Elizabeth Beveridge

23 September 1815 – 8 April 1884

        The Beveridge family had been prominent in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland for generations. Dunfermline was the seat of the Kingdom of Scotland, having been established as such by Malcom III in the mid-11
th century. It served as such until 1603 when James VI King of Scots relocated the Scottish court to London.

        Elizabeth Beveridge was born on September 23, 1815 in Halbeath, Fife, Scotland, just three miles from Dunfermline. She was the daughter of David Beveridge and Janet Muir. Her lineage can be traced back five generations to David Beveridge of Ceres, Fife Scotland around 1665.

        At the age of 22 Elizabeth married Robert Brown on November 4, 1837 at Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. Robert was born on September 15, 1816 in Boreland, Fife County, Scotland. He was the son of George Woodward Brown and Marian Adamson. At first Elizabeth and Robert made their home in Rawyards, Lanark County, Scotland. Their first children, twins Janet and David, were born in about December 1838 but died as infants. Their next child, George, who was born in 1839 also died as small child. After having and loosing three children, Janet was born on October 27, 1841. Then on On July 2, 1844 Christina and her twin sister, Marion, were born in Halbeath, Fife. Scotland.

        Robert loved the sea. At one time he moved the family to a large seaport where they lived in a third floor flat. The town was protected by a 30 foot high rock seawall to keep back the tide and storm surges. This wall was 14 feet thick at the base and 3 feet at the top and had gates every so far apart so people could go down to the shore. He had sailed to South America with a load of coal and while he was gone there was a terrific storm. The sea lashed the seawall and almost came over the top. The pressure of such a high tide broke open one of the large gates and flooded the town. Everyone that lived in the lower flats had to dash up the stairs.

        Robert had been gone for 14 months and everyone thought that the ship had foundered and was lost. To their great surprise, one day it sailed into port. Having nearly lost his life in a storm, he gave up the sea for a family life with Elizabeth. He then went to work in the coal mines.

        While living in Hallbeath, Elizabeth and Robert were taught the gospel by Elder Peacock from Mann, Utah and were baptized into the Mormon Church: Robert on August 29, 1846 and Elizabeth more than a year later on September 13. 1847. Of Elizabeth's family, only her younger sister, Margaret, and her husband, Thomas Sneddon also joined the church in 1848.

        The family moved often as Robert was constantly changing jobs. When he found a better job he would start immediately and quit his old job without leaving notice. He would tell Elizabeth to have things packed and he would send for her and the children to join him. As they moved around, wherever his jobs took him. They lived in Bridgeness, Kircaldy, and then Cowdenbaith, During this time, four more children were born; Elizabeth who was born and died in 1846, David on April 8, 1847, Robert Jr. on October 20, 1850, and Elizabeth on November 17, 1854.

        Their older children grew up and began getting married. Marion married Archibald Dunsire on January 4, 1861. Janet married Thomas Adamson later that same year on May 19, 1861. In 1863 Janet and her husband and Christina emigrated to America and crossed the plains to Utah. Elizabeth and Robert missed them so much and longed to join them. They both worked hard to save enough money to go to America. Finally, nearly ten years after first joining the church, they were able to come to America.

        Leaving Marion and her family behind, the Browns traveled to London. On May 23, 1866 Robert (49), Elizabeth (50), David (19), Robert, Jr. (15), and Elizabeth (11) boarded the sailing ship “American Congress” bound for New York.

        The ship with 350 saints on board, cleared from the London Docks, on the 23rd of May. Early on the morning of the 24th, the vessel put to sea. The ship encountered some rough weather, and had a lot of contrary wind to contend with. There was but very little sickness, and no deaths occurred on the voyage, which was quite remarkable with so many aboard. After a long and tiresome voyage, they arrived in New York Harbor on the morning of July 4th. As that was a holiday, they had to remain on board until the next day. They had a splendid view of the fireworks that night from the ship as it lay in the harbor.

