Annabella Sinclair

April 20, 1812 - February 10, 1888


Annabella was my Great, Great Great Aunt:

Annabella Sinclair was born April 20, 1812 in Killin, Perth, Scotland, the second of six daughters and one son born to Daniel and Ann Campbell Sinclair. By the time Annabella was a teenager, the family had moved to Doune, Scotland, where her father was the caretaker of the Doune Castle. On June 9, 1833, Annabella (age 21) married John McFarlane (age 24) in Stirling, Scotland, where John was employed at Stirling Castle as a coachman.

The story is told that in 1842, when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Scotland for the first time, they stopped for lunch at Stirling Castle. On one of the relays, John McFarlane guided the horse that drew the royal carriage. The couple lived on King Street, across the street from the old cemetery. It was here that their children were born: John in 1833, Ann in 1835, and Daniel in 1837. The first LDS missionaries came to Scotland in 1840 and Annabella's family (the Sinclairs) were introduced to and embraced this new religion soon afterwards. By 1842 most of the family had been converted and baptized. Annabella was baptized on January 3, 1842. All three of her children were also baptized: John and Daniel in 1845 and Ann in 1846. Her husband never joined the Church, probably out of fear that it might cost him his position at the castle. However, he was tolerant of his family's activity in the church and was sympathetic to their beliefs. Following her baptism, Annabella became an active missionary. With her older son, John Menzies, she sang hymns and preached on street corners.

Then, unexpectedly, on October 8, 1846, John McFarlane died and was buried in the Stirling Hill Cemetery. After John's untimely death, Annabella turned to nursing and midwifery to provide a small income for her family. In the spring of 1850, she moved to Glasgow where there was more work and where two of her sisters lived. There they joined the Glasgow Branch of the Church. For many of the Saints in Glasgow, the dream of gathering to Zion seemed unreachable. This must have been especially so to Annabella and her little family, who lived just above the poverty level. Then, miraculously, a way was provided for them to get to America - the newly devised Perpetual Emigrating Fund. Annabella and her family were accepted to go to Utah as members of the first PEF party.

She sailed from Liverpool on February 10, 1852 aboard the Ellen Marie, together with her children John, Ann, and Daniel; and her nephew and niece, William and Ann Gillespie, the children of her sister Janet. After a "pleasant and prosperous" passage of 55 days, the ship arrived at New Orleans on April 5, 1852. On April 7, 1852, the passengers boarded river boats for the rough journey up the Mississippi River. The ride was so rough that at one point much of the family's luggage was washed overboard and lost.

It took seven days to reach St. Louis, where Elder Abraham O. Smoot was assembling supplies for the journey to Utah. They then traveled by river boat to Kansas City and departed on their journey West on May 15, 1852. On September 2, they passed over the Continental Divide at South Pass. The next morning, they put on their finest clothes before winding down Emigration Canyon. As they got their first glimpse of the Great Salt Lake Valley, many fell to their knees with tears of joy, thanking God for their safe journey. This first group to arrive from Europe under the Perpetual Emigrating Fund was welcomed by many, including a marching band and President Brigham Young. As they passed Temple Square, cannons fired in welcome. After refreshments and an address by President Young, the group dispersed to their various destinations. Annabella, her three children, and the two Gillespie children settled in Sessions Settlement (later known as Bountiful) where many in the family had become established. It is thought that the family lived with Annabella's mother, Ann Sinclair, during that first winter. Annabella probably assisted her mother as a nurse and midwife.

The following year, on October 16, 1853, Annabella married Isaac C. Haight, who had been the leader of their company aboard the Ellen Marie. Isaac had been asked by President Young to move to Iron County, to take charge over the iron works, so the morning after their marriage they left for Cedar City, along with Annabella's two sons, John and Daniel. There in Cedar City, Isaac built the first mortar and brick home west of the Mississippi River. It was trimmed with fine white sandstone, was two stories high, and contained twelve rooms. Here Annabella lived with Isaac and his first wife, Eliza, and their families. In October 1856, Annabella and Isaac journeyed back to Salt Lake City for October General Conference. Following the Conference, they were sealed on October 9th in the newly completed Endowment House. After their return to Cedar City, Isaac, as president of the stake, organized the Female Benevolent Society (today's Relief Society), with Annabella Haight as first counselor. She continued serving as a leader in the Benevolent Society until June 1875.

Annabella died of diabetes on February 10, 1888, at the age of 75, and was buried in the Cedar City Cemetery, next to Eliza and Elizabeth Haight, two of Isaac's other wives. She was survived by two sons (her daughter Ann had died in 1867), thirty-four grandchildren, and a large number of great-grandchildren. (Parts taken from "Yours Sincerely, John M. Macfarlane," by L. W. Macfarlane, M.D.)

ANNABELLA SINCLAIR MACFARLANE by Dana Tischer, 1999 Chapter taken from "To Them It Was Real"

In the year 1811, George I was on the throne of Great Britain, Napoleon was reaching the height of his powers in Europe, tensions between Britain and the United States were building towards the War of 1812, and Annabella Sinclair was born in Killin, Perthshire, Scotland.. I know there is some question on this point, but 1811 is the birth year listed on her headstone, and until I find out definitely otherwise, the year I will use for purposes of this history. Her early years were spent in Killin, but at some point before 1826, the family moved to Doune Castle, where her father was employed as a caretaker at the Castle..

