life of James Rowley that I am trying to secure a history of each of his four wives, hoping in this way to enrich the few facts that we will be able to find and perhaps add a few new facts and more detail in the history.

Last issue I gave a short history of his daughter, Zuriah Rowley Lyman, to take the place of a history of her mother and James Rowley’s first wife, Mary Shirlock. This filled in nicely the Mary Shirlock Chapter of his life.

Eva Hill a descendant of Hannah Barrows and her first husband, Isaac Nelson, has been a wonderful help to me. She has diligently sought and searched to secure most of the following information (She also gave us a picture of Hannah Barrows, a negative has been mane – anyone wishing a copy, please contact me and one can be obtained).

Hannah Barrows was born, 19 December 1826, in Bolton, Lainshire, England. Her father was Joseph Barrows, and her mother, Marie Besswich.

The next fact we have is that on 4 December 1857 a daughter, Ellen Nelson was born to her at Winter Quarters, (Indian Territory), Iowa. When Ellen Nelson received her Endowments, she gave her father’s name as Isaac Nelson and her mother’s as Hannah Barrows. This is all we know of Isaac Nelson, though a great deal of searching has been done.

In the current Sunday School Genealogical Lesson Book, by Archibald F. Bennett, chapter 41, “Searching in Scotland”, page 243, a partial genealogy is given of Peter Muir Fife. It states that he joined the Church in Scotland and emigrated to America, joining the Saints at Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1846 he joined the Mormon Battalion.

It is said that Hannah Barrows and Peter Muir Fife had known each other in England, however, we do not know when she migrated to be America or when she joined the Church, or what her circumstances were when her daughter Ellen Nelson was born. It appears that she did not raise Ellen, as Eva Hill reports that the Fife Family Genealogist knew nothing of Ellen’s birth.

We do not know the date of Hannah’s marriage to Peter Muir Fife, but she was sealed to him 10 October 1849. The first of their five children, Maria Fife was born 26 June 1849 in Salt Lake City.

Peter Muir Fife and Hanna Barrows were never happy in their marriage – the trouble seems to have originated from the great difference in their ages, he was twenty one years older. She left him at one time, taking all of their children but he overtook her and they all went back to him, later she left him again and returned to the home of her parents in Kanosh, Utah, leaving all of her children. These children were cared for by her oldest daughter, Maria, until their father married again.

Eva Hill states that her father remembers Hannah Barrows, His Grandmother and tells of how she used to visit then and that she always talked broken in an English dialect.

It is not known when Hannah Barrows married James Rowley. They were sealed 16 November 1867. Their first child, James Rowley Jr. was born 23 April 1861 in Deseret, Millard, Utah. Her last child by Peter Muir Fife was born 1 December 1858 at Hamilton’s Fort, Iron, Utah, Elizabeth Fife.

Hannah and James had the following children in addition to James Jr.; Abigail Rowley, born 22 May 1833 in Fillmore, Millard, Utah; Sarah Rowley, born 17 October 1865 in Fillmore, Millard, Utah; Joseph Rowley born 2 July 1868 in Fillmore, Millard, Utah.

She lived in Fillmore for forty years raised her family there and died there at the age of seventy-eight.

Her name is on the rolls of the Relief Society there.

If there are any more stories of her life in Fillmore, we would like very much to have them, surely someone knows of her life there. She must have taken some part in Church, community or social life. Please if any of you know even the slightest thing about her or her life at any time, let me know so that we can tell something of her long life and service to her loved ones.


John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger

Written by Luella Jones Downard, Historian

A funeral was held for Ethel May Beckett Rowley Bearsdall, at the Berg Mortuary Chapel, in Provo, Monday, June 1, 1958.

Ethel May Beckett was born Feb. 8, 1892, in Melbourne, Australia. Her parents were John and Ann Taylor Beckett. She was one of a family of 13 children. She lost both of her parents in death when she was only eight years old. She took turns living with her married sisters until she was old enough to work and support herself.

She was one of the first converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Melbourne. She and her family met a young Mormon Missionary, John Henry Rowley, who called on a mission to Australia from Spring Glen Wad, Carbon Stake. He was a son of John T. Rowley and Mary Jane Smith. Their friendship grew and John and Ethel became engaged to be married. He filled and honorable mission and was loved by all who knew him. He returned home and as soon as he could he sent for his sweetheart to come to meet him in Canada.

