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Braithwaite, Hannah Askew (1804 – 1875)

Wife of Rowland Braithwaite

Hannah Askew Braithwaite

The Emigrant Mother

By Ruby Cheever

From the book Branches and Twigs from the Family of Rowland and Hannah Askew Braithwaite

Compiled by Wayne Lester and Mozelle Whitney Braithwaite, 1977

Very little is known of the early life of Hannah Askew Braithwaite. She and her sister Elizabeth were the daughters of a very young unwed mother, Mary Askew. Elizabeth was christened at Helsington, but Hannah was born at Kendal, Westmorland, England on August 20, 1804, and it was at Kendal, on March 4, 1822, that she was married to Rowland Braithwaite of Helsington.

Rowland was a shoemaker by trade and they made their home in Kirkland, a small suburb of Kendal, and it was here that the records tell us that her seven sons and one daughter were born. Thomas and Robert I died in infancy. Other children were John, Robert II, George, Rowland, Hannah, William, and Joseph Smith.

In the year 1843 L.D.S. missionaries came to the Braithwaite home. Hannah, the mother, was the first to accept the gospel. She was baptized and confirmed by William Stuart on April 12, 1843. Two months later, her husband was also baptized by William Hetherinton. Like many converts, their desire was to go to America and a fund was started for this purpose; but due to Rowland's death in 1852, this fund had to be used.

After the father's death, the boys felt it might be best for them to remain in England, but Hannah lived with but one great aim in view, and that was to get her family to Zion. When reminded of the sacrifices this move would entail, her answer was always, "I shall take my family to Zion if I ‘ave not but a box to sit upon." Every effort was made by her for this; and after nine years of praying and working, her son Robert was sent to America. Then in the spring of 1863 Hannah's struggle was rewarded; and she and her daughter and sons George, William, Joseph and Rowland and his wife and two small daughters set sail for America. They left England on the fourth day of June 1863, crossing the ocean on the Amazon, a sailing vessel charted from London to carry the 882 Saints to America. William Bramell was in charge of this company which arrived in New York July 18. They crossed the plains for Utah in Captain Daniel McArthur's company with ox team, arriving in Manti in October 1863. Their few possessions were brought by wagon, but the family walked most of the way.

Her first home in Manti was a little one-room house with boxes for chairs. The boys went to work, but Hannah was ambitious and she knit sox and sold them, canvassed from home to home selling notions and did many odd jobs to help make her home livable and add more room for their comfort.

Hannah was desirous of all the blessings a kind Heavenly Father had in store for her and so in October of 1864 she went to Salt Lake City and received her endowment in the Endowment House, and was sealed at this time to her husband. No task was too hard if it was for the Church. She never complained over any hardship, but always felt she was one of the fortunate few to have her family in "Zion." Hew one regret was that her son John was yet in England, and at the time of her death she gave on of the boys a savings she had built up little by little to bring him and his family to Utah.

After her children married she refused to leave her home, and it was not until her final illness that she was taken to her daughter Hannah's home where she passed away on November 24th, 1875. She was buried in the Manti City Cemetery. Later her son John and wife came to Utah and both are buried on the lot by her side.

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