Sarah Pidd, My Great-Great Grandmother

By Laraine Smith

My great-great grandmother Sarah Pidd was the mother of Lucy Ann Griffiths who was the mother of Hyrum Ernest Smith Sr. who was the father of Hyrum Ernest Smith Jr. I (Laraine Smith) am the daughter of Hyrum Ernest Smith Jr.

Sarah was the second child born to Adonijah and Ann Forman Pidd, on March 4, 1825 in the same county as her parents, Whoplode Washway, Lincolnshire, England (map).

At the age of eight years old, Sarah's father died leaving her mother with William, herself, Elizabeth and Mary Ann. To make a living for her family she went to work for a man who owned a large plantation. While her mother was at work, Sarah had to take care of the two little girls. The days seemed so long, and they had no clock so Sarah used to watch the sun and when it got in the west she would start to watch for her mother and how very glad she was when she would see her coming down the road. The baby, Mary Ann, died and awhile later Sarah's mother married again. Her second husband Proctor was very strict and not very good to his step children. Great-great Grandmother Sarah, said that they were scared to death of him. They had a small orchard and he wouldn't let them go into it to get any nuts or fruit. When he was gone to work, their mother would let them go and get what they wanted, then she would take the garden rake and rake in all their foot prints before he got home. She used to tell him, "Proctor you will come to a bad end for ill treating these fatherless children." He got crushed at work and suffered a horrible death.

When Sarah was a young lady she went out as an apprentice, to learn sewing. She became a dressmaker and a tailor, She would go out sewing at different places for a week or two at a time and by so doing made quite a lot and was able to save up some money. The LDS missionaries came to England and she heard them preach and was converted. So she left the Methodist and joined the LDS church. The Elders of course described America as being so wonderful and told how grand it was to live with the saints in Zion. So she and Elizabeth decided to come to Utah. She had saved enough money to bring her sister and herself to America and had a little to spare. She did have a sweetheart, a young man she was engaged to marry. She had gone with him for four years but he was a poor boy and could only make enough to keep himself. She said she loved him very much, but was too proud to get married and be so poor, so she put off the marriage. She often wished she had paid his way and brought him to America, but she was too proud to offer. And little did she realize that she would never be able to get back, or that she would never see him again. When she left England he gave her a little soldier ornament. She brought it with her and kept it on her mantle where she could see it.

They left England and sailed for America, leaving their mother behind who they never saw again, They were on the ship ten weeks, all of which she was sea sick and wondered if she would ever live to reach land. There was a young man on the ship by the name of James Allen. They became very well acquainted with him and he was very helpful to them. He fell in love with Elizabeth. Just before they landed at New Orleans Sarah said, "Now Lizzy we aren't going to be seen with Allen, so we will hurry and get off before he sees us. We will then be rid of him," Allen had worn the same old clothes and cap all the way on the ocean and Sarah thought that he had no more to change into. She thought he looked very dirty. So as soon as the ship docked the girls were all ready to get off and hurried away. They walked around New Orleans and who should they meet, but Mr. Allen. He had saved his new clothes and kept them clean. They laughed and walked on together, but when they left New Orleans and journeyed on to Missouri Mr. Allen didn't go and they didn't see him again for a long time.

When they got to Missouri they camped and stayed there for some time. Sarah even did some sewing for some people who lived there. The people she met there tried to persuade the girls to stay there and not go to Utah. However their minds were made up and they said, "We started for Utah and Utah we'll see if we live long enough."

The company was finally ready to leave and the fare was paid. They were allowed to each bring a trunk. They traveled in a wagon train and even though it cost quite a bit, they had to walk every step of the way. Only the ones who were sick and could not walk were permitted to ride. The girls were young and well, so it seems they didn't mind too much (map of the Pioneer Trail).

So many things happened on the plains. One day the Indians made a raid on the wagon train. The Captain seeing them coming ordered all the wagons to get in a circle. This they did with the immigrants inside. That night the Indians prowled around the camp most of the night. They would reach under the tents and feel around to see if they could get something. Sarah said that she and Elizabeth were so frightened they didn't go to sleep all night. The Indians demanded food and to spare bloodshed the company gave them most of their provisions. They gave them so much to keep them friendly that they had very little left. There was so little flour that it had to be rationed out each day. They went very hungry. The last few days all each person had was a small slice of bread. Lizzy would say in the morning, "Oh Sarah I think I'll eat all of mine I'm so hungry." Great-great-grandmother would say "Don't Lizzy you'll be more hungry before the day is done." At noon Lizzy would say "I'm so glad I didn't eat it all."

One day the wagon train passed a place where some trappers had some buffalo jerks. The immigrants were anxious to buy some. Grandma asked the man to sell her some and without hesitation she reached in her pocket and pulled out a handful of gold coins that she had brought from England and said to the man, "Take what you want." The man was so surprised that Grandma never forgot the expression on his face. She used to say "I've had money in my pocket many times and couldn't buy anything."

