was born 25 October 1786 in Crathorne, Yorkshire, England to
Joseph Francis Antonio Vay and
Hannah Siggeswick. Her Hungarian father and English mother had her christened at the All Saints Anglican Church, Crathorne parish on 28 October. She was the youngest of four siblings born to the couple. The others were
Mary. Her father, Joseph, was born in Kosd, Nógrád, Hungary in 1743, but fled his homeland for political reasons. On 10 March 1778 he married Hannah Siggeswick at the parish church of Hutton Rudby, Yorkshire, England. Reasons for the family’s frequent moves have not been discovered, but it is known than they lived near Manchester, Lancashire in the early 1800s, allowing Patience to meet her future husband, Richard Lambert.
Richard was the oldest child and only son of his parents,
John Lambert and
Elizabeth Hewitt. His sisters were
Ann. The Lamberts had been landowners in the Gisburn area of Western Yorkshire for several generations. By the time he and Patience met, Richard’s father had died, and his sisters had married Lancashire men who were involved in the burgeoning cotton industry in the vicinity of Colne, Lancashire, where they each made their homes. His widowed mother was living with one of the sisters, and Richard had a farm in Gargrave, Yorkshire. He and Patience married at the Manchester Cathedral on 6 October 1811, Richard age 40, and Patience age 24.
The couple settled into the home on the Gargrave farm where Richard raised beef cattle and horses. Patience returned to her mother’s home in Eccles, Lancashire, for the birth of her first child,
Elizabeth in 1813. The next three,
Richard, were born at Gargrave. Sometime between 1822 and 1826, Richard sold the Gisburn farm and the family moved to Marsden Heights, Lancashire, nearer to his sisters and his mother. It is likely that this family joined the others in the cotton industry. Their last child,
Joseph, was born there in 1826.
The Lambert family were “non-conformists,” that is, they left the Anglican Church and joined other churches. Some had joined the Methodists, others became Baptists. Richard and Patience joined the
Haggate Baptist Church in Haggate, Lancashire, in walking distance from Marsden Heights. That sad stroll was made in 1829 for the burial of Hannah, the second daughter. She had died at the age of 12 years. Just four years later, Patience’s beloved husband died of “dropsy” and was buried near his daughter in the Haggate graveyard. At age 46, Patience was again bereft, and now a widow with four children between the ages of 20 and 7 years.
In 1837 the first missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived in Liverpool, then Preston, Lancashire. The Lambert family heard and accepted their message and were baptized in the River Ribble. In 1840, the majority of the Apostles of the church were serving as missionaries there. In a conference at Preston that April, Brigham Young announced that all members who were able should emigrate to America and join the body of the church in Illinois. The first organized company of English Saints would leave the coming September.
The fact that Patience’s family were able to join this first group indicates that they had enough property to sell to provide money for the voyage. They not only had to pay for passage, but also provide food for themselves until they were settled in a new home. Her four surviving children were now adults and young adults. There would be expenses for five adults for the entire excursion. The sale was made, and their needs were met. At nearly the last minute, it was decided that Patience would wait till the following spring for her voyage and travel with the Apostles as they returned to their homes. Her children joined the September voyage on the ship “North America.” She did not see them again for almost a year.
She rejoined her family in July 1841. Their property in Nauvoo was in the northeast part of
town. They had a small home on a lot with a barn, garden space, chicken coop, and hog pen. (The home was probably similar to the one on
the left.) In addition they were allotted land in the prairie for raising grain or grazing livestock. With the other residents, they experienced the
joys and tragedies of life in Nauvoo between 1841 and 1844 when the Prophet,
Joseph Smith, and his brother, Hyrum, were murdered.
During that time, her daughter, Elizabeth, married
Timothy P. Terry, a widower with five young children, in 1842. They presented her with her first grandchild, Lydia, in October 1843. About six months after Elizabeth’s wedding, her second son, Richard married
Jane Thornber, and began farming on his own homestead a few miles east of Nauvoo City. Their first child, John Henry, was born in January 1844.
