Happy Pioneer Day, 2012!
Many of the people looking at my blog are from other states - even other countries! So, I'll just take a moment to explain that Pioneer Day is a Utah state holiday in which we all celebrate the founding of our state - but mostly, it is to pay homage to all those faithful pioneer ancestors who came across the plains on foot, in wagons, pulling handcarts, in order to come to a place where they could find refuge from anti-Mormon sentiment, and to build up a modern day "Zion."
Today, I am posting the story of the Bale family: my 3rd great grandparents and their children and grandchildren. Thomas and Mary Ann Wardle Bale were true pioneers, accepting the gospel early on in their hometown in England, enduring the persecution of their neighbors and family who felt that they had been deceived by the missionaries. They wished to join the Saints in Utah early on in their conversion, but had to wait many years before they had enough money to make the journey.
I feel that I myself have been on a journey as I uncover their history. I have discovered that I carry in my veins the blood of rare courage. I have come to realize that I have taken much for granted, and that my trials can be overcome, because Thomas and Mary Ann overcame even greater challenges. I can only hope that one day, my children and their children will think of me as just as courageous, even if it is just a fraction of how I've come to feel about my ancestors!
To the best of my ability, I have made sure to verify all the facts, and make sure that this is an accurate account of the Bale family's immigration. If there be any discrepancies or errors, or if any of you have any other things to add to this history, please let me know so that I can include it here. I welcome comments and suggestions!
My name is Mary Ann Whitehead Overson and this blog is dedicated to all the amazing men and women who came before me: my ancestors. I also want to acknowledge my father, Armand Toyn Whitehead, who is the person responsible for a lot of the content in this blog; my dad has spent countless hours collecting and preserving photos and histories, and preserving them on the computer so that they can be handed down for generations. Thank you, Dad!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Written by Mary Ann Whitehead Overson, 3rd great granddaughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Wardle Bale. 24 Jul 2012.
In Radford, Nottinghamshire, England, in about 1810, a man named George Bale (sometimes spelled Beal, or Beale, etc.) fell in love at the age of 21 with a woman named Ann Harrison. Ann was around ten years older than George, but age did not matter. As sometimes happened – and still happens today – Ann found that she was pregnant with George’s baby, out of wedlock. A son was born to George and Ann Harrison Bale on 20 Jan 1811. This baby boy, the eldest of what would eventually be 7 children in all, was named Thomas Bale.
George and Ann were eventually married on 6 Sep 1812 in Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England, when Thomas would have been 19 months old. They were married “by license.” At the time, a couple had two choices in the Church of England: they could marry by banns (which was the traditional way) or by license. By banns, a couple would typically tell the priest in their home parish of their intentions to marry in advance so that he could announce the engagement over the pulpit on each Sunday for 3 Sundays (called “Holy Days of Obligation”) leading up to the marriage day. If any parishioners who knew the bride or groom had any objections to the marriage - in case the couple were too closely related, if they were still married to someone else, or if there was any other moral reason - they could tell the priest and he would take action, if necessary. “Banns” is from an old word meaning “proclamation.” The second way, “by license” was introduced in the 14th century; it allowed the couple to pay a fee and have the waiting period waived so that they could marry as soon as desired – but they must also sign a sworn declaration, signed by the priest, that there were no religious or civil reasons that they could not get married. The couple, for example, had to swear that they were over the age of 16, for a man, and 14, for a woman, that they were not related, that both of them were baptized members of the Church of England, and so forth. In the case of George and Ann, it appears that the reason they married by license (and outside their respective home parishes) was to avoid the gossip that would have been stirred up had their marriage been announced, given that they had a 19 month-old child together who was illegitimate.
Thomas Bale was baptized into the Church of England at St. Peter’s Church, in Radford, 24 Jan 1813. St. Peter’s Church was rebuilt starting in 1811 and construction was not completed until 1812, and this perhaps explains why Thomas was baptized when he was 2 years old, and not within just a few months of birth, as was tradition. Or, it could have been that George and Ann were waiting until they were married, though, according to the laws of the Church, they didn’t need to be married to have Thomas baptized.
The same year as Thomas Bale’s baptism, in Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England (Lenton and Radford are both village areas that make up the city of Nottinghham), a daughter was born to Richard and Mary Ann Davis Wardle, on 29 Apr 1813. She was the youngest of 6 children and they named her Mary Ann, after her mother. On 9 May 1813 she was baptized into the Church of England at, most likely, the Lenton Parish Church.
