Sunday, January 8, 2012

Family Sketch by Susan Gardner, my great grandmother

(written before 1925.  Typed 2005 by Amy.  Susan Ann McCleve Gardner doesn't say many of the full names of people in this story.  I have added the full names in parentheses after she mentions each person. If there are no parentheses, she wrote it.  Her parents were Joseph Smith McCleve and Susan Oler.)

Father's parents John McCleve and Nancy Jane McFerren were both in Ireland and were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by David Wilkins June 1841.

They crossed the plains in the 29th Handcart Co. in 1856.  Father's father (John McCleve) died while crossing the plains within three days travel of Salt Lake City, Utah at Bear River, September 24, 1856.  They dug a hole to the side of the road and wrapped him in a blanket and buried him.

Father's mother (Nancy Jane McFerren)  pulled the handcart the rest of the way into Salt Lake City.  Father (Joseph Smith McCleve) was nine years old and he walked all of the way.  Father's mother had eight children living when her husband died.

Grandmother (Nancy Jane McFerren)  married again.  Her second husband was David Ellsworth.  She had two children by him, a boy and a girl.  They only lived together a few years and then separated.  Their home was in Payson, Utah.  Father Joseph Smith McCleve being the eldest boy living of his mother's had to work very hard to help support his mother, brothers, and sisters.  It was at a time when the Indians were quite bad.  Father would have to stand guard at night part of the time while the rest would sleep for fear that the Indians would come and kill them at night.  Time got better after a few years. 

Joseph Smith McCleve,
Amy's great-great grandfather

Father (Joseph Smith McCleve) was a little over twenty-one years old when he married my mother, Susan Oler, in 1869.  They lived in Leeds, Washington Co., Utah.

Father's mother (Nancy Jane McFerren) made her home with Father and Mother until they moved to this country. (maybe she means "this area").  My parents moved to Taylor, Apache County, Arizona in 1879.  They had three children when they moved to Taylor, Sarah Jane, John, and Joseph Alexander, and on December 25, 1880 a pair of twin girls were born to them.  (Susan Ann McCleve Gardner and Margaret Ann McCleve Kartchner)  On April 7, 1883, Nancy Elizabeth was born.

Mother (Susan Oler) died on March 31, 1886 at Taylor, Arizona, leaving Father with we six children to take care of.

Father (Joseph Smith McCleve) did a good part by us.  He worked hard to support us and kept us all together.  Sarah Jane (the oldest girl in the family) did the housework and sewing and was very good to us.  We loved her as well as a child could its mother.

I and George Franklin Gardner were married in the Salt Lake Temple on April 5, 1905. We have been blessed with five children, four girls and one boy.  Only four children are living.  Our second girl died when only 6 months old.
Top: Susan McCleve Gardner
Vinnie (Amy's grandmother), George Franklin ("Frank") Gardner, Georgia
On dad's lap: Harald

We have been happy during our married life.  We have lived in Snowflake, Navajo County, Arizona all of our married life.  My highest aim is to rear my children to man and womanhood to be good Latter-day Saints to be useful in helping to work on the great work of our Father in Heaven.  And that I and my husband will also prove ourselves  faithful until our life's work is done that we may all be worthy of entering into the Celestial Kingdom of our Father in heaven.

(Note from Amy:  Susan Ann McCleve and George Franklin Gardner's daughter Vinnie Gardner Stewart is my paternal grandmother.)

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