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Monday, July 13, 2009

Susannah Stone - A Handcart Pioneer

Several years ago we had the privilege of helping a family retell the story of an amazing ancestor. Susannah Stone was born in 1830 in the town of Bristol, England. In 1856 she decided to come to Utah and joined one of the last two handcart companies to cross the plains that year.

Those familiar with the history of the Willie and Martin handcart companies will remember the hardships endured by these brave, but inexperienced travelers. Unfriendly Indians, broken handcarts, missing cattle and reduced rations all played a factor in their inability to move quickly across the harsh terrain. An early winter took its toll and 77 of the 404 members of the Willie Company perished before reaching the Salt Lake Valley.

As you read this beautiful story, you are reminded of the difficult life our pioneer forefathers endured. But Susannah is quick to point out that they didn't consider themselves pioneers. That title was reserved for those hardy individuals who had cut the trails 10 years earlier. Her personal history states "We were almost pioneers for we had to travel thru sunflowers and sage brush for many miles."

Susannah arrived in the Salt Lake Valley November 5, 1856. That same day she met the handsome, young Thomas Lloyd who had immigrated the previous year. Both were favorably impressed at their first meeting and Thomas proposed on the spot. Together they share thirty-eight years and fourteen children.

Fast forward to 2009. Last weekend descendants of Susannah Stone and Thomas Lloyd had a family reunion. Someone brought a copy of the story that we helped to preserve. One of the attendees did a double take when she looked at title page. She recognized the name of one of the authors. They have been friends for many years, but in ALL those years, they had never realized they shared the same Great-Grandmother.

It really is a SMALL world!

21 comments:

Taffy said...

Hi!
I have looked and looked for more information on my ancestor, Susannah Stone. I was actually looking for a picture of her to post on my blog. I didn't know there were any other stories other than the brief one in books.
Where can I get more info about her?

Lauri said...

Hi Taffy, Email me directly at lhyer@storiesbyme.com and let me hook you up with some of your cousins!

LaDawn said...

I am also a descendent of Susannah Stone. I was wondering where I can get a copy of this book. Please let me know.

Stories by Me! said...

LaDawn, you didn't leave an email address, so I can't connect directly. The book was created by a neighbor and direct descendant to Susannah. The book was reprinted for a recent family reunion. Typically, the books are purchased before they are printed, but we have a few (very few) still available. You can contact me for more information...
lhyer@storiesbyme.com

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Clark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clark said...

How fun to find other descendants of this amazing woman. We have a copy of her short autobiography/life history. Do you have more information and stories than that? Pictures too would be wonderful to have.
Thanks,
Clark Graff
Clark (at) Graff.com

Tracy Hadley said...

How wonderful that you would take time to do this blog. Thank You!
I am also in need of more information for a talk.
Please email me at harmoniousscents@gmail.com
thanks
Tracy Hadley

Katie said...

Hi, I know this blog entry was posted over a year and a half ago, but I just wanted to say hello. For some silly reason I googled Suzannah Stone and saw this blog. She was my Great-Great-Grandmother. She's a legend in our familly and before my Grandpa died, he would share stories of knowing her. We still head up to Wellsville almost every Memorial day to picnic and see her grave and continue the stories with our own children. Ha ha, that's about it.

DeAnn said...

We just returned from watching "17 Miracles." Susannah is the great grandmother of my husband, Gary Lloyd. We have always treasured her life. We would love to know if there are any of the story books available. My inlaws graves are located in Wellsville cemetary right close to hers. We are so grateful for such a wonderful ancestor who gave us a great example of "enduring to the end."

nordnotes said...

How fun. I, too, am a descendant of Susannah Stone. Her legacy has been a great strength for our family! I was going to do a post on her on my blog. Do you mind if I use the pic you have posted here? It's one I hadn't seen before. Thanks!

cygnl7 said...

Any chance for a reprint of this book for us descendants who are interested?

Anonymous said...

Where can I find his book? I have prints of her journal, but would like as much information as possible.

Stories by Me said...

We have 8 copies that were never picked up by the original customer. We can make those available to the first person (or persons) who want them. Please contact us at mythoughts@storiesbyme.com

Anonymous said...

I am also a decendent of Thomas and Susannah Lloyd. Does anyone have any information on Thomas's mother...Ann Bodice born 1 Jan 1799?

Stories by Me! said...

I will ask my neighbor as this is her relative. Anyone else have information?

Gentri said...

haha! She is my great grandmother as well!

Vern & Sherrie said...

I too am a decendent of Thomas and Susannah Lloyd. I would love to get a copy of the book. Any chance there are some available? My email is shoust5@gmail.com

Stefanie said...

I'm a descendent of Susannah as well! I live in GA and would love to get a copy of this book for my own posterity, if there are any copies left. Please let me know. stefaniedixon@gmail.com

Wayne said...

Susannah is my great great grandmother. I would also be interested in the book. If it is not in print would there be a digital copy. I work for a printer and would be able to print my own copy.

Stories by Me! said...

Hi Wayne, we have one order that someone did not pick up. There are a few copies left from that order. If you'd like a book, please contact us right away for details. We can be reached at info@storiesbyme.com.