At some point between 1813 and 1832, the Wardle family moved to Leicestershire. Mary Ann Davis Wardle (whom we’ll call Mother Wardle to avoid confusion) was in her mid-forties when she gave birth to her youngest child, Mary Ann. Mother Wardle died in her late 50s, in 1832, at Coleorton, Leicestershire - when Mary Ann was just 19 and could have already been married by then. Richard Wardle was left a widower, all his children grown and out of the house, and it is likely he went to live with one of his sons after the death of his beloved wife.
Thomas Bale and Mary Ann Wardle met, fell in love, and were married, though is currently unknown exactly how their romance came to pass. Presently, we don’t know where or when they were married, but we do know that their first born child came in 1835, so they most likely married in 1833 or 1834.
Thomas Bale was a coal miner (or collier as they sometimes called them) and probably started mining at a young age in Nottingham. He was a coal miner for most of his life.
At some point, Thomas and Mary Ann Bale moved from Nottinghamshire to Leicestershire (pronounced “Lestersher”). One reason for the move may have been because the city areas of Radford and Lenton had been experiencing a rapid population increase over the last 30 years; the population of Lenton more than tripled as the building of the Nottingham Canal brought more factories to the area.
To better understand why Thomas and Mary Ann moved to Leicestershire, a little historical background is needed: The Nottinghamshire canal was built in 1790, and was designed to make transporting coal from Nottingham to other parts of the country more efficient. There had been, for several years, a rivalry between the two counties of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, and it was all about the precious, limited resource of coal. Coal had been found to be a much more efficient source for heat than wood prior to the 1700s, and if there was one thing the English had plenty of in their country it was coal. Coal was primarily used for heating and cooking in English homes and institutions prior to the industrial age, but at the end of the 1700s the steam engine was invented and perfected – and coal was the fuel for this engine. Demands for coal increased, and with the new canal in Nottingham it could be shipped faster and cheaper. Leicestershire was left trying to figure out how to transport it’s abundant coal to compete with Nottinghamshire, but building a canal was simply not feasible. Finally, in 1825, they hit upon an idea – why not build a railroad, and use a steam engine to haul the coal? The Leicester (pronounced Lester) and Swannington Railway was completed in 1832 and suddenly the colliery business was booming in Coalville, Leicestershire. Suddenly, Nottinghamshire had serious competition.
The railway just happened to go through the village of Bagworth, Leicestershire, the village that Thomas and Mary Ann were next to be found in historical records. Thomas had probably heard that better work and wages could be found in Bagworth.
On 14 Jun 1835, in Bagworth, Leicestershire, England, a son, Israel Bale, was born to Thomas and Mary Ann Wardle Bale. He was baptized into the Church of England on 12 Jul 1835, most likely at the Church of the Holy Rood.
Shortly after Israel’s birth, the family moved again, this time to nearby Snibston, a coal mining village that was part of Coalville, Leicestershire, England, just to the Northwest of Bagworth. Snibston was connected to the Leicester and Swannington Railway in 1836, making it certainly no coincidence that Thomas and Mary Ann Bale would move there at about the same time the railway was connected. One coal mine shaft in Snibston was started in the 1820s, and another shaft in the 1830s. (Incidentally, the mine produced coal continuously until 1983.) The family, according to the census records, lived in one of the six rows of cottage buildings on Ashby Road in Snibston, which the coal mine’s founder, George Stephenson, built in order to house the coal miners and their families.
On 1 Jan 1838, the first day of the new year, Richard Bale, a second son, was born to Thomas and Mary Ann in Coalville, Leicestershire, England. He was named after his grandfather, Mary Ann’s father, Richard Wardle. It does not appear that he was baptized into the Church of England, and none of his young siblings-to-come have records of being baptized into the Church of England. It causes one to wonder if, somewhere between the births of the first and second sons, the Bale family had begun to have doubts about the doctrine in the Church of England. The first LDS missionaries to Great Britain arrived in 1837, but it is unlikely that news of the LDS church and the doctrine it contained could have spread so quickly.
|Mary Dexter, circa 1870|
The 1841 England Census is the first census that contains information about the family. In it Thomas is listed as a coal miner, Mary Ann is listed as his wife, with his two sons, Israel and Richard. Also in the household is a girl named Mary Dexter, age 15, the title of her occupation is scratched out and hard to read, but it looks like “roommate.” She could have been living with the family in order to help Mary Ann Bale, who was pregnant with her third child. Mary Dexter being in the household at this time is only interesting because several years later, another son of Thomas and Mary Ann Bale, Hyrum, married Mary Dexter Robinson’s daughter, Matilda. Scarcely could Mary Dexter, in 1841, and at the age of 15, have fathomed that in a few years the Bale family would be linked to her by the marriage of their as yet unborn children!