When they came to the streams of water the men folks would have to carry the women across. The girls had no trouble, as they were little and didn't weigh a lot. All the men would try to get the small women. There was one large lady, who was called Sister Rye. She always had to wait until last and a time or two the men fell with her and she was soaked. Many died on the plains. The wolves and coyotes were bad and at night they would howl. Sister Rye would say, "Wouldn't it be awful to die out here and be eaten up!" Sarah said that Sister Rye took sick and died. It seems the night she was dying the wolves and coyotes howled all night and the next morning the company were so anxious to go on, that they left two men with Sister Rye, to see that she was buried. Great-great-grandmother said she often wondered if the men waited long enough for her to die, as they caught up with the wagon so soon. And she thought how terrible to be left for the wolves.

One day she and Lizzy started to walk ahead of the wagons. They had done this a great many times. They would walk a long ways and then sit down and rest until the wagons caught up. This time they walked along a stream where there was a lot of willows and brush. All at once a large animal came out of the brush and stared at them. They were so frightened. She said that she heard that if you look them in the eye and didn't move the animal wouldn't attack. So they stared at it and it just stood there. Every minute they expected it to jump at them, but it finally walked slowly away. She said they ran as fast as they could all the way back to the wagons and after that they never walked very far ahead.

In the fall of 1853 the wagon train pulled into the Old Tithing Yard in Salt Lake City. The immigrants quickly unloaded and left to do as they pleased. Some had people who met them. But Sarah and Elizabeth knew no one and finally were left alone sitting on their trunks. They didn't know what they were going to do or where to go. When it was about dark a man came along and asked them what they intended to do. They said they didn't know. So he asked one of them to go with him. He said that his wife needed someone to help her. So Sarah said that Lizzy could go. Reluctantly Lizzy climbed into his rig and left. The girls didn't see each other again for several weeks. And each one wondered just what had happened to the other.

Sarah moved from place to place sewing and making clothes for different families. Elizabeth did housework for a living.

Great-great-grandmother was sewing at a home west of the Jordan River. She was looking out the window one day and who should she see, but her sister driving in the yard with Mr. Allen. Lizzy came running to the house and said, "Sarah I must talk to you." The girls went into the room alone and Lizzy asked, "Sarah which would you do, marry the man you loved or marry the one you are engaged to?" Grandma had met and liked the man Lizzy was engaged to marry and while she hated to think of Lizzy breaking the engagement, she could only answer by saying, "The man you love, of course."

Lizzie married Allen and they asked Sarah to come and live with them. They said that she could call it her home and always come there when she wasn't working. Sarah thought this would be wonderful, So she moved in with them. But only a short time passed when Allen asked her to become his second wife, saying how nice it would be for the sisters to always be together. This she said, almost broke her heart and she knew how terrible Elizabeth felt. She moved out the next day. She heard about Mr. Griffiths and that he was a very good man. Not long after she left Allens house, Joseph Griffiths came and asked her to do some sewing for his family. While she was there Mrs. Griffiths asked Sarah to marry Mr. Griffiths. She said, "Sarah I like you so much and Joseph must get him another wife to receive his salvation. We could get along so well together." Great-great-grandmother said that Griffiths had asked her to marry him, but she had put him off not wanting to marry, but when Mrs. Griffiths wanted her to marry him, she thought she might as well. It would give her a home.

She married Joseph Griffiths the 23rd of March 1854, not because she really believed in polygamy to be right, but it was all that was preached and all they heard. Sarah said that Joseph Griffiths was a very good man and always treated her well. Three children were born of this union. Joseph was the first and died at birth. My Great-grandmother, Lucy Ann was next and George Henry was the third.

Great-great-grandfather Griffiths was taken very sick while out helping work on some project with some other men. They brought him home and he died, never being able to talk to anyone after his arrival (cemetery marker). He was only forty-four years old and Sarah always said she really felt that the Lord had delivered her out of polygamy. So many men asked her to be their plural wife after Griffiths died and she said at times she was tempted to marry to get a home, but then she would think, how can I do such a thing when I was delivered out of it.

She went out sewing again and all she earned she took home to the family. Mrs. Griffiths kept Lucy Ann and took care of her while Sarah would go working a week at a time. She would take George with her. While she was working at a Mr. Miller's home he fell into a tub of hot soap that Mrs. Miller had just made and removed from the stove. He was so badly burned that he died. She often related the story and cried when she told it. As he was dying she imagined she saw him and reached out her arms as if to embrace him and said "My dear little boy."

When Lucy Ann was ten years old William P Smith asked Sarah to marry him. She told him that she would under one condition. If he ever wanted to get more wives that he would give her a home and set her free. To this he agreed and they were married the 23rd of November 1867. To them was born a pair of twins Isaac and Sarah Pidd on November 3, 1868 at Union Fort. Isaac died November 8, 1868 and Sarah died March 14, 1876 (cemetery marker). So Great-great-grandmother had only one of her five children left. She was my Great-grandmother, Lucy Ann Griffiths, who married her stepbrother Hyrum Smith, son of William P Smith and Mary Grimshaw Smith, who is my Great-great-grandmother (family picture). Great-great-grandmother lived the rest of her life in Union. She died September 26, 1910.

Genealogy Collection provided by:
Becky S. Porter, 2493 S. Hulls Crossing, Preston, Idaho 83263

E-Mail: Roland K. Smith