        The next day the Saints were taken to Castle Garden in New York where the passengers were all required to have their names registered according to law. They where then taken further up the Hudson River to Albany, New York and in the evening boarded a train that crossed into Canada on the way to Chicago. At Quincy, Illinois they crossed the Mississippi River and traveled across Missouri and arrived at St. Joseph on Friday the 13th of July. At St. Joseph, they went on board a steamboat and steamed up the Missouri River to the outfitting post at Wyoming, Nebraska on the west bank of the Missouri River about 40 miles south of Omaha.

        There they had a few days of rest before proceeding on. Waiting for them were wagons, ox teams, and teamsters from the Salt Lake Valley. On July 24, 1866 about 500 individuals and 84 wagons were in the company when it began its journey. During the first day they traveled eight miles. With the wagons loaded with belongings and provisions, everyone that was able had to walk.

        Like everyone else, Elizabeth walked nearly all the way. She got blisters on her feet until she could hardly hobble along. When one of the teamsters noticed her hobbling along, he asked her what was the matter. She was so lame and told him how sore her poor feet were. There was a younger woman riding in his wagon who had a small baby, so the teamster put Elizabeth in the wagon to tend the baby and let that younger woman walk.

        Everyone had to sleep on the ground. Elizabeth woke up one morning with her shoulder and arm hurting badly and swollen. They tore her bed apart to see if they could find the source. There, at the end of her pillow was a tiny little rattle snake: small as he was, he had enough venom to do the job. They had to a poultice on her shoulder for some time, but it did finally get better. (Poultice: A soft moist mass of bread, meal, clay, or other adhesive substance, usually heated, spread on cloth, and applied to warm, moisten, or stimulate an aching or inflamed part of the body.)

        After many ups and downs, and many trials, they arrived in Salt Lake City on September 29, 1866 in fair condition, having been traveling for just over four months since leaving Scotland.

        Upon their arrival in the Valley, they were greeted by Janet and her family who were living is Salt Lake, including two new grandchildren. Christina had married Mortimer Wilson Warner soon after her arrival in Utah and was living in Fillmore, about on hundred and forty five miles south of Salt Lake City. Christina presented her parents with one grandchild and was expecting another.

        Elizabeth and Robert stayed in Salt Lake City for a while where he went to work building the tabernacle which was under construction at that time. After being in Salt Lake for a short while, the Browns moved to Greenville in Beaver County about sixty miles south of Fillmore.

        In Greenville they finished raising their family. Their 21 year old son, David, died on March 23, 1869. Elizabeth, their youngest daughter, married James Mills Paxton in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on October 4, 1869 and settled in Kanosh, Millard County where Christina and her family had moved to. Also in 1869, Elizabeth and Robertealed in the Endowment House on October 25th.

In 1872, their daughter, Marion, arrived in Utah from Scotland and settled in Cedar City. Then Robert, Jr. married Mary Davies on September 23, 1872 in Greenville where they made their home.

        Elizabeth and Robert spent the rest of their lives in Greenville where Elizabeth died on April 8, 1884 at the age of 68. Less than six weeks later, Robert died on May 13, 1884 at the age of 67. They were laid to rest side by side in the Greenville Cemetery.

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Sources of information:

Part of this story comes from an uncredited life story of Christina Brown Warner, most likley by Lavina Warner Alger. Other pieces come from a brief uncredited life sketch of Elizabeth Beveridge Brown found on page 382 in Pioneer Women of Faith and Foritude Volume 1 published by The Daughters of Utah Pioneers.

The voyage of the American Congress and the journey to Wyoming, Nebraska are from journal exerts found at http://www.lib.byu.edu/mormonmigration/voyage.php?id=21&q=American%20Congress

Some details of crossing the plains are from journal exerts found at http://lds.org/churchhistory/library/pioneercompanysources/1,16272,4019-1-304,00.html