On the 13th of April, 1836, Eliza Chapman and Samuel Gadd were married in Croydon, Cambridgeshire, England. It is believed that Eliza and Samuel resided in Orwell, Cambridgeshire, England after they were married (about six miles from Croydon), since they appear in Orwell on the 1841 and 1851 England census. Samuel was a farmer and would farm and sell goods to others in Cambridgeshire.
The first few years of Eliza and Samuel’s marriage were ones of triumph and tragedy. They welcomed their first child, christened him in their church, and subsequently lost three of Samuels siblings, who ranged in age from 14-32. Samuel was left with his father, one brother, James, and possibly two sisters (death dates for his two sisters are unknown; perhaps they died the day they were born). All of his family’s births, deaths, and christenings may be found in the Wimpole and Orwell Parish Registries, which leads one to believe that Samuel and Eliza were God-fearing people, active in their religion.
On July 8, 1838, at Far West, Missouri, the Mormon prophet, joseph smith, received a revelation instructing the Twelve Apostles to prepare to serve a mission in Great Britain. Brigham Young and six other apostles left from New York for Britain between December 1839 and March 1840. In 1841, the LDS missionaries were in Orwell Parish, sharing the gospel. Samuel readily accepted their teachings and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on the 13th of October, 1841. However, his wife, Eliza, was not baptized. They had three children at the time of Samuel’s baptism: Alfred (4), Jane (2), and William (2-months). All of these children were christened in the Orwell Parish, indicating once again, that the Gadd’s were religious, although Eliza did not choose the same religious beliefs as Samuel in 1841. It is suspected that Eliza may have believed in sort of a Gnostic way, meaning that she believed in diverse religious beliefs rather than focusing on just one denomination.
In addition to his baptism, Samuel was also ordained to the office of an Elder in 1841 and was immediately called to serve over the Saints in that area as their Branch President. He would have to walk 12-14 miles to church. This is a position in which he served for the next 15 years, his wife remaining a non-member. There must have been some trying times as Samuel split his time between his farm, the needs of his branch members, and his family obligations. During his service in Cambridgeshire, he had the opportunity for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and baptizing many people. Most often, new members would be baptized under the shadow of darkness in order to avoid persecution. Why Eliza was not baptized at this time is not known. Oral family tradition says that her father was a wealthy spiritualist and would hold séances in his home. Perhaps her “unbelief” in her father’s spiritualism lead to her hesitance in accepting the gospel of the Church as had her husband.
By 1844, Samuel and Eliza had four children and were living in Orwell, Cambridgeshire, England. A little over one year after their baby turned one year old, their third child, William, died at the age of 3½. To bury a child is never an easy task. Eliza was 29 years old and had three children to care for, in addition to grieving over the loss of her toddler. Over the next ten years, Eliza would bear five more children, giving Samuel and her a grand total of nine (eight living); culminating in the birth of twins, Daniel and Isaac, in 1854. Eliza was 39 years old at that time.
In October of 1855, Albert, the oldest child of Samuel and Eliza, was baptized into his father’s religion. He was confirmed that same day, October 7, 1855, by his father. Jane, William Chapman, and Mary Ann Gadd would follow the example of their older brother, Albert, in joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. William Chapman was baptized in April of 1856, just before the family left England to sail for America. Samuel Jr. was baptized on this same day.
In 1856, Mormon Prophet, Brigham Young, sent a communication to Franklin D. Richards, President of the British Mission, urging the Saints to immigrate to the United States and to travel to Iowa City, Iowa where they would be provided handcarts to carry provisions and clothing. The Saints were advised that wagons would be furnished to carry the aged, infirm, and those who were unable to walk. Everyone else would walk and draw their handcarts across the Plains. President Young urged them to ‘gird up their loins and come while the way was opened’.
Samuel wanted so badly to go to the United States to be with the body of Saints in Iowa. Eliza was not a member of his faith and did not want to leave everything that she knew and loved in England. Along with her memories and all familiarity, the grave of her child, William, was here in England. Eliza’s father had died three years prior, in 1853. We know that Eliza outlived all of her four siblings. At least two of them had perished before her parent’s death (her mother’s death date is unknown). So it isn’t known how many surviving family members Eliza was close to or would have to leave behind if she left England. Family was the most important institution to her. She loved her husband and her children; and although she didn’t embrace their religious beliefs, she would go to great extents to keep this family together. So she consented to go to America.