17 Sep 1841, Emmanuel Bale was born, the third son, in Coalville, Leicestershire, England. Now the family had three mouths to feed, and it couldn’t have been an easy time.
1844 was a busy year for the family. 14 Mar 1844 the first girl, Mary Ann Bale was born in Coalville, named after her mother and her grandmother. [To distinguish the mother and daughter, from this point on “Mary Ann W. Bale” or “Mother Bale” refers to the mother, and “Mary Ann Bale” refers to the daughter.]
On 19 Jun 1844, at the age of 31, Mother Bale was the first of the family to be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On 21 of Jun 1844, at the age of 33, Thomas Bale was also baptized and confirmed as a member of the LDS church. It must have been a happy occasion for them both, but also bitter-sweet – not everyone in the area where they lived liked the LDS faith. Back at church headquarters in Nauvoo, Illinois, USA, hatred was strong and it was just days after Thomas and Mary Ann were baptized that the beloved Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., and his brother, Hyrum, were martyred.
A few years later, another baby boy was born to Thomas and Mary Ann; on 6 Feb 1847, a boy they named Hyrum – perhaps in honor of Joseph Smith’s brother, Hyrum Smith. For some reason the records indicate he was born in Oldbury, Worcestershire, England and not in Coalville. We have no records to indicate that the family actually moved to Oldbury, so it could have been that they were visiting family when Hyrum was born.
The same month that Hyrum was born, on 23 Feb 1847, Israel and Richard Bale were both baptized and confirmed members of the LDS church. Israel was 12 years old, and Richard was 9.
Mother Bale’s father, Richard Wardle, died 9 Jan 1848. He had been a widow for 16 years until his death. Now, Mary Ann W. Bale found herself without either of her parents, but she now had the knowledge and belief that they could be together again, forever! There is no indication that Richard Wardle had ever heard or accepted the LDS gospel.
On 9 Oct 1849, Thomas Bale’s mother, Ann Harrison Bale, passed away. There is no indication that either she or her husband George ever heard or accepted the gospel of the LDS faith.
The England Census in 1851 shows the Bale family still living in Snibston, Leicestershire: Father and Mother Bale and their children, Israel, Richard, Emmanuel, Mary Ann and Hyrum – 7 in all – under one roof. Now that there were so many mouths to feed, the older children were required to help out in providing income. Israel, at the tender age of 15, is listed as also working in the coal mines, which was not uncommon for boys that young to start coal mining. In one Coalville mine, a boy as young as 10 years old is listed on the employment records. Richard is not listed as having an occupation, but being 13 he was probably too young to work. Emmanuel, 9, is listed as an errand boy; Mary Ann as a scholar; Hyrum, being only 3, was simply expected to be a toddler.
It has not been substantiated, but another history of the Bale Family, states that the children were enlisted in the local Church of England school. More research needs to be done to find out if the children were enrolled, and the name of the school. It was popular back then to have more wealthy parishioners pay for poorer students to attend a school run by the priest. Typically the children had to be 5 years of age. Children over the age of 12, if they were from poor families, did not go to school, but rather they would work to help support the family. If the Bale children did go to a church-sponsored school, it would surprise me, seeing as the Bale family had embraced the gospel of the LDS faith by the time their children were old enough to attend. Perhaps, though, they kept their LDS membership quiet, with so many people against the church.
On 6 Feb 1852 in Coalville, Caroline Bale was born, the second daughter and final child to be born to Thomas and Mary Ann.
On 7 Mar 1855, at the age of 8, Hyrum Bale was baptized into the LDS church. Thomas, Mary Ann, Israel, Richard, and now Hyrum were baptized members of the church, but Emmanuel, at age 20 in 1855, had not. For some reason, he did not embraced the LDS faith as his family had.
