Ann Campbell Gillies

July 12, 1846 - May 1, 1905


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.)