On the 28th of April, 1856, as the family prepared to make voyage to America, Samuel baptized his children, William Chapman, and Samuel Gadd. On May 4, 1856, the family of ten set sail on the ship, Thornton, with 764 LDS saints on board. They paid for their voyage to America and did not use the Perpetual Emigration Fund, set forth by President Brigham Young, as many other immigrants did.
On the 14 June, 1856, the Saints reached New York City. On the 17 June, they departed for Iowa City by rail. As many as 84 emigrants were crowded into one car. The trains were “dirty, noisy, and very rough riding”.
The Saint’s very first night in Iowa City was spent in a large engine shed because of a heavy thunderstorm. They next morning they were all put to work. The men were put to work building handcarts and the women were divided into groups to cut and sew tents. The younger women tended children or mended clothes. Samuel served as a guard in Iowa City, often standing guard in the rain. He caught a cold and developed a cough that would accompany him his entire trek across the Plains. It is unknown if Eliza knew that they would be walking across the Plains once they reached Iowa City. Samuel wanted to take his family to Zion; where there was a Temple, in order to do the ordinance work for their family members. Samuel Jr. also wanted to trek. Eliza said, “Samuel was the most excited of all my children to get to Zion.” What a difficult thing, to travel in a company of unfamiliar people, who believed in something that you did not, where the only thing that she had in common with them was their home land of England and their destination of Zion.
On July 15, 1856, the Saints, with James G. Willie as their leader, left Iowa City, bound for “Zion”. This was Alfred Gadd’s 19th birthday, but it must not have stood out to him. Alfred never mentioned this fact in his personal history. Most of the way, 41-year old Eliza, would either carry her 21-month old twins or help pull the cart in which they rode. The company consisted of 500 people, 120 handcarts, five wagons, 24 oxen, and 45 beef cattle.
Because the Saints started so late in the season, in early October, they were near Wyoming with heavy snow, worn out clothing, and low supplies. Records show that it was at this time, on October 1, that Mary Ann was baptized. We know that there were baptisms along the trail, but did they really baptize during these cold months, in such harsh conditions, and in icy water? Mary Ann turned 8 years old on September 6, 1856. It makes sense that she would have been excited about her baptism.
By this time in October, the Saints were so tired and desperate; some were stealing from others just to satisfy their own hunger. The Gadd family had been on the trail with the Willie Company now for 2½ months. Three-fourths of the company was women. This left most men, including Samuel Gadd, to take shifts in standing guard for the camp during the night. On October 4, 1856, food rations were cut. It is supposed that Samuel and Eliza Gadd would have gladly gone without their portions, in order that their children might have more. A tent companion of Samuel Gadd said that during meal time, Samuel would leave the camp, so that his children could have his portions.
The company of handcart pioneers had just passed Fort Laramie on Sept 30, a distance of 788 miles from Iowa City, Iowa. This is where Eliza made her biggest sacrifice since she had consented to leave her home in England to come to America and then trek to Zion with a company of Mormon Emigrants. At dawn on October 4, 1856, Eliza had the heart-breaking task of burying one of her two-year old twins, Daniel. Rations were cut again on this day. Samuel, Eliza, and their surviving children buried baby Daniel in a grave beside the trail. The family, heart-broken and weary, then walked another five miles to their next camp.
Eliza and Samuel must have been devastated. One would speculate that Eliza might have questioned why she had agreed to this journey, and Samuel may have wondered if it would be worth the sacrifice. Between October 4 and October 10, the nine of them walked another 77 miles with the company, leaving behind their baby. Eliza now had left the grave of a child in England, in which she would never return to again, and that of a child near Fort Laramie, without a proper burial or marker. The Company, including the Gadd family, was getting weaker by the mile. Samuel had never completely recovered from the cold he had contracted while standing guard in Iowa City. And in helping to carry woman and children across the Platte River, his cold worsened. Now cold, starving, and tired, Samuel had to lay in the sick wagon, too weak to walk. The Willie Company walked six miles that October day, before stopping at noon to rest. When the family checked on Samuel at noon, he was dead. Eliza had just buried her baby, and now she had the devastating task of burying her husband of 20 years. The very reason that Eliza had agreed to this journey, so her family wouldn’t be separated, and now they were separated between life and death. Samuel was buried near the Platte River, and a grieving Eliza walked away from his final resting place, leading her four sons and three daughters another six miles before camping for the night.
