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Mary Ann Coolbear

Mary Ann Coolbear, daughter of John Barnard and Ellen Reynolds, was born the 4th of May 1805 or 1806 in Tollesbury, Essex, England.

On the 24th of September 1832 Mary Ann married John Coolbear from Purleigh, Essex. England. They lived in Mundon about three miles away from his hometown. All six of their children, Ellen, Caroline, John J., Emily David and Sarah were born there. Christenings took place in the Church of England at Mundon.

During, or prior to, the year 1854, Mary Ann and John came in contact with Elders Joseph Silver, C.W. Penrose, and Henry Squires, missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. Mary Ann was baptized the 1 5th of June 1854 by Elder Henry Squires, John was baptized the 19th of March 1855, their twenty year old daughter Caroline's baptism date is 24 May 1855 and their son David was eleven and a half when he was baptized the 1 9th of April 1855. Their daughter Ellen never embraced the gospel, being married and away from home when the missionaries came. Their son John Jr. was thought to be in South America. He died in Rio De Janeiro in 1878. Emily and Sarah died in infancy.

Elder Squires, with instructions from Church Headquarters advised the Saints to emigrate to America. The Essex Conference Report of Wm. H. Kimball states: "The fire of emigration blazes throughout the Essex Conference to such an extent that the folks are willing to part with all their effects, and toddle off with a few things in a pocket-handkerchief. People who once felt they would rather die than leave "Happy England" sing with joyful hearts--


There is a land beyond the sea

Where I should like to be;

And dearer far "Than All the Rest"

Is that bright land to me."


Though John had joined the church he did not leave England. He had allowed himself to become angered with the church because he objected to the late hours the missionaries held meetings.

Mary Ann and son David decided to come to America. This was the last John saw of his wife and son.

On the 14th of May 1862, Mary and her 19 year old son, boarded the ship, "Wm. Tapscott" for Zion. Her daughter Caroline had sailed to America 11th of April 1859, about three years earlier.

Brothers F.M. Lyman and William Gibson had been sustained by the assembly to lead this company from Liverpool to Florence, Nebraska -- the outfitting station for the Great Salt Lake trek. Mary Ann and her son had taken steerage passage which meant that the women were housed in one large,

crowded compartment and the men in another. The berths were described as being "about 6 feet by 4 feet 6 inches, and made of rough boards to hold two persons each. They were two tiers in height, nailed up along the sides of the vessel. Preparing food for 850 people was one of the problems because of the cramped quarters and the limited facilities aboard ship. Ship's rations included salt pork, salt beef, sea biscuit, flour, rice, oatmeal, peas, sugar, condiments and water."

The long, tedious ocean voyage of 42 days in a sailing vessel that depended entirely on wind and sail, was interrupted when they became at the mercy of rough winds. The worst storm that the Captain had ever witnessed -- although he had made many trips across the ocean -- finally left them in safety, but a very travel worn people. There were 3 or 4 deaths during the voyage. At 5:00 o'clock on the 24th of June, at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York the ship's anchor was finally dropped.

From here straight passage through the United States would be impossible as the hghting of the Civil War required that they travel by railroad in a round about way, going even up to the St. Lawrence River, into Canada, finally down to St. Joseph, Missouri; then by steamboat up The Missouri River to Florence, Nebraska (Winter Quarters).

The last part of the journey, Mary Ann and her son accompanied Capt. John R. Murdock's ox team of 65 wagons which left Florence, Nebraska with 700 people on the 28th of July 1862.

They had been gone from England a little more than four months. They reached Centerville, Utah on the 27th of September 1862. Mary Ann was on hand to help, or was greeted with the news, of the birth that very day of a granddaughter, Mary Ellen Ager, her daughter Caroline's baby. Their stay in Centerville was only a few months, for in February of 1863, Mary Ann, son David, daughter Caroline, her husband, John Ager, and their baby settled in Morgan, Morgan, Utah.

Mary Ann Barnard Coolbear lived in Morgan just five and a half years before her death the 12th of August 1868. She is buried in the South Morgan Cemetery.


References to the Life Sketch of the John Coolbear Family

1. As recorded by a son, David Wm. Coolbear who lived in Morgan

2. 1851 English census records

3. Mundon Parish records

4. British Mission Branch records

5. South Morgan Ward records

6. South Morgan Cemetery records

Some of this information was taken from a history by Lois Crow Goodmansen, a Great, Great, Granddaughter. and a short history by Sylvia Compton Pack, a Great Granddaughter.

This history was put together by Great, Great, Granddaughters Beth Smith Turner, Joyce Smith Weaver and Rosella Compton.


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