In the 1861 English Census, we find all the Bale family members together in Snibston, except Israel, who is conspicuously absent from the household. Thomas, age 48, is a coal miner; MaryAnn, also 48, has no occupation, which means that she is occupied as a homemaker, Richard, age 22, and Emmanuel, age 19, are both unmarried, and are also coal miners; Mary Ann, age 17, is listed as a seamstress; Hyrum, only 13 years old, is a coal miner; and Caroline, age 8, is a scholar.
So, it begs the question: where was Israel in 1861? Israel Bale loved the gospel so much that he had to share it, so he accepted a call to serve in his homeland. In the 1861 England Census Records, he is found in Bisley, Gloucestershire, England, age 26, lodging at the home of a man named Benjamin Hughes, age 24. In the same household is Benjamin’s brother, Henry, age 23, and Henry’s wife, Martha (Goatman), age18. It is not presently known what happed to Benjamin, but Henry and Martha sailed on the Monarch of the Sea in 1864 and settled in Mendon, Cache, Utah, Latter-day Saint pioneers. It is good to know that the seeds planted by Israel during his first mission to Gloucestershire took hold and passed to generations after!
|Israel Bale circa 1870|
Israel Bale emigrated to Utah the next year in 1862. He had finished up his mission, so he left England on the ship “William Tapscott” with 807 LDS emigrants. Though his parents and siblings stayed behind in England, hoping to follow him in time, Israel did not leave completely without family: with him went 21 year old Emma Goddard. On 14 May 1862, the day the ship set sail, Israel Bale and Emma Goddard were married. The young couple spent their honeymoon days and the first 4 months of their marriage traveling across the sea and on land to get to their new “mountain home” in the Utah Territory. Israel was the first of his family to leave England.
In March 1863, Emmanuel Bale married Elizabeth Thompson in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, a town just to the west of Coalville. They eventually had 9 children, 7 boys and twin girls. Emmanuel and Elizabeth separated just a few years after the birth of their youngest child, and Emmanuel married a woman named Selina Collins. Selina had been married before to Anthony Collins, and they had 3 children. Emmanuel and Selina had two children together, both girls. Strangely, Emmanuel kept all of the children when he separated – all the children who were not yet on their own or married. Elizabeth died in January 1901 in Leicester, Leicestershire, at the age of 57. Emmanuel died in April of 1908, 67 years old, in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England, and Selina died in 1929. Emmanuel never did find the need to join the LDS church, and in fact, he seems to have wanted nothing to do with his family. Whether on purpose, or not, he went by the name of Bales with an ‘s’ in several England censuses.
The day after Christmas, on 26 Dec 1863 – “Boxing Day,” in England - Richard Bale married Sarah Miller Bale in Coalville, Leicestershire.
The next part of this history is one of the family’s more tragic stories, but also its biggest mystery: the story of Mary Ann Bale, Thomas and Mary Ann W. Bale’s daughter. In one history it says that Mary Ann Bale married a “William Freestone” [but could be Freeston] who, the history says, is a churchman. An extensive search of archives off and online has been made but, so far, no documentation or sources can be found to substantiate this story. In any case, whether married, or not, Mary Ann Bale conceived and bore a beautiful blond baby girl, born 9 Jan 1864. Mary Ann named her beloved baby girl Emma Hannah Bale.
Sadly, on 4 Aug 1867, at the tender age of 23, Mary Ann Bale died. Poor Emma Hannah, at only 3 years old, was left without a mother, She then lived with Father and Mother Bale, as is indicated in a letter sent to Israel Bale in Utah, USA, from Mother Bale.*
One strong indication that Mary Ann Bale was never married to Emma Hannah’s father is that on her death records she is still listed as having the last name of Bale. Had she been married she would have certainly been listed under a married name. Another indication is that her daughter, Emma Hannah also went by the name of Bale. It also would have been very likely that Emma Hannah would have stayed with her father, had he been married to her mother. The only reason why her not being married makes any difference is that Mother Bale seemed to have some degree of disdain for her orphaned granddaughter. This disdain makes more sense if Emma Hannah was illegitimate. It also appears that Mary Ann was never baptized into the LDS church, which would have been a source of contention between her and her mother. One can only imagine how Mother Bale felt to be responsible for a 3 year old at age 55.
Caroline Bale was baptized into the LDS church on 4 Mar 1865, at the age of 13, in Coalville, Leicestershire.
