Saturday, April 16, 2011

William Hymas Great Great Grandfather

William Hymas and Mary Ann Atkins

William Hymas

Mary An Atkins

William Hymas was born July 26, 1806 at Rayleigh, Essex, England. He
was the son of Edward and Sarah Howlett Hymas. Rayleigh islocated on
the coast east of London, at the mouth of the Thames River. At the time
of his birth, George III was King of England.
We have no record of his life until he was married to Mary Ann Atkins on
January 6, 1834, at which time he was twenty-seven years of age. Mary
Ann Atkins was born at Hockley, Essex, England,December 20, 1813.
She was the daughter of William Atkins and Lucy Hart. They became
the parents offive sons and three daughters, namely: George William,
William Alfred, John Atkins, Sarah, Susan,Benjamin, James and Mary
After their marriage they lived in Rayleigh where their first seven children
were born. It appears from the records that they moved to Hockley
before the birth of the youngest child in 1851. Here William was foreman
over a small group of men, caring for the estate of an English Lord. Two
grandsons of William and Mary Ann give a description of this farm after
their visit while on missions in England. Theysaw the house and stables
and the trees that were around the house and a pond of water in back of it.
They told of the thatched roof and the old-fashioned stables. They saw
the old brew house, which at that time was being used as a place for
storing wood and coal. They entered the kitchen of the old home where
on the left they saw the old fireplace and went into a large front room.
In the year 1853, L D.S. missionaries were preaching the gospel in England,
and some membersof the Hymas Family became interested in the gospel.
Charles W. Penrose, a missionary (and later a member of the First Presidency
of the Church), spent considerable time at the Hymas home, teaching the
gospel to them. The youngest daughter, Mary Ann, told in her history, “I
remember C. W. Penrose, a traveling Elder there, taking meon his lap, singing
the songs of Zion and making his home at my mother's, while preaching the
gospel there.” The following year John was baptized a member of the
Church May 21, 1854. His mother was baptized May 26th and his father on
June 25th. The other members of the family joined the Church in the next
few years, with the exception of the oldest son,George, who never became
a member. After William and his family became members of the Church,
they had a desire to come with the saints to America. Two years later, in
1856, John sailed for America, and the following year William Alfred left
England and joined his brother, who was living in Iowa at the time.
William and Mary Ann began to make plans to bring their family to the
United States and join theboys who were there. Several years later
preparations were completed, and they were ready to go to Liverpool,
where they could sail to America. William, his wife Mary Ann and their
children, Sarah, Susan, Benjamin, James and Mary Ann sailed on the
ship "Underwriter" April 23, 1861. George, the oldest son stayed in
England. There were 624 saints on board the ship under the presidency
of Elder Milo Andrus, assisted by Elders Homer Duncan and
Charles W. Penrose as counselors. Apostles Amasa M. Lyman,
Charles C. Rich and George Q. Cannon visited the ship on Sunday, the 21st
of April and held a meeting, giving the saint their blessings  relative to
their jounrey.

Two marriages were celebrated during the voyage, and two small
children died before the crossing was completed. Meetings were held every
Sunday during the month they were on the ship. The “Underwriter" arrived
in New York onTuesday, May 21st.

The family remained in Brooklyn for a year where they worked in the
shipyards to earn money for the trip to Utah. From there they went to
money for the trip to Utah. From there they went to Florence, Nebraska.