Now Eliza was a widow on the Plains of Wyoming, some 877 miles from the nearest railroad in Iowa City and yet another 430 miles from “Zion”. She didn’t know anyone in Utah and didn’t have the beliefs that her husband had to drive her forward to that Mormon settlement in the mountains. Little Samuel Jr. was the most excited of all of her children to reach Zion. So Eliza gathered her family, and her handcart, and pushed on.
On October 14, they reached Independence Rock and on October 15, Levi Savage wrote, “Wednesday; today we traveled fifteen and a half miles…the people are getting weak and falling very fast. A great many are sick. Our teams are also failing fast, and it requires great exertion to make any progress. Our rations were reduced last night, one quarter, bringing the men to ten ounces and the women to nine ounces. Some of the children were reduced to six and others to three ounces each.”
On October 18, the company only traveled 8 miles, as they were preparing to walk 16 miles the following day without water.
On October 19, Eliza set out with her children and the rest of the handcart company. About one hour into their travels, they were met with a terrible snowstorm. Their clothing was worn almost to rags, and they had left behind blankets just days before, to lighten their load. Paul Lyman said this, “Never before had five people died in one day. The 16 mile forced trek without a water break, in horrible weather, had exacted a terrible toll. All hope may have been lost, were it not for the advance party of rescuers finding them after the snowstorm.”
The worst of the trek was still ahead for Eliza, Rocky Ridge! Levi Savage’s Journal and some commentary from Paul Lyman give this information, “It was a ‘severe’ day. The climb up ‘the Rocky Ridge’ was long. The wind was blowing snow in their faces. It was steep and snow-covered. People became exhausted from the strain of the hike and the weather. Two of the wagons, full of the sick and children, were so loaded down that they did not arrive until dawn on 24 October. At 10 or 11 p.m., the teams pulling these two wagons refused to cross a stream, Strawberry Creek, due to the ice and cold. Levi Savage was with those wagons when the animals balked, and as a result, he walked four miles to the camp at Rock Creek for help. At the campsite, he found the exhausted Saints with few tents pitched. The people were spent and were huddling around small fires. Many hours later the two wagons carrying the sick and the children pulled into camp. These latecomers came to camp in the dark, since moonrise was at 2:25 a.m., with only a quarter of the moon visible.
The trail from the Sweetwater River to the top of Rocky Ridge is just over three miles long and has a rise in elevation of more than 750 feet for roughly a five percent grade. However, it is not a consistently rising grade. Instead, it has several steep portions and one portion where it actually drops in elevation for some distance before turning uphill again. It is hard to find a day that the wind does not blow on Rocky Ridge. The wind was blowing snow down the hill and into their faces as the Saints trudged up toward the ridge top and then onward for miles. Wind chill was a real factor fighting against them. The actual temperature on 23 October is not known, but it was certainly below 32 degrees. One clue as to how cold it was on 23 October comes from the record of the Abraham O. Smoot wagon train, which arrived at Fort Bridger on the 23 October. It reads in part, ‘…it snowed hard on the 19th, 20th, all day, & it was very cold, thermometer down to zero part of the time, left our camp at 11 a.m. on Thursday 23 October & reached Fort Bridger…’
If the temperature were ten degrees, with a 30-mile-per-hour wind, then it would have felt like minus 12 degrees. At this low temperature and wind speed, frostbite could occur in a little more than 30 minutes. Many of the people were on the trail for hours, with a few coming in well after dark. It is easy to imagine that the temperature was below ten degrees by the time everyone arrived at camp.’”
It was during this pull up Rocky Ridge that Eliza Gadd was stricken with being snow-blind. Being a nurse, Eliza had to think the worst. Perhaps this was the end for her? Maybe she was having a stroke? She had probably never heard of snow blindness and may not have known that this is what she was suffering from at the time. Snow blindness is a painful eye condition, caused by exposure of unprotected eyes. Its symptoms can range from eyes being bloodshot and teary to increased pain, feeling gritty and swelling shut.