The story has come down in my family that Annabella worked as a serving girl at Stirling Castle; in fact, I have a note, source undocumented, that she was a personal maid to the Duchess. That raised the question of which Duchess. I've spent several hours on the Internet trying to track this down. What I've learned created more questions rather than answers, but here it is: the hereditary title holder to Stirling Castle is the Earl of Mar, but he fell into disfavor with King George " because of the Earl's support of the Jacobite Rebellion. As a result, the Earl escaped to exile in . France around 1715, and the control of Stirling Castle fell into the hands of the British Crown, where it stayed until it was restored to the Earl of Mar by King George V in 1923. During the 19th century, according to the histories I've found, Stirling Castle was used as an Army Barracks for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who are still headquartered there. There are several McFarlan's listed in the ranks of the Highlanders, including three Johns, but I don't know if any of them were Annabella's husband. Considering that possibly her position was at Doune Castle, rather than Stirling, I checked the history there. Doune Castle was built around the end of the 14th century by Robert Stewart, the first duke of Albany. By Annabella's time, though, through an advantageous marriage, the Stewarts had become the Earls of Moray. If Annabella were a personal maid to nobility, it would have been to a Countess, but the question of which one is still unanswered. If I learn any more, I'll let you know. Or, if anyone here has stories they've heard, I would be happy to hear them and add to my collection.

In 1833, at the age of 22, Annabella married John Macfarlane, a coachman at Stirling Castle. Again, based on the stories passed down through my family, Annabella met John through her employment at Stirling Castle. In, any case, the newlywed couple settled in Stirling and started raising their family. A major change occurred when the Mormon missionaries brought the message of the restored gospel. Annabella entered the waters of baptism on January 3, 1842, at the age of 31. I haven't heard anything that states which church they converted from, but I am presuming it was Presbyterian, the national church of Scotland. A sad change occurred on October 8, 1846, with the death of John Macfarlane. Annabella was left a widow at the age of 35 with three children, ages 13, 11, and 9. She struggled along in Stirling, practicing nursing and midwifery, for four years, before finally moving close to her sisters in Glasgow during.the Spring of 1850. Here she continued her nursing practice, until the Perpetual Emigration Fund made it possible for her to join the body of saints in Zion. She left Liverpool on February 1O, 1852 with five children, her own three and two belonging to her sister, Janet. The oldest, John, was 18, and the youngest, Janet's daughter Ann, was 11. The Latter-Day-Saint companies were well organized on-board ship, but it still must have been an interesting experience to manage by herself with five teenagers. On September 3, 1852, the company reached Salt Lake Valley. The first year was spent in Bountiful, probably with Annabella's mother and sister who had arrived three years earlier.

On October 16, 1853, Annabella's future changed dramatically, when she was married to Isaac Haight, who had just been called to organize the Iron Mission in Cedar City. Isaac's journal states, rather simply, that he was married to Annabella Macfarlane on that date. He had married Eliza Ann Price six days earlier. On October -17; the wagon party left for Cedar City. Wayland questions whether or not Annabella's children were in the party; histories of Cedar City talk about Annabella's two sons coming to Cedar with the original party, but not her daughter. Ann married Thomas Reid on February 9, 1854, so it is quite likely she was already planning, or at least anticipating, her own marriage the previous October, and was unwilling to move.

From what I've been able to gather, Annabella and Isaac's first wife Eliza, lived under the same roof, at least once they had a roof in Cedar. Annabella was loved and revered by the other wives. To illustrate, there's the story of Isaac's fifth wife, Elizabeth Summers. Elizabeth had been a maid-of-honor to one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. As such, she had lived a relatively privileged and sheltered life. The rigors of traveling to Utah under the best of circumstances would have severely tried her strength. As it happened, she traveled with the Martin Handcart company. Her health, when she married Isaac on January 26, 1858, was incredibly delicate. As the story was told, under Annabella's professional nursing, the first Eliza Ann's encouragement, and the comradeship of the second Eliza Ann and Caroline, Elizabeth regained strength and a great desire to live and become part of Cedar City. Isaac and Elizabeth had two daughters before she died on December 20, 1863. It was the oldest daughter, Emmeline, whom Annabella raised. The second daughter was raised by Eliza Ann, Isaac's first wife.