Richard Bale, while still in England, wrote to Israel and Emma G. Bale several times, and following is one letter, dated 21 Dec 1865, from Whitwick England to Nephi, Utah, USA:
Dear brother and sister,
I now take my pen in hand to right a few lines unto you hopeing to find you all well as it leave of hour welfare. it is some time since you had a letter from me. it’s not that I have annything against you but I have not had the sprite of righting until this morning at 6 i commenced to right. i feel that i would like a letter from you. i ham thinking of amagration and have to get away this spring. i have not the means at present. i have lent John Ward too pounds 10 of my money and hav three pounds 3 left. i whould like you to mension it to them if you see anny of them. i dont doubt but they will send it. i whould be very glad if you could do something for me if it be little or try to borro a little and i will pay back to them again as surre as i can. things has not been that i could get it. i have not been in very good gets. we have had a verry bad summar and when we get a little more it as took it to make up for the bad times and tosed about in my work. Now I have a prety good place of work now. So if they will fetch the coal we shall do very well i think. we hare trying to get stret [straight] as fast as we can so that if circomstance so are we may not have annything to stop us. So much on me and mine hare right side up at present wich i feel thankful for i ham still the same now as when you ware heare with a little progecion. things hare moving on prety well amongst the saints hear. our meetings hear well atented and i think members will be increast. Sis Freeston is ded. Wee followed her to the grave. she was a great sufferer and misses martha [this may refer to Martha Clifford Vickers, Sarah Miller Bale’s aunt] died very suddening. i sent you a newspaper with her deth in and too more. send word if you got them. the first i sent was on the 26 of October. We hare pretty well of for clothing so we should not hav much clothing to buy. My daughter is getting a fine gairl. [Louisa, born 28 Sep 1864, in Whitwick] she is about 15 months hold. she can run about the house isely [easily] an she can chatter a little. i think thear no mor on the road yet that i no of [anti-Mormon mobs?]but i want to get away for fear there should be. sarah and the little one hare gon to the harmtage [The “Hermitage” was in nearby Coalville and was like a rest home for the elderly and disabled.] to day to her hants [aunts] to prepare for Chrismas. We hare going to have a tea party on Chrismas Day. Me and my young brethren and sisters hare going out on Christmas Eve a singing, all being well. ruben Fowler wife as got daughter. i saw yor brother emanuel last night and wife, they was well. they have son i did not know, Thomas [Emanuel’s first son’s name was Joseph, not sure where “Thomas” came from]. i should right so sone or they might have sent a line or two in it. Father and Mother and all are well at present and sends thear love to you both. Hyrum senses he shall come this spring. i saw Emas farther and mother [Emma Goddard Bale’s parents, Lewis and Elizabeth Goddard]. . .as had one of his eyes took out and he’s suffering from the afect of it. he is poorly at present.* they seem rather cast down about it. Selley gets a fine gairl. they send thear love to you and like a letter from you. louisa as not been hable to right of late. right back as sune as you can.
Your afectionate Brother and Sister.
Richard and Sarah Bale.
Richard Bale, Whitwick, near the Church.
[*Lewis Goddard died the next year, according to the Free BMD Death index.]
Years would yet pass before Richard’s desire to go to Zion would be fulfilled. But Hyrum’s sense was correct – he did indeed leave in the spring.
Hyrum Bale, a young lad of 19, was feeling restless in his hometown in 1866. He had been a Collier for many years already, and knew that it was not something he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He had several friends in Coalville, but his best friend was David Moore. David Moore was born the same year as Hyrum, 1847, and the two had probably been friends since they were young. Together they set sail, along with other friends and families, on the St. Mark, on the 6 Jun 1866. Hyrum’s story will be continued later in this history. Now two sons were in American, in “Zion,” and Mother Bale’s heart must have felt divided, but they were simply too poor to afford the voyage.
It was the following year, 1867, that more sorrow was added to Father and Mother Bale’s heart, when their daughter Mary Ann died and left a toddler to their care. Mother Bale wrote to her Israel and Hyrum in Utah, the next year, dated July 6, 1868. She is listed in many censuses as not knowing how to read or write, so she probably had someone write the letter for her. Reading between the lines you can hear the sorrow in her words:
6 Jul 1868
Silver Street, Whitwick, England
Dear Sons and Daughter,
I now take the pleasure of writing these few lines unto you hopeing they will find you all well as it leaves us at this time; excepting your father, I cannot say he is well as he has to stay home from work verry often through illness. Dear son [Israel], I often think that you have quite forgot us. And the old saying is out of sight out of mind, but if you have forgotten your mother she cannot forget you. If you can’t do anything for me you might let me know how you are getting along.