William and his family joined the James Wareham Ox Train and left
Nebraska about the first week of July 1862 with 46 wagons and a company
of 250 emigrating saints. On the trip they endured the hardships of pioneer
life, walking most of the way and enjoying the evenings by singing and
dancing around the campfire. On the 26th of September the company
arrived in Salt Lake City. Their son John, whom they had not seen for
six years, and his wife Mary Ann Pitman Hymas welcomed the members
of the family. John and his wife had arrived in Salt LakeCity in the fall of
1861. William Alfred and his wife, Mary Edwards Hymas and her
daughter Catherine James by a former marriage, also came to Salt
Lake City with the James Wareham Company, thusbringing the entire
family together with the exception of the son George.The family remained
in Utah until the spring of 1864 when the Church leaders called them to
help settle Bear Lake Valley. When the family moved to Bear Lake Sarah
and Susan remained in Utah.
William and Mary Ann, his wife, and the younger children, Benjamin, James
and Mary Ann, together with the William Alfred and John Hymas families
arrived in Bear Lake Valley in the Spring of 1864. They first went to Paris
where a permanent settlement had been made in the fall of 1863, but decided
to settle farther north where the town of Liberty is now situated. They were among
the earliest settlers of that community. Mountains surround Bear Lake Valley on all
sides, and a large lake occupies the southern portion. At the time of its settlement,
Bear Lake was considered to be very primitive territory where wild game was
plentiful and the lake and streams were stocked with fish. Wild grasses suitable
for grazing of livestock covered the valley and the adjoining mountains, and
timber suitable for building existed in large quantities.
When the settlers arrived in the valley they were confronted with the ordinary
conditions of earlypioneer life. Land had to be cleared and plowed for the
planting of crops, homes had to be built, roads constructed, and ditches and
canals dug for the irrigation of the land. During the year of 1864 about 700 people
arrived in Bear Lake Valley to make their homes. During this year the towns of
Bloomington, St.Charles, Fish Haven, Ovid, Liberty, Montpelier, Bennington and
Georgetown were established under theleadership of Charles C. Rich.
In histories that have been written we are told that Mary Ann, wife of William,
and the three younger children, Benjamin, James and Mary Ann went to
Hyde Park, Utah in the fall of 1864 where they lived for many years. William
and his two sons, William Alfred and John, remained in Liberty. It appears from the
records that William and Mary Ann did not live together after this time.
Mary Ann received her endowments on September 30, 1872 at which time she
was married to John Anthony Wolf. Later she moved to Canada and lived there
until her death on October 13, 1906 atCardston, Alberta, Canada, being at the
time of her death nearly ninety-one years of age. She is buried inthe Cardston
Laura Cahoon, a great grand-daughter of William and Mary Ann Atkins Hymas,
now living in Cardston, Canada, has written some interesting things she learned
about her great grandmother, and thefollowing is taken from her writings: “She
was very retiring, didn’t talk very much, but when she did it was something worth
listening to. She was very neat and correct in everything, and very pleasant to be
around. You could set your clock by the things Grandma did, and she was very
punctual and did everything at a certain time. Father said."

William Hymas & Mary Ann Atkins Grandma always went to bed the same
 time every night; I think it was 8:00 p. m. in the winter and 9:00 p.m. in the
summer. She also got up the same time every morning. My mother remembers
her, but that is about all. She had only been married a few years when Grandma
died. She said that when my father George Alfred Duce, was about 10 years
old he lived on winter with Grandma Hymas. He would go to her place after
school and get coal, wood and water for her. Then after supper he would do
his homework while Grandma Hymas would knit or read. In the morning he
would build the fire and empty ashes, etc. before going to school. She used
to go to my Grandmother Duce’s (Mary Ann) every Thursday to do her mending
and darning. This was in Hyde Park before she moved to Canada.

She apparently had one hobby or she thought it was a special task for her to do.
She would make yeast with hops and potato water every day and give it to the
neighbors when they wanted to make bread. She said she couldn’t do much but
she could make yeast. People used to think her yeast was very good, and made
excellent bread. She wore black dresses with large pockets and one of the
great-grandchildren told me she alwayshad peppermints in her pockets
and would give them to the children.Grandma Hymas wanted to be independent
and take care of herself as long as possible, but shehad a stroke and was
helpless toward the end of her life. They would help her into a chair and some of
her great grandchildren can remember sitting on the side of her bed and fanning her.
William Hymas remained in Liberty where he engaged in farming, as hehad done
in England. He experienced the hardships that the pioneers passed through
during the early years of the colonization of Bear LakeValley. The winter of 1864-65
was especially severe. The grain crop planted during the spring of this year froze
before it was mature, and during the winter the pioneers were compelled to grind
frozen wheat with a coffee grinder in order to make flour. The bread made from this
wheat was of very poor quality, being sticky and unpalatable. The snow was very
deep during this winter. The cold was intense, and feed for livestock was very scarce
and some of the livestock died before spring came.
William’s home in Liberty was located on the hill just west of the present Benjamin P.
Hymas home. Stories of William’s life during the early days of pioneering in Bear Lake
Valley show that he ‘was a man of generous nature and was always willing to help
others. During November of the year 1865, Joshua Jarvis was coming to Bear Lake
Valley by way of Emigration Canyon, and due to the bad road he was unable to drive
his wagon over the top of the divide. He walked into Liberty for help, coming to
the William Hymas home. William took his team and brought Brother Jarvis' wagon
and family into the valley. The Jarvis Family stayed with William until their animals
were rested and then proceeded on to Paris.The records show that William had a
second wife whose name was Ann Watkins, but it appears that they did not live
together very long. Later he married Christina McDonald on the 6th day of July 1869,
at which time he received his endowments. Christina died prior to the death of
William, and during his later years he lived with his son William Alfred. William died
May 7, 1889 at the age of 83 years, and wasburied in the Liberty Cemetery.

Written by Edith & Darwin Haddock

Posted by Bart

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