Thursday, April 24, 2014

More on 2nd Great Grandfather Charles Burns

The following continuation of Charles Burns story I found on FamilyTree written by a GreatGreatGrandson 'Brook'.  Their are several story's written about Charles but this one I think is the best short version.  I have NOT found a picture of Charles's wife Martha Fretwell but as you see above I have found several pictures of Charles's mother Ellen Hancock.

Charles Burns grew up to become a coal miner. He joined the Church at age eighteen, two years after his mother and stepfather, John Robertson McDuff, had done so. In 1851 at twenty years of age, Charles married Martha Fretwell (b. 9 Mar 1827), also a member of the Church, on 17 November 1851. Her parents were James Fretwell and Mary Cundy, of Brampton near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Seventeen years later (1868) the Burns’ took their family of five surviving children (Mary Ellen, Joseph, Charles, Sarah Hannah, Martha, and Caroline) to the United States. Martha Burns was the youngest (4 ½) at the time. Charles mother and step-father had already immigrated to America four years previous, eventually settling in North Salt Lake City with their two youngest children. On their journey to America, Charles Burns departed Liverpool June 4, 1868 aboard the packet ship John Bright. The John Bright was a sailing vessel well beyond her prime, operating in an era of increasing steamship travel wherein a transatlantic crossing might take only two weeks compared to six weeks by sail. It had been the Church’s intent that year that most Saints travel by steamship but many members were of limited means and to keep costs down, a few sailing vessels were chartered. The John Bright carried some 722 Saints, the great majority of whom were from the British Isles. Most had been members of the Church for many years—almost twenty years for the Burns’. During the six week crossing there was very little sickness on board and only one death. Nevertheless, from passenger accounts the voyage seems to have encountered at least one life-threatening storm, and early-on the John Bright sustained significant, below-the-waterline damage when accidentally rammed by another ship in the fog. From New York the Burns family travelled aboard the Union Pacific Railroad to its terminus at Laramie, Wyoming, taking less than ten days to get there. Laramie was already 570 miles further west than the earlier wagon train departure point of Omaha, Nebraska. At Laramie the Burns family became part of the John R. Murdock Company, departing by horse-drawn wagon July 27 and arriving in Salt Lake City just three weeks later on August 19, 1868. Within a year the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad would eliminate the need for wagon train travel altogether. After Charles Burns and Martha Fretwell arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, three more children came into the family, yet all died in early childhood. Six years later, twin girls arrived—Ellen and Hannah, named for their father’s mother and her twin sister. But within three years (14 Feb 1877) Martha Fretwell became ill and despite the best of medical care passed away suddenly, just short of fifty years of age. Charles Burns now having seven surviving children, married a widow (Susannah Lord Oliver) with seven children of her own and the couple went on to have two more children—resulting in a very large family indeed. Charles, operating a lime kiln of his own, apparently lived in comfortable circumstances. He was a kind father, requiring strict obedience from his children, yet they loved him dearly. Charles Burns died 11 October 1904 at seventy-two years of age and is buried in the Bountiful, Utah cemetery. His first wife, Martha Fretwell, having predeceased him by twenty-six years, is interred in Salt Lake City. dbh Extract from: Five Generations, D. Brook Harker. Feb 2014. Draft working manuscript, Regina, SK. 287 pp. See F-Tree CB 'Sources' for key references cited.

Next I will post pictures of Charles and Martha's children.



Maddison Capri said...

Interesting! I wonder what it would be like to have spent three weeks travelling by wagon train, then for the railroad to be built only less than a year later.


I was thinking the same thing.
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