Patience’s oldest son, John, was a member of the Nauvoo Legion and one of the bodyguards for Joseph Smith. He had learned the skills of a stone mason in England, and now used those skills in helping build the temple and other buildings in town. He also became skilled as a brick mason.
After the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the goal of the Saints was to finish the temple, then leave Nauvoo and flee to the west. The first wagons left town in January 1846. Patience and John received their blessings in the temple on 2 February 1846, and John married
Adelia Groesbeck on 6 February. As soon as they were ready, Patience, John, Adelia, and Joseph joined the exodus out of town and across the Mississippi River. Richard’s family and Elizabeth’s family stayed in the Nauvoo area.
Patience did not cross the plains until 1850. John did not feel he was well enough prepared to make the trip earlier (and they all hoped Elizabeth and Richard would soon join them), so he took the family to Missouri where he could earn money and buy what they needed. His first child, Martha, was born in St. Joseph in 1847; and his second, John Carlos was born in Kansas City in 1849. They travelled with the Benjamin Hawkins company, and they arrived in Salt Lake City 9 September 1850. The record shows that all of Patience’s children were scheduled to be in the company, but Elizabeth and Richard did not join them.
John Lambert fenced the first lot in the Second Ward in Salt Lake City, then built two homes - one for his family and one for his mother and Joseph. Patience was happy to be in “Zion,” but she missed the other half of her family. She continued to hope they would join her.
In 1853 the first company of Scandinavian saints arrived in Salt Lake City. Among them was the family of
Hans Larsen, one of the first group to have been baptized in Denmark. He was given a lot on the same block as the Lambert family. Though it was a challenge for the two families to communicate, Patience did her best to make them feel welcome. The oldest daughter, age 14, was
Eline Hansene. At the time, polygamy was practiced openly, and worthy men were counseled to take more than one wife. John’s wife, Adelia, suggested to him that he should take Eline as his second wife. Before he take a second wife, he had to provide a home for her. He took more land in the Eleventh Ward where he built a new house for Adelia. He and Eline were married 10 June 1855 by Brigham Young. John was age 35, and Eline not quite 17. She stayed in the home that Adelia had moved out of, near her father’s family.
Joseph, now 29 years old, lived with his mother, took care of her home and land, and helped John with the livestock. About six weeks after John’s second marriage, Joseph was herding Lambert cattle on the hills east of town. When he didn’t return home at the expected time, John went searching for him. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.
That tragic event put Patience into a long depression. The loss of one more child was her breaking point. Two children were dead, and two children had “deserted” her. Having John’s young family nearby was the one thing that kept her going.
Brigham Young, who had remained her friend since their voyage from England, was aware of her condition and worried with the family. Just over a year later, he suggested that she marry again. A man, about the same age as her daughter, Elizabeth, had recently arrived from England. He had come alone, leaving a wife and family with the promise to send money for their passage as soon as he could. Brother Brigham suggested that the two of them marry and go north to Cache County to homestead. Patience had a covered wagon and ox teams to pull it.
Robert Patefield Redford needed someone to be his partner, at least till his family arrived from England. They were married by Brigham Young on 29 November 1856.
Robert was a blessing to Patience. She came out of her depression and was happy with him. It was probably the next spring that the two of them drove that wagon through Sardine Canyon and down into the Cache Valley. They joined other families at Wellsville where they helped develop another settlement.
Patience and Robert had only about nine years together. She died on 18 April 1865 and is buried in the Wellsville Cemetery. It is doubtful that she ever saw any of her children or grandchildren after she left Salt Lake City. In 1860, John took his families through the mountains to help settle “Camas Prairie” on the east side of the Wasatch Mountains. Any communication between Patience and her three surviving children would have been done through the mail. Robert’s family did not arrive from England while she lived.