As a British subject, she could enter Canada but nit the United States until she was married to a citizen of the United States, thus becoming a citizen herself. Arrangements were made for a time and a place of meeting. John Henry was held up by Customs and there was a long delay on his passport. He was not able to keep the appointment. When he did not some as they had planned, she thought he must have changed his mind abour marrying her. When he finally did arrive she had obtained a job and was preparing to earn a return ticket to Australia. When their difficulties were finally settled, they were married in Vancouver, British Columbia, on the 5th of January 1914. She was then a citizen and they journeyed to Salt Lake City, where they were married for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple.

They made their home in Spring Glen, Carbon, Utah. They were both very active in the Church. The following children were born to them: Ethel Jane Rowley, born 1 October 1914; Ruth Adelaide, 19 December 1916; John Henry, 19 February 1919; Cora May, 16 December 1923; John Henry’s father died 31 January 1925, and they decided to go on a trip back to Australia. Their last child, Reginald Charles Beckett Rowley, was born to them soon after their arrival in Australia.

Ethel’s family and friends were very glad to see them and two children,. They were very happy at first. Them times began to get hard for them. John Henry had a bad automobile accident and became very ill. He was in the hospital for months and months, where he finally died 14 August, 1928. He was alone and friendless and homeless in a country that was not his own. He longed with all his heart to return to his beloved country before his death.

After his death their circumstances became even worse and it was with great suffering and sacrifices that Ethel was able to provide and keep her family together. ?? the many hardships they all suffered were very hard to hear. When the girls became 14 years of age (which is the age children are allowed to work in Australia) they obtained work and were able to make things better for the little mother.

Ethel Jane married Russell Stewart Cabtree, 19 March 1938.

Ethel Jane and Ruth Adelaide came to Spring Glen in 1940 to see their old home and visit with their father people.

The war in Europe came and traveling from one country to another was curtailed. Ethel Jane was permitted to return to Australia because she had a husband there, but Ruth had to remain here. She lived for a while with relatives. She lived for about eighteen months before her marriage to Grant Gerber, 19 January 1943 with her cousin Luella Jones Downard, where she was loved and honored as a member of the family.

Twenty years after her husband’s death, Ethel May Beckett Rowley came back to Utah, with some of the family and lived in Provo. While living there, she met Willis Beardall, whom she married for time only, on March 9, 1950. They made their home at 631 East A Street, Provo. They lived happily together for a long time.

The last two years of her life were filled with sorrow, unhappiness and poor health. During this time she became divorced from her husband, Willis Beardall and went to live with her girls. Her health continued to become worse and when she had a heart attack and had to have constant hospital care, she was put in a rest home.

She passed away with her daughter Ruth lovingly caring for her at the rest home, on Thursday, May 20, 1958.

She had great determination and held her family together under almost impossible difficulties. She had a deep and abiding faith and a sure knowledge a that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is indeed the only true Church. She was returned to her husband, family and friends who had passed on before her. She was dearly loved and cherished by all who knew her.

She is survived by the following: sons: John Henry, Salem, Oregon; Reginald Charles Beckett Rowley, Annapolis, Maryland; three daughters: Mrs. Russell (Ethel Jane) Crabtree; Mrs. Grand (Ruth Adelaide) M. Gerber; Mrs. Lloyd (Cora May) Crabtree, Sale, Australia; Nine grandchildren; two sisters: Mrs. Emma Land, Mrs. Olive Diamond, Melbourne, Australia; one brother, Harry Beckett, Melbourne, Australia.

John Rowley and Sarah Wright Family Messenger

Reported by David S. Rowley and wife, Selma

In the February issue of the paper we made a mistake and would like to correct it now. It is from Irene Jones Peterson: “Gordon, since Sept. 1957 has been with the U.S. Army, first at Fort Ord, and now at Fort McClellon, Alabama. He and Margaret Ruth Lewis were married at Rudley, (reported Rigley) Branch. Gordon was home for Christmas the went to Alabama, Jan. 3. Ruth finished her school term at Rudley College and joined him, March 6th. They are now living at 2202 Gurnee Ave., Anneston, Alabama. There is a small branch of the Church at Anneston, with a new chapel, so Gordon feels right at home. Ruth is soon to join the Church and she sings in the choir! Irene Peterson goes on to say that our little paper is a job and a wonder and that she enjoys it so much and likes to hear how everyone is doing and where they are. May this reporter add that it is a joy to get letters with news in them. I sure wish everyone would follow suit.

