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Jane Heath Silcock 1826-1902

Jane Heath Silcock 1826-1902

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Published by Leena Rogers
Biography of Jane Heath Silcock. Based on the writings of Martha Silcock Pixton, with edits by Marie Arnold .
Biography of Jane Heath Silcock. Based on the writings of Martha Silcock Pixton, with edits by Marie Arnold .

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Categories:Types, Research, Genealogy
Published by: Leena Rogers on Mar 29, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Jane Heath was born November 6, 1826 in Handley, Staffordshire, England. She was the eldestdaughter of John Heath and Barbara Hulme. Her father was a decorator of china by trade. Whenshe was about two years old her father was stricken with typhus fever, which left a nervedisability from which he never fully recovered. As a means of support her mother bought abaking business, which she personally conducted. After school and in holiday time, Jane workedin the shop or ran errands. At a very early age Jane would assist her mother when hired helpwould fail. She was a strong, healthy girl and matured early. She was educated in the schools atHandley and received a good common schools education together with plain and fancy needlework. She also learned knitting, plain and fancy stitches and shoe binding. She learned buttonhole making from a tailor. Dancing was one o f her many accomplishments.In the winter of 1840 and 1841, the Latter-day Saints came to Staffordshire, preaching the gospelas revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. A great many people in the different towns and cities of Staffordshire investigated and embraced the gospel. One of the first families in Handley toaccept the gospel was Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Poole. Mrs. Poole was a patron of the bakery shop. Shewould often stay and chat with Jane when she found her not busy. The gospel had made so muchdifference in their lives that Mrs. Poole interested Jane in the new faith. Mrs. Poole was anxiousfor the young girl to hear her husband read the Bible for she was sure that it sounded muchdifferent since the new gospel had come to England.One day Jane went to hear Mr. Poole read in company with Thomas Silcock, a young man whohad made his home with the Heath family for the past six years. His mother died when he was asmall child. He and five other brothers and sisters lived with their father until he died, thenThomas went to live with the Heath family and worked at carpenter work and any kind of labor he could find to make a living. When Mr. Poole read of the Savior’s baptism, Jane was convertedto the necessity of baptism by immersion. It was necessary for the Savior to go down into thewater and be baptized by John it was also necessary for her. Thomas Silcock, was a convert andwas baptized, but Jane was young and had to wait for the consent of her parents.John Heath was strictly moral religious man and Jane did not dare go to meetings or apply for baptism without her father’s consent. When thoroughly convinced that it was her duty to bebaptized, she asked her father’s consent and he replied, “Jane, you are too young to think of religion.”She said, “No father, I am not.” In her soul Jane felt she was right, but she adored her father, sowould not oppose him. In solitude she besought her Heavenly Father, asking him to soften her father’s heart to the new creed. Jane returned to her father and asked for his consent, but wasagain refused. Not wholly disheartened Jane waited until along in the afternoon when she for thethird time made the question a matter of prayer. The third time she asked, her father said, “Yes,Jane you may go.”That evening early in the month of March 1841, Jane in company with Mrs. Poole, went toBurslem, an adjoining town. Jane went down into the water and was baptized by one who hadauthority to perform that ordinance in this dispensation of the Gospel. Later on in the sameevening she was confirmed a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder Wilford Woodruff.
On April 14, 1841, Jane Heath became the wife of Nicholas
Silcock. After they weremarried, they continued to live with Jane’s family and Jane still helped her mother with thebusiness. During the summer, her father’s last illness came and lasted for many weeks and allduring that time her father clung to her and thought no one could lift or wait on him like Jane. On8 September of 1841, John Heath passed away, having been an invalid for twelve years. Janecontinued to help her mother with the business.On February 6, 1842, a son was born to Thomas and Jane and they named him Alma. OnOctober 6, 1842 Thomas bade farewell to his wife and child, his friends and country in order toimmigrate with the saints to Nauvoo. Jane continued to live with her mother, but in October 1843Thomas sent for her to join him in Nauvoo, Illinois. Consequently she bid her friends andkindred goodbye and started her long journey across the Atlantic Ocean with a child one year and eight months old in her arms.Amos Fielding was the President of the Company of Saints. They sailed from Liverpool andwent to New Orleans
on the ship Champion which arrived in New Orleans 6 December 1843
