History of Elizabeth Collins McGhie (1)

Submitted by Velma B. Casto
Taken from the history of Elizabeth McGhie Boam, written by a granddaughter, Katie Boam Fairbanks.

At age five Elizabeth moved to Scotland with her parents where she grew up and married William McGhie. He was a minister and also a professor.

The Mormon missionaries came to their home and they accepted the gospel.

Between 1830 and 1849 they had eight children but only raised three to maturity.

In 1854, a friend of Elizabeth’s parents, Thomas Boam, asked if they all wanted to go to America and Utah. He would pay their way.

Thomas Boam, then 52 years old, was the only one of his family to accept the gospel. He had been married twice. His first wife and 6 children had all died within a twelve year period. He remarried but his second wife would not accept the gospel so he left her and started preparing to come to this country. He had many homes and coal mines which he sold. He wanted to pay the way of his LDS friends to America and Utah.

So—getting ready were, Elizabeth and William, their three children, her parents, Elizabeth and Barney [records show Barney died in 1827 and Elizabeth in 1849], her two sisters and a brother. Ten of them along with twelve other Saints who were friends of Thomas Boam. All left Liverpool England on the ship "Windemere" 22 Feb. 1854.

Elizabeth was appointed a nurse on the ship when "BLACK DIPHTHERIA" broke out and many died and were buried at sea (for the experiences they had in crossing the ocean, read the history of her daughter, Elizabeth McGhie Boam).

On 20 April 1854 they entered America at the mouth of the Mississippi River. 23 April 1854 they left New Orleans up the river to St. Louis, Missouri.

Elizabeth and Wm’s daughter, Elizabeth, who was named for her mother, had fallen in love with Thomas Boam, 30 years her senior. They were married in St. Louis 15 May 1854, by Elder Orson Pratt.

Thomas Boam had made plans to meet the Saints in Florence, Nebraska to Journey to Utah with them.

So Elizabeth and Wm and their family, her parents and all, left Florence in the Daniel Garn Co., arriving in Utah and SLC 3 Oct. 1854. They settled along the Big Cottonwood Creek about 48th South and 15th East, in Murray, SL County, Utah.

After a while, with all the hardships, Elizabeth’s husband, William, got discouraged and left her and their daughter, Agnes, with their other daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, Thomas Boam.

William went back to Scotland, not returning till about 1865. But he lived only a short time. Died of Asthma, 17 May 1866, no doubt buried in the Elysian Gardens, Murray, SL County, Utah.

Elizabeth spent her later years with her daughter and died there 24 April 1897, being 90 years old. Buried in Elysian Gardens, 1075 E. 4580 South, Murray, Utah. [Incorrect—she is buried in the SL City Cemetery. I have seen the headstone. - DJL]

History of Elizabeth Collins McGhie (2)

By Mary McGhie Butler, great granddaughter
Information taken from Church Records at Archives, DUP Books and what my father, Alexander, told me.

Elizabeth Collins McGhie was born May 1, 1807 in Bar Bar Ayr., Scotland [other records say Ireland]. Her father, Barney Collins was born in Scotland in 1757 [other records say Ireland] and died 15 Dec. 1827. Her mother, Elizabeth Farrel Collins was born in 1775, Scotland, and died 1 Oct. 1849.

She married William McGhie Sr. July 17, 1831. William was born 12 April 1811 in Dumfrieshire, Galloway, Scotland. His parents were Peter McGhie, born 1785 and died 1832, and his mother was Henrietta Gibson McGhie, born 1785, died 1813.

In due time Elizabeth and William became the parents of 8 children. 1. William, born 6 Jan 1830; 2. Elizabeth, born 6 Jan 1832; 3. Sarah (1st) born 25 Dec 1833; 4. John, born 25 July 1835; 5. Agnes, born 6 Jul 1843; 6. Sarah (2nd), born 9 Jan 1840; 7. Henrietta (1st), born 10 Sep 1846; 8. Henrietta (2nd), born 1 Mar 1849. All of these children were born in or near Glasgow, Scotland. Elizabeth knew great sorrow when 5 of her children died young. However, she was permitted to rear to maturity William Jr., Elizabeth and Agnes.

Great grandmother spent her time taking care of her family while great grandpa William earned the living working in the Pit mine in Scotland.