Dear son, I have to inform you that Mother Goddard and your sister Caroline [Bale] set sail on the 24th June in company with Bro. James Welch and his wife and your Uncle William [Wardle], your aunt Hannah’s son William. The name of the ship is ‘Constitution’. The first ship that started [for America this year] was ‘John Bright.’ Your aunt Hannah and you Uncle William Grice [?] and your Aunt Lidya’s daughter Mary and her husband and seven children sailed in the same. Now my son, I have prayed for many years that the Lord would deliver me from this wicked generation. Now me and your Father are left by ourselves except Mary Ann’s little girl [Emma Hannah], sometimes I take it verry hard to think that I have two sons in a land where there’s peace and plenty and we are pining in the midst of poverty. But I thank my God that I am still alive. I often think my case is hard, but our God has promised that he will never forsake his saints. I’ve found him true to his promise. I feel thankful that He has opened up a way for my daughter to go [to Utah]. You know when the Lord works non can hinder. I hope either you or Hyrum will please rite back as quick as possible and let me know how you are all getting along. And then I shall know that you have got it [the letter]. Give a Father’s and Mother’s best love to Hyrum. Tell him that I hope he is doing the best he can towards getting his poor Father and Mother out of old Babylon. Tell him he sent so much love and respect in the last letter that I could not see it. Give our loves to David and I hope the time will soon come when I shall meet you all and when we meet no tongue can tell how great our joys will be. Bro T. Ball send his love to you all , also Joseph Ball send his love to David [Moore] and Hyrum and all of you. So now my son I must conclude, so goodbye and God bless you all.
Thomas and Mary Bale.
|Mary Ann Wardle Bale c. 1870 (no photo available for Thomas)|
*transcribed from a typed transcription of original letter by Mary Ann Whitehead Overson, 27 Apr 2012 (from History of the Bale Family, author unknown, typed history submitted 2007 to the DUP by Verna Wilson Motes of Idaho Falls, Idaho.) No corrections were made to spelling or grammar and items in brackets are for clarification by MAO.
As stated in the letter, Caroline Bale, the youngest of the Bale family, sailed aboard the Constitution with her sister-in-law’s mother, Elizabeth Goddard, with her uncle, William Wardle and his wife, and several other friends from her hometown area.
Mary Ann also talks about Thomas not being well in the above letter. Because Thomas was a coal miner, he may have suffered chronic bronchitis, or even suffered from Black Lung – a pneumonia caused from all the dust that miner’s breathed in each day. If he was seriously ill, it was probably fortuitous that he did not travel with the rest of the family in the earlier emigrations to Utah. The Sailing ships took several weeks on the ocean to get from Liverpool to New York. Then, it was travel by train and wagon until finally joining a wagon company in Nebraska to cross the plains. Many people died, mostly the elderly and the sick. Thomas was nearing 60 by the time Caroline left to emigrate, and adding to that fact if her were ill, then he would have surely had a rough time.
Back in Utah on 8 Mar 1869, Caroline Bale married George Baker in the Endowment House, Salt Lake City. The sealing was performed by Daniel H. Wells, and witnessed by D. Evans, and W. W. Phelps. They moved to St. Johns, Tooele, Utah.
The day finally came to pass when Thomas and Mary Ann W. Bale, along with their granddaughter, Emma Hannah Bale, were able to afford passage to the New World! Perhaps the family in Utah had been able to pool their resources together. Thomas was ordained an Elder in the LDS church prior to their departure in August 1869. Mother Bale might have been unhappy that it had taken so many years for this voyage to finally take place, but it was a blessing in disguise. Whereas it took Israel Bale six weeks to cross the Atlantic in 1862, it now took just 12 days for Thomas and Mary Ann to cross in a steam ship in 1869. In 1862, Israel and Emma G. Bale traveled for and additional 161 days to get from New York to the Ogden, Utah by train, steam boat, and by wagon and foot. Thomas and Mary Ann traveled by train from New York to Salt Lake in 10 days, all thanks to the newly completed Transcontinental Railroad. It was one of the first transcontinental trains to arrive in Ogden, and many crowds of people were there to see it arrive. From Ogden, Thomas, Mary Ann and Emma Hannah went to Nephi, Utah to settle with other family members, Israel among them. One can only imagine all of the family getting together and talking about the differences in voyages, Mary Ann listening to the tales of walking to “Zion” and thanking God that she and Thomas had not had to endure that!
