(Our Only Freeman PIONEER Ancestor)
by by Elsie F. Knowles
taken from Family History of George Richard and Euphemia Jane Freeman (1990),
pp. 5-7, compiled by Glen R. Freeman
On 11 March 1816 Susan Freeman was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire England, daughter of William and Elizabeth Tyrrell Freeman. She was the youngest of five children – three boys and two girls: Richard, born 25 February 1799; Isabella, born 15 August 1802; Samuel, born 4 March 1806; Thomas, born 26 May 1811. They were born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England at the home fo their parents.
Susan’s father, William Freeman, was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England ans was christened 27 April 1764. Her mother, Elizabeth Tyrrell, was born in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England as was christened 14 April 1774. Both died in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England and were buried there.
Samuel, Susan’s older brother, is our Freeman ancestor. We have to assume that Susan received as much education as they had at that time in Olney. At the proper age she worked as a servant in Bedford, England. She met Josiah Covington in Bedford and they were married 19 July 1841. Josiah was a shoemaker. He was born 10 Jan 1820 in Bedford, England. His father was Berrill Covington, born 6 July 1794 in Wellingbrough, Northamptonshire, England. His mother was Elizabeth Hodges born 29 October 1793 in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. Records show that Josiah and Susan and his parents were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in July 1841.
Josiah and Susan were parents of six children: Mary Ann born 2 June 1842 at Bedford, England; Josiah Jr. Born 3 June 1845 at Bermondsey, St. James; Berrill born 6 May 1848 at Bedford; Susan Hannah born 10 February 1850 at Windsor Lane, West Darby; Edward Thomas Ord born 15 August 1853 at Liverpool; William Henry born 24 November 1862 at Liverpool. They made their home in Liverpool until they could get enough ahead to come to the United States and on to Utah.
Some time in 1863 they sent their daughter, Mary Ann, who was twenty-one and their son, Berrill, who was fifteen to the United States. They came to Salt Lake City and then on to Ogden. The following year, Susan and the following children, Edward Thomas Ord, Susan Hannah and William, sailed aboard the General McClellan, leaving Liverpool on 21 May 1864. Her husband, Josiah Sr., and son, Josiah Jr., were left behind. They were to follow as soon as they saved enough for their fare. Things happened, plans changed, they never emigrated, and they continued to live in Liverpool. Josiah [Sr.] married a niece of Susan’s and raised a family in England. He was later excommunicated from the Church. The son, Josiah, we have no record of, other than his birth in Bermondsey, Surrey, England (St. James Church records).
On board the McClellan sailing vessel were 802 Latter-day Saints immigrating under the direction of President Thomas E. Jeremy and counselors Joe Bull and George Bywater with John C. Graham as clerk. The counselors were returning missionaries.
During the voyage, which took thirty-three days, the seas were rough with heavy storms, making the voyage very unpleasant. One night a terrific storm arose and did a great deal of damage to the ship. The main mast was broken, so there was grave danger of the vessel sinking. The passengers were warned of this danger and prepared to board the life boats. Members of the Church, including the returning missionaries, gathered together and humbly prayed for their safety and the safety of the ship. The storm passed over with no loss of life.
The next morning the captain called the Saints on deck and told them that if it had not been for their faith and prayers the ship and many lives would have been lost. He acknowledged that a supreme power had guided the ship. During the crossing one child died and was buried at sea; two children were born; and four couples were married.
After the hazardous voyage by ship, they arrived in New York 23 June 1864. President Thomas E. Jeremy relates in a letter to President George Q. Cannon in England, dated 2 July 1864, that upon their arrival in New York they boarded a steamer for Albany, New York. There they boarded a train to St. Joseph, Missouri. Some delays occurred on the railroad on the way to St. Joseph. At Buffalo, New York the railroad officials distributed a quantity of biscuits and cheese. Additional food was provided by the railroad officials at Chicago, Illinois. While in Chicago, President Jeremy met Judge Kinney of Utah and Elders William Goble and Francis A. H. Mitchell. Together hey gave him fifty dollars to assist the immigrants. This money and the generous help of the railroad officials was much appreciated. As a large number of the immigrants were entirely destitute of means, they were dependent upon President Jeremy and his assistants to supply their needs.
On arrival at St. Joseph, Missouri they began getting ready to travel to Utah. Some time before 15 July 1864 Susan and children started traveling with the J. S. Rowlins company, a Church train of ox drawn wagons. This company consisted of about four hundred immigrating Saints. They left Wyoming, Nebraska 15 July 1864. Most of them had crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the vessel General McClellan.
They had the usual pioneer trials. A telegram sent to President Young from Sweet Water bridge, dated 1 September 1864 stated that the wagon train was in fine condition and was doing well. Another telegram sent from Little Sandy 9 September stated that the wagon train was still in good condition and that the cattle were traveling well. The company arrived in Salt Lake City 20 September 1864.
