Monday, September 12, 2011

Polygamy Wives of George Plant Ward

Wives of Sylvia's great grandfather, George P. Ward

Front: Lorenzo N.Ward, Sennie Dorthea Nielsen, George Plant Ward, Jr., Mary Ellen Ward Williams, Martha Ann Ward Jensen. 2nd Row: Wilford N. Ward, Alice Jane Ward Roylance, Mary Ann Ward Judy, Rosezina Nielsen Ward Cox, Lucy Ann Ward Curtis, Charles Heber Ward, William Albert Ward, 3rd Row: Alfred N. Ward, Clements George Ward, Edmond A. Ward.

George married his first Wife,Sarah Ann Plant, in England. Even though she never left England her name is included on his tombstone in Rexburg, Idaho.
The daughter of Elizabeth Maversley and John Plant; was born September 23, 1824, at
Walton N. Hants, England. She was married to George P. Ward on March 28, 1849, at West Walton, Norfolk, England.

She and her husband first heard the Gospel preached on the first Sunday in January 1851,and they were both baptized in less than three weeks — on January 23, 1851. She must have been a noble, humble, loyal receptive person and ready for the Gospel. There were only sixteen members in their branch including themselves. This indicates that she immediately entered the spirit of the gospel and assumed her share of the responsibilities and received the joy that comes through service
in the work — for the Lord was with them. Another evidence of her loyalty to the gospel and her husband was when he sold his business and became a missionary and spent eight consecutive years doing missionary work and moving frequently. This leaves evidence that a great deal depended upon her, assisting her husband, caring for her family and assuming the greater part of their responsibilities.
She became the mother of four children; one had died, but she left three small children to mourn the loss of a wonderful mother. One of the children only lived two weeks after her death.
She died at Liverpool, England, January 14, 1859. At the time of her death, her husband was presiding over the Liverpool Conference.

George's second wife was Martha Monks.
She was born September 14, 1839, near Bolton, Lanchestershire,
England, the daughter of John Monks and Alice Fletcher. She was married
in England, July 21, 1860, to George P. Ward, taking the two children his
wife Sarah had left motherless to raise.
They emigrated to Utah in 1861 and settled in Wellsville, Utah, where their first child was born. They then moved to Hyrum, Utah, wherethey lived for about fifteen years and where seven children were born to them.

In 1867, her husband married into polygamy to Sennie Dorthea Nielsen; and again in 1874, he married a fourth wife, Jane Ashworth. These two ladies were called Aunt Sennie and Aunt Jane by the children. They all seemed to be very united because both Sennie and Jane assisted Martha with the washing, cleaning, and work in
In 1878 the families moved to Randolph, Utah, and here Martha bore her ninth child.
Within a year all three wives presented their husband with a baby. Their next move was to Meadowville, Utah. Here Martha bore her tenth and last baby. She buried four of her children while they were babies.
In 1884, Jane Ashworth died leaving a family of four children. Her dying request was for Martha to raise her two little girls; ages ten and two. So again, Martha took two stepchildren, making a total of six of her own and four stepchildren.
Hers was not a life of all sunshine and roses. They were in poor circumstances and had large families. She never allowed her stepchildren to call her mamma. ( Maybe this was because she wanted them to remember their own mothers.) The families moved to Salem, Idaho, in the Snake River Valley in 1884. She was a faithful Latter-day Saint and for some time served as the first president of the Relief Society in the Salem Ward. She died May 8, 1899. Most of her children were married at the time of her death.

More about George's third wife, Sennie Dorthea Nielsen.
She was born September 25, 1846, at Bendslev, Hjerring,
Denmark. She was the daughter of Soren Nielsen and Elsie Marie Jensen. She came to America with her father in 1859 after the death of her mother. They settled in Hyrum, Utah, where she grew up. She earned her own living and in her spare time gathered wool from the fences and weeds; washed and corded it and either spun it into yarn or wove it into cloth and made her own clothes and knit her own
Girls in those days were taught by the church that they should marry into polygamy. George P. Ward, though 18 years older than she, called at her home and she invited him to have tea with her. George told her he liked lump sugar. At first her father did not like George, but later learned to like him. On August 18, 1867, she became his wife. Twenty years later, because of the trouble concerning polygamy, she was forced to take her family and go into seclusion. Because of this situation she and her family and the two sons of Jane’s that she was raising had to suffer bitter hardships and privations for over five years in Wyoming where they lived at two different towns.
She was the mother of nine children, three of whom died in childhood. She also raised the two small boys of Jane’s after her death. She and Jane were like sisters and got along very well. She later assisted in raising Rosezina’s family after the death of their father. She cared for the children while the mother earned the living for them. She died February 2, 1927, at Newdale, Idaho, at the age of 80 years.

More about George's fourth wife, Jane Ashworth.
She was born October 4, 1853, at Bolton, Lanchestershire, England, the daughter of
Edmond Ashworth and Alice Monks. Little is known of her life. She came from England and married George P. Ward on March 30, 1874, in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah.
During her married life she lived in Hyrum, Randolph, and Meadowville, Utah. She was
the mother of four children; two girls and two boys. She and her husband’s third wife (Aunt Sennie as she was called) were like sisters and worked together helping the second wife, Martha, and also helped each other. When her fifth child was to be born, she took ill. At the time there was a terrible blizzard and they lived miles from any medical aid. Her husband sent some of his older boys on horseback to get help. He told them of the seriousness of his wife and that they must not spare
the horses. They must go as fast as possible and change horses when possible, but to get help. During those hours of her grave illness, she realized her life was in danger and called her family to her. She told her husband to give the two boys to Aunt Sennie and the girls to Aunt Martha. Her girls were 10 and 2 years of age. She asked the oldest girl to promise she would never do anything mean to her little sister. The girls lived with Aunt Martha until the older one was married and then she took the younger one to live with her. Help did not arrive soon enough to save the mother or baby. Jane died without giving birth to her child. She died at Meadowville, Utah. Her husband was too ill to even attend her funeral. Her name is also included on George's tombstone.

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