Thomas and Mary Ann boarded the steamer, “The Minnesota” on 25 Aug 1869 and arrived safely in New York on the 6th of September. They arrived in Utah on the 16th of September. Here is an account of their travels from the Journal of fellow traveler Platte D. Lyman:
23rd Monday - Finished my ar… and turned them over to Br. [Brother] Shurtleff. Went to Euston Square and made arrangements for some of our emigrants to go up to Liverpool.
24th Tues - Took train for Liverpool with about 50 Saints and went on board the steamer Minnesota in the London Dock.
25th Wednesday - Foggy and cold. Passed the doctor, bid goodbye to Pres. [President] C. [Carrington] and steamed out of the river with good prospects for a fair voyage.
26th Thursday - In sight of the Irish coast, weather clear. Took on mail & passengers at Queenstown, then resumed our journey with 400 Saints and 600 other passengers, after having landed 2 stowaways. Our company is in charge of Elder Mamis Ensign, with H. J. Mc Cullough, J. T. Gibbs, Frank Farnsworth, James Sharp, J. L. Hardie, E. A. Noble, W. Lee & Geo. Danford returning also. Dr. J. P. Meik from Calcutta.
27th Friday - Fine weather but some seasickness.
29th Sunday - Held meeting in the lower part of the vessel.
Sep. 1st Wednesday - Buried an infant a few days old. Its mother laid on it and killed it. We are now off the Banks of Newfoundland.
5th Sunday - Run into New York Harbor.
6th Monday - Passengers passed the dr., no cases of contagion. Our party passed the custom house officers when some of the passengers had to pay pretty stiff for good [-] to duty. Stayed at Williamsburg overnight.
7th Tuesday - In the evening took train from Jersey City on the Camden & Amboy R.R. Reached Philadelphia about midnight.
8th Wednesday - Rainy all day. Ascended the Alleghenies and in the evening went down to Pittsburgh.
9th Thursday - Left Pittsburgh at daylight on the P.F.W. & C. R. R. Nearly all day in Ohio.
10th Friday - Came in to Chicago at 8 A.M. changed on to the C & N.W. R.R.
11th Saturday - Ran over a cow neariddon [POSSIBLY near Riddon] Station. In the evening passed over about 2 miles of track which was from 1 ½ to 2 ft. under water.
12th Sunday - When I woke this morning we were at Council Bluffs Station. Crossed the Missouri River to Omaha and put up at the Famham House. Received the news of Bro. [Brother] Ezra T. Benson’s death. . . . [pp. 198-201]
20th Monday - Went to SL [Salt Lake] City with Br. Thos. [Thomas] Smith. Met E.M. Webb of Fillmore, with whom I stayed overnight. . . . [p.202]
Israel and Emma had been married for 7 years, and so far had no children. No doubt the answer was obvious when it came to who should raise Emma Hannah Bale! She went to live with them, and they adopted her as their own. The day Emma went to live with her new parents, she stood in a sweater that had no buttons – a surprising thing, seeing as Mother Bale would never have allowed her granddaughter to go anywhere without her clothes mended and in good repair. When asked why there were no buttons, Mother Bale stated, “She came to us without buttons, and she’ll leave us without buttons!” One must understand that buttons were expensive and hard to come by during that time, but surely a grandmother could take a little more pity on her granddaughter, whose circumstances of life were definitely not her own fault.
Hyrum Bale married Matilda Robinson (daughter of Mary Dexter who was mentioned at the beginning of this history) on 18 Jul 1869 in Provo, Utah. Now all of Thomas and Mary Ann Bale’s living children were married.
Father and Mother Bale eventually settled in Nephi, Juab, Utah. They cannot be found in the 1870 United States Census; this could have been because they were moving at the time the census was taken, or, for some reason, were skipped.