The pull up Rocky Ridge was taxing on everyone. Eliza helped pull the cart with one hand while her daughters, Sarah and Mary Ann, took turns guiding her by the other hand. The older children helped to pull the cart and care for baby Isaac. They walked up Rocky Ridge and then proceeded another 13 miles to their camp. Gadd Histories say, “As the Gadd family crossed the Rocky Ridge in a blizzard on October 23, Eliza became snow-blind, in which condition she remained for three days. She became dependent on her eight year old daughter, Mary Ann, to hold her hand and lead her up the steep trail as she assisted the older children in pulling the handcart with her other hand. The Gadd family biography states: “Mary Ann, with only rags covering her feet, led her snow-blind mother for three days as she pulled the handcart. During this time she (Mary Ann) carried an ox hoof; and at each camp she would roast it and eat the part that was roasted. This was all she had to eat during those three days.” By the next morning, 13 Saints were found dead and buried in a mass grave. As if Eliza hadn’t suffered enough trials, her ten year old, little Samuel, was among the 13 whose bodies were buried in a mass grave at Rock Creek Hallow. He wouldn’t get to see Zion, after all.
John Chislett gives a first hand account, “We had a large square hole dug in which we buried these thirteen people, three or four abreast and three deep. When they did not fit in, we put one or two crosswise at the head or feet of the others. We covered them with willows and then with the earth. When we buried these thirteen people, some of their relatives refused to attend the services. They manifested an utter indifference about it…. Two others died during the day, and we buried them in one grave, making fifteen in all buried on that camp ground. It was on Willow Creek, a tributary of the Sweetwater River. I learned afterwards from men who passed that way the next summer, that the wolves had exhumed the bodies, and their bones were scattered thickly around the vicinity.”
On this day, Reddick Newton Allred, sent by Brigham Young with supplies, reached this devastated company of Saints. Reddick, along with six other wagons, helped the Saints get to the Salt Lake Valley.
On November 9, 1856, Eliza Gadd and her three sons and three daughters walked into the Salt Lake Valley. Eliza had sacrificed much. It had to be the excitement of her son Samuel and the faith of her husband that drove her into Zion. Alfred was 19, Jane 17, William Chapman 13, Mary Ann 8, Sarah 6, and Isaac age 2. Just seven days after arriving in Salt Lake, Eliza was baptized saying, “I just can’t wait any longer”. When she was asked by a daughter, just before her death, about why she was baptized she said, “After seeing all of my children turn into angels, how could I not be?” This is significant if you consider the fact that Eliza was snow blind on the day her son, Samuel, died.
Once Eliza and her family made it to Utah, the LDS church was settling several communities, and the Gadd family was sent to Salt Creek (Nephi). Alfred helped Eliza build a home made of adobe brick that was formed from clay found in Salt Creek, logs, and willows. The Gadd home was just inside the old fort wall. The enclosure was three blocks square. The original wall, composed of gravel, mud and straw, was 12 feet high, 6 feet wide at bottom and 2½ feet wide at top; 420 rods in length. Gates were provided in the north and the south walls.
Soon after arriving in Utah, Eliza was set apart by Brigham Young, to be a midwife. She delivered over 2,000 babies, in 32 years, at the cost of $2.00 for the delivery and nine days of care. Isaac Gadd remembers that his mother had to be away from home a great deal, waiting on the sick. Eliza had to be self sufficient, being a widow in a strange land, with a young family to care for. Besides being a midwife, she also learned to spin yarn from wool and weave and sew clothing for her children. She was the first milliner in Nephi, hand weaving and shaping the straw, which she had gleaned from the grain fields. She did many kinds of hard work to support her family. She and her children would gather wheat and then separate the seeds of grain from the husks and straw by hand. (NOTE: Early threshing was done by laying out a canvas tarp, breaking open a sheave of wheat and spreading it in an even, shallow way. Then beating the grain with a “flail”. The flail is simply two pieces of wood tied together with leather, one piece being the handle and the other coming in brutal contact with the grain. After all of this work the kernels are off of the stalk so you would pick up the loose straw and move it off to the side. What remains on the canvas is a combination of grain and “chaff” or husks. To get rid of the useless chaff the material is tossed into the air, preferably on a windy day in a process called “winnowing”. The wind blows the feather light chaff away and the heavier grain falls to the canvas.) After the wheat was separated, she, along with her children would grind the wheat for flour, then bleach the straw and Eliza would use the straw to braid and make hats for men and women in town.