Our family surely has good news. In the past 3 ½ months, David and I have become grandparents three times!! On February 9, 1958, our son Jack and his dear wife, Barbara presented us with a grandson. He was born at Victorville, California and weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz. They had him blessed in March 2nd and gave him the name of Jeffery Ray Rowley.

Just 15 days later our daughter, Gayle, who is married to Franklin Dee Wareham gave birth on February 24,  to a lovely little girl. She weighed 6 lbs. 13 oz. her daddy blessed her on March 30, and gave her the name of Linda. Gayle and Franklin went through the Salt Lake Temple on June 7, 1957.

On May 12, 1958, our son, Wayne and very good wife, Annette ??rgeline McAuther, went through the Salt Lake Temple and two weeks later on May 27 a son was born to them. He weighed 6 lbs. 11 oz. His daddy blessed him, July 6, and gave him the name of David Scott Rowley. Both these last two babies were born in Salt Lake City at the L.D.S Hospital.

I forgot to mention in my last report that on December 19, 1957 Gayle went through the Temple and did the endowment work for her sister, Celia Phyllis, who died Sept. 29, 1956 of injuries suffered in an auto accident.

On Monday, June 2, 1958, Fred and Harriet Rowley, Mrs. Sarah Rowley, Mrs. G. A. (Pe??l) Rowley and myself, (Selma Rowley) went to Provo to attend the funeral of Ethel May Bedkett Rowley Beardall. She died on May 29, in Provo.

It was nice to see family members again and chat with them. Seems as if that’s the only tine we get together is on one of these sad occasions. Ethel Jane has a lovely family as does Ruth. Reginald Rowley, who is Aunt Ethel’s second son, and the baby of the family, flew out from Annapolis, Maryland, where he is an instructor at the Naval academy, for his mother’s funeral. He sure looks like the Rowley’s. he is married and has two children.

Aunt Mary Ann Rowley Jones and her daughter, Luella were there, also Manuel, Luella’s husband. Winifred Rowley and his wife, Addie were there. They have five babies now and live in Provo.

Luella and Manuel’s daughter, Rebecca, (Mrs. Neil Adendauh) had a little baby boy (I don’t have the date), at the Dragerton Hospital. He only lived 1 ½ hours. They named him Louis Lee.

William W. and Olive Louis Jones finally got a girl. She was born, May 1, in Salt Lake City and the named her Elizabeth Ann. Such a lovely old name. this young lady is bound to be spoiled and why not, she has five older brothers.

Lenna and Waldo Bushnell and their children came over to Spring Glen to see their mother Mrs. Sarah Rowley, for Easter. Grandma Rowley (Sarah) went to Moab last month (May) to help her daughter, Celia Anderson, who had been in the hospital.

This Day In Our Family History

1565 – Edward and Mary Lount were born in Sutton Colfield, Staffordshire, England to Richard Lount and Mary Alen

1735 – Robert Curnock was buried in Slimbridge, Goucestershire, England

1955 – Earl Sperry Lunt was ordained an Elder in The Church of Jesus Chrust of Latter Day Saints by Arthur T. Morley

1958 – Scott Calvin Rowley was born in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States to Douglas Alcorn Rowley and Vonna Ensign

1974 – Delina Alcorn died

Journal: Jeanette Sperry

1896 – Mother (Caroline Webb), Baby (Ruth Sperry)  and I went up town. We stopped at Grandmother Sperry’s (Emily Louisa Miller) then went over to the School House and talked to Esther (Emily Esther Sperry) for a while, then we went down to the Excelsor. Mother had some shopping to do. Mother had some shopping to do so Mrs. Burton and I went to the post office then to Hyde’s Store and on the drug store. While waiting for a prescription to be filled Oscar Lunt (Alfred Oscar Lunt) entertained us by showing us their Christmas goods. He gave both of us a tiny little doll. I went back to the Excelsor and we went up to Grandmother’s and then out home.