Mary Ann McDonald
This is my great-great grandma and grandpa. I have these pictures hanging in my home where I can see them all the time. I am so glad I know about these people and the great things they did in their lives. I never met them (obviously), but have been influenced by them, nonetheless.
Yesterday I did a google search on Mary Ann's grandparents, James McDonald and Sarah Ferguson. I came across someone's blog who did a brief, but lovely accounting of their story (it's always fun to find distant cousins).
I would like to share a little about their son, John McDonald, who was Mary Ann's father. John moved here from Ireland with the family. They were pioneers who came across the plains to Utah. His father, James, died in June after crossing a tributary of the Platte River in Nebraska. He had been infected with cholera after caring for his friend who died of cholera just before him. His family buried him near the river, but kept on moving, and such was the story of many pioneers. John and his family finally made it to Utah and by September had settled in Springville Utah.
There were many groups of pioneers to come to Utah, from all sorts of backgrounds. Despite their language barriers and cultural differences, they were bound to look out for one another. They cared about their neighbors and friends and sacrificed greatly to help out another. There was one particular trek of two Handcart Companies that has a very sad story. These groups were called the Willie and Martin Companies. They started their journey too late in the season and were met with intense adverse conditions that many could not overcome. Once word was received that they were in desparate need of help, many who were already settled dropped everything, loaded up their wagons with supplies, and went out in search of these companies. John McDonald was one who served in the rescue.
I am so appreciative of the example of faith and strength he is to me. I am excited to pass this on to my children, so that they can learn of those who came before them and love them.
Although I have many wonderful stories from my ancestors, I share this because I'm leaning toward the Irish side of things right now. I'm sure more stories will come from other ancestors from other lands, but last night was all about our Irish Heritage! And we celebrated with corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. Yum!
And, of course, an attempt to capture the smiling Irish Eyes I see in my kids.