When the Nephi town patent was granted in 1870, Eliza was given part of the property within the Old Fort and acquired considerable farming land, including the Rowley Farm, in North East Nephi. This is where Isaac and his wife built a home with Eliza. Eliza had two rooms of her own, and Isaac’s family had the other part of the home.
Eliza was described by her granddaughter as being very quiet and did not care much for the social side of life, but loved to go to church whenever she had the opportunity. Another granddaughter, Leah Tolley Peterson, described Eliza as always wearing a knotted cap or net and always a white collar on her dresses. She crossed the Plains with much the same attire, until it wore thin. This is true, as can be seen in the only picture that we have of Eliza Gadd.
Eliza lived and cared for herself until one week before her death. She died on the 27th of January, 1892 in Nephi, Utah from an infection of the heart. She is buried in the Nephi Utah Cemetery and left her descendants with a grand legacy.
ABOUT HER CHILDREN
Alfred Gadd served in the Black Hawk War in 1892, as a Minute Man and guard. He received badges and citations for his service from the United States government. He was the first county horticulturist in Nephi. He raised and sold trees. In 1893, he was sent back to England as a missionary. This was a self-supported mission. He would be forced to come home after 16 months for lack of funds to carry on.
Mary Ann Gadd was only eight years old when they reached the Salt Lake Valley. In Nephi, she did housework and tended babies for her board. The lady she worked for was so strict that she required Mary Ann to knead bread for one hour by the clock to make sure that she was kept busy. Later, she worked at Bishop Udall’s, waiting tables. One day when she came into the room, Bishop Udall put his hand on Mary Ann’s shoulder and said, “This is one of the handcart girls of Captain Willey’s belated Company.” President Young laid his hand upon her head and said, “Somebody will have to pay for this.”  Mary Ann married John Rowley, also a pioneer of the Willie Handcart Company. She was 16 years old when they were married. She was his second wife, as his first one divorced him. She was the first of 11 plural marriages. Together they had 12 children.
Isaac Gadd’s biography quotes, “I seemed to have been born on an unlucky day – was twice badly scalded before I was four years of age; at thirteen, I had both legs broken by a yoke of oxen. I was educated in the crude schools of Nephi and always took an active part in church activities.” When Isaac’s legs were broken, they were set by a doctor who came through Nephi. Eliza was given the full responsibility of his care. In 1883, Isaac was ordained a Seventy and left for his mission to England, though he did not want to leave his mother at this time in her life, as she was 68 years old. Eliza insisted on Isaac going back to her native land to take them the Gospel. On his return home to Nephi, he was put in a bishopric and served in this capacity, in the Nephi North Ward, for 16 years. In April of 1890, as a result of his broken leg at age 14, it was necessary for the doctor to amputate Isaac’s right leg, nearly to the thigh. His mother cared for him while he recovered from the operation. As he recovered, he would go on his crutches and care for his teams and cattle, pitch hay, irrigate, plow, and plant. His first artificial leg was so heavy and cumbersome that it was more of a hindrance than a help. Isaac married Martha Paxman, and together they had eight children.
William Chapman Gadd “was rather wayward and did not take part in the church.”
Jane Gadd was 17 years old when the handcart company reached Salt Lake City. She became the second plural wife of Levi Hunt in 1858. Together they had three children. Jane died when her baby was three years old, in 1863.
Sarah Gadd at the age of 18, entered into a polygamous marriage with William Fisher Tolley and Sarah Warren Tolley. William was 27 years older than Sarah. Ten months later, Sarah gave birth to Samuel William and was living in a residence with her step children Emma, age 17, George, age ten, and Sarah, age eight. At the turn of the century, Sarah Gadd left Utah with her husband and children and went to live in Willow Creek, Idaho. They left Sarah Warren behind. Sarah Gadd Tolley died at the age of 51, only two years after arriving in Idaho.
