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Ann Smith and Joseph Brown Bailey



Joseph Smith married Mary Wright in Marston-on-Dove in Derbyshire, England in 1751. They had seven children. In 1774, they came to Prince Edward Island, Canada, as part of a group sponsored by Robert Clark, possibly on a land grant.

Joseph Smith, Jr., son of Joseph Sr. and Mary, married Catherine Anderson, and they had nine children. They lived in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and on land on Squaw Bay, across the bay from Charlottetown.

One of Joseph Jr.’s and Catherine’s children, Ann, was born in 1798. She was six feet tall, slender and pretty, with black hair and blue eyes. It was a legend in the family that “she weighted only ninety pounds, but could lift a sack of wheat at any time.” She married a British soldier, Joseph Bailey, in 1818.

Joseph Brown Bailey, Ann’s husband, was born in 1790 in Avebury, Wiltshire, England. He was the son of Joseph Brown and Penelope Bailey. As the marriage of the parents was not performed by church authority, the pastor would not legalize the marriage, and when the children were brought to the church for christening, they were told they had to be christened under the mother’s maiden name of Bailey, just as though there had been no marriage. Consequently, the children went by the name of Bailey instead of Brown. Joseph Brown soon died, and was buried at Avebury in 1794, and Penelope later married John Watts in 1800.

Joseph Bailey joined the English Army when he was 17 years old, in 1807. He served in the Channel Islands, France, and Ireland; then was sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. There he met and married Ann Smith. Three children were born to them while they were in Halifzx, and then in 1823, the Regiment and the Baileys were transferred to Emerskillen, and later Templemoor, Ireland where two more children were born to them. Joseph served in Ireland until 1830, then went to Chatham, England, where he was discharged in August 1830. There another child was born to Ann and Joseph. There may have been other moves not recorded, or Ann may have returned to Canada to visit her family, because she once said she had crossed the ocean five times.

After Joseph was discharged, the family moved to Bath, Somersetshire, England, where three more sons were born to them. One of them was George Brown Bailey. Joseph Bailey died in 1850, at Chatham, England, 60 years of age. Unfortunately, during this time four of their children died from one cause or another, leaving Ann very sad. Soon after this, two Elders from the Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S. came preaching the Gospel, and hearing this message, Ann was receptive and at once converted. Ann was surprised to learn that her son George had already joined the church, about 6 months previously. They then began saving their money to emigrate to Zion (Utah). George left in 1853, and with the aid of the Perpetual Emigration Fund, Ann and her family were able to come in 1855. She sailed on the ship “Samuel Curling” from Liverpool, England, and landed in New York. They continued by rail to Pittsburgh, then by steamboat on the rivers, via St. Louis, to Atchison, Kansas. They went with Capt. Milo Andrus’ company, and finally arrived in 1855.

On arriving in Utah, Ann was surprised to learn George was married, with children. So a dugout was hastily constructed, into which Ann and her children moved. Ann and her daughter went out sewing and washing for others, and her son did farm chores for others. There was not much protection from the cold, and their food that first winter consisted mostly of bran bread and boiled roots. When spring finally came, they were able to gather sego lily roots from the hills, and later, thistles and watercress. Ann never forgot the hardships, suffering, and anguish endured that first winter in Utah.

Finally, Ann and her children were able to obtain a small piece of land and some cows, in Mill Creek, near George and Elizabeth. Later, she and her son, Reuben, sold their place there and moved to Spanish Fork, Utah. Her daughter Elizabeth, her husband, and child, also moved there. The greatest drawback to the settlers here was the unfriendly Indians. Ann had made friends with an old chief, Chief Tabby. He always found a way to warn Ann when there was going to be trouble. One night Tabby was almost too late. Just as it grew dark, he appeared suddenly in the doorway, saying, “They are coming! Hurry! Hide!” Then he left. They snatched up some blankets and ran to a patch of willows down by the creek. They heard the Indians come racing by on their horses with shouts and war whoops. Two men were killed that night and several homes were burned. They had to flee to the willows several times.

In 1860, Reuben accidentally shot himself while cleaning a gun after a hunting trip for game, and died, another terrible sadness for Ann. She also received word that her daughter Ellen’s husband had died, and Ann desired to bring Ellen and her family to Utah. So with ceaseless work, gleaning the grain fields, selling butter and cheese she made, taking in washing, ironing, and sewing, she earned enough to send for Ellen, who arrived in 1864 from England. In 1866, Ellen remarried, but the boys stayed with Ann.

In 1868 Ellen’s boys were called to help settle the Bear Lake Country, so Ann sold her property at Spanish Fork and moved with them to Laketown, Utah. Ann again lived in a dugout in a hill, and later, in a log cabin—again living the pioneer life. Food was again scarce and difficult to obtain since grasshoppers and crickets came in great numbers and destroyed almost everything green—all the gardens, grain, and much of the hay. The people ate a lot of fish—suckers from the lake. A special Fast Day was held and the Saints humbly petitioned the Lord to remove the insect pest. In answer to their prayer, a strong wind sprang up and continued for 24 hours. It blew the grasshoppers and crickets into the lake and they were drowned. When the tide came in, they were deposited knee deep upon the beach. As far as the eye could see, a heavy dark line could be seen against the white sandy shore. How marvelous are the ways of the Lord!

Ann Smith Bailey was a strong, courageous woman, and a true Latter-day Saint. Wherever she lived she labored in the Church, paying her dues and offerings, and freely sharing her resources with those in need. She had great faith and found solace in prayer. Many stories are told of how her prayers were answered. Ann was a hard worker, sparing no effort or labor to help others. She brought comfort to many people, and had the ability to bring peace and assurance to those in trouble. Ann died in 1870, at seventy-two years of age, beloved by her descendants and friends.

(Much of the information in this short history is taken from the “Life Story of Ann Smith Bailey”, written by Elizabeth P. Astle and Mary P. Stucki)

Ann Smith Bailey was the mother of George Brown Bailey, who was the father of Alice Bailey Stay, who was the mother of Jesse Eldred Stay.


File nameAnn Smith and Joseph Brown Bailey
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Linked toJoseph Brown BAILEY; Ann SMITH

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