The March following their arrival in Utah, in 1870, Father and Mother Bale both received their Patriarchal Blessings from the hands of John Smith, son of Hyrum Smith, nephew of Joseph Smith, Jr., and the fifth Patriarch for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In these blessings are some clues to how Thomas and Mary Ann must have been feeling at the time. Thomas is told that he will “be a [leader] over those who have pointed the finger of scorn. . .” which suggests that many of his friends and neighbors, and even family back in England completely disagreed with his decision to join the LDS church. This must have weighed heavily on his heart. Mary Ann is blessed to be rewarded for giving obedience to God and leaving her native land, kindred, and friends. It can easily be imagined how hard it would have been for her to leave behind her two sons, grandchildren, and all that was familiar in England to come to Utah. In the letter to her children that Mother Bale wrote from England, she seemed to have a glorified idea of what “Zion” was truly like when she mentioned it to be a “land of peace and plenty.” She had to have felt let down when she arrived in Utah to discover what she had once envisioned was not realistic. Surely the words of the Patriarch must have given Father and Mother Bale comfort and renewed zeal to continue faithfully in their new home in Zion! [Copies can be obtained from the LDS church to direct-line descendants. Transcripts and copies of these blessings are also in the possession of Mary Ann Whitehead Overson.]
Back in England, sometime in the early months of 1871, George Bale, Thomas Bale’s father, died in Basford, Nottinghamshire. Whether Thomas or any of the rest of the family knew of his death at that time is unknown.
|Sarah Miller Bale circa 1870|
In the spring of 1876, Richard and Sarah Miller Bale with their 5 children, Louisa, Israel, Clifford, Richard and Thomas, finally started for the United States. They sailed aboard the ship “Wyoming,” and eventually settled in Almy, Wyoming, working at the coal mine there. They stayed in Almy until 1877, and then moved to Nephi. By 1880, the family had moved to Coalville.
|Richard Bale circa 1870|
When Richard and Sarah had arrived in Nephi, I am sure they rejoiced that at last all the family was together in Zion – all the family except Emmanuel, his wife, and their children. He was the only child who chose to stay in England; the reunion in Utah had to have been bittersweet.
Thomas Bale’s health never recovered from his years in the coal mines. He and Mary Ann are listed on the 1880 census living in Nephi and he is listed as “Aged,” meaning that he was retired from work. The census also says that he had been unemployed for 6 months of the 1880 census year, and because the census was typically conducted in June and July, that means he was out of work the entire year. He probably hadn’t worked for quite a while.
On the same 1880 census page as Father and Mother Bale, as neighbors, are listed Israel and Emma Goddard Bale and their household: adopted daughter Emma Hannah (Mary Ann Bale’s daughter), and another daughter, Euphnia, whom we don’t know much about, except that she doesn’t show up in the next available census in 1900, or in any other records, including burial. Continuing on the same census page are Richard and Sarah Miller Bale and their children (they also show up on the same year census in Coalville, Utah). Israel’s occupation is listed as a farmer, and Richard’s as a Railroad Grader.
Father and Mother Bale, having been civilly married for approximately 46 years, received their endowments and were sealed for time and all eternity on 11 Nov 1880, in the Salt Lake Endowment House.
Thomas Bale died in Nephi, Utah on 4 Feb 1885, at the age of 76. In the Deseret News on 16 Feb 1885 was published his death notice:
BALE—At Nephi, Juab County, Utah, February 5th, 1885, Thomas Bale; born at Lenton Docks, Nottinghamshire, England, January 20, 1809 ; embraced the gospel at Coalville, Leicestershire, July 1844; emigrated to Nephi, Utah, September 1869, where he remained till death, continuing faithful and true to the gospel. Mill. Star please copy.
Thomas Bale was buried in Nephi, Juab, Utah at the Vine Bluff Cemetery.
Mary Ann lived only 6 years after her beloved husband died. She passed away at the age of 78. Here is her death notice from the Millenial Star (the British LDS newspaper):
BALE – At Nephi, Juab, Utah, Febrary 11, 1891, Mary Ann, wife of Thomas Bale. Deceased was born April 29, 1813, at Lenton-docks, Nottinghamshire, England; was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder James Bowers in the early part of June, 1844, in the Whitwick Branch, Leicester Conference, from which she and her husband emigrated in September, 1869.
Millenial Star, British LDS Newspaper, April 20, 1891
This history has been compiled by Mary Ann Whitehead Overson using several resources, including census records, birth and death records, LDS ordinance records (through Family Search), and could not have been possible without the "History of the Bale Family" written by an unknown author (possibly Alan Kendall of Cameron Park, California) and submitted to the DUP in Salt Lake City by Verna Motes. I recently contacted Verna through facebook and she was the one who suggested that Alan Kendall may have written it. Thank you to her and all the others who have kept these histories alive! This history was completed on July 24, 2012.