How long Susan and children stayed in Salt Lake City I have not been able to find. Her daughter Mary Ann and son Berrill, were in Ogden or soon moved there after their mother arrived. Mary Ann met and then married Chauncy Walker West in 1866. She was his eighth wife. He was bishop of the Third Ward in Ogden. He had many and varied interests. Some of his interests were: a lumber mill in Ogden Canyon; a tannery in Ogden making boots, shoes, harnesses and saddles; a blacksmith shop where the Methodist Church stands on 26th and Jefferson; a meat market on the same street; a fine livery stable, a hotel on the corner of Main and 24th Street. These activities provided plenty of places for people to work. Mary Ann’s sister, Susan Hannah, also married Chauncy in 1867, being his ninth wife.
Mary Ann had two boys, Milton J. And Orlando. Susan Hannah had just one child, a daughter who died. Berrill married Marie Louise Newman and they had six girls and four boys. I knew some of his children before I found out that they were related to me.
Berrill worked for the railroad. Edward Thomas Ord married Henrietta Tyrrell and had eight girls and five boys. I have m
Chauncy Walker West died 9 January 1870. Mary Ann later met and married Aaron Ross. They had two girls and two boys. The girls were Mae and Sue and the boys were Aaron and Montella. The son, Aaron Ross, was a doctor in Ogden and I worked with him. Kay and Marilyn Freeman were in the Twenty-eighth Ward with Aaron and his family in the early 1950’s. Aaron was in the presidency fo the elders quorum.
Susan Hannah Covington West remarried, but died in childbirth as did the baby.
Susan Freeman Covington died 4 March 1881 at the age of sixty-four from what they called, “softening of the brain.” She is buried in the Ogden City Cemetery.
On visiting the cemetery there was no account of her death in the regular files. They finally found her in the unknown file. She was just listed as Mrs. Covington, mother of Mary Ann and Susan Hannah Wells. I gave them the proper information so she is now listed as Susan Freeman Covington and is buried on the Silas Minter lot, but the exact location on the lot is unknown.
[NOTE: I received an e-mail from Connell O’Donovan in May 2009, with the following information:
“The Mary Ann Covington who married Chauncey Walker West was NOT the daughter of Susan Freeman Covington, but Susan’s sister-in-law. Josiah Covington had a sister named Mary Ann Covington (1815-1908). She married (1) James Sheffield in 1836 – and left him without divorcing. She married (2) William Smith, Joseph Smith’s brother, in fall 1843 who left her without divorcing. She married (3) Joseph Albert Stratton in December 1846 but he died in 1850. She married (4) Chauncey Walker West just after April 1851. They lived in Ogden, Utah on Grant Avenue. That is why her niece and nephew Berrill Covington III and Mary Ann Covington went to Ogden when they arrived in 1863 – they must have stayed with their Aunt Mary Ann Covington West in Ogden until their mother Susan arrived the following year.”]
[NOTE: I received an e-mail from Dixie S. Cragun in January 2010, with the following information:
“I am the gr gr granddaughter of Mary Ann Covington born in 1841. I have resources that show she was married to Chauncey Walker West. Her marriage to Chauncey was written on our family pedigrees by my grandfather Leonard Ross, who knew Mary Ann and Aaron. Here are sources I have found about this marriage:
I have found Mary Ann in an 1870 Ogden, Utah census. She is 28, born about 1842 and birth place is England. She is living in household 441. Beneath her is a son, William age 2. I haven’t been able to figure out who this William is, as we only have knowledge of two sons, Milton and Orlando, but I’m wondering if he might be Milton, with a mistake made by the census taker. A few households above Mary Ann is another Mary A West, age 53, living in household 437. This age is just a couple years off from Mary Ann Covington born in 1815.
I have also been able to view the record of the marriage between Mary Ann Covington (1841) and Chauncey Walker West. It was performed in the Salt Lake Endowment House on 16 Jul 1864 about a year after she arrived in America.
Mary Ann is next found on the 1880 Ogden, Utah census living with husband Aaron Ross. Living with them is Milton J West age 11 and he is listed as their son.
Mary Ann and Aaron Ross are buried in the Ogden Cemetery. Next to Mary Ann is the grave of Milton Josiah West and his wife Abigail Melinda Wilson West. That grave can be found by going to this site (Ogden City Cemetery) and typing in the information.
Both Mary Ann Covingtons, Josiah’s daughter and Josiah’s sister were married to Chauncey Walker West. Josiah’s sister, Mary Ann, was sealed to Chauncey on 21 Oct 1851 in the Endowment House.
When I first started researching I became a little mixed up over the two Mary Anns but feel I have sorted them out correctly.
One other thing, Montella Ross, mentioned in Susan’s biography, was a female. Her name was Henrietta Montella Ross and she was born on 6 Apr 1884 Ogden, Utah. She was nicknamed Monte and is buried by Mary Ann and Aaron Ross. I have lots more information and sources about the Ross family and would be willing to share with other relatives.”]