Hannah Askew Braithwaite 1804-1875

Hannah Askew Braithwaite Personal History


Hannah 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. It was here that nine children were born. Thomas and Robert I died in infancy, and those living were John, Robert II, George, Rowland II, Hannah, William and Joseph Smith.
Missionaries came to the Braithwaite home in 1843, and Hannah, the mother, was the first to accept the Gospel, being baptized and confirmed by William Stuart on April 12, 1843. Her husband was baptized two months later, and like many converts, their desire was to go to America. A fund was started for this purpose, but due to the death of Rowland in 1852, the fund was depleted, and the boys felt that it might be best for the family if they remained in England. Hannah would not hear of it, and she lived with but one ambition, 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”. Her every effort was to see this desire come into fruition, and after nine years of working and praying for this end, her son, Robert was sent to America.
Then in the spring of 1863, Hannah’s dream was realized. Without the aid and support of a husband 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 June 4, 1863, crossing the ocean on the Amazon, a sailing vessel chartered from London to carry 882 Saints to the Promised Land. William Bramell was in charge of this company which arrived in New York on July 18. Supported by ox teams, they immediately started their trek across the plains to Utah in Captain Daniel McArthur’s company, arriving in Manti in October, 1863.
Although her first humble one-room home in Manti had only boxes or chairs, her boys went to work and Hannah, driven by ambition, knit socks, and canvassed from house to house, selling them and other notions. She also did other odd jobs around town to make enough money to make her home livable and comfortable for her family.
What they lacked in material goods never stopped the Braithwaites from enjoying the simple pleasures of life, and high on their list was their love of singing. On many occasions, especially on long winter evenings, it was the custom for them to gather together, bringing food and musical instruments, such as a Jews harp, a violin, a harmonica or a banjo. If the hostess was luck enough to have a piano and someone could play it, music filled the air. Even then they recognized the value of “Family Home Evening” as they played their games, let the children recite from the Bible, and sand to their heart’s content.
Hannah was desirous of all the blessings that a kind Heavenly Father had in store for her and her family. In October of 1864 she went to Salt Lake City and received her endowments in the Endowment House, and fulfilled her desire of being sealed to her husband. No task was too hard if it was for the Church. She never complained about her hardships, but instead always felt like she was one of the fortunate few to have her family in Zion. Her one regret was that her son, John, was yet in England. At the time of her death she gave one of her boys a savings she had carefully stashed away to bring John 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 24, 1875. She was buried in the Manti City Cemetery.


Hannah Askew Braithwaite – The Emigrant Mother
by Ruby B. Cheever

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 Kendall, Westmorland, England on August 20 1804 and it was at Kendall on March 4, 1822 that she was married to Rowland Braithwate of Helsington.
Rowland was a shoemaker by trade and they made their home in Kirkland, a small suburb of Kendall, 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 LDS 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 Hetherington. 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.” Her one regret was that her son John was yet in England, and at the time of her death she gave one 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 24, 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.


amazonAbout the Amazon
(Ship which Hannah Askew and part of her family came to America – submitted by Elga Henrie Larsen)
The following statement was made by Charles Dickens, noted English author, as the more than 800 emigrants left for America on June 4, 1863 aboard the Amazon. Among this group leaving their homeland was Hannah Askew Braithwaite and most of her family.
“Now, I have been in emigrant ships before this day in June, but these people are so strikingly different from all other people in like circumstances whom I have seen, that I wonder aloud ‘what would a stranger suppose these emigrants to be?’ I should have said they were in their degree the pick and flower of England. I afterwards leaned that a dispatch was sent home by the captain before he struck out into the wide Atlantic, highly extolling the behavior of these emigrants, and the perfect order and propriety of all their social arrangements. I went on board their ship to bear testimony against them if the deserved it as I fully believed they would; to my great astonishment they did not deserve it; and my predispositions and tendencies must not affect me as an honest witness. I went over the Amazon’s side, feeling it impossible to deny that, so far, some remarkable influence had produced a remarkable result in these people, which better known influences have often missed.”
– taken from the ‘Uncommercial Traveler pp 200- 201.


About Manti Utah and the Braithwaite Family
(submitted by Alta S. Sown Coleman from history of Robert Braithwaite. In part …

In the very early history of Manti it was hard to provide enough houses to take care of the settlers. During the first months the settlers had to provide some means of shelter. They fashioned temporary homes by making dugouts in the sough side the Manti Temple hill. They used whatever materials they could find to help keep out the dampness and the hot summer sun and some protection from Indians and wild animals. To make things worse, the heat of summer sun beating down on the south side of the hill brought out hundreds of rattlesnakes from the crevices among the rocks. The snakes swarmed above these makeshift houses and became a sore trial to the people of Manti. You can be sure that as soon as possible, logs were hauled out of the canyon nearby and the materials that were available were utilized to the best possible use in getting dwelling built so that the people would be able to move out of the dugouts.
The early Braithwaites sang a great deal. On many occasions, especially on long winter evenings, it was not unusual for many of them to gather together and spend an evening in someone’s home. Food would be brought and musical instruments, such as a Jews harp, a violin, a harmonica or a banjo. If the hostess was lucky enough to have a piano and someone in the crowd could play it, then music really rang out. Food was served early and the rest of the evening was spend in games, recitations by young and old and then the songs began.
‘The name “Braithwaite,” taken from genealogy, means a hill in a clearing. A hill rises higher than the valleys below. It signifies loftiness, height , grandeur and steadfastness. These older Braithwaittes have been towers of strength in helping to build high standards of character. May we and our children and our children’s children never forget the names of Rowland and Hannah Askew Braithwaite. Through them we are indebted for our lives and our heritage. May we ever so live to honor that great name.

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