WIDDISON, Agnes (1830)
| This article is a stub. It is known to be incomplete.|
Please help improve this article.
|Agnes Widdison Livingston|
|Full name||Agnes Widdison|
|Born||December 28 1830|
|Place of birth||Shotts, Lanark, Scotland|
|Died||May 19 1920|
|Place of death|| Fountain Green, Sanpete, Utah
Birth and Birth Family
Agnes was born December 28, 1830 at Shotts, Lanark, Scotland, the first of seven children born to Thomas Widdison and Janet Russell. The Shots Parish birth entry spells the surname "Wedderstoun". Her father, Thomas, was born in Sheffield, York, England on May 5, 1804, the son of Samuel Widdison and Hannah Warding. Thomas was the 5th child of a family of 8 children. The Sheffield Parish birth entry spells the surname "Wideson". Thomas left England and moved to Scotland where he worked as a file cutter and married the daughter of the man he worked for.
Her mother, Janet, was born at Chapel Hall, Lanark, Scotland on February 20, 1814, the daughter of Robert Russell, Jr. and Agnes Adam. Janet was the first child of a family of four children. Child number two was Hannah, born January 15, 1838 at Sheffield, York, England, probably during a visit back to England to see Thomas' family. The balance of the five children were born back at Chapel Hall, Bothwell, Lanark, Scotland. Their names are Henry Thomas Widdison, Robert Russell Widdison, William Livingston Widdison, John Widdison, and James Gourley Widdison; their births took place between 1841 and 1853 at Chapel Hall.
Conversion and Immigration
Agnes was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1842 by William Livingston, and her sister Hannah, was baptized in 1853 by Joseph Morris. The following is a membership certificate Agnes carried with her when she left Scotland for emigration to America.
We hereby certify that Agnes Widdison is a member of the Chapel Hall Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of the Glasgow Conference, in good standing; and as such we recommend her to any branch with which she may desire to unite. Date 13 February 1853.
Paul Gourlay, President
John Scott, Secretary
This certificate is not intended to be shown to the private members of a branch, but it should be presented to, and be retained by, the presiding officer of the branch of which you desire to become a member.
The parents of Agnes had embraced the gospel and desired to join the Saints in America. Two sons, Henry Thomas and John died as children, so the remaining five children and parents, Thomas and Janet, sailed on March 26, 1853 from Liverpool, England, on the ship "Falcon" with 324 passengers and arrived in New Orleans two months later, on May 18, 1853. They traveled "steerage", that is, as most emigrants did, in the bottom of the ship, taking care of their own food and arranging for their own sleeping accommodations. The ocean was very rough and the eight week voyage took its toll. From New Orleans they were taken up the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Missouri River, and then on to Florence, Nebraska. At Florence, they were met by an emigrant train of ox teams and wagons waiting to take them to the Salt Lake valley.
The Captain of the company was Appleton Harmon and the trip was difficult for a family of 5 youngsters ranging from the youngest, James Gourley, who was only 4 months old, to Agnes, the firstborn who was approaching her 23rd birthday. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on October 16, 1853.
Marriage and Children
Nine months after arrival in Salt Lake, Agnes married a young man that she had probably known since her childhood. James Campbell Livingston was born in the same town as Agnes, in Shotts, Lanark, Scotland. He went to the same branch of the church as Agnes, and they came to America on the same ship. James indicated that they were nine weeks and two days on the sea and then went up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, a few miles below Nauvoo for outfitting to cross the plains.
Agnes and James were married at the ages of 23 and 20 respectively, on June 7, 1854 by Bishop John Lytle of the Seventh Ward. Three years later, on March 13, 1857, they were both endowed and then sealed for time and eternity in the New Endowment House. Their children were:
- Janet Russell Livingston, born 21 March 1855, married Orson Augustus Despain
- James Campbell Livingston Jr., born 14 Feb 1858, md. (1) Phebe Ann Chapman, (2) Sarah Francis Chapman
- Archibald George Livingston, born 31 May 1860, md. (1) Temperance Lucinda Gillespie, (2) Hannah Amanda Adler
- Robert Widdison Livingston, born 4 June 1865, married Lena Hetta Major
- Charles Campbell Livingston, born 6 Feb 1868, md. (1) Julia Ann Olsen Sellers, (2) Charlotte Delta Cole, (3) Anna Louise "Lula" Neve
- Hannah Livingston, born 11 March 1871, married Jacob Wamsley Smith
- Helen Livingston, born 7 Sept 1874, marriage if and when not known, no death date known
In 1862 James entered into the Holy Order of Plural Marriage by marrying Agnes' sister Hannah Widdison on Feb 15, 1862, and in 1867 the three of them were privileged to receive their Second Endowments in the Endowment House from President Wells and Joseph F. Smith. Hannah mothered four children, Thomas Livingston (b. 1863), Agnes Livingston (b. 1864), James L. Livingston (b. 1866), William L. Livingston (b. 1870).
But Hannah died suddenly (30 Dec. 1871) and Agnes raised her 4 children along with her own 7 children. A third wife was brought into the family, Annie Elizabeth Muir on Jan. 26, 1873. She was born 3 Feb. 1854, Salt Lake City, Utah, daughter of Thomas Walter Muir and Isabella Ann Samson. She mothered 7 children, John Livingston (b.1873) Thomas Livingston (b.1876), Isabella Livingston (b.1878), James Livingston (b.1880), Bertha Livingston (b.1883), Annie Livingston (b.1887), and Wallace Livingston (b.1889). There were 18 children among the three wives.
Move to Birch Creek, Death
Agnes' husband James was in charge of the Quarry for the Salt Lake Temple for about 40 years. After he was finished with that, the family, consisting of James, Agnes and Annie and their children moved by assignment to Birch Creek, near Fountain Green, Sanpete County. It was difficult to leave their nice home in Salt Lake and go down to Cedar Cliff (another name for Birch Creek), to just nothing. It was just sagebrush at the time, but James, Agnes and Annie and their family went immediately to work and began to build it up and establish a beautiful little farm. James and Agnes went back and forth between Salt Lake and Cedar Cliff, but after several years the entire family settled there. They raised hay and cattle.
James Campbell Livingston died 17 October 1909, Cedar Cliff, Sanpete, Utah, buried Fountain Green, Utah. After James died, Agnes came to Salt Lake for the next eleven years until just before her death when she returned to Sanpete so she could be buried where James was. She died 19 May, 1920. Agnes was a loving mother and grandmother. Her large posterity can look at her as an honorable and noble women, loved by all who knew her.