.They had a pleasant voyage of six weeks and three days. Arriving, in New Orleans the saintschanged steamers and proceeded up the Mississippi River to enroute to Nauvoo. When Janelanded in New Orleans, she received a letter from her husband informing her that he had comedown the river to meet her that she was to land at Island 69, Dickle County, Arkansas. OnDecember 22, 1843 Jane reached her destination and found her husband in good health and hehad employment for the winter. They spent their first winter among the planters on theplantations near the Mississippi River.Prior to this time in September 1842, Nicholas Thomas Silcock started on his long and tediousjourney to the new world, covering a period of eleven weeks. On landing in America, Thomasand a fellow passenger, who had also left a young wife and child in England, found employmentin New Orleans before proceeding up the river to St. Louis. When work started on the NauvooTemple, Thomas was employed there. His specialty was stair building and he built the spiralstaircase in the temple. In the summer of 1843 Thomas sent for his wife to join him in America,during the voyage Jane’s baby had the measles. Thomas and Robert Pixton, who was alsoexpecting his wife to arrive on the same boat with Jane, went down the river to meet their wivesand obtained work making a kill of brick for a planter. Their wives arrived in December and theyremained with the planters until spring.In May 1844, they took a steamer for Nauvoo where they arrived about May 15, 1844. Theylived in a room in Parley P. Pratt’s house until they could build. They built a small one block from the temple. The change of climate broke Jane’s health and she never regained her healthwhile she sojourned in the states. Soon after their arrival in Nauvoo they had the pleasure of meeting the Prophet Joseph Smith. They were in Nauvoo when the Prophet and Patriarch went toCarthage Jail and were martyred. They had the privilege of being present at the memorablemeeting when the mantle of Joseph fell upon the Prophet Brigham Young and they testified withmany others that verily he spoke with the voice of Joseph and looked like Joseph. This theytestified to the rest of their lives.Jane said, that the happiest time of her life was while she was watching the workman hurry thetemple to completion. Jane sold spare clothing to buy food so that Thomas might do his part inthe great building. Thomas was chosen to help do the hand carving on the finishing of the
temple. During their sojourn in Nauvoo they met the Prophet’s mother. Jane had the pleasure of spending an afternoon in her company with other sisters in the home of Parley P. Pratt. They hada very pleasant visit and each one present gave the guest of honor some token of remembrance.They also were at a meeting one Sunday afternoon when President Young had Sister Lucy Mack Smith speak from the pulpit. She said her heart was with the saints, but she was so feeble shewould like to stay and be buried with her dead.On August 2, 1845, Thomas and Jane had a daughter born and named Elizabeth Jane. Late in thefall 1845 Jane’s mother, Barbara Hulme Heath, and her three brothers, Henry, Thomas andFredrick came from England. January 1846 they received their endowments and were sealed inthe Nauvoo Temple.They witnessed the westward march of the church authorities, who crossed the river on the iceand turned their faces westward and started in search of a resting place for the saints. They wereat the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple. They said over the pulpit in large gold letters waswritten, “THE LORD HAS BEHELD OUR SACRIFCE, FOLLOW AFTER US.” Shortly after the completion of the temple, they bid adieu to the beautiful city of Nauvoo, leaving everythingstanding in the house.Taking only such things as could be taken aboard a steamboat
Thomas and Jane Silcock and their two children
also turned west. They took a steamer up the Mississippi and Missouri Riversto St. Joseph, Missouri. They expected to continue to Fort Leavenworth, but while in St. Josephthey learned of the Mexican War. They heard that the government intended to discontinue their improvements at Fort Leavenworth, consequently it would have been useless for them tocontinue their journey there in search of work. What could they do? Where could they go toobtain employment in order to live and also to get an outfit to cross the plains? This was thegreat object in view, always. After counseling together Jane proposed to go back down the river to St. Louis. Worn and weary from useless wandering and with a sick child in her arms that hadto be nursed on a pillow, they arrived in St. Louis. Here they found food and shelter, but beforeThomas could find work, the baby,
Elizabeth Jane
, died August 17, 1845. Alone in a strange citywithout friends or work and little money left, they were indeed in sore straights. But they hadfriends raised up to minister to their wants in time of need. Jane soon found friends who gave her work and in that way she was able to earn enough money to supply their needs until Thomascould get work.In the fall of 1846 (Oct 20th) they received a letter from a friend in Winter Quarters, informingthem of the death of Jane’s mother,
Barbara Heath
. She and her three sons were in BishopHunter’s Company and were on their way west. This was indeed a sad blow and Jane felt thatshe could not be reconciled to this great loss.On Sept. 6, 1847, the second daughter was born, Barbara Ann. During their sojourn in St. Louisthey had to live on high land away from the river or Jane had chills and fever. Jane was never ingood health and could not do hard work. She was a good needle woman, however; and couldalways get sewing to do and in that way made friends and earned means to help toward an outfitto cross the plains.At last Thomas went to work at the boat yard and served his time to learn to be a ship carpenter and then he followed the river for some time between St. Louis and New Orleans. Jane would be

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