Ann EDWARDS THOMAS

Born 18 Jul 1844, Cefn Coed y Cymer, Vaynor, Breconshire, Wales
Died 25 Oct 1927, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA

Widow of David THOMAS
Mother of Margaret THOMAS PARRY
Mother in law of William LEWIS PARRY

Ann Edwards Thomas
with granddaughter, Margaret Jane Parry
taken about 1925


 

My Grandmother (Mamgu*) Ann Edwards Thomas

by Margaret Jane Parry Bryner Orvin,
daughter of William Lewis Parry and Margaret Thomas

I do not know how old I was when I first remember my Grandmother, but when I looked at her face, I knew I was looking into the kindest face I would every know. As I grew older, I would classify her face as one that showed sensitivity and kindness, and a sweet, though strong character. Her strength of character was demonstrated when she came to Zion alone, after being widowed, and she had to leave two daughters in the old country, which was Wales. She didn’t know, at the time, whether she would ever see them again or not. It meant hours of grief and loneliness for her. I remember when she received the “letter edged in black” telling her of the death of her daughter, Mary. How Grandma cried out in her grief, “Oh, Dafydd, anwyl, anwyl,” which in Welsh was, “Oh, David, dear, dear...” David was the husband who had died.

John, Elizabeth and Edward were the children who came with her when she imigrated to the United States. She went to Kamas, Utah, because that was where one of the missionaries lived who had converted her to the Church. He was named Daniel Lewis. Edward left the family group and went on to Canada. Grandma worried and grieved for him, but she still had John and Elizabeth.

No tribute to Grandma would be complete without a tribute to Uncle John and Aunt Lizzie for their faithfulness and helpfulness in helping Grandma as long as she lived. My mother died in 1899, and left five little children. When my father brought the five of us to Grandma after mother’s burial, Grandma didn’t hesitate, but took us all immediately into her home. Father then left again and didn’t return for a long time. Aunt Lizzie and Uncle John helped care for the children from then on, tending us. And later, after Gwen and Dave had gone to live with father and his new wife, Aunt Lizzie and Uncle John helped raise Tom and me. Aunt Lizzie married a man named Thomas Seymour, in time. But Uncle John didn’t marry until late in life, so he was at Grandma’s for many years.

Grandma lived a simple life, and her wants were few. When I was young, she attended Relief Society and was a Block Teacher which she did faithfully, and it was a thing she enjoyed very much. She also attended Sacrament Meeting and Conference, when it was held. Then in later years, she became afflicted with rheumatism. The ailment became so bad with her that in time she was unable to walk, and after that could not get out to the meetings she would have liked to attend.

There was a Sister Vaughn, Sister Goodworth, and Sister Evans who came to visit her regularly. Sister Vaughn and Sister Goodworth talked Welsh, and I was always interested in hearing their exchange of experiences. They had their talks over the oilcloth covered table. While they talked, they had their cup of tea with bread and butter and cheese.

Grandma dressed very simply. She had a pretty black skirt she wore to church, with a white blouse, and she always wore a cape over her shoulders.

I loved Grandma’s brown hair, and always hoped that my hair would be like hers. When Grandma was 83 years old, she still had this beautiful brown hair with only a little gray hair by her temples. I got my wish, and my hair is the same color brown as Grandma’s was, and at 81, I do not yet have any gray.

Some of the Church leaders told Grandma to teach the children the "mother tongue," and this she did faithfully. We all learned to speak the Welsh language. They also told her to teach us to pray. She did this, too, as it was suggested to her. I remember Tom and I kneeling at Grandma’s knee and she taught us the Lord’s Prayer. She then made up her own prayers and the two of us learned to say our own prayers in that manner.

Grandma made her own butter and also cheese. Tom and I carried milk to the neighbors to separate it in their cream separator. A day came when Uncle John bought a separator. That was a great day for us--no more having to carry the milk to Barney Evan’s house to separate it.

Grandma liked to wash clothes, not on the wash board, but would soak them in a brass bucket all day Friday. Then on Saturday, I would rub them on the washboard. If I didn’t get it done, Grandma would wash them by hand.


More about Ann E. Thomas:

Emigration from Wales to Utah

William L. Parry, son in law


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