On November 20, 1856, the Female Benevolent Society of Cedar City was formed, with Annabella Haight as first counselor. At first, the society met weekly, but eventually settled on monthly meetings. One of the early matters of business was gathering paper on which to write the minutes. Most of the sisters could only contribute one or two sheets, but Annabella brought in a very generous six sheets of paper. It's amazing to me, the sacrifices necessary to provide what we now see as extremely commonplace. Over the years, Annabella spoke on a number of matters. Among her favorite subjects were cleanliness, instructing of children, and cultivating the spirit of secret prayer. Each month, four to five pairs of sisters were assigned to visit the rest of the sisters. The routes were broken into the middle, north, south, west, and east lines, and the new city. Also each month, new sisters were voted on as members of the society. The benevolent Society played a major role in the welfare of the community at the time. Most of the meetings were "work" meetings, at which the sisters made quilts, mended clothing, knit socks, and other goods for the needy of the area. Home manufacture was mentioned multiple times. Sisters with the appropriate skills were encouraged to teach those around them. In one meeting, Sister Haight told the sisters how they might benefit the treasury by getting some straw for hats. The minutes of September 10, 1857 had some interesting comments. "Mother Whittaker and Sister Annabella found the sisters generally enjoying a good spirit, that they felt to rejoice in visiting the sisters and that they felt the sisters were improving in all things. Sister Haight said that the sisters enjoyed a better spirit than they had eight or nine months ago- said that these were squally times, and we ought to attend to secret prayer in behalf of our husbands, sons, father, and brothers. Instructed the sisters to teach their sons and daughters the principles of righteousness and to implant a desire in their hearts to avenge the blood.. of the Prophets. Sister Hopkins said that she with Sister White had visited the sisters in the middle lines, that they felt well and manifested a good spirit, and was desirous to do well, and to improve, advised them to attend strictly to secret prayer in behalf of the brethren that are out acting in our defense.

There is an unexplained gap of nine years, from 1859 - 1868. The Society was reorganized on June 4, 1868, with Annabella again serving as first counselor. In these years, the emphasis was on service, and providing goods to the needy. Each meeting lists donations by the sisters of eggs, quilting blocks, sewing, and knitting. The condition of the clothing was mentioned, along with exhortations to live the commandments, so that means of providing clothing to the poor would be opened to them. In 1870, there was a great deal of disturbance over the "Cullom's Bill", which apparently took action against polygamists. A ladies Mass Meeting was held in Cedar City February 1, 1870 to protest against the passage of the "Cullom's Bill". A committee, of which Annabella was a part, was formed to draft resolutions protesting the bill. Annabella delivered a lengthy and impressive address to the audience on Celestial marriage and protested in strong terms against such members of Congress as would fain bring unjust and tyrannical abuses on this people. Sisters at this time were also urged to exercise their newly-acquired right to vote.

1870 also marked another change in Annabella's fortunes, when Isaac was excommunicated and went into hiding for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I've been unable to find out for certain how Annabella supported herself during those years. In the Relief Society minutes, certain women were called to be midwives, and it was never Annabella. I don't know if she practiced nursing or not. I have a copy of a letter written to Annabella and Eliza Ann by Isaac from Kanab, dated September 8, 1871, that details his efforts to provide for his family.

Eliza Ann and Annabella

Dear wives. I have waited a long time for a letter from you but have waited in vain. So I thought I would write a few lines as I have a little time while it rains. I have been very busy and have not had time to come to Cedar as I should have liked to have done. I went some two weeks since for Jacob for a load of wheat but had to hurry back again as the family ran out of bread. I got a note from David last evening that was wrote on the 16th of August. I am sorry the crop is not as good as I was in hopes it would be but I hope there will be enough for you. I was in hopes I could have gone to Cedar before going over the Colorado but it seems that we are to go in about two weeks and we have very little time to get ready. We have a Navajo Indian here; he came yesterday. There are some eighty more coming today, how long they will stay I don't know. I expect they will visit the other settlements before they return. Jacob has gone out to Washington for supplies for his family to last till he comes back, he says I will be gone some two months, how far I shall go is not yet decided. I may go to Sonora in Mexico to trade. some horses. You need say nothing about that. You must do the best you can. I should like to make-up my wine before I go but I shall not be able so I shall leave it to Eliza to see to perhaps David will have time to go down and assist in making it up. It will not take more than 10 days or two weeks and he can take wine for his pay. I am glad David has got a waggon. I have tried to trade his mule but he is so old that no one wants him. He has no teeth in front and the back teeth are so poor that he can hardly grind his food. I have got him up the creek now and he is gaining fast the boys say. My health is quite good at present and I hope to be able to stand the journey first note. As soon as I return I expect to go home and spend the winter with my family as I am tired of roaming and unless I can do some good as a Latter Day Saint and have the. fellowship of the Saints I think I shall try taking care of myself and family and serve the Lord the best I can in the habitation that I am placed. I feel that the Lord has not forsaken me and grants me the comforting influence of his Holy Spirit which has therefore sustained me and enabled me bear the position with some small degree of resignation. I shall say as little as I can and live as humble as though I was in full fellowship. One thing I have the most full of that if things cannot be made right in time all things will be made right in the world to come. I may never return as the disease that I have is not to be trusted and I am likely to drop off any time. I want David to so live that he can do anything that I have left undone and not neglect it. I must now close by saying May the Lord bless you all. Give my kind love to the children and all that enquires for.

Your affection husband, I C Haight.

June 3 1875, Mother Whittaker resigned her position as president of the Relief Society. At the same time, she turned in the resignation for her first counselor, Annabella Haight, who was unavoidably absent. Annabella died on February 10, 1888, and is buried in the Cedar City Cemetery.