 According to the 1851 England Census, Eliza lived in Orwell and stated her Birth Date as: 1815.
The Utah Cemetery Inventory lists her birth date as 13 March, 1815.
 The first nursing school was opened in Germany in 1836. The first organized nursing school in England was not developed until after the Crimean War, about 1860 in London. Early nursing in England was usually done by members (woman) of a parish who were trained to help take care of the dying, rather than helping to heal the sick. Their experience taught them valuable skills in herbs and drugs. So it is likely that Eliza was trained by one of the “sisters” in her church, rather than going to school and receiving a license for such practice, meaning she was not a “registered” nurse in the literal sense.
 From The History of Samuel and Eliza Gadd, written by her grand-daughter Leah Tolley Petersen. (DUP)
 This term was often given to a single woman of marriageable age, who was yet unmarried, much like that of a bachelor is given to a man. Keziah was 21 years old at the time of their marriage.
 The marriage of Keziah, “spinster”, and William, “bachelor”, of this parish, are recorded in the Wimpole marriages, 1800-1863, St. Andrew’s Parish Church, Wimpole.
 The death of Keziah and infant Keziah are recorded in the Wimpole Burials, 1800-1863, St. Andrew’s Parish Church, Wimpole. The deaths of her other children, Marianne, William, Thomas, and Sarah, are also recorded here.
 A branch president is a leader of a “branch” congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The calling of branch president is very similar to the calling of bishop, except that instead of presiding over a ward, the branch president presides over a branch. The branch president is directly responsible for the smooth operation of his branch and the well-being of its patrons.
 From the history of William East, “Monday 17 July. Visited the saints in Whaddon and Bassingbourn. … Returned to Whaddon at 9 p.m. and at 11 p.m. re-baptized Sisters Jane and Hannah East, also Ann Oliver and Mary Bright, and with the assistance of Elders Gad (Samuel Gadd) and (John) Jacklin re-confirmed them by the water’s side.”
 Eliza’s great-granddaughter tells of her father’s spiritualism and says that Eliza professed this as the reason for her not being baptized. However, there is no written account of this. (In the Company of Angels, by David Farland)
 Published in the Millennial Star, 23 Feb, 1856.
 Perpetual Emigration Fund, 1877 Debtors Index
 Sail and Rail Pioneers by Stanley B. Kimball, pgs 30-31
 Biography of Isaac Chapman Gadd written by Mable Gadd Kirk, his daughter. (DUP)
 Hafen and Hafen Handcarts to Zion pg 93
 Excerpt from the journal of Levi Savage
 Excerpt from the journal of Levi Savage (He says that they buried 2 year old David Gadd. This is not correct, as it was Daniel Gadd that was buried on this day.)
 Biography of Eliza Chapman Gadd written by Magle Gadd Kirk, her granddaughter. (DUP)
 From the Journal of Levi Savage
 Tell My Story Too, by Jollene S. Alphine
 John Chislett, “Mr. Chislett’s Narrative,” in The Rocky Mountain Saints, T. B. H. Stenhouse (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1873), 329
 Biography of Isaac Chapman Gadd written by Mable Gadd Kirk, his daughter (DUP)
 History of the Gadd Family (DUP)
 Eliza Chapman Gadd written by Darline Tolley in 1996 (DUP)
 Biography of Isaac Chapman Gadd, written by Mable Gadd Kirk, his daughter (DUP)
 History of Eliza Chapman Gadd by Mable Gadd Kirk, her granddaughter (DUP)
 Death Certificate of Eliza Chapman Gadd
 History of the Gadd Family (DUP)
 Biography of Mary Ann Gadd Rowley written by Mary Luella Rowley Laws, a daughter (DUP)
 Biography of Mary Ann Gadd Rowley written by Mary Luella Rowley Laws, a daughter (DUP)
 Biography of Eliza Chapman Gadd written by granddaughter, Mable Gadd Kirk (DUP)
 History of Samuel and Eliza Gadd written by Leah Tolley Peterson, granddaughter (DUP)
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