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AP Free History - Martha Belcher, Betsy Strait, Annie Hicks, Sarah Jarrold Hyder and Elizabeth Jane Jarrold Whitehead

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"As I Remember" Mrs. Annie Hicks Free

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 20:31.

by Albert Philips on August 31, 1926

She was a pioneer of Utah. Seventy years of her life had been spent in the Salt Lake Valley. When a girl of nineteen years, she left her home in England, leaving father, mother and all that she might come to the Promised Land. On that long journey she endured hardships that are almost unbelievable, for she was with the last company of Handcart Pioneers under the command of Captain Edward Martin.

Monday she was laid to rest in the City Cemetery. This was Mrs. Annie Hicks Free. She had aided in every way possible to make the Salt Lake Valley and Utah what they are today and she lived to see the City, to which she came as a girl, grow from a straggling hamlet to one of the most beautiful cities in the land of her adoption.

The story of the handcart brigade has been told and retold and yet it can never be told as it was, of the horrors of the long 1300 miles. The story is pathetic in the extreme. Take the history of Mrs. Free. It is similar to others told me by the pioneers. The company of which she was a member, when it left Florence, Nebraska on Aug the 25th, 1856 consisted of 576 persons. They had 146 handcarts and 7 wagons. When the company arrived in Salt Lake City on Nov 30, 1856 after more than three months on the journey, it had been reduced to a handful of people. Their handcarts had been left scattered along mountain and plain and many, many graves dotted the praire and range, where a devoted poeple had joined the great majority in their effort to reach their Mecca in the Mountains.

ANNIE HICKS FREE TESTIMONY

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 20:28.

Testimony of Annie Hicks Free written at the age of 61 years - about 1898 - probably at Salt Lake City in possession of Helen Free VanderBeek.

"Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you," was the promise of our great Redeemer, though I at the time not knowing that the promise was in the scripture. But I will tell you of the knowledge that was given me of the saving power of baptism for remission of sins or the entering into a new life. I was baptized on the 17 of January 1853 and was to be confirmed on the Sunday following. My people heard of my baptism and sent me the vilest books against Mormonism. Told me that I would be ruined for life if I joined the Mormons. I was afraid I had done wrong but having no earthly friend I took my case to the Lord. I knelt beside my bed and I prayed with all my soul that our Father would hear and answer my prayer. I said, "Dear Lord, do not let me do wrong. Let me know tonight, Dear Father, let me know tonight." I believed with all my heart that I should be answered. And this is what I dreamed. I dreamt I stood in the door of the house where I lived and at the end of the street was a large crowd of people and in the midst a tall man with a stand like a music stand before him and on the stand a large record book and it seems to me that I can still hear the swish of the heavy leaves as he turned them. He held up the book with its leaves as white as snow not a mar on them. And his voice rang out clear and strong: this is the way walk ye in it. When I awoke I laughed for joy to think I had been heard and answered. My folks in the morning wanted to know what I was going to do about Mormonism. I said I have had the knowledge given me that I am right and I will stay with it till I die. That is 61 years ago and I am here (meaning Salt Lake City, Utah).

History of ANNIE HICKS FREE

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 20:27.

written by herself, April 9, 1931

I was born in Barking, Essex, England, on the 8th of January 1837, the younger daughter of Daniel Hicks, a sailor, and Hannah Wenlock Hicks. I knew very little of my father's family. My mother was born of Scotch and English parents.

Father being a confirmed invalid, I had, as it were, to keep and care for myself, assuming the responsibilities of a woman when I was a mere girl. As a child, I was very devout, praying and asking God for guidance and firmly believing that he would protect me from all wrong. And surely, I have been saved many times from most certain evil.

I was alone, or rather away from my own people at the time I first heard the Gospel and I think I loved it the first time I heard it; it seemd so quiet and pleasant to me. I embraced the Gospel and was baptized on the 17th of January, 1855, in the White Chapel Branch in London. Shortly after my baptism, before I had been confirmed, my relatives sent me a terrible book against the Mormons, marking it in places for me to read. The tales were so wicked, I was afraid I had done wrong and decided to ask the Lord to direct me aright. I fervently pleaded with our Father to answer my prayer that night as my confirmation was to take place the following morning.

History of ABSALOM PENNINGTON FREE

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 20:23.

by Mae Biesinger Rose

Mary Pennington and Andrew Free lived in Burk Co., North Carolina. Land had just opened up for expansion in St. Clair Co., Illinois in 1814 when they moved their little family to Belleville, near East St. Louis, Illinois, in St. Clair County. Absalom was their eldest child and would have been sixteen years old at the time. Their were eight children in the family when they moved to Illinois. Their names were: Absalom Pennington, born 1789; Betsey, born 1799; Allen, no date; Joshua Perkins, born 1803; Mildred, born 1805; John Page, born 1808; Joseph, born 1811; and William Hart, born 1812. Three children were born after arriving in Illinois--namely, LeRoy, born 1817; Isaac, born 1820; and Marjorie, born 1822.

Here in this new area, the family worked hard to clear the land of the dense growth and large nut trees native to this place. It is a tribute to their industry and determination for they became very prosperous farmers. Four years after arriving in Belleville, Absalom eloped with Martha Belcher, a pretty little girl of sixteen years. The family has enjoyed telling of this fairy tale like romance through the years. Absalom put a ladder up to her second story window from which she descended into his arms. Their happiness was to be of short duration however, for she died three years later leaving him with two baby boys, Andrew and John Belcher. This marriage took place in St. Clair Co., Illinois in 1818.

History of Absalom Pennington Free Family Reunions in the Twentieth Century

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 20:17.

By LaRae Free Kerr, 15 Jun 2005, Gallatin, Missouri

In 1908 a Free family reunion was held in Salt Lake City. Fortunately, the program survived. This program is the basis of our Free pedigree. And well it should be, for Absalom P Free knew his parents, his grandparents and his great grandfather, Joshua Perkins. He traveled from North Carolina, to Tennessee to Illinois with them. Though A P Free had died twenty-plus years before this reunion, he had, apparently, given his pedigree to Junius Free Wells, the family genealogist. The records of his ancestors were also found in TIBs. If possible, we plan to adopt some of the activities from this program for the 2006 reunion.

In 1976, Ron VanderBeek and I made a research trip to Illinois. We stood where A P Free's farm flourished in St Clair County. We found several living Free descendants. We found historical items almost every place we went as well as legal information in the IRAD shed. I did not find a single Free entry in Hancock County, Illinois. All in all it was a rewarding trip.

Elizabeth Jan Jarrold Whitehead Free

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 20:13.
Elizabeth Jan Jarrold Whitehead Free

Elizabeth Jan Jarrold Whitehead Free

Annie Hicks

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 20:10.
Annie Hicks

Annie Hicks Free

Absalom and Elizabeth (Betsy) Free

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 20:07.
Absalom and Elizabeth (Betsy) Free

Absalom and Elizabeth (Betsy) Free

Absalom and Elizabeth (Betsy) Free

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Submitted by joefree on Tue, 2006-07-11 17:45.
Absalom and Elizabeth (Betsy) Free

Absalom Pennington and Elizabeth (Betsy) Strait

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