When they were in Glasgow, the McGhies heard the true gospel as it was explained by humble missionaries. They believed the message and were converted and baptized, William on Aug. 1, 1843, and Elizabeth was baptized Sept. 6, 1843. Their children William Jr. and Elizabeth [were baptized] Dec. 8, 1843, and Agnes was baptized Nov. 6, 1852. Now they were all members of the Latter-day Saint Church. They had great faith in the new religion which they had embraced. They were active in the Dalry (Dalby—can’t make out the word) Branch in Glasgow.

They were kind to the missionaries and furnished them food and lodging whenever possible. One of these men was Elder Matthew Rowan, also of Scotland. He became a very good friend of the McGhie family. Then when Great grandpa was called on a mission to England he met up with Elder Rowan again, who was presiding [word missing] of the Shefield Branch there. Here also they experienced a great love for each other. Perhaps his friendship with Elder Rowan (who later became my grandfather) no doubt had a great influence on great grandfather and his desire to leave his native land and start anew in Utah. Because that was the plan of Elder Rowan as soon as his mission was completed. He and his new wife did emigrate to Utah in 1855; here their friendship was continued.

It was Feb. 22, 1854, when William and Elizabeth Collins McGhie, their son William and his wife, Mary McBlane (who was not a member of the Church), their 2 little children, William 3rd and Alexander, [left for Utah]. Also their daughters Elizabeth, 22, and Agnes, 10 years old, went about the ship "Windermere." [other accounts spell it "Windemere"] Daniel Garn was the leader of the 477 saints on board. Right from the first the water was rough and the people were very seasick. Then on the morning of March 12th an exceedingly fierce storm arose. The masts cracked and many of the sails were cut to pieces. The Captain of the "Windermere," Captain Fairfield, expressed fears that the ship could not stand so heavy a sea. In speaking with Daniel Garn, President of the saints on board, he said, "I’m afraid the ship cannot stand this storm, Mr. Garn. If there be a God, as your people say there is, you had better talk toHim, if He will hear you. I have done all that I can for the ship and I'’ afraid that it will go down."

Elder Garn went to the Elders who presided over the nine wards in the ship and requested them to get all the saints on board to fast and call a prayer meeting to beheld in each ward at 10 a.m., to pray that they might be delivered from destruction. The Lord heard their prayers and their lives and the ship were spared in spite of the wicked fury of the storm.

Smallpox also broke out on the ship and raged until April 23rd, when they landed at New Orleans. Here, those with the worst cases of the dreaded disease were taken to the hospital. The rest of the Company continued from New Orleans on the steamboat "Grand Tower" April 27th and arrived in St. Louis a few days later, from whence the journey was subsequently continued to Kansas City.

The McGhie families were happy to be this far along on their journey. Their faith had certainly been put to the test. Elizabeth, the daughter, was courted by Thomas Boam, a man 30 years her senior. She consented to become his wife and they were married at St. Louis, May 25, 1854. It seems that Mr. Boam was a man of some means because he financed the trip for 21 people. It was the agreement that they were to pay him back when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. When Thomas was ready to purchase his own outfit by which he and his new wife could commence their honeymoon trip across the plains, he found that he had been too liberal with his means to his friends, to the extent that he had to borrow money from a lady in St. Louis in order to get a wagon, oxen and provisions for his own journey.

The McGhies and Boams were still a part of the Daniel Garn Company as they left Kansas City, Mo., July 2, 1854. There were 447 people and 40 wagons in this company. The wagons hauled their tents and provisions but the people were obliged to walk most of the way.

It was Oct. 1, 1854, when they finally arrived at their destination, Great Salt Lake City. President Brigham Young sent the McGhie families and Thomas and Elizabeth Boam to Mill Creek to make their homes in a little independent settlement in the east part of the city between Parley’s and Big Cottonwood Canyons. It contained about 12 square miles of some of the best and most productive land in Utah.

They took up "squatters’" right on some of this land and built log cabins and cultivated the land. Great Grandma had a knack as a home maker and she soon had her little cabin a very comfortable place to live. She obtained some work in the home of one of Bishop Ruben Miller’s wives.

Grandfather had taught school some in England so he taught for a while in Mill Creek. He was Justice of the Peace at one time. Family stores, and a card at the Genealogical Library say that he apostatized from the Church. Records also show that he was rebaptized Nov. 3, 1861, at Mill Creek by Bishop Miller.

Agnes, the 3rd child, married Andrew Robson, 8 May 1882 (she had no children). Great Grandma was called upon to part with her husband May 17, 1866. He was 55 years old when he died. She lived on at her home in Mill Creek until 24 April 1897, when she died at the age of 90 years. She had been a widow for 31 years.