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Davies, Ann (Jones) - Biography


To clarify a misunderstanding that has persisted for the last hundred years, the following is given. Ann Jones and Ann Owens are the same person. According to the Welsh tradition a man whose first name is John will call his daughter Ann Jones - or John's daughter. John Owens had three children Hugh Jones, Owen Pearce Jones and Ann Jones. When the Welsh saints arrived in the United States they were confronted with the usage of family names. The first time that Ann Jones used the new system was when she received her patriarchal blessing in 1851. Little wonder that no trace of Ann Owens could be found while complete information is known of Ann Jones.

Ann Jones was born 14 July 1825 in Llanfrothen, Merionethshire, Wales daughter of John Owens and Catherine Pugh. The first record we find of her is in the preface to the Festinog Branch records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She was the third person to join the church...she was baptized Ann Jones 12 July 1846 by William Clark and confirmed by Eleazer Edwards. She migrated 21 Feb. 1849. Seventeen member of this small branch plus several young children left Festinog as part of Captain Dan Jones Co. of 249 from Wales. They sailed from Liverpool, England on the ship "Buena Vista" 25/26 Feb. 1849. The company had a good voyage but after their arrival in New Orleans cholera broke out and many lost their lives. From the journal of William Appleby 1 May 1849 - On the day of our arrival here we found a company of about two hundred saints from England on board the steamer Mary just leaving for Council Bluffs, Captain Dan Jones and several other elders were on board. Some on board were sick already with the cholera and several had died I was informed, coming up the River from New Orleans. The Mary left for Council Bluffs in the afternoon of the day of our arrival and lost upward of 50 of the passengers before arriving at Council Point. Of the original 249 at least 100 died. They continued up the Mississippi River to Kanesville which was the outfitting station for crossing the plains. Ann's two brothers, Owen Pearce (who was blind) and Hugh Jones, stayed in Council Bluffs and got to Utah several years later.

Ann and several of the Welsh saints began the trek west with the Dan Jones Company. They were met by company #4 George Albert Smith and Co. & #5 Ezra Taft Benson. These three groups were reorganized and traveled together. William Appleby was the scribe of both companies and his diary gives details of the crossing. They arrived in Salt Lake Valley 22/25 Oct. 1849. It is interesting to see the names of the members of the Festinog Branch, the members of the wagon party and those who survived the trip.Ann Jones was rebaptized 18 Nov. 1849 by Dan Jones in Salt Lake City and confirmed 1 Feb. 1851 in Salt Lake City: A blessing by John Smith, patriarch, upon the head of Ann Owens daughter of John Owens born Wales 14 July 1826. I place my hands upon thy head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth and seal upon you a patriarchal blessing which shall be a seal that the destroying angel shall pass by when he goes forth to reap down the earth. I seal upon you all the blessing of the new and everlasting covenant for thou art of the blood of Joseph and a daughter of all heir to every blessing which shall be conferred the children of men. Thou shall be blessed, have a companion which shall be suited to thy condition and thou shall live in peace with him all the days of thy life and shall come up in the resurrection with him. Thou shalt have children that shall be great and numerous - shalt hold the keys of the priesthood. They shall do mighty works in their day and thou shalt have riches until thou art satisfied for no good thing shall be withheld from thee. If your faith does not fail thou shall live to see all things accomplished which your heart desires - in the end thou shall inherit eternal lives. Amen.

Ann Jones Married James Davies 5 November 1850 in Salt Lake City, Utah. James Davies was born 26 May 1826 llanfoist, Monmouthshire, England son of James Davies and Elizabeth Sykes. He had come to Nauvoo, Illinois with his parents in 1843 and joined the Mormon battalion in 1846 and arrived in Salt Lake City 29 July 1847. Their home was located on 400 West and between 3rd and 4th North.

James Davis died 3 August 1865 age 39, leaving Ann to care for her six surviving children. She died two years later 27 Oct. 1867 age 42. Her children aged 4-15 were taken care of by relatives. Her eldest daughter Catherine married George Vernon Morris 9 Nov. 1869. James Davis and Ann Jones were the parents of nine children all born in Salt Lake City.

We can be proud of our pioneer ancestors. Ann was 21 when she joined the church in Wales and 24 when she left her homeland to cross the ocean and then the prairie. We cannot know the sacrifice and the suffering that Ann went through. Her life of raising children in primitive conditions must be admired. We are honored to belong to the same family. I hope her descendants can be worthy of their heritage that she left for us.



Jones, Ann


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