Margaret Angus – LDS Pioneer

Most genealogists have some connection with the Mormons (or “The Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints” as they are more formally known). The Mormons are heavily involved in the work of digitizing old parish records and run the much-used familysearch.org website. On top of that they run the “Family History Centers” in many of their churches around the world.

In my case I have a much closer link with the LDS. My g-g-g-grandfather was William Angus (b. 1791 d. 1849). His sister Margaret was born 13 years later on the 20th September 1803. Here’s her baptism record (taken from here in the familysearch.org website records I wrote about):

Margaret Angus' Baptism record from St. Cuthbert's Church, Darlington. I wish all records were so detailed as this one.

Margaret Angus’ Baptism record from St Cuthbert’s Church, Darlington. I wish all records were so detailed as this one.

She was the first and I believe only daughter of Titus Angus and Elizabeth Lee. Perhaps growing up with 5 brothers helped toughen her up for the challenges life would throw at her. Aged just 20, she married her husband George Robinson on the 11th May 1824. Below is their marriage licence, obtained the day before their wedding. A couple of things stand out, firstly that they were married by Licence, rather than the usual Bann, and secondly that they lived so far apart. Most of my ancestors managed to marry within walking distance of each other. These two came from around 50 miles apart. There would have been links between Leeds and Darlington, both places were involved in the wool trade. In this case though, George Robinson is described as a cabinet maker.

She joined the LDS in Darlington in 1850 and in 1856 Margaret, her husband George and most of her children emigrated to the US, to join the Mormon community in Utah. Margaret and her family joined the 5th Handcart Company under Edward Martin. The company consisted of around 575 people. The Martin Handcart company appears to have set off late in the summer of 1856 and lost over 145 members on their journey to Utah. There is a rather embellished version of their journey here, however the story is generally correct and the Martin Handcart company seems to have entered into the Mormon “mythology”. I must admit I don’t particularly support the Mormons, but I must credit my ancestor Margaret and her family for making through such a perilous journey. Margaret Angus Robinson I salute you !

Finally, as an aside, this does at least give me some idea of where some of the many distantly-related US